Nolcha Fashion Week 2009 – Front of House Q&A with BJ Coleman

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After the Nolcha runway show and post-show frenzy died down, I stepped outside for a breather and a quick Q&A with Nolcha’s front of house, BJ Coleman. This was BJ’s first year working with Nolcha Fashion Week, he was attracted to the focus on helping indie designers get recognition, noting it’s more of a challenge and more fulfilling working with lesser known designers than with big established brands. Which he knows a thing or two about.

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BJ boasts an impressive resume including working with Maury Povich, CNN, and Queen Latifah, by his senior year of college, BJ was hired as the personal assistant to Baby Phat creative director Kimora Lee Simmons. After graduating, BJ went on to work for NC Connect (Naomi Campbell’s Marketing and PR Firm) where he served as PR Account Executive and Celebrity Wrangler, handling and assisting the firm’s heavyweight accounts, including Dolce & Gabbana, Alicia Keys, and others. For four years, BJ was a key player in the Phat Fashions empire, serving as Senior Director of Marketing & Public Relations, where he built and developed an in-house PR division for the legendary hip-hop fashion house. In 2008, BJ became the Vice President of Entertainment & Talent for 5W Public Relations, a NYC-based PR agency where BJ represented such stars as Malinda Williams, Ray J, D-Nice, hairstylist Ted Gibson & rap star Trina. Most recently, BJ launched Coleman Entertainment Group in New York City.

Seriously did I ask for a sit down with the right guy or what?

I asked BJ for his Three Key Ingredients for a Successful Runway Show, and he shared the following:

  • Securing media attendance at the show
  • Managing the list and keeping the list organized
  • Post show press and buzz

BJ brought up a good point with post-show coverage – it isn’t enough to simply get editors to attend the shows, the goal is to maximize the relationship from there on out and to leverage the show to bring in consistent online and offline coverage all season. Yes, BJ is a big fan of fashion bloggers and online media, noting that all of his clients want blog coverage and it’s how many people now get their news.

No doubt Nolcha and its designers are in good hands with BJ Coleman at the helm!

About This Author

Known as the “fashion publicist’s most powerful accessory,” (San Diego Union-Tribune) and the “West Coast ‘It’ girl of fashion PR,” (YFS Magazine) Crosby Noricks put fashion public relations on the digital map when she launched PR Couture in 2006. She is the author of Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR, available on Amazon. Crosby spends her time managing PR Couture and mentoring fashion publicists through PRISM and Instappable, as well as the biannual NYC workshop, Fashion PR Confidential. Occasionally, she opens up limited consulting spots for emerging brands through her signature offering, The Brand Elixir.