This is part one of a six part series of conversations with makers in the local fashion industry, produced by Chris Hunt – PR & Events Director at Genuine, and Founder/Director of Social Enterprise Scotland Re:Designed CIC, New conversations will be out every Friday!
What do you do?
I am a Social Media Content Creator and Influencer, although I’m not the biggest fan of the word Influencer… the major and main thing I do since I launched my own Creative Content & Marketing Agency in 2019 is create content and digital marketing for fashion and lifestyle brands. My Company is called Kreativedon – everything I do falls under that. Where my personal brand is Howeydon, Kreativedon helps other businesses with social media, content marketing, branding. I also study business management at Dundee Uni.
I originally started blogging in 2016. It was January and one of those new year’s resolution things. I did do a bit of modeling before and had an Instagram account established but it was nothing serious. On Instagram, I saw all of these content creators doing amazing things, people always asked me loads of questions about where my clothes, shoes etc. were from. So, I just thought why not have a blog where I can write answers to all of these questions and direct people there. I then bought a domain name, put some hard work in and the rest is history.
How do you do it?
[laughs] By wearing many hats. Taking my own photos, editing, copyrighting, and everything in between when I first started, I am totally self-taught in many ways. Luckily now, I have got a small team around me who help with large projects for Kreativedon. Before Covid-19 I also offered internships spaces for young creatives and students from DJCAD to get involved for credits and collaborations.
What do you think are the Challenges and Opportunities working in this sector locally?
I don’t think we showcase our creativity enough in Dundee, at least on a scale as I’ve seen in other cities. When I launched Kreativedon it was an opportunity to invite notable Influencers and fashion designers from all over the UK to Dundee to take part in something I had created, a launch event that celebrated the work of Fashion creatives and an opportunity for networking. Emerging Fashion designers and digital creative talents in Dundee need to be able to get that support locally so they can showcase what they do best.
Although I do think the V&A is doing well in this area.
Why do you love Dundee?
I have a family here now. Dundee allows me escapism in a way as I travel a lot for work, here I can get away from the hustle of London or other bigger cities. The creative talent here is phenomenal and reachable. It’s inexpensive also so it makes it possible to carry out work here and stay competitive in price in comparison to bigger cities.
What do you think is happening to Fashion right now, in Scotland and generally?
I think for Fashion Content Creators understanding the ethics of the industry and Corporate social responsibility is really important.
Overall, it’s a big industry challenge, as there’s little to nothing in terms of guidelines that teach creators how to act with brands, each other, and their audience. Some creators become overnight celebrities, as a single viral piece of content can make that happen. So, having more regulatory organisations that provide guidelines on ways of working, managing your brand and business, developing it, sustaining it and being transparent in the industry could make a lot of difference.
What would you like to see happen in Scottish Fashion, or in Dundee for Fashion?
I’d like to see more nurturing of the Fashion talent we have here. I feel if we’re able to show more support for new and emerging local talent here in Dundee/Scotland rather than after they’ve become famous, it would give them the opportunity to grow, prosper and become role models and ambassadors for the city. We have so many talented people from clothes designers to jewelry makers, aspiring models, and digital content creators/influencers. I would like to see these homegrown talents remaining in Scotland rather than moving to other countries or cities because they feel they would get more support from elsewhere than they do at home.
Do you agree with the importance of collaborative working?
I think this is very important, a lot of my success today is down to collaborative working. Dundee needs to provide more platforms for Fashion creatives to network and grow together through networking events. London is where I get most of my collaborative opportunities as it is easy meet editors, stylists and other industry people. Some of my biggest career milestones are down to collaborations like my first two features on Italian VOGUE. Collaboration is absolutely key to growth.
What are your hopes long term?
I would say innovation and sustainability, as the future of fashion is digital with a focus on sustainability. For instance, pre-COVID-19, during Fashion Week people fly from one fashion city to another leaving unnecessary carbon footprints; Garments are often mass-produced in non-eco-friendly ways and shipped everywhere. Covid-19 has taught me that so much traveling isn’t necessary, and we can do things in an eco-friendlier manner. These days designers send me clothes and products to shoot remotely for their look-books and e-commerce. This cuts down travel and carbon emissions. I am also able to have remote meetings and castings through Zoom video calls which is great. We really can evolve even if it may have been uncertain and daunting at first, change is the way forward to achieve being sustainable.
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