If it’s an exclusive, or someone who hasn't been written about a lot, then that's something I'll always jump on. Since W is so specific, I appreciate when people understand who our audience is and what we write about. One of the best things I learned about pitching stories is, do your research and know who you're pitching to, because even if it's the best pitch in the entire world, people will know that you didn't do your homework if it's not the right fit. Good PR people and good freelance writers know what you want and what you need.
So in your current position a lot of PR’s are pitching to you, what makes a pitch stand out?
Well of course if the person who's emailing me is familiar, but either way I do try to answer every single email that is sent to me. I really try to, because they are putting time in these pitches and it's all about relationships as well. I want to be the best market editor in the sense that I can still have these relationships with the PR’s, maintain what I'm doing in the daily at my job, and just juggle it all in a very time efficient way.
In general, though the subject line is important and has to grab your attention, the body of the email has to be short and get to the point. Half the time when I open an email, I'll get stopped to do something else.
So do you want to start off with how you got to where you are today?
My career is eclectic. At first, I wasn't sure what sector of the fashion industry I wanted to be in, but I at least knew that I had to be on the luxury end of it. So I decided to try out an internship in sales.
I wanted to be a part of what first caught my eye in the industry, and I was also interested in how the bigger houses operated.
I think when you start your career, especially at a brand, you have 2 choices. The 1st you can start at a smaller company and have a lot of responsibility but not as much visibility. Or you can start at a bigger company and have greater visibility to important people but less responsibility.
I ended up choosing the latter and starting my career at a bigger company. But I ended up getting really lucky because I got more responsibilities quicker than I expected. Maybe I was lucky, but I believe it’s about what you bring to the table. If you work hard and go beyond your missions/tasks, people recognize your efforts.
So before Loewe you were at Christian Louboutin for a bit?
Yeah. I was a PR intern there.
Yeah, it was really great. I liked how the PR team was set up there one girl worked with VIPs, one girl was dedicated to France, one worked for the rest of Europe, and another one worked for men. Each of them had their own intern, so it was a pretty big PR team.
When I saw that they were looking for an intern, I thought “Ok. I have to apply.” And then they called me 20 minutes later, so it just worked out really well. At that point I had already graduated from university, so I wasn’t thrilled about being an intern again, but I had very little experience in PR.
I feel like sometimes you have to put your ego aside and do what’s best for your career. It was worth it; everything went well, the girls were amazing, Christian is amazing. His office was right next to us so it was a really special experience.
Did you learn anything in particular?
Organization. It was key when I was there because we were constantly receiving requests. So you have to be efficient too and work well with everyone.
So why PR?
Well, I love marketing, fashion, and people. I think it’s really fun to work in a job that revolves around communication.
What's the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Well, I'm always very happy when I see Loewe in print. It’s something that I can show for my work. Because you work so hard for things that people outside of the industry view as trivial. Or you work so, so hard for a show that only lasts 10 minutes. And those 10 minutes are 6 months of work. So this is why I cry all the time at fashion shows. Like, ah, this is so beautiful.
Also, it makes my day when friends who don’t work in fashion say things like "Hey, I saw Loewe in this editorial. I love it. Who's the photographer? How much is that sweater? I need it." You know?
I think my biggest accomplishment here was when we were at the office and received a text, saying “Congratulations on Vogue Paris!!” and I was like, “wait, what?” So I quickly scrolled my Instagram and there it was, Loewe was on the Vogue Paris cover
! Major !!!! And I thought, "Wow. I made it, we made it."
I saw you studied at fashion school. Do you think that gave you a leg up to make it in the industry?
Absolutely. I learned so much. It was 3 years in total, and it was a business school that’s directly specified for fashion. I took history of fashion classes, law classes, English that specified in industry vocabulary, and marketing which I find so interesting because you learn what makes people buy. For me, it was just the best, and most of my instructors worked in the industry as well.
How do you get the most out of the positions that you've had?
I love what I do, so dedication comes with that. It's a small world. People are fighting for jobs. You have to be dedicated. You have to love it.
What advice would you give to someone who looks up to you?
Be organized, follow your dreams, trust yourself, and never give up.
Life is going to put obstacles in your way. Just go through them. Fight for what you want to do, even though it's hard. Even though sometimes you want to give up, never give up, because there is someone behind you who will not.
My boss is the PR manager, and then there’s me, and I have an assistant, so it’s just the 3 of us since we only handle the French market.
The headquarters are in Madrid, and they handle Spain, Germany, digital, and international. Then AIPR handles us for London, Karla Otto in Milan, then in NY it’s PRC. We also have an office in Tokyo, Shanghai and Hong Kong, so we’re in-house for most of our Asian markets.
How’s the company culture?
It's honestly the best company that I've worked for. The house has a very strong heritage and a lot of creativity to show. It's both huge and very small. We really work like a family.
Is Jonathan based in the Paris office?
His office for Loewe is based in Paris with the studio team. He always travels between Paris, Madrid and London.
He works so hard, has tons of ideas at the same time. I think as a team, we have the right balance between experienced craftsmen and the energy of young designers. It's easy to get along with each other, and everyone is so funny.
I also think we have such a strong team because everyone gets along so well so the communication is really great. We’re not a company where everyone's working for his little thing and only thinking of his tasks. You have to be open-minded and see more than your desk, and your phone, and your emails.
Yeah, and the team in Madrid is amazing too.
Oh, have you gone there?
I went there for the first time back in November for the 170th anniversary of the brand and the re-opening of Casa Loewe. We had the “Present, Past, Future” exhibition, which is also the name of the book we launched that same day, and a still life flowers archive from Steven Meisel, who shoots our campaigns. It was very powerful.
I handle most requests, which means a stylist or their assistant will request looks and say the location, magazine, and photographer that their shooting with and then I see if we can make it work. The challenge is that all of the markets only share one collection, so we have to coordinate with that. I also tell the press about Loewe’s news to manage how the brand is shown in the media.
So how do you make sure that the looks are available for the most important magazines?
It all just comes down to communication, and we all really try to help each other out. We have an amazing international coordinator based in Madrid.
Do you all use Fashion GPS?
We're about to. I know it’s going to help out my assistant 200%.
How does your role expand during high season?
For the show, we have to do all the guest lists, but I think the most complicated thing is the seating. We spend a lot of time on it. For instance, Loewe has individual seats which means we need to be very focus on not missing anybody, following the number of seats the venue allows. So it’s like "Okay, the Asian market needs to be here, the American press has to be here, the American buyers need to be there. So no, the model's going to come like this, but no this person works for accessories so we have to put her at an angle so she can see all the bags.” Then it’s all about creating a coherent seating. So, ah, it's crazy!
Then it’s working with the show production company, for all the seating requirements, the guest list for photographers, organizing the backstage and makeup artists, the models, etc. Just making sure all flows well. Yeah, and our time slot is normally in the morning which means no sleep because the day before you’re working until 12 AM at least. Then you have to be at the venue at 3 AM so you maybe get 45 minutes of rest and you don’t get out of the office until late the next day either. But even though it brings a lot of stress, we’re having a lot of fun. The best moment is actually when everything is about to happen.
What does the work after the show entail?
So right after, the collection goes back to the office and we set up the showroom for press. It’s for people who were not able to see the collection, or want to see it again. In this way, they can see the looks. But at the same time, you have shoppings to send out because the rest of the work load doesn’t stop just because it’s high season. So you do your usual work too, send pictures to press, and all the relevant information about the show. Then go to the restaurant to party. It's exhausting, but it's great.