MA Creative Direction for Fashion and Beauty
The term creative director originated in advertising agencies, but in the last few years has also become prevalent in the fashion and beauty industries. The role of creative...
My key responsibilities within the role are really varied. Firstly, I manage all communications with our customers, so this can be anything from sending and writing our newsletters to approving all social media content and copy before it goes live – alongside our social content manager – and then ensuring our website is updated with any key messages or promotions. We also have a fantastic PR agency that reports into me – we have weekly meetings to check features and any influencer-gifting opportunities, plus any press releases with key dates for product launches and so on.
Alongside the agency, I also reach out to celebrity agents and management to try and push our products out wider – just recently we had a fantastic pick-up from Holly Willoughby who used our events pan on her IG feed. This really sparked an exciting chain of events, with press including Hello magazine, The Sun and so on picking up on it and advertising our products. I also manage all branding, content and paid social media.
Finally, we are very focused on how we can give back to the community and spread happiness. Therefore, I manage the relationship with our dedicated charity, Spread a Smile, which focuses on bringing happiness to children who are suffering in hospital.
My role at Topshop Topman was just as varied, but with more focus on our international franchise markets including Canada, Russia, Malaysia, Thailand and more. I started out as an international marketing coordinator and then worked my way up into the global marketing manager role.
As a manager I had two direct reports within the department and we were always busy. In total I managed approximately 21 international wholesale partners and 40 global franchise partners, alongside the European market where we managed the store marketing directly. It was a lot of responsibility and you had to be constantly focused to ensure nothing was ever missed.
One of the most exciting projects I led during my time at Topshop was the launch of Kylie Jenner’s beauty line in our US stores – I had to liaise with all department team members to ensure everyone was on the same page. We also created an amazing competition for our customers to win a flight out to our New York store and did a full website takeover. We had huge advertising billboards around all of our stores, which I signed off with the creative teams, alongside providing and signing off all social media on our channels and on Kylie’s channel.
I absolutely love being able to work with a team that is so flexible, fun and ambitious. No task is out of reach, and we are always able to come up with creative solutions together. The biggest challenge is that we have a fairly small team at the moment, but huge business growth – which is never a bad thing. We are currently hiring for new positions and building the team, which is extremely exciting.
Solent provided me with great opportunities to learn about not only the theory of marketing but also the practical side, with many workshops and team-led projects. Team projects were also really important to learn how best to work with different people and varied personalities, which really prepared me for going into the workplace. Of course, my time at Solent also taught me how to prioritise work and play!
Show determination. Most of my career to date has been in fashion, and having worked at brands such as Burberry, Calvin Klein and Topshop Topman, I know it really is a tough industry to break into. When I was at university, I made business cards which really enabled me to stand out, as a lot of potential employers were shocked that I had them – I actually secured work experience at Calvin Klein because of it.
Today is a lot more digital-led, so I would recommend that you ensure your LinkedIn profile is strong and up-to date, and that you are posting and engaging on there as much as possible.