A Houston native with the gift of gab, Iesha Reed has sailed her way to the top in PR roles at major fashion and luxury brands in New York City. After stints at Emanuel Ungaro, Ralph Lauren, Swatch Group, and Montblanc, Reed was more than ready to fill the director of communications role at luxe brand Swarovski (and just in time for Karlie Kloss’ grand entrance.) Along the way, she’s befriended top models, worked with Mike Tyson, traveled the world, and fronted a fashion campaign. Intrigued? Read on…
What was your transition from Houston to the unforgiving concrete jungle like?
It was a challenge, but I was equipped with the gift of gab and I was confident that I would pound the pavement and not take no for answer until I built my rolodex (old school, I know).
What was your first PR gig in NYC?
I was a PR assistant in the showroom at Emanuel Ungaro. It was my first introduction to high-fashion couture and the celebrity stylist world.
You’re BFFs with mod Selita Ebanks. How’d that happen?
I was Selita’s publicist and we have been attached at the hip ever since. Our friends call us “skinny and mini.” She is a humanitarian and has taught me so much about being present and giving back.
And you rep’d Mike Tyson once upon a time…what was that like?
He is not what you would expect …Mike was very soft spoken and I didn’t expect that. My first day working with him, I almost peed my pants!
How did you celebrate being selected for The Limited’s campaign?
With a Bellini at Cipriani for lunch! I am so proud to have been chosen for The Limited “What Leading Looks Like Campaign.” My first job was at The Limited as a sales assistant, when I was 15. To be part of such a wonderful campaign as an adult is one of my greatest accomplishments.
What’s your involvement in Urban Arts Partnership and UNICEF?
I am very passionate about arts and education and make sure to volunteer and support these causes. In my previous role at Montblanc, I lead the philanthropic partners and programs which included a huge partnership with UNICEF. I will always be dedicated to these two programs.
Your social media numbers are impressive—what’s your social media secret, and what are most guilty of posting?
Post less and create a story with images. I am guilty of posting pictures of my 9-year-old son, Reed, so much that my friends have created a hashtag for him.
What will the new job entail?
I am director of communications over the consumer goods business. It’s a very important role now in communications. I am the glue that creates programs through traditional PR and advertising platforms and marries them with influencer and digital programs to create a 360-degree experience for the consumers’ touch points.
Why did you decide to make the move?
Swarovski is an amazing family-owned company that is deeply rooted in heritage and craftsmanship. I am thankful to be part of such an innovative family that has changed the course of history over several decades.
Were you involved in Karlie Kloss’ ambassadorship?
My first day in my new position, I was lucky enough to participate in the global launch of Karlie as the new ambassador of Swarovski. The campaign kicks off with Karlie pronouncing “Swarovski,” and now that she has mastered the apparently difficult word, she is putting the call out to show the world how to say “Swarovski.” The #HowYouSayit social campaign will encourage participants to share a video pronouncing the name of the brand on Instagram. Swarovski will then collect the videos together at swarovski.com/howyousayit as a fun, inclusive way to help fans master the pronunciation. At the end of the campaign, Karlie might just thank one lucky participant personally. Great first week, right?!
Indeed! You’re quite the world traveler. What are some of your favorite places?
Florence, Italy, hands down! The food is just amazing and the streets are filled with art!
Can you give us your most delicious PR story?
There are so many…I’m saving it for my book (I’m joking!)
What else is up your sleeve?
My entire summer will be focused on mastering my new position and looking forward to a much-needed vacation in Martha’s Vineyard in August with my family.