Last Tuesday, STYLEetc popped along to Tom’s Champagne Bar in House of Fraser, not only to enjoy a chilled glass of Moet and a free cupcake, but to meet Gaynor Lea-Greenwood (also known as “Ms Fashion” on Twitter) as she launched her new book: Fashion Marketing Communications.
Gaynor was full of enthusiasm and fashion marketing tips – just like her book! She explained:
“This interest for me and probably others was also driven by; traditional and online content in magazines, an exponential growth in PR, including advertorials, editorials, product placement, sponsorship, bloggers, pop up stores, the cult of celebrity and the rise of social media amongst other topics at the time of writing.”
We interviewed Ms Fashion to find out more:
What inspired you to publish your own book?
A lifelong interest in how fashion communicates with us and how we communicate our self identity through fashion and very practically /pragmatically need is the mother of invention as the saying goes ~ I developed a fashion communications module at in the CDT dept of MMU and recognised there was a gap in the literature/market at a time when fashion marketing courses were popping up both nationally and internationally. I was the author of a number of academic articles on the subject and chapter nine in the best selling text book in Mike Easey’s (ed) seminal and popular textbook, Fashion Marketing. The publisher approached me because this was a very popular chapter and had been expanding every time we did a new edition, so much so, that it would have unbalanced the book if I’d been given any more space.
What advice would you give to others who may be considering writing their own book?
Research what is out there already. Identify a gap in the market. Write with the audience in mind. Get on with it as fast as you can because if it is something as ephemeral as fashion and digital media it is almost out of date by the time it gets to the printers. I had to do a lot of last minute revisions as things kept changing every month.
How would you describe your own style?
My writing style is simple I define terms explain exactly what it means and give examples then exercises for students to work on. My ex students say it is like being back in the lecture theatre. My fashion style is the same, black , white, cream, grey. Simple clothes with a twist in their definition and a lot of accessorising. A student once said they had never seen me in the same outfit twice ( fancy them observing and discussing this!) and I let them into the secret of the black moleskine note books. one small one is always with me to write down things I buy , what it might go with that already exists in the wardrobe (confession, plural six of them) and then next to my bed is a rather larger book with everything that is worn, day by day detailed down to the last detail, with the audience identified if necessary.
I have one or two colour pops just so that I don’t bore myself too much either. Which may be the odd garment but tends to be accessories.
What are your favourite things about Manchester?
The shops, the atmosphere and the ‘anything is possible’ attitude.
What top 3 pieces of advice can you give STYLEetc readers about Fashion Marketing?
I’m a lecturer I can’t do 3…!
Get a mentor. Profile yourself at every opportunity. Never leave home without your business cards. You never know who you might meet so always be nice to everyone on the way up so they will remember you kindly when they are on the way down. I met a man on a train when I’d just left university and he offered me a job in this start up company and he described the concept of it in great detail and he offered me a job because he thought I could sell. I didn’t think much to his idea ~ couldn’t quite see how it worked and didn’t fancy sales , guess what it was yellow pages.
What trends do you think we can expect in the world of Fashion Marketing Communications in the future? (i.e. what’s next?)
If I could see the future I’d be a millionaire. More and more digital but I can also see a return to traditional old school issues and values, not exactly full circle. Like knitting /book circles facilitating human interaction but they may get the patterns on line or read the book on a kindle.
What luxury item could you not live without?
Not sure really because I would replace lots of things if they were lost or stolen. It is the irreplaceable things which mean more really… Maybe my Cartier (tank francaise) watch I can’t seem to function or think when I forget to put it on or am parted from it momentarily during a service.
Gaynor’s book is a must-read for all fashionistas and it’s available on Amazon, from Wiley and at all good bookshops!
It is also useful for small businesses as Gaynor shares lots of handy top tips for all.
Anyone is able to email Gaynor directly: G.Lea-Greenwood@mmu.ac.uk
Or tweet her @MsFashion