Mary-Brenda Akinyemi

Photo of Mary Brenda Akinyemi

MB Akinyemi is Global Social Media Manager at ESCADA and graduated from Postgraduate Certificate Fashion: Fashion & Lifestyle Journalism at London College of Fashion.

Could you introduce yourself and tell us about what you’re up to now?

My name is MB Akinyemi, I am currently the Global Social Media Manager at ESCADA. Based in Munich, I am responsible for making sure ESCADA’s core values are communicated effectively and in an engaging manner on all our relevant channels and across all our markets, from Asia to the US and Europe. What that means on a daily basis is that I curate, edit, write and source out content in line with the Social Media Strategy I have in place, while liaising with bloggers and building relationships with influencers; meeting regularly, if not daily, with relevant teams, from merchandising and online marketing to PR. Another important aspect of my job involves creating campaigns that strengthen and reinforce ESCADA’s ethos as a brand for strong, powerful women who love colour and print. For example, in the last months, i have worked on kicking off the ESCADATrailblazers campaign and #ESCADAHeritage. It is important to be on top of all changes in the industry, so I spend a great deal of time reading and researching as well, since we are quite a small team.

How did you find your time at LCF?

I loved it. I enjoyed being around creative and inspiring people and I especially loved the vocational aspect of it- being introduced to various industry insiders and editors and writers, which gave great insight as to how the industry works on a daily basis.

How was the teaching?

It was good. What I liked about it was that it was the right balance between theory and practice.

What are the three things you took away from your experience at LCF?

  1. It’s not rocket science; before I was a little intimidated about calling editors and pitching ideas, but I got over that after the course.
  2. Networking is important.
  3. Be creative and work with people who inspire you and bring out the best in you.

What skills did you learn from the course and are still using today?

Golden rule of journalism, after the "Who, What, Why, Where, When and How“ is to know your audience“. Same thing with social media management, you are nowhere if you don’t get into the head of your customer/ fan. And as a journalist it’s your job to narrate the facts in an engaging way so your audience keeps reading and its the same with social media – engaging content is everything. Research is also vital for both fields.

Why did you choose a Postgraduate Certificate?

I had already done an MA in journalism so i was looking for something more vocational.

Tell us about an average day at your job?

For me it starts before I get into work; I check my emails - I get a lot overnight as we have offices in New York - and check our social media channels and read the news, fashion and otherwise on my smartphone. I get into the office about 8.45, sometimes earlier, sometimes later, and take a shower - I cycle 12 kms to work - get dressed, make my smoothie and start working. Most mornings, I am busy working on the content plan for all our platforms, liasing with our graphic team and intern on the best assets to create for engaging content or planning shoots for social media content. I also spend time reading performance reports so I know where we stand and what’s working. Afternoons, after lunch, I might have a couple of meetings with our different teams to catch up on their work and their needs for their market. I also have regular brainstorming meetings and like to go and sit with my laptop on the Creative floor. There I might put together a presentation on a concept that I think would work well for a project; catch up with some bloggers via emails; read the daily WWD and research the archives. If we have any events that I might need to attend, I change and head off. I tend to leave the office around 7pm.

In what direction do you think online retail and high street retail will go next?

Eccomerce is becoming more and more important, especially for luxury brands and many are embracing the platform, from Burberry to Prada as we saw with this season’s “see-now; buy-now” concept during the AW16 shows catwalk presentation. The fashion calendar is changing and adapting to meet the needs of consumers and to do this one must embrace ecommerce. The challenge remains how to position your brand online without compromising the brand integrity. Social Media is an important touch point in making this work. Another trend I see is the move towards more transparency and cutting out the middleman as one sees with the establishments of online retailers such as Everlane. With highstreet I see a move to more sustainable practices and more collaboration with designers to change the reputation of high street as something without much substance. The fast fashion concept will still be prominent, but at the same time with a customer base growing more and more aware of how the industry works, the high street will have to adapt to this.

How would you define your own personal style?

Adventurous! I love bold prints and colours and enjoy mixing and playing with a range of patterns and cuts. I don’t really have rules: one day I might be wearing a tulle skirt with denim and the next overalls and converse. I don’t like wearing a lot of black, that is perhaps the only rule I have when it comes to my style, and I am a big fan of vintage and thrift stores and people like Iris Apfel, Jenna Lyons and Christene Barberich