November 20th, 2007
Breaking into Fashion
How to Break into Fashion: Publicist Bonnie Morrison
By Claire

“It’s great to aspire to a profession, and there’s always a demand for good, smart people anywhere — but don’t aspire to a “lifestyle.” I have a good life, but it probably looks very different in person. Everyone should aspire to the life that authentically represents her — that’s the only way to be happy..”–Bonnie Morrison, publicity director of KCD

Hey!
So after the “Breaking into Fashion” forum a few weeks ago, I started to receive *tons* of e-mails from fashion hopefuls looking to make their way into the industry as stylists, journalists, models, and the like.
Note, for example, a real letter I received from a lady whose e-mail identified her as “GaLittleMa”:

“HEY WHATS UP TRYING TO LEARN ABOUT FASHION NEED HELP COULD U PLEZ HELP ME OUT LOVE PEACHES”

Ok… While most of you were a little bit more detailed in your requests, the sentiment was the same: you want to know how to get in the door, and for some of you, you want to know how to stay there.
I decided that in addition to looking at trends, people on the street, and finding celeb looks for less, I’d also do a series of interviews with successful people in the business, so you’ll know how they got their start, what they love about their job, and how you can one day be in their position.
After seeing her spread in Elle Magazine, I thought: who better to get in touch with first than Bonnie Morrison? Despite her busy schedule, she was gracious enough to offer a few words to you aspiring PR girls out there.

bonniemorrison2

Bonnie, who graduated from Brown University, majored in Modern Culture and Media and American Civilization. About college she says, “I’m not sure that your major necessarily determines the career you choose or become successful in…The thing I believe about college is that it teaches you how to ask questions, refine your skills, and develop your references. Work is something entirely different, and most everything else about your actual job you learn by doing your job. I still learn things, and I have been working for 10 years.
Morrison started off interning in boutique advertising firms before working in magazines, which is what she always thought she wanted to do. Though she didn’t begin her career entrenched in PR, she says, ” I always knew that fashion was the only field I wanted to work in (though I didn’t always know in what capacity), so it was my extra-curricular “study” that really prepared me: I read or watched anything fashion-related and absorbed it completely. I figured out which designers I liked and learned everything I could about the house; which photographers I liked and who they shot for. I studied the work of every editor, makeup artist, hairstylist, model. I learned the names for things — masthead, well story, sittings editor, collection, campaign, contract, run-of-show, casting, atelier, salon — and how to pronounce everything. That was the beginning of my fashion education…
She knew that she could pursue PR as a career at her first big agency job. She says, “I was working more directly with designers on multiple accounts, dealing with the press one-on-one and traveling regularly–that’s where I really had the chance to develop and grow into the responsibility that was given to me. It happened over the course of an entire year, if not longer, and even then, it was just positioning me for more, bigger responsibilities in the future…”
She credits her current success to her insatiable work ethic. She says,” I work really, really hard. And I try to work smart — responsibly, efficiently and ethically. Any of the things I have achieved or am proud of in my professional life have been an extension of those principles. But this is the thing: I work hard because I care about it. So while “work hard” is obvious, the “secret” part is that you should find a job that interests you so much and that you have so much investment in that it’s easy, and fun, to work hard.To future PR girls, she calls for a bit of self reflection. She says, “Ask yourself: what is it about publicity that you aspire to? How much do you really know about it? What are you willing to do to get there? The press and parties are just a fluke, and probably have less to do with my job than it might appear. For all the shows and parties I go to as a guest, I go to as many as an on-duty employee — working seating, backstage, press lines, and I’m more often than not in Chap-Stick, a messy ponytail and a flat shoe. That’s my real job. If people want that, I bet they’ll be great at it, because a lot of this business is instinct and lack of ego…”Lastly a few fashion tips for an aspiring publicist on a tight budget. She says, “If you have limited resources, seek out very basic things that make you look polished. Too many people think that it’s important to distinguish themselves with a lot of personality in their demeanor or personal appearance, and that’s not really what anyone is looking from an entry-level person! I was always told to keep my head down and do my work — what my friend Phoebe calls “clean your spaces and know your places...”
“...It’s not REMOTELY worth going into debt to keep up with people who can afford to absorb all of the trends of the season, so if you can’t pull it off, you’re much smarter to invest in basic, professional separates that fit you well — pencil skirt, white shirts, some black cashmere sweaters, a peacoat, pair of good heels, etc. — than trying to execute too many trends badly. A little goes a very long way.”
Hear that? Just look ‘polished’ as Andre Leon Talley would say. And work hard!
Well, that was amazing, no? And her advice on studying fashion–knowing all the industry lingo, designers, and editors–is something that we all can do, regardless of where we are in life.
Thanks so much to Bonnie for offering her expertise!
Stay tuned in coming weeks for interviews with stylists, editors, publishers….you’re gonna love it!
Smootches!
PS If you’re leaving for Turkey Day today, safe travels!

