There are few things more classic than a Lacoste polo. The French label is adored for its preppy-chic style, and the petite alligator logo that adorns its merchandise ranks among the most recognized fashion emblems in existence. And to help the brand maintain its refined fashion edge, there's Emily Liu Coppock.
As Lacoste's VP of marketing, Emily's got quite a bit on her plate—keeping up with the Paris office, attending marathons of meetings, even conducting weekly meetings with the brand's CEO. So what's a day in the life of a Lacoste VP really like? Read on to find out!
What was your very first job?
I was a summer camp counselor for kids with Cerebral Palsy. It was one of the toughest and most rewarding jobs I've ever had. The perspective and life lessons I learned from that summer were invaluable.
How did you get started in your career?
I took a very non-traditional route. I was actually a religion major as well as pre-med in undergrad, but realized my senior year that a career in medicine just wasn't for me. So I started looking for a job that would be the perfect mix of art and science. Advertising seemed like an ideal match so I found a job at Ogilvy & Mather as an assistant media planner working on CPGs and American Express.
Who are some of your career heroes?
The person whom I look up to the most in my career is my father. He immigrated to the States in his 20's with very little money and a limited grasp of the language. And despite these challenges, he set up his own medical practice in Brooklyn. The incredible success he has achieved in his career comes not only from his talent but also from his work ethic. He is one of the hardest working and most respected people I know. And to this day, he still does house calls. When we walk around the neighborhood in Brooklyn, everyone stops to say hello. He's like the mayor there!
What's a typical workday like for you?
Every day is completely different, which is what I love about my job. Typically, the day starts on my commute in reading emails from Paris. When I arrive at the office, the meeting marathon begins. In my role, there is a lot of work done cross functionally, so I could have a meeting with our retail and planning teams to discuss an upcoming in-store promotion, then I could have a meeting with the visual merchandising team to coordinate the set-up for a press event, then I could get on a video conference with our sports sponsorship team in Paris to discuss athlete activations during Roland Garros, then I could have a meeting with our advertising agency to analyze the results from a digital campaign and discuss optimization – it really runs the gamut. I also have weekly meetings with the CEO to discuss marketing updates and strategies. My favorite meetings though are brainstorming sessions with other like-minded brands to discuss collaborations and develop new innovative partnership programs that bring the brand to life and promote Lacoste to new audiences.
Describe your office décor. What was your inspiration? Did you decorate it yourself?
My office décor is eclectic. I like to keep small tokens from past projects that continue to inspire and delight. Since I'm in marketing, I am literally surrounded by media – lots of magazines, photographs and brand collateral. On the walls is a collection of framed prints from some of the best press coverage we've secured as well as Lacoste archive photos, the season's mood board images, our advertising campaigns, and look book images. All of this is carefully curated and pulled together by our talented visual merchandising team.
List five things that are on your desk right now: Huge bottle of water, framed photos of my husband and daughter, crocodile paraphernalia (you end up collecting quite a bit when you work in marketing at Lacoste), a Blackberry and an iPhone.
What do you typically wear to work?
We're a casual chic and sport-inspired brand so it's not hard to wear something Lacoste every day. Our polo is the perfect foundation to build on – it effortlessly pulls together any look. I'm usually in black jeans and I like to style in edgier pieces like a leather jacket, a slouchy men's cardigan or studded boots.
What are your favorite stores to shop for work clothes?
Isabel Marant, Helmut Lang, Maje, Zara and Lacoste of course.
What's the best piece of career advice you've ever received?
No is never the answer. There is always a way or a solution and you just need to be relentlessly resourceful, proactive and MECE (mutually exclusive, completely exhaustive) about your approach.
Finish the sentence…
Today for lunch I had… quinoa and kale salad loaded with veggies.
The first website I log onto every day is…CNN.com to start my day with a dose of reality before immersing myself in the beautiful world of fashion.
The beauty product you can always find in my purse is…YSL Touche Eclat (this gold stick really is magic), MAC Lip gloss and Nars lipstick.
My must-have work gadget is…a pen.
My usual Starbucks order is…I usually just get coffee on the street corner but if I go into a Starbucks, it would be a grande red-eye.
If I need a quick break during work, I usually…FaceTime with my 2-year-old daughter Ella.
If I wasn't doing this job, I would be…traveling the world, working with children, dedicating myself to my yoga practice.
The best part of my job is…the passionate, fun and creative people that I work with each day.