The coolest girl working in public relations is easily Evanne Cochrane. Currently PR manager at Rosetta Getty, she honed her pitching skills at Black Frame and PR Consulting before moving in house at the chic-as-hell Getty brand. Our lives intersected years ago and once again when she invited us to visit Getty’s showroom a few seasons ago. Walking through a new season with Cochrane as she interprets themes and inspirations is as eloquent and elegant as the collection itself. You see, Cochrane is part of the industry’s new generation who understands fashion and its place in our lives. This and her authentic approach to her personal style is great reassurance as the torch is passed to the new set of tastemakers.
What is your earliest fashion memory?
When I was really young my mom bought me a little Betsey Johnson outfit- white leotard with big red roses and a black tutu. I wore it around the house with a pair of motorcycle boots. She was really fun, and humored my strange fascination with rock musicians. I was always looking to emulate their style.
Did you always know you wanted to work in fashion?
No, I never pictured that for myself. I had always been interested in personal style but I didn’t have enough access to the industry to know what that would look like as a career. I studied Art History at the University of Toronto simply because it interested me. Some time later, a friend suggested I apply for a PR internship in New York as a way to travel and explore my options. To be honest, I assumed I’d work in music but thank god that didn’t pan out- too many late nights.
What do you love about public relations?
It’s challenging but I take pride in supporting creative work. It’s a really special part of the process.
Beside client list, what are differences working in house rather than at an agency?
Being in house allows you to really immerse yourself in the brand. Especially with a small team, the learning opportunities are huge. My understanding of the other aspects of the company- sales, design- have definitely made me better at communicating to press. Likewise, you have to be sensitive to those other needs and function as a unit. Agencies have their own advantages- built-in support systems and access to amazing resources. I am very grateful for three years at a wonderful agency.
Do you have a mentor?
Not in the traditional sense. I worked under a really talented director at my previous position and was able to absorb so many skills from paying attention to her work. I’m constantly thinking “What Would Michelle Do” and that usually sets me on the right path.
Who do you admire in the industry? Outside the industry?
I would say Virginia Smith from Vogue. Authenticity is important to me- she’s successful and kind. The interesting part about working in PR is that anonymity is inherent to the job so there are not a lot of examples I can cite that are publicly known. Outside the industry, Roseanne and Patti Smith (not necessarily in that order.)
How would you describe your personal style?
Understated and slightly unconventional. I love trousers and knits, anything unfussy, but I don’t mind playing with proportions and interesting silhouettes. Comfort is key. It’s been fun working for Rosetta because I relate to the brand philosophy. Re-imagining classic styles for easy, effortless dressing.
What’s your shopping style like? Are you constantly on the lookout for something good? Or do you shop specifically for an item?
I shop by category and keep a running list in my iPhone notes. I’ll be on the hunt for general things like ‘oversized grey turtleneck’ or ‘brown suede buckle boots.’ I browse online and try not to stray from my wish list. Recently, I’ve made a conscious effort to purge one thing for every new purchase. I’m not concerned with seasons so I rarely buy full price and I love vintage, but never for shoes or bags.
As you grow in this industry professionally, your generation will impact how the industry will function in the future. What changes would you like to see personally?
My generation has seen so many valuable changes with social and digital media but it’s not reflected in how brands and designers are showing their collections. I’m very interested to see what will happen in the upcoming years with the NY fashion calendar. Beyond that, is it wrong to say I’d love for it to slow down? Designers are under so much pressure to deliver constantly (between runway and pre-seasons) and it’s not necessarily conducive to great work.
What are you reading on a daily basis?
The New York Times, WWD, Vogue.com every morning to keep up for work. Then throughout the day I make my way through all the top magazine sites and various blogs (Garance Doré, Man Repeller, Just Another and on and on) For peace of mind, I always have a novel on the go. Right now I’m reading Zadie Smith’s “On Beauty.” I keep copies of The Pocket Pema Chodron on my nightstand for quick inspiration before bed.
Where do you see yourself in 5, 10 years?
Oh, I don’t even bother. I wasn’t looking ahead 5, 10 years ago and I still made it here on time.