Have you ever wondered how a famous product, service, or person came to be? In the fashion industry, one of the people we can thank are those that dare to enter the PR industry, braving the frontlines and paving the way for incredible talent. Known as the King of PR, Launcher of Labels, Diplomat of Designers, and all-around fashion fan, brand ambassador Daniel Marks talks about his first job at VOGUE to now running one of the largest and most important PR/branding companies in the world for fashion and lifestyle. Learn about what talent is in the industry and the four foundations that Daniel follows in order to stand out and be one of the best PRs.
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PR, Fashion, And Retail With The King Of PR, Daniel Marks
The King of PR – Daniel Marks
My special guest is one of my oldest, closest, most wonderful people I know. He is probably the King of PR. He’s worked with every major designer brand that there is to work with. He’s the mayor of London some would say. He is the one and only Daniel Marks.
Dani Behr, it’s a great pleasure.
Dan and I go way back. Dan, are you a CEO or COO? What’s your exact title?
We don’t believe in all that rubbish but I’m a Chief Creative Officer at The Communication Store, which is a brand development and communications company out of London and New York. My business partner, Julietta is the CEO. I do the creative stuff. It means that she has to do all the real work and I walked around in fab clothes, that’s it.
Dan and I actually met, how many years ago, Dan?
I’m not going to say and neither should you.
We’re in multiple decades. We were young, but we look better than then. I have to say we’ve refined our looks. My hair was always big and puffy.
I was big and puffy.
You’re always fabulous and I was always trying to be as fabulous as you.
We had some amazing events together. I’ve been lucky enough to work from an early age with some amazing designers. From the age of 23, I was working with Donatella Versace and you and I shared a bit of a passion for her. We would come to events. We would do stuff together in London and we found that we like each other which was nice.
We didn’t fondly like each other. We had an immediate connection and we fell in love. He was my BFF and I thought you were absolutely fabulous. You got me and the glamour in an era where it was all minimalistic, the ‘90s and heroin chic. I wanted the big hair and big Versace dresses and I was all over that.
In a world where the time in the PR world has a superficial reputation. Films such as Ab Fab haven’t done us any favors. There was a lot going on in the ‘90s which was about that superficial and not meaningful PR with people spending a lot of time screaming at each other and not being nice to each other. We found each other because we’re kind people and we’d like each other’s company. When you’re surrounded by a lot of people who are full of rubbish, it’s nice to be in the company of people who you can trust.
We were a couple of nice Jewish girls that were trying to get a little glam on.
I was going to say that. We completely understand each other because of that.
You always had dress envy, so you would always want to wear everything that I was trying to wear. You are the BFF with the closet that I always wanted to raid.
For me, that started when I was a kid. I love clothes and I’ve always loved clothes. My mom was in the fashion business. My dad was a retailer.
I need to get more into that. I want to tell the audience that when I was TV hosting in case they’re not clear about how we started out. Dan was working for one of the top PR companies.
They were one of the top PR publicity companies in London. When I was doing on my TV hosting and you get invited to certain red-carpet events, premieres and all that fun stuff. I was sent to Daniel Marks. He was going to dress me on behalf of it was Gianni Versace back then. That was when good old Gianni was around and he dressed me for one of my first premiers. We went out to Milan and we did the shows. That’s my connection with Dan and he went off and became the big head honcho over at The Communication Store. They needed some fashion in the house.
I love the fashion industry. I fell in love with the fashion industry and early age. I remember sitting on my mom’s bed watching her unpack after she’d been on a buying trip for a children’s wear company and she’d be like, “This is for the children’s wear company and this is for me.” She would pull out amazing things from Armani and Christian. She bought it all in sample sales and it wasn’t like she was going to the shops spending fortunes. She found great places to go to where she could pick up stuff.
She’s a good Jewish girl. She knows a good deal when she sees one.
