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Conversations with the Inspiring Samira Ibrahim

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samira Ibrahim.

Samira, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started my career at a boutique PR agency in London called Bryan Morel PR and I worked there during and after my last couple of years at University when I was studying journalism and news media. It was a steep learning experience for me; my first job in fashion and learning the industry for the first time! I was working at London Fashion Week at 18, I loved it!

Working in the industry, I quickly developed a real love for luxury brands which led me to my next role at Browns Fashion. Being at Browns at that time was amazing, Joan Burstein (Mrs. B) is a real Icon in the industry, Browns was the first London retailer to stock Alexander McQueen and John Galliano and was known as a champion of new talent. Whilst I was there I discovered so many brands like Ashish, Filles a Papa, Pyer Moss and so many more! Mrs. B’s son, Simon Burstein was the CEO at the time and her daughter, Caroline was the creative director and oversaw Browns Bride and Vera Wang at Browns. I did everything from traditional PR to London Fashion Week parties, symposiums in China, Bridal trunk shows and presentations during Paris Couture, it was a special time to be with a legacy business that has so much clout internationally.

When farfetch acquired Browns, I then decided to move to LA (luckily I have dual nationality!) and I started my stateside journey at fashion PR agency Bollare, working on athleisure and swimwear clients – a sharp left turn from high fashion, but so LA!

I then got an opportunity to work for Disney, where I oversaw the communications for the fashion collaborations and brand partnerships for the consumer products division. I had the pleasure of working on many films and characters including Black Panther, Beauty, and the Beast and Star Wars and many brands including Coach, Levi’s, Christopher Kane, Rag + Bone, The Blonds, Vogue and more!

Through all of my roles, I developed a passion for connecting the dots with strategy and working with all types of people, so I left Disney and launched Base Communications + Consulting to specialize in collaborative PR and Marketing, bringing together creatives across communities to create fun projects that tell unique stories.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I take the good with the bad; I think it’s necessary. I don’t think anything is ever totally seamless or totally smooth.

One of the great pieces of advice I’ve been given was just to say yes, figure out and get it done! This sounds pretty harsh but you have to hustle, you need experience and you need to get it from everywhere and anywhere because you don’t know what you don’t know so you should keep all doors open until you do!

Some of the struggles for me were related to the move to LA, although my journey was much easier than others because I didn’t have to deal with the Visa situation, the culture shock was (is!) real!! I’d encourage moving to a different city, country, state, continent, even if its just for a few months, it pushed me out of my comfort zone, definitely kept me on my toes, forced me to be social and create new meaningful relationships and when I’d settled in, it felt great to feel at home in 2 places and know that I can navigate easily through London and LA .

The struggles I had in corporate America where less my own and more to do with the corporate process. I find it really difficult to pull back on momentum because of process and legalities, I just want to get it done! The advice I’d give here is to stick it out until you’ve learned everything you can from a role. Even though there were many frustrations as there are in every job, it was an invaluable learning experience. I learned about the entertainment industry, commercialization on a huge scale, legal processes and how to be the conduit for 100+ people all over the world. I took all the learnings I needed and then moved on.

The struggles I’ve had with starting my own business is starting my own business! From website building to time management and budgeting – everything is a struggle! Advice here is don’t start your own business unless it’s something you really want to do, I’m enjoying being challenged every day but its a hustle! Keep your head up, keep your goals in mind, be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses and seek help from those who can complement your skill set. There’s enough success, wealth, whatever for everybody, I genuinely think if you can endeavor to be helpful to others in a meaningful way, you’ll get the same level of support.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Base Communications and Consulting story. Tell us more about it.
I launched Base Communications + Consulting in April of this year. Base specializes in collaborative PR and Marketing; collaborating with brands, creatives and unique voices across the fashion, music, entertainment and lifestyle industries on unique, interesting campaigns that create impact.

This means different things depending on the scale of the brand and scope. For example, some brands need strategic direction in driving business results and we advise and execute unique partnerships which could include collaborations on product, content, with media, talent, creatives or all of the above.

For some clients, I consult on how they can use fashion and popular culture as a vehicle to attract new or underserved audiences. Some need more traditional editorial media support and some clients are project or event based.

We essentially leverage a community of friends and contacts across the world to create cool things. Some very cool campaigns that we’ve been a part of in the short 3 months of business include launching fashion concept brand Virtual Superland with a pop-up at Fred Segal, launching the 8 Other Reasons x Jill Jacobs collaboration with Nordstrom, hosting key events with cannabis lifestyle brand Leune at Chateau Marmont and there’s much more to come!

In addition to Base CC, I also lead business development for my fiancé’s production company, Downtown Screen Printing( DTSPLA). We work with a number of artists to produce their merchandise and fashion collections.

It would be great to hear about any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve used and would recommend to others.
*Shameless plug!!!* The one app everyone needs is the Virtual Superland App!! Its a camera app that utilizes green screen technology to alter the user’s perception of reality, and it interacts with anything green (including pieces of the Virtual Superland streetwear collection that we launched at Fred Segal!)

Work wise, The Business of Fashion is really my go-to, I read the daily digest every day, follow the Instagram and pay for the professional subscription! Outside of fashion, I subscribe to Javier Hasse’s weekly newsletter on what’s new in cannabis as I’m diving into that industry and I also try and read the LA and NY Times on the weekend.

Some of my favorite podcasts are Black Girl Podcast, Am I Allowed to Like Anything?, The Science of Social Media (Buffer), The Daily (NY Times), That’s so Retrograde, Second Life (Hillary Kerr) and Unstyled (Christene Barberich of Refinery29)

Right now, I’m reading Ronnie Woods autobiography, I love the Rolling Stones, it’s a hilarious read! Some of my favorite books are All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer, The Life of Pi by Yann Martel and David Coulthard’s autobiography (I’m a big Formula 1 fan!)

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Images Provided Courtesy of Base Communications + Consulting

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