Fashionista: First off, I would love to talk about how you got your start and how you got to where you are now?
Celine Kaplan: The first job that led me into this was I [repped] European painters in the US because I loved art and my parents were in that world so it was a good excuse to come to New York. To have their paintings in my house and to try to organize exhibits and everything. That kind of gave me a cause to be in the art world. But you kind of need massive longevity, with loads of money behind it. So after a few years I gave up, but that’s what gave me the taste of what is PR without really knowing what it was…I didn’t even know the words PR or what it was and what I wanted to do.
That was the first thing and did it for me. Then I worked for Air France because the other passion I have is traveling and I would get free tickets. Then I organized some PR things for them for a new terminal they were developing and again it was Air France and it was not really the kind of PR I wanted. By then I knew I was passionate about fashion and beauty and my first job in the field was with Bourjois when they opened in the US and at the time they had LaForce + Stevens as an agency which was great but they always bring somebody in house and I was already in house and that was the start.
Chanel owns Bourjois but also Eres. Eres was moving into our offices and I told them I was really looking forward to branch out, I’d done beauty PR for X amount of time and now I wanted to do something else. And they kind of trusted me with the job after Bourjois. I bothered them almost everyday and they’re like okay fine you can do it. So it was just being really, really lucky with people that trusted me and gave me the chance to do it. And then there was no turning back. Once you have a taste of doing beauty and fashion it’s over.
Then, Bourjois closed in the US in July. I was working for both of them then Eres closed its brick and mortar operation but kept wholesale and franchises so they kept me as a PR agency. I had to open my company in one month and say, “Okay fine, I’ll do it” and then somehow I started to work for The Webster because I knew that they were buying Eres [pieces for the store]. It’s such a pleasure and high fashion and I just love the store so much.
The Webster is so cool. I cannot wait to go!
I know…I’m looking at the collection they have online and I’m reviewing the pieces they choose to select and I’m like I just want to be there… I just want to be there!
And then Laduree came along. Some people in Paris that I worked with at Bourjois recommended me and out of everybody they selected me.
So you’ve kind of stumbled upon your own PR agency?
Yes, and now I have to…and I will deliver obviously. I know what I’m doing but it was not a master plan to be honest. Ten years ago I said yes one day I’ll have an agency and I’ll have clients that I love but it was just the same. Life pushed me into doing it and I love it…because I have the feeling that I’m working with people that–nothing compares. Which is really important to me because I have the feeling that if I was working with three swimsuit companies I would feel that if I was working with the press I have a feeling that if I said this is what I believe it would undermine…it would not resonate. Where these companies I’m super lucky. 100% I’m a consumer. I voted before I even worked there.
In anything in fashion, if you don’t really love the product, like when we write about stuff, if we don’t really love it, it’s obvious and then the readers don’t appreciate it. If you really care about something it resonates more with editors I’m sure…
I buy stuff at The Webster for years, I wear Eres for X amount of years. Before even living in the US. Same with Bourjois. And Laduree….