Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

I had readers? Who knew?

So, I randomly checked the stats on my blog the other day, and what do you know? I’ve had more people visit this thing since I’ve stopped writing than when I actually slaved over posts for hours on end trying to write something semi-relevant and interesting to my loyal followers (aka my mom and a few classmates.)

I would continue to write posts on this blog; however, after interning in New York City this summer, I realized fashion PR was not my calling after all. Although I love the city, fashion and PR, the three together do not equal a career for me.

I’ve decided to change my direction and head for the nation’s capital. I’ve only been applying and interviewing for a short amount of time, but I’m hoping to find something soon!  And since my life as a recent graduate is far from interesting, I do not have any inspiration to start a new blog… yet. But I have every intention to do so once something profound pops into this brain of mine.

To those of you who have been reading year-old posts, hang tight. I’ll be back soon.

Look out, NYC! Here I come!

Persistence does pay off!

For the past five months, I have been pulling my hair out applying for PR internships in New York City, and one week from today, I will be moving to my apartment on Wall St. to begin the life I have always wanted! new_york_skyline

The moment I stepped foot in the city as a 12-year-old girl, I knew I belonged there. I fell in love with the smells, the sights, the shopping and the fast-paced, chaotic hustle and bustle of everyday life. I never thought this time would come, but 10 short years later, I am ready to dive right in.

In two weeks, I will begin my internship at L.E.R. PR, a small boutique PR agency in SoHo. I am so excited to finally put what I’ve learned to the test and contribute to the agency’s success.

Look for more posts and pictures during my time in the city!

Walking down a runway wonderland: Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2008

Heidi Klum in 2008 show

Heidi Klum in 2008 show

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for Victoria’s Secret, its faction of female followers and the millions of American men who love to see flawless models in next-to-nothing lingerie.

In case you’re living under a rock, it’s almost time for the intricately embellished angel wings, sky-high stilettos and the 2008 black diamond fantasy miracle bra (which only costs a small $5 million) to rock the runway at Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.

Taping of the show finished up in Miami at Fontainebleau Miami Beach on Nov. 15, and the show will air Wednesday, Dec. 3, at 10 p.m. on CBS.

What’s all the hype about?
It happens every year. People go crazy wondering who’s modeling, who’s not and what lucky girl gets to flaunt the multimillion dollar bra. Heck, Fashionologie was posting hour-by-hour updates about the show’s status.

The show has become quite a phenomenon, and I must say, I’m one of about 8 million people who sits in front of my TV, popcorn in hand, and watches these pin-thin models prance around a glittery runway like it’s nothing.

Since the first show in 1995, statistics prove the ratings have fluctuated. However, in recent years, ratings have declined from about 12.4 million viewers in 2001 to about 7.4 million in 2007. There are no “black and white” reasons why the show lost momentum, but I think the producers fell into a creativity rut. Each year, the shows seemed to be the same as the last. Big ratings won’t happen without big ideas.

How can good PR fix the problem?
Promote, promote, promote! But first, start off by brainstorming creative ways to take the show to a different level. It’s important for Victoria’s Secret to analyze past show statistics to see where they went wrong and why. They also need to continue to show off the hottest angels and hire the hottest music moguls to perform. And most importantly, keep up on the commercials! It’s then only a matter of time until the date of the show is drilled into everyone’s head and all of America will be watching.

What do you think Victoria’s Secret can do to boost ratings in the future?

SPOILER ALERT! Play the video to see the models the 2008 show!

Affordable luxury clothing – no longer an oxymoron

vera wang wedding gown source googleIt’s almost every girl’s dream to walk down the aisle in a beautiful one-of-a-kind Vera Wang wedding gown. Most girls also wouldn’t mind wearing couture jackets and carrying designer hand bags. Well, this was just a dream for all of us “average girls” out there… until now.

Many high-fashion designers are considering those on a budget and are creating lines for bargain stores like Target, K-Mart and Kohl’s. So it looks like we can get a little taste of designer heaven after all.

Designer Duds in Discount Stores
Vera Wang is known as one of the most talented bridal gown designers around, so many were surprised to see her line of boots, jackets and more appropriately titled “Simply Vera Vera Wang” at Kohl’s stores across the nation. Most of the clothing ranges from $20 to $100. It may not be a “steal,” but you’re definitely getting quality garments.

