As a child growing up in north-central London, Zara Stone never saw a fence she didn’t want to climb. And why not? Climbing was an exciting adventure in and of itself, but walls also triggered a strong desire to explore. Whatever lay behind them was off-limits — mysterious, exotic and, with any luck, forbidden.
That intrepid mind set stayed with Zara as she made her way through school, writing stories, riding a moped and attending the theater in the West End (Les Mis left her in a puddle). While enrolled in the English program at Queen Mary University in East London, she developed seemingly contradictory passions for vodka cranberries, technology and Vikram Seth’s novel-in-verse The Golden Gate.
After graduation, Zara nimbly dropped into the boys’ club of tech and gadget websites, where she romped for the next few years before branching out into fashion and lifestyle as editor of the website Shiny Shiny, which featured “technology, beauty and the bizarre.”
Fashion week in New York brought Zara to Manhattan, and it also opened the American chapter of her life. Her master’s program at the Columbia School of Journalism focused on video and TV storytelling — one assignment was to investigate the extreme cosmetic surgery that was taking over South Korea.
Then it was on to a prestigious internship on the social media and video desk at the Wall Street Journal, followed by a gig as modern life editor and producer of an ABC-Univision partnership called Fusion. After stints in Miami and Washington, D.C., Zara headed West to warmer weather and an active freelance career contributing to The Atlantic, Vice, Forbes, Wired and other national outlets.
Her stories continue to take OZY up and over fences and into intriguing intersections of tech, culture and lifestyle — from “smart” hula hoops to pet zebras, white-guilt book clubs to high-tech breasts, drone-training schools to the dark side of belly dancing.