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Be Sociable, Share!
Posted In
14 comments

14 Responses to “How to Break into Fashion: Publicist Bonnie Morrison”

  1. Marleaux says:

    You are very innovative Claire; covering a whole 360 degrees as a fashion blogger.

  2. Khalilah says:

    Very insightful. Thanks for the info Claire, what a resource!

  3. Julie says:

    I am impressed. Bonnie has been nothing but restrictive and unforthcoming with Coutorture and blogger access to her clients. Clearly you found a way through. BRAVO!

  4. Sassy says:

    Very impressive!!!!!!!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Claire…

    This is something I struggle with everyday. I work in the fashion industry as a merchandise assistant and it’s tough because everyone around me shops at intermix and I can’t afford to keep up with the LVs, etc. Not when I just starting in the industry and paying so much in rent living in Harlem Keeping it basic is a great solution!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great access! Loved the interview. I’m a fashion (industry) spectator but her feedback was really interesting and inspiring even on a basic “how to suceed in NY” level. Thanks so much!!

  7. Pretty Girl says:

    Ver, very nice Claire. I really enjoyed the interview, can’t wait for the next one.

  8. [...] Uber publicist Bonnie Morrison doesn’t tweet much, but her Judge Mathis profile background and bio that simply reads, ‘Here comes the Judge,” speak volumes about her fun personality. [...]

  9. thenextthing says:

    i worked with her and had no idea who she was….no chemistry between us but im somewhat fascinated with who she is now!!

  10. S says:

    Great advice!!! I’m a little mad I’m just coming across this but better late than never right? She’s awesome. Finally someone I admire and actually WANT to look up to in this industry. Thank you Claire and Bonnie!

  11. Rosa says:

    AWESOME INTERVEW!!

  12. Mazuba says:

    Just discovered this as well but love it!I am aspiring PR girl so love the tips!

  13. [...] Wardrobe Guide, and Building a Fashionable Work Wardrobe. *For my PR girls, get even more tips in this archived Breaking into Fashion interview with Bonnie Morrison. Regarding wardrobe, she said, “If you have limited resources, seek out very [...]

  14. Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored to death at work so I
    decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break.
    I enjoy the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take
    a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone ..
    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyways,
    good site!

Leave a Reply

Fashion Bomb TV

shopcandybomb

Fabulous Looks of the Day

fabulous-looks-of-the-day-taraji-henson-idris-elba

Claire’s Life

098-2-1-Let’s-Go-Places-with-Claire-Traveling-to-Madam-C-J-Walkers-Estate-with-Toyota-fashion-bomb-daily-claire-sulmers-leopard-top-jeanns-hermes-belt
shop fashion bomb boutique

Tags

Categories

Archives

Sponsors

Come-to-Pinktownusa-Banner-01 Celebrity Clothing special occasion dresses
Find fashion and beauty products on DHgate
Cheap shopping online for more fashion and beauty products sammydress.com
Latest Fashion Sammy Dress for Less

Partners

hairfactory-fashionbomb2 300x250_062314yellow_ FASHIONBOMB2

Advertise

hairfactory-fashionbomb2 Come-to-Pinktownusa-Banner-02
blog advertising is good for you
July-Banner

OSHOPY.COM

Bras: Victoria Secrets, sexy, Plus Size Bras in the bigger greatest store online.

Karmaloop Coupons

LilysDress.com is the global leading online retailer for wedding dresses online

logo

View Mobile Version Google+