Isaac Mizrahi is another one who chose to make “designer styles priced right.” Most people are used to seeing his clothing on pin-thin runway models at New York Fashion Week, but now, “everyday women” can wear his designs. His Target line has everything from cashmere sweaters to little black dresses in a price range from about $25 to $120.

Target also scored big when Anya Hindmarch launched a line of handbags. The London designer found a way to convert a $1,200 clutch to a $20 clutch, and she did a darn good job if I say so myself. Women now have a variety of quality handbags to choose from that still look classy and elegant.

Anya Hindmarch designer bag
Anya Hindmarch designer bag

Success of the Lines
Although these clothing and accessory lines have been successful, some think the discount aspect may “turn off” the designer label buyers. Those at Pierce Mattie Public Relations wrote this post and agree Wang made a good decision targeting a different market, but also second-guessed her designer status.

The line is largely successful in partial thanks to great brand communication (aka public relations). What about the “new” image of Vera Wang? Does this detract from her status as the go-to for the best bridal gown possible?

 

Anya Hindmarch Target bag
Anya Hindmarch Target bag

My PR Perspective

As a buyer looking for quality, designer-like clothing at an affordable price, I think Wang, Mizrahi and Hindmarch are smart for targeting these consumers and stores. Although some may think it will take away from their high-end designer status, I don’t think their sales will suffer because they have already established loyal buyers.

At the end of the day, public relations must come into the mix. If these designers see consumers demand something, they should give it to them. Pleasing the customer is always the most important thing, and those in PR know they must do that every day. 

What do you think of these designer transitions?

Check out Isaac Mizrahi’s Target commercial to see his luxury designs for an affordable price!

Tim Gunn’s saving the world – one fashion victim at a time

tim and gretta source googleTim Gunn is definitely one of my favorite people on television. I fell in love with his charisma and caretaker ways as a design mentor on Project Runway, but I really understood his expertise and compassion while watching him on his own show Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style.

The show, similar to TLC’s “What Not to Wear,” helps a variety of women – from stay-at-home moms to successful business owners – discover their body shape, flattering clothing and inner and outer beauty.

The Fashionista Friend
Gunn teams up with Gretta Monahan, a fashion expert, personal stylist, owner of Grettacole Spas and Salons and Gretta Luxe Boutiques. Instead of Gunn and Monahan simply picking a fashion offender and making her over, they find women who will take their tough love and guidance to heart in order to make over themselves. I think this is what makes the show work.

Gunn expresses his excitement on the show’s Web site:

I am absolutely crazy about Gretta, and together, she and I want every woman to achieve her perfect signature look. It takes hard work and commitment to look good, but it should also be fun – our hope is that we’ll inspire women everywhere to put their best foot forward, and with cute shoes, too!

I think Monahan and Gunn make a great team because she helps women during their shopping challenges and offers advice and solutions, while he focuses on the “bigger picture” of each woman’s transformation.

Meredith before

Meredith before

Gunn also provides each woman with his essential shopping list which includes 10 basic pieces that no woman’s closet should be without.

After the women find clothes that fit their bodies and highlight their best features, Gunn finds the best hair and make-up stylists to complete their look.

The PR in the Show
Episode one in season two is one of my favorites. It’s about a conservative young woman named Meredith who moved to Manhattan from Washington, DC to continue working in politics. She was upbeat and excited about her wardrobe change, and so were her loved ones.

Not only do Gunn and Monahan establish a close relationship with Meredith, but they also communicate with her family and friends. They communicate the importance of fashion in the work world and how dressing to fit your personality and body shape can truly change your life for the better.

Meredith with Tim after

Meredith with Tim after

The View of a PR Student

Fashion is an expression and a way to build confidence. I think anyone can find his or her own style – some are born with the “style eye” and some just need a little push from people like Gunn and Monahan. But when it all comes down to it, PR and fashion go hand-in-hand. People communicate and I think fashion communicates, too.  What do you think?

 

Check out “Your Shape,” an episode from Tim Gunn’s Dress to the Sevens series that teaches women how to dress for their shape!

Stars shine bright in fashion industry

Nothing screams “Wear me now!” like a black micro-mini dress on Rihanna, a pair of sky-high metallic Christian Louboutins on Christina Aguilera, or even a basic white tank top on Lauren Conrad. The minute I have time, (or an extra few bucks) I run to the mall and find the closest match to my fashion obsession of the day, which usually tends to be shoes.

 

Am I alone in this scavenger hunt? Hardly.

