Whether you’re already a Fashion PR Girl, or one in the making, we’re all well aware that the Public Relations world takes total control over all fashion week festivities. And let us tell you, it’s not just, “lights, camera, action.” For these ladies, it’s more like, “work, work, work, maybe sleep, errands, oversee rsvp’s, provide assistance to designers and models, coordinate with hotshot celebrities and their managers, sprint from front of house to back of house, the week is over, let’s write about the action and monitor our clients coverage a bit more.” To get the truth on the hustle and bustle that goes into the before, during and after of fashion week, we asked the PR mavens themselves. Meet Maxine Wanjek, Valentina Casamento and Kiara Bass, some of the ladies behind the industry’s most beloved brands! Not only did they spill their day-to-day routines, we got to dig deeper and see what their offices really look like – and let us tell you, they’re alluring!
Tell us a little about your position
KB: I recently became a fashion PR intern at LaForce and Stevens. Part of my duties include monitoring samples that go in and out of the agency, collaborating with fellow fashion interns on projects, and being an assistant to all of the fashion department with any tasks.
MW: As the Assistant Manager at Nouveau-PR, I’m responsible for any press related work for the designers we represent. Be it sample pulls for stylists, editors and celebrities, managing the rsvp account for fashion week or prepping events – Just to name a few.
VC: I am a copy editor intern for the PR firm Janine Just Inc. I assist with copy content we are pushing out on a daily basis- whether it be an email campaign, an invite, a blog post, or even a simple tweet. As a member of the firm, there are so many different things I’ve been able to gradually take part in that allow me to grow as an intern. Every day I am responsible for making sure that our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts have scheduled posts going out during designated times and that I have an idea for what I would like to see us post on Instagram. I’ve also learned how to craft a solid pitch and with NYFW approaching, I have been involved in pitching to brands and influencers to join us.
How did you get started?
KB: I am a recent graduate of Hampton University. During my tenure at school, I worked a total of six internships over the four years and even did an additional one in my hometown this past summer. Through a lot of perseverance, faith, and networking I was able to secure my current position.
MW: Growing up with a fashion designing mom and a grandma having her own clothing store, I was passionate about fashion from a very young age. I started studying Clothing Management and interned at Nouveau-PR, where I work now. I was happy enough to find an agency that gave me the opportunity to grow in a really short period of time.
VC: I got started in my position with the firm by volunteering with them for two NYFW events. After I volunteered for NYFW in February 2015, I reached out to the owner and Lead Connectologist (Janine Just) of the firm and she suggested I write for their fashion and technology blog, TechStyle NYC. By May, I was offered the internship as their copy editor intern and I will continue my time with the team through the fall.
What does your day-to-day routine consist of?
KB: Since I am still getting the routine of the office, my typical day-to-day includes coming in the office, checking emails, and from there ask if any team members need assistance with projects or continue a project from the previous work day.
MW: I’m always rushing between sample pulls for press, monthly reports, trunk shows, fashion week and so on… There’s no day that’s like another – That’s what I love about my job!
VC: I can honestly say that every day is completely different. Normally, I arrive to the office between 9 and 10 am (of course, after I spend 20 minutes tearing clothes off of my rolling rack to try to put together an outfit before I catch the subway out of Brooklyn), set up my laptop, notebook, planner, and pen. After filling up my water cup (I work better when I have it before my coffee), I’ll write out my “to-do’s” for the day and then check out our social media, refreshing my memory of what blog posts will be published that day so I can place the correct link to it in its respective scheduled tweet. After myself and my coworkers are settled, Janine does a ten-minute morning team pow-wow to make sure we’re all on the same page and to talk about everybody’s tasks for the day. Throughout the day I’ll schedule out some blogs, create copy for event invites (if we’re coming up to one) or Instagram posts, and sometimes I’ll even delve into pitching to potential clients to work together.
Who are some of the clients you are currently working with?
KB: I’ve been working with many clients currently which includes Target, Perry Ellis, Banana Republic, and Mara Hoffman.
MW: Robert Geller, Koonhor, deTROIT, Demoo Parkchoonmoo, Gian Kamal.
VC: For NYFW we are working with an array of brands- mostly in the fashion, tech, beauty, and lifestyle spaces. These include brands like Dosha Pops, Brode, Thync, Sound Tea, Meredith Marks, Boomerang NYC, Swggr, Rejected Hearts Club, Peach, Kopi Trading Company, Tressenoire, Glamstand, Mavatar, Stylisted, Warsteiner, Stroopwafel, and Lifetherapy.
