Apr 28, 2012 1:10PM

Inside MBFWA: Rae Begley from Little Hero

Never for money, always for love.

I can’t find enough initiative to doing my washing every week let alone organise a fashion show. This is why I admire people like Rae Begley, because she just seems to have this 'life' thing sorted out. Rae started PR company Little Hero in 2007, and this year they’re doing four on-schedule shows — including Romance Was Born, which is bound to be one of the biggest, best and brightest of the week. We caught up with Rae at the Little Hero studio to find out about how she's preparing for Fashion Week.

Ingrid Kesa: What song describes your state of mind right now in terms of Fashion Week?
Rae Begley: Oh wow, that’s a big question… It would have to be ‘This Must Be The Place’ by Talking Heads. “Never for money, always for love”...

Do you have any pre-Fashion Week rituals, or anything that you do for yourself that prepares you for the week?
A really amazing team helps — obviously they are really critical to what we do, and we try to have fun along the way. For me personally, I do things like massages and make sure I go for walks around Centennial Park. I try to do some social stuff before the lead up to it as well like going out to dinners with friends, films, gigs and exhibitions where I can so that it’s not just all about fashion. I guess that’s a bit of a ritual — to try and make sure I have a bit of balance before it all hits.

How many Fashion Weeks have you done now?
I’ve been doing Fashion Week since 2007, that was our first year. I did five shows in my first year by myself. I pretty much just had me, and a couple of interns when I first started. So at the start there was Tanya, Dane and I, and we did five shows in the first year and last year we did eight. We have a much bigger team now so it all feels really good and we have our flow on — we aim for perfection!

What are three things you just can’t live without during Fashion Week?
My phone, I guess that’s pretty obvious, my team and probably Bach Flower Essences (Rescue Remedy) — they are little drops that calm me down [laughs] — not sure if it's just clever marketing but they seem to work!

What is your favorite thing about Fashion Week?
I think the creativity; being able to bring the collection to life for each designer. I find it really inspiring working with so many creatives on one show. It’s kind of like working in film, where you have so many elements at play and when they all come together and it works, it’s a beautiful thing... When that vision comes to life is my favourite thing. It’s about being able to really communicate the overall theme for each designer, I love that. Working directly with the designers and being able to achieve something for them that’s really special, and marks a moment in time.

What is your least favorite thing about Fashion Week?
I used to really dread seating plans, but now there is this magic online Portal thats been created and that’s just our saviour! It makes things a lot faster. Seating plans are always the most challenging. They can be quite political, looking after everyone. I guess also just being able to keep up with the pace, because it can be quite exhausting. Probably my biggest dread is the amount of emails I get in my inbox and being able to keep up with them. I can get up to four hundred emails a day in the lead up to fashion week which is pretty insane so keeping on top of that and keeping everyone happy, is the hardest thing.

How will you be celebrating once the week is over?
Little Hero is celebrating our fifth birthday this year and I have just decided that I will throw a party on Thursday night to acknowledge it, so there will be dancing, drinks with everyone, and having some fun with all my little heroes!

What do you still have to organise?
We are doing seating right now so seating plans and some last things like credit sheets and program designs for Jenny Kee — we are producing the whole program and everything for her. We are working with the amazing Grandiflora, so we’re just figuring out how we are going to finish off the presentation element. It’s her first presentation since 1981 so that is really special, and we are really involved with making that incredible. For Romance was Born we are going to be on site on Sunday for them because they’re the opening show. There’s lots of bits and pieces to do with that and we don’t actually find out our final capacity until Thursday, so there’s going to be a few things to co-ordinate for that. On the day, gift bags and setting up registration, media pit and all that kind of pre-production happens. And then we have our post-show releases. We write everything now so that we can have it ready so as soon as the show is finished, we just send it out and that’s all done.

Also see:
Inside MBFWA: Ksubi
• Inside MBFWA: Meg Gray

Words: Ingrid Kesa
Main image: Ingrid Kesa

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