Fashion-able: 2013 Designer Collaborations

Here on the fourth floor we’re not letting articles like this deter us. Why? Because we love designer collaborations (see our 2012 instalment here). Big companies teaming up with high fashion brands so that us plebeians can actually buy them? How kind. Here are some designer collabos we’re looking forward to. 


River Island x Rihanna
Ahh Princess Riri, we’ll always love you even though you’re back together with Cbreezy. You’re a beautiful, smart (we like to still believe) and confident woman with killer style, which is why we’re super pumped to see what you’ve come up with for your River Island collaboration. Even this sneak peek has got us willing to eat the extra £10.00 shipping fee. Now if we could just pay extra for that accent…



Oliver Peoples x Maison Kitsuné
Super cool brands Oliver Peoples and Maison Kitsuné have teamed up to bring us a beautiful collection of sunnies you’ll hopefully see us wearing this summer. The retro model Tokyo has a unisex frame and the option to add coloured lenses. The Paris model is more feminine and available in black and a tortoiseshell-honey colour called 8108 (below).

We’ll have one Paris in 8108 please.



Banana Republic x Milly
Hitting shelves in May 2013, this Hamptons-inpsired collab is the first for Milly designer Michelle Smith, but we hope not the last. The 46-piece women’s collection ranges from apparel jewelry and totes in summery colours like coral and lime, to 16 pieces for men including printed shorts and knit button-downs. Now if only we had a place in the Hamptons to wear this collab, we’d be all set.


We can feel the summer breeze from this Banana Republic x Milly collection. 

Alber Elbaz x Lancôme
We.love.makeup. Especially when it’s Lancôme teaming up with the ever-charming Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz. No details yet except a très adorable video that has been released. The limited edition collection is set to launch Saturday, June 15. 


Prabal Gurung x Target
Having dressed the likes of First Lady Michelle Obama and The Duchess of Cambridge, Prabal Gurung has been taking the fashion world by storm since the launch of his line in 2009. The collaboration between Gurung and Target is a smart one, especially on the heels of the failed Nordstrom x Target collection. The collection hit stores earlier this week and almost sold out within a day (just our luck), so if you want to get your fashion hungry fingers on this collab, we suggest checking out eBay or pleading with your American friends to let you ship something from Target.com to their house.


Once Target comes to Canada, you can count on us being first in line for whatever amazing collaboration is coming up next. 

Meet Our Team: Erin

Erin is our newest intern, and so far, she’s been knocking our socks off. She is currently in her second year of the Media Studies program at the University of Guelph-Humber, specializing in public relations. Growing up, she wanted to be a princess or a bride, then a pop star.
Now, her ambitions are focused on pursuing a career in PR (but it’s not too late to be a bride or a princess too, Erin!). Erin has a diabetic cat named Oreo, a younger sister named Paige and likes to watch delicious dishes being created on the Food Network (but not create them herself). 
Welcome to the fourth floor! 


Twitter: @erin_cochrane

How long have you been part of the team?

It’s my fourth week! 
 
What do you love most about living in Toronto?
Right now I am living in Mississauga, calling T.O. my second home. Working at rock-it promotions has given me the opportunity to explore the city a bit more. The ladies here know all the best hot spots.

What can’t you leave the house without?
My transit pass! My feet would be really sore without it. 

Best gift you’ve ever received?
This past Christmas I was surprised with a trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls with friends (the best friends a girl could ask for!) and my boyfriend. Even though the average age of the patrons there was probably six, I left with a wet bathing suit and my dignity intact. 

How do you like to relax?
Hanging out in my fuzzy pink bathrobe catching up on episodes of How I Met Your Mother.

Best part about being a publicist?
As a publicity intern, I love that every day is different: events, meetings, you name it. I am learning a ton!

A little more from the fourth floor:
Website: Someecards.com. I love reading (and sending) their hilarious, crude cards about current events. 

Designer: My grandmother. She always made the best Halloween costumes, from Sleeping Beauty to fairy princesses. 

Store:  Banana Republic.

Book: Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda.

Snack: S’mores. My friend Maria makes the best ones with gooey peanut butter – yum.

Season: That in between point of spring and summer, where it’s warm enough that you don’t need a jacket, but you don’t feel like melting in the summer sun. 

SexyConfidence.

Inspiration: Friends, family. Women that kick butt and look good doing it.   

Drink: Diet Coke. 

Motto in two words: Be awesome.

