Don’t Believe the Hype by Natalie Lewis | Book Review

“Once a PR, always a PR. It’s part of the DNA of this business that no one ever leaves.”

Meet Frankie Marks: the world’s least likely fashion PR. She got the job by fluke, she doesn’t know the first thing about designers, she’s always hungry, and she struggles to think before she speaks. When Frankie crash-lands in the prestigious GGC agency, her friends and family can’t believe it – least of all her long-term (and long-suffering) boyfriend, James.

Frankie quickly realises she needs to use everything she’s got to survive life behind the scenes of this glamorous and chaotic industry – with its eccentric characters, towering expectations, and quite frankly ridiculous requests. But first, she needs to learn the difference between velour and velvet…

As the pressure builds and Frankie’s personal life begins to take the hit, she starts to wonder if she’ll ever manage to escape the strange world of fashion unscathed. And, for that matter, does she even want to?10. Don't Believe the Hype

Having grown up around apparel and fashion design since early childhood and then taking it up as a career, this book sounded like a fun escape into my past.

Don’t Believe the Hype is a romp through the frenetic world of fashion with its insane client demands, manic photoshoots, and the steady buzz of gossip. It is a window into the psychology of fashion and the weight of its crown.

As Frankie struggles with finding her foothold in this tornado, she begins losing her grip on the part of her life that truly matters. Even as her friends and family try to point it out, Frankie, trapped as she is in the growing web of chaos, is unable to break free. As a reader, it is easy to hate Frankie for being the absolute worst person. Even so, one also cannot ignore that her excuses are valid. These are the unwanted perks of the job, which, perhaps, is impossible for an outsider to understand.

The madness at work is further accentuated by the press notes between chapters which describe Frankie’s state of mind. Delightfully ironic, these highlight the difference between what the reader visualises and the real chaos behind scenes.

I loved the premise of this novel centred around a woman’s career without making romance the focus. For an outsider, this world can sound ludicrous but as someone with experience in the apparel industry I can confirm it is much closer to the truth than you think.

An absolute binge-read, with an engaging, easy-breezy style of humour, this is a peek into the grit behind the glamour and the dilemma of choosing carbs over fitting into sample sizes.

Don’t Believe the Hype by Natalie Lewis. Published in April 2023 by Hodder & Stoughton, a Hachette UK company. This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Hodder & Stoughton.

Book 11 of 2023.

Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.

Available on Amazon*.

About Photo: For a book based on Fashion PR where outfits were constantly moving in and out of the sample room, I decided to go with a dress form. The measuring tape was a last minute addition as a nod to my erstwhile career in apparel.
This dress form is cut from 220gsm cardstock and the tape measure is printed on 80gsm paper.
10. Don't Believe the Hypeb
About the Author: Natalie Lewis is an expert with over thirty years’ experience working in fashion PR with the biggest names in the business including Net-a-Porter, Jimmy Choo, Matches, Diane von Furstenburg and Anya Hindmarch. After selling her agency in 2007, Natalie consulted on a freelance basis with a range of high-profile clients including Bella Freud, Robbie Williams and Claudia Schiffer. In 2008 she was engaged by Victoria Beckham to help launch her fashion brand and worked closely with her for twelve years, until June 2020 when Natalie took a sabbatical from the fashion world to write Don’t Believe the Hype.
You can find her on Instagram, and Twitter.
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*Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.



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