Fashion Editor & Stylist Nini Khatiblou has an infectious character, ten minutes in her presence and you’ll be smiling – promise! I’ve been working with Nini for, like, for-EVER, since she was at Good Housekeeping and I would send her jeans to shoot for her pages. For a while, it was an email only conversation and then one day we met – whoop – and she literally rocked my world. She stands out in the fashion world with her exotic name and down-to-earth friendly personality. She is the girl you can have a normal conversation with, most probably WITH wine, and most probably end the evening dancing on a table somewhere. She’s now moved to Phoenix magazine, much edgier than her previous role and she continues to be a fabulous freelance stylist with a great eye for detail. Bright, intriguing and deeper than you might think…shall we delve into the world of little Miss Nini Khatiblou? Come on then, let’s go!
NAKEDPRGIRL: Where are you from originally? How did you come to be in London and what do you like about the city?
Nini Khatiblou: I’m actually Middle Eastern, born to Persian parents who moved to London in the late 70s. I was born in London and feel a happy mix of the two. I love everything about London – the endless list of things to do and see, the diversity, the energy. And if I ever feel homesick, I have an endless selection of amazing Persian restaurants I can pop into!
NAKEDPRGIRL: When did you decide you wanted to work in fashion journalism? What did you study?
Nini Khatiblou: It all happened very organically. When I was 16, my mum – who had an insane back copy collection of HELLO! magazines – suggested I write to them to see if I could get some kind of summer holiday job. These were the days before email so I wrote them a letter and the next thing I knew I was interning on their Features desk. I loved it – there was a real buzz in the office and I couldn’t get over the fact that the staff were allowed to wear jeans and flip-flops to work! It felt very relaxed and casual but at the same very energetic and I knew instantly that I wanted to work for a magazine.
After that placement, I wrote to more magazines and eventually ended up in a Fashion cupboard. It always amazes me when I come into contact with precious interns who sigh every time you ask them to hang something up. Back then, there were no desks or chairs let alone any windows or natural light. We’d sit on the floor all day and write out endless dockets by hand – and we loved every second of it!
By the time I was 18, I had a few good work experience placements under my belt. I was then faced with the decision of where to study for my degree. Part of me wanted to pursue foreign languages (my other passion) but suddenly I had this fear that if I didn’t study a Fashion degree, no one would take me seriously in the fashion world. My teachers pushed me to go down the more academic route and so I studied French and Spanish at UCL. In my second year, I signed up for an intensive evening class course at LCF – so one minute, I was reading French poetry and the next I’d leg it down Oxford Street in time for a 3 hour class on styling!
NAKEDPRGIRL: What was your big break?
Nini Khatiblou: Once I graduated from UCL, I did two more magazine placements – one at InStyle and one at Easy Living. It was then that I was faced with the slightly awkward reality of the magazine industry. You can have 200 placements on your CV but it doesn’t guarantee you a job. I was happy to carry on interning but my dad was pretty keen to see his graduate daughter with a full-time job so I applied to Yellow Door PR (now known as Portas) and got my first job as a Junior PR. It was the toughest year of my life, I don’t think a week went by when I didn’t ball my eyes out.
Looking back, I’m grateful I did it – it made me a lot more resilient and quite honestly, everything I’ve done since then hasn’t been even a quarter as challenging. It’s why I have so much respect for people who pursue PR as a career – it’s so tough. A year into my PR job, I had a call from InStyle – the team remembered me and wanted to know if I was interested in applying for the year-long Fashion Assistant role. Obviously leaving a full-time job for something temporary (and half the salary!) was a risk but I knew I had to take it. It was an amazing year and I loved the team – I didn’t want it to end!
NAKEDPRGIRL: You’ve worked for Good Housekeeping and now Phoenix magazine, any memorable shoots or career highlights?
Nini Khatiblou: I think being made Fashion Editor at 26 will always be one of my biggest career highlights. I got to do some amazing shoots – even the ones which didn’t go quite to plan like the time we did a trip to Cyprus and ended up getting robbed, still make me smile. I’m very excited about this new chapter in my career – alongside working at PHOENIX, I do a lot of brand consultancy and have just finished a series of presentations up and down the country for a huge high-street brand. The last one was to 300 people – absolutely terrifying but a fantastic experience. It’s made me realise how important it is to constantly push yourself outside your comfort zone.
