There are few sectors of the economy that offer as wide and interesting a range of career opportunities as fashion. In a new series that coincides with the launch of BoF Careers, the global marketplace for fashion talent, we highlight some of the industry’s most interesting jobs and the talented people who do them.
NEW YORK, United States — Danielle McGrory is the senior digital director at KCD, a global fashion PR, production and digital agency, with offices in New York, London and Paris. Based in New York, McGrory oversees global digital strategy for the agency and KCD Digital clients. In March 2013, Danielle was named in Glamour magazine’s “35 Under 35 in Fashion.” She graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and currently resides in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
BoF: Please describe your current role.
DM: In my role I manage the global digital division at KCD. Our team now includes eight dedicated employees: five in New York, including myself; two in Paris; and one in London. We all work with and report to Rachna Shah (EVP of PR and managing director of KCD Digital) and Ed Filipowski (co-president) who are actively involved in the digital division as well.
KCD Digital started in 2010 and I was the founding employee of this department, so it’s been exciting to see it grow. In addition to the PR and production services KCD has been providing the fashion industry for nearly 30 years, KCD Digital offers a range of services including digital PR, community management, digital campaign development, and consultation for fashion brands and/or tech brands that want to enter the fashion space. We also launched and manage our agency’s digital presence, which includes @KCDworldwide on Twitter and Instagram, and a proprietary platform for online-only fashion shows and showcases called Digital Fashion Shows.
BoF: What attracted you to the role?
DM: First and foremost KCD – they are the best at what they do and the opportunity to work with such an established and reputable agency, while at the same time starting something completely new, was incredibly appealing. And secondly, I knew I wanted to work in digital. Prior to KCD I was in a marketing position where I was pushing for more digital involvement, both for myself and for the company, and I knew that I wanted my next role to be 100 percent digitally-focused.
BoF: What is the most exciting project or initiative you have worked on?
DM: At an agency you get the unique experience of working with new and different clients all the time on a range of projects. One of our earlier projects was working with Mr. Valentino and Mr. Giammetti on the launch of the Valentino Garavani Virtual Museum in 2011. That has since turned into an ongoing relationship where we work very closely with them. Being exposed to and collaborating with such icons and legends of the industry has been a tremendous experience.
It’s also been great to work with designers at the start of their career, like Olivier Rousteing at Balmain. We launched and manage all the social media channels for the brand, and to work with such a young designer was completely different and equally exciting. He’s in his 20s, he has an innate understanding of digital, so it’s fun to see him approach the platforms in a very “millennial” and personal way.
On the campaign side, I love working on something start to finish, ideation to results. We did that with H&M when they launched e-commerce in the US in August 2013. They wanted a UGC [user-generated content] campaign and we delivered “50 States of Fashion,” which was very successful.
BoF: How is your role changing? What are the forces driving this change?
DM: It’s incredible how much my role has changed in the past three or four years. When we started, KCD Digital was mainly an extension of our PR division, serving a PR-like role, but specialising in digital and social media. We’ve since grown into our own unique division that can offer a full suite of digital solutions in the owned and/or earned media space. The digital landscape itself is driving those changes, the worlds of PR, marketing, advertising – and of course the addition of social media – have all merged together online, quite differently from how they were long treated in print, so we have to evolve our approach to continue to navigate that space for our clients and our agency.
BoF: Tell us about a time you failed and how you learned from it.
DM: I don’t think I have an epic fail to cite, but I think it’s the little, everyday failures that teach you the most. When working in digital there is no road map; most of things we are doing, we’re doing for the first time, and that means there’s more room for error. Failure, or making mistakes, is a huge part of the learning curve. I’ve had 1,000 bad or impossible ideas, but those all get erased when you arrive at one really good one that’s actually implemented and achieves results.
BoF: What advice do you have for people who are interested in doing what you do?
DM: Learn as much as you can and never stop absorbing. Don’t ignore the physical, tangible world because you’re immersed in digital. And manage your personal brand online in a positive, professional way if you want to work in digital.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
To explore exciting fashion industry roles like this and others, visit BoF Careers, the global marketplace for fashion talent.