“Maxime HODONOU – Press Relations Manager at ISABEL MARANT
Promotion 2013-2015 – MSc1 & MSc 2 Fashion, marketing, design & brand strategies
Press relations and styling : an early love
” I have always been passionate about media, communication, fashion and styling. ” It is with these words that Maxime Hodonou, alumni class of 2015, begins his interview. But considering that he didn’t have enough artistic talent to break into fashion design, Maxime decided to turn to press relations. Before that, he decided to sharpen his pen by completing a Bachelor’s degree in Information and Communication Sciences.
Two internships and a job for MSc 1 Fashion
With his Bachelor’s degree in hand, he joined the MSc 1Fashion Marketing, Design & Brand Strategies within the INSEEC Bordeaux MSc&MBA. During thefirst semester, he did his internship in the offices of the fashion magazine SPLEEN FACTORY, and contributed to the launch of the first 4 issues. All his free days are spent as a salesman at COS, a brand of the H&M group. A fast pace but one that leaves him with very good memories.
For his2nd semester internship of M1, he chooses KENZO. ” During the Business Week in Bordeaux, I had a contact with a KENZO Collections recruitment officer in Paris. I was offered a sales internship and, in an interview with the sales director, I managed to change it to a press relations internship at the head office. You could say I really fought for it ! ”
Never underestimate the importance of the network…
” The magazine of my M1 internship was not very well known but it allowed me to open a lot of doors for my M2. ” So it is at STYLIST, an advertiser, that Maxime did his internship at the end of his studies. This free magazine, with its offbeat tone, lives only on advertising and is therefore obliged to capitalize on a large network of partner brands. It is this important network that allowed Maxime to find a permanent contract even before the end of his internship, in the press relations agency ALBERT, JEAN et PEDRO.
” I have always kept in touch with my former colleagues “
After a few months in this agency specialized in fashion and arts, a former colleague of KENZO recruits him as a Press Relations assistant at CELINE. He quickly progressed to the position of PR Manager Benelux.
After 2 years, still on the advice of a former colleague, he joined the ISABEL MARRANT group as PR manager, his current position.
His function consists in supervising the different representation offices, influencers, digital relations… In fact, he travels a lot to cover the launches of new collections, the inaugurations of boutiques etc.
A seminar on fashion culture and networking tips
Today, he returns to the school that trained him as a teacher. His 3-day seminar is about the ” general culture of fashion ” : history by decades, trends, great designers but also economic and geopolitical context.
In group work, the students must put themselves in the shoes of a high fashion house and elaborate a global development strategy. Choice of designer, art director, speech, brand launch, marketing strategy …. All of these choices must be argued and are discussed with the rest of the class.
A message to pass on to future students ?
” Try everything, dare ! Don’t put any barriers in your way. The only obstacles are time and motivation… “. Maxime also likes to insist on the importance of the network and the choice of the first internships. As an alumnus, he does not hesitate to share his experience and advice with current students.
“Updated 24 February 2022