PR Daily just reported that PR Manager came in as the 5th Most Stressful Job in America, which comes as no surprise to those of us in the thick of it. Specifically with fashion PR comes the need to literally be fast on your feet, and fancy, at the same time. This is why I love Tsubos and think they are a great brand for fashion publicists – they are on trend and you can leap over clothing racks, slide in and out of cabs, and run to your next appointment with style and grace (or at least as much as you can manage). Justin Pace, Brand Manager at Tsubo is an experienced footwear guy with a few specific style suggestions, as well as insight into the success the brand is having with blogger and designer collaborations. Their collaboration with Timo Weiland has extended into menswear for 2013 and Tsubo’s will make their way down the runway during Weiland’s NYFW show.
Tsubo is all about comfort. What are a few styles you would recommend for a busy PR girl or guy?
For her, I would recommend the Roana ballet in fabulous bright patents we have for spring. Super comfortable, the memory foam footbeds allow for all day comfort and the bright color palette adds a burst of optimism to any occasion. In addition, the Sallis in black or gray leather or natural snake is a great choice. The versatility alone, it goes with everything… dresses, jeans, leggings… everything. It’s high, yet not a significant heel and opened up on the sides and toe giving the proper nod to seasonality. Plus our acushioning system allows you to be out and about all day!
For him, our Wexler captoe is amazing. Dressed up or down, with or without socks…and cushioning system that has to be felt to believe. I think you could run a marathon in these! Loving the modern buck version we did in Ash for spring…looks great with a spring suit and bow tie or jeans and your favorite tee.
How do you leverage seasonal collaborations with designers like Timo Weiland to grow brand awareness?
Timo is an amazing designer and personality. Our design philosophies are the same, so his emotional take on style and our need/want for that emotion combined with performance and comfort make story telling exciting and easy! We leverage our ongoing collaborations with Timo Weiland in several ways. The Timo Weiland for Tsubo collections are the exclusive footwear on the runway at all of Timo Weiland’s NY Fashion Week shows, and pictures from the catwalk circulate the globe each season. Joint press outreach catches the eye of the luxury fashion press and introduces them to Tsubo via the Timo Weiland lens, elevating the brand and developing new relationships.
You’re a favorite of Refinery29 – what is your secret to developing strong online media relationships?
We consistently turn out amazing, comfortable styles with a strong point of view each season, and conduct generous seeding programs to key bloggers, editors and stylists to get them wearing and loving our shoes. (Click to Tweet it!) Our PR agency, samantha slaven publicity, also regularly checks in with bloggers to see what stories they’re working on, and responds to product queries with relevant, on-trend pitches.
Our PR agency has a very strong relationship with bloggers, especially personal style bloggers who put together exceptional outfit posts pairing our footwear with designer apparel. Young fashionistas look to these influential style bloggers for inspiration and guidance – even moreso than they rely on fashion magazines – and their support has introduced Tsubo to a new set of in-the-know shoppers influenced by what’s being worn on the street.
How do you measure the success of blogger collaborations?
We measure success differently for different bloggers. All blogger collabs are about building exposure and credibility, but a placement on Refinery29 or Sheknows.com can also fuel commerce, customer acquisition and click-throughs, while a great outfit post on The Glamourai or Natalie Off Duty fuels brand awareness and popularity.
In addition to PR, what other marketing strategies are you focused on for 2013?
For 2013, we will ramp up our PR efforts as well as we will be focused on the trade. It’s about expanding our customer and consumer base.
You will see the beginnings of advertising in the footwear trade publications and we will develop an in-store presence for Tsubo. We will also upgrade our website to tell better brand and product stories and create an all-around better customer experience. We are also dedicating a lot of time to understanding our consumer. We have database of people that we send emails to every week, and we will begin to talk to them and engage them in our process to better understand what they are looking for and more importantly, why?