I had the pleasure of interviewing Marie “Driven” Theodore. Marie is a celebrity publicist who got her start in New York City working for prominent music, fashion, and lifestyle labels. She since launched Playbook Media Group headquartered in Brooklyn and as managing partner is the face of the company. From mainstream to niche categories she manages a base of support and operations for clients through strategic relationship building. Her roster of creative individuals and brands are not limited to music, noted project affiliations include: Remy Ma, Papoose, celebrity stylist Kidear Youmans, Peter Gunz, Wyclef Jean, Jr. Reid, Marian Hall (aka Lady Saw), Sting Jamaica, and Mr. Vegas.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I started in the fashion industry I was brought in just to help my significant other at the time. He repped a brand called Yardmanstyle. We use to do travels shows for the buyers. It would be 7 brands on the road. My first time on the road I help gain the company 50,000. Normally, they would make 5–10k. This gave me the motivation to want to learn about the fashion industry. after a year on the road, I was offered a position at Marc Ekco G-unit. My journey in fashion had just begun.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started?
When I started the fashion industry as an account executive at Marc Ecko I was extremely lucky to have the boss that I had. He took me under his wing and told me this will not last and he going to train me and introduce me to all the buyers just in case the company folded. Just as predicted a year later the company folded, but because of my experience I was blessed to land another position with a major company that was started a clothing line. The most interesting thing that happened to me was being about to travel to all the fashion tradeshows worldwide. ( Magic, Bread& Butter, Project & More).
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
The funniest & hurtful thing that happened to me was calling the Bloomingdales shoe buyer cell phone without an introductory email. She yelled at me and I was extremely embarrassed. Years later I contacted her about another shoe brand called Devo and she was super nice and set up an appointment to see the shoes.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
We stand out because we understand people. Your everyday person would reach out to you just for business and my team will reach out to you and ask about your family. Building a lasting relationship is important. They will never forget and when an opportunity comes their way you will get a call. I’m still friends with buyers from 7 years ago. I’ve been to the family gathering and more.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Understand you’re crafted. The more experienced you are you can delegate to others. I’ve learned from experience. Don’t be afraid to let go to gain more!
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
You teach others what you know. I have people contact me all the time for advice. You never know if that same person you helped one day can help you out in the near future.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
Never give up no matter how you feel! Let’s go back to The buyer from Bloomingdales. When I called her cell she yelled at me and told me not to call her back. A year later I called her back and she was open to see what I had to offer. People have their bad days and as time went by I understood.
Do you see any fascinating developments emerging over the next few years in the fashion industry that you are excited about? Can you tell us about that?
Right now I’m excited about the swimwear market. The designers are getting creative. The “upside down” style. Also, they have swimwear that’s made out of designer Tape. I think the more fun and exciting you make your brand it gives people something to talk about.
What are your “Top 5 Things Needed to Succeed in the Fashion Industry? Please share a story or example for each.
The 5 things I needed to succeed in the fashion industry are
1) Always be on time. Time is important in every industry…,
2) study your trends
3)Make sure you try to hit all the tradeshow
4)Look the part! Most people judge you by your appearance.
5) Your Team! Teamwork is very important.
Every industry constantly evolves and seeks improvement. How do you think the fashion industry can improve itself? Can you give an example?
The fashion industry is missing better fashion shows. Not sure if it’s budgeting, but the quality is not there anymore. I think fewer people attend the shows and go to the parties. Designers need to work together to bring back what fashion week used to be…
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
“Fashion for the people” monthly event. This would allow people to be creative.. You must come to slay! I can see this growing and becoming a fashion tour. This would inspire creative designers from all walks of life!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Social media handle: @MarieDriven