Variety of experience and willingness to learn put The Dune Group’s international brand manager on her chosen path.
What does your typical week involve?
A variety of tasks as I oversee the international marketing and PR strategy for Dune London, as well as the UK strategy for US footwear brand Steve Madden (part of The Dune Group). Every week is different, from setting budgets and strategies for different markets, and managing negotiations with franchises, to generating social media content, sourcing props or organising samples for press days, when we preview the latest collection to top editors, stylists and bloggers.
What task are you most looking forward to today?
Meeting with our press contacts from the Philippines, including blogger JP Singson. It’s always so interesting to meet people from different backgrounds, getting an insight on trends and shopping habits in their markets.
Which task do you wish you could postpone?
Organising shipments of sample shoes to our partners across multiple markets for their upcoming events, due to the intricate logistics involved. The task takes great attention todetail as shipments are so time-sensitive. If I don’t get this done today it could cause stress for retail operations, as well as the PR and marketing departments.
How did you get to where you are today?
After graduating with a degree in marketing and art history from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, I started off as an assistant PR manager in footwear and accessories at footwear chain Aldo, also in Montreal. I moved from PR to marketing to digital content, managing Aldo’s Tumblr page and planning the landing pages for the website’s home page. I moved to London in 2012 and found a role at Dune Group as online content editor, where I discovered the power of ecommerce and online marketing. Having such varied experience allowed me to step into the brand management role with Steve Madden, which Dune Group launched here in autumn 2012. My responsibilities have since expanded to overseeing Dune London’s expansion of franchise and concession stores, plus wholesale, in South Africa, the US, Canada, the Philippines, UAE, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
What has been your career highlight?
Witnessing Anna Wintour (US editor-in-chief of Vogue) take a second look at a project from the Aldo Rise designer collaborations programme I worked on during New York Fashion Week. I also enjoy being able to work with a variety of creative people, from couture designers such as [Jordan-born, Canada-based] Rad Hourani to established UK designers like Preen or JW Anderson, and the small but efficient team of three in my department.
If you could change one thing about your career path, what would it be?
Nothing. Having worked on so many different tasks sometimes it feels confusing as to where my experience could take me, but I’ve learned to never turn down an opportunity. If you have a good gut feeling about it, it will always open another door.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Always listen to others and be welcome to different ways of thinking, no matter how stubborn you feel. Also, take risks, don’t be afraid of failure.
How do you see your career progressing?
I love brand management and hope to see myself progressing towards a senior or director level. This would mean overseeing a larger team to drive marketing forward, dealing with more top-level strategy, directing the season’s campaign, developing brand identity.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
The fashion/retail industry is a hard one to break into and internships are a great way to showcase your skill set. Work hard, be willing to learn, pay attention to detail and always think of how and where your work will be presented.
If you could work in another area of fashion, what would it be?
I’ve always dreamed of working in design. Although marketing plays a large role, I’d love to be involved in creating the actual pieces.
- Salaries for this position range from £60,000 to £80,000 (estimate by Michael Page Recruitment)