Photography: Mark Chudnoff
After getting her start in Fashion PR and working in the different sides of the industry (both agency and in-house), Malorie Kaye set out to merge the two styles into one company. Malorie created Cameo PR in 2008 with the dream of giving clients PR expertise combined with the best personalized attention possible. Working in PR has given Malorie the chance to utilize her love of fashion in a professional way. In addition to an inside peek at her office (we’re captivated with its chic design and clever use of color!), Malorie shared her thoughts on fashion, PR, and sparkles with us.
“I LOVE vintage earrings; this is just a small sampling of the collection I’ve been working on for almost a decade.” Clockwise from top: Givenchy, Unsigned Vintage, Unsigned Vintage, Balmain, Chanel, Chanel, Hansin
What is your background?
I grew up in a family of artists who constantly pushed me to find new outlets for my creativity and self-expression. I always knew that I would wind up in a creative industry, and for me, that industry was fashion from the very beginning. I began styling friends before school in 5th and 6th grade and took merchandising classes as early as high school. I continued to study apparel merchandising, business, and journalism at Indiana University with the big dream of one day starting my own fashion magazine. The fantastic program at Indiana allowed me to participate in numerous internships and build an incredibly strong foundation, which led me to fall in love with PR. Shortly after college graduation, I landed my first job at a small Fashion PR agency. After two years, I left the agency to go in-house with an amazing shoe designer (who later became one of my first clients at Cameo PR). The rest is history.
“These Dolce & Gabbana riding boots were my very first pair of designer shoes. I somehow convinced my parents to buy them for me as a birthday gift, and to this day my dad still makes fun of the way I shrieked in the store when they agreed to the purchase. You don’t get more classic than a good riding boot.”
Why did you decide to start a Fashion PR firm?
Fashion PR combines everything I love about the ever-changing world of fashion. With PR, you have the ability to be a part of every detail, from forecasting trends and working on designer collections from the true foundation to introducing the world to exciting new projects and watching your clients flourish into household names. I knew I loved it from the beginning! In working at an agency, though, I found that the relationship between client and publicist really lacked a personal connection — which was a huge part of what made me so passionate about the job to begin with. I became extremely invested in each client, yet I felt like I was never given the opportunity to express that to them directly. This was so frustrating for me that I wound up moving in-house with one of them. I realized from that experience that there really was a void in the industry, and designers were forced to choose one or the other. I wanted to create a space where the feeling of in-house PR merged with the benefits of agency knowledge and resources. It is so important as a young designer to be able to have both elements in one place.
How would you describe Cameo PR?
Cameo PR is a public relations & creative consulting agency specializing in all aspects contributing to the growth of emerging designers, brands, and boutiques. Based in New York City, Cameo PR has built an incredible reputation through the unique philosophy and approach of marrying the deeply-rooted, personalized attention of in-house PR with the broad range of expertise offered by a full-service agency — resulting in an unprecedented outcome. Our most valued sentiment is that each client becomes a part of our family, and vice versa.
“The two clutches, vintage Dior & vintage Gucci, both belonged to my mom before I raided her closet and deemed them mine. My mom has always had such an innate sense of style, and playing in her closet was and still is one of my favorite past times. Both of these are cherished beyond belief.”
“This vintage Oscar de la Renta jacket was a major score; I found it hidden in the racks at a charity sale! The vintage python Judith Leiber clutch sitting beside it was an engagement gift from my mother-in-law, which I pretty much specified was a part of the deal long before my husband proposed.”
What is a typical day in the office?
I can honestly say that in PR, every day is different. That is the greatest thing about this job. Some days I sit at my desk from morning to night, consulting with clients, pitching stories, updating inventory, and working on sponsorships and collaborations. Other days, I’m out of the office nearly the entire day, attending market appointments, showing new collections, and catching up with the editors & stylists that have become such great friends. Some days I even treat myself to an hour or two at the bookstore, catching up on all of the new magazines. After all, the magazines are what drew me to the gig in the first place!
“The architecture around our office is unbelievable. This doorway is my all-time favorite spot; it’s a work of art. I’m wearing a vintage Natori skirt I picked up at the Manhattan Vintage Show & Laurence Dacade for Matthew Williamson shoes (my absolute favorite). And, of course, I’m always representing our designers! The bag is LaLucca, the necklace is The 2 Bandits, and the cuffs are boyNYC.”