 

According to this article about celebrity product placement, I’m right where the fashion marketers want me. It states there are three different techniques that offer three different levels of control over placement: gifting the talent, product seeding and barter relationships. Let’s take a closer look at each one, focusing on fashion.

 

Gifting the Talent

 

Gifting the talent, a more narrow focus, is when fashion companies give celebrities free gifts as a “thank you” for hosting events, appearing at award shows, etc. Although it’s effective at targeting celebrities, it is hard to measure if they actually use or wear the product.

 

Product Seeding

 

Product seeding, a broader focus, is a better way to widely distribute products to celebrities who are most compelling to a targeted demographic. Creativity and appropriate targeting are key here. It can suffer if a strategy isn’t in place, but it can also skyrocket if clothes, shoes and accessories are given to the right celebrity at the right time.

 

Barter Relationships

 

Barter relationships, one-on-one focuses, are seen as the only way to guarantee performance on the part of the celebrity because in this circumstance, the celebrity agrees in advance to participate in a marketer’s promotional activities in exchange for a valuable product. Most celebrities will agree to be a part of a campaign in exchange for some designer duds.

 

A Best Practices Example

 

Those working for UGG Australia couldn’t have been happier when they saw Jessica Simpson sporting the tall chestnut UGGs during the first season Newlyweds. Although these cozy, sheepskin boots are hardly high-fashion, she started a must-have trend for women of all ages from all parts of the world.

 

 

The PR Perspective 

 

Those outside of the “PR world” will argue public relations and marketing are one in the same – we in the PR industry know better. The gifting the talent, product seeding and barter relationships marketing strategies are dead-on and also proven effective. But they wouldn’t survive without the help of PR professionals and their understanding for one very important thing: relationship building.

 

Communication equals knowledge. Knowledge equals interest. Interest equals involvement. Involvement equals trust. Trust equals a relationship. Public relations professionals must always keep this in mind when targeting a celebrity for product promotion. If celebrities feel comfortable in this kind of relationship, I think most will be ready and willing to participate. What do you think?

Celebrity clothing lines: establishing fans while building the brand

Question If you’re a celebrity, what can you do to make even more money, explore your creativity and develop a broader fan base?

 

AnswerStart your own clothing line.

Whether we believe it or not, we’re influenced by celebrities every day. We watch them on TV, listen to their songs on the radio and God forbid, read about them on perezhilton.com. But above all of that, we are drawn to them because most of these celebrities are fashion icons. We love their hair, their make-up and their expensive designer duds. So it’s only natural they realize this admiration and decide to make a quick buck off of it.

These clothing lines are no best-kept secret, though. Celebrities thought of the idea long ago, but it seems like more and more of them have caught on to the idea and have taken it to the next level. Those at Couture in the City noticed yet another celebrity caught on to the buzz. Everything from the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and Jessica Simpson lines to Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Sean John and Justin Timberlake’s William Rast brands have reached a variety of consumers nationwide.

 

Although these five celebrities are five of many who have jumped on the clothing line bandwagon, they all, in my opinion, have three important things in common: they know their consumers, what their consumers want and how to get it to them.

 

Fashion message vs. PR message

 

I can’t help but look at these three things from a PR perspective and compare them to our three most important criteria when delivering a message: knowing your audience (consumers) your objectives (what consumers what) and channel (how to get it to them.) These celebrities had to establish these three criteria in order to launch a successful brand just like we in the PR industry must establish our three criteria in order to deliver a message to the appropriate publics.

 

The Perfect Example

 

Take Mary-Kate and Ashley, my personal role models since I was 6. These women have captured girls’ attention across the world and have developed one of the strongest fan bases I have ever seen. They knew they could launch a clothing line for tweens (girls ages 7-12) and toddlers and see a positive response. (Knowing the audience)

 

They also took into consideration what these girls want, so they marketed trendy clothes made for smaller bodies, along with everything from matching headbands to nail polish. (Knowing the objective)

 

But most importantly, Mary-Kate and Ashley knew they could market their line at Wal-Mart because it was affordable and available to key consumers. (Knowing the channel)

 

Although launching a successful brand isn’t easy, I’m sure most of these celebrities will tell you it comes down to the basics. I think it’s the same for us in the PR industry. Once you sit down and decide who you want to reach, what you want to accomplish and the best ways to get the word out, the rest will fall into place.

 

Check out last Christmas’ “Magic of Macys” commercial to see some of the celebrities mentioned above.