The world of Fashion Public Relations (PR) is an exhilarating, fast-paced field. Although it is an exciting area, it is also a stressful one, particularly during Fashion Week. So, what does it take to work in Fashion PR? In the second of a capsule collection series of behind-the-scenes interviews, we spoke to Liam Sharma from Pead about what it takes to work in the fast-paced industry, the best professional advice he’s been given, and this year’s NZFW.
Widely recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading agencies, Pead PR services high-end brands like Vodafone NZ Music Awards, Mercedes-Benz Presents and New Zealand Fashion Week.
How did you get into Fashion PR?
I have been doing forms of Fashion PR since I was 18. My family own local brands RUBY and Liam. From a young age, dinner conversation often revolved around the fashion industry. It was a natural progression for me.
Did you always want to work in PR?
Not quite, I kept my options open growing up. I left school early, which worked for me. I co-founded the brand Modern Manners, but I had an itch and really wanted to experiment with New York’s ambience.
I moved to New York and ended up landing an internship at RBBR, learning from Robyn Berkley, she’s a legend. One of the first clients I worked on was RE/DONE. It was intense. I loved it.
What’s the best thing about working in PR?
I am fortunate that my job at Pead PR allows me to work across a variety of business sectors. With fashion specifically, I find it very close-knit and I love being able to work with my friends.
Who would be a dream client for you?
My dream client is passionate, collaborative and open-minded. It would be amazing to launch the first Glossier flagship in New Zealand. One can only dream.
What is your involvement with this year’s NZFW?
Working within Pead PR’s NZFW team, we’re assisting telling the story for this year’s event.
What will a typical day look like for you during NZFW?
No one day is ever the same, honestly, it’s hectic in all the best ways.
What are you most looking forward to about NZFW 2019?
Watching the event come to life at the historic new venue, Aotea Square/Auckland Town Hall. I can’t wait to get lost in the atmosphere. It’ll be special watching Zambesi celebrate 40 years of magic.
What up-and-coming designers are you most excited about?
ALL! Starving Artists Fund will be one-to-watch.
What would you say is the most and least rewarding parts of your job during fashion week?
The work is incredibly fulfilling. I don’t ponder on the negative, every curveball is a lesson.
Who is your fashion icon?
What’s the best professional advice you’ve ever been given?
I’ve been obsessively churning through ‘The Breaking Beauty’ podcast. Lev Glazman, co-founder of cosmetic empire Fresh, spoke about his first pessimistic business experience on his quest to becoming an entrepreneur. It occurred when he received his very first inventory order, 800 soaps. He felt intense self-doubt. He internally changed his perspective on the problem at hand, he was either going to sell an enormous amount of soap or he would have enough soap to keep himself clean forever. Perspective. Fresh Beauty is now part of the LVHM luxury umbrella, and you can finally buy it at Sephora in NZ (jaw-drops).
Any advice for anyone wanting to work in PR?
Foster personal relationships that live beyond your 9-5, trust your intuition, and support local designers where you can.
Where can we follow you?
On IG @liam__sharma send me all your favourite skincare brands.
What don’t you leave the house without?
Glossier Spot Treatment, my phone, preferably a grin.
New Zealand Fashion Week 2019 is running from Monday, August 26 – Sunday, September 1. Stay tuned to The Last Fashion Bible for the lastest NZFW updates.