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How I Got Here: The Iconic’s Head of Creative Content and Social on the importance of creative problem-solving

WORDS BY FASHION JOURNAL

“Sometimes you need to break something to improve it, so be brave in proposing your ideas.”

Have you ever stalked someone on LinkedIn and wondered how on earth they managed to land that wildly impressive job? While it might look like smooth sailing, there’s no doubt been a heck of a lot of hard work involved in getting there.

So what lessons have been learnt and what skills have proved invaluable in getting them from daydreaming about success to actually being at the top of their industry?


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Welcome to How I Got Here, where we talk to people who are killing it in their respective fields about how they landed their awe-inspiring jobs, exploring the peaks and pits, the failures and the wins, and most importantly the knowledge, advice and practical tips they’ve gleaned along the way.

This week we chat with Fiona Murchison, the Head of Creative Content and Social for The Iconic. As a child, Fiona was captivated by all things fashion and often folded down the corners of magazines and cut out her favourite pictures to keep.

But fashion never seemed like a viable career option. After studying English literature, she dabbled in retail, copywriting and admin, before landing a job at The Iconic back when it was a start-up. Here’s what she learned along the way.

What do you do and what’s your official job title?

My title is Head of Creative Content and Social at The Iconic. I work with our brilliant in house creative team to craft everything from social media content and out of home advertising to packaging and website design.

We are a team of storytellers, responsible for all creative and content development, concepting and producing content that translates our brand and its products into engaging stories across all channels.

Take us back to when you were first starting out. Did you study to get into your chosen field, or did you start out with an internship/entry-level role and climb the ladder? Tell us the story.

As a kid, I loved stories, loved clothes and I was a dreamer. I read lots of books, had lots of ideas of things I would make or do and lists and lists of the clothes I wanted to buy. This was pre-wish-list era so there were lots of folded down corners in magazines and catalogues and cutting out pictures to save! It is only in the last few years that I have realised how much these core elements of my personality have informed what I do now.

I went on to study English literature, following my passion for reading and writing. I didn’t know that a career in fashion was possible – it was just not on my radar as being an option at all. I didn’t consider myself ‘artistic enough’ to pursue a traditionally creative path and literature was something I loved while satisfying my curiosity to learn about the world through stories. After uni, I was pretty clueless as to what to do next, had mountains of debt and not enough money to intern for free for months. I spent a few years dabbling a bit in retail, copywriting and blogging, and admin jobs, before moving to Australia.

Within a month I had heard about this start-up called The Iconic that was launching here. I applied for a content writer position, got an interview, and then called the interviewer persistently for updates on the process until they offered me the job. It could have been on merit, or perhaps he just wanted me to stop calling him! But either way, it paid off. Once I was in, I worked hard and worked my way up. I felt so lucky and grateful to [have] secure[d] a job I loved with incredible people (who have become lifelong friends) that I put everything into it. It is one of those right time, right place stories and has ultimately shaped the rest of my career.

What challenges/hurdles have you faced getting to where you are now? Can you tell us about one in particular?

I have had to overcome being a bit of an introvert and to shush the dreaded imposter syndrome. Finding my voice and understanding where my strengths are took me a while to learn. Through being thrown in the deep end a few times and rising to those challenges I’ve become confident with knowing where I can add value and comfortable communicating my opinions, trusting my gut and experience, and ultimately providing creative and content direction clearly.

What do you want people to know about your industry/your role?

Being part of an in-house creative team means you do a bit of everything and wear many hats. It is super busy with so much range in what we do – from pitch decks to social content to event creative direction and everything in between, it’s really varied. We are really customer focused, one of the many gains to being in-house is working with a team who also cares deeply about the experience of our customers and how they engage with our content – this creates a desire to constantly iterate and improve for our audience.

When it comes to my role, while there is plenty of opportunity to be creative, it is also very data and marketing driven too, I am providing creative solutions to business priorities. Also, the people in our industry are really nice! It’s rare to come across that stereotypical meanie fashion vibe.

What’s the best part about your role?

The smart, creative, amazing people I work with, the product, and the buzz of a new season. I’ll forever love looking at clothes, putting outfits together and creating new ways to present style. I also love the diverse range of tasks, I enjoy switching quickly between something really visual and then getting into the nitty gritty of data and insights.

What would surprise people about your role?

While some of my time is spent scrolling through social media, working on shoots, and looking at the new pieces coming in, there is a big portion of my role that is building budget spreadsheets, strategy documents and planning, before any content creation begins. There’s also a lot of Zooms!

What skills have served you well in your industry?

Resilience, agility and creativity. Working in a start-up environment is fast paced, the hyper growth is exhilarating but requires a level head in the face of frequent changes and adaptations to plans. Being able to creatively problem solve and come up with ideas fast has served me well. The founder of The Iconic, Adam Jacobs, talked a lot about challenging the status quo in the early days and it really resonated with me – I am naturally curious so I try to question my thinking, processes and ideas to constantly improve.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be in a role like yours one day?

Find the gaps and fill them. Be useful. Be curious. Be creative. Ask questions and understand humans and culture so you can create something meaningful. Talk to many people in different roles, there are so many options for working in a fashion business and I had no clue about 90% of them until I got in.

If you’re not comfortable with IRL networking, try to overcome shyness through the digital tools we are all so accustomed to now – DM people, comment on posts, email follow-up questions. Use creativity to problem solve, and know that sometimes you need to break something to improve it so be brave in proposing your ideas! No harm can come from opening up the conversation.

What about a practical tip?

Work hard and be kind to people. Focus on your strengths, ask lots of questions, and search for people who have roles similar to what you’re aiming for and ask them how they got there. Most people will be so happy to spend half an hour taking you through their journey and offering advice.

Read the rest of the How I Got Here series here.

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