Nan Richards, partner and managing director at KCD London, an international fashion public relations and event agency, is a seeker who will never do the same thing twice. Most recently, Richards underwent another reinvention at age 50 proving that great things happen when you omit the word “no” from your vernacular. Her positive mindset is how she manifests what she wants. After earning her BA in journalism and attending law school, Richards, who worked briefly for World Championship Tennis, applied for a job at Turner Broadcasting. The small-town girl from Minnesota climbed the ranks of the media behemoth from sales representative to President. When she joined forces with KCD in 2012, her experience of managing cable networks, developing new content, and revenue streams, converged. While working with clients like Chanel and Alexander Wang in the $20-billion pound industry, Richards parlays her two passions into a dream career: fashion and promoting those she believes in. Richards’ willingness to walk into the unknown and take on more than the next guy has made for an irreplaceable legacy.
How did you arrive at your current career?
My friends, the owners of KCD, wanted to launch a London office. We were waiting for the right time to open a public relations, marketing, and branding company that was innovative and felt very 21st century. This is the perfect convergence of my skill set along with KCD’s longstanding expertise.
Why do you love fashion so much?
Fashion is one of the most challenging and fascinating industries. It’s not frivolous in the least bit. I get to work with amazing people and am inspired every day. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I would still show up at the office.
What is your favourite thing about what you do?
I love the variety. If I’m not doing a million things at once I get bored. I also feel so lucky to be in an industry where people are so immersed in their work. Lastly, this role is perfect, as I love being in the middle of the action on behalf of others—as opposed to being the center of attention. Psychologically there must be a reason for that. Maybe I have some deep-seated issues that I don’t know about. People always ask, “Why are you so happy?” I would think it’s because I’ve had so many great experiences and a charmed life in many ways.
This interview is an excerpt from the forthcoming book Word of Mouth: London Conversations