Elevating the Fashion Discourse
In the wake of Christian Dior’s wow-factor fashion show during Paris Fashion Week, we checked in on Polimoda alumna Leslie Mugnier, who graduated with a Master’s degree in Fashion Brand Management in 2012 and now works as International Events Manager for the famous French maison. From inspired child to farsighted professional, fashion has always been …
In the wake of Christian Dior’s wow-factor fashion show during Paris Fashion Week, we checked in on Polimoda alumna Leslie Mugnier, who graduated with a Master’s degree in Fashion Brand Management in 2012 and now works as International Events Manager for the famous French maison. From inspired child to farsighted professional, fashion has always been her turf of choice.
Who are you?
Head in the clouds and feet on the ground. I have a very creative mind which combined with a good sense of observation, analysis and organisation, has allowed me to create with a vision that is rooted in the here and now.
I am French with an international profile. I have studied in Paris, NYC and Florence and travelled extensively, to discover different cultures and broaden my perspective. Today I still have the chance to travel a lot, both for pleasure and for work. An early and steady exposure to culture during my childhood years has helped me develop a strong interest for the arts and for fashion, as well an eye for beauty and harmony. I chose to pursue communication-oriented studies with a bachelor in Global Communications and a master from Polimoda in Fashion Brand Management.
My origins, history, family, teachers and all of the people I have met along the way have all contributed to shape who I am today and who I will become tomorrow.
What is your professional history?
I joined the events department of Christian Dior four years ago and rapidly worked my way up within the team to take on the position and responsibilities of international events manager. I mainly work on two different types of events worldwide: large scale exhibitions, for which I define and implement the operational management and running strategy; and traveling fashions shows, for which I manage guest treatment for the press and celebrities. An integral part of my role is also training and coordinating teams.
Recently I expanded my realm of action as I conceived, developed and edited a mobile application dedicated to the guests of one of our traveling shows, thus establishing a digital strategy targeted to this specific audience. This project gave me the opportunity to further unleash my creative side and to collaborate with the visual communication department on the content development. I loved and learned a lot through this experience and I hope to keep growing towards that direction in the future.
What was your moment of realisation when you knew you wanted to work in this field?
I think I have always known that I wanted to work within the fashion industry. As a child and later, I was very inspired by Yves Saint Laurent, who was a dear friend of my godfather’s. I’ve always pursued this passion by reading fashion magazines, studying the history of art, fashion and photography, and going to exhibitions. All I ever wanted to do was work in the fashion industry, I’ve never even considered opting out of this vision. I just had to figure out what I could do. Though I knew communications was the direction I would start in, I had no particular interest for events initially; this opportunity came by chance.
Describe your typical day.
Events management mainly involves coordinating. I interact with multiple departments, suppliers and talents in order to best coordinate and complete all projects within tight deadlines. When I am not traveling for location scouting or on the buzz and excitement of an event, I am working behind a computer, in Paris.
Pre-production is very important; it represents about 75% of the job. This means conducting research, putting together PowerPoint or InDesign presentations, creating, managing and verifying substantial lists and excel documents, as well as managing people. It can take months and countless sleepless nights to organize a one-evening event. The actual on-site management of events represents about 25% of my time.
Where do you see the future of fashion?
In today’s over-abundant, content saturated, insatiably consumerist, digital world, of which the fashion industry is part of, it is not easy to imagine the future of fashion. It could go in many directions… What can no longer be ignored today for the sake of tomorrow is that we are all living on the same precious planet Earth. As individuals, as well as players in the fashion industry, we have a to take care of it. I believe in the humanity and courage in people, in their ability to take action and make a difference. I think it will take talent and creativity to elevate the fashion discourse and drive the industry forward.