NAKEDPRGIRL: How can styling build an image and how does that impact on our work and personal life?
Nini Khatiblou: I’m totally obsessed with the link between fashion and psychology – specifically how it can change how people see us, and more importantly how we see ourselves. You might have a bad day where you feel old, tired, fat, unattractive – then you put an outfit on that makes YOU happy and suddenly it’s a different story. The confidence that clothes can give you is insane. I think people who don’t work in fashion often misjudge us for being vacuous and snobby – I can’t count the number of times someone has asked me if it’s like The Devil Wears Prada. What they miss is the power that clothes have in transforming absolutely everything – how we feel, how we’re seen and what we’re projecting to the outside world. It’s not about dressing for anyone else, it’s just about seeing fashion as something much friendlier and more approachable – absolutely everyone has it in them to wear an outfit which not only suits them but which makes them feel good. And when you feel good, good things happen.
NAKEDPRGIRL: What’s your personal style? What’s your USP? Have you had to look at marketing yourself as a brand?
Nini Khatiblou: I find it so tricky to answer this because I genuinely don’t know. I tend to feel more comfortable in casual wear – I hate dressing up and I hate dress codes. Apart from that, as cliched as this sounds, I’ve always been inspired by how the French dress. I spent several months living in Paris as part of my uni course and I was blown away by how amazing everyone looked. I don’t think I do it deliberately but whenever I’m in a fashion pickle about what to wear, I always end up gravitating towards the most ‘French’ items in my wardrobe – a black tux over a grey tee, or a black oversized knit with black skinny leather trousers and a pair of white trainers.
It’s when I feel my best. I don’t think I have a USP – I’m probably one of the last magazine stylists without a blog. I was tempted to start one several times but I couldn’t think of anything someone else wasn’t already doing. I prefer to share my style on Instagram and make my money working for brands on a styling and consulting capacity. Maybe it’s the PR in me but I’m much more passionate about talking strategies than taking endless photos of myself.
NAKEDPRGIRL: In your career what changes have you seen between print and digital media?
Nini Khatiblou: When I first started at InStyle nearly 10 years ago, I was so naive to what was going on. I just assumed magazines were stronger than ever and it never occurred to me to think about the wider picture. I suppose you could say I joined the print industry at the worst possible time! Funnily enough, when I joined GH I didn’t realise that one of the biggest blessings in disguise were how loyal our readers were to buying actual magazines. On the whole, they weren’t as sold on the online revolution so while other magazines were hit really hard by the inevitable shift, we were pretty lucky on the whole. That said, GH still had to adapt to the climate and very soon, it launched its UK website and became more present on social media. It was no longer about the Editorial staff just ‘doing print’ – it became a 360 work ethic where we were covering both the magazine content and online.
NAKEDPRGIRL: What helps you to be creative? Is it magazines, books, art, a favourite cafe?
Nini Khatiblou: It definitely used to be magazines. At Good Housekeeping, we were regularly sent international magazines and I loved flicking through French Vogue – there was always an idea I wanted to steal! These days, ideas can come from anywhere – Instagram, blogs, pinterest, street style… Weirdly I don’t go looking for them, I just tend to see something and then subconsciously store it away for when I’m planning my next shoot.
NAKEDPRGIRL: I love how fun and normal you are on social media – do you have a strategy?
Nini Khatiblou: Thank you, that’s really nice to hear! It’s very odd social media – you post photos but you have no idea what people are thinking or how you’re coming across. Unfortunately I’m super self-critical so if a certain photo doesn’t get as many likes, I agonise over what I did wrong, was the outfit not good enough, was my expression too cheesy?! It gets to a point where you have to let go otherwise you drive yourself crazy and it stops becoming fun. I definitely don’t have a strategy – everything on my Instagram is real and accurate to how I live my life day to day. Obviously I don’t post the photos of me wearing leopard print leggings and a fleece dressing gown with scraped back wet hair – there’s got to be some smoke and mirrors!
NAKEDPRGIRL: What is your favourite social channel?
Nini Khatiblou: Without a doubt, Instagram. Facebook will always have a special place in my heart – I have so many memories attached to it. But generally speaking, I keep Facebook for close friends, Instagram is more work-led and Twitter I seem to have a love/hate relationship with. Perhaps I’m more attracted to the visual side of things but Twitter struggles to keep me interested.
