Spotlight on the Speaker | Carla Filmer, Chief Marketing Officer, Manolo Blahnik

“At Manolo Blahnik we don’t have rules. We don’t show in Fashion Week. We have four collections a year and sell sandals in summer and boots in winter. For a fashion insider that’s insane. But for our clients it makes sense. Instead we have values and these values we pass on to our ‘community’, which we believe leads to a bond with our clients: its’s about connection, values, creativity and passion.”

Carla Filmer, CMO of Manolo Blahnik and one of Walpole’s 50 Most Influential People in British Luxury (pictured at 2019’s Power List party above), will be joining the Black Tomato team next Tuesday to discuss communicating in a time of crisis – and how it has led the luxury shoe brand to ‘communicate with sincerity, emotion and on a level we have never experienced before…’

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How have the events of 2020 impacted on how your brand or business communicates with your customers?

2020 has been a chaotic, difficult, turbulent and emotional year for so many on so many levels.  However out of every severe down fall , whether it’s a simple budget cut or a global pandemic, something good comes from it.  For myself, professionally everything that has happened in 2020 has led to accelerated path of what was meant to happen.  For example, we were forging a partnership with the Mental Health Foundation which we fast tracked and then implemented this in the USA.   And it lead us to communicate with sincerity, emotion and on a level we have never experienced before.  It’s been a journey, which I have loved as so many aspects of how we “should do things” have had to change. Change is good, change is hard, but change is a must. Especially in fashion.

What has been the biggest marcomms lesson you have learnt since March?

Tune in, stay tuned, listen, REALLY listen, learn and implement.

What do you believe are the ‘new marketing luxury rules’ for the ‘new normal’?

First of all I can’t bear the term “new normal”. It’s a cliché and that doesn’t apply to luxury. At Manolo Blahnik we don’t have rules. We don’t show in fashion week.  We have 4 collections a year and sell sandals in summer and boots in winter.  For a fashion insider that’s insane. But for our clients it makes sense.  Instead we have values and these values we pass on to our “community” which we believe leads to a bond with our clients, its’s about connection, values, creativity and passion. We have done this on our website, social media and within our business. We are a family, part of a family business, creativity and passion is as the heart of what we do, and the commercial outcome is the by-product of our beliefs.

What can we look forward to hearing you discuss this September?

The truth!

What headline insights will you be sharing?

Our learnings.  How we had to adapt our tone of voice.  Essentially we were all navigating the same storm but under different weather conditions. We started with this sentiment, rather than looking at numbers which was fundamental in hindsight. This has allowed us to be a house with values and genuine connectivity, which in these current uncertain times has been crucial in terms of being agile and responsive.

www.manoloblahnik.com
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