Cora Delaney on shaking up the influencer industry
The London-based Soho House and Soho Works member shares how she launched her talent and brand management agency, EYC LTD
By Rachael Cooney Above: Cora Delaney (courtesy of Cora Delaney) Tuesday 11 August, 2020 Short read
Never one to back down from a challenge, in 2018 Delaney launched EYC LTD, a 360° creative agency connecting rising star influencers, like Bloody Osiris and Kai-Isaiah Jamal, with brands such as Burberry and Warner Music. Here, Delaney shares what inspired her to launch the now-burgeoning agency, how she overcame setbacks and her advice for those looking to break into the fashion industry.
Where did the big idea for EYC LTD come from?‘In 2017, while trying to navigate the creative industry in sectors that were predominantly male dominated and hierarchical, I was frustrated with the lack of opportunities being platformed for young, female creatives. With a great passion for what I did and the experience I was gathering, I knew the resistance wasn’t based on my ability, but the structures within this industry that I wanted to actively change. So I decided to do it myself and this birthed EYC LTD.’
‘Being around creative communities, subcultures and talented individuals in both my personal and professional circles meant I had exposure to the most incredible emerging talent. I was already establishing a name and skill set in styling, event planning and creative direction. By specialising in those areas, I then realised how much exploitation there was in the industry. I observed the treatment of these young talents and influencers who didn’t have representation or management, and were easy targets for major brands to take advantage of. I wanted to provide a service that shakes up the system that’s in place – but also create a way to build healthy relationships between clients and talents that benefits everyone with appropriate resources and funding. It was important for me to make an agency that backs and supports the kids with authenticity and integrity.’
How did you get started?
What were the biggest challenges along the way?‘Picking one element to focus on. A huge part of my drive is multitasking and working in all sectors I have experience in. Most agencies work slightly more singularly and try to pinpoint a particular expertise. This is when I realised the golden ticket of creating a 360° agency, that covered everything from influencers and events to creative direction and activations. Bringing on board a strong, reliable and like-minded team meant that together we could cover all of these bases. Not only did it become our USP, but it also gives us a way to cross-channel our creative contacts, and provide a wider platform and a variety of angles for those we work with.’
What’s been your proudest moment?‘Being listed in the Evening Standard’s Progress 1000 top influential social media consultants was a definite success for us. Getting recognition for hard work is so rewarding. A big part of our ethos is about supporting home-grown talent. So, being able to showcase new talent, as well as connecting them with some of the biggest global brands and names, means that we are doing our job – and I’d say doing it well.’
Any advice for anyone looking to break into the fashion industry?‘During the frustrating period before I decided to cement EYC LTD, I moved to New York for a while. That time allowed me to refine and perfect what I wanted to do. I didn’t let the knock-backs at home restrain me; instead, I used them to fuel me and take a moment to recentre. I came back to London with an urgency and an idea, and this kicked everything off. I think that perseverance, having a good environment to work in, great people around you who want you to succeed, and a supportive and hard-working team are all the keys to success. And last but not least, get a good accountant and a fantastic website.’
As a business, how have you been navigating the challenges posed by COVID-19?‘We have been using this time to create new ways of working, whether that is creating digital alternatives or working with brands on virtual ways to connect. It is a perfect time for us to reflect on what we have done and plan what is coming.’