How Important is A Brand’s Creative Director?
1 September 2021
Author: Jasmine Waters
As small and independent brands, we’re always looking to see how the rest of the market is doing—even the big brands that dominate the market. Whether it’s consumer behaviour, sales or trend forecasts, bigger brands can always be a good source of strategic inspiration. After a rocky year, Pretty Little Thing has the eyes of the industry on it once again, announcing their new Creative Director as their Brand Ambassador and big-time Love Island influencer. Why has this been so divisive, and how important is a brand’s Creative Director to begin with?
Who is Pretty Little Thing’s Creative Director?
Molly-Mae Hague has been officially announced as PLT’S Creative Director in recent days, after years of developing collections with them in the role of Brand Ambassador. But what is a Creative Director? In short, the role is that of an ‘overseer’, collaborating with different teams to determine a client’s needs. For smaller businesses, these roles are often found in the same person, but there’s still a lot we can learn from this week’s breaking news. Not only does the importance of Creative Director vary between brands, the relationship between brand and influencer is an extremely complex one. It must be deployed in exactly the right way to be successful. Whether PLT have done this correctly remains to be seen in the long-term.
Why is this an issue?
The move has divided opinion for both consumers and industry experts. On the surface, the appointment is a clever move. Hague’s influence has been extremely apparent and versatile in the years since she left Love Island, with potential consumers looking to buy into whatever she features. She’s also worked with the company to develop extremely successful collections for a number of years, making the move seamless and second nature. On the other hands, it’s immediately flagged several concerns. We can already assume that Hague earns more than the average brand’s CD, with the deal reported to be in the multi-million-dollar range. This comes at the same time as the lens of fast fashion is at its most scrutinous. Many have a moral issue with the fact an influencer who can afford not to buy fast-fashion is incessant in pushing it. When it comes to fashion sustainability, many cite a difference between wanting and needing to buy into high-street fashion that’s not built for long-term wear. This could prove to backfire on Pretty Little Thing, who already have a bad reputation for not treating its workers ethically, nor makes its production process sustainable.
As we move away from the ethical damage of ‘influencer hauls’ and into the world of notable business figureheads, it’s clear to see the appointment could come at a bit of a cost. When a brand’s Creative Director is both high-profile and consumer centered, the focus may not shift away for quite some time.
Image source: @prettylittlething