She’s good and she’s stylish. When I was at University, I started to organize fashion shows for charity and at the same time, I was doing some work experience for Vogue, which was amazing.
How did you get that? That’s a hard gig to get.
My dad worked at Marks & Spencer for years and they’re a great friend of his called Linton, knew someone who knew the Deputy Editor of Vogue. They were doing work experience then and it was much easier to get work experience in Vogue. I went along for an interview with this amazing woman named Georgie Boosey, who is the deputy editor. She had a Labrador in her office. Liz Tilberis was the editor-in-chief of Vogue so it’s before Alex Shulman. I got the job. I went during my holidays from University. I loved it so much that I asked if I could come back, so I ended up going back every summer holidays working on shoots, organizing shoots, writing copy for the magazine, making tea, doing the photocopying, you name it.
The million-dollar question is, is it anything like The Devil Wears Prada type movie? We know that it was based on the American Anna Wintour and that side of the Atlantic. Are there any elements in the UK Vogue that were like that?
Liz was an incredibly kind editor-in-chief. She was incredibly chic. I find the same thing with Anna Wintour. I was lucky enough to work with Anna Wintour on a couple of projects. I find that she is incredibly kind and hard-working. It’s the same case with Liz. I have huge amounts of respect. I grew up in a matriarchal family. My dad played a key part, but when you’ve been brought up by tough Jewish women, you get to understand what it’s like to work around powerful women. My mom and my aunt worked. They ran a children’s show business, so I’m used to being around these amazing women. Vogue then was incredible and everyone was there. All the different eras have been an incredible time for me. There was still a studio on the top floor of Vogue House in Hanover Square. You’d be on the elevator and Linda Evangelista would be in the elevator with you. For a boy who’d cut up magazines and put them up on the wall of his bedroom, there were these incredible people in real life.The job of being in PR is to be the conjurer or storyteller behind the magic of entertaining the customer. Click To Tweet
What did you do in an elevator with Linda Evangelista next to you? Will you literally hyperventilate? Do you say anything?
I tried to make myself as small as possible, which at 6’4” is difficult. I try to mind my Ps and Qs.
Dan, I have to say you have this air of diplomacy that few can muster. I can’t be as diplomatic as you are. You’re good at that.
When I graduated from the University of Edinburgh doing history, I knew I wanted to get into the fashion world. When I went to the then deputy editor, this amazing woman called Anna Harvey and I said, “I’d love to come and work here.” She said, “You could but we can’t pay you anything.” I wanted to move out of home and to earn a living. She said, “Why don’t you try PR.” I was like, “What is that?” I’ve been organizing these shows up at Edinburgh. I put Anna’s son in a fashion show but not because he was modelesque, but because I knew that if I put him in the show, maybe I could get Anna to come to the show.
A career was born.
How did I not know this story after all these years? Did she come to the show?
She came out to the show. She was amazing and she did the raffle. When I went and ask her for a job, she’s like, “That time that you put my son in the show, you asked me to come up and I couldn’t say no because my son was in the show, that’s PR.”
For the audience out there who’s not in their fashion industry, film or TV industry, most people have no idea what PR is. It stands for public relations and in every industry, it differs but the general gist of being in PR is what?
I feel that I’m in the entertainment business. Who are we entertaining? We are entertaining a customer. Somebody who’s setting out to buy something that potentially they don’t need. Why are you going to buy something? You going to buy something because it feels like it’s giving you access to a world. It’s a bit magical, it’s something that makes you feel taller, better or more rewarded. The job of being in PR is to be the conjurer and the storyteller behind that magic. I started life in fashion, but we work across fashion, lifestyle, beauty, hotels, and travel. It’s taking the products and making it into something more magical to a consumer to try to persuade them to buy, participate or have an experience in something. Public relations is literally taking a product and selling it to the public.
In the days when I first started, it was about working with a small group of magazine editors being based in London and persuading them to write or feature your brand products. I started out in an agency representing a number of different things. I work with Bella Freud who was one of my first clients. She’s the most incredible British designer, Lucian Freud’s daughter, and the most amazing woman. On the opposite extreme, I did a supermarket hosiery brand and some discount outlets offer Motorway somewhere, God knows outside of London miles.
If they’re paying for the PR fee, you take the brand.
You got to cut your teeth on it and that’s still the case. When you’re working with brands you have to see the best in what it is that you’re representing. Whether it’s the most extraordinary designer product or the most extraordinary experience and it doesn’t matter. That hosiery was the best hosiery you could buy in a supermarket at the time. You might think, “I’m going to have to push these dodgy tights.” or you can think, “Maybe I can go out there and make these the best that I can.” I’ve always loved that narrative, the storytelling around a product, understanding a product and getting under the skin of it and telling that story to a wider audience. That for me is the basis of PR.
I suppose that is a challenge in itself. It’s easy to do PR on a $30,000 couture gown by Valentino or some amazing designer because it speaks for itself. It’s in the artistry and the creativeness. All of the fabulousness is already there to see. I suppose when you’re trying to do PR for you saying a grocery store or a gas station product, the challenge is harder because you’re trying to reach the mass and it’s not as obvious.
Each product has its own audience and you have to remember that. From my point of view and from a communication source point of view, we take a three-fold approach. One is about being strategic. Understanding why something exists and the purpose behind it. The first thing we do with a lot of our clients is sit down and ask them the Why and write a strategy behind how we’re going to celebrate the Why. That could be for anything. If you’ve got the right strategy behind the brand, you need to look at a $30,000 Valentino gown in exactly the same way as you look at something from a supermarket brand. Treat it with the same respect because each of those things has its own audience. Most importantly, the strategy has to lead to the audience. If you always think the audience first, when I grew up, I grew up with my dad who was in retail. He works at Marks & Spencer and then at Debenhams and fun for us was being taken by him to a store to go on a stall walkthrough on a weekend. It’s not much fun, but what I realize is, I learn about the customer experience and the audience. You understand how important it is that a store looks beautiful and you can apply that to an online store or offline store or a hotel. The experience of coming into something at whatever price range needs to be right for that particular product.
For me, do you know who does that the best, especially on a high street level? It’s Zara because of the way it’s displayed. There’s almost its scientific the way that they display you want to buy everything and their price points are extremely affordable. I don’t know if they do it by color coordination, but I’ve read that there is a scientific breakdown of how to get the audience to buy more. Is that true?
I don’t know about you but most of the kids in my office know exactly what day the new delivery of stock is going into a Zara. Their public relations is based on their windows and merchandising. That bars around when there’s a new delivering in store. It’s in the merchandise. It’s good stuff.
It’s good stuff but it’s constantly coming in. That’s what makes it exciting, this constant new all the time as opposed to having a full season of stuff and then disappearing. If you don’t but it now, it’s going to be gone potentially. Also, the way it’s displayed, going back to how the store looks. There’s something about the display in the store. That’s probably why people love going shopping in Bond Street and all the high-end stores because it’s such an experience even if you don’t buy anything.When you work and talk with your clients, make sure that they are the best in their category. Click To Tweet
Retail is changing rapidly and that’s the strategy in the audience’s first piece are about. Retail is more than bricks and mortar space with the rails hanging in it for the clothes or homeware. You look at something similar to H&M Home. The experience is incredible. They’re selling you a dream. It’s not only the preserve of luxury brands to create a retail environment that’s exciting to be in. Why else would we get out of our homes getting our cars to go to a store? There’s absolutely no reason to do it but there’s a magic to it. You don’t get that magic when you’re doing Amazon shopping. That’s the practical side of a needs-based purchase which is, “I run out of ink for my printer.” or “I need to order some more dog food.” There’s nothing particularly magical about it unless it’s practical magic in which case, “It’s my nephew’s birthday. I’ve forgotten to buy him a Nerf gun. I’ve got to order it quickly and get on with it.” It has a reason for being, but the magic of retail that the audience first experience is super important.
With the way that retail has been declining because of all the online eCommerce going on.
Bad retails are declining.
Would you say good retail like the Zara who got it right? Are they still doing good as ever or most of their sales are going online? Have you seen that shift?
This economic situation is difficult for a number of reasons. That links to the third reason behind how we work. We do the strategy piece. We do the audience first piece, but then we also have a massive part of our business which is about consciousness, sustainability, and purpose. The days of people loading up with a ton of products whenever they had their paycheck in the bank are gone. People are making much more considered purchases, which is absolutely right. We throw away a garbage truck full of clothing every second in the world. That’s horrific and in a way, our job I started this conversation by saying to you, “It’s my job to sell you something that you don’t need and persuade you into that.” You have to be part of a much more conscious approach to consumerism.
When we’re talking and working with our clients, what we will make sure of is that they are the best in that category. If you are going to go out and buy a pair of jeans, it’s going to be from a brand like Everlane. Who makes sure that their denim is produced in the most ethical way possible and not adding to pollution. They’re working with incredible factories and mills that are making products that are better. From my perspective, there’s this responsibility that comes with public relations which links to two things. It’s about partnering with people that we work with and guardianship. You want to go out there and celebrate the best brands out there in the world. Let’s face it, a lot of us are lucky enough to be in a position where we love to shop.
Everybody loves to shop. Some are more fortunate to be able to shop. I don’t know about you but I like new stuff. I’ve got makeup to last me that for 300 years, but I like it because it’s new packaging. I like buying something new in a shop and it might sit in the closet for six months. I’m quite good at that. I don’t buy anything I won’t wear. I don’t know what that is and what my problem is, but is that for those people?
Yes, since the wars, we used to be built along the lines of generations ago, remaking, hand-me-downs, darning socks. Since the war and certainly in the ‘50s this idea of newness was psychologically trained into us. The idea of a new TV and a new car and all these things were symbols of aspiration. It was a symbol of status. They were symbols of having achieved something in your life. There was that Keeping Up with the Joneses mentality that was about something new. We’ve all been trained on the smell of the new. We all love it. I absolutely love it. Where we’re going as an industry is being more responsible about what that new thing is. It’s starting to happen in clothing where you’ve got people who are not saying, “Don’t buy anything new.” What they’re saying is, “If you are going to buy something new, you make sure where the new is coming from.”
Where is the cotton being sourced and manufactured? Are the people in those factories being paid a fair wage? Are they being looked after properly by the brands that work with them? Social media is helping call out those people who don’t behave so well in that arena. As a consumer, I’m much more aware of it. We’re not saying, “Don’t enjoy the new.” I’m the same. If something is coming out of a bag at home with the tissue paper, I have to work hiding in the cover, so our other half don’t have to see it coming in. I hide mine in a mystical clothing allowance.
There are some amazing technology companies out there who are making research. We work with a company called Worn Again where they will take the fibers of what something is made out of. That top that you’re wearing is probably got some Lycra in it. It’s probably cotton Lycra. It’s got some stretch in it. The trouble is that we’ve never been able to separate out those fibers before and put them back into the manufacturing process. Whereas companies like Worn Again are looking at the fibers so that they’re they can get the polyester, Lycra and the cotton back to its original state or near it and then put it back into the recycling and manufacturing process. When you go and buy something new, the clothing is made out of may have been around before.
With some cycled fibers?
Yes, in the luxury end of the market, you’ve got brands like Zegna in menswear who are looking at that too. How do they reuse fibers again and again from the process until at the end of it they are also using it as the stuffing on a quilted jacket? We are being more responsible about how we consume and a bit more thoughtful. That makes my job exciting because that’s part of the narrative in the education realm.
You’re being responsible without having to do anything. It’s making a conscious decision. You don’t have to compromise on your style and taste and shopping experience.
The sustainability and fashion used to conjure up images of linen shirts, baggy pants and things made out of a sack and it’s not true.
Salvation Army picks up.Be more responsible and thoughtful on how you consume. Click To Tweet
There’s a huge interest in vintage and looking at clothes. I’m sure your daughter is stealing stuff from your wardrobe.
She already started and I know when she’s been in. She’s not exactly an inconspicuous thief. My shelves are nicely tidied and folded. I know she’s been in there because she left the door open and the light on and all my clothes are in disarray. She doesn’t even try to fold them back. It’s quite astonishing.
You need to encourage her because apart from the tidiness, maybe there’s a little training that she needs. She needs to go through the Dani Behr folding training.
I’m quite good at it considering that I never worked in retail. I like to hang most things, except for jeans.
You wanted your wardrobe to feel you’re walking into a shop every day.
Absolutely and it’s color-coordinated. I don’t like to waste time looking for things. I go straight to black straight or pink, whatever I’m in the mood for.
You need to encourage her to go in there and shop from your wardrobe because it means that she’s not shopping from stores and buying more stuff that she doesn’t need.
I would encourage that if she didn’t give half of her clothes and mine to her friends that come over. I wouldn’t mind if there were still left in her closet. I come in and half of her wardrobe’s gone. I said, “Where’ve all your clothes gone?” She’s like, “So-and-so borrowed them for the day.” You never see them again. That’s it. I’m buying clothes for myself and her for her to give away to everybody else.
What you’re talking about is the new economy. I know it sounds painful and it’s like, “I’m buying all the stuff and you’re giving it away out the other door.” I don’t know what’s coming back.
That’s the problem. Nothing’s coming back. I wouldn’t mind if that’d be a couple of new Nikes or other leggings in the mix. It’s all of my nice things are gone and nothing is coming back.
Maybe you need to do something about it. You need to do one of those exchange things where do it more formally and she and her friends get to swap stuff.
They’re not that organized. It’s like, “Can you call your mates and get all your clothes back, please and mine at the same time?” I cannot buy things leggings from Nike or Lululemons. I can’t buy anything that she’s going to nick anymore. If I do, I have to hide my own clothes so she doesn’t come in and steal them. Welcome to the world of fourteen-year-old girls.
There’s the personal stuff and there’s what you’re doing for the planet. We are on a broader scale. None of this stuff is bad.
I’m grateful for the fact that they’re into this full goth Billie Eilish hoodie, baggy sweats homeless vibe. My ex-husband, her father says, “Pick your poison. I’d rather her look a homeless person than a slut.” He’s all for, gone at the Britney Spears era and in this homeless era. He’s totally up for this fashion. It’s gone back to full grunge. He’s happy about that.
The nice thing about it is, I don’t have kids, so I’m not living to the reality of what that means for you, but it’s about this community. All these kids are all joined up in their style. They all can find people that they love to hang around with whose style they love.
They all dress the same, which for us, we had our own little era. We all dressed like Madonna with the rubber bands and the tube skirt.
I remember as a kid trying to fit in and trying to get the right boots, right cap. In order to do that, you were out and you see what other people are wearing. I was always a follower. If there was somebody cooler and better looking, I’d be like, “I’m going to wear what he wears.” The kids are, I suppose it’s one of the challenging and the nicer parts about social media is, they can find a community that they can belong to.
They Snapchat each other live to see what they’re all wearing. Before we didn’t have the technology to say, “Let me see what you’re wearing. Send us a selfie. Get on to TikTok or Snapchat.” I can’t keep up with this.
We had telephone conversations and spoken to each other.
We did. We got on the phone and the cord was about a mile long because there was only one phone. It was on the wall in the hallway upstairs of the house. You had to be lucky enough to get on the phone if my mom wasn’t on it for three hours talking to her friends. I had to fight for it with my brothers. If you get managed to get the phone handset, that was on the old squiggly loopy cables, and you drag the mile-long cable into your bedroom with the door closed. You were on it for as long as your dad started screaming at you, “Get off the phone.” Do you remember those days?
I do. My parents had an office at home. If you were unlucky, you’d pick up the phone and a fax would be coming through. You had to hang up immediately. Dinosaurs, we are.
I remember the Telex, let’s not go there. Share with the audience the caliber of clients that you work with. You work with everybody. Let’s start with Gianni because I already mentioned Gianni Versace who was the sweetest.
I only got to speak to him a couple of times on the phone because my boss used to look after him. I started working with Versace when he came to the agency that I worked with. I was obsessed with it. This would have been the early ‘90s. who couldn’t, everyone was successful.
It was the supermodel era with Christian and Cindy. I remember those.
The incredible campaigns with amazing superstars and celebrities, whether it was Bon Jovi or Prince, it was incredible. When the company that I was working for started working with it, I begged to be the junior assistant on the account. I wouldn’t let my boss escape until she said, “Yes.” It was probably a nightmare. I work for this guy who came on board at the company to look after Versace. Whenever Mr. Versace came to London, my boss would look after him and Donatella came to London once and my boss said, “You can go and look after Donatella.”
That worked out well. How was she when you first met her? Was she as stoic as she seems? Was she that hard?
She was lovely. She is one of the nicest most loyal, incredibly kind people that I’ve ever met. I was a kid. I was so nervous. I had written down everything that I thought I might need.
Did you speak Italian at that point?
She didn’t speak good English, did she?
She spoke good English. It was petrifying. It was the ‘90s. I dressed myself up in clothes from the sample collection, which at that point I could still fit into. I went along to that but it was the winter season, so I was in a thick cashmere jumper and a leather jacket. I went in I was sitting in the lobby of the hotel petrified. She and the entourage walked in a cloud of black leather. Everything was black leather and sunglasses. It was fabulous. I introduced myself and I went up to her hotel suite where it was 90 degrees and I was in leather and cashmere and not comfortable. I’m 6’4”. I’m big and taking up far too much room.
Were you spritzing?
You have no idea. I tried my best and she asked me questions. This is a bit was like The Devil Wears Prada. Do you remember that bit where she first starts working, Anne Hathaway and she says, “Get me, Patrick. Get me this and call Calvin for skirts.” That’s what I was getting, it was this barrage of extraordinary names, “Call Elton and fix this up and do this.” I was in heaven. These were all my fantasies coming true.
You were thinking, “I can’t mess this one up.” There’s only one Elton most people know of. I don’t need the last name on this one.
We spent three days together. She was in town for press meetings and for a film premiere. About two days after she left, a box arrived and inside the box was this note saying, “You’re not so hot next time.” It was this beautiful thin silk and cotton sweater. That to me is everything you need to know about Donatella. She had noticed me. I was this kid.
You were drenched in sweat dripping down your face. She’s like, “Darling, we must make sure he’s not sweating the next time.”
“He’s too big and he’s too hot.” It started a lifetime of working together.
You guys have a beautiful friendship.
She is extraordinary. It comes back to what I was saying to you about guardianship. I feel responsible for taking care of the people that I look after.
It’s like the big brother to protect them all.
Being in PR is being in the service industry. You’re there to look after people. I often say to new kids who are starting with us, “It’s a bit like being a waiter in a restaurant. You probably don’t notice the service but you had an amazing night out because the service was great.” I have these amazing clients like Donatella Versace. The bear in the kitchen is making these incredible dishes. The press and the consumers are all out of the restaurant. It’s my job to get in between the two and make sure that you’re feeding back into the restaurant when things don’t go well and you’re taking care of the clients.
Over the years, Donatella has been a lifelong amazing person to have worked with. I worked way back when with Trudie Styler. We used to look after her and do events for her in London. We have done events for Anna Wintour. We have done stuff with Pat McGrath and Charlotte Tilbury. We’ve done stuff with Dame Ellen MacArthur and her foundation. Some of the most amazing young designers whether it’s been in the past Roland Mouret. That was back in the day when he first started. Christopher Kane, Adam Aleksander, Henry Holland.
Daniel is being humble. He’s worked with the best of the best. That’s a fact.
I don’t want to leave anyone out because they’ll be upset.
He’s worked with everybody.
Go on to TheCommunicationsStore.co.uk and you can see the full realm of clients and designers listed.
We are about 200 people now worldwide. In London and New York.
Who’s your favorite client? You have a close relationship with Donatella because it’s been some time. Her journey has been remarkable because I don’t care about nepotism with fashion. It is such a discerning industry. We don’t care who your father is who your mother is who your kids are. You cannot make it successful in fashion unless there is a little extra special sauce there. To go from a pop group to which were incredible. They were successful and popular and you love the Spice Girls for the Spice Girls, but they didn’t have that trendy hip factor about them. They were full-on pop which was great. To go from super commercial to being a high-end couture designer. Victoria’s journey is quite remarkable for somebody in fashion. In beginning it was everybody going, “Here we go.” I’m sure there must have been some a lot of naysayers and then when did the turnaround happen for everybody in a proper fashion and I’m talking about the fashion snobs to go, “This is quite good.”
There’s a lesson in there for everybody.
She had great mentors, like Roland Mouret.
She reaches her collection in which she knew that she was being photographed from every single angle, so she knew how and she’s an amazing woman who’s in the public eye. She dressed and designed a collection that would look good from every single angle that was tailored beautifully and she did her homework. She went off and she learned the collection. She presented the collection in a modest way in New York. A lot of people went there because they were fascinated by her. I remember talking to people who’ve been in that room when she presented the collection and they were blown away. She knew every seam, detail, and fabric. She knew why she had chosen the colors.
It wasn’t a celebrity putting their name on someone else in the back designing it all. She was integral.
It would not have lasted for as long as it is. It’s tough running a fashion company. There’s no question about it. If you ask me to choose a career, I would not be heading out there to be a designer. It’s tough. You’ve got to persuade people to go out and spend hard-earned money on something that’s not cheap and it’s extremely competitive. With everything that’s going on out there, communications, retail, and the big designer brands. For me, back in 2012, we were helping with the London Olympics and we were helping create a fashion moment in the closing ceremony of the Olympics. I worked with Lucinda Chambers the then fashion director of Vogue. She came up with this concept that we would have these supermodels in the middle of the closing ceremony of the Olympics and they would be wearing the best of designer fashion. We had Naomi, Kate, and David Gandy.
It was the best of the British.
Lucinda chose the designers they were going to wear and it was McQueen, Westwood, Christopher Kane, Erdem, and Lucinda. She was clear about the understanding of what British fashion was about and the names that were out there that people knew and that we’re familiar with and loved and that we’re championing. All of those names that we are familiar with at the time McQueen or Westwood. You have to take your hat off to what she’s created because she’s used her profile in the best way to produce a beautiful collection. She totally understands her audience. She designs for women. If you go to any of our events and her customers are there. This is not a kind of mythical creation. It’s not a vanity project. Working with people like that is incredible. When you work and understand real talent sitting alongside anybody from amazing makeup artists to incredible designers. My favorite thing is going into the studios and seeing it. That’s why I am lucky.
Roland Mouret, he and I worked together for many years. I remember he gave a talk to some students and he had this bolt of fabric with him and he was being interviewed by a man named Colin McDowell who’s a famous fashion writer. Colin said, “Roland, I understand you don’t sketch. You just cut into the fabric.” There was a bust form there and Colin said, “Can you make us a dress?” Roland said, “Absolutely.” He took a pair of scissors and he cut into this fabric. Within five minutes draped around this mannequin was an evening dress. You could have heard a pin drop in that audience.
That’s real talent right there.
In PR, the job is to be a guardian and be a champion for that level of talent at that type of talent in whatever area happens to be and to bring out that excitement in your team. We work with an amazing group of people who are as excited about seeing that, shooting amazing fashion content for a supermarket brand Sainsbury’s. Going out there and working with the most advanced people in sustainability, like Allbirds or Everlane and everyone is a champion of their product. When you do what we do for a living, you want to believe in what it is that you’re representing.It’s incredible when you work and understand real talent sitting alongside the best of the industry. Click To Tweet
You’ve got to be passionate about the product. Otherwise, how can you sell it to anybody else, if you don’t like your job?
We talk about four things in our business, passion, care, strength, and wisdom. If you can apply yourself with those four things, it’s such an important lesson. With passion, you believe in something, you are passionate about something. With the care, you take care of people and you care about what you believe in. With strength, you do it with conviction. Let’s not be so suggestible out there. If you do if you represent something, stand for something or you’re producing your own brand, go for it. You don’t have to be loved by everybody. You don’t have to be everyone’s cup of tea. You can be something that some people love and some people don’t. That’s okay but do it with strength.
Wisdom is about being informed. It goes to the conscious piece too. Make sure your stuff. It goes right back to when I was a kid and my dad was taking me by the hand and walking me through the shop floor of some of these amazing department stores. There was wisdom there because he knew what the customer experience is, and the number of times I’ve been with clients where I’ve said, “I was in your store on Saturday and I saw this person who was buying X and I saw that they were treated this. There was an issue in the changing room.” That’s part of what we do. If you don’t love that, you’re doing the wrong thing for a living.
I want to bring you back on another episode to talk about the business of PR and advice for young people who want to get into the industry or trying to start up a new business or a new brand. Daniel Marks Chief Creative Officer from The Communication Store in the UK and also over here in the States. We’ll be back again soon for advice for small businesses and new products and helping you guys who want to get into the industry. We’ll be bombarding him with questions and all about that. Thank you so much, Dan, for coming to the show. Are there any social media shout outs you want to put for everyone to check you guys out in your out and your brands?
Thank you. It’s a real honor to be interviewed by you, the legend that you are. You can see why she’s the professional ladies and gentlemen. I’ve stumbled my way through and you’ve made sense of what I’ve said. I’m on Instagram, which is @TCS_Daniel. That’s the best place or we’re @TheCommsStore is our business Instagram. If there’s anyone who’s in London or New York who’s looking for work experience or a job, our website shows how you can apply for those jobs and please go ahead. We’re always looking for new talent. We’re looking for great storytellers and great brand guardians. Hopefully, people will get in touch.
You can also go on to LaLaLanded.com with all our information. All episodes will be on there as well. Hit us up at Instagram @LaLaLandedPodcast. Facebook, La La Landed and feel free to email, comment, like, direct message me anytime with any questions for Dan and I can happily forward them on to him. You can check out the official website of Dan.
There you go and you can contact Daniel and his team directly over there. Thank you again to Daniel Marks the one and only king of PR one of my closest besties in the whole wide world. He is one of the best people I know. I love you dearly Dan. Thanks for reading. This is Danny Behr on the Behr Essentials, and we’ll be back with La La Landed.
- Daniel Marks
- The Communication Store
- Worn Again
- @TCS_Daniel – Instagram
- @TheCommsStore – Instagram
- @LaLaLandedPodcast – Instagram
- La La Landed – Facebook
About Daniel Marks
Chief Creative Officer and Partner, The Communications Store London, Greater London, United Kingdom
Experienced Chief Creative Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the public relations and communications industry.
Skilled in Marketing, Fashion, Marketing Strategy, Brand Development, Digital Marketing, Crisis Management and Social Media. Strong arts and design professional graduated from Edinburgh University.