Here’s the second in our special series of chats with New Zealand’s leading Fashion PR companies. This week it’s 'C for Creative' – Chris Lorimer and his Ciel PR.
Ciel PR's Chris Lorimer backstage at Riddle Me This, NZFW '12. Image c/- David K Shields
Director: Chris Lorimer
Assistants: Jarrad Godman and Vito Trupinic
(In case you didn’t know – ‘ciel’ is French for sky…)
FREE|STYLE: Let’s go back: what was your first event of 2012?
Chris Lorimer: Working with our designers showing as part of the New Zealand Fashion Festival in late February. It’s such a strong showcase for in-season Winter looks and we’re looking forward to seeing it back on the schedule for 2014.
Cybele W12 on the runway at NZFF (Feb '12). Image c/- Nikau Hindin
F|S: What labels have you seen come to the showroom this year?
Chris: It’s so important for me to have a showroom where editors and stylists get excited about the season’s fashion direction and can find pieces for almost any brief they may have. I’m a great believer that the merit of a designer’s work is what we start with when beginning the PR plan, so I look to represent labels with a distinct and diverse point of view.
Over the past year we’ve welcomed some strong additions to our roster: Mount Maunganui based Now & Then, Dunedin’s Company of Strangers and their new sister label Strangelove, and for S/S 12/13 Wellington swimwear brand Surface Too Deep.
Backstage at Company of Strangers, NZFW '12. Image c/- David K Shields
F|S: How did Ciel PR develop this year?
Chris: This year was more of a consolidation year for us, really taking care of our clients and their individual needs, putting some long term plans in place.
F|S: What was Ciel PR’s biggest event of the year?
Chris: New Zealand Fashion Week, no doubt! From running some of our own group shows in past years, I encourage our designers to show solo as soon as they can, to really tell their specific story for the season. It’s always a big hands-on undertaking for us; our designers utilise us in many ways from styling and music to production and PR – and I increase our core team as a result.
We also had some great outcomes for designers showing in different ways to smaller audiences; Jimmy D’s stylised installation/party for his S/S 12/13 collection, and the recent media-only meet and greet day for designer Laurie Foon and her latest Starfish AW13 range.
Running the Westpac Young Fashion Designer Competition for the third consecutive year was a highlight. It’s something that I love to be a part of: facilitating and encouraging a young designer’s aspirations and career.
Jimmy D S/S 12/13 installation. Image c/- Frances Carter
F|S: And Ciel’s biggest client news of the year?
Chris: With our roster, it’s hard to narrow this down! It’s very exciting to hear of clients gaining traction in new markets overseasm especially when they are design-led brands being encouraged to stand out, as we know this encourages them to make even stronger work.
F|S: In your view, how has the industry changed over the last 12 months?
Chris: Things have gotten even more immediate! With the strengthening of online coverage (there are some fantastic and committed new media here in New Zealand covering fashion now), we are seeing our clients’ coverage up on the day if not straight away, which is so gratifying for designers. I love the options that the combination of the immediacy and speed of online, working side-by-side with the tactile physicality of print, is bringing to our business.
F|S: Share Ciel PR’s most nail-biting moment of 2012?
Chris: Every time the first model steps out on the runway, that’s a hold-your-breath moment!
F|S: Never again will Ciel PR…
Chris: “We never say never in fashion!”
Chris Lorimer. Image c/- Greg Novak
F|S: Ciel PR can't wait to…
Chris: Take some time out over the summer hols (fingers crossed for the weather!)
F|S: What will be your last event of 2012?
Chris: Our joint Children of Vision + Ciel PR staff Christmas dinner!
F|S: Under Ciel PR's dream Christmas tree is…(please complete)
Chris: World Peace
F|S: Three words that sum up Ciel PR's 2012?
Chris: Challenging, fulfilling, inspiring.