Ashley Morris: Pioneering Fashion with Lands’ End in a Globalized World

In this blog post on the Comms Women platform, Maggie McKay, a student at the University of Alabama, College of Communication and Information Sciences, speaks with Ashley Morris, the PR executive from Alabama.

Ashley Morris, the Public Relations executive for the University of Alabama’s National Retail Federation chapter, asserts that global fashion trends and the timeless style of Lands’ End are inherently aligned. Morris, a PR academic studying apparel and textiles concentrating in fashion retailing will work alongside the head of Public Relations for Land’ End this summer. Due to the extensive reach of Lands’ End, Morris will be transitioning her traditional, southern style perspective towards a national application of the brand’s timeless and nautical influences. Additionally, the head of Lands’ End’s global brand marketing, will guide Morris as she develops marketing campaigns.

Photo: Courtesy of Ashley Morris

As a Public Relations executive for the National Retail Federation, Morris specializes in digital content creation and promotion for on-campus speaking events on Instagram. During her three years with the NRF organization, Morris has collaborated with the popularized brands Retrofete and Gold Hinge to coordinate student speaking events. The National Retail Federation specializes in creating networking opportunities for students in the retail space. After visiting the National Retail Federation Program in New York City, Morris procured an internship position at the Lands’ End headquarters in Dodgeville, Wisconsin.

In regard to her previous work as a PR specialist, Morris indicated that her biggest struggle was Gen Z’s“leniency to provide feedback” on online forums. When attempting to find aesthetically pleasing content or visuals, she found it difficult to track what posting style a generation highly accustomed to social media preferred. Since Morris’ target audience was college women, she enhanced her social media visuals by collaborating with fellow Greek life peers on campus. This allowed Morris to educate her audience on career fairs and campus fashion events in a format that procured audience feedback.

Since Morris will be shifting towards global brand marketing, she plans to utilize current technological advancements to guide her knowledge of the Lands’ End aesthetic. Now that AI can consume thousands of fashion sites and social media platforms instantaneously, Morris can find exactly what is trending based on the number of sales and online references a product has. This enables Morris to witness immediate shifts in audience interests during a constantly evolving period of fashion. Morris indicated that “following COVID, we saw a huge shift towards athleisure since our generation had grown accustomed to loungewear as an everyday look”. Now that society is integrating back to traditional work life, she expects an “everyday business casual look” will become more popular. Integrating casual style with clean button-downs, cardigans, and totes, will blend sophistication with a feminine streetwear style.

Morris further explained that fashion allows us to educate ourselves on global cultures and our internal personas. International fashion holds a strong relevance in our culture- especially within a nation with such diverse backgrounds. She noted that unique attributes in our textiles result from a historical blending of cultures. On a micro level, Morris noted that even the window treatments of her bedroom were an extension of her fashion expression. This enables American fashion to transcend boundaries beyond “what we wear” and instead become “a reflection of who we are on our surrounding environment.”

Morris urges other communications students to remember that “you are unable to make sales without social media and stable PR contemplation”. Although advertising creates a functioning sales environment, “you have to push an aesthetic through the way you communicate” with a client. Morris claims you have to “give something to your client” that promotes their interest. Whether through a brand experience or physical gifts to an ambassador, you create a sense of luxury through a personal connection. Additionally, Morris will be working with the social media manager for Lands’ End, to develop social media campaigns. Morris hopes to grow in expertise while crafting innovative strategies that resonate with Lands’ End’s target audience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *