FashionPR.com Interview : Jordan Landes-Brenman & Kelly LaRussa - Haute House PR & Marketing

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Haute House PR & Marketing
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Haute House PR & Marketing

 

A little about yourself: 

Jordan

A lifelong lover of all things fashion-related, Haute House PR & Marketing’s co-founder, Jordan Landes-Brenman has an extensive and successful background representing clients in every facet of the fashion industry: including women’s luxury, contemporary apparel, accessories and jewelry, beauty, e-commerce shopping websites, retail locations and salons.

From her studies in Paris, to trunk shows with Diane Von Furstenberg and CHANEL, to behind the scenes at Mercedes-Benz IMG Fashion Week and Prêt à Porter Paris, Jordan brings to the table a penchant for establishing new concepts to achieve brand promotion and recognition. Her commitment to anticipating the needs of both clients and media alike has kept her finger on the pulse of the trends in fashion world.Through her extensive work launching emerging brands to become household names, Jordan brings with her a passion for the industry, innovative, out-of-the-box marketing concepts, as well as an unparalleled attention to detail which she implements into every element of Haute House PR & Marketing.

Kelly

Haute House PR & Marketing co-founder Kelly LaRussa’s love of fashion and beauty was initially inspired by her time spent living and traveling extensively throughout Europe. Upon her return to the United States, she began her career working in the product placement industry handling corporate and luxury brands including Asics, Chopard, and Donald J. Pliner and their involvement in major feature films. Soon after, she began working for another PR firm where she was accountable for producing, securing media, celebrity relations and garnering press for brands participating in Mercedes-Benz IMG Fashion Week. Building on her work in events and film, Kelly also has in-depth experience representing brands at gifting lounges such as the HBO Emmy’s Suites, Sundance Film Festival, BET Awards, and the Academy Awards to name a few. During her tenure, Kelly was solely responsible for the launch and development of her firm’s established Men’s Division, where she strengthened relationships with the top Men’s fashion and accessories editors. Working with her rapidly-increasing roster that included all areas of the fashion industry, Kelly garnered press across the board, gaining a wealth of contacts along the way.

Where did you work before founding your FashionPR firm?: 

Jordan

Chanel, and then we met at another fashion PR agency based in LA and worked there for several years together.

Kelly

Primary Action, doing product placement in film, and then Jordan and I met at another LA based firm where Jordan headed up the women's division and I handled the men's.

Why did you start your fashion PR firm ?: 

We had been working together at a boutique PR agency for years and we were running the entire office. At a certain point, we both found that we wanted to grow more creatively, and be able to truly create a full-service PR agency, instead of being limited to basic pr services. With Haute House, the possibilities are endless for what we can do for our clients, we hold ourselves to a higher standard of service.

A little about your company: 

Haute House is a full service Fashion, Lifestyle and Beauty Public Relations and Marketing firm, specializing in product placement, publicity, entertainment marketing, events and celebrity seeding. The firm represents fashion designers and cosmetic brands looking to heighten brand awareness within the entertainment and fashion communities throughout the United States and internationally.

How many hours you rougly work per week?: 

Approximately 60+ hours, but it depends on the week.

What does a fashion pr do ?: 

A fashion publicist can handle anything pertaining to their brand, including events, but overall, a fashion publicist works with media, stylists and celebrities, retailers to increase their clients (fashion brands) exposure in the press. Fashion PR is in a way, a complement to a brand’s sales initiatives, and effective fashion pr can connect the dots between growth in the press, to a brand’s growth at retail sales. For the right brand, fashion PR is a much more effective, affordable, and organic form of advertising. We’ve taken emerging brands and turned them into multimillion dollar household brand names, it’s thrilling to have the ability to see the direct correlation of our PR efforts on our brand’s sales growth.

What do you find interesting about fashion pr ?: 

Jordan – I absolutely love fashion, jewelry, products, magazines and the entire industry- it gets my heart pumping. I love the fact that I can play a role in not only rapidly growing brands into household names, but influencing the content in major publications every single month, such as Vogue, Lucky, InStyle, etc. Many people don’t understand how powerful fashion is, they think it’s frivolous- but it’s really about expressing yourself and what you wear every moment that you live your life. You’ll always remember the outfit you wore when you went on your first interview, got married, met someone influential or achieved a milestone of some sort, because they were part of how you felt that day. On top of that, it’s so exciting to be able to work with so many different types of people and play an integral role in influencing the different facets of the industry.

Kelly - I love the constant interaction with people. All day we get to chat with editors and see what trends they are working on and how we can not only benefit our clients through placements, but also contribute to the fashion world and the upcoming trends. It’s amazing to see that one celebrity or one magazines can help completely launch a brands to the public too.

