It was to my surprise that the next day I saw Blake Lively was wearing one of my picks. I felt so proud that I had sensed her style correctly and that I was already so acquainted with the hundreds of designs that I could match up shoes with her personal taste and fulfill her needs. From that day on I believed in the efficiency of my hard work. - Fernanda Guimarães
Fernanda Guimarães originally was raised in Bahia but followed her passions to the United States where she went to school at Grand Valley State University in Michigan to pursue a degree in Advertising and Public Relations. Originally not allowed to study fashion by her father, Fernanda made her way into the fashion world by first starting out in the licensing department an EMI Music Publishing. She then made the leap to fashion by interning for PR Consulting before landing her position at the famed luxury accessory brand Christian Louboutin. Fernanda has many passions but her love for the fashion industry has grown, especially after her crazy yet insightful position at Christian Louboutin.
What is your background?
Brazilian rhythms run through my veins as I was born and raised in Salvador, Bahia which is northeast of Brazil. If you met me, you'd be able to call it on the spot- I am a true personification of my cultural background. Extremely curious and independent, the world always intrigued me (especially the world of fashion!) and I just couldn't wait to explore everything that was 'out there' waiting for me. When I was 18 I moved to the United States to attend college. I was forbidden by my father to major in fashion so I headed to Grand Valley State University in Michigan to seek an Advertising and Public Relations degree. After four years of learning and amazing times with my Sigma Kappa sisters it was time for me to move to NYC and put all the knowledge and information I gained into practice. I first interned at EMI Music Publishing in the licensing department (music is my other passion in life) where "The X Factor" became my main priority. I was the one responsible for licensing all songs requested for the TV show. My second internship was with PR Consulting where I was able to work with clients such as Yves Saint-Laurent, Vera Wang, Raf Simmons, Joe Fresh and Proenza Schouler. The long hours during fashion week and meeting people that I hold dear to my heart still to this day (Ashley Santucci, previously interviewed here, being one of them) was a great 'welcome' into the fashion industry. I then landed my position at Christian Louboutin, which I can assure you with out a doubt has been the most amazing and rewarding experience I have had so far.
Why fashion PR?
I have always been a mediator amongst my friends. I have always been able to bring them all together for a variety of different purposes. I also excel in communications, creativity, and possess great amour pour la Mode (love for fashion). I realized I could apply my skills to something much bigger than just everyday teenage palaver and contribute to something much bigger; fashion PR just seemed to fit that.
How did you land your position?
I saw an online post about the open position at Christian Louboutin and I instantly revised my résumé. To work for Louboutian had always been a dream of mine. I submitted my résumé along with a short descriptive paragraph describing me, my skills and experience, an pointed out why Christian Louboutian should select me to become their intern. I got asked in to be interviewed and that same day I received an email offering me the position. I owe a big 'Thank You' to A.W. and K.M. to have trusted my potential and competency and given me this opportunity.
What are your responsibilities?
Sample trafficking, crediting, clipping, pulling, editor gifting, and other tasks around the office.
What aspects of the job were a surprise to you?
At first glance, I was surprised by how busy the office was: it was shocking! There was no free time, emails kept popping in at every second. It was interesting to learn along the way how they managed to keep everything organized and under control. With time, I noticed that at Christian Louboutin, we were treated as professionals, not as interns. We were responsible for a great portion of the office's daily activity and we were most definitely relied upon. At Christian Louboutin they trusted my work ethics and instincts. My bosses knew how to delegate, but were willing to listen to our opinions and inputs as well. I will always be grateful to Christian Louboutin's team for my professional growth! The knowledge I've acquired during my time there is priceless, and it was most definitely a major factor in this beginning of my career path. During my time there, I felt like I was part of the Louboutin 'family,' and I plan on carrying this feeling with me throughout my life.
What is a recent success story you have been a part of?
The highlight of my time at Christian Louboutin was a Blake Lively "pull," as the PR world calls it. It was a hectic day at the office, requests were coming in non-stop and the PR department had a lot of tasks to juggle because Christian was in NYC to promote his book. We got a last minute request for Blake and I 'pulled' a few pairs for her on my own. The PR coordinator and manager looked over the request and added a couple more pairs. It was to my surprise that the next day I saw Blake Lively was wearing one of my picks. I felt so proud that I had sensed her style correctly and that I was already so acquainted with the hundreds of designs that I could match up shoes with her personal taste and fulfill her needs. From that day on I believed in the efficiency of my hard work.
My dream fashion PR job would be...
Lets not beat around the bush: head director of the PR department at Hermès! Well maybe one day...
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