Monday, October 3, 2011

Get Like Me: Nneya Richards

Aspiring to break into the fashion industry or simply intrigued by it? Well LoveBrownSugar has something for ya! Our “Get Like Me” series highlights exclusive interviews with industry insiders from celebrity stylists to fashion designers, editors, fashion PR heads & more!
 Pulling looks for celebs, writing press releases, and traveling the globe - all in a day's work for this week's interviewee Nneya Richards. As a Public Relations Assistant for one of the UK's bestselling brands Topshop, this native New Yorker's claim to fame includes being one of the original Teen Vogue insiders from the magazine's conception. Whether it's landing Topshop looks on the likes of J.Lo and Beyonce or flying across the country as a brand ambassador, check out what her fashion PR lifestyle is all about:

Name: Nneya Richards
Location: New York, NY
Personal Style In 3 Words: All over the place - am I allowed to do four words instead? It really depends on my mood. Some days it’s a shift dress & loafers. Other days, it’s a leather jacket with a mini skirt & fedora. So it just really depends on what mood I’m in when I wake up. 
Favorite Designer(s): Dolce & Gabanna - I could wear Dolce & Gabanna all day, season after season.  
Must-have accessory: My mini Chanel purse - I can always find a way to make it work. Also cuffs! I love a cuff by anyone. I have really long dangly arms so that kind of helps a bit.

How did you break into the world of fashion PR?
When I was about 15, I was at a Teen Vogue party with my friend’s father who’s Arthur Elgort. And there I met Amy Astley when they were just starting up Teen Vogue. It was me, Anna[Wintour]’s daughter, and a few other girls from NY and we were on a panel of girls who would go in regularly and help start the magazine telling them what we liked, and what we didn’t like. We gave it a shape - we were the first teen contributors there. From there, I interned whenever I came home from winter break. I got a sense for what I liked and what I didn’t like and fashion PR kind of stuck.

What has been one of the your most rewarding positions in PR?
[laughs] Is it ok to say that I haven’t found that position yet? I would say my most rewarding position has been working with Teen Vogue when I was 15. But in fashion PR itself, I wouldn’t say I’ve not had that yet.

Photo Credit: Sophie Elgort
What’s the best placement you’ve ever done? 
I had to do a J.Lo pull for Topshop and I was speaking to her stylist who wanted her to wear it to the Latin Grammy’s on the red carpet. So my boss had me do the J.Lo pull because for some reason I really get what she likes dead on. So I saw this dress and we only had one left in the store. I pulled it for her and she wore it and people were obsessed with her! They were like “Who’s that dress by? Is it Gucci?” She made it look like a million bucks. So that was probably my best placement yet. We have people like Beyonce wearing our stuff alot but I dunno J.Lo really made it look like Gucci.
As a publicist for Topshop I’m sure you travel alot. Any fave places to shop around the globe?
When I lived in Milan and also when I studied there, my favorite place in Milan was the Armani mall. The one in the US just fails in comparison to it. When they announced they were making one in NY I was really excited for it but it fails in comparison to the one in Milan. So that’s like my favorite one-stop shopping destination. Their chocolates are better there, the flowers are better, the restaurant, the actual clothes. 
What are three pieces of advice for aspiring publicists?
1) Have a thick skin - it's necessary.
2) Learn how to write. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is that there are so many people nowadays who want to do this. Young girls who see "The Hills" and they say “Oh that looks like fun, I wanna do that. It’s so easy!” Aspiring publicists, please know how to write. It just looks better.
3) Be social. That really helps in this industry. It’s all about who you know. And don’t just focus on magazines. It’s becoming a lot more about online so you have to be social media savvy. Definitely now more so than five years ago, I’d put a focus on that. 

What’s in your purse?
I have Labello chapstick - that’s a must-have in my purse. I don’t really wear lipstick, I’ll wear it occasionally. My Lancome bronzer. My mini Chanel Mademoiselle purse spray. Also, my favorite Commes des Garcons neon orange wallet. Yeah...I made my boyfriend get a matching one. [laughs] And my blackberry!

Photo Credit: Refinery29
Can't get enough? Check Nneya out HERE on Refinery 29 - she was featured during their "Month of Hair" in August!
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  1. I don't want to do fashion PR, but I'm going to follow these series, because if Nneya is any indication of how it will go, it will be worth to follow simply for their pics and style!

  2. I think she should take a change of look, I don't like her style, she can looks beautiful with another style..