Hi Tanz, could you introduce yourself for those that don't know you?
I’m a Senior Account Executive at PrettyGreen where I specialise in Lifestyle PR, working across Capital One, SMARTY and Strike.
Previously I worked in Fashion PR and consultancy across luxury fashion brands (such as Celine, J.W. Anderson, Kiko Kostadinov & Loewe.)
How did you get into the world of PR, and where you are now at PrettyGreen?
I’ve had an unorthodox journey into in the world of PR as I’ve only officially been doing it for 2 years now. Prior to getting my first role as an account executive at a fashion pr agency, I studied fashion design and dabbled in various jobs across sales, marketing and fashion. Since the age of 14 I was determined to get into the fashion industry which I did through freelancing and interning and learnt a lot of skills across different disciplines. In 2019 I met my first PR Managing Director and got hired to manage the PR for celebrities, fashion & grooming brands.
Your background is in fashion and music, what is it about those industries that initially got you interested?
As a kid I was heavily into the performing arts and pop culture, which I guess led me to be deeply interested in art history and fashion through my teenage years. I’ve always crafted. My father was a product design teacher, and he was an influence on my artistic passions. I’ve always enjoyed music too and learnt to produce, DJ and engineer very young. I think matching all my passions with my entrepreneurial spirit, which I get from my mother, is what guided me into both industries. “How can I do the things I love every day, get paid for it and elevate my skill?”. Ultimately that was the question I tried answer.
You mentioned last time we spoke that you had a mentor at the beginning of your career. How did that come about and how have they helped you?
I’ve looked at anyone in my past who’s helped me get to where I am as a mentor, people in well established companies and friends who are working in the industries too. My first mentor was a founder of a fashion brand he pushed me to go study Fashion design, as at the time I was working in their flagship store. I started there at the age of 14 and would go in every weekend to do photography, blog and social. Meanwhile I’d get taught how to run a shop/design graphic tees and do brand marketing – It was a fun time. I learned how to do all these things and it looked good, so thought let me start my own brand and quickly realised I didn’t know how to tell the story I wanted or make clothes. This lead me to continue my journey pursuing the design route of fashion. It’s always great to have mentors or just people you look up to assist you in the direction you want to go, as it’s not taught in school. You need to be in the field.
How did lockdown affect your working life and how did you end up adapting?
Lockdown affected me in a positive light, I managed to adapt to WFH for a while, then as an agency we just stopped working as most of the industry didn’t know how to cope with Covid at the time. Now I’m sat in my flat thinking well what can I do? I went back to my passion project and using the new skills in PR I just gained also started freelancing in the fashion/music industry. This was honestly such a pinnacle moment that led me to leaving my full-time job and just taking the risk to see what would happen - there was this opportunity presented to fail, and it not be so harmful.
As someone who has interviewed with a few agencies, what do you think they do well/don't do well at interview?
I’ve had a lot of interviews and you can always sense when companies are looking for a carbon copy of members they already have. It’s rather boring and usually you’ll be sat talking to a managing director and a SAM and they’ll literally have no interest in who you are or what you have to offer. Alternatively the best interviews I’ve had have been when an employer wants to hear about who I genuinely am and where I want to go with my career. The agencies that have the best culture have the best interview questions and vibes.
All too often you go to where you’re being judged on the way you look and the interviewer is checking if you will fit in to the social clique of the company. More so in the fashion industry, I think there’s a hierarchy and elitist culture among employability. The industry is showing signs of positive change in D&I, however some companies still just don’t get it. Having a person of colour interviewed or hired just for numbers isn’t going to cut it.
What is your experience working with the Hidden team?
My most positive experience has been with Hidden - who landed my first PR role in Consumer PR. I was messaged on LinkedIn by Natalie Winterton, a Hidden employee, who convinced me that I’d suit a role at PrettyGreen. At the time I wasn’t in a positive environment and wanted to progress my career in PR through a creative lens. I had 2 rounds of interviewing and a task which all went great and throughout the whole time Natalie helped me along the process, even though she had already got a new role within Hidden, she stayed with me till I got the offer from PrettyGreen. All in all the work Hidden do is amazing and the process is seamless, positive and enlightening.
What advice would you give a junior candidate looking to get into agency life?
Agencies are your fast track to learning the business you want to be a part of. They’ve shown me the behind the scenes of the industries I’m passionate about. Take a chance and apply to any agency you think could help your career and always be creative and humble whilst working it out.
Thank you for sitting down with me, Tanz. Anything to plug?
Thank you, Angus it’s been a pleasure. I’d like to plug my brand which I’m still moving forward with and working on every single day.
Browse Tanz's website: http://www.ic3vault.com/#/