I spent the vast majority of my teens convinced that I was eventually going to be the managing director of a Premier League football club in England, but my time on the shop floor at Harrods...completely changed the direction of my career, and now I've really fallen in love with the field [of fashion PR]. - Lauren Doble
Lauren Doble lived in London her whole life and despite pressures to go straight into University after school, she knew a different path lay ahead. After taking a job at high-end department store Harrods, she realized that she couldn't resist the pull of the fashion industry. Her sales associate position soon tuned into the Social Media Assistant where she came into contact with the brand DAS. After meeting with the designers in London and a visit to Dubai, Lauren moved to the United Arab Emirates in order to do in-house fashion PR for the brand.
What is your background?
Born and raised in London and educated at Putney High School, I never saw myself following the expected study path and opted against going to university, despite being a straight-A student. Instead I preferred to get ahead of my peers and dive straight into the world of full-time work, having been actively volunteering or interning throughout my school days. Writing was always something I enjoyed and had a flair for, and I used to write match reports for football games in the UK from the age of 13! From there onwards, I made connections in several different industries and I worked hard to maintain my contacts. When I left school at 18 I took a summer job as a Sales Associate in the famous department store, Harrods, just to to tide me over with some spending money. During my time on the floor, where I was responsible for the Burberry Sport department, I saw an internal position for Social Media Assistant being advertised, and I made it through all the various interview stages to get the job.
Why Fashion PR?
I've always been determined to have a successful career, but I honestly never expected it to be in Fashion, nor PR, and certainly not Fashion PR! It is definitely something I happily stumbled into; I spent the vast majority of my teens convinced that I was eventually going to be the managing director of a Premier League football club in England, but my time on the shop floor at Harrods - which initially was just a stop-gap job after leaving school - completely changed the direction of my career, and now I've really fallen in love with the field.
How did you land your position?
Whilst working as the Social Media Assistant at Harrods, I became aware of a brand stocked in-store called DAS because we would get so many questions about it from Middle Eastern followers on the Harrods Twitter account. I researched DAS as I didn't know anything about it, and I was so captivated by the story and th two designers behind the brand, Emirati sisters Reem and Hind Beljafla, that I followed them on Twitter and became so inspired by them. Hind actually asked me to meet me for dinner in London as she found me intriguing, but she had no idea what job I did until we met because in my role I had to be an anonymous voice. We struck up a firm friendship and it was actually when Hind invited me to stay with her and her family in Dubai last October that she and Reem asked if I would consider moving to the United Arab Emirates and handle the PR in-house for DAS. I left Harrods in the New Year and moved to Dubai, assuming my duties at the beginning of March 2012.
What are your responsibilities?
It's hard to sum up everything my job spans... it really is so varied, and of course always interesting. I look after everything from the day-to-day social media to securing press coverage both regionally and internationally, answering all media requests, handling the brand's public image, advertising, coordinating fashion shows and just generally doing everything I can to spread the word about DAS.
What aspects of the job were a surprise to you?
Coming from a huge organization with thousands of employees and hundreds of years of history like Harrods to a 3 year old business here in Dubai was obviously quite a culture shock, but so far I have only been pleasantly surprised! I love the way I can b so hands on here and have a lot more influence over the direction we are heading in. It's a huge challenge for me and I have so much to learn - I'm only 21 - but as has always been my approach, I think it's most effective to learn on the job.
What is a recent success story that you have been a part of?
DAS was recently involved in the global advertising campaign for Emirates Airlines, launching their new "Hello Tomorrow" slogan. Hind Beljafla features in the television commercial preparing for and attending a DAS fashion show, which she and I flew to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to film. The campaign launched in April and we have had such an overwhelming response from all over the world; it has been a pleasure to receive such positive feedback from media and clients alike, all over the world. We are very proud of our involvement in the campaign.
My dream fashion PR job would be...
My dream is definitely to stay for a very long time in their role and better myself as a person, improve my abilities and grow with the company. There is so much potential for the global expansion of DAS and I am so excited for the journey ahead.
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