Wednesday, March 3, 2010

HerStory: Bonnie Morrison

Although women's clothing is the crux of the fashion industry, it's mainly run by men. Male designers, male photographers, male executives. Other than American Vogue's Anna Wintour, there are few recognizable female figures who run the show. There are even fewer faces of color. Enter public relations maven, Bonnie Morrison. Morrison, a Brown University alum heads up KCD Worldwide, one of the most important PR firms, period. As Publicity Director, she's worked on accounts such as Temperley and the CFDA.

After studying Modern Culture and Media and American Civilization at Brown, then moving to New York City in 1994, Bonnie got her start working at boutique advertising firms and interning at magazines like Mademoiselle. She caught the PR bug as she got to work more closely with designers in handling their accounts. Media and event planning also came into play and Morrison was hooked. Eventually coming to be viewed as "one of the most socially connected fashion publicists in New York”, she made a name for herself as PR Consulting's Senior Account Manager. At PR Consulting, Morrison was responsible for nurturing prestigious accounts including Proenza Schouler, Dries van Noten and Phi into the fashion forces that they are today.

But in true Llady style, Bonnie always moves onward and upward. In 2006, she left PR Consulting to head up KCD Worldwide. Morrison says, "KCD was the first fashion company I had ever heard of 10 years ago when I was just an intern." In addition to her tenure at KCD, she took a brief hiatus to work as Special Projects Editor at the now defunct, Men's Vogue. But it's not all work and no play for Ms. Morrison. She regularly graces New York's society pages. However, she never loses sight of her priority, which is getting the job done.

"I work really, really hard. And I try to work smart, responsibly, efficiently and ethically. Any of the things I have achieved or am proud of in my professional life have been an extension of those principles. But this is the thing: I work hard because I care about it. So while “work hard” is obvious, the “secret” part is that you should find a job that interests you so much and that you have so much investment in that it’s easy, and fun, to work hard."

Clearly, she's gotten to where she is based on the knowledge she's accumulated in her experiences, but she seems to have a good grasp on the order of things. “It’s great to aspire to a profession, and there’s always a demand for good, smart people anywhere. But don’t aspire to a “lifestyle.” I have a good life, but it probably looks very different in person. Everyone should aspire to the life that authentically represents her. That’s the only way to be happy.”
Good advice, indeed.

Follow Bonnie on Twitter @fiercegrandma

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