How to Kill It in Your First Fashion PR Job
After what seems like an eternity, I finally landed a PR job on fashion! For those who don’t know, I graduated from USC in May with a master’s in Strategic Public Relations. I began interning with fashion PR showrooms in 2014 and it spurred my desire to seek out a career in Fashion PR, hence the shiny new master’s degree.
Top: Forever 21 | Pants: Clo
In my time as an intern (and now an employee. Eek!), I’ve picked up a few tips that are essential to succeeding in your first job in fashion PR.
1. Stay Up To Date
PR is all about your ability to communicate and, well, relate to the public. If you have no idea what's going on in the world, especially in your industry, you've already failed at doing your job. In regard to fashion, know your celebrities, stylists and designers. These people run the game.
This is when flipping through magazines, scrolling through social media and staying caught up on your entertainment news comes in handy. Here's a few specifics you should know:
- Who are the top stylists styling?
- What are the top celebrities up to? (i.e projects they're working on, awards they've been nominated for/have won)
- What controversies are currently going on? (ex. the Golden Globes style choices)
Your purpose as a PR professional is to get your client's work in the hands of the stylist to dress a celebrity that will spark recognition and conversation for that brand. Knowing what stylist/celebrity to lend to or collaborate with can change the visibility your client gets overnight.
Accessories: Forever 21
2. know your stuff
Besides constantly checking the news, know everything going on in the office. It's tough to learn at first, but trust me it pays off. A few things to know are:
- what designers your showroom carries,
- what season each piece is,
- what pull appointments are set for that day,
- who and what each stylist is coming in to pull for,
- what celebrities are approved for certain brands and
- which celebrity wore what.
The best way to know all these things is through repetition, studying and being addicted to your email. It will make your job a whole lot easier if you recall things without having to go into a system to find something. Also, you're meant to be an expert. If a stylist comes in and asks you about a certain brand, you look a lot more knowledgeable answering their question without help from Google.
3. Be Observant
It seriously pays to be detail-oriented when it comes to fashion. Clothing is a work of art that has the opportunity to be displayed on a live canvas, but making mistakes with how you handle that work of art can get you in trouble that has the ability to ruin relationships. And in PR, those relationships are equivalent to your worth.
Several ways you can stay vigilant are by:
- noticing if a certain dress was already worn to an event with a lot of press. It's really bad when something is already worn, or worse, the same thing is worn by two people at the same time...trust me.
- watching what stylists are pulling. Sometimes they'll pull (accidently or purposely) a designer or collection they're not approved for and if your client sees this, you're in a world of trouble.
- staying on top of your records of what leaves the showroom, what has been returned and what is past due.
Shoes: Simmi London
4. Remember You're on a Team
This is more of a common decency tip: if someone on your team is struggling with something or bogged down with work, see their need and help them. With a team, everyone wins when the work gets done. Also, you make a good impression when you're willing to help wherever it's needed. You should be willing to:
- check returns back in if an intern is busy
- take the initiative to start a pull if selects have already been sent over from the stylist
- merchandise the showroom so all the pieces are aesthetically placed
5. Be Persistent
Whether you're an intern trying to break into the fashion industry or you finally landed a job in fashion PR, remember to keep grinding. Everyone has to do the grunt work when they begin. Be humble and take the opportunity to learn from whatever task you're given. If you show your responsibility in the small things, more responsibility will eventually be given to you.