10 Of NYC's Best Fashion Publicists Show Off Their Office Style

Together, they are responsible for the public relations of major brands like Isabel Marant, Jimmy Choo, Sandro, Wes Gordon, Target, Dannijo, and Suno. They have produced dozens upon dozens of fashion shows, sent thousands of event invitations, and met with pretty much every editor on the planet. Yes, we're talking about NYC's most powerful publicists at the world's top PR agencies.
Ahead of NYFW, we caught up with 10 talented execs to get in on all the insider buzz. Be prepared to enter a world of offices filled with to-die-for samples, well-dressed (and super-busy!) staffers, and of course, lots of on-the-clock stories (yes, there's a Naomi Campbell experience in there!). Oh, and if you're curious, 34-hour workdays do exist.
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Amanda Carter, Founder, MODE Public Relations

Describe your position and daily routine.
"BUSY! I dont read books, only emails. Lots of phone calls, and meetings. My mantra: Make it happen."

Who are some of the clients you presently work with?
"Ace & Jig, Assembly New York, Courtshop, Creatures of Comfort, Dossier Journal, Illesteva, Robert Clergerie, Sea, and Sharouk."

What is your favorite thing about working at your agency?
"Helping my clients grow and succeed. It's such a pleasure having phenomenal talent to work with."

Describe your office style.
"Casual and professional. Look good."

Apiece Apart skirt and top, Robert Clergerie heels.
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What will fashion week look like for you this year?
"Fantastic. I am very lucky to be working with Assembly New York, Creatures of Comfort, and Rodebjer for fall '13 NYFW."

Any NYFW tricks of the trade or office traditions you've picked up over the years?
"I learned a lot from my alma maters, Pierre Rougier and Mandie Erickson. For me it was about pulling from past experience and crafting it into my own company. Also, be generous with the people who work for you. It's important to be nice to talent on the way up — you never know today's interns are tomorrow's editor in chiefs."

What is one myth about the PR world you'd like to debunk?
"That it is all glamour. It's really a lot of hard work."

Craziest experience you've had on the clock?
"Naomi Campbell showing up to my first job in NYC (receptionist at Dolce & Gabbana), calling me Sheila, and asking if I had shoes for her. It was pretty unreal considering I had just moved to NYC."
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Jane Son, Senior Account Executive, and Cindy Krupp, Principal, Krupp Group

Describe your position and daily routine.
Jane: "I work in the fashion department at Krupp Group and manage our clothing designers. Every day varies but I'll usually be in meetings with clients, reading various sources of media, communicating with press, and creating and executing press plans. I always leave time to eat lunch and afternoon coffees are essential!"
Cindy: "My daily routine? Lena Dunham said it best: 'I have work, and then I have a dinner thing, and then I am busy—trying to become who I am.' And who I am is a mother of two that owns a PR company."

Who are some of the clients you presently work with? 
Jane: "Chris Benz, Confezioni Crosby, Lover, Rachel Comey, Steven Alan."
Cindy: "I can't just list a few and not list all. Let's just say I represent clients across the board from accessories, jewelry, fashion, and digital platforms."

What is your favorite thing about working at your agency?
Jane: "The people I work with. No matter how different we all are or what roles we play, we work together and are always supportive of one another. Everyone I work with, colleagues and clients, is a daily inspiration to me."
Cindy: "Having a chance to work with my dedicated team and being surrounded by creative people every day — even the weekends."

Describe your office style. 
Jane: "Whatever I wear to the office is what I feel comfortable wearing anywhere else. A peculiar classic style with a bit of man-repellerish tendencies. Comfort is key, I'll usually wear a mix of basics, prints, and booties. Dresses are a staple for me since they're so comfortable and easy."
Cindy: "I'm pretty low-key — a pair of jeans, T-shirt, blazer. There's no time to be fussy in this industry (except when there's an event). Fortunately though, my clients have different aesthetics, they all seem to work on me."

On Jane: Rachel Comey dress, United Bamboo shoes, Lover blazer, JCrew sweater. On Cindy: Loeffler Randall shoes, Steven Alan dress.
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What will fashion week look like for you this year? 
Jane: "Running from show to show, irregular meal times, catching up with people who are in town that I don't get to see often, late nights and weekends in the office, and lots of caffeine and emergenC."
Cindy: "Seamless (pun intended)."

Any NYFW tricks of the trade or office traditions you've picked up over the years?
Jane: "Take a good music break when you're spending so much time in the office, preferably tunes you can sing and dance to. For a little pick-me-up our office likes to watch funny music videos on youtube. Last season the highlight was Anna Dello Russo's 'Fashion Shower.' (And yes, we tried and failed to learn the dance too)."
Cindy: "Oh, I can't tell you that."