NAKEDPRGIRL: How important is networking for you? Do you have a gang you love working with and socialising with?
Nini Khatiblou: I’ve never been good at networking. I’ve literally lost count of how many times I’ve been told I need to network more. Who knows what would have happened if I was better at going out and mingling with the right people. I think in all honesty, I’m just too selfish with my down-time. If I’m going out, I want to see the people I love who make me fall off my chair with laughter. I do have a close group of friends in the industry and I love them to pieces – they’re mostly PRs. My nights out with them are epic – none of us take anything too seriously and I think that’s why we get on as well as we do.
NAKEDPRGIRL: What photography tips would you have for others?
Nini Khatiblou: I don’t have any of the fancy gadgets most social media connoisseurs do. My biggest tip is to get yourself a photographer friend – mine is David Nyanzi (www.nyanzi.com), I met him about 6 years ago on Carnaby Street and my favourite photos of me are the ones he takes. He’s incredibly talented and so much fun – I feel totally comfortable in front of the camera when he’s taking the picture. I like to think of him as my personal Paparazzi photographer – I’ve been known to text him and say ‘I’m wearing an amazing coat, can you come and take my photo’. God knows how he’s put up with me for so long.
NAKEDPRGIRL: What advice would you give to others just starting out in the industry?
Nini Khatiblou: Please, please don’t be precious. No one has any time for it. Keep your head down, work hard and leave the sassiness at home.
NAKEDPRGIRL: You must have a jam packed diary for Fashion Week – which show do you most look forward to and what’s your failsafe fashion tips for the week?
Nini Khatiblou: It really varies each season. I love the buzz that comes with up and coming designers and their shows – there’s something quite exciting about not having a preconception of what you’re about to see. Tip-wise, I always stress about what to wear. I love the people-watching but each season, it seems to get more and more ridiculous – people literally show up in fancy dress costumes. I try and plan ahead as much as possible firstly so I don’t stress about not having anything to wear and secondly so I don’t panic-buy an outfit at the last minute and then bump into someone wearing the exact same thing. My other tip is to not go out on day one – it’s a mistake I make every season which means I spend the rest of the time hungover and emotional.
NAKEDPRGIRL: What would be your dream brand/people to work with?
Nini Khatiblou: I’m not especially fickle when it comes to brands I dream of working with. Every brand offers its own exciting opportunities and on a personal level, I find it really satisfying to be a part of a process – like a rebranding or the actual launch of a new brand – which then involves styling a lookbook or campaign later down the line.
NAKEDPRGIRL: When things go wrong on shoots, what do you do?
Nini Khatiblou: Go home, have a large glass of wine, and cry my eyes out. Unfortunately, it has been known to happen – the key is to not take it personally, have some perspective and get a grip (obviously much easier to say in hindsight!)
NAKEDPRGIRL: Do you have a motto or a mantra that you live by?
Nini Khatiblou: I can’t remember who said it but one that I really like is ‘don’t compare your inside to somebody else’s outside’. I think everyone is guilty of looking at pics on social media and thinking that a particular person has the most perfect life – the best clothes, the best career, and seems to be in a permanently good mood! But the reality is that everything is so edited these days that what we think we know about someone is vary rarely what’s really going on. The most important thing is to not compare and to be grateful for what you have yourself – I’m always trying to remember to thank the universe more!
NAKEDPRGIRL: You style menswear and womenswear – what can we expect for AW16?
Nini Khatiblou: A lot of velvet, animal prints, gothic vibes to name a few for womenswear. And the men have got utilitarian, cardigans of all shapes and sizes and plenty of shearling to dip into.
NAKEDPRGIRL: What’s next?
Nini Khatiblou: At the moment, I’m loving life at PHOENIX towers as well as the variety of work I’m doing on the freelance side of things. If things can carry on like this, I’ll be happy!
If you had to pick one fashion designer for a cracking night out, can I suggest Henry Holland? First of all, from what I have gleaned while he is in conversation with Kinvara Balfour at the V&A, he is exceedingly charismatic, funny, honest and I’m absolutely positive you’d be dancing on the tables into the early hours of the morning. Secondly, if you’re interested in fashion, you might be in with a shot of uber networking, as you’d no doubt be introduced to his famous inner circle which includes Alexa Chung, Pixie Geldof and Agyness Deyn.
