Prominent communications consultant Camille Thioulouse is the behind-the-scenes specialist behind Australia’s leading maison’s and well-known digital influencers. From Cartier, Hermés to Moët & Chandon, Camille delivers strategic counsel on fashion campaigns with influencers, industry projects and events year-round. We interview Camille on her career and industry insights for the X-FILES.
Describe your title and role.
Director, Communiqué Group. I am a Brand Communications Consultant and Talent Manager technically speaking, but my role is constantly evolving and changing according to my client’s needs, so I also do brand development and forecasting.
What is your formal background?
I studied a Bachelor of Business in Marketing and Communications and also studied Fashion Buying and Merchandising at the London College of Fashion.
Was it always your objective to create your own business?
I knew I wanted to work for myself eventually, but it just so happened as I left my job as the Head of PR for an agency when I went on maternity leave and I decided I would take 12 months off to be a mum and figure out what I wanted to do. My maternity leave lasted 6 weeks as I started getting contacted by various people in the industry wanting brand strategies and publicity, and the rest is history.
What are the challenges you’ve faced in establishing Communiqué?
I had just had my baby girl Anaïs, and I hadn’t intended to start up a business so quickly, so I was having to manage setting up a business with systems and procedures and delivering to my clients, as well as caring for a 6-week-old baby. When I had my second baby, a boy named Raphaël, I was only able to take a week’s maternity leave as I had a client shooting a TV show, so I had the baby and then was back at work the next week! The amazing thing about running your own business is that you can dictate the terms of how you want to work and for me, I was able to take my son to the TV set and to meetings and keep my business going. I did scale the business back once I had Raphaël as I was managing a 17-month-old toddler and a newborn, on top of the business, but I am incredibly lucky to work with amazing clients who were very understanding and supportive during this time.
Do you have a team, or do you handle everything autonomously?
I have an assistant now, but I mainly do most things myself and I will pull in a team for any large-scale projects I’m working on as and when needed.
What has been the most rewarding moment or project of your career?
There have been so many! I love the saying “do a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life” and that’s how I feel about my work. I am passionate about the brands and people I work with, so I find work to be incredibly rewarding. Some of my favourite moments would be securing a Harper’s Bazaar Singapore Cover for Nicole Warne and also covers of Cosmopolitan and Cosmopolitan Bride for Elle Ferguson. Most recently, I have been working with Elle Ferguson on creating ELLE EFFECT, a self-tanning range and that has been my most exciting and rewarding moment to date – to work on creating a brand from the beginning was an incredible experience and I’ve learnt so much and developed so many new skills. It really was a dream come true and I’m so proud of what we have built.
Our industry is small, do you have a collaborator or mentor you always turn to?
I have a few mentors that I turn to, but my biggest mentor is Nikki Andrews – she a veteran in the PR world and is so strategic and someone I admire and respect greatly. Nikki is always a voice of reason when I need a sounding board and I’m fortunate to have worked for her and received the best training in this industry.
You were integral at a transitional time in the fashion industry when the ‘blogger’ was on the rise, launching the brands behind many social stars we follow today. How did you embrace and forecast this growth?
I’ve always been really passionate about social media and enjoyed how the industry has evolved with the rise of ‘bloggers. I had met and connected with many of the original bloggers, like Elle Ferguson, Nicole Warne and Mandy Shadforth when they were just starting out on Instagram, before it was a ‘thing’. When so many brands were scared to work with bloggers, who are now called ‘influencers’, I was really fascinated by this new rise of celebrity and influence and pushed a lot of my clients to work with these girls. Then a few years ago when the industry was evolving, the influencers started working on bigger campaigns and required strategic guidance and council on how to navigate this new world and I saw a business opportunity and created Communiqué.
The communications industry has changed so much in the last decade. What are your thoughts on your industry now?
The communications industry is such a dynamic and fast paced industry, and with the rise of social media and a range of different social media platforms, there are so many new and exciting opportunities to work with brands and influencers.
What insights do you have in the balancing act of motherhood with professional pursuits?
It is definitely a balancing act – some days work brilliantly, and other days, not so brilliantly. I think it’s really important that you love what you do as it can often mean long hours, travelling and time away from family so you have to be passionate about what you do. I also find that working out keeps me sane and also healthy. It's my time out and time for me and I find it helps to keep me balanced.
What projects are next?
I have some exciting projects and collaborations in the works with major global brands as well as an upcoming trip for New York Fashion Week in February. I’m excited for 2019!