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Innovation is paramount in sustaining a continuous and intimate dialogue with consumers within the spectrum of luxury fashion. Equipped with a multitude of digital platforms – such as Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter – where a spin-cycle of instant information is the norm, consumer appetites for fresh, new content is increasingly growing. Influenced by conversions in technology, globalisation and online media.
As Global Content Director of Matchesfashion, Kate Blythe is tasked with overseeing the creation of editorial content which invariably meets the needs of the brand’s customer within this digital evolution. Here, she provides insight into how she maintains a commendable balance between the demands of keeping up with a rapidly changing fashion industry – as part of her prolific career – and ensuring she remains a present mother to her three children.
1. Talk me through your role as Global Content Director at MatchesFashion. What does it entail?
I oversee the global editorial content across menswear and womenswear. This includes the weekly digital and quarterly print editions of The Style Report, all social media channels, video content, branded partnerships, email, influencer programmes and innovation. The Global Content team are incredibly talented, dynamic and forward thinking – it’s a joy to work with everyone.
2. Provide insight into the backstory of your career? At what point did you realise your interest in fashion?
I always knew I wanted to work in fashion editorial. When I was five years old, I used to collect my mother’s copies of Vogue and pin the pages on my wall and I knew then that my dream job was to be an editor. I never lost sight of that ambition and went on to do an English degree before moving to London to work for Time Out magazine, ELLE and various other publications. My experience has now led me to a truly omni-channel, digital role which is fast-paced, exciting and the future of publishing.
3. What are some of the changes you have witnessed the industry go and where do you see it going in the next couple of years?
I have seen a lot of changes in print with the evolution of online content. I worked at Net-a-Porter when it was a small, growing company and watched as content and commerce became interlinked and now this is the future of content. I will always love print and I believe there will always be a place for print. However, all retail or publishing businesses need to merge the two in order to really compete in the market. Content is king!
4. Various demands continually surface as a result of ongoing developments within digital media, technology and globalisation. How do you effectively arise to these in your role?
Innovation. It’s incredibly important to be one step ahead of the game, so our Global Content team is always thinking about new innovations in technology, design and fashion and we adapt our content in order to stay ahead of the game. We also bring the magic to sit alongside the logic (technology) – so the customer has a seamless content and commerce experience.
“The MatchesFashion woman is confident, intelligent, cultured, well-travelled, independent, and a true follower of fashion. She seeks the best of the best and expects an exemplary customer experience.”
5. Describe the MatchesFashion Woman.
The MatchesFashion woman is confident, intelligent, cultured, well-travelled, independent, and a true follower of fashion. She seeks the best of the best and expects an exemplary customer experience.
6. How do you ensure the curated content on all platforms is captivating, engaging and maintains an emotional dialogue with ‘her’?
It is incredibly important to understand the MatchesFashion woman and engage appropriately across our channels. We create an edit of content that encompasses trends, climates and cultures, to ensure we are always speaking to our global customer. We analyse all of our content to see what works and who is engaging with what and then we react appropriately.
Every piece of content is multi-layered and dynamic and we are evolving with our customer, for example now much of our customer base interacts with us through mobile so we need to make sure that we are tailoring our content strategy for mobile devices. Every content pillar should be as easily interacted with on mobile as it would be on a desktop.
7. Is it possible for an e-commerce fashion business to succeed in today’s world without the utilisation of social media?
Social media is an important part of the future of e-commerce and content. It is imperative for creating brand awareness as it allows for daily engagement with consumers. It is also another platform for which the customer can choose to shop – all brands need a considered and authentic social strategy to compliment all their other content channels.
“Decide what you love and work hard for it. It is important to make yourself known and have a ‘can-do’ attitude because people will remember you. Then you must practice your craft until it is perfect.”
8. What are your thoughts on the idea of maintaining a harmonious relationship between motherhood and a career? Are such expectations attainable?
It is attainable, as long as you are organised. Being both a good mother and great boss is very important to me. I like working for businesses who support and respect working mothers so we can be present in both parts of life. I work 5 days a week yet I take my children to school every morning and I aim to attend important events for them – it is vital for me to do so.
9. What tends to work best for you in creating that ‘balance’ between being a mother to four children and having a successful career?
Being passionate about both parts of my life allows me to maintain a balance between my worlds. I always ensure I give my children enough time, and when we are together we are laughing, having fun and going on adventures. You need plenty of energy to be a working mother!
10. Lastly, what are your top, most important factors anyone, wishing to build a successful career in fashion should keep in mind?
Decide what you love and work hard for it. It is important to make yourself known and have a ‘can-do’ attitude because people will remember you. Then you must practice your craft until it is perfect.
Note: this interview was originally published in 2017.
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