Yvette Noel-Schure: October Collection Picks
Yvette Noel-Schure has been a “woman to know” in the entertainment and music industry for nearly three decades. She has worked tirelessly behind the scenes shaping the careers of acts that include Destiny’s Child, Adele, Mariah Carey, John Mayer, Will Smith and John Legend to name a few. She currently represents iconic performer and international super star Beyoncé and music legend, Prince along with a roster of talented entertainers. Not only has she mastered her career as a publicist but she is also a devoted wife, mother to three and grandmother to one. In this exclusive interview we’ll reveal Yvette’s personal style, how she manages home life on the go, how to stay red carpet ready for any event and why she considers herself a Caché girl.
How did you begin your career in Public Relations?
I started my career in PR as the Director of Publicity for Columbia Records (Sony Music). I was given that position after working at Black Beat Magazine, a “fanzine,” which in those days was very popular and covered music for pre-teens and teenagers. I actually got that job the strangest way. A friend knew that they were hiring and I went for my interview and brought examples. The publisher just said “You’re hired”. I sat down and I said good morning and he said “You’re hired.” I said “I can write I can edit, you need to see my whole portfolio and he said “you want the job?” – you’re hired. I said seriously no, you have to see my work. He said you fit the part. I’m looking for somebody just like you. He was looking for a black female to run the magazine and I think any black female that walked in would do. But eventually I got him to look at my work and I did take the job. Because of that job I met the gentleman who was then the head of media for Columbia records.
In my office at black beat magazine one day I realized I didn’t have Mariah Carey’s “Music Box” that I wanted to review and I called Columbia (Sony Music) asking for the album and they said they hadn’t sent out the advances yet and I said “no you have there are other editors here that have it so I need it.” He said you are so spunky. I said “I’m on deadline, I need the album.” He said Ok, Ok we’re going to send it to you. My phone rang five minutes later and it was Larry Jenkins (SVP/Marketing & Media, Columbia Records) and he said we’re looking for a publicist and you have so much passion, you need to join our team and I said “Larry, I’m a writer, I’m an editor.” He said you’re an editor with no money (laughing). He told me to come in and meet with him and I was hired right away. I spent 17 years at Columbia records. I literally learned to be a publicist because I learned to be a journalist. I started out as a director, and by the time I left Columbia I had become the Senior Vice President of Media.
What is your favorite thing about your current job?
The caliber of my clients. I’ve just been really blessed. I haven’t had clients for who I had to fight too many scandals; I’ve never had to wake up in the middle of the night to figure out which attorney’s going to get them out of jail. I’ve had clients with big talent and big hearts and it’s allowed me to really make a mark in publicity but also to just really make a mark in the world of charity, particularly with Beyoncé as a client. I could not have fantasized, even in my wildest dreams that I would have ever ended up with a client like her. My clients are the best thing about my job.
How many clients do you currently have?
We just grew, now have about 9 or 10 active clients, but I really only specifically work two right now; my poor partner, he works a lot. Most of my time is spent with Beyoncé and Prince, and with Prince there is Third Eye Girl, his band. Some of our other clients are not even signed yet, but any second now they could take off. We have this kid out of New Jersey, he’s a kid that used to perform at my house with my daughters and now he’s on tour and all over the country performing with all of these people. We also represent Lecrae, a rapper who is Christian, and who just dropped the number one album in the country. I don’t like to describe him as a Christian rapper because it takes on a whole other connotation. He is a rapper who is a Christian man and who now is number one across the billboard charts (cheering). My partner in crime, Edwin Banacia, works with Lecrae. We also have Sky Blue from LMFAO. I’m also very proud to say that we don’t just do music because; we just signed the first African female professional polo player. She’s from Nigeria, and is an amazingly talented athlete with a huge heart. I try to take on clients that not only have talent but also a generous soul.
As PR to the stars what is your day to day like?
It’s never regular, that’s for sure. As much as I love being a publicist, my first job is being a mom, my second is being a wife, and my third is being a publicist. If you think I do publicity well, you wouldn’t believe what I do as a mother and a wife. My family means everything to me so I always start my day with my family regardless of where I am. I try to do something really healthy everyday. I get up and I dance, or go for a walk. I came from a family that has some health issues so I’m very aware of that and take really good care of myself. My routine usually begins with me getting up and doing some cardio first, then heading downstairs and throwing something green in the blender. Then I sit and go Ok, Things to Do Today. I write in black, and scratch off in red. I’m always making lists. By the time I get in to the office I’ve gone through maybe a thousand emails. I don’t drive in to the city as much anymore, I take the train or the bus because it allows me to catch up before reaching the office. Sometimes it’s a press day, or setting up a photo-shoot. Sometimes it’s trying to get another client. I always say, “The drama starts at 5!” My day evolves as it goes. I come in sometimes and I think, “Oh I can manage today pretty easily,” and then I get a call from Australia requesting a press release for the BBC. There’s always something that shakes up the day, but it’s fun and keeps me on my toes.
