Thursday, 3 December 2009

Mandi Lennard is Fashion's Most Wanted PR

Photograph by Cathal O'Brien

Mandi Lennard
Head of Mandi Lennard Publicity


Mandi was born and raised Leeds and went to school in Harrogate.

Moving to Paris when she was eighteen, Mandi intended to become a translator. It was an exciting time for Benetton and she found herself sucked into retail. She moved to London as a buyer for Benetton and then went on to become a buyer for Browns in South Molton Street for six years.

Mandi Lennard Publicity was launched with a single client, Dazed and Confused magazine in 1998. It is a style agency reputed on an international level for their London cool. Recognised for their role in promoting the creative hotbed of London's East End, they offer a bespoke PR and marketing service with a strong onus on foundation building, and a sharp focus built for longevity.

Earlier this year they streamlined their client portfolio, reducing the number of young designers they support to enable them to focus on more project and consultancy work. This presently includes Barbie, M.A.C Cosmetics, and high street retailer Oasis (they have worked with a whole host of brands including Burberry, Gap, Nike, Moet et Chandon) while retaining long standing clients Gareth Pugh, who recently launched Gareth Pugh Homme, and Roksanda Ilincic, both of whom they have worked with since graduation, and Brazilian footwear brand Melissa as well as LOVE Magazine and Katie Grand, who they have worked with for the past ten years. Having been instrumental in developing the London club Boombox, they now look after their latest permutation, webzine, and have worked with leading restaurateurs Bistrotheque since they opened in 2004. Mandi's clients benefit from a criss-cross of synergy.

Earlier this year Mandi started a hugely popular blog, 'Mandi's Basement' on colette's website.

Mandi lives in Shoreditch High Street, London.

Roksanda Ilincic SS2010

Roksanda Ilincic SS2010

Jessica Stam wears Gareth Pugh SS2010 at New Moon premiere in New York

LOVE windows at Marc by Marc Jacobs Bleeker Street store in New York, this summer

Beauty in Vogue: Special Vogue Italia boxed set featuring two Barbies with hair design by Ryoji Imaizumi for Shu Uemura Art of Hair.

Zaha Hadid for Melissa

Oasis SS2010

In the Closet with Mandi

Hand-painted camo nails by WAH-Nails, jacket by Undercover, dress by Bernhard Willhelm
How do you describe your style?
I've always been a bit of a tomboy, so I make an effort with my nails and hair - I like to be quite low key, clothes where I can go unnoticed, but if I'm feeling whizz , I can gee up

LL Cool J by Janette Beckman

Who are your style icons?
LL Cool J - this iconic pic is my screensaver - Janette Beckman saw it in a magazine and sent me all her books and invited me for tea next time I'm in NYC

Katie Grand snapped by Hugo Scott coming out of Marc Jacobs Mount Street store in London, holding the giraffe he bought her for her pre-wedding celebration earlier this year

Which person's wardrobe would you most like to own?
Katie Grand's got a pretty extensive and significant archive

Do you have any beauty secrets?
Origins' pillow mist - it's lovely and lavendery and sends me to sleep within seconds

Which beauty treatments do you have?
Alex Brownsell who does X Factor cuts and colours my hair - it's fun; there's usually eight of us at once having some colour or cut, in her kitchen in Shoreditch - all her hair stuff is in the pantry. I love products too; Maybelline Great Lash Mascara from Boots

Maybelline Great Lash Mascara

Do you exercise?
I go running most mornings - really early so I don't bump into anyone I know - I used to be a long-distance runner as a kid, but was disheartened when I only came 4th in an all-schools Yorkshire race when I was twelve - I was upset that 1st, 2nd and 3rd got a certificate and I didn't!

Which products do you love?
It changes all the time as I love new and am never sentimental about stuff like fragrances - wearing the same perfume all your life? No thanks - at the moment I love Prada Orange Blossom perfume - I was on the Iris version before that - both are lush

Which make up do you love?
I love M.A.C because they bring out new stuff all the time - their mineralise skin finish is baked in a clay oven to create metallic sheen finish - and I finally found the perfect shade of blusher; Chanel's Tweed Rose

Is there anything about your body you dislike?
My posture can be pretty crap sometimes

Who does your hair?
My friend Saron comes round to the office or home to give it a blow out as long as I text her before midnight night before

What is your current favourite outfit?
Anything with my Lanvin boots - I'm trying to wear heels as often as possible at the moment - I practice by walking round Hoxton Square on all the cobbles - I've been wearing an oversize Vivienne Westwood teddy bear Tee a lot, but really it's anything clean - everything's on rotation - I wear stuff to death

Lanvin boots on a Supreme rug

Which item do you turn to in a wardrobe crisis?
Undercover - always - I love the understated nature of the clothing - sometimes I wear the same dress all week - well, I actually have two of the same

What is the oldest thing in your wardrobe?
A Louis Vuitton monogram raincoat - it's a classic. I love obvious logo stuff - anything that looks fake - a Constance handbag by Hermes would be nice...