What is one myth about the PR world you'd like to debunk?
Jane: "There's definitely a stereotype that people in PR act or look a certain way. I find that, luckily, I work with an incredibly diverse group of people, all with different interests and backgrounds."
Cindy: "Where to begin?! There are so many!"

Craziest experience you've had on the clock?
Jane: "The earthquake that hit NY in 2011. Okay so it was more like slight trembles for about 30 seconds but I've never felt an earthquake before. I was sitting indian style on my chair at my desk and all of a sudden my cup of water shook like in Jurassic Park and my chair started to roll to the side as our office on the tenth floor in Soho at the time was shaking. We all looked at each other in disbelief and bolted down the stairs to huddle together on the street."
Cindy: "Walking back to the office after a show during the blizzard... in heels."
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Renee Barletta, Senior Vice President, KCD

Describe your position and daily routine.
"I manage a team of seven publicists and senior publicists here and handle everything from developing strategies to  overseeing the day to day editorials, VIP dressing and events."

Who are some of the clients you presently work with?
"Alexis Bittar, Carven, Isabel Marant, Jimmy Choo, Marc Jacobs Accessories, Marc By Marc Jacobs, Maiyet, Peter Som, and Target."

What is your favorite thing about working at your agency?
"I love working with our team. I am lucky to be around so many smart, talented people every day to share ideas, seek advice, and have a laugh with. We definitely know how to have fun, which I think is the key to everything, considering how much time we spend together. I have been here for 12 years so it’s like family, and that’s my favorite thing about working at KCD."

Describe your office style.
"Well it depends: Day to day I am usually in a uniform, a rotation of the typical classics — tailored pants or jeans, navy fitted  blazers or tweedy jackets, and lots of layering.  As it gets closer to fashion week and with lots of client meetings I definitely step it up and break out some of my favorite dresses and get a bit more colorful. One thing for sure is that I am always in heels, it’s the one thing that is always constant!"

Marc Jacobs dress, Maiyet bracelet, Jimmy Choo shoes, Hermes watch.
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What will fashion week look like for you this year? 
"We have 23 events this season between shows, digital fashion shows, and events. It’s definitely a nonstop marathon week."

Any NYFW tricks of the trade or office traditions you've picked up over the years?
"We have a lot on our schedule during NYFW and then I also head off to Paris for a week so my ritual is all about getting myself ready and organized for the long days ahead. 'Keep calm and carry on' is posted to my desk and with that in mind some of my rituals include: tons of yoga (currently obsessed with Pure Prana), spending loads of time with my kids (they make me laugh all the time), spending time in my closet to get a whole weeks worth of looks organized (this is a crucial component for getting out the door on time for those early show mornings). I also stock up on boatloads of Berocca and I always do a cleanse to recharge just before, I am currently trying Joule Body’s newest cleanse and it is major!"

  What is one myth about the PR world you'd like to debunk?
 "It’s not how it’s depicted on reality television; Our goal is to eliminate drama, not create it."  

Craziest experience you've had on the clock?
"No Comment…sorry, couldn’t resist saying that... ha!"
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Carrie Ellen Phillips, Partner, and Vanessa von Bismarck, Partner, BPCM

Describe your position and daily routine.
Carrie: "My job is essentially split into two parts; The first part is running and operating the BPCM Companies from a logistics point of view, the other part is working side by side with our brands to develop their strategies for growth and longevity. There are no two days that are really the same but mornings I drop off my daughter at school, try to get to the gym and then straight to the office. I speak with our London office or clients in Europe and catch up on emails. I lead a weekly directors meeting in our office to talk about clients and the agency. I chat with our business partner in LA (Ali Froley) on her way to work. The rest of the schedule is different every day and is dependent on client meetings, upcoming events, and the time of year."
Vanessa: "I run the agency with my business partner Carrie Phillips. There isn’t really a routine. Since we have to deal with three offices we usually speak to London in the mornings to address whatever actions we have going on in that market, then we focus on what activations, events, client needs are the most pertinent in NY. But essentially our daily routine is dictated by the clients ever changing needs. The most constant part in the routine is dropping off my son at school, buying a huge coffee, and heading to the office at 8:30."

Who are some of the clients you presently work with?
Carrie and Vanessa: "Suno, Wes Gordon, Preen, Irene Neuwirth, J.Crew, Rachel Zoe, Joie, Preen, Longchamp, Cesare Attolini, Santoni, Starwood’s Luxury Collection Hotels and Resorts, Krug Champagne, Frends, Diptyque, Sisley skincare."

What is your favorite thing about working at your agency?
Carrie: "We laugh a lot. It’s a fun place to come every day. Don’t get me wrong, we work hard and I have very high expectations for the quality of work that we put out, but at the end of the day this is a group who has each other’s backs and has a great time together."
Vanessa: "The ability to make our own decisions based on what we feel is right for our business and being able to provide our clients with a customized approach to band positioning, brand strategy, and PR."

