New York City’s Cameo PR President and founder Malorie Kaye knew she wanted to work in fashion at age 10. In this interview, Malorie Kaye takes us from high school merchandising classes to fashion PR agency CEO, where her attention is focused on heightening awareness of new and upcoming accessory designers like Jules and Matt Bernson.
“With PR, you have the ability to be a part of every detail, from forecasting trends and working on designer collections to introducing the world to exciting new projects and watching your clients flourish into household names.”
What is your background?
I grew up in a family of artists who constantly pushed me to find new outlets for my creativity and self-expression. I always knew that I would wind up in a creative industry, and that industry, for me, was fashion. I confidently can say that I am one of the few people who has been reaching for the same goals since the age of 10. I began taking Merchandising classes as early as high school and, upon graduation, continued my studies in Apparel Merchandising, Business, and Communications at Indiana University. The fantastic program at Indiana allowed me to participate in numerous internships and build an incredibly strong foundation. Shortly after college graduation, I landed my first job at a small Fashion PR agency. After two years, I left the agency to go in-house with an amazing shoe designer who later became one of my first clients at Cameo PR.
Why Fashion PR?
Fashion PR combines everything I love about the fashion world, an ever-changing industry. It keeps me on my toes at all times, which is definitely an aspect on which I thrive. With PR, you have the ability to be a part of every detail, from forecasting trends and working on designer collections to introducing the world to exciting new projects and watching your clients flourish into household names.
In a few words, how would you summarize your agency?
Cameo Public Relations is a boutique Fashion PR agency that specializes in growing emerging accessory designers to new heights, achieved by marrying the deeply rooted personalized attention of in-house PR with the broad range of expertise offered by a full-service agency.
What is a recent success story that you have been a part of?
Currently, one of my clients is in the process of landing her first interview feature in a major magazine. I anticipate that this opportunity single-handedly will result in skyrocketing sales and brand recognition. However, it also is fulfilling a life-long dream of hers to be featured in her favorite media outlet. Being able to tell her that she would achieve this goal was, by far, one of my most gratifying career moments.
What challenges are attached to your job?
With anything you love and focus on endless hours a day, there always are challenges along the way. I think for my job in particular, the biggest challenge has been growing my company at a steady pace so that we can take on new clients, while also maintaining the level of customer service and devotion that they have come to expect from Cameo PR. In PR, there are everyday challenges such as ensuring that you always have available the samples being requested by various editors and stylists, that product, staff and clients arrive where they need to be, and that you are always on top of every project so that nothing is overlooked.
What is exciting about internships at Cameo PR?
I think what makes Cameo PR’s opportunity so incredible is that we really focus on the true purpose of an internship, which is the ability to learn about the industry and career you are shadowing. Our interns don’t make coffee. Period. They do make photocopies and participate in other tedious tasks that may not be as fun as attending market appointments or trend forecasting, but these fundamental skills are required of all great fashion publicists beginning their careers. We try to be extremely hands-on so that while the interns are helping us, they are helping themselves to figure out exactly where they best fit and where they want to be in the future.
What are your primary responsibilities?
As a publicist, your responsibilities span a vast list. Aside from the normal tasks you instantly would think of, like pitching and product-sample trafficking, I literally do everything from scheduling client appointments and interviews to suggesting layouts and planning shoots for their linesheets and lookbooks. Nothing is too large or too small a task, and nothing is insignificant. That is what I love most about my job: it is always pushing me to new limits, to challenge myself and learn new things, to achieve new successes for both myself and my clients.
What is an example of a typical day in the office?
Every day is different. That is the greatest thing about PR. Some days I sit at my desk from dawn to dusk, touching base with clients, pitching stories, updating inventory, and working on sponsorships. Other days, I am out of the office nearly the entire day, attending numerous market appointments and showing new collections. Some days I even treat myself to an hour or two at the bookstore, catching up on all of the new editorials. After all, it is definitely an essential part of the gig, albeit a fun one.
What aspects of working in Fashion PR surprised you?
I think the one thing that was most shocking to me was how much time is really spent on maintaining records. There are so many changes day to day in this industry, from pages and placements getting delayed or cut to editors leaving one publication for another, which is why it is critical to stay on top of everything so that you are always the first to know what is happening.