Hermes 'Constance' handbag

What is the one item of clothing you couldn't live without?
Sneakers - my faves of the moment are purple and lilac patent Bapesta's

Which vintage items do you own?
A Stephen Sprouse frisbee.

Who are your favourite designers?
Neighbourhood, Original Fake, Supreme, W-Taps. I live in Hideout, Michael Kopelman's Soho store

What is the most expensive item in your wardrobe?
Chanel handbags

What is your favourite handbag?
A Barbie by Jeremy Scott clutch I just swiped from the office, and a grey triangular handbag designed by Gareth Pugh

Photograph by Diane Pernet

What are your favourite shoes?
My studded pale pink Converse from Bess in New York

Do you wear jewellery?
I just had a tag designed by Bea Anjuna in Paris so I'm wearing the silver pendant and also a white gold Katie Hillier bunny pendant with a diamond eye which she gave me as a pressy - I mix up good stuff with tacky finds from Canal Street

Photo by Diane Pernet

What are your favourite sunglasses?
Big, round and Chanel

What is your fashion must have this season?
That Marc Jacobs ra ra skirt with the little zips all over it - I would have worn it to The Hacienda; it reminds me of a label in the 80s called PX - I don't have it but Katie [Grand] was wearing it the other night - the Louis Vuitton tie dye scarf she gave me from the summer 2010 show is permanently clamped to my neck

LV SS2010 tie dye scarf and Katie Hillier bunny pendant

What would you save if your house was on fire?
Family stuff - a leaf my nephew gave me that I keep in a shoebox, a Father's Day card I made my Dad when I was seven


What's in your bag?
A purple Essie nail varnish that Lulu Kennedy gave me - it's on standby for whenever I get my toenails painted

Who or what has been the greatest influences on your life?
My parents for their creativity, my sisters for keeping me sane, and Margaret Thatcher for making a significant and strong female statement in what was a man's world growing up

How did your childhood affect the person you are today?
I was utterly bored, so now I make sure life is busy

Which famous person is your all time crush?
Jean-Paul Belmondo in À bout de souffle

What qualities do you look for in a man?
Someone who knows their own mind

Dan Beaumont's Dalston Superstore

What are your eating habits like?
Lunch is blueberry couscous and a carrot juice followed by chopped guava at Market Place in Covent Garden, an espresso Martini in Bistrotheque's Napoleon Bar at nite, and Elaine's lemon polenta cake at Dalston Superstore as a pick-me-up if it's raining

Espresso Martini

If you had to have one last meal what would it be?
My mother's traditional Jewish Friday night dinner - kneidlach (chicken soup with dumplings), then chicken and roast potatoes - and my brother-in-law's chopped liver to start

What are your favourite restaurants?
I love Blooms in Golders Green and Bistrotheque in Bethnal Green, and Elaine Chalmer's food at Dalston Superstore

Kneidlach at Blooms

What are your secret London addresses?
Maureen Paley's gallery in Bethnal Green - she reps Banks Violette my favouritest artist ever, ISIS Beauty Clinic in Euston - it's just good, cheap and local, Cancom Apple Store in High Street Kensington - their waiting time to fix Macs is only a few days and the staff are all amazingly helpful and cool - 5 week's waiting at Regent Street Mac store at the moment - crazee

Banks Violette 'Untitled (Broken Record)' 2008

What would you have on your tombstone?
She kept herself busy

What's your worst fear?
Anything bad happening to my family

What's your philosophy?
Let things unfold, smile...