Describe your office style.
Carrie: "My style is pretty eclectic and it differs from day to day. I love color and wear a lot of Suno and Joie. Because I never know what the day will bring, my rule is just always to be dressed appropriately in case a meeting pops up."
Vanessa: "Black Current Elliot jeans, a Joseph jacket, and colorful tops."

On Carrie: Aldo shoes, Preen by Thorton Bregazzi dress. On Vanessa: Aldo shoes, Current Elliott pants, Joie shirt, Joseph jacket.
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What will fashion week look like for you this year?
Carrie: "Three shows, six presentations, and three parties then right into London Fashion Week for Preen and ALDO Rise."
Vanessa: "Busy. Lots of shows and presentations as well as a few events in NY, Milan, Paris, and London."

Any NYFW tricks of the trade or office traditions you've picked up over the years?
Carrie: "I am big on being prepared and sweating every detail pre-show so that during the show I can stay calm and relaxed. At every show we have an emergency bag with mints, tights, a sewing kit, and anything else you could imagine to solve a mini-crisis. We have a really intense intern program and every season I do a seminar with them before fashion week talking through our expectations and teaching them how to do things the 'BPCM way'. That’s how I know it’s really fashion week."
Vanessa: "To stay calm and be prepared."

What is one myth about the PR world you'd like to debunk?
Carrie: "Publicists get a pretty bad rap. Our job has evolved from being strictly press-based to being deeply involved in designer strategy and marketing. We are still called publicists but there is a lot more to our jobs than pushing samples and placing stories."

Craziest experience you've had on the clock?
Carrie: "Running a global company with 50+ employees is pretty crazy in itself. It means that you are always on the clock."
Vanessa: "Playing Ping Pong with a corporate client after a very serious meeting in our conference room."
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Libby Haan, Owner, HAAN PROJECTS

Describe your position and daily routine.
"I run the show along with my group of trusted ladies. There is absolutely no routine to PR. Every day something different crops up. It’s like holding as many spinning plates as you can balance."

Who are some of the clients you presently work with?
"Adam Lippes, Araks ready to wear and lingerie, Creatures of The Wind, Hellessy, Edie Parker, Monique Lhuillier RTW and bridal and Thakoon, Thakoon Addition and Tasaki by Thakoon."

What is your favorite thing about working at your agency?
"I sincerely love all of my clients. I have a group of people that work for HAAN PROJECTS that I’m endlessly thankful for. I so enjoy working with very talented and nice people. I’m really quite lucky! Getting a great credit, a feature, a news item… any and everything we try day in and day out makes it so worthwhile when it all comes together! It may sound excessively effusive, but nonetheless, it is absolutely true.

I also enjoy working with so many great editors and journalists. It’s a joy to have great relationships whether a story or shoot works out or not. Also, I really enjoy doing our company blog, 10 Things To Love. The idea of constantly finding things to love is a delightful pursuit."

Describe your office style.
"Chic and charming, we hope."

Marni dress and booties.
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What will fashion week look like for you this year?
"Fashion shows are one of my favorite parts of this job. A beautiful show still sends me. For fall '13, we will have three runway shows and three presentations."

Any NYFW tricks of the trade or office traditions you've picked up over the years?
"Singing through just about everything. I tend to get a song stuck in mental rotation and will play it over and over again. It just has to run its course. Somewhat annoying for all involved, myself included, but I just give into it! This season is Mayer Hawthorne 'You’re Not Ready'."

What is one myth about the PR world you'd like to debunk?
"I’m not really aware of any specific myths. I can say this… it is our intention to be courteous and as helpful as is humanly possible at all times."

Craziest experience you've had on the clock?
On several occasions, I worked 34 hours in a row for a show that came after about four to five consecutive 18-20 hour workdays. After that amount of intense work, any and everything seems a bit crazy. After one particular 34 hour stretch, I made it back to my hotel room and passed out, only to wake up with a telephone in my hand talking on the phone. I thought I was dreaming only to realize I was on the phone with the hotel reception. Someone was trying to relay a phone message to me. That was insane."
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Taylor Gowdy, Senior Account Executive, Caitlin Kelly, Fashion Supervisor, Alison Brod Public Relations

Describe your position and daily routine.
Taylor: "No day is ever the same. It typically involves pitching editors new products and trend stories, strategic brand planning, and communicating with my clients."
Caitlin: "I run multiple accounts and manage the junior team members. Aside from the day-to-day pitching of features and news stories, I work on PR and marketing plans for the year, strategic plans for product launches and collaborations, large consumer events and initiatives, and more. An important part of my job is client relations and making sure they are happy and the account is running smoothly."

