Katie Sturino began her career interning for Chanel and working in-house for Dolce & Gabbana and Calvin Klein. Apparently that wasn't glamorous, or BUSY, enough for the fashion-forward entrepreneur as she later opened her own boutique fashion PR firm. Katie luckily made a savvy business decision that helped her success as a fashion entrepreneur--she worked flexible hours on a Bobbi Brown book while building her firm's client list. And her hard work paid off.
Since 2005 Katie, along with partner Sarah Sallee, has successfully run Tinder Inc., a PR firm dedicated to opening new avenues for their up-and-coming fashion clientele. Tinder's client list includes Sarah Chloe, Adele Wechsler, Leigh & Luca, Curve and Cesar's Way (by Cesar Millan “The Dog Whisperer”). Thanks to the PR skills of Katie and Tinder their clients' clothes and jewelry have been featured in People, Glamour, E! News, Seventeen, InStyle, and more, and have been worn by celebrities including the Olsen sisters, Hillary Duff, Jessica Alba and Paris Hilton.
Katie recently took time out of her PR-scheduling schedule to share some tips on how to be successful in the fashion industry:
What inspired you to get into the fashion industry?
Like most of your readers, I have been obsessed with fashion, designers and getting dressed for as long as I can remember. Its wonderful to work in an industry that allows me to wear a kaftan to a meeting.
What type of education did it take to get you where you are today?
I majored in Communications at UW Madison but the best education in PR comes from experience. So get started! Internships are an extremely valuable part of your career path on Public Relations.
How has your career path progressed over the years?
I started off wanting to work for a big fashion house and I did end up working for several of them. However, I discovered that I much more enjoy watching the progress of smaller companies. Now I get to enjoy watching a company grow and know that I had a direct hand in its success.
What is your favorite part of working in the fashion business?
It allows me to be creative and to interact with all types of people.
What advice would you give to aspiring fashionistas?
Work hard. Be nice. Don’t act entitled.
What schools does your company generally recruit new hires from?
Do you think there is an overall increasing or decreasing need for people in the fashion industry?
Increasing. There are more labels out there than ever!
Which skills do you consider to be most critical for a career in fashion?
A strong work ethic, sense for style/fashion, a natural ability to be social and an active imagination!
What do you think the future of fashion holds?
Fashion media is heading more towards influential individuals (bloggers). Although I do believe that certain fashion institutions will always remain.
Check out more interviews at The Fashion-Schools.org Interview Series.