What are some of your tasks leading up to NYFW?
KB: I love the rush of everything. But prepping and steam clothes must definitely has been my favorite. This has given me the opportunity of kind of a sneak peak of what’s set to be in stores in the spring.
MW: I have press meetings with our team, oversee the rsvp account, coordinate with celebrity’s representatives, and work on backstage and interview lists.
VC: As the Copy Editor Intern, I was able to really get hands on during the last two weeks of August with NYFW approaching. In addition to writing and editing blogs, email campaigns, invites, and so on, I got to really get creative with pushing out NYFW-related content. I have also had the chance to assist in recruiting volunteers to help us out at our TechStyle NYC Experience. I’ve never been part of a team that lets an intern be a part of huge things like walk-throughs for event spaces – but I was invited for two of them and I was asked for my input. Just a few days ago, I did a handful of pitching for gift bag products and to potential clients. In addition to my usual tasks, I have also been updating the TechStyle NYC blog daily with introductions of all of the brands that will be joining us at our main event during NYFW.
What are some of the tools, apps or products that are essential for you to do your job?
KB: My top three tools and apps would be my iPhone, Google Maps, and my favorite lipstick. With my iPhone I can access any and everything from my email to phone contacts. Google Maps helps with navigating through the city. And there’s nothing like a fun lip color to help you look good while getting projects done. My current favorite is Tropic Tonic by MAC.
MW: I couldn’t survive without my phone. At meetings I take notes on it and keep track of my emails. Other than that I’m still using my ‘old school’ notebook to have a more clear overview of what has to be done and I always have printed versions of our lookbooks around – makes work a lot easier.
VC: First things first, Google has become my absolute holy grail! Without everything it offers (i.e. Gmail, Google Docs, and GChat,) I wouldn’t have anywhere to store every important document in one place that can be shared at any time. Next is WordPress, which I’ve become fluent in as I’m responsible for updating multiple blogs. I also use Hootsuite daily, that tab is never, ever closed in my browser. It allows me to schedule out tweets for our two handles at one time, for any time that I want, which is super convenient, especially during NYFW. It’s a more efficient way for me to keep track in what’s going on with our Twitter accounts. Facebook and Instagram are also essentials as well. On Facebook, posting content is a breeze because things can always be scheduled. With Instagram, I love how things can get personal. We haven’t figured out a way (at least I don’t think anybody has yet) to schedule posts, but that’s why I’m drawn to that app in particular. Everything posted is happening totally in real time so it’s one of the more creative parts of my day. And of course, my Macbook Air and my iPhone. Without the two, I wouldn’t really get my work done as quickly as I am able to, and without my phone I wouldn’t be able to update our Snapchat which we just launched (TechStyle_NYC).
What will fashion week look like for you?
KB: Busy, crazy, but exciting and eye opening at the same time.
MW: Definitely busy – I’ll be at the venue prepping first rows, helping our invitees with their seating assignments, organize backstage access, coordinate photographers and so on. You never know what else might arise – it’s fashion week!
VC: It is just a few days before fashion week, but this is when it’s the busiest, as compared to NYFW itself. This is the week that all of the finishing touches must be made. We will host volunteers in the office to assist with sifting through RSVPs, putting together gift bags, and running errands. Our main event, the TechStyle NYC Experience, takes place on September 14th – so that day will be the time for me to apply everything I learned during my internship. The next few days after will be spent in the office doing a recap and taking care of any necessary pick ups or drop offs of product if need be. Because I’m still in school working towards my Bachelors in Journalism, I’ll be attending classes the rest of the week in my most fashionable outfits, because it’s fashion week and I can wear my gym clothes to class at any other time.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve experienced in the office thus far?
KB: I think the craziest thing would be trying to get clothes steamed, styled, and organized for a presentation with only a 2 hour window.
MW: That would be the crazy business of fashion week. The weeks before past men’s fashion week everyone’s been working at least 14 hours on a 7 day basis. You wake up and go to sleep with nothing but the upcoming shows and presentations in your head. It’s exhausting but such a rewarding moment at the shows, when the light gets dimmed, the music comes in and the first model is walking down the runway. There’s no such feeling that could compare!
VC: I’m not sure if this is really crazy, but, back in June we were working HARD on two summer events. The team was in the office daily, five days a week, sometimes even staying over normal office hours because we had all become that dedicated and obsessed with what we were doing. To me, it was crazy, because I got to see and really take part in the planning of two major events. All of the behind-the-scenes work that had gone into both was awe-inspiring to me and I am getting the same feeling now with the TechStyle NYC Experience approaching.