So then you went on to intern for the PR team at Ralph Lauren womenswear. Can you explain that role?
A lot of it was showroom organization, sample trafficking, and helping facilitate press pulls.
You have to learn about strategic scheduling kind of like "Okay, Vogue is late in returning this sample and we need to get in to W Magazine now. What are we going to do?"
My favorite part, was when a new issue would come out and you would see a sample that you put there and you're like, "Hey, I did that. I helped with that."
It's just interesting to see my supervisors throughout the years have relationships with the editors and everybody's interconnected and I really like that. You get to talk to people from all these different publications and I love that social factor of the job.
Yeah, and then how would you describe the company culture at Ralph Lauren?
Really positive, they give interns a lot of responsibility.
What are some of the PR responsibilities going into making a fashion show happen?
Sending out invites, creating a guest list, then creating a seating plan, managing RSVPs, etc. Then also press book so when looks go down a runway, you basically have a handout that's left on every seat that everybody in the show is able to access that list, okay, Look 1, and they have a description of the look. This is really good for buyers. It's really good for people who are looking to wear something to a red-carpet event, just to say, "Hey, I really liked Look 7, this item. I want to get this in my store," or "I want to wear that on the red carpet."
If you're going to have Jessica Chastain come to your show for the celebrity team, for example, you have to be organized and make sure somebody is there to greet her at the back door, somebody's there to lead her over to her seat, and then escort her out after. For my first show, we had Kanye come and he came through the back door and it was just hilarious. He had a little photo shoot with Ralph and was talking to people but the celebrity team has to manage that.
It's basically making it happen so looking over, "Okay, are the press packs distributed?" After the show leaves, we have 50 minutes till the next show.
We had different shows specifically. One was specifically for buyers. One was specifically for international crowds ...
... and one was specifically for the family, any celebrities, and then just American buyers.
Does Ralph Lauren do its entire PR in-house?
Ralph Lauren's a huge corporation so we have it all in-house so there's different teams. We have a women's wear team, men's wear team, kids team, and a celebrity team, and basically it's all done in the company on one floor, everybody works together.
Everything that Ralph Lauren puts out into the media is administered by somebody who works directly within the Ralph Lauren corporation but if you decide to outsource that to a PR company like PRC or KCD, that basically means that that company takes some of the responsibility off of the PR work and sample trafficking and fashion show production off of your shoulders and you might have a couple PR workers in your team in-house but the bulk of the work would be done by that company that you're outsourcing to. It’s for smaller companies normally.
Are there benefits to in-house PR?
Yeah, just because everybody's more integrated. I feel as though there's more communication amongst the teams and with Ralph Lauren as well, executives and all. I just feel it's very wholesome and you have every control over every detail. You are able to communicate strategies from corporate or executives with your PR team and make changes quick. If you want to change up the way you archive credits for example, you have a database of that in-house and you can change it in-house. I think it also promotes a lot of collaboration.
There's just more flexibility and more say in what you can do but, however, my knowledge is limited since I've only ever been at a in-house company. Louis Vuitton is also in-house for the North America division but obviously there's another in-house division in Paris, the headquarters.