Daniel Kramer - Fashion

An Interview with Alexandra von Rehlingen - Schoeller & von Rehlingen PR

Dec 10, 2020

Alexandra von Rehlingen (born in May 1958 in Landshut) studied Sinology and Art History. She also attended the Parsons School of Design in New York City. In 1986 she founded the PR agency Schoeller & von Rehlingen in Munich together with the communication scientist and former press spokesperson of the Willy Bogner company, Andrea Schoeller. The Hamburg office followed in 1988 and Berlin in 1999. Alexandra von Rehlingen is responsible for the Hamburg office, Andrea Schoeller for the Munich office. They were one of the first agencies to establish themselves in the lifestyle, fashion and events sector and have become an own brand in this industry.

 

Your agency is quite known and popular in the PR industry. What would you say, is the ethos of your company?

"We LOVE the Brands" and a perfect service is our credo.

What makes your company special compared to the competition?

We have always tried to be an efficient link between customers and the media, to act flexibly and sensitively for all parties involved. I believe that this is one of the biggest advantages you can have. Our wealth of experience means that we have personally experienced many of the visionary creators of great brands such as Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld or Vivienne Westwood and have learned a lot through our work for them. This experience, coupled with visions of the future, makes us special. We have employees who have been with us for over 25 years, but also some who have just finished their voluntary service with us.

Why did you choose to specialize in luxury lifestyle for fashion, beauty, travel & design?

I don't think we thought about it strategically, but rather that it was the field in which we had the biggest expertise and saw an opportunity. I never thought that my path would lead me into PR. I had actually studied Sinology, but Andrea Schoeller saw the potential in me and was the one with the experience in the industry at the time.  

What is unique about working in this high-class industry?

The mix of people. You work with a wide variety of people and brands across generations and accompany changes in philosophy or the spirit of the times. You have to be very flexible and pay attention not only to changes and trends on the brand side, but also to their target groups and spokespeople, that are opinion leaders, editors and influencers.

What is your favorite part about your job?

The versatility that the job brings with it and that it is a people business. The digital world has become very dominant, which offers opportunities, but also creates problems. It bothers me that people often have great difficulty networking, although it is important for almost every industry. It is often uncomfortable for people to approach each other – but I think it is more important today than ever to connect with people. 

Alexandra von Rehlingen1

How would a typical workday look like for you?

I like to go to the office before someone else is there to get an overview. I take most of my time early in the morning and late in the evening to answer e-mails, during the day I usually make phone calls or have meetings with editors and clients.

Since the pandemic started, Zoom has also been my constant companion, as I avoid personal meetings as much as possible.

How did Covid-19 affect your business?

Especially on the customer side, a pandemic or other strokes of fate often bring the urge for change. Some of our customers have taken new paths, but so have new customers. Covid-19 has given us the chance to rethink, to leave our comfort zone and, above all, to be even more present in the digital world. 

What do you think are the long-term consequences of the pandemic for the fashion and luxury segment?

I believe that there will certainly be changes in logistics and production, especially with regard to sustainability and efficiency. In addition, the customer-brand relationship will change, as consumer behavior has changed due to the state of emergency.

How do you imagine the future of PR and communication in the fashion industry?

PR has changed completely since our foundation and will certainly continue to do so, as in any industry. The range of services offered is expanding into other areas, some requirements are dropped or handled differently, but 360-degree PR work will remain relevant.

Do you think there will be a long-term shift to digital fashion events?

I believe that we will not appreciate digital events more than before, but in many cases, we will prefer to present digitally rather than not at all. The pandemic has shown how it is possible. 

Alexandra von Rehlingen

If you could meet a famous person - alive or dead: Who would it be and why?

If I could meet Karl Lagerfeld again it would be great. He is really missing on this planet - his razor-sharp judgment, coupled with incredible education, style and humor, is and will remain unique!

What was the best decision in your professional career?

To make myself independent, as exhausting as it can be sometimes. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?

To bring people together who might never have met and that I have the opportunity to get to know personalities across different generations and industries.

How would you describe your own style - what is your characteristic style?

Modern Classic - never overdecorated. Vivienne Westwood’s motto ‘choose well - buy less - make it last' is written in neon letters above my closet!

Do you follow trends, and if so, which trend is currently in fashion for you?

No, actually not consciously. But I notice that I'm hip right now, for example when I wear a vintage piece and my daughters are very enthusiastic and would like to take it away - then I know it's trendy. And in these times masks are of course a very recommendable accessory - without a mask I don't leave the house. 

What is currently your favorite fashion item?

My Etro dress and a black costume jewelry cross that I bought at Apropos. 

 

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