Last Thursday, as Molly Mae Hague launched her latest collection with PrettyLittleThing, it was announced that she’d also take the role of Creative Director for the UK and EU. Of course, inevitably, people took to their social media accounts to voice their opinion, as did the press. I do love a good opinion piece, especially when it comes to fashion due to my prior experience in the industry! So today, I’m taking to our Embryo blog to share my thoughts on the matter. Here’s what I think of the latest appointment at PLT…
Molly Mae: A Worthy Creative Director?
When browsing through social media last week after the appointment was announced, it was clear to see that many people thought Molly didn’t deserve the role – many argued that she lacked the qualifications and the experience to take that title. Others also stated it was unfair that hardworking, loyal employees had to watch somebody else swoop in and take the title based on their fame and status.
Whilst I can understand the latter, it’s also important to remember that this role is less of an operational one and more of a PR stunt – think of it as an honorary title. PLT did the same thing by making Teyana Taylor their US Creative Director last year. Ultimately, it’s a way for the brand to secure the influencer’s loyalty – they’ve reached the top at PLT and have earned a (reportedly) generous seven-figure sum to go with it, why would they go elsewhere? I doubt any other fast-fashion brand could beat that deal…
If you strip back Molly Mae’s Love Island success, you’ll find a driven and successful businesswoman. She’s made a strong effort to distance herself from the reality TV show; she hasn’t even appeared on any other reality programme since. Alongside her manager Fran from The Social PR, Molly has built a business empire through the likes of fashion deals, collaborations with big brands such as Starbucks, the launch of her own fake tanning brand, and even just through Instagram itself. Sometimes, experience isn’t everything, yet passion, drive, and hard work are.
Besides that, out of the influencers and celebs that PLT works with, Molly Mae seems to be the most involved with the design processes for her collections/launches and is passionate about the brand. She’s contributed a great deal to the business – her previous launches have been a great success, which has ultimately driven business and increased sales figures.
Who’s The Real Winner In All Of This?
For Molly Mae’s personal brand, this works in two ways. Her personal brand has done most of the work in getting her this deal, but the deal will also affect her personal brand too. Molly has already proved herself to be a successful businesswoman in her own right, away from Love Island. Taking the title of Creative Director will only enhance that success, and it may even inspire other young women too. Of course, the reported seven-figure sum to go with it also makes Molly one of the big winners in this situation.
PLT have a very clear target audience, and Molly represents them. Influencer marketing is huge right now – PLT’s target audience is likely to make up a large proportion of Molly’s Instagram following of 6 million, and these followers will see her posts, including what she’s wearing. If they like it, of course they’re going to swipe through to the PLT site and hit buy. It’s a clever move from Umar Kamani – Molly represents the young girls that PLT targets, so of course she’s going to drum up more business through her collections.
Whilst Molly’s secured a fantastic role and her followers get to enjoy new collections, it is Umar Kamani that’s the real winner in all of this. Nevertheless, it’ll be interesting to see what Molly Mae does as the newly appointed Creative Director, how her personal brand will influence the business, and how this will influence her personal brand too.
And whilst PLT continue to capitalise on Molly’s influence, and Molly will continue to have further success off the back of this new appointment, it’s likely that the factory workers – who none of this would be possible without – will continue to miss out and, in some cases, suffer. It’s no secret that Boohoo Group (which PLT is part of) has been subject to scandals in recent years about the treatment of workers and working conditions within their supply chain. Whilst it would be great to see Molly use her influence to put pressure on the brand to change things, I do remain doubtful. I guess time will tell…
It’s evident that Molly Mae is a driven businesswoman and she is passionate about the brand. In my opinion, it’s unfair for anyone to say that she’s underqualified or she isn’t a good choice for the role – we’re yet to see her in practice and she could excel in this new position. Whilst Molly herself will reap several benefits from this new appointment, I have to say that it’s Umar Kamani that will come out on top here.
Aside from that, this new appointment provides great examples of the power of personal branding and influencer marketing. As discussed, Molly Mae has been given this role thanks to her strong brand, highlighting the importance of having a personal brand. This doesn’t just go for people in the public eye, but for absolutely anybody that’s hoping to progress and excel throughout their career. And, of course, this whole thing is a testament to social media and influencer marketing right now – there’s no denying just how much of a force they can be.