Early Days – Smash Hits & Bliss
The 33 year old, Manchester born designer had, what he calls, an ‘unconventional route’ into fashion where he originally studied journalism (he tried to move to a fashion course but it was full so he just got on with it) before landing a job in a newsroom.
“I fell into the world of teen magazines by accident,” Henry confesses recalling his days at Smash Hits magazine. “I remember my first day and I couldn’t believe I had so much fun at work. We all got called into a conference room to watch Blue’s new video. I’m like, what? This is what I do with my mates when I get drunk.”
But fate had a different plan and as he moved to Bliss magazine to edit the style page where, he ‘wasn’t allowed to put in anything that cost more than £30, retail’ even ‘used to write the horoscopes’ (he apologises for destroying the myth) where he started designing.
Getting Started – Get Yer Freak On Giles Deacon
“I started making t-shirts. I made four t shirts; Uhu Gareth Pugh, Get Yer Freak On Giles Deacon, Do Me Daily Christopher Bailey and Cause Me Pain Hedi Slimane. I called them fashion groupie t shirts,” Henry explains. “Kind of overnight it went insane. One of my friends Gareth Pugh wore the Giles Deacon T-shirt and a few days later Giles wore the Gareth Pugh one…and then American Vogue called.”
So far so unassuming, and Henry continued to work at Bliss magazine despite the early success. “I was still selling Juicy Tubes to 13 year olds,” he recalls. “I stayed there for a bit and doing my international shipping from the post room. My editor was like, ‘we’re going through a lot of jiffy bags.” But before long the move was inevitable, his second collection of tees featured supermodel slogans (I’ll tell you who’s boss Kate Moss) plus House of Holland launched and collaborations started to roll in where his moto is; ‘I collaborate a lot, if I can’t do something, I find someone who can.’
The Night Shift
Collaborations cooked up in nightclubs over cocktails in a club called Boom Box included one with his good friend Katie Hillier and years later the deal for Habitat was struck at a friend’s wedding where Henry was introduced to the Head of PR on the dance floor and decided they should ‘make some cushions’. It wasn’t all plain sailing and Henry had to prove himself with the fashion establishment. “It was a tricky to build wholesale after ready to wear,” he says. “It was three years to build the contacts and networking and prove it was not just funny T-shirts.”
Henry concedes and as like fellow designers Mary Katrantzou, Patrick Cox and Zac Posen, he cites clubbing as significant in his career and mentions the importance in tapping into the network that you already know. “If I had any advice for students it would be, rip u your assignments and go out, never go home,” he jokes (and make no doubt he doesn’t take himself too seriously. “It’s an awful way of saying it but clubbing is basically networking. As long as you do it in a nice way and don’t just run around giving business cards to everyone. I’m so amazing helped by these people and it was all about the night shift.”
“I always describe my route as back to front. I started with the most commercial thing you can do and still the only thing I make profit on,” Henry reveals and it is this down to earth, practical and pragmatic side that is endearing and like many designers, he has finally mastered the business side of fashion too.
“It’s really important to have two pillars from the beginning – creative and business,” he admits. “I wish I’d found someone with business side. That’s what I’d have done different. No more making friends with supermodels; they age. Accountants last longer! If you find anyone who gets excited by a excel spreadsheet, that’s who you want.”
It is with refreshing honesty he reveals; “The creative side can’t exist without business side. You can only become as big as you can finance.” As he didn’t train to be a designer or study business, it was a steep learning curve. “You’ve got to have enough balls to do it, to not want sleep and to work hard.” But he would do it all again, well apart from building his website in Flash which cost him dearly, although Ecommerce disasters are more common than the industry likes to admit.
TV has also been a business avenue even though Henry asserts he is a ‘one season wonder’ that has never been recommissioned. “Being paid money to talk rubbish in front of the camera is absolutely fine by me,” he jokes. “And yes it has kept my company afloat at certain times. TV appearances keeps the press coverage coming in and generates money.”
The Future of Digital
For now Henry Holland is happy living in East London. “You don’t have to go anywhere to ‘be’ in London,” Henry reveals. You just step out of the door and it’s a melting pot. I love when you see someone wearing a bat shit crazy outfit and you think you’ve got an amazing story to tell.” However BREXIT has ruffled him saying; ‘the sentiment of wanting to be closed off from an open world’ makes him feel ‘sad’.
