After moving from one fashion capital to another, studying at two of the world’s most prestigious fashion institutions - London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins, and navigating the digital marketing landscape during a global pandemic, we thought there would be no better person to discuss creativity and fashion trends with than Ted Baker’s Social Media Executive, Sara
You now work as a Social Media Executive for global fashion and accessories brand Ted Baker, but where did your marketing journey start?
My marketing journey started after graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Communication and Graphic Design at Politecnico di Milano in Italy. I then moved to London and started working in the marketing team of an Italian luxury fashion brand whilst also attending the Master Fashion Social Media course at Central Saint Martins (UAL). Being extremely passionate about digital strategies, social media and creative content marketing I decided to dive deeper into this particular field by pursuing a MA at London College of Fashion in Strategic Fashion Marketing.
Why did you choose to explore design and marketing as a career?
I am both a creative and an analytical person and a career in design and marketing allowed me to combine both aspects of my personality. In particular, I love design because it allows me to express my creativity and to deliver engaging content whilst being attentive to detail. However, before approaching the marketing field I had the impression that the content I was creating wasn’t necessarily considerate of the customer and it was instead focused on aesthetic principles. Being a consumer focused, sympathetic person, I wanted to understand the customer needs and expectations, earn their trust and enhance their customer experience. My marketing knowledge now allows me to analyse and leverage data to support my creative side.
After starting your career in Italy, renowned for its creativity and craftsmanship in the textile industry, what bought you to London?
I wanted to push my limits and learn a new language properly whilst exploring work experience in fashion. Even though Italy is highly regarded for its craftsmanship, quality, and epitome of elegance, I was looking for a new exciting opportunity and I felt that London, being a diverse and multicultural city would be capable of offering relevant opportunities to grow professionally and acquire valuable experience.
With traditional bricks and mortar stores closed, how has this impacted the digital marketing landscape in the last year?
The pandemic had devastating effects not only because traditional stores had to close, but also because many consumers lost their jobs and had to redefine their spending habits. Fashion brands were severely affected, their revenues declined causing significant losses and forcing many of them to declare bankruptcy. In this period, brands had to keep their online presence engaging and relevant more than ever in order to reach their customers and target new ones.
Since consumer habits and interests are constantly changing, one of the main challenges for fashion brands was to think outside of the box in order to create original content marketing strategies capable of creating emotional connections with their audience whilst trying to maximise sales and revenues. In the past year we saw the rise of TikTok, but social networks are constantly evolving and brands have to keep up with the times. Currently, Clubhouse is gathering the attention of people from all over the world and joining the platform could create a great chance for fashion brands to talk, listen and learn from customers in real-time, thus understanding their needs, real expectations and improving their performance.
Creativity is at the heart of what you do. Do you perhaps feel that working from home has enhanced productivity but stalled creativity?
Working from home has enhanced my productivity, but I have also noticed that I am working significantly more hours. I surely see benefits in this new way of working. In fact, my commute time has decreased, I spend less time finding the perfect outfit, I wear less makeup, I can sleep more, and I can spend more time with my boyfriend. However, the main disadvantage of lockdown is the affect it has on my creativity. The travel ban and reduced social life in particular are my main creativity killers. Nevertheless, during weekends I try to have long walks in local areas to find inspiration and boost my creativity. While exploring new areas, I take pictures, buy varied cuisines and unlimited coffees from different places. These are the little moments of joy that inspire and recharge me, allowing me to remain productive.
Despite having a strong online presence in the last year, have fashion and accessory brands had to do anything else differently to stay relevant in such challenging times?
A strong online presence was essential in the past year, but in a market with limited affordable choices and characterised by increased demand for guilt-free products, I believe that fashion brands should offer more sustainable choices at a good price-point while guaranteeing high-ethics, transparency, and traceability. Also, considering new changing habits as a consequence of the lockdown, products should be not only of high quality and ethically made, but durable, with a clean aesthetic, and versatile so that they can be suitable for multiple occasions across all seasons.
What makes our Dahlia backpack your staple sustainable accessory for all seasons?
Dahlia is a great product not only because its USP lies at the intersection of sustainability, durability, and timeless minimalist design at an accessible price point, but it is also a staple contemporary accessory with functional compartments that support productivity and organisation. I love its functionality and compartments because they can perfectly hold all my daily bits. Honestly, I have been looking for a bag like this for ages and finally, everything is practically, yet beautifully organised in my Dahlia!