How fashion pr company should try to maintain their market competitivenss ?: 

An open dialogue with your clients and the magazines will keep our company successful. Being able to grow and change with the fashion industry, the trends, and the economy is key. Last year it was all about under $100 and accessories. This year we're looking to support charities and domestic manufacturing. Having a client that's able to make something in a couple of days to specifically fit a request will see more press quickly, and will have more longevity in the business.

What are the key skills to being a great fashion pr ?: 

Detail oriented, persistent, creative, passionate, knowledgeable, and most importantly, having established media contacts.

What should a new designer expect from a fashion pr ?: 

New designers need to realize that it takes time to launch a brand. First off, the magazines are working three to four months in advance, so that’s a long time to not see any placements. However, if all of the tools are in place (look books, ecommerce, great retailers, plenty of samples) then a good PR firm should be able to get things moving and shaking quite soon.

How to chose a fashion pr ?: 

Look at their work - the types of magazines, the amount of placements, the range of their work, how many clients they are handling, and whether or not your brand is similar to other brands in their showroom.

What part of your job do you find the most challenging ?: 

Knowing when to stop being a perfectionist.

How do you demonstrate results for your clients ?: 

Immediate results online in blogs and in the magazine's websites, followed by placements in the weeklies and big book exposure. Covering all your bases so that a brand is featured in everything from Lucky and InStyle to Nylon and Interview. The more exposure across the board the better odds your brand will be seen by more people.

How do you maintain sustainable relationships with the media ?: 

It takes time, this is somewhat of a finely tuned skill. You have to have a charismatic personality or you’ll get lost in the shuffle. We made it our goal to not only forge new relationships, but to become FRIENDS with the editors. Who doesn’t like to work with their friends?

How to know what a publication or stylist wants?: 

Since we have established relationships with every publication and all top stylists and media outlets, they contact us every time they have a story and they let us know what they want for their shoots or projects. It’s also a matter of knowing these editors personally, knowing their taste and what THEY would love. Some of our most successful press hits have been the times we took a risk – for instance, sending a denim bustier for a denim pant request story...but we knew the editor would like the bustier, it would be perceived as “different” and the editor would make the story work for the item...and that’s exactly what she did. You have to be the eyes for the editors sometimes which is difficult, yet always exciting.

What do you think the future of digital fashion media/pr is?: 

While we are seeing more and more blogs and online exposure, there is nothing like sitting down with a magazine and looking and looking at those glossy pages. We're excited to see new media outlets for our clients, but we hope that physical print magazines never go away!

Are there busy and quiet periods during the year?: 

Never. Magazines close for about 2 weeks for Christmas and New Years so we’ve adopted that schedule, but if you are a good publicist, or especially if you have your own PR firm you are never, ever slow.

What makes a great brand or label stand out?: 

Having that certain je ne sais quoi. After years in the business, our intuition about these things is always dead on. Our designers will ask us our opinion on things, and if we feel it, we’ll say to them “the editors are going to LOVE that piece, let’s push for it in the press.” It’s finding that fine line where you can appeal to several different tastes and markets. Your brand has to be loved by editors, celebrities, major department stores (and their consumers) to be successful and long-lasting—and definitely to become a household name.

Are many of your friends fashion PRs ?: 

We’ve definitely made friends with other fashion publicists in the industry, but for the most part our friends work in different areas of fashion, such as editorial. Some of them are in different industries altogether.

What would you recommend to college graduate to help start their career?: 

Intern. Study fashion magazines.

What sums up 'fashion PR' for you ? : 

Fashion PR is a person or agency who can generate total exposure for your brand across the board. This, combined with key retailers, will translate into sales and will lay the foundation for a brand to have long term success in the industry.

Please list 3 designers who you like the most: 

To be fair, we’re going to choose 3 brands that we don’t represent, but that we would love to work with, and whom we think are very talented.

1)Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel

2) Azzedine Alaia

3)Zac Posen

What's your favourite quote?: 

Jordan:

“Instead of wasting energy pursuing the past, one should embrace two things in life: destiny and character. You can’t change the first one, but you have 100% control over the other. They can take away your health, looks, wealth, but as long as you have your character you will have the strength and confidence to go on. And confidence hugs you in life. Assume this responsibility and no one can hurt you. You will fear nothing. And a woman who looks fearless, looks wonderful.” Diane Von Furstenberg

Kelly:

"Fashions fade, style is eternal." Yves Saint Laurent

Contact Info: 
Email: [email protected], and [email protected], and you can also join Haute House PR & Marketing’s Facebook group!

 

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