Interview with Kate Oyler, Consumer Communications Manager at Vauxhall

Photograph by Lucas Seidenfaden 
Vauxhall is now in its eleventh season of successful collaboration with the Fashion Scout, and this season Vauxhall is collaborating with a menswear designer James Small. His designs were showcased in a video starring Jamie Winstone and the Vauxhall Astra GTC. This support culminates with Small’s show and a James Small/Vauxhall Motors wrap party at the Corinthia hotel, to be attended by lots of VIP’s!

We caught up with Kate Oyler, Consumer Communications Manager at Vauxhall to find out just why this relationship works so well:

Why did Vauxhall choose to get involved with the Fashion Scout?
Being involved with the Fashion Scout is important for us because we are really interested in up and coming design and talent. Vauxhall HQ has a very strong design team and we have been looking at lots of different ways that we could tie up what the designers are doing with fashion and what we could do with car design as well, because fashion week is a really good opportunity to showcase our car.

What is particularly relevant about Fashion Scout to Vauxhall?
It is a great way to see what trends are up and coming and to really get our name out there. I think it is very important because there are many women who have a lot of money to spend on cars and make decisions on what car they are driving, if not they have a big influence in terms of the family and what they should be driving. It's really about getting the Vauxhall name out there, showing that we are doing some interesting things, and that we are interested in lots of different ways to go out to consumers.

What is the relationship like between Vauxhall and the Fashion Scout?
We work very closely with Martyn (Martyn Roberts, director of VFS). We have a really good internal team, so a lot people love what we are doing. One thing we have tried to do this season is to get more internal people involved so they can see what is happening. Next season should be fun because we have a new car coming out and I saw one of the designers, House of Evolution, had an electric coat so I had a chat with them about a possible collaboration there.

Why is important for Vauxhall to recognise and support new talent?
New talent is the lifeblood of what we are doing. We have a very strong intern programme at Vauxhall which is very good at spotting up and coming talent in terms of engineers, marketers, it’s important that we support these people. We want to do more working alongside the designers themselves. Next year we have got a great new car launch and we want to do lots more work on what that. Unfortunately, I can’t reveal much about the actual car but it’s really fun and there will be designer collaborations involved.

Have you seen many shows this week? Do you have any favourites?
I loved Ziad Ghanem, which was really fun. Our internal Vauxhall team came along, so that was an eye-opening show for them. I loved Malene Oddershede Bach on the Ones to Watch. I saw some of her AW designs and they were very, very beautiful. 

What advice would you give to our readers who want to make it in a similar career role?
Really it is looking at brands that you like, brands that you identify with. Get involved, read about them and have a look at what they are doing. Vauxhall is a company that has been manufacturing cars in the UK for nearly 100 years, we have a plant in Luton, and we are doing a lot of work to bring manufacturing back into the UK. I know that the British Fashion Council work with the same aim, as well as supporting young up and coming British designers, so we have that link as well. 

Interview: Amy Lockwood 
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