This is a piece I wrote a while back about the SA Fashion Industry.. enjoy.
Why South Africa? Why? Why would you make a client pay for services that do nothing to grow their label, expand their brand’s reach or showcase what makes their brand’s product The Best?
This is my bone to pick with South African Fashion PR agencies, if your client isn’t blowing up, you aren’t doing enough.
PR in fashion is not just about maintaining good relations with your consumers, it isn’t about merely representing your client when an opportunity arises. The goal of PR is to pursue opportunities that will benefit your client’s image, extend their consumer base and put them above their competition, so why oh why, are there so many talented designers in SA who are represented in the most mediocre manner?
Like, dude, what’s with David Tlale’s PR girl? Her tweets (or severe lack thereof) compounded with glaring PR white noise shocked me in the time leading up to NYFW. The country should have been on their toes for at least a month before Fashion Week, the twitter-sphere should have been on fire with congrats and motivation and most importantly, Tlale Traffic! But we heard nothing. WHY? Two tweets a day just isn’t enough for a designer of that caliber.
It isn’t just David Tlale’s twitter rep though, it seems like our designers have no presence outside of Fashion Week, something that needs to change and fast.
We don’t see nearly enough campaigns from our designers, we don’t see nearly enough interaction between local labels and consumers. We aren’t forced to take notice of the upcoming powerhouses because their representatives act as though they should only do something worthwhile if approached. Where’s the initiative? People, you get paid to initiate great things for your clients, so what are you getting paid for?
I do take my hat off for designers who understand that a fan-base goes far beyond being a Diva and engage with their consumers on social media, most notably, Thula Sindi and Gavin Rajah, it gives me hope that SA designers will pull themselves out of this elitist hell-hole and get to know the people they dress.
A final word to the wise PR agents.
Make an effort.
Your number one priority as a PR agent should be to see your client be successful beyond measure. Let your clients’ victory trump how much you charge and not vice-versa.