LAURA KRAMER, Associate Art Director BANANA REPUBLIC, says to capitalize on every opportunity and carve your own path via perseverance.
Fewer industries offer a broader arrange of career opportunities than fashion. In our ongoing series, The Spotlight, we highlight some of the industry’s most talented people and interesting jobs.
Please describe your role.
I am an e-commerce photo art director for marketing, product and still life imagery at Banana Republic.
What excites you about the role?
I love working on set with a team of talented, interesting people. You can bring a certain level of concept to a shoot but the magic happens when serendipity meets preparation. There is a surprise with every shot. Spontaneity makes the work both fun and fresh.
What is the best project you have worked on?
We’ve had a couple of incredible on-location shoots in Napa at Banana Republic. Beautiful properties, with amazing photographers and talent. One of the highlights in my past was participating in shows for Oscar de la Renta in my role as in-house art director.
How has your role changes and why?
Banana Republic is moving in a new direction with the recent hire of our new creative director, Marissa Webb. It’s an exciting time to be here. We are in the process of elevating our product and marketing photography to reflect the new styling and attitude. I’ve had the opportunity to take a bigger role in helping to influence this change within our e-commerce platform.
What is the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome in your work life?
The hardest task is maintaining the integrity of creative instinct. Each brand has it’s inherent brand identity, but as an art director you are challenged to push that image in a new direction; keep it modern. The sweet spot hits when you understand the brand DNA well enough to know where you can push up against the edges. Balancing personal vision with that of the brand is essential.
What advice do you have for people who want to do what you do?
Go out and do it. Take every opportunity: every meeting, every internship, every job big or small to get your foot in. Go to art school, apprentice, take a night class: whatever you need to do to get started. Then persevere, move to New York or Paris, embody your dreams. Follow the advice of your mentors and learn from mistakes. When you get to do what you love for a living the journey will be worth it. And always stay true to your self. A strong core bodes well in a fashion career.