Blanck Lite Issue 8 Blanck Lite Issue 8 - Page 16

looking to spread tentacles in the continent. Currently the head of PR and communications at Boohoo.com, a retailing outfit in the UK,as well as a publicity consultant and administrator to other brands, Arieta has earned her stripes as a strong force and influence in the fashion industry for her continent and for the world. To top it all off, she is such a personable and relat- able individual with absolutely no airs! Glean- ing from her was highly inspirational. It was a great honor getting her honest opinions on the Nigerian fashion industry and it’s certainly not too late to inspire change. Get the scoop below. Can you describe your role as a publicist? A publicist, also known as a public relations specialist, is someone who generates media coverage for their client in order to promote them to the public. Brands and clients who need to create awareness or to improve its im- age in the public eye need good publicists. At the moment, I oversee a team of publicists both in Nigeria and internationally for a major retailer in the UK called NBROWN, a curve& plus size clothing brand known as Simply Be, Figleaves underwear and Jacamo. How different is it to publicize for fashion in Nigeria compared to other sectors? It’s tremendously hard to be a publicist in Nige- ria as we don’t have systems in place to ensure 360 outcomes. PR supports marketing first and foremost so there needs to be a marketing plan for a publicist to build a strategy around- from what I know of, not a lot of brands have this. I do know of a few standout publicists in Nige- ria like Bidemi Zakariyau and Ijeoma Balogun who are doing a great job regardless. What challenges stand out in publicizing fashion? With the emergence of social media platforms, a lot of brands think it’s just a matter of starting an Instagram / Facebook page and buying fol- lowers- there’s a lot more that goes into it con- verting likes or views into sales.... Most Nigeri- an brands especially don’t opt for PR services as they don’t really grasp what good PR can do or 16 / BLANCKLITE / OCT 2018 / www.blanckdigital.com how to use it effectively. What fashion brands currently appeal to you in terms of image and public perception? Always Orange Culture, LOZA Molenmbho, Tongoro studio, Christie brown and I love all the denim stuff from NKWO. All of these brands have strong aesthetics and a tone of voice which speak to me. Also, the creative directors are grafters! They know their craft and keep learn- ing. What would you say is mainly lacking in the fashion industry today? Education - who is teaching who? We have no standard fashion schools or colleges- a lot of people are self taught which is great;however, to what standard are they working? Things need to be done properly in order to sustain the indus- try. What would you like to see change? The perception that creativity is for rich kids- I don’t see enough kids from poor backgrounds with creative talent being celebrated – I’d also love there to be more opportunities for creatives from less affluent backgrounds… What’s the first advice you’d give an be emerg- ing fashion brand, individual or publication as regards their PR strategy? Do due diligence, understand what awareness and noise you are trying to create, think on how you or your brand stand out from others? Then go for it. What’s your ultimate fashion dream? One of the dreams I have is for AFRICAN cre- ativity and fashion to be regarded on par with the rest of the world. When there won’t be any boxes holding us in... However, my ultimate fashion dream is too controversial and I can’t tell you this... it’s huge and too scary to divulge... well for now.... 17 / BLANCKLITE / OCT 2018 / www.blanckdigital.com