Politics aside, he’s witnessed the explosion of social media and digital change in the industries he started in so he’s well placed to assess the future. “Fashion is in transition as all the old rules of press have changed,” Henry muses. “People used to create one campaign a season and put it in the September issue. People’s appetite for content has exploded and you have to be constantly generating content. I once said women are going to much more cocktail parties than squat parties. That’s part of the content, make sure it evolves with you.”
But he is resolute on the future of fashion, even if it looks differently to how it used to with the transition from curated collections by buyers and media to the here and now of digital. “If people are shown something they expect to buy it,” he says. “Clothes still have the same lifespan as its still six months until the next show. It just exists on the woman who’s wearing it instead of existing in the pages of a magazine.”
And just when you feel completely immersed in Henry Holland world he snaps you out of your fashion trance. “People treat fashion designers like rock stars. You get into this bubble where you think that’s what everyone is like. But not everybody is like that, some are just like; ‘am I cold enough, am I warm enough, am I naked?’
And on that note he still has plenty of dreams to tick off and aspires to a Ralph Lauren model where he works across many product categories creating House of Holland world. “Yes world domination,” he surmises. And you know he is more than capable.
All I could think about on my way to see Kinvara Balfour interview Zac Posen was Claire Danes’ stunning light up dress on the red carpet at the 2016 Met Gala in association with Vogue. The theme for this year was Manus x Machina: Fashion in the Age of Technology and the standout (by miles and miles) was Zac Posen’s divine Disney inspired Cinderella dress which took on a magical and ethereal quality by glowing in the dark thanks to LED technology.
So shall we start there? I think it would be wrong to start anywhere other than THE fantasy frock of the decade. “I thought I’d have more competition!” Zac jokes about the dress and you can understand what he means. The reason why this was such a success was the fact that it made everyone else on the red carpet look like they literally got dressed in the dark with Claire’s fairy-tale gown adding drama and elegance WITH technological elements but STILL remaining wearable and desirable. It was Anna Wintour herself who wanted Zac to dress Claire Danes (and what she says goes right?) although they are firm friends in real life and have been for years.
A video posted by @zacposen on
To start researching how to do the dress, Zac went to a surprisingly advanced source. “I Googled,” he admits with a laugh before going on to explain. “This was fibre optic and I knew what I wanted to make as I’d draped it before. For a moment I wasn’t sure it was going to be as Princessy as I wanted but when I knew Claire was my date it would work. It was modern and the under structure was hollow with a little hoop skirt and a box around the bottom with a battery pack.”
The dress also had a real life element of fairy-tale style drama. “Claire had ten hours of battery pack and we tested it,” Zac revealed. “But I still worried, what if her left hip is out or her right boob went out?” As Kinvara noted, this makes for a real life modern day Cinderella who has to get home before her battery pack runs out (ok ok so not quite as romantic!) But it translated off the red carpet and back into digital with ShopStyle confirming that searches for Zac Posen has increased 20% in the three days after the Met Gala.
A photo posted by @zacposen on
So, well I’m entranced, and all this from a man who started off in life wanting to be a baker or a performer before starting to sketch clothes when he was young. “The creative process was always supported and revered in my household,” he shares and his own fairy-tale fashion story started when he moved to London aged 18 to start at Central St Martins where London was ‘absolutely instrumental’ in his career.”
“I never expected to leave London,” Zac admits. “I must have had a lot of energy! My parents thought I was on drugs here because I was always buying expensive fabric and coffee and so on.” Yet life at St Martins wasn’t easy, for one it was a different time; ‘pre internet’ so if you were really interested in fashion you had to really research it. “I had my life at St Martins but at the time I don’t think I enjoyed it that much. It was preparatory for fashion though with how cruel it can be,” he explained. “You had to compete for space at this school, you couldn’t leave your stuff in a locker as someone would take it.”
He excelled and met a role call of famous names as they were on the rise including Karen Elson, Erin O Connor and his first ‘girl crush’ Iris Palmer and Isabella Blow. “I met them working on fashion shows and I was going out a lot. It wasn’t targeted I was just drawn to these inspiring women. It was at a time when women were allowed to be themselves. I was drawn to that romantic notion. ” He also recalls assisting Alexander McQueen and John Galliano whose fashion was based on ‘deep theatricality’ and remembers going to lunch with Galliano’s team and being ‘terrified’.
