My Fashion Career: Kelly Meade, PR Manager at Phase Eight
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Getting a foot in the door of the fashion industry may be daunting. It’s an extremely competitive world where cool creatives and sassy strategists have to work together to keep up with rapidly changing trends and a demanding audience who are spoilt for choice. That being said, fashion careers can be very appealing to those whose love for the industry is only paralleled by their determination to leave their mark on it. Kelly Meade is currently the PR manager at UK fashion retailer Phase Eight. Kelly spoke to The National Student about her role within the company, her journey to get there following her graduation from university, the decision-making process and some valuable tips on how to get a job in the fashion sector. Before Kelly got her job at Phase Eight, she studied English at Loughborough University in 2008, achieving a BA (Hons) degree. She believes the degree and educational process has helped her in gaining valuable skills which she has had to apply throughout her career. ‘When choosing a degree, I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to “do” as a career and felt quite anxious about picking a subject that might restrict those decisions in the future,' she says. 'I now realise that a degree equips you with skills that can be so useful in the future – better communication, time management, having to think for yourself and create your own ideas and opinions that are inspiring and fresh. ‘For PR and marketing, communication and creativity is very important and work placements can teach you so much more “on the job” than studying it from books. I have learnt so much in the last five years working in different environments and with a diverse range of brands that I have never felt it to be a disadvantage that I didn’t have a degree tailored specifically to my career path. ‘One of the best things about my job is that no two days are the same. I am mainly responsible for sourcing great press coverage for Phase Eight within national papers and consumer magazines, online and broadcast as well as working closely with celebrity stylists to dress their clients for public appearances and red carpet events. ‘On a typical day I will contact press with our latest campaign, brand news stories or products relevant to their publication and we will send them samples or images of products for them to use for their fashion shoots and stories.
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