We’re Not Just Pretty

Working in public relations has its perks. There are invites to hot parties, exclusive sneak previews of films and products, and rubbing elbows with the occassional celebrity. Generally though, PR is not about glitz and glam. Our lives do not resemble Whitney Port’s or Samantha Jones’. There are regular 18-hour days, delicate situations to be negotiated and smiling despite the bad news – all the while working at a pace that gives the Molson Indy racers a run for their money. We love it and it’s often fun, but we’re not just bubbly blondes that chat about Angelina all day long, while dashing from party to party.

We’re Not Just Pretty” is our latest regular feature. We’ve asked some top PR professionals to give us the inside scoop on their work lives, and clear up any misconceptions that exist about what it really means to work in PR.

We’re thrilled to feature Tara Wickwire, Director of Public Relations for Gap Inc. Canada. She oversees PR efforts for Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Gap Outlet, Banana Republic Factory Store and the upcoming Gap Inc. e-commerce launch.

Tara graduated from Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science, then moved to Toronto to complete the Public Relations post-graduate program at Humber College. She began her career at The Bay and later joined Gap Inc.

Outside of talking about jeans for a living, Tara loves to play tennis, wax poetic about Nurse Jackie, visit the library, enjoy the great outdoors with her family, cook successful recipes and converse with Gwyneth Paltrow about the merits of vacationing in Nova Scotia.

How long have you been in your current position?
I have led the Gap Inc. PR team since 2006.

How does your company leverage PR?
The function of the PR team in Canada is certainly multi-faceted. It’s up to our team to execute PR campaigns that reflect our product and marketing focus. We are the means through which the brand’s messages are communicated, so we need to keep it distinct among the brands and also find new ways to tell our brand stories from season to season. Obviously social media is an exciting new dimension and it enhances the PR function in such a challenging new way.

What do you love most about your job?
Each day I come to the office and work with a fantastic and inspiring team. It’s a real joy to be able to think and work creatively in support of the brands I feel very passionate about. I love the challenge of finding new ways to tell our brand’s stories and to ultimately engage the customer.

What qualities are most important to you when hiring a PR team member?
Obviously, credentials and experience play a role in finding the right team member. But for me, it’s very much about a vibrant work ethic and a personality fit with the entire team. It’s finding the right combination of enthusiasm, warmth, polish, curiosity and relevant experience.

Who is your mentor or professional in the industry you admire?
I have a bank of many fond memories of working with my previous boss and mentor, Jane Shaw. She taught me a lot about perseverance and understanding your own strengths and opportunities. A mentor can teach you what it takes for success–but this starts with self-awareness and confidence.

I also really admire Mark McEwan’s leadership style. I love how he interacts with his team and keeps a very calm aura during intense moments.

What are your feelings about how PR has been positioned in the media in more recent years, on popular TV shows (Melrose Place, Sex and The City, The Real L Word, The City etc.)?
Aside from the misleading melodrama, it’s great. I actually think it’s fantastic that PR has developed such a high profile in pop culture because it’s an incredibly positive career path, full of opportunity and great experiences. But with these shows, there is a drawback that people are misguided about what the job entails. So many classic moments – it’s pretty much an enduring Facebook status of “Really??????”.

I would love to see a show following White House interns. Now that would be good.

What’s your biggest piece of advice for PR pros, both junior and senior?
It sounds basic, but read as much as possible, for both inspiration and research. You can achieve greater success with your message once you are thoroughly familiar with what your reporter, publication, blog, etc., has covered. Soak it all in and add it to your arsenal of information. It’s one thing to talk about a trend, but it’s quite another to use context and how it relates to cultural and societal shifts.

But most importantly, be absolutely genuine.

A little more from the fourth floor:
Website: Style.com, The Huffington Post, Vogue.com, Flare.com, Fashionmagazine.com – and more!
Designer: A.P.C., Helmut Lang, Jil Sander, Miu Miu.
Store: Aside from the obvious- A.P.C., Barney’s, Holt’s, Jeffrey, Alexis Bittar and West Elm.
Book: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.
Snack: Let’s just put it this way: not carrot sticks.
Season: Fall.
Inspiration: My parents.
Drink: Orangina.
Motto in two words: Be grateful.
Idea of perfect happiness: Sitting on a dock looking at the ocean with my boys.
Indulgence: HBO, designer shoes, Whole Foods mac and cheese, roasted marshmallow ice cream, Diptyque candles. Shall I continue?
Celebrity crush: Tim Riggins.
Favourite tweeter to follow: (Other than @GapCanadaPR, @OldNavyCanadaPR and @BRCanadaPR of course!) – @thesulk, @3rdand10, @tiyanagrulovic is a wit at the tweet, @Flarefashion, @Seacrest. And love the stream of consciousness from @dkny, @lakebell