Meet Karla Otto

Meet Karla Otto

She founded one of the most influential press offices in fashion, managing over 300 people in Europe, the United

States and Asia. A key figure in the industry, Karla Otto manages public relations and advises luxury, beauty

and lifestyle brands and even artists, and organizes sumptuous fashion shows and parties, which she has always

attended, as she has done for the past 34 years. We were able to catch the elegant German woman in Paris, just

back from London and already on her way to New York.

After more than 30 years of fashion, you are not tired? No. You can always be motivated, it’s a question

of character. I find many of the designers we represent very exciting, like Simone Rocha, J.W. Anderson

for Loewe, Craig Green, Erdem… Or someone like Demna Gvasalia! Fashion has changed a lot in the last

decades, but I wouldn’t say it has become less interesting.

How do you see the future? Today, you have to have a VIP service: when you dress Beyoncé in Cavalli for

a red carpet, you get incredible publicity. This is the current fashion, we have to adapt, but I hope

that the entertainment side will not take over. Also, I fear over-commercialization. Why would we need

to buy an object the moment we discover it? Why can’t we keep the desire alive and wait four months before

it hits the market?

Are you skeptical of the new see now/ buy now policy? Let’s take the example of Burberry: the brand showed its collection to the entire press in June. Then,

for the same collection, a show was organized in September in London during the fashion week:, this time for the public, since it was broadcasted live on the internet and the clothes were then available

in stores: . The press attended, but why bother? They had seen it three months before. I don’t think that young creative designers

are going to follow that logic, at least not now, because it’s hard to work like that. And most of them are still

making adjustments hours before the show. How could they be done four months in advance?

What advice would you give to a young designer starting out today? To exist among the thousands of brands already

present, you have to be really good and have a lot of courage. But our time has an advantage: if he has talent,

the designer will be spotted by the right people, even with a small collection of ten pieces. You don’t have to

have a lot of money to get started, nor do you have to have a lot of media coverage.

Is the way you dress important to your work? Yes, of course, our look always sends a message. Personally, I don’t

think you have to be dressed by designers from head to toe and I have no problem wearing clothes from previous seasons: . I don’t post pictures of myself on my Instagram. I would find that very stressful because I know it’s a lot

of work. I don’t want to wear power dresses, it’s not my personality. I’m discreet, I prefer to promote the clients more than myself. Look today: I’m wearing

jeans and Birkenstocks:, it’s my German side!