Biography

Stephanie Rafanelli is a writer, editor and journalist who has been nominated for both a British Press Award and a Royal Television Society Award for documentary direction. She is currently based between Los Angeles, London and Tuscany. She is passionate about character and storytelling, be it with a serious tone or a sense of humour.

The former features director of British Harper’s Bazaar, Stephanie has also worked for The Guardian, Telegraph magazine, Saturday Times magazine, Mr Porter, Porter, Times Luxx, Observer magazine, The Evening Standard, ES magazine, Telegraph Ultratravel, The Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine, Telegraph Culture, The Financial Times, Elle, Red, Conde Nast Traveller, Elle Decoration, Departures and High Life.

She specialises in in-depth long-form interviews with actors, artists, musicians, directors and writers and interesting characters from all walks of life. Her interviewees have included Al Pacino, Jodie Foster, Bjork, Dolce & Gabbana, Sarah Lucas, Cate Blanchett, Ryan Gosling, Cara Delevingne, Julianne Moore, Penelope Cruz, Sir Patrick Stewart, Lenny Kravitz, Nicole Kidman, Sir Ian McKellen, Marion Cotillard, Jared Leto, Ethan Hawke, Kristen Scott Thomas, Colin Farrell, Ewan McGregor, Sam Smith, Jenny Saville, Salma Hayek and Kiki Smith. 

She was nominated for Interviewer of the Year at the British Press Awards in 2016. She also writes features on serious issues (especially those relating to women), travel, reportage, and opinion pieces.

Stephanie previously worked as a documentary producer and director. She started her career at the BBC and was subsequently awarded ITV’s documentary directing scholarship. Her film about an enclosed order of nuns was nominated for a Royal Television Society award. She has worked on films for BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Channel 5, Discovery and PBS on subjects as varied as the history of the New York and Sicilian Mafia, a journey through rural Japan, the fashion houses of Gucci and Versace, a prostitute ring from Nigeria, and an investigation into an exorcist cult.

Stephanie is passionate about characters, storytelling, film, women’s issues, the arts, music and travel. She has commissioned such writers as Jeanette Winterson, Siri Hustvedt, Kevin Spacey, Julian Fellowes,  Simon Schama, James Fox, Marina Warner, Naomi Wolf and Isabel Fonseca. She has covered Cannes Film Festival, been a judge for the Orange Prize and sat on the Whitechapel Gallery’s Artplus committee. She also ran Harper’s Bazaar Women Of The Year Awards for five years during her time at the magazine.

She has travelled extensively in 30 countries worldwide (her favourites places include Mumbai, Sicily, Buenos Aires, Trinidad, New York, Bolivia and Japan). Her father is Tuscan, her mother is English. She speaks fluent Italian.

Stephanie graduated from Manchester University with a First class BA Hons in English Literature. She also has a post-graduate degree in Print Journalism from the London College of Printing. In interview with Stephanie is featured in the Routledge guide: Interviewing for Journalists (2017).

 She is currently writing her first novel.