Which animal would you most like to be?
I'm ok as me thanks

What are your guilty pleasures?
Rose and Violet Creams by Charbonnel & Walker

What are your favourite books/what are you reading at the moment?
I just finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - it's compelling and heartfelt, and focuses on this odd book group in Guernsey during Word War II

What are your favourite albums/the best albums you last bought?
War Zone by Black Moon is my all time best album. Jurassic 5's Quality Control I keep going back to, and I like old stuff by Spryo Gyra and Chick Corea - I have an old turntable at home so tend to buy vinyl but haven't got into buying online yet which I keep meaning to do, but I guess I'd get carried away...

What are your favourite TV shows?
I don't really watch TV but I love Columbo - the lo fi detective work - they use a telephone directory(!) and 70s fashions, and classic old Soul Train which I watch on YouTube - they're historic

Soul Train's studio audience

What were the last good films you watched?
I don't think I saw anything that blew my mind like Gummo did - my friend Yi Zhou just shot a cool film short featuring Pharrell Williams which she's showing at Miami Art Basel next week - it's a great exploration of illustrating sound visually through the medium of film

Jacob Sewell as Bunny Boy in Gummo

Still from 'The Ear', a film by Yi Zhou

Which magazines do you read?
i-D, Dazed, LOVE, W, Vogue Nippon, Vogue Italia, V, Honeyee - I'm checking out more online though - DazedDigital, Another, The LOVE Blog, Complex, Paper, Purple - I enjoy people's reactions to imagery coming through - I know what I like, but I find it fascinating to see how others respond - just like with music I like on YouTube, I get off on comments and reactions

Photographs by Terry Richardson

Who are your favourite photographers?
The Hedi Slimane portrait of Robert Pattinson on AnotherMan cover is instantly iconic, and I love the Terry Richardson shots for Supreme's new book, but Cameron Smith is the one rockin my boat right now

Photo by Cameron Smith

Who are your favourite models?
Nikki Uberti was always my favourite - the shots of her by Terry Richardson in old Hysteric Glamour campaigns

Nikki Uberti

What makes you laugh?
Real life

What makes you cry?
Real life

Who are your heroes?
The people around me who give everything and seeing them succeed - Matthew Stone, Matthew Joseph, Ben Reardon, Gareth Pugh, Gil Goldberg (Backyard), Richard Mortimer (Ponystep), Theo Adams, Roksanda Ilincic, Mel Rickey, Nova Dando, Kim Jones, Carri Mundane, Cathal O'Brien - anyone can realise a dream...

What irritates you?
Not being able to get pink strawberry Kit Kats in the UK

What's your biggest indulgence?
Black cabs

What has been your proudest moment so far?
Styling and editing the Hype Section of The Face, and getting the cheque in the post with their logo on it

Who would you have at your dream dinner party?
Tibor Kalman, Mos Def, Janet Street-Porter, Golda Meir, Ettore Sottsass, Roxanne Shante, Oliviero Toscani, LL Cool J - and Pablo Flack and David Waddington host it in the private dining room at Bistrotheque, and Katie Hillier dresses the space, with draft Prosecco in the courtyard before we eat

The courtyard at Bistrotheque

Mandi wears dress by Roksanda Ilincic, hat by Chanel, boots by Louis Vuitton, Photograph by Alistair Allan.

What they are all saying about Mandi

"Few people are more fashion-ON than blogger genius and PR legend Mandi Lennard, who Grazia last saw in Vuitton bunny ears at 10 Downing Street's Fashion Party."

"Queen of The Capital; London loves Mandi Lennard"
PR Week

"...the industrious, indomitable powerhouse pr of stellar fashion talent"

“Clients and contacts know Mandi Lennard as more than a PR – she is a brand protector who aims not just to raise the profile of her young charges, but polices their interests fiercely. she has become the veritable patron saint of fashionable east London, as she was responsible for marketing the area’s super-cool status, and can be thanked for rejuvenating London Fashion Week with her battery of young, fresh talent.” - The Fashion 50, Britain's movers, shakers and style-makers
The Independent

“ of the most trusted trend barometers in the industry”

“Mandi Lennard is one of London’s most “on it” PR's – when she says something is exciting, people believe her.”

Daily Telegraph

“... the force behind the East End’s fashion movement and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it trends...”
Sunday Times Style

“London's hottest PR...”

"Mandi Lennard is an East End PR whirlwind"
i-D Magazine

To read more Fashion's Most Wanted
Scroll down and click on 'Newer Posts' or 'Older Posts'

Don't forget to catch up with me on the LOVE magazine blog

1 comment:

Chic Mama said...

Great post, really interesting.