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Kym_Canter

Summary

Creative Director, Brand Visionary, Fashion Futurist with 20+ years’ experience defining and building global fashion, e-commerce and entertainment brands J. Mendel, L-atitude.com, Reem Acra, Star Von Bunny and others. Build brand awareness through innovative creative and delivery of unique consumer-engagement models that leverage the web, traditional and social media, video, advertising and events. Generate unique, forward-thinking ideas that have solved complex brand challenges and facilitated product line developments and enhancements.

  • Transformed J. Mendel from a small, privately held fur atelier into a multi-million-dollar global luxury brand with 100+ employees, 80 wholesale accounts, 4 collections per year, a bridal and accessories division. Products available in fine boutiques and mutli-brand stores throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.
  • Created and launched a brand identity for e-commerce fashion start-up L-atitude.com; oversaw a 300% increase in site traffic and 200% increase in sales over a three-year period.
  • Created unique brand, Star Von Bunny; authored “Star Von Bunny: A Model Tale” (Harper Collins, 2008).
  • Contributing fashion columnist-editor for O, The Oprah Magazine; Elle; The Washington Post Magazine; The Wall Street Journal and The Village Voice.
  • Personal press: The New York Times, T Magazine (The New York Times Style Magazine), Women’s Wear Daily and Domino. See Press

Experience

Creative Director, L-atitude.com 2009 – Present
Created and implemented a brand identity for e-commerce fashion start-up L-atitude.com, a curated online marketplace for style and travel enthusiasts that showcases 11 global destinations and more than 100 designers’ products. Oversaw a 300% increase in site traffic and 200% increase in sales over a three-year period (Jan 2010 –Jan 2013).

  • Curate a unique mix of distinctive fashion items not readily available in the U.S. or online; oversee selection of all featured brands and products.
  • Incentivize consumers to purchase products by writing and communicating weekly stories about featured destinations; stories highlight different designers and taste makers and speak to a wider lifestyle experience.
  • Produce original text and video content, including city-secret guides, globetrotter interviews and behind-the-label stories to enhance user experience.
  • Stretch limited production budget to develop original images and content for company website; oversee ongoing development of site, blog and videos. Watch Video
  • Direct social media outreach, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Oversee press outreach; design and produce all off line seasonal fashion events, including product launches, press reviews and pop-up shopping events.
  • Write all pitch documents; oversee strategic business partnerships with travel, hospitality and fashion companies.

Independent Creative Consultant 2009 – Present
Leverage broad industry experience, professional contacts and intuitive understanding of where culture and consumerism merge in order to help client brands expand their audiences and sell product.

  • J. Mendel: Provided consultation to creative agency Laird + Partners during development of new e-Commerce website. Wrote and produced site content, including videos and other multimedia content.
  • J. Mendel: Create and execute content strategy to engage users through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest.
  • Reem Acra: Provided creative direction for bridal collection ad campaign: led concept development; managed production, including budget. See Campaign
  • Blackglama: Helped client to re-envision its brand through product analysis and ad strategy. Developed and pitched innovative reinterpretation of the award-winning campaign, “What becomes a legend most?” which pairs famous mothers and daughters in a strategy to simultaneously capture multiple generations of consumers. See Strategy
  • Lancome: Worked with photographer to create a visual ad language that refreshed Lancome’s brand.
    See Solution
  • O, The Oprah Magazine: Contributing Editor and Stylist-Producer.

Creative Director, J. Mendel 2001 – 2009
Transformed this once small (3 locations; 20 employees), privately held fur atelier into a multi-million-dollar global luxury brand and full-fledged fashion house with 100+ employees, 80 wholesale accounts, 4 collections per year, a bridal and accessories division with products available globally in top retail outlets that include Harrods of London, Joyce (Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai), TsUM (Russia), Boon (Korea) and Neiman Marcus, Barneys, Bergdorf Goodman and Saks Fifth Avenue (U.S.). Oversaw and grew atelier staff from 5 to 25 employees.

  • Identified brand DNA; crafted a narrative to tell the story behind the company and the fantasy behind its products.
  • Directed an international advertising campaign, including budget; ad buys in Vogue, W, Harper’s BAZAAR, French Vogue, Russian Vogue, Elle, Bergdorf Goodman Magazine and Town & Country. See Campaign
  • Oversaw all phases of creative experience, from choosing fabric to concept to overseeing product execution.
  • Co-created a diversified product line, including ready-to-wear, evening wear and bridal.
  • Directed staging of the company’s first seasonal fashion show at New York Fashion Week; hired and supervised set designers, stylists, hair and make-up talent and models; oversaw invitation design, lookbook and overall aesthetic.
  • Hired and managed an in-house PR team to raise brand awareness and establish owner Gilles Mendel as a globally recognized fashion designer; feature stories appeared in Vogue, Paris Vogue, Women’s Wear Daily, Harper’s BAAZAR, InStyle, W, the Financial Times and other outlets.
  • Understood and capitalized on the relationship between celebrity and fashion as early as 2002 when Hollywood stars such as Anne Hathaway, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Laura Linney, Claire Danes, Kyra Sedgwick ,Mary Louise Parker, began wearing J. Mendel signature gowns to the Academy and Golden Globe Awards.
  • Established strategic partnerships with luxury brands Cartier, Piaget, Kara Ross, Ivanka Trump, NARS, Revlon, Bobbi Brown and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

Fashion Editor, Elle Magazine 2000 – 2002
Conceptualized, produced and styled monthly fashion stories as well as Elle’s annual Hollywood issue. Oversaw concept development, photo shoots, clothing, hair and make-up as well as selection of locations, models, photographers and accessories. Collaborated on stories with fashion director and journalist Nina Garcia of Project Runway fame.

 

Independent Fashion Stylist 1992 – 2000
COVERGIRL, L’Oreal advertising that included working with celebrities such as Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Vanity Fair, The Face, Dazed & Confused, The New York Times Magazine, US Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, Lucky, German Vogue, Amica and Surface.

 

Independent Fashion Columnist / Editor 1984 – 1997
The Wall Street Journal; The Washington Post Magazine; Vue, The Village Voice fashion magazine.

 

Something Different!

Creator, Designer & Author, Star Von Bunny 2008 – Present
Created unique brand, Star Von Bunny. An almost-famous plush rabbit actress/model/writer, Star is a fantasy character with a clear, recognizable aesthetic that embodies her creator’s 20+ years of experience in the fashion industry.

  • Wrote “Star Von Bunny: A Model Tale” (Harper Collins, 2008), the story of a plush rabbit’s adventures in the world of high fashion and celebrity; sold out on Amazon and in retail stores such as Fred Siegel (Los Angeles), Colette (Paris), Barneys and W Hotels (multiple locations). See Book
  • Star Von Bunny’s press coverage: The New York Times, Teen Vogue, US Weekly, OK Weekly, TMZ, InStyle, Harper’s BAZAAR, Fahionista.com, Paper Magazine, Women’s Wear Daily and The LA Times. See Press
  • Star has been photographed with members of her entourage, including Beyonce, Bono, Robert Downey Jr., Derek Jeter, Jean Paul Gaultier, Christy Turlington, Carine Roitfeld, Dara Werbowy, Rosario Dawson
    and Mary-Louise Parker.

Education

BFA, California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles, CA