What do you always keep handy in your bag?
A pen. I always have a pen. You know, a younger publicist would say “I have my cell phone” and I do too but I really feel like I have to have a pen and paper at all times. My mind is always going and I’m constantly making notes. I’m constantly thinking, “What is the next part of the plan?” Everything starts with paper for me, everything. I can’t write on the computer.
In the morning knowing that you’ll be gone for the day how do you pick an outfit that you can translate from day to night?
I always have a pump and I always have a flat. These days I leave both under my desk. Black is my go to color. I wear dresses that can go from day time to night time very easily. I’m also not too shy to use the closet here and bring a change of clothes in. I also always want to keep my makeup bag handy, but if I have nothing else, a good lipstick and mascara will do.
What’s one moment in your career that you will never forget?
It was a Grammy day, and I’m sitting in the hotel room with Destiny’s Child. I usually go to the pretells [industry award announcements before they’re publicly revealed] but I didn’t that year because I was so anxious. Destiny’s Child was up for a Grammy and if they won anything that night it would have been their first. My phone rang and it was my assistant telling me that the girls had won. I ran into the other room where they were getting ready and I said, “Ladies, you’ve just won a Grammy.” Beyoncé yelled “a Grammy!” It was just the most incredible thing. They were all jumping up and down, and I remember thinking, “This is why I do what I do.” I will never forget how grateful they were. They were young and appreciative and they understood that it was a pivotal moment.
How should a woman define her own style?
I think you have to know what your lines are. For me, that’s classic with a hint of modern flare. I like a dress that shows that I’m in shape without being scandalous. I’m very proud at my age to be healthy and so I’m not trying to cover up everything. I like my legs so I like showing them. I wear way too much black, and I’ve got to figure that out. I don’t like fussy things. I can also be over the top when it comes to layers I like the idea of feeling like I’m running with the wind.
How do you think being from Grenada (Caribbean) influences your personal style?
My grandmother in hot Granada wore gloves. She was the best dressed woman I have ever known—her shoes, bag and hat always matched. She was my Audrey Hepburn before I even knew who Audrey Hepburn was. Island women are all about flare and style, about walking in to a room and knowing how good she looks. In the Caribbean we call it “show-off.” We say, “That’s alright man, lift your head up—show off!” There’s no such thing as overdressed, especially for the men; often times they dress better than the women, they’re so dapper. I think for every occasion you have to put effort into what you wear because you have to understand that people don’t see your brain first, they see you, and making an effort to look a certain way is very important.
When you go shopping how do you shop?
I go straight for the shoes. If I have six dresses I have six different pairs of shoes to go with them. Everything that comes in to my wardrobe works because I already have a shoe that goes with it. I’m not a girl that can travel with only one pair.
Do you consider yourself a “Caché Girl?”
I do. I’m a high-low girl when it comes to fashion and by that I mean I like to have a few pieces in my wardrobe that I probably should not have bought that I completely made a sacrifice to have and then I’m very practical in that I need to get things that still fit like the stuff that took my money away from new car but doesn’t break my bank. In that regards I can go from shopping at Gucci to shopping at Marshalls in a second but my go- to my center are designs like Caché. I love Caché because the garments are so well-made, they’re stylish, and they fit me when my body moves. Caché is affordable; a working woman can afford it. It’s funny, I think I’ve always been a Caché girl. Caché used to be the place I went for a dressy occasion. What is happening at Caché now was not going on when I first started shopping there. A lot of black, a lot of jumpsuits, a lot of dresses that show off my shape.
At Caché we consider ourselves the dress shop for every event. How do you get ready for an event?
I go to Caché (laughing)! As you know I already have my shoe but at home I have butler rods that I pull out in the different sections of my closet so that I can pair my dress, shoes, accessories and bag together and then I eliminate. There are always things I’m feeling in my head but then I have to consider the practicality of my work like how long is the red carpet, how much I have to walk, how long will I have to wait for the client. Will I get on the carpet an hour before? Do I have 2 clients coming? Will I have to run back and forth? Everything is well thought out and I spend hours in my closet.
What are you favorite ways to accessorize?
My hair is biggest accessory if it’s not right I don’t like it. I’m a girl who changes my hair all the time. If that’s good the outfit kind of goes. After that it’s got to be a good piece of jewelry like a nice bracelet. Often it’s just a simple cross. I really truly do feel that with a really great garment on I want the garment to speak for itself. Often we pile up too many things and it takes away from the garment. I do believe in the rule, when you get to your foyer of your home you should have a mirror that allows you to see everything just before you go out the door. You should look at yourself and remove one thing and then you’re good to go. By the time you feel that you’re dressed you’ve probably got too much on. Every night I come home and there is one accessory left in the foyer that should not have been on me in the first place.