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How I got here: Hannah Isichei's search for Curvy Kate's stars in bras

The mastermind of the Star in a Bra competition, Curvy Kate’s head of PR and marketing has the skills to unearth hidden talent

Hannah Isichei

Hannah Isichei

Head of PR and marketing, Curvy Kate

After making a brew, I check for any Curvy Kate news alerts to stay on top of who’s talking about us online and what’s been going on overnight on Twitter and Instagram.

I manage a five-strong marketing and design team. So, although from day to day I’m looking at strategy, budgets and ad plans, I’m still involved in making things come to life. I write copy for the website, work with the graphics team on customer emails and plan our trade shows, as well as working with the PR and social teams on content ideas and planning photoshoots.

Curvy Kate

Curvy Kate

We stage between eight and 10 photoshoots a year, including swimwear sessions and some with bloggers. We’ve never used a professional model since we launched Curvy Kate eight years ago. We’re always looking for different people to get involved, as it’s all about attitude rather than age or look. This month we finished the spring 17 photoshoot for the collections that will be going into stores in December.

My biggest achievement to date is our annual Star in a Bra competition, our search for the new face of Curvy Kate. I used to find it infuriating to see brands often modelling their D-plus products on women who weren’t a D cup. We wanted to show our customers how the product would look and fit on their shape, which is how Star in a Bra was born. I am so proud of its vibrant, self-affirming message.

The 2016 Star in a Bra competition launched in February, which means over the next eight weeks we’ll be hosting live at 10 events across the country. Shoppers can then go to the website to vote for their favourite person, and the winner receives a year-long contract with Bridge Models. Previous winners have included a teacher and a trainee policewoman.

In a typical week I also meet the retailers we supply, such as Figleaves, House of Fraser and John Lewis, to see if we can assist with any campaigns or promotions. Most ask us to come up with a bespoke marketing plan for the year, spanning social campaigns, ad banners, events, magazine advertising and newsletters.

We sell to 34 countries worldwide and work with distributors, agents and retailers to ensure that Curvy Kate’s feel-good message is translated to customers wherever they’re buying the product. We also attend trade shows in Russia, France, Germany and the US, such as Curvexpo in New York and Las Vegas. From 2016 onwards we will be supplying the US market directly, supported by agents nationwide. We work with 25 retailers in the US, including online brands Her Room and Bare Necessities.

Scantilly

Scantilly

We’re also looking at relaunching the Curvy Kate website, so I’m writing copy every day, planning the pages and working with the developers. I love the creative side of my job, coming up with campaign ideas and brainstorming content. We want our website to offer a lifestyle experience, integrating more user-generated content, which people really relate to.

I enjoy producing content for our social channels. Snapchat is my new go-to platform, ever since we launched on it six months ago. The message is a family feel and we get the chance to take shoppers behind the scenes. We started a campaign of inviting customers ”through the peephole” to watch Scantilly, which is Curvy Kate’s sexier sister brand. Scantilly has really taken off since we launched it in October 2015, as there was nothing sexy out there for the woman with fuller cups.

Curvy Kate is now one of the biggest lingerie brands in the world in social media, with more than 170,000 followers across all platforms. Over the past eight years I have built a community of like-minded, curvy women and developed the tone of voice. I never wanted the Curvy Kate message to be solely sales-driven.

The best thing about my job is my team and getting to work with such creative and inspiring people. My managing director, Steve Hudson, has always been happy for me to try new ideas and that’s why I’ve learnt so much along the way. It’s something I hope to inspire in my team too.

Plan B

I’d probably work for my brothers’ food and drink PR and marketing agency, Hungry Communications, or I’d sell coconuts on a beach.

CV

Education

2002-2005 BA (Hons) Fashion Marketing and Communication, Nottingham Trent University

Career

2016-present Head of PR and marketing, Curvy Kate

2012-present Freelance marketing consultant

2008-2015 PR and marketing manager, Curvy Kate

2008-2010 PR and marketing manager, Brastop

2007-2008 HR assistant – talent planning, Arcadia

1999-2007 Marketing, trend prediction and sales work experience, Dorothy Perkins, Burton Menswear, Reebok UK and Line (textile consultancy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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