A look into Charles Berthoud’s quick rise in the PR and fashion world
For some, public relations can seem like a daunting task, seeing as it is one of the most fast-paced professions one can enter. For Charles Berthoud, however, it isn’t just a stressful profession, it’s a lifestyle in which he has thrived through almost his whole life.
A The New School graduate, Berthoud couldn’t wait to fill in his mother’s shoes in the PR business–– His mother being none other than Karla Otto, owner of her eponymous international agency that handles over 70 international brands. This, however, came with the challenge of trying to distance himself from his connections in order to build his own legacy from the ground up using his expertise and likability instead of his name. Of what Berthoud has been able to take away from his mother-and-son relationship in order to make it in the business, Rushka Bergman tells us: “Charles was able to move to the very top of the field and surpass any previous convictions about the value of digital/social media public relations as his upbringing provided him with a deep understanding of the industry and the benefit of his mother’s knowledge, expertise, and even her mistakes.”
As soon as he finished university, Charles began working as a PR assistant for brands such as Lisa Marie Fernandez, Simone Rocha, Berluti, Ulyana Sergeenko, and Tim Coppens, his “personal favorite”.
“I was doing mostly logistical work [at Tim Coppens], assessing which publications could get what pieces from the collection to maximize exposure for them on top of aiding in the planning of their shows in terms of seating and making sure that everything ran effortlessly,” Berthoud recalls, somewhat melancholically. His nostalgia isn’t due to a departure from the brand, however, as he was soon promoted to Digital Media Coordinator once their digital department opened a year later.
Unsurprisingly, Coppens kept Charles close during fashion week, due to his extensive knowledge of the large majority of the attending press. Fast forward to today, only three years later, to his promotion to Senior Digital Strategist, a position in which he reports directly to the Vice President of the digital team. “It’s a very gratifying job, seeing as I head my own digital activations and I strategize my clients’ social media accounts but at the same time I’m sticking to my roots by still interacting closely and personally with a variety of influencers.”
As if that wasn’t enough, Berthoud has been Carine Roitfeld’s right hand for each of the four years she has styled The amfAR Gala (The Foundation for AIDS Research). “Charles’s all-around expertise in the worlds of fashion, PR, and digital strategy are, in my experience, without parallel,” Roitfeld reveals to us. “He liaises seamlessly with the most famous models in the world, coordinating their necessary preparations, inviting them backstage at the right time to avoid any issues with the show’s scheduling and generally juggles just about every aspect of producing the fashion show—the hard logistics as well as the personal communications—and has proven year after year that no one can do it better than him.”
So where can you find Charles on a normal day? In his natural habitat: under the stress, drama, and chaos of running from meeting to meeting and answering the overload of messages he receives by the minute, trying to keep everyone around him happy. Charles Berthoud is a natural people’s person, and he wears this badge proudly.
PABLO GARCÍA CONTRERAS
Photography: MAX VADUKUL