These days he’s a hard worker producing 16 collections each year and admitting he has equal interest in art and business. “The business supports my creativity,” Zac admits. “I am very respectful of people who just want to be an artist but you have to adjust your expectations as it won’t take off to a big brand. You have to think of the big picture and the plan has to be as creative as the clothing you’re making. There’s profit and there’s loss and there’s margin. The whole process is important and it’s a screwy business. Not everyone is ready to be the face of a company either because you need a great deal of resilience. You must have the ability to sing and dance be a performer.”
So to time management, and anyone who runs a business or is multi tasking take note. “There’s a lot of discipline, this is a long distance race,” Zac says. “You have to be able to delegate, trust people and know when your hand and eye comes into it. It has taken a lifetime to get that balance as I am by nature a hands on control freak.”
And on that note, I’ll just finish on the PR front, because it seems to me that Zac, whether he realises it or not has great instincts for a story from utilising his famous friends at his launches getting Puff Daddy/P Diddy on board as an investor to knowing how to deal with the press when they finally come knocking. “The press had started,” Zac begins.
“Opportunity is not a lengthy visitor so we just ran with it and The New York Times did a huge piece on me.” Even today, he gives out great advice to an audience member who is an aspiring designer. “PR and social media are helpful it’s not the only way. I think word of mouth is important. You need to be wearing what you made, everyday, as you are your own best advertising.” There you go, just a little snap shot into the life of this business man, creator, dreamer and tech savvy forward thinker.
First of all, I’m praising this booklets very existence. Even if you haven’t had time to engage with the Mayor of London election, you’ve probably had time to sit on a bus for twenty minutes and read through the marketing material. And each candidate paid £10,000 to be involved and print it so thank you to all of them. When I was perusing it (on Election Day no less), I quite enjoyed the marketing messages, the clunky design, the differing standards of photography and noted whether the words were from them or the party or in the case of UKIP, Nigel blooming Farage. This blog isn’t about the politics, it is about a whole campaign reduced to two sides of A5. So here they are in the order they’ve been given!
First up is Sophie Walker from Women’s Equality Party and its in first person with a nice smiley photo which i kinda like. It’s yellow, it’s bright and it’s as bold as her plans.
Lee Harris is third person and has chosen to side step political plans altogether with a whole page dedicated to his very entertaining life as a poet, playwright and a anti-drugs prohibitionist. But wait he’s with the Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol Party? Mega lols.
Reading between the lines of the Tories, you need to vote for Zac because they’re the only ones with a government in power to make it happen. All the rest can be easily blocked by government yah yah. I don’t like the third person. It’s a right old snooze fest.
The BNP page is hilarious – looks like a double glazing or a sofa sales advert – check out that thumbs up! Now then, do you want a Mayor who looks like they should be going ‘you BUY one, you get ONE FREE’. On the plus side David Furness is on the ‘cutting edge of the computer industry’ … Just not the Photoshop industry.
Lib dems have a candidate called Caroline and her hashtag is #carolinecan which immediately is #quitequestionable. Third person mission statement is good but not as impactful as the first person manifestos.
For Paul Golding, it’s very important he was brought up on a London council estate and the word Britain or British is written about 50 times!
UKIP is a Londoner born and bred which is handy cos otherwise he’d have to turf himself out
Sadiq Khan’s is like an X factor promo – he’s the ‘council estate boy who’ll fix the housing crisis’…’The bus drivers son who’ll put an end to Tory fare hike’…
Marketing like BeyoncéBeyoncé is a Lycra and Swarovski crystal covered marketing dream, a sparking stick of dynamite with so much business sense I think she could actually run the world – B for president? Anyway, Queen Bey has been busy in April. First she LANDED her Athleisure range Ivy Park utilising social media, and ruffling feathers by rejecting the traditional press call/party and being a no show at the launch, ooh and only going up to a size 14. Secondly she landed her new album all done and dusted with videos all packaged in and gathering headlines about her relationship with hubby Jay Z with her referrals to cheating and other women. It’s not the first time she’s done either of these things, she’s flirted with fashion lines, and she was the first person to launch visual album but she certainly gets tops marks for marketing and here’s why:
1 – It’s trending. This is mainly for the clothing line but oh yah Athleisure is the new ‘clean eating’ (don’t even get me started on that one). Conscious that our affinity for sports luxe might be waning, we’ve reinvented it into Athleisure because WE KNOW YOU’RE WEARING YOUR GYM KIT WHEN YOU’RE NOT AT THE GYM. Anyway, a fancy name will make it ok. Beyoncé has jumped on the trend at just the right time and owned it with high street friendly prices. Hell, I know the game and even I ended up in Topshop spending £90 on Ivy Park celebrity nonsense which I love – GUILTY PLEASURE PEOPLE. We all know the lure of a celebrity collaboration, I bet you have a piece of Alexa Chung for Marks and Spencer in a bag under your desk!
