On being recognised for her two-decade-long career, Laura says: "It feels amazing because it's our people, you know? It's as if nothing fills up your heart more than the recognition of the place where you're from. And to have people at home, I've been gone for 18 years, to have paid any attention and to think that I'm doing a good job is extraordinary. It's really, there's nothing better. There's nothing more satisfying. Especially because Australians, we don't suffer fools. We're not super hyperbolic and so it really means more because it's not just giving it for the sake of giving it, it's not empty. I'm really, really honoured. Honestly. My little heart!"
On the traits that have gotten her to where she is, Laura says: "I think I've worked hard. I've been happy to be there. I've been enthusiastic. There's nothing cooler than enthusiasm in my book. If I've met quote-unquote shiny, plastic people I've been respectful, not reverent. So I think that I'm comfortable in a room with people and therefore they become comfortable quickly with me. And I'm not a snob. I hate snobbery and I think I've done everything through what I've been able to create to be consistent with that idea. I don't like in fashion this idea that people are better than other people, or not connected, or credible. I don't partake in that. I think that just my existence in my job is proof of that. I'm a farmer's daughter from western Sydney. I think I represent the proof of doing the work, and enjoying it, and being good, and kind, and, hopefully, sometimes clever. But I think that that is a very basic quality. I think it's the very basic quality that the ones I think I'm proud to stand behind.
"I'm just basic. I'm just really basic."
On fashion titles becoming more politically and socially aware, Laura says: "Look, there is a divide in the world between what is decent, and what is indecent, or who has empathy and who doesn't. I cannot sleep at night by living in a vacuum. I started in the job seven months before Donald Trump got elected. To reflect that, I try to do it with a light hand and I try to come at things from a point of understanding and empathy. I like to try to be like, oh, this woman who is an immigration lawyer, here's her deal. And if you want to support her here's how you can. Come from a positive place, because you can't just wake up in one shake the system for being bad. And you see online, you see the world, I can't personally sustain it. I know that my readers can't either. So I do try to follow, to support the things we're supporting and do it intelligently. You've got to be reflective. And we're the media. We're reflective of the world we're living in. And try and do the right thing."
On whether fashion titles have a responsibility to be socially aware, Laura says: "Again, you're not in a vacuum. I think everybody should come in at the way they are comfortable with. You just can't pretend that you're not living in the world, but you are. We have a little humour. We have fun concepts. But then you can slip a little bit of vitamins into the honey. That's how we do it."
On why InStyle has stood the test of time, Laura says: "I think we're doing as well as we are now because we are more acutely reflecting the world. And, celebrating things that need to be celebrated. We're more in the world than the title was a few years ago I'm sure."
On sustainability, Laura says: "You know what, it's funny. I think the public fears come when it's not even a conversation. When a brand is made well, and there is care and the work is treated right, and the fabric is treated right, and it just becomes a given. I would like to not talk about sustainability at all. I would like a sustainability award to be irrelevant."
On the power of social media, Laura says: "I think when my boss originally hired me, he knew I could put a magazine together, but it was my social media presence that kind of nailed it, because, I guess, I do have an ease with it. I'm very much myself on it. It's just a magazine of your life, and you're the editor. Don't be overwhelmed by it. It's actually a great way to show the world what you want to show of yourself. It's been incredible. I've met incredible people on it. I've met people I work with, artist, photographers, girlfriends. You know? I think it gives you a personal equity that isn't always tied to your magazine. And that's what I think gives all of us in the long game a little more freedom with where we work and where we're going to end up. If you are clear about who you are."
On what it takes to make it in the global fashion scene, Laura says: "Get on the plane, because...what's the worst-case scenario - going back to Australia? It's like, what are you worried about?