We converse with the founders of PRoof PR about innovation in fashion locally and making fashion PR relevant in the industry.
TCP: Could you kindly give us a more detailed background on who Red Mos & Lelo Meslani are?
Red: Well, Red is a young woman who loves the business of fashion and has dedicated most of her life to learning and experiencing as much about the industry as possible. I was born in Mafikeng, but have moved around a bit since then.
Lelo: I was born in the east rand of Johannesburg, moved to Durban in 2007 – where later discovered my passion for the Arts and media, and moved back to JHB to cultivate my dreams into a career.
TCP: How did Proof PR come to life?
PROOF PR: I saw (and still see) room for growth in fashion PR and events in South Africa and decided to begin the steps towards doing something about it. I knew Lelo from our interactions via twitter and knew he’d be a great co-founder, luckily when I approached him about starting PRooF, he agreed and we’ve been working ever since.
TCP: What’s the purpose & role it has to offer in the South African fashion industry?
PROOF PR: We offer a new, creative approach to PR, fashion events, lookbooks and even brand consulting in South Africa. Being that we are both young, driven and just stocked full of ideas, we come to the table with a fresh perspective and ideas to bring to the South African fashion industry into a new greater era.
TCP: Both of you are young, fresh& creative minds, please take us through the modern & innovative ways of introducing diversity in the industry?
PROOF PR: The best way, in my opinion, to introduce diversity in fashion is true representation. Not just a few token Instagram famous models cast in shows in France, but rather actually have more people of colour and people from different classes actively participating in every level of fashion. Everyone from designers to casting directors to show producers to makeup artists to photographers to fashion journalists to buyers.
TCP: What does PRoof PR have to offer in 2016?
PROOF PR: We have a few things in the pipe line which hopefully we’ll be able to share soon.
TCP: Fashion PR is beyond the glitz & glam, the glam attached to it is a bonus, please explain the importance & role it plays in the industry?
PROOF PR: It’s an entire process that not everybody is supposed to understand but the simplest way to explain it is that with the right fashion publicist, a designer gains more exposure and connections in the industry and related industries all while translating that exposure and those connections into actual money in the bank for the brand.
TCP: How effective is Fashion PR in South Africa & Africa at large?
PROOF PR: It has become a lot more effective through the years as we have watched the fashion industries in Africa grow but like anything still developing to reach its full potential, there is quite a bit of room for improvements and innovations but not just in-house. A lot of brands in Africa leave PR to their in-house PR department not realizing that you get more for your brand from working with an external PR company.
TCP: People who are looking at going into Fashion PR please give them a few useful & vital tips?
PROOF PR: Be resilient as hell. It is not an easy department in fashion to break into therefore it will take time and a few dozen of rejections before you feel like you’re making any progress.
TCP: Social media plays a major role in the industry, it has its downfall but how do you maintain consistency?
PROOF PR: There’s a lot that can go wrong with your brand on social media – depending on how you deal with responses, consistency and transparency with your audience. I think the major downfalls, especially on twitter, is not thinking before you tweet. Throwing of shade unnecessarily can lead to deformation, or even big corporations looking into your social media feed for business. The tiniest of things could potentially ruin your career. So it’s essential to watch whatever you say. Also, it’s great to be quirky, draw traffic to the RT and like buttons, make your accounts stand out. As much as it can be fun, it’s still business at the end of the day too.
TCP: Looking into collaborations this year?
PROOF PR: Yes. We’re looking into working and collaborating with as many brands as possible who are willing to entrust us with their brand and make each of them greater in their own right.
We from TheCreativePattern would like to thank Red Mos and Lelo Meslani for giving us an in depth of fashion PR and Proof PR, may the Lord bless you and your future endeavours, find them through the following:
Twitter: @Red__Mos / @LeloMeslani and @Proof_PR
Instagram: @Leleau and @Red_Mos