Interview by Marianne Hanoun
Introduction by Siham Ali

How to keep multiple plates spinning, with Burberry art director, Verity Pemberton 

Having trained in womenswear design, Verity Pemberton transitioned to working in graphic design and art direction after graduating, and today she works in-house at British luxury fashion house, Burberry. Alongside this, she also runs her own independent publication, Moon Magazine – an initiative she credits as helping to make her mark on the fashion world. As an instrumental part of her journey, Verity tells us how the magazine has been able to flourish – having featured the likes of singer Celeste, and Sex Education star Tanya Reynolds. Here she lets us in on what her role looks like, and details both the rewards and struggles of maintaining a passion project.

Verity Pemberton 

Verity Pemberton 


Job Titles

Art Director at Burberry
Founder and Editor of Moon Magazine

Based

London

Previous Employment

Creative, MARIOTESTINO+ (2015–2018)
Creative Consultant, Urban Outfitters (2015)
Designer, Urban Outfitters (2010–2015)

Education

BA Womenswear Fashion Design, Winchester Art School (2007–2009)

Website

moonmagazine.eu

Social Media

instagram.com/moon_magazine

What I do

How would you describe what you do?
I’m an art director at Burberry, and I predominantly focus on Burberry Beauty. l would say my job is to make sure the visual side of things fits with the Burberry visual narrative overall. This can be done through campaigns, social, virtual, or film content.

If you could pick one emoji to describe what it’s like to work at Burberry, what would it be and why?

🏃‍♀

Maybe a running emoji as it’s always so busy, and I feel like I’m constantly running around. When I’m on set, for example, I hardly sit down.

What’s your favourite thing on your desk right now?
A Studio Arhoj little ghost ceramic that glows when you put a candle in it [see in image below; bottom right].

Verity’s desk, featuring the Studio Arhoj ghost candle holder (bottom right)

What recent projects are you most proud of?
A recent social campaign, all about the signature Burberry Beauty look (a bleached brow with a red lip and trench coat). It was shot by Campbell Addy. I directed the video that sat alongside it, and it was such a fun and hectic two days.

And then a recent project I’m proud of for my independent publication Moon Magazine: I really enjoyed working on a shoot in Wales for the latest issue. We stayed in a stately home for two days and shot model Amanda Ljunggren as if she were a lonely aristocrat; we also made a film to sit alongside it.

Can you tell us a bit about Moon Magazine?
Moon Magazine is essentially my creative outlet that truly reflects what I am interested in and who inspires me. I started it when I was working as a womenswear designer and I didn’t feel creatively fulfilled.

It just sort of took off and became bigger than I ever thought it would. I think starting a magazine is a huge undertaking – the amount of work involved is unbelievable, and it means sacrificing a lot of my weekends and evenings. However, it’s such a great excuse to meet and reach out to people you have always wanted to.

Creating a magazine won’t make you millions, but it will keep your creativity up and help you meet great people. It’s priceless.

“Creating a magazine won’t make you millions, but it will keep your creativity up and help you meet great people. It’s priceless.”

Above and right: Amanda Ljunggren for Moon Magazine shot by Josie Gealerng

How I got here

What kind of skills are needed to do your role? And would you say you need any specific training to do what you do?
You need a huge interest in any kind of visual communication, whether it’s films, photographic knowledge, or any kind of new media. You also need to be able to juggle multiple projects with multiple deadlines, and make sure you are confident on set and clear on your direction.

If you could pick three things that you’ve found useful or inspiring to your work or career, what would they be and why?
I would say that creating Moon Magazine has been instrumental to my career. It has opened doors and allowed me to meet people I otherwise wouldn’t have had the chance to meet.

I gained knowledge around putting together small-scale shoots, which helps my current work – now that I’m working on large-scale shoots for Burberry. It also means I have a good understanding of what everyone’s roles involve.

If I’m ever in a creative rut, the film Eames: The Architect & Painter is an amazing creative kick. I also just think going offline and looking at amazing photography books works well. Reconnecting with a printed page is something I always enjoy.

Moon Magazine Issue 8
Celeste for Moon Magazine shot by Willow Williams
Tanya Reynolds for Moon Magazine shot by Josh Shinner
Moon Magazine Issue 8, Blue Farrier’s toilet

What would you say has been your biggest challenge along the way?
The lack of time! My current full-time job is very demanding and the fact that Moon is essentially put together by me and my design partner means I have a lot of work to juggle.

What have been your greatest learnings with making money and supporting yourself as a creative?
I invested in Moon as a creative outlet which in turn actually helped me get my first role in art direction. It also prompted me to change my career route from womenswear design.

I think investing in your own ideas, even if you work for a company is something that is really important. It shows you’re truly passionate about your subject; as well as offering an undiluted look at your true aesthetic style.

“Investing in your ideas is important. It shows you’re passionate and offers an undiluted look at your true aesthetic.”

Moon Magazine Issue 8 shot by Rory Dcs
Inside Moon Magazine

My advice

What’s the best career-related advice you’ve ever received?
It wasn’t directed at me (I wish it was!) but Patti Smith said something along the lines of: “Your name is your currency”, which is something I live by.

What advice would you give someone looking to get into a similar role?
If time allows, always make sure you are working on your own projects, as it will make you stand out. Get in contact with people you admire and see if they can mentor you.

Brief yourself and work on those projects as if you’ve been briefed by a client. And finally, don’t keep what you’re doing a secret.

Interview by Marianne Hanoun
Introduction by Siham Ali