STOW chats with Janine Di Giovanni, award winning reporter, author of The Morning They Came for Us, foreign correspondent / journalist & documentary maker
To where would you most like to stowaway?
Anywhere that had a view of the sea, a balcony, and people I love nearby. I love the Med, but I also love the Atlantic Ocean in the USA, the Caribbean, just about anywhere I can swim and see fish.
Who would you take with you?
My son, Luca Costantino Girodon. He is 13. Last year we learned how to scuba dive in the Maldives. It was amazingly bonding for us both. Unreal. We want to do it again!
One essential piece of kit you cannot travel without, and why?
Luca, of course. But aside from him, a small medical kit because…you never know
What is your favourite STOW piece, and why?
I just got the First Class Tech Case. It’s perfect. First of all, it is pale pink, so ultra feminine. But inside is just about anything and everything I need to keep connected to the world. It’s lightweight and beautifully made.
What would you keep in your stowaway envelope?
A Love letter, and I am not telling from who. A photo of Luca. A good luck charm.
Luxury or practicality – which one are you?
Both. I have to be. My work and life demands I am practical. But I have to say, I love luxury items – beautiful leather, well made things, cashmere, all the finer things in life. I believe in treating myself!
Best piece of travel attire to stay stylish when on the move?
Black cashmere in winter, white in the summer – I love clothes that are simple but well cut – Jil Sander, Helmut Lang, Prada, of course but I can’t afford it unless it’s on sale. Great shoes that do not hurt your feet – Roger Vivier are beautiful but I have to tuck flats in my bag if I am wearing them. A great bag – mine is from The Row and I saved up for a year to buy it – but someone once told me, have expensive shoes, coat and bag and you can cheat on the rest.
How do you stay stylish when travelling?
I went to Catholic school as a girl and I grew up wearing a uniform. My wardrobe is still a uniform – black, white, grey and navy with beige and tan in the summer. Everything pretty much goes together- pencil skirts and fitted blouses, well cut blazers and trousers, and dresses. I am a dress girl. Narciso Rodriguez, the American designer makes the best ones that go from work to dinner to party. Also great, but pricey is Michael Kors Collection. I love how the Americans do “sportswear” which is essentially just beautifully cut day where that moves to night. I am a great packer and try to travel with carry on only. The thing that takes the most weight is my computer and accessories, which is why I am thrilled to have the First Class Tech Case.
Best piece of fashion advice you’ve received?
From my mother. After you get dressed, look at yourself in the mirror and take off one piece of jewelry. Less is more. And beauty is only skin deep – be kind, be generous to others (especially other women – don’t be one of those women who is not kind to our own sex) and smile all the time. Smiling is the most beautiful accessory you have. That, plus the fact that a well-cut black dress and perfect black heels will get you far in the world and make you look sexy and powerful.
Who is your travel hero/heroine and why?
Martha Gellhorn. She was a war reporter who had her shoes hand made on Madison Avenue. And Lee Miller, a former muse of Man Ray, who became a combat photographer. She used to wear couture war reporter military uniforms. She had them made on Savile Row. Her son, Antony Penrose, gave me one of her jackets from WW II to try on. It was like putting on a Chanel jacket!
Which luxury item can you not travel without?
My son, of course. He is the light of my life and my favorite travel companion. Other than that, my faith in humanity, my health, and my wonderful, wonderful friends of whom I could not get by. Plus common sense and a lot of humour. Without humour, I would have been lost a long, long time ago.