Tastemakers: Val Pina & Kaitlyn Nagy
Dec 9, 2015
How did you end up in the career that you have now? VP – I always knew I wanted to work in the fashion industry and I went straight to design school. Originally I thought I wanted to be a designer but as I took on different positions in the industry I realized that working in PR and branding was more in line with whom I was and what I was good at. My career path began at the agency level where I worked my way up, then moving in-house to help establish a cult brand as a renowned household name (as I did during my time at Nasty Gal) and to now, 7-years later, becoming an entrepreneur—where I’ve had the opportunity to work with multiple brands across various roles encompassing traditional PR, event production, social media strategy, creative branding and talent relations.
KN – I was one of the kids who always knew the path I wanted to take. I loved creative writing but also wanted to produce fashion shows and be behind the scenes of the runway. So I went to FIT with a focus on communications + journalism and interned throughout all 4 years. Post grad I got my first job at BPCM in NY where I stayed for about 6 years. BPCM allowed me to mix fashion show + event production with traditional PR + lots of writing. I then went to Nasty Gal which allowed me to mix traditional PR with social media and the digital landscape alongside creative production. Throughout the years I’ve been fortunate to hone a well-rounded skill set for this particular industry. When it comes down to it, I happily took on all new clients / assignments / projects / launches given to me by my former bosses. No two were ever the same, and each one was an opportunity to apply all past knowledge and mix it in with a fresh approach.
Where do you look for inspiration to continue to keep things fresh and new with your clients? Blogs? Social sites? Fashion shows? VP – I draw inspiration from everywhere and all of the above. A large part of my job is to understand the industry landscape as clients come to us for feedback and ideas for their new projects. Every client has different needs we get to fulfill and it’s exciting to work with them across these different facets in new ways that are relevant to what they are building for their brand.
KN – My friends. They’re a diverse group with many different types of occupations, interests, and points of view who share just the right amount of info to keep life fresh.
What is your spirit animal? Why? VP – My spirit animal would be some type of enigmatic magical creature that only lives in my imagination.
KN – A karma chameleon.
What’s the most POPULAR moment in your career so far? VP – I would say there have been many fun memorable moments in my career – too many to mention, but one of them of course being working with POPULAR, duh.
KN – There’s been so many – both low and highbrow. I like to keep my accomplishments behind the scenes. I’ve been very lucky in my career and am always looking forward.
What advice would you give to anyone pursuing the same career path as yours?VP – Have the motivation and drive to pursue what you want to do and be willing to work hard for it.
KN – Be willing to play by the rules long enough to master them, break them, and reinvent them on your own terms.
What POPULAR client have you worked with that made you feel you finally made it? VP – I’ve had the opportunity to work with great brands, whether global or small they all teach me something new and valuable that builds on my experience and subsequently what I can offer another client – the more exciting projects I get to work on the more accomplished I feel.
KN – All of them, natch.