WOW | In Focus
“The best part about working in fashion is that the opportunities are endless” – Priya Chhetri
By: Sonu Yonjan Tamang
Priya Chhetri is a strongly independent and creative woman with a love for fashion. She knows how to walk the extra mile in pursuit of her goals. She has worked hard to polish her abilities and pursue a career of her choice with some success! It wasn’t easy but she was determined and did everything that would enable her to reach her goals.
She studied Business Administration with a major in Marketing at Drexel University and has a Masters Degree in Fashion Marketing from LIM College. She is currently working in production with a renowned fashion company called Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and produces photo shoots and fashion shows for over 28 brands
She grew up listening to Hip Hop and she claims that it makes her stronger. Priya has travelled and lived in countries like North Korea and Sudan as the daughter of a career diplomat, and sees herself as a global citizen.
Just before coming to Nepal, she had worked on the Tretorn campaign with Andre 3000 (rapper). She feels forever grateful to be in a position where she can meet and work with some of the most talented and creative individuals in the industry. Excerpts:
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
If I had to describe myself in simple terms, I would say I am a curious and passionate artist who loves music (Hip Hop), fashion and art !
How and when did you move to the USA ?
I was applying to colleges and I came across Drexel University in Philadelphia. I applied there for my bachelors after graduating from The British School in 2010.
How long have you been living there?
I’ve been living there for around six years now.
From a Bachelor’s degree in business to Masters in fashion marketing, how did this come about?
Honestly, I first chose to study business because I was too scared to study Art. I was advised by many that Art doesn’t have money and there’s not much you can do with the degree, but more than that I personally didn’t think I was good enough to pursue it as a career so I studied business because you can apply that knowledge to many areas and industries.
However, after completing my undergraduate studies I wanted to study a subject that was more in my area of interest… and I love fashion because its art on a daily basis, it’s a reflection of our time so I decided to go ahead and take the risk for myself!
Can you tell us a bit about your work with Authentic Brands Group (ABG) and how did you end up getting this job?
I came into Authentic Brands Group as a marketing intern initially. While interning I had to stand out so I showed initiative by going beyond the required tasks. At the time they were having their first New York Fashion Week Show and while assisting them I took it on as if it was fully my responsibility and my project, and they really noticed my effort and appreciated it.
Today, I work in production for Authentic Brands Group. I produce photo shoots and fashion shows for our 28+ brands (we’re constantly growing). Since we own all our brands, it’s also our responsibility to create enough creative assets for our global partners.
What’s the best part of what you do?
Definitely, meeting and working with some of the most talented and creative individuals. I believe when you meet someone who’s as passionate as you and from your area of work/interest, you learn something new during every interaction and this helps me to be the kind of person I have always aspired to be. I feel very blessed and grateful to be in this position today.
You’ve had some work experience with events in Nepal too, the two markets are obviously very different. What could be improved here?
For events, I would suggest events limited to specific age groups. In open/public events you can’t control who attends and it eventually becomes uncomfortable.
In relation to marketing however for both markets; I want to change the idea of what’s and who’s beautiful. So even when I am casting in New York, I always keep diversity and personality in mind and would strongly recommend that here for any advertisements.
How do you merge creative work with the business aspects to get great results?
I am very direct and honest because I think it’s better in the long term; it saves everyone’s time and effort. I don’t give false/mixed messages or promises to whoever I work with, and in team projects trust is very important.
What are the biggest trends in the fashion market?
Trends are constantly changing and right now its customisation, getting your initials painted or engraved is currently trending.
What is the career scope in this field?
The best part about working in fashion is that opportunities are endless so if you are passionate and good at what you do you can be anywhere. For those interested in fashion production, from being a production coordinator you can work towards becoming a producer or an art director.
What is the most memorable campaign you have worked on and why?
Working on Tretorn’s artist series and campaign was very memorable for me because I was working with artists from Roc Nation and because of my huge love and respect for Hip Hop it was a dream come true.
How do you deal with work stress?
At work, I listen to a lot of Kanye West, his music keeps me motivated to work harder. On a daily basis, I watch movies or visit museums, etc. to keep myself inspired and also as a way to remind myself why I am here, it helps me to stay focused and remind me of endless opportunities.
Anything else you want to share?
When I was interning, the President of ABG, Nick Woodhouse told us “If you work hard and you are nice, great things can happen” and I completely live by it. You don’t have to be a genius but you do have to work hard and that never goes unnoticed.