Malikah Kelly changed career paths to pursue her dream and personal love of fashion after graduating with a degree in Applied Psychology from Pace University. The style aficionado had always been interested in the industry, from trends, fashion history, and of course personal style and found herself to be a natural fit in the fashion closets during her internships at Teen Vogue and Glamour magazines. While rising the ranks at some of the industry’s most respected brands, Malikah also dedicated her spare time to fashion consulting for men and women in various fields, simply because she relished the opportunity to help others define their personal style. Her clients ranged from Wall Street financiers to new graduates trying to build a professional wardrobe on a budget. Since then, she has worked for various luxury brands, most recently as the digital content manager for Steve Madden and has continued to increase her experience in the fashion industry on the business side in digital marketing and e-commerce. Read more about this fashion marketing pro.
Describe your personal brand in three words Style. Intellect. Growth.
30 second elevator pitch, Go! I'm a marketing maven with international experience, crafting and executing strategy for big brands and small in the luxury and contemporary markets.
Current position and your typical work day As the Digital Content Manager for Steve Madden, I develop branded content for online retailers that carry the brand. A typical day could be anything from working on strategy for a social media partnership to doing a photo shoot to show off some of the hottest new shoes in the collection. I love that each day varies and I get to have my hands in so many interesting projects.
How have you developed your brand? A lot of reflection on my past missteps and accomplishments, and asking for feedback on my professional and personal capabilities. I think everyone needs a personal board of advisers to define a brand, help you set goals and hold you accountable achieving them.
Explain the role that your personal brand played in getting you to where you are today. Though I have been through a good amount of career transition from college up to this point in my career, the pillars of my brand have always stayed the same and that consistency helped me grow into new opportunities.
Personal brands attract opportunities. What has been the greatest opportunity you have gotten? My greatest was being tasked with launching an international ecommerce website for a major luxury fashion brand. I gave myself a huge pat on the back for getting that up and running on time and within budget!
Who are some of your mentors and why? One of high school teachers has been a very strong force in my life. Her advice always seemed to hit the nail on the head, and has gotten better and better as I've grown up.
What were the steps you took in college that impacted your professional success? Getting involved! College really helped me refine my interests, but I wouldn't have been able to find my passions if I hadn't tried out so many new things. I took interesting electives and signed up for plenty of on campus clubs that really helped me develop personally and professionally.
What would you say to a young person who wants to work in your industry? Work smart, never be afraid to network, and define your personal style and show it off!