To keep a pulse on the youth, Scout editor Cai Subijano needs to keep an ear to the streets. Chronicling all manners of young independence, from a portfolio of wunderkind cinema folk to a think piece on selfies, Cai dresses up to pound major pavement. For days that can take her from high school shoot, to Makati office, to a random bar for an event, clothes need to pack both comfort and cool.
B/BLOG caught up with the editor (and erstwhile beauty queen) to find out where she’s steering her free bible for Millennials and why ditching a job as fashion editor has allowed her to embrace her own style.
Hi Cai! Can you tell us about the BENCH outfit you put together?
A lot of the cute tops at BENCH were cropped and those just aren’t a good look on me, so I ended up with this oversized sweater. I’ve probably worn a similar outfit before—a large top paired with a pleated skirt. I guess it’s the working equivalent of the “finals week” outfit.
What inspires your style?
Before joining Scout, I worked a lot in fashion publications. I guess editors figured I fit better in the “fashion and beauty” category because I’m tall and my sister was a model in the ’90s. But once I joined Scout, it was a relief! I no longer had to be this “fashionable” person anymore! I didn’t have to pretend to care that #NYFW was happening a million miles away!
Don’t get me wrong, though. I really have so much respect for the people who work in fashion. I’m obsessed with Jenna Lyons. But I also acknowledge that that hat just didn’t fit me. So what inspires my style? My mom. She taught me to never buy anything that wasn’t on sale. And that if I go out and I happen to hate what I’m wearing, which happens a lot, I avoid mirrors, stay in my cubicle, and try to avoid being seen (laughs).
Scout launched this year. Why do you feel there was a need for a magazine like this?
I think our biggest selling point is that we’re free both in print and online. That means not having to cop to putting celebs on the cover just to sway newsstand sales, and that is pretty liberating. I think it allows us to be less superficial, and to really be able to focus more on content that my readers will find relevant or interesting.
In my first job in publishing, we’d have editorial meetings discussing potential cover girls and editors will be like, “She’s fat” or “She’s really pretty, but we had the lowest sales when she was last on our cover.” It came to a point where I just felt that I was sending young people a message that to be successful, you had to be rich, beautiful, and famous. That’s the message I got when I was younger. And that’s why I’m trying to do something different with Scout. I just want young people to feel comfortable with themselves and what they’re into. To know it’s okay to be awkward.
What are you excited about in an upcoming issue?
I am getting ahead of myself, but I am really excited about our November cover. November is our Technology issue. I feel that after three issues, we’re really getting the hang of Scout’s look and content, and I can’t wait to see how it turns out!