As you know, on my tea breaks , I usually just like to learn about the happenings and thoughts of the individuals from the fashion industry . This time around I had to contact Faith Senam Ocloo , who is a Fashion Public Relations Specialist and founder of E’april Public Relations. She loves to work with fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands assisting them with PR, digital PR strategies in order to build successful brand and she currently handles PR for Totally Ethnik, Accra Men’s Fashion Week, Evangel Christian Magazine as well as consulting for other startups and small businesses from time to time.
CK: How is Fashion PR growing in Ghana?
Fashion PR is growing at a very steady rate in Ghana. Industry people are still yet to come to terms with what it is, how it benefits them and how much to pay for it. I will say, we have a long way to go but for some of us we won’t rest till we see PR become a necessity for every fashion brand in Ghana and prove how brands are built through PR.
CK: Do the designers understand the benefits of PR?
A few people do, for those who do understand, they also find it difficult to pay the actual value for the service and for the large majority who do not understand they think it’s simply getting press publication for the brand. Sadly most designers are not ready to embrace it and shy away from it even when they know what it is.
CK: As a PR person, how would u describe African Fashion?
I think we really need to step up on the whole supply chain. Right from design, sourcing of fabric, manufacturing, marketing and PR to customer service, we need to have strong systems that support and guide designers to grow, expand and remain in business. Others include fashion shows and media platforms that can also promote and sell African Fashion to a larger audience. All these when done properly, with the right media platforms that can tell our story better, African Fashion will become a force to reckon with.
CK: Ghanaian Fashion?
Well, all I can say is that I wish to see fashion designers learn and embrace growth. A lot needs to be learnt. We need to be able to work and entertain others even if they are our competitors. Sadly, many designers after a few years, die out. I will love to see designers going beyond their love and passion for fashion and treat it as a business. This way they can remain and influence a new generation of young designers.
CK: Did you choose totally Ethnik or they chose you?
I will say we found each other. First because, I have been working since 2012 engaging several designers to handle PR for them. Many of them have turned deaf ears to the request and many I had to also turn down because, I believe in representing brands that I believe in. And sometimes, I tell them to work on a few things which I think they are lacking and then we can talk again. In the case of Totally Ethnik, they contacted me because they needed a PR Representative and upon further engagements, I was convinced this was a brand that will go places hence my acceptance to handle PR for them.
CK: As a PR of Totally Ethnik, have u ever advised them on what to add to a line?
No. The Creative Director is hands-on on what goes into each collection. A few times I get consulted on a few related things but that is very rare.
CK: How do you think PR firms and personnels help up and coming fashion brands reach their target markets at every level of advertising and consumer awareness?
We first advise them on investing in their brand image and relationship. This includes putting together a good collection and release to the media, building a good relationship with various stakeholders, managing the brand image both offline and online and securing placements on various media platforms to keep the brand visible and top of mind.
CK: Talking of Advertising, whats the best way a designer can advertise his or her brand in Ghana?
There is no best way which applies to all brands. Depending on your target market, you can employ strategies such as collaborations, events, styling, trade and fashion shows, thought leaderships to promote and advertise your brand. Traditional and social media should not be left out in gaining visibility for brands.
CK: Name five of your best African brand and why?
This will be difficult as I think a lot of African brands are doing pretty well.My best 5 brands so far are LAnre Da Silva, Christie Brown, Maki Oh, Thula Sindi and Taibo Bacar. These designers have been very resilient aside being creative and unique. They have become top of mind brands and continue to work at making their work relevant.