If you’ve got it flaunt it – chatting with Kirsten Hughes from Flaunter

If you’ve got it flaunt it – chatting with Kirsten Hughes from Flaunter

Starting a new brand is incredibly daunting.

Entering the fashion world and putting yourself out there in front of fashion media is a whole other level of scary.

When I started I was really lucky to have some friends to guide me. I also was introduced to many successful designers and stylists who have been such a great support and happy to share their learnings and tips.

Over a year into the fashion game, I wanted to share one tip that has helped me flaunt my stuff and get out there.

Meet Flaunter, a resource for media to discover new brands, source images for shoots and for brands to easily share hi-res images and new collections.

Following is how I stumbled across Flaunter and some insights into how it all came about.

How I flaunted into Flaunter

One morning earlier this year I was having breakfast with Natalie from Bird and Knoll, asking a million questions and getting some fantastic pearls of wisdom. I love tech so I was asking about online tools and what the media used. As she stated talking about a platform called Flaunter, by sheer coincidence, she noticed Gabby, Flaunter’s CEO sitting two tables away from us and she introduced us.

I signed up to a Flaunter trial, uploaded my pics, made a few mood boards and the rest is history. In the first month our Morgan 3 in 1 Backpack was selected for a final edit spread in the Collective Hub. Since then I have been used the platform to share many a high-res image, have been selected for editor’s pics and been downloaded for inspiration on many a mood board. It has been super helpful and I try to tell as many people about it as possible.

Kirsten Hughes, BD manager at Flaunter has been such an awesome support and given me lots of advice over the last couple of months. When I asked her if I could do a quick Q&A, she was more than happy, and we even managed to catch up over a wine on her last trip to Melbourne. Love the friendships you make when you work with passionate like-minded people.

So, following are some of the questions I threw Kirsten’s way…

Who was the brainchild behind Flaunter?

Our wonderful and fearless CEO Gaby Howard (I hope she likes my description of her!) After spending 14 years working in PR, Gaby essentially became frustrated at the difficulties sharing content easily with the media, and upon speaking to them a little more, discovered that they shared the same frustrations as her. After three years of hard work, research and development with a great team, Flaunter was born in October 2015.

Tell us about your vision

The vision is big! We want to be every journalist, stylist, social influencer and blogger’s first port of call for branded visual content- globally.

Who were the first brands and media to use Flaunter?

Several of the top Sydney PR firms (along with all of their brands) and media from national publishers like Bauer Media, News Limited and Pacific Magazines jumped onto the platform very early in the piece- this really helped to spur our initial growth.

How do you find the brands to represent?

At the moment, most brands come to us via word of mouth – which is a great place to be in a young business! In saying that, I spend a lot of my down time trawling Instagram, and when I come across a brand who I think will really speak to our media network, I’ll reach out to invite them on.

Any success stories?

Where to begin? There are so many moments I’ve been proud of. We’ve worked with the Australian Fashion Chamber at Paris Fashion Week several times now, created and shared content on behalf of Mercedes-Benz Australian Fashion Week here in Sydney and also worked with New Zealand Fashion Week, each of these big events has seen a huge influx of new media into Flaunter’s network, which is great for our brands.

We’ve also just launched our Emerging Designer showcase for 2016, which is the only digital showroom bringing together the work of over 100 of the country’s top fashion graduates for the media to discover in the one place- it’s proof that the future of Australian Fashion is bright.

On a personal note, my highlights have been assisting lots of solo operators and fledgling labels gain their very first pieces of media coverage- the excited emails and calls I receive when someone finds their image in a magazine for the first time make the long hours and busy days totally worth it.

Any tips for new brands wanting to break into the industry?

Don’t push your PR and marketing to the bottom of the to-do list, it’s an important part of the foundations you need to grow. Get a strategy in place and stick to it – and remember, as with anything in life, results rarely come overnight!

How is Flaunter different from anything else on the market?

Whilst file-sharing platforms have been around for a little while now and we’ve got 3 key points of difference:

1) Flaunter is the first of it’s kind to be purpose-built to serve the Fashion, Interiors and Beauty industries. In addition to being able to instantly share hi-res images outwards, we also have a network of media who are constantly browsing the library themselves. This means inbound and outbound content sharing for brands

2) We also deal with the tracking and sharing of physical samples, which helps large brands and

PR agencies largely automate something they’d previously be managing in Excel spreadsheets or physical notebooks (yep- still the case in more agencies than you’d expect…)

3) Analytics- Everything on Flaunter is underpinned by reports and data on who downloads what, and when, and as a marketer of nearly 10 years, this is super exciting to me.

What are your plans for the next year?

Aside from of course, further refining and developing the Flaunter platform, next year is about going to be all about growing our head office team, as well as growing the brand and media network on the site- by the end of 2017 we want to be a truly global platform.

Getting personal about the people behind the fashion engine…

Favourite designers, bloggers and Instagrammers…

I really think Australia and New Zealand have a fantastic offering of designers. I adore KITX, macgraw, Lucilla Gray and Anna Quan – they’re all so different but each has a strong, individual aesthetic I want to see more of.

In terms of bloggers and Instagrammers, I’ve been a fan of Man Repeller since day one (I love some humour with my fashion) and pepamack on Instagram- that girl’s wardrobe is on point.

My usual, what 5 items can you not live without?

My iPhone and laptop (even though I hate to look at them sometimes), my sewing machine, sushi and a good pillow.

Bonus question… favourite Hills & West accessory?

I’m one of those people who keep their entire life inside their bag (laptop included) so the Everyday shopper is perfection in my eyes. It would be ideal for darting between meetings, but elegant enough to look good on my arm at an evening event.

When I started I was pretty shy when I told people about my latest venture and passion, Hills & West. With fabulous people like Kirsten and Gaby it makes your journey just so much more enjoyable. You should give it a go!

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