My adventure in public relations and creative direction with The Fashion Show and TREND magazine

Izacc Quisling, junior in public relations, is pictured here with the Public Relations Committee for Iowa State's The Fashion Show. Photo courtesy of Quisling

Name: Izacc Quisling

Year: junior

Major: public relations

Minors: psychology and event management

Hometown: Cedar Falls, Iowa

Shortly after transferring to Iowa State in fall 2019, Izacc Quisling became involved with two organizations on campus: TREND magazine, a student-run publication focusing on fashion, beauty, body and lifestyle for men and women, and The Fashion Show, an annual student-run fashion show produced by nearly 150 students selected to be on the planning committees. 

Working with these organizations, which are advised by staff in the Department of Apparel, Events and Hospitality Management, has given Quisling an opportunity to put his public relations and creative skills into practice and network with students across campus.

While the release of TREND’s 28th issue, Human Connection, has been postponed to fall 2020, and The Fashion Show 2020 has been reimagined as a  Virtual Fashion Week (April 20-24) due to the COVID-19 outbreak, these challenges haven’t made this year any less meaningful for Quisling, who shares how his involvement with both have shaped his career goals.

How are you involved with The Fashion Show?

I am a part of the PR Committee. So far, we have written press releases for The Fashion Show, contacted local influencers who are invited to come to the show, and contacted organizations to get goody bags put together. 

[Within the PR Committee,] we are each assigned to one of the other committees within The Fashion Show. [Members in those committees] can come to us if they have any sort of PR-related needs to be met. I work with and am the PR rep for the modeling committee right now. 

How are you involved during The Fashion Show production and what are your goals for next year?

We have the option to be backstage and participate in the hectic craziness as a helping hand, which I will probably do because I think it would be really cool to have that backstage look of the organization because there is so much that goes into it. But we also have the option to just sit and chill out and watch the show. 

Next year I am shooting for a director’s position for PR. That would include making the syllabi for all of the students and working side by side with them. A lot of the people on the committee are not in PR. This year, I am the only person who’s majoring in public relations. So I’ve been able to help others learn to write press releases and once you know how to do that, that’s a skill and you have that in your back pocket just like Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. It’s just another thing that you know how to do. 

What kind of work have you done for TREND, and how do you hope to be involved next year?

Fall 2019 was my first semester on TREND, and I was a committee member for TREND for Men Ready to Wear. It was really cool. I liked Ready to Wear, we had a great committee and we did kind of like an homage to Harry Styles. We did the balancing of masculinity and femininity and how that played into fashion. It was really fun and a great creative outlet, and then from there [my work with TREND] kind of started branching. 

For spring 2020, I set a goal for myself to get an exec team position. I knew that I wanted to bring more male representation to TREND. Not everyone realizes we have the TREND for Men content, and I wanted to make sure that I promoted it as much as I could and showed it off to guys who are interested in fashion because this is a great opportunity.

It worked out, and this semester I am one of the Directors for Runway, which brings a [completely different perspective for me]. Ready to Wear is the stuff you buy off the racks and see every day. Runway is more of an artistic approach to what’s on your body. For this show we’re doing a Y2K/2000s era homage with very Matrix-y stuff, like computer hardware incorporated into garments and that sort of thing. It’s really fun, and I have two great co-directors whom I like working with a lot. 

I think it is really fun to be a director under our editors in chief. I’m very comfortable as a director, and I even would consider going back to a committee member. I would also love to go into any of the TREND for Men or Accessories positions would be really cool. I’ve always been super interested in female fashion, too. I would love to get into online because they post issues every month, like constant streams of new content, which would be really cool. Working with PR within TREND would be really cool, but I don’t know, I could see myself doing all of it.

How will being a part of The Fashion Show and TREND shape your career?

I feel like adding this sort of creative aspect brings a different side of it. [My public relations major] has allowed me to focus on my written work. I can write a press release, and I can do a creative brief, and I can research. 

With TREND, I have a creative director sort of role that’s allowed me to come up with a concept and be able to execute it — going from the initial mood board we made to our photo shoot. I think that will demonstrate great leadership and creative insight and show I’m able to execute a creative concept to the full extent.

With The Fashion Show’s PR committee, I should be able to demonstrate my leadership skills and ability to lead a team in a PR function. 

What advice do you have for other students?

Get involved! Get involved everywhere, it doesn’t have to be related to your major. With TREND and The Fashion Show, I am surrounded by people who are majoring in apparel, merchandising and design and other majors. But that’s how you meet people and make connections. These are the people you are going to be entering the workforce with, so if you already have those connections and that kind of networking backstory to you, you’re set. I wish I could be more involved!