You can never miss her in a crowd with her hot red lips and gorgeous outfits. This week we chat with Gail McInnes, owner and director of Magnet Creative Management.
What made you choose a career in the fashion industry?
My love of beautiful things and people. I loved what the pop stars of the 80's wore, and experimented with fashion as a pre-teen as much as I was able to. Then in the early 90's it was all about the supermodels. That world fascinated me and I wanted to be a part of it.
How did you get your start in PR?
I actually started my career as a model agent. My first job was as the model booker in the men's division of Armstrong Models in the mid-90's. It was my boss Mel Mateus at B&M Models who really helped me discover my love of PR when I was the Marketing & Promotions Director of the agency. They were celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2005 and I had the role of bringing in all the right people and creating some buzz. It was thrilling to see the results in print afterwards. It was that moment when I knew that PR was exactly what I should be doing, but it took me a few years after to truly find my own path.
What types of clients do you represent?
I represent a range of fashion , entertainment and lifestyle clients. From emerging designers like DeMOYO and Feesk, to established brands with a strong following, like Lucian Matis, as well as working with other clients on a project basis. The great thing about this industry is that it's ever evolving and there is always something new coming up, so I never truly know what new project may come my way.
What did you study in College/University? Is there anything you would do differently or advise others about?
I graduated from Humber College's Fashion Arts: Special Events and Promotions Management Program. I would not do anything differently at all. When I was in high school I knew I either wanted to be a model agent or a fashion show coordinator and that program offered all the courses I was interested in. I've used ever single class they offered in my fifteen year career.
I would tell anyone looking for a post-secondary institution to research first the career path they'd like to take while in high school, research as much online on how to become successful in that area and source out the schools which offer the courses to develop the skills they'd need to become successful. Also, education is only one part of how to develop a successful career; volunteering, interning and networking, especially in fashion and PR are absolutely necessary to build a fulfilling and long career.
What is your typical day like?
Luckily, I never have a typical day. Sometimes I could be staying up all night (which I do love because there are less distractions) working on a tight deadline with a large project, out at meetings and lunches all day, or simply doing the typical 9 to 5 in front of my computer all day. Because I also do a number of other things within the fashion industry (hosting for TDotTV and reporting for Revive Magazine), I find myself out at launches or events in the evening.
Tell us about some of the cool opportunities that you have been a part of as a result of your job!
So many amazing opportunities have come my way because of what I do, sometimes I don't have the moment to truly take a step back and look back at where I came from as a poor immigrant from Glasgow, Scotland to travelling across North America, to meeting celebrities, attending red carpet events, and even having the chance to go back home to Glasgow as a nominee at the Scottish Fashion Awards. Without pursuing the path I am now on, I would never have experienced any of that. I have been both incredibly lucky and privileged to have had the life I have so far.
Are there any disadvantages to your job that maybe we don't think about?
It is more administrative than a lot of people can imagine, so I do spend the majority of my time punching my keyboard. Also, because it is a served based job, you do have to cater to people who have high expectations and who do need things with tight deadlines. Patience and wanting to make people happy with everything is what helps me and drives me to do a great job for everyone.
Who inspires you?
Anyone who simply wants to make the world a better place.
Where are your favourite places to hang out in Toronto?
I live at College/Ossington in Toronto, so I often find myself in places close to home like the Caledonian, The Drake Hotel, Beaconsfield, Sweaty Bettys, etc., but I do also find myself at 416 Snack Bar, Shanghai Cowgirl, and any random pub that seems warm and cosy.
Where would you go on your dream vacation?
I have always wanted to go to Paris by myself, though Japan, Iceland and India would be amazing experiences also.
What would you tell your 20 year-old self?
Stop worrying so much, ignore anyone who says you can't do something and stop wasting so much time. You can do everything you ever want to do, the only person holding you back is you. (PS - It's going to be an amazing life and you will meet some of the most magical and wonderful people on this planet.)
What life advice do you have for hip + urban girls out there trying to figure out what they want to do?
Pretty much what I just said to my 20-year-old-self, but I might add if you truly have no idea what you want to do as a career, simply look at the things in your life that make you happy - those things you might look at as "hobbies" can be turned into a career. Let your passion guide you.
Websites: www.gailmcinnes.com + www.magnetcreative.ca
Twitter: @gailmcinnes + @magnetcreative
Facebook: facebook.com/gailmcinnes + facebook.com/magnetcreative
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