In Conversation: Chloe MacFeggan
I recently binged the entirety of The Last Dance in a couple of days. It’s been about a week since then and there are two things I just can’t stop thinking about. Firstly, how do I get in touch with Dennis Rodman? Secondly, Nike’s choices with the marketing of the Air Jordan 1s. They built the campaign around Jordan as a special individual within a team sport; more similar to a campaign of a golfer or a tennis player. This was the first of its kind and the sales absolutely shattered their expectations. But did they do so well because of the design, because Mike wore them or because someone took a leap of faith with the campaign strategy? I’ve no idea, but it got me thinking about who makes these decisions.
Chloe MacFeggan studies Fashion Branding with Communications at Leeds Arts. For a successful brand, she says the integrity of their products and their communications “go hand in hand”. “Without integrity in each step from the design to production, the branding has no authenticity. Selling a heartless and low quality product creates a campaign that lacks emotional value and respect. In the same way, an excellent product would have a hard time flourishing to its full potential without a well branded and devised marketing strategy.” It’s very difficult to fake this commitment to your own standards for your work. There’s an element of trust that goes into deciding who you want to direct your campaign. Obviously you’d hire someone to market your brand, but you choose them based on their work, as you want a bit of them to shine through. As Chloe says: “Not everything I shoot I ‘like’ personally, in terms of what I would wear, but they are things that I can see the art in; often the most outlandish things are what I like the most, even though I couldn’t wear a massive neon pink tulle dress to Sainbury’s - I wish I could.”
Given that brands invest in the person behind the work and their perspective, it makes sense to find a way to show it off. Chloe’s done this with great effect with EVE magazine. A passion project for both her and her friend, Olivia (@byoliviaalicew), EVE is a space for students and young creatives to gain exposure for their work, across a variety of practices. Like anything, there were a few bumps in the road. Thankfully she’d adopted a healthy ethos of “let go of control and roll with the punches”. With social distancing being enforced, shoots and interviews were cancelled. But they adapted their idea and the Quaranzine was born. The launch was a success, which naturally fills you with pride. But Chloe did make it clear that it’s completely natural to feel a sense of imposter syndrome, which is really what EVE looks to prevent by giving a wide platform for young creatives. The project also served as a microcosm of where she works best, she said, “surrounding myself with creative friends from different disciplines and trying to look for new and exciting places, events, people and perspectives helps in broadening my outlook, keeping myself thinking creatively”. Although she isn’t limiting herself at all, it doesn’t hurt to have a vague idea of what area you think you can make the most impact; “I feel like menswear has so much more space for growth. I started to follow more menswear designers and seeing them do innovative and creative things really started to make me realise that menswear is coming to a point in time that’s exciting and new.” Only one person can be the first to do something. The right marketing ensures that you are that person and the right people know about it.
Instagrams: @chloemacfeggan @e.v.e.magazine