2 – She owns the story – she creates her own headlines by launching it herself on her own YouTube and social media which leaves media channels scrambling to catch up. I’ve seen about a zillion posts on these two launches – the drip drip drip feed of information from Ivy Park to the full throttle launch of Lemonade. Stacks of content = plenty to talk about. And it’s all original, it’s all her own, it’s how she wants to be perceived so she can control her image perfectly – top marketing marks. And she’s launching on Instagram where her young fashion audience are hanging out!
3 – Knowing your audience
Beyoncé knows her audience; she knows it is mainly women looking for power anthems to dance to on a Saturday night, looking to make the right decision, find love, be independent, being cheated on. Even back in the day she was talking about ‘Bills, Bills, Bills’ with Destiny’s Child, being a ‘Survivor’ after a break up, all the women who ‘Independent’ throw your hands up at me, who ‘Run the World? Girls’, ‘All the Single Ladies’…despite all the talk of Beyonce’s marriage problems (and it has taken many a Grazia front cover) she keeps one eye on the prize and creates songs for them. Yes proving you can be married while dancing in a leotard chanting ‘oh oh ohhhh if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it.’ So whether her marriage is on the rocks or sailing happily on the ocean, there’s enough little stories in there to keep Daily Mail trying to work out who ‘Becky with the good hair’ is.
4- Keep the mystic
Beyoncé has allegedly reduced personal appearances which makes her more mysterious and us more intrigued. She’s always kept her private life hidden under lock and key…for such a long time we weren’t sure what the real story was with Jay Z, and it they were engaged/married/divorced and so on. Yet somehow she’s still approachable, since we’ve seen her get married, break up, fall in love all in her music videos. For someone so uber public somehow she keeps enough back to keep the story rolling.
5 – The Bey-Hive
Supporters, fans, customers, call them what you will, having cultivated a loyal fan base, Beyoncé now knows that they will follow and support her every move. This mega following means that Beyoncé can self-publish and it is not just the media that are listening. It means that fans hear first, she can have direct contact with the people who are buying her clothes and her music. And that’s what leads to the big bucks.
I mean, let’s not forget she writes, sings and performs some songs too 😉 In modern marketing, Beyoncé is a phenomenon utilising digital and social media to a global advantage. We should all be taking notes.
For last LCM, Belstaff took their SS16 range off to the dessert. Well to be factually accurate, they moved sand dunes into the Old Billingsgate where models stood under hot lights where outside stood an army vehicle with...Read more
Why are we obsessed with our clothes being magical? Just as costume designer Sandy Powell discussed, the power of clothes to shape and transform an image is ever-present in our culture and history. Now we're going one step further with designers...Read more
Events are a huge part of the fashion calendar and no one (I repeat no one) can throw a press party like Jean Queen Donna Ida Thornton. On 27th November I worked with Donna to help her launch THE hot new denim shape for SS16; Sadie the Boiler Suit....Read more
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“Claire was my PR and Marketing Manager for four years at Donna Ida so we worked closely together to build a marketing strategy for the Ultimate Denim Destination. Claire’s PR experience led to an increase in press coverage 30% year-on-year with a focus on luxury titles and targeting key editors"Read The Full Testimonial
Claire was very well liked by the press and they felt very happy and comfortable with her, so much so that they were just as happy going to Claire as they were coming to me. We developed a press strategy of one-to-one appointments and special evening press dinners to encourage exclusivity with exceptional results.
She worked closely with our in-house creative team to build the brand and my personal profile within the fashion and business sectors, managing photo shoots and Look Books. Claire is loyal, entrepreneurial and strategic so when presented with a challenge she sees it as an opportunity.
DONNA IDA THORNTON, www.donnaida.com