Johanna Payton

Who is Johanna Payton?

On the red carpet at
Wokefield Park

A writer, editor and broadcaster, Johanna Payton has a voracious appetite for fashion, tons of editorial experience and a no-nonsense way with words. Freelance since 2002, she has spent the past decade writing for national newspapers, magazines and websites, broadcasting on the radio, training fellow media professionals, lecturing in fashion journalism, styling and blogging. Johanna is features editor at the UK’s most-read wedding website,, fashion journalism lecturer at London Met, and a regular guest & fashion expert on BBC Radio. She is currently job sharing as a commissioning editor for Guardian Labs, the Guardian's new commercial department.

Born in Bradford (home of the brave), Johanna moved to London after graduating from Huddersfield University, where she studied English Literature and Media. After starting her career in the music industry she branched out as a freelancer in 2002, writing 100s of editorial and advertorial features for a host of national titles, in print and online.

Johanna specialises in fashion, travel, lifestyle and parenting, but her diverse career has seen her try her hand at everything from line dancing in Nashville to sailing around the Solent with a record-breaking yachtswoman. She helped to launch the UK's first blogging platform in 2003, worked as commissioning editor on "Summer", a lifestyle book published by the Observer in 2010 and has written/contributed to two health titles: she is represented by the literary agent, Andrew Lownie. She spent a year as eBay's resident fashion blogger and has worked as head of fashion for leading fashion comparison website, Style Compare since 2012. Johanna accepts corporate copywriting and consultancy projects, runs hugely successful training courses for journalists and PRs with fellow freelancer Olivia Gordon and is the fashion journalism lecturer at London Metropolitan University.

Showing off Holly Fulton's
trousers at London Fashion Week

Johanna’s personal style is colourful, bold and bursting with energy, an individual blend of vintage and high street - and the ethos of her look is reflected in the way she writes and talks about fashion. When a trend is ridiculous, Jo won’t dress it up for her readers, listeners or viewers, but she’s willing to give anything a go in the name of sartorial experimentation. Her unbridled enthusiasm – and ability to talk about fashion in a down-to-earth way - is what makes her fashion blog, Fashion Detective, so successful. Launched in January 2010, Fashion Detective has been featured in Fabulous, Psychologies, Red, the Guardian, parentdish, LOOK and Sunday Times Style. The blog was shortlisted in the Bibs 2013 and made it to the finals of the 2012 and 2013 MAD Blog Awards.

In spite of the "fashionista" rep, Johanna is game for a laugh and loves making new mates during the course of every working week. She has a tendency to fall over in her wedges (usually after several cocktails) and loves nothing more than spending time with her beloved friends and family. Johanna lives and works in South London with her partner, her nine-year-old son and several bulging wardrobe rails.


'Johanna is hilariously honest. She encapsulates all that is fashion and quirky and most of all, is a delightful being, a fabulous writer and walks the walk of all that was Dorothy Perkins and is now Zara.’ Pipa Gordon, TV presenter & broadcaster

I love reading Johanna’s blog - The Fashion Detective. It’s hilarious, insightful and, best of all, honest. Jo injects a healthy dose of levity into a topic that is often taken far too seriously. Armed with an in-depth knowledge of all things sartorial, a keen eye for details and trends, and a writing style that’s full of unique, self-deprecating wit, Jo has created something that’s both refreshing and thoroughly enjoyable. Kate McAuley, contributing fashion writer,

Jo and her son Eliott pose with Wenlock at the
Hornby Olympic tea and toy party, Hamley's London, 2012
Site by Baxter Media