Who are some of the clients you presently work with?
Taylor: "On our lifestyle team, we rep a variety of food, spirits, hospitality, and nightlife clients. I handle GODIVA Chocolatier, SKYY Vodka, Tequila Avión, DAVIDsTEA, and more."
Caitlin: "Havaianas, Dannijo, Old Navy, and more."

What is your favorite thing about working at your agency?
Taylor: "Not only does our agency embrace creativity, we work in a very collaborative environment. At least once a week, we will come together for a ‘brainstorm’ to discuss innovative and off-the-cusp event concepts and product launch ideas. With an agency of over 50 women, it is amazing how well we all get along and work together to achieve our brand’s goals."
Caitlin: "The camaraderie and teamwork among the girls at ABPR is something that I just don’t think you can find at another agency. We have over 50 clever, witty, and ambitious women working here, and we all get along and respect each other. This all really stems from the top, because Alison is a great boss. I always feel so lucky to work here."

Describe your office style.
Taylor: "We have nightly events so I try to wear things that can seamlessly translate from day to night. My weekly attire usually consists of skirts, dresses, and wax jeans."
Caitlin: "Let’s call it 'urban chic.' Lots of leather, denim and fur and almost zero color or prints. I always vamp up the simplicity with bright red nails and some major Dannijo."

On Taylor: Intermix shirt, Dannijo necklace, T.Babaton blazer, Zara skirt, Cartier watch, Hermes, David Yurman, and vintage bracelets. On Caitlin: Gap shirt, Helmut Lang leather leggings, Dannijo necklace.
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What will fashion week look like for you this year?
Taylor: "We are the official agency of Mercedes Benz for Fashion Week, so we’re very busy. We also represent venues like PHD, Marquee, LAVO, and STK, who will host Fashion Week after-parties — it will be a lot of late nights and very early mornings."
Caitlin: "Red carpets, cigarettes, parties, and drugs.  No, I’m just kidding — it’s more like excel spreadsheets, clipboards, carbs, and headsets."

Any NYFW tricks of the trade or office traditions you've picked up over the years?
Taylor: "Book your Drybar appointments in advance and always have an extra pair of heels under your desk."
Caitlin: "Just accept the madness. I never have time for anything personal during Fashion Week, so I always try to cram everything in the week before. See your friends, dye your hair, paint your nails. Consider it a last hurrah. Oh, and invest in Rohto Eyedrops. They burn like hell, but will change your life."

What is one myth about the PR world you'd like to debunk?
Taylor: “That it’s all about the parties. Producing parties for clients is just one fraction of our job. The event is merely the pay-off for the days filled with planning, producing and above all, pitching."
Caitlin: "That 'PR girls just send out samples all day.' I can’t even deal with explaining how inaccurate that is."

Craziest experience you've had on the clock?
Taylor: "A starlet (who I will not name) demanded we get on our 'knees when talking to her' at one of our events."
Caitlin: "I worked out with Richard Simmons the other week for our Old Navy Active event. I laughed so hard the entire time, which resulted in one of the best ab workouts of my life."
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Caroline Payne, Publicist, Bradbury Lewis

Describe your position and daily routine.
"I am very lucky to work with a roster of amazing ready to wear and accessory clients. The best part about being a publicist is no two days are alike! Right now, we are in fashion week mode, so I have been busy previewing, confirming attendees, dressing VIPs, securing pre-show coverage, etc. It's not all work and no play, however — I did step out to escort my clients, Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin of Tome, to the Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation Winners brunch. They won the Women's Design Award this season!"

Who are some of the clients you presently work with?
"Chrissie Morris, Clare Vivier, Daimyo, House of Lavande, LD Tuttle, Natalie Frigo, Schosha, and Tome."

What is your favorite thing about working at your agency?
"At Bradbury Lewis we represent designers who are truly passionate about their craft. It's a real joy to work with artists who have such interesting and dynamic points of view."

Describe your office style. "Slightly schizophrenic! A lot of menswear with touches of Victorian doll and I have recently rediscovered my love of patterned hosiery. Make of that what you will..."

Theory sweater, Tome skirt, LD Tuttle booties.
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What will fashion week look like for you this year?
"We have an amazing line up: Tanya Taylor, Tome, Honor, Karen Walker, Jeremy Laing, and Bellavance. Tome is presenting for the first time so I am particularly excited about that one."

Any NYFW tricks of the trade or office traditions you've picked up over the years?
"Always have a plan B."

What is one myth about the PR world you'd like to debunk?
"It's not all editor drinks and red carpets. If you want to work in this industry, get used to sleeping with your phone cradled to your chest."

Craziest experience you've had on the clock?
"Years ago, I once had to step in as a fit model for a preview with some TV producers in from L.A. I was in a hotel room wearing strips of sheer fabric, standing in front of five or six non-fashion people. Oh, the lengths I'll go to for my clients!"
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