PR professionals should focus on brand narratives and longevity

In this post on the Comms Women platform, Beven Beckham, a student at the University of Alabama, College of Communication and Information Sciences, speaks with Candler Williams, a fashion PR professional from New York City.

Candler Williams is a young fashion PR professional who just graduated college and lives in New York City. Williams joined the industry through her summer internship in 2022 at House Of, which is a PR fashion firm. She then completed her internship during the fall semester of her senior year of college for the fashion merchandising program. Williams describes this opportunity as amazing and mentions how she got to work with Retrofete as a wholesale intern as well. Through these internships, Williams was able to build connections that helped her land her current career as a wholesale assistant for French Connection.

Photo: Courtesy of Candler Williams

I was curious about the day-to-day life as someone who works in fashion, so I asked Williams her daily routine to which she replied, “My work routine varies”. She has certain tasks she has to complete every week, such as updating ATS (available to sell) and sales projections. Williams also manages sample check-ins and check-outs for their accounts. She also recently got to collaborate with her sales team on the designs for the Fall Collection.

When asked what she thought the biggest challenge was for working in the fashion industry she commented on its fast-paced nature. She said, “While I was always told in my fashion classes that the industry was constantly moving every day, I never realized how intense it was until I gained experience”. Williams reveals the challenge it was to adjust to the pace and that she still struggles to keep up with the ever-moving nature of the fashion industry.

For the fashion industry as a whole Williams believes that the industry will become more diverse. Fashion will be catered to everyone across the board. She also predicts that personal styles will become more emphasized, and the speed of trend cycles will decrease. From a PR perspective, she thinks this is a great opportunity for PR professionals to focus on brand narratives and longevity. She touches on a popular belief that brands have been lacking loyal connections with consumers and focusing more on the products themselves or what’s trending rather than the brand itself, causing brands to lose authentic relationships.

Wrapping up my time with Candler Williams I asked her what she thought was her best piece of advice to someone who wants to work in the fashion industry whether in PR or in other areas of the industry. She said her biggest piece of advice is to network. “The industry is very competitive,” Williams says and so it is crucial to make those contacts who can help you along the way. Williams suggests sending short messages to someone on LinkedIn who may have a job you want; this can get you a long way. She also suggests that people are more willing to help than you think.

After talking to Williams about her experiences I think that she holds a great perspective on the industry for a 23-year-old college graduate who was immediately able to find a job in the industry and I can’t wait to see how she continues to excel.

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