Women Who Inspire Us: Shelly Vella - culthread

Women Who Inspire Us: Shelly Vella

Shelly has been at the forefront of Fashion editorial for over twenty years creating beautiful imagery whilst at Company, Cosmopolitan and now You magazine where she is their Fashion Director. Aside from having a penchant for a prairie blouse or a fringed kimono, Shelly has been a passionate animal lover and eco-warrior all her life and as such has been way ahead of the sustainable curve. We salute you Shelly! 


What would you describe as pivotal moments in your career to date?


  • This would definitely be when I received an award from PETA for my ‘Cosmopolitan Smart Girls Fake it’ anti-fur campaign. I have always been passionate about animal welfare in the fashion industry and it was a wonderful endorsement from a charity that I support and strongly believe in. Knowing that I could speak out and influence young women was gratifying in an industry that can make you feel alone in your ethical choices. 




What advice would you give to a young woman in the workplace today?


  • I would advise her to stick to her guns, follow her heart and work hard – really hard. If you are passionate about what you do it gets noticed. I also believe that you should never shirk the graft that helps you climb the ladder, because you need to know all the nitty gritty of how a role works when you rise to the top. Always be nice to people. Always.


If there was one thing that you could wish for if you had a magic wand, what would it be?


  • Gosh, there are so many things I would want to wish for but right now I’d like to see a concerted effort from the fashion industry to stop creating waste; to become more sustainable from start to finish and most importantly to banish fur, down, angora and all cruelly procured forms of ‘fabric’.  We are so clever as a species and the advancements made in synthetic fabrics are incredible so there really is no need to exploit.  I could go on and on here…. 


In what ways are you committed to making the world a better place? What are your ways of giving back to the planet?


  • I do my best but no one is perfect. I am vegan so my diet and my lifestyle ensure that I feel confident that I’m not contributing to animal cruelty. I also love supporting natural, organic and sustainable brands…both fashion and beauty. Wherever I work, I try hard to gently educate the reader about alternatives. This is not always straightforward, but times are changing and even the most cynical of editors understand the importance of hero-ing brands making a difference.


What do you love most about your culthread piece? 


  • I tend to carry heaps of stuff around with me, so I love the oversized puffa bag for it’s gorgeous practicality. It’s quirky, it’s ethical and it’s seriously tactile to boot.


Blenheim bag

Shop our black Blenheim bag here

Stay up to date on all our latest offers.