Your office is adorable! How did you decide on the decor, and what was your inspiration?
Thanks! The overall vision began with the idea of re-creating a living room within our office. When a space is cozy and inviting, not only does it put a smile on your guests’ faces, but it also entices them to stick around for a while! We really wanted to create a space that would make everyone want to come and hang out. Our philosophy has always been, “the more, the merrier” — having others around makes work so much fun! I’ve always had a very distinct style: a mix of glamour, polish, and a touch of whimsical dreaminess. The best way to accomplish that was through a mix of vintage and modern, and a juxtaposition of soft feminine colors with bold black and white accents. That’s exactly what we did, and I have to say: when you’re in a pretty space every day, it definitely makes coming to work that much more fabulous!
“Since childhood, I’ve justified investing in accessories by explaining that fashion is art. Nothing proves this more true than these hot pink, petal-adorned Louboutin heels and a hand-painted, one-of-a-kind clutch from LaLucca! They’re just as fabulous as décor as they are completing my outfits.”
What are the pros and cons of working in Fashion PR?
With anything in life there are always pros and cons, but working in Fashion PR has been pretty amazing for me. The best part is that we always become such an intimate part of the brands we work with. Having the opportunity to watch them grow and flourish — knowing that we played a significant role in making that happen — is priceless. It is such a gratifying industry. Unfortunately, while we often have such exciting news to share, there are those times when we have to be the bearers of bad news. When a great credit is cut from an issue, or a piece the designer loves isn’t well received by editors & stylists, it is just as much our job to let our clients know. That would definitely be the worst part of the job. The thing I love most is that I get to see everything before it even exists. I watch a sketch jump off the page and come to life, and I get to be the one who shares that brand new bag or shoe or necklace with the world. There is nothing better than seeing someone get excited about something they’re seeing for the first time.
“My favorite part of the month is when the new magazines come out. I sprawl out on our shag rug and skim for all of our clients’ credits, tearing out pages with a huge smile on my face. Then I go back through each issue with a marker and circle everything that I love — shopping tips, pitch ideas, inspiration for the office, potential clients. There is nothing better!”
What are your favorite places to seek inspiration?
I have definitely always found inspiration in magazines. From the products in the editorials to the layout of the pages themselves, I am so intrigued by how a small book can become such a big part of my life. My favorite thing to do on a grey day is to sit in Barnes & Noble with a cup of coffee, flipping through all of the international titles to get a different perspective or find something new and exciting. I’ve been tearing out pages and chronicling them for as long as I can remember! In fact, I was reminiscing in my parents house recently, and actually found a “bridal inspiration binder” I made when I was 12. It was filled with hundreds of gown clippings, so many of which I actually would have worn to my wedding, had they still existed! Lately, I’ve been totally addicted to Pinterest, Tumblr, & Lookbook.nu; they are all such incredible sources of inspiration. We started “Daily Dose of Pretty” on our blog (CameoBlog.com), because I think it’s so important to wake up to something beautiful each day — and so many of the amazing pictures come from Pinterest & Tumblr! My obsession with fashion has now expanded to include home décor as well, courtesy of these sites and all of the awesome blogs out there (like Glitter Guide!). My clients are an endless source of inspiration in so many ways — from the art they create to the way they build their businesses from the ground up with such different foundations. The business minds behind the brands have always been just as inspirational to me as the pieces that come out of them.
“When I need some serenity, I sit at this glamorous desk in the showroom. The mirrored console was a vintage find and makes me feel instantly pretty. I am in love with this Theyskens’ Theory electric blue blazer, and I’ve had these Charles David Spectator Sandals since high school. Still going strong!”
How do you sparkle?
I’m never afraid to take a risk. Whether it means wearing a jacket with shoulders larger than my head, wearing heels that look like they belong in an art museum, or taking a leap of faith in business even when it’s scary, I don’t think you’ll ever stand out if you’re worried about the outcome. You have to be willing to be yourself and make decisions that make you feel good. I think that’s what really drew me to fashion in the first place: the ability to make a statement and own it in a beautiful way, knowing that there will always be endless possibilities that allow you to be bold and glamorous while remaining poised and classy.
Office design: Nicole Loiacono of Parlour