After a successful career in fashion PR, Novella Paghera decided to take it on her own last year and start her own agency. She’s already signed some major clients and has big goals for the future. The well-respected vet tells us why Novella Paghera PR was the inevitable next move for her and what differentiates her from everyone else.
You now have your own agency. What kind of clients are you working with?
I started Novella Paghera PR in February 2022. Fashion is my background and my passion. I work with designer ready-to wear brands and accessories brands. MSGM was the first designer to join my agency. I recently started working with Alejandra Alonso Rojas, which I’m very excited about. I work also with Fraciacorta, which is a wine region from Italy — sort of the Champagne of Italy — representing their 122 wineries. I also work on design projects with Viso Project and Seletti. This fall, I’m also working on a book launch. My mission is to promote excellence, craftsmanship and culture, support Made in Italy, communicate and embody a lifestyle of beauty and quality, which is what luxury is to me. My clients are brands with solid values that are authentic and have a unique aesthetic.
Why did you want to start own agency?
It was the natural next step for me. I felt ready to build my own project, follow my dream and my instincts. I also wanted to explore the entrepreneurial side of my personality — I studied business at school. Within a solid structure creativity becomes consistent and relevant. Fashion PR is challenging, the market is very competitive and always changing, but it keeps me very connected to what’s going on in culture. I like to work on aspirational projects that become a product that can be bought, worn, used in the real life. I have now both the sides: creative ideas and business plans that support each other.
How many people are working for you now?
Three full time: a senior manager, a manager and an assistant. Each season we have two interns, usually they are students. We like to be mentors and introduce new talented minds to the industry. I also work with a few freelancers to support specific projects. My team is dynamic and flexible.
Tell us a little bit about what you were doing before you went out on your own.
I worked for many years as an in-house PR and Communication manager. I started in Milan where I worked with different heritage fashion brands for over 10 years. When I moved to New York, I was working for a PR agency before launching Novella Paghera PR. Having both the agency and in-house experience and working in the European market as well as the US has given me a very distinctive insight.
What differentiates you and other publicists?
I consider myself a consultant for my clients before being their publicist. I look at the brand, its identity, its priorities and goals in the US market, its business and the available budget. My team and I work on a mid-term creative and strategic plan that converts in an action plan. We collect feedback and measure results. Many of my clients are from Europe and they want a communication partner who translate the local culture for them. We have a lot of insight on and can share and teach them about local consumers, and why, what, how to communicate to them. It’s very important to be in constant conversations with the brands I represent to make sure their messages and values are properly translated and communicated in the US market.
What do you love most about your job?
To make an impact. I like to create value for my clients, come up with creative ideas, craft unique experiences that support them and help them establish themselves and grow in the US. We improve their awareness and business in this market. I love teamwork. I’m very proud of the people that work with me. I’m honored to have a group of talents who are keen to grow. I’m very proud of the authentic relationships I’ve built with editors, writers, designers, and artists. I love to engage in interesting and creative conversations. It’s very inspiring and helps me push my boundaries.
You’re originally from Italy. What do you love about living and working in New York City?
New York is an adventurous concrete jungle. It’s challenging and allow you to face your limits and expanded beyond them. You are out of your comfort zone here. It forces you to have an open mind, nothing is taken for granted. You must adjust and evolve at a fast pace. You feel free and independent in New York. It’s a cross over and a mix of culture so you have the opportunity to meet always new different people. On the other hand, it fosters close relationships with a small circle of people who is your core and emotional stability. New York is a very vibrant and sexy city. It’s a business city, always creating, sometimes destroying…always in evolution. And last but not least, the food scene is amazing. You really can have anything in NY.
You also love design and have a beautifully decorated apartment. Tell us a little bit about this part of your life.
I love design and interiors. I’ve always been interested in architecture. I lived in Milan for 17 years, which is the city of fashion but also of design with one of the most relevant design fairs globally — Salone del Mobile. I worked on many design projects in my career, and it has always been an interest of mine. I live in a very charming and special space in Tribeca: an old school loft with high ceiling and windows facing west. The light is unique. I love Art Deco and Mid-century design. My furniture is a mix of the two. I also love art, which completes the aesthetic with unexpected touches around the apartment.
Where would you like to be professionally in 10 years?
I’m very proud to see that my agency is growing day by day. I see it flourishing over time. I tend not to project too much but be present and connected with my desires and aspirations. During the pandemic I learned that everything could change from one day to the next. It’s for the best. Even if you have a clear vision of who you want to be and of your future, there might be a new plan for you, a new landscape to explore. Life is an adventure.
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