As crazy as it sounds, I love the stress and pressure of working in Fashion PR. I think I love it so much because at the end of the day there is no better feeling than flipping open a magazine and seeing your client worn by a huge celebrity. That level of accomplishment is completely unparalleled. - Ashley Marand
Ashley Marand, a recent Boston University graduate, has interned at Teen Vogue, aLine, Succarra, and bluPRint PR, in three different cities. Each city and each internship taught Ashley the importance of hard work and networking to make your way to the top, as she realized that even though the fashion world can be cut-throat, the industry can be a very supportive and positive experience as well.
What is your background?
I grew up outside Boston in a small, suburban town called Chelmsford, MA. I always had aspirations to live in a city, so after high school I decided to attend Boston University. Boston was an amazing city to attend college in (minus the subtle detail that the fashion industry isn't exactly thriving here). It was the perfect distance from home, a mere 40 minutes, all the students are extremely motivated and ambitious and Boston is extremely young and lively since it is by nature notorious for its many many universities and colleges. In terms of my fashion career, I've been fortunate enough to intern in numerous different aspects of the industry. I began by interning at Model Club Inc., a model and talent agency in Boston and helped produce a fashion show for Boston Fashion Week. After this I realized New York City was where I needed to be, so I spent a summer interning with Teen Vogue. While I loved (and still do) everything about Boston, I felt as if the opportunities were narrowing so I applied to spend a semester in Los Angeles. In LA I interned for aLine media and bluPRint Public Relations. My most recent internship was at SUCCARRA. I just graduated from BU, and I have to say that the past four years were incredible, and I was fortunate to be able to hold so many internships in three amazing cities.
What Fashion PR?
People always told me that I would be perfect for fashion PR - that I had the right personality and work ethic, but I never truly understood what it meant until I was an intern at Teen Vogue in New York City and then bluPRint PR in LA. Interning in environments like the ones at Teen Vogue and bluPRint PR proved to me that fashion PR is exactly what I want to do; I love the fast pace and high energy. As crazy as it sounds, I love the stress and pressure of working in PR. I think I love it so much because at the end of the day there is no better feeling than flipping open a magazine and seeing your client worn by a huge celebrity. That level of accomplishment is completely unparalleled.
How did you land your position?
After completing numerous internships in Boston and landing my Teen Vogue internship in New York, I knew I was prepared to move on to a new city and dive into the agency world. I had applied to the Los Angeles Internship Program through BU and after being accepted I began searching for internship opportunities in LA. I spent hours researching for fashion PR agencies, along with their clients and how past interns had reviewed their experiences. I really wanted to be part of an agency that would allow me to learn as much as I could and to be extremely hands on. I kept everything extremely organized with lists of contact information, client rosters and my progress in applying. My own efforts combined with those of the internship coordinator for the LA program put me in touch with bluPRint PR. After e-mailing and a phone interview, I knew bluPRint would be a perfect fit, and I readily accepted the position!
What were your responsibilities?
I had such a large range of responsibilities that definitely grew with my time at bluPRint. At first, I began as most interns do answering phones, filing, updating media outreach lists, clipping media hits, act. But, I was determined to work hard and prove myself and my abilities to my supervisor; I wanted to be challenged! By the time the end of the program came, I was pitching clients, calling editors and stylists, handling showroom appointments, building status reports and creating trend reports all on my own! I was even able to work the front of house at our red carpet events!
What aspects of the job were a surprise to you?
I was surprised by how supportive and encouraging the entire fashion department was! I think most of the time fashion and public relations get a bad reputation for being catty and cut-throat, and while I will agree that it is extremely competitive, bluPRint PR showed me the importance of strong team dynamics - a valuable lesson I will carry with me throughout my career. My supervisors, Brittany and Kelsey, truly cared about developing me into a skilled PR professional. They would explain projects from start to finish, so even if I was only assisting on a small portion of it, I could understand the bigger picture and the reasons behind why I was completing a certain task. While it has been some time since I have been in LA, they have still served as amazing sources of influence and advice to this day! I think it's extremely important for every young fashion publicist to meet someone that they can look up to and who can serve as a mentor.
What is a recent success story you have been a part of?
I was so fortunate to have so many amazing experiences though out my internships, but there is definitely one that stands out the most in my head. While I was working the 2011 Teen Vogue Young Hollywood Party with bluPRint, I had the opportunity to meet one of the editors at Women's Wear Daily, and we totally hit it off! Later that month, I was helping plan a fashion show for LA Style Fashion Week and was assigned the task of calling editors and inviting them to attend. I called the WWD editor and invited her to attend, and she gladly accepted and even said she'd bring a friend! The PR agency I was with at the time was thrilled that I had been able to secure the attendance of two WWD editors. I definitely felt proud of the relationship I had created and knew this would be the start of many more relationships to come!
My dream fashion PR job would be...
There are SO many amazing, influential fashion PR agencies out there, so it's hard to name just one. Rather my dream fashion PR job would be to work at a prominent fashion PR agency that represents innovative, inspiring clients I believe in. I would also love to work in an agency that values individual talent, yet cherishes the importance of team dynamics. I want to go to work every day and love the people I'm surrounded by and be excited to help my clients and accounts achieve success. That would truly be my dream.
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