Whenever I tell people I want to have a career in fashion I’m always met with something that goes along the lines of ‘oh, that’s nice’. But I can tell that behind the friendly-yet-slightly-condescending reply, they think I’m just another 18 year old girl living their life through the contents of Heat Magazine.
OK, so I’ll be the first to admit that my knees go weak at the thought of a pair of designer shoes but that isn’t the only thing that draws me to the fashion PR industry.
The fashion world is an ever-changing environment and the thought of being in a job where one day is never the same as the next entices me. Being able to combine a personal hobby and interest of mine with a career is something I have always aspired to do, so with this in mind, I am currently in my first year of studying Public Relations at Leeds Metropolitan University.
Alongside my lectures and seminars I have been avidly trying to learn as much about the industry as possible. I have read numerous articles from people having had placements at fashion PR agencies, or positions in-house, and these have been immensely helpful in giving me an idea of what the actual workplace is like.
Foot in shoe, then in door
But how else can I learn more about fashion PR until I get that all-important work placement?
A while ago I stumbled across a blog named PR Couture whose tagline, ‘Fashion PR’s Haute Spot’ couldn’t be more spot on.
In spite of it being an American-based blog, it has proved invaluable in supplying me, and many other readers, with a wealth of engaging articles, interviews and tips that have enabled me to get a clear idea of what the industry is like and the various tasks that fashion PR’s have to carry out.
As well as this, they also have a list of fashion PR agencies situated across America, which may prove useful to me as I am very interested in spending my placement year across the pond. I now find myself checking this website on a regular basis to get the latest inside scoop and to see if there is anything else that will quench my knowledge thirst.
As well as PR Couture, I also regularly visit other fashion blogs to ensure I never miss a beat.
Because of the overflowing number of blogs out there, it can be tricky to find one that you can relate to and most importantly, want to actually read, but one of my personal favourites, that I find myself repeatedly going back to, is Fashion Toast.
The author of this blog, Rumi Neely, has become a celebrity in her own right through her innovative posts and exquisite photographs. For this reason, the blog has won numerous awards and has established itself as the prime fashion blog out there.
Other than reading and catching up with various fashion and PR based blogs, I have found Twitter to be fundamental in getting access to and to gain a greater understanding of people working in fashion PR.
The River Island PR team have their own Twitter account which they update regularly with all the PR news relating to the company and through this they have also provided budding fashion PR practitioners, such as myself, with a direct link to a major brand’s press office.
River Island are not the only fashion brand to have their own PR Twitter account. The PR girls of luxury designers, DKNY and Oscar De La Renta also have their own individual accounts which they constantly update with their whereabouts or the tasks that they are carrying out at that particular time. As well as reading these tweets to simply be nosey, they also allow me to see what daily life is like for a fashion PR and all the hard work that gets put into maintaining a brand’s image.
The internet is not the only way in which I’ve attempted to learn more about fashion PR. It may seem superficial to some, but by reading highly established fashion magazines such as Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar you can often see the finished product of all the work that PR practitioners have put in. The huge quadruple page spreads by Gucci or Dior are there down to the works of the PR team and the thought of seeing something that I have worked on actually being published in print is something that I find very exciting.
I am not naïve enough to think that the lifestyle of a fashion PR is all champagne-sipping and red-carpet-event-attending. I know that the days are long and tiring, and it can be stressful keeping up with all the incoming and outgoing stock.
However, there are negative points to every profession and I would like to think that these are all outweighed by the excitement of waking up, not knowing what that day will bring, or the immense satisfaction of seeing a celebrity wearing something that you had sent them.
I will continue to strive to learn more about the fashion PR industry but ultimately I know that the main way of getting my foot in the door is to gain work experience in the field. Therefore, I am currently in the process of applying for a summer 2012 work placement either in-house or for agency and I’m keeping my fingers crossed. The fashion industry is a very competitive one and so the best organisations need creative and talented PR practitioners working for them.
Why can’t that person be me?