ABEL RAPP, PR MANAGER ( DIOR )
FIELD: PR, PRODUCTION HOME: NEW YORK ZODIAC: VIRGO
A. | How do you define yourself?
I don’t know if I would define myself anymore at all to be honest
A. | How did you become interested in the fashion industry?
I started copying the ads in the New York Times when I was young and then I decided that I didn’t need to draw theirs anymore, I could draw my own. That is how I started in the fashion industry and in knowing I could do it. I also didn’t want to go to high school so I had applied to fashion school, got in, and that is what got me going!
A. | What do you do outside of your work routine?
Going out dancing and going out partying during the fun period of my life. I love to travel, though I don’t do it as much as I used to. I go to museums, I go to the theatre a lot, I love to go to the Ballet, I like movies, and I read like crazy.
A. | What is the line between focus on the best clients and staying in business?
A producer or director cannot really state to a designer “you are doing this wrong" all you can do is not work with them if you don’t feel the designer or brand is good enough or worth it but then it comes down to that the producer or director that has to eat, and they have people under them that have to eat so then you get caught up in the decision whether to take on a client and take their money or don’t do it because you don’t believe in them.
A. What does eco fashion mean in the context of the business of fashion?
It has come a very long way in a very short period of time. People have proved that just because it has the word eco or green in front of it doesn’t mean it isn’t stylish or that it isn’t very thought out. People have proved otherwise with design.
Sometimes things shouldn’t have a label and it should just be part of what it is. I get really offended for example when I see people on television say “oh this is my gay friend…” No, it's just your friend. I mean come on it's 2016 we don’t need these kinds of labels.
A. | What is fashion? How does it play a role in your life?
At this point the meaning of fashion is money. I think its a very sad time in fashion and although there is a lot of great energy out there and there are a few great designers out there, I don’t think there are too many people doing it—too much of the collections look exactly the same and there are too many.
In the 70’s it was a very special time for fashion, it was creating something very special. Now it's like everyone who can draw a straight line decide that they are a fashion designer. All of these hollywood people and celebrities are getting these fashion lines that are totally meaningless and are flooding the stores with things that people et bored with very quickly and the stores just can’t sell now.
Its like stretching a rubber band to where it can’t stretch anymore, the word fashion has been stretched and stretched and stretched and its almost meaningless. “Everything is about fashion.”
A. | What are the biggest challenges that you see in the industry?
Finding great talent. Designers are now doing so many collections a year that they are getting exhausted and overworked. When the bottom line for the stores is the money, the money the money, and one designers gets tired, they just skip to another one and continue to drain the talent out of people. It's not just a Spring, Summer, Fall collection, it’s Spring, Summer, resort, pre-Fall, Fall, men's and women's couture, shoes, accessories, perfumes, and on and on and on and it's a lot of work. There are 400 shows in a week or something like that and the buyers are going “how many of these shows can we actually go to and how many designs can we actually buy?”
A. | How do you define success?
Depends on what someone wants out of life. It can be being happily with somebody and to someone else it could be having a fleet of private airplanes.
A. | What makes a good team?
A good leader.
A. | What would you recommend to yourself 20 years ago?
I would say to use the connections that I had been given. I think back now of the people that I have met and been introduced to for different things. When I needed to use that connection I didn’t even think of it until later, thinking "I did have that chance I should have used it"
A. | What is the future of fashion?
Eventually everybody will get on the same page about when people should show , when the official shows will be and when stores should sell things (right now it is confusing- why would people want to buy a winter coat when its 110 degrees outside?)
A. | Is there any other production advice you would like to share?
Know the history of fashion. You don’t have to know it 100%, but I do not think enough people really know a lot of the history and don’t really know names. History is disappearing and there are only a handful of people left that know about fashion beyond the 60’s and 70’s. It is very important that people learn and retain.
People should also be inspired; creativity comes from anywhere. You can be inspired by anything and I think people should be open to it and true to themselves when they are inspired to do something.
People should also know that you’re going to have to get out there and move your ass on your own.