The unsung heroes behind the scenes within the fashion industry are the fashion publicists. They are the folks who secure press for their clients, organize events for them, get the word out about their initiatives or projects, make sure the brand is seen on the right luminaries, are shot by cool media outlets and are known by the world at large. They also put out those fires when their clients do or say something inappropriate. In other words, these handlers do it all.
During NYFW, you can find them running around the venue on the day of the show making sure everything is running smoothly and guests get to their seats quickly so that the show can start on time. It's easy to spot them; they're the figures dressed in all black wearing a headset as their major accessory. These are the folks who are running things that the general public doesn't necessarily see or know about.
As NYFW is underway, we spoke to three successful public relations agency owners—Nate Hinton, Sandrine Charles and Kevin McIntosh Jr—who have over 30 years of experience combined, having worked their way up from being an intern to being their own boss. Each of them is a master of their craft and have worked with some of the biggest brands and celebrities in the world. We asked each to share what they love most about NYFW, their go-to uniform for fashion week and what "moving Black forward" means to them.
Get to know more about them below.
Nate Hinton of The Hinton Group
Years working as a publicist (including assistant years): About 14 years.
Brands you represent: Sergio Hudson, AnOnlyChild, Aliétte, Bally, Moose Knuckles and a few others.
What do you love most about NYFW?: My job! The organized chaos at our fashion shows gets my blood pumping.
Your go-to fashion item for NYFW: I'm trying to find the shoes Giveon wore to the brunch to complete the rest of my black outfits. Help!
How would you define “moving Black forward”? I define "moving Black forward" by taking up space in the areas where I want to exist. By not just doing my job, but also striving to be the best at it. By reaching back and bringing another brother or sister up along the way with me. And by spreading love. Black is love.
Sandrine Charles of Sandrine Charles Consulting
Years working as a publicist (including assistant years): About 13 years.
Brands you represent: Daily Paper, Honor The Gift, DITA, Yitty, CULTNAKED, NIA, Sadi Studios, Zellerfeld, Riot Swim and many more.
What do you love most about NYFW?: Seeing and working with people I don't necessarily get to see all the time throughout the season.
Your go-to fashion item for NYFW: A black suit.
How would you define “moving Black forward”? I believe the work I do, the talent we dress and the brands we represent inject the movement of moving Black forward by incorporating Black creatives wherever possible.
Kevin McIntosh Jr of KMJR Consulting
Years working as a publicist (including assistant years): I've been in the fashion industry for 12-13 years, with 10 of those years working as a publicist.
Brands you represent: A handful of your favorites 😊
What do you love most about NYFW?: The fun events, coming together with folks and rekindling those bonds with industry friends, whether it be models, editors, socialites or influencers.
Your go-to fashion item for NYFW: A strong black pant. I have this pair from Prada that fits well and feels good on. I can run in them, squat in them or just rest normal in them.
How would you define “moving Black forward”?: I think "moving Black forward" looks like a lot of things in the fashion industry; however, working with projects that help our community and making sure Black people have visibility I think really moves the needle forward. Bringing in and helping designers of color, working on not only luxury but also contemporary brands where Black women and men can see themselves also helps. Putting friends, former or current employees or strangers in positions where they get to make choices and elevate their careers is also a way to move us forward. Like I said, it’s a combination of things but making sure the door is open and people know what’s out there is number one. Also knowing when to say no is key. It’s just as important as when we’re saying yes—taking on things that doesn’t move the needle or is beneath the vision shouldn’t be done. Or, at least we work not do so.