March 27th, 2014
Breaking into Fashion, Fashion News
How to Break into Fashion: Net-a-Porter.com’s Public Relations Director Kilee Hughes
By Claire

As promised, I’m bringing more Breaking into Fashion segments, featuring fabulous people from behind the scenes!
There are a good number of game changing men and women making moves at some of the biggest entities in the fashion industry. One such power player is Kilee Hughes, Public Relations Director for online luxury retailer Net-a-Porter:
Net-a-Porter.com Public Relations Director Kilee Hughes
Though the University of Southern California graduate is now responsible for spearheading Net-A-Porter’s integrated communications campaigns, she actually had no idea what she wanted to do when growing up. She said, “During my college years I was a full-time student/athlete, so despite taking courses in Communications, I was genuinely stumped with my career direction. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do until my senior year when I was interning at a talent agency and a former boss suggested I move to New York City. With little knowledge of the city and having never visited, I made plans to move within a month and truly hit the ground running.”

2 Net-a-Porter.com Public Relations Director Kilee Hughes
Her drive landed her jobs in PR and marketing for L’Oréal, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nike, and Luxottica. She said, “Fast forward over a decade later, and I’m living and working in the same field I started in, but having worked in fashion, beauty, sports and entertainment I’ve certainly mixed it up a bit. Looking back, I’m not exactly sure how or why I made my way into the field of PR, but I’m content with my career path and the decisions that I’ve made along the way.”
Net-a-Porter.com Public Relations Director Kilee Hughes

If you’d like to break into the glamorous world of PR, she says, “Be patient. If you possess a certain skill or knowledge, make sure you finesse it so that you can stand out amongst your peers. Learn how to network and get entry-level fashion jobs after graduation.” She adds, “To become a publicist, a formal education and training is important, but not required. There are courses and programs that can teach the basics, but a degree always helps. ”

3 Net-a-Porter.com Public Relations Director Kilee Hughes
In terms of advice for women of color, she offers, “Always keep an open mind, always strive to want more, but not from a materialistic point of view.
Net-a-Porter.com Public Relations Director Kilee Hughes copy
“…Live within your means. Own the fact that we have to go it alone and it’s always important to have a mentor or a good group of friends who you can [get feedback from]. Remain grounded and motivated. Don’t limit yourself. Don’t narrow your scope of mentors because of the color of your skin, but look to identify and find a connection based on their experience, background, and common interests. Always remain open.”

kilee hughes net-a-porter
She added, “Presentability is important. Do your leg work. Be quick to listen and slow to speak. You only have one opportunity to make a first impression.” What amazing advice!
Net-a-Porter.com Public Relations Director Kilee Hughes

In closing, she says, “Don’t take yourself too seriously. The industry is small and people resurface, so always be kind.” I couldn’t agree more.
9 kilee hughes net-a-porter copy
I hope that was helpful to you aspiring publicists out there!
What did you think of this Breaking into Fashion interview?
Images by Phoebe Vickers

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24 comments

24 Responses to “How to Break into Fashion: Net-a-Porter.com’s Public Relations Director Kilee Hughes”

  1. Jenn says:

    Can totally relate (as someone already in the field). This was great!

    Also, dish on that one piece jumpsuit.. She looks FAB!!!

  2. Tiffany says:

    Wish I would have taken this advice two years ago.. When I graduated from college, I was too scared to move. Now I’m ready to leave, but there aren’t any opportunities available.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone happen to know where she got that Maxi dress?

  4. DeeFresh says:

    Ha! I JUST went to hear a PR professional speak at my school and though I’m kicking myself for not picking Comm as a major, I really like PR and Marketing. This was a super insightful piece Claire. Thank you!

  5. set says:

    She is gorgeous.

  6. S says:

    Awesome piece…Love it! I really like to find out where my people are behind the scenes in various industries. We don’t get to see enough of ourselves in positions like hers in general, much less in the mainstream. Thank you for introducing her to us. *SMILES*

  7. flyTIe says:

    nice article and great advice for inspiring ones.
    i’ve always been intrigues by the PR field.
    she look lovely!~

  8. SMV says:

    Clicked this just for the DRESS!!

  9. andrea says:

    So pretty and i love her maxi

  10. Anonymous says:

    Best advice: quick to listen, slow to speak!

  11. Portia says:

    This advice works for young women straight out of college who most likely don’t have bills and can afford to intern or take entry-level positions. What about women, like myself, who have always worked in corporate finance and have larger financial responsibilities? Entry level doesn’t pay the bills.

  12. Faith says:

    She’s gorgeous and this was fantastic advice!

  13. Bri says:

    Thank you so much for this segment! What a beautiful and hard working woman!!!! Loved it. :)

  14. Lois says:

    I’ve seen her be nasty to people and she’s been rude to me. The stereotypically rude attitude of the entitled. but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt since she sounds kind in this interview.

  15. Anonymous says:

    @ lois..please spill the beans.its been a long day for me and i could use some tea

  16. Hater says:

    Lovely, pretty chick doing it! Love that silk dress!!!

  17. Jessy says:

    To be fair, the feature is titled ‘How to Break into the Fashion Industry’, so it’s primarily targeted towards people at the start of their careers, who have to intern or work entry level–can’t get into the C-Suite without putting in work. There are other articles online on making a mid – career switch.

  18. Camillia says:

    Great article, and loving that maxi dress!!!

  19. Monique says:

    Great piece Claire!!! Please keep them coming :)

  20. JT says:

    It is so refreshing to see a strong African American woman that does not allow the blatant racism of fashion inhibit her from reaching her career goal. I respect that she worked her way up the business ladder in order to become a powerful role model. Net-a-Porter is a very popular site and I especially love Mr. Porter. She seems humble, articulate, and talented, What a Lady!!!

  21. Karen says:

    One of the loveliest women in the industry! Always a pleasure working with her and this article made me smile. Thank you Claire for posting!

  22. Tash says:

    Love the earrings! Anyone know where I can find them?

  23. Nicole Powell says:

    Very classy and simply stunning! So happy for you and your success!

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