Vanessa McCulloch

Freelance writer and editor

Location icon South Africa

I grew up in the UK and have been living in Cape Town for the last 12 years; ten of those years I've spent working on magazines. I've covered both custom and consumer titles, have worked alongside some brilliant editorial minds and written a lot of fun stories. From human interest to decor, travel to beauty, I've had pieces published for the likes of Marie Claire and House & Leisure. In my most recent position as deputy editor, I helped transform a practical custom fashion and beauty magazine that went out to almost a million people into a glossy with interesting and dynamic content. I'm now writing and editing in a freelance capacity.

Contact me at [email protected]


Women's Titles

Marie Claire, South Africa
Living With Chronic Bitch Face

I wonder why they asked me to write this one? This was really fun and got a great response from readers – the most letters they've ever received apparently. I guess it really is a modern affliction.

Marie Claire, South Africa
Two Hours on Chat Roulette

The idea behind Chat Roulette was a good one: to connect people from around the world online via camera. A click of the mouse and you come face to face with a stranger from the other side of the world. You never know who you're going to get. While some took this as a platform to share their creative talents, the majority (as I discovered) took to it to expose themselves. Why can't people play nice online?

Edgars Club Magazine
Borrowing From The Boys

We're more than happy to wear boyfriend jeans but what about wearing our boyfriend's fragrance? A beauty story where I took on the challenge of wearing a masculine scent and seeing if anyone even noticed.

Edgars Club Magazine
Body Beautiful

An interview with Aimee Mullins, ambassador for L'Oreal Paris, para-olympic athlete and double amputee. A seriously inspiring woman.

Edgars Club Magazine
Secrets of a Storyteller

Interview with best-selling author Jeffrey Archer. He insisted that his craft cannot be learned but is rather a gift from up above.

Marie Claire, South Africa
What Smiles Are Made Of

Operation Smile provides free surgeries to children with cleft palates who would never otherwise have a chance to receive such medical care. I was given the opportunity to join the team on their trip to Madagascar.

Edgars Club Magazine
Notes From A Stylist

A fashion stylist with 25 years of experience shares her insider knowledge and her memorable fashionable moments working alongside Isaac Mizhari and styling a young unknown actress, Gwyneth Paltrow.

Marie Claire, South Africa
My World: Livia Firth

It was the eco issue of Marie Claire. We had a piece on Vivienne Westwood but Livia Firth was the other name making waves in the 'eco' fashion arena. She was more than happy to be interviewed and was quite enchanting.

Edgars Club Magazine
Dress Like A Stylist

An interview with Caryn Franklin, who's a British fashion celebrity. I loved her down-to-earth manner and her determination to promote a more realistic and attainable ideal of female beauty.

Marie Claire, South Africa
I Fled Russia To Escape The Mafia

A South African career woman decided she wanted one more adventure - and headed to Moscow to start her own company. She was living her dream, until the mafia knocked on her door. She shared her story with me.

Edgars Club Magazine
Next On The It List

A review of Alexa Chung's book and documentaries on fashion rebels


Marie Claire, South Africa
Trigger Happy

Photographer Candy Kennedy headed to the notorious ganglands of the Cape Flats for her latest photography project. She was six months pregnant at the time but profiling some of the most dangerous criminals in South Africa was the kind of project she couldn't pass up on.

Marie Claire South Africa
A Town Called Orania

Orania is an Afrikaans town in the Northern Cape unlike any other in SA: only white people can apply to live there. “We don’t see ourselves as being against anyone else. We see ourselves as pro-Afrikaner,” explained one resident. The small town, population 1000, has nine churches and even introduced their own currency, the Ora. I interviewed photographer Samantha Simons (who is not Afrikaans) about her time spent there documenting the Oranians. ‘I really did try to go there with an open...

Marie Claire, South Africa

An interview with a photographer who documented AfrikaBurn 2010, in Tankwa, the Karoo, a festival that celebrates creativity and appeals to all with a spirit of adventure. That year there were around 2000 revellers; this year they are excepting close to 9500 party-goers.

Marie Claire, South Africa
Desert Rose

'These days almost half my Facebook friends are prostitutes,' joked photographer Marc McAndrews. He spent five years in Nevada, where prostitution is legal, documenting what goes on behind the neon lit doorways.

Marie Claire, South Africa
Little Adults

A glimpse into the lives of the children of Russia's uber rich. Old before their time.


Marie Claire, South Africa
The Rise of Glamping

Honeymoon bliss at Marataba game lodge in Limpopo. I soon discovered that marriage is about compromises and even when you're staying in 5-star safari luxury, getting up at the crack of dawn to go on a game drive is a must-do.

Edgars Club Magazine
The Fashionista's Paris

Some of SA's most fashionable share the places they always go when visiting the city of lights.


House & Leisure
Beyond Borders

The architect behind a minimal and serene house in Cape Town's De Waterkant uses clever tactics to make the most of the small space

House & Leisure
Good Vibrations

A family home in Tamoberskloof, Cape Town, is a fun space bursting with colour and print. The owners share their interior inspirations.


Marie Claire, South Africa
Queen of the One Liner

Love her or loathe her, Joan Rivers (80) is a comedian with staying power. Her jokes about celebrity's weight and the holocaust have got her into water. Does she care? More than you would think.

Marie Claire, South Africa
Beyond The Crown

Interviewing Margaret Gardiner, who most South Africans will remember as Miss Universe, was quite a challenge to interview. Not only because she's humble, so she downplays all of her achievements, but also because she's a Hollywood reporter so during our weeks of communication she was always about to get on a plane to go to the next country for the latest movie premiere. Margaret leaves you with the sense that anything is possible - all you need to do is put your mind to it.

Marie Claire, South Africa
Independence Day

This is a biography piece on First Lady Betty Ford. I knew little about her before I started the research and was particularly inspired by her unique approach to White House life, her love for her husband and the way she tackled her alcoholism and in doing so inspired the world. I've written quite a few of these 'life stories' for Marie Claire from Anna Dello Russo to Kate Winslet - there interesting pieces to write as you put on your detective hat and start digging into as much biographical...