When Victoria’s Secret was looking to revive its Gen Z-focused Pink brand last year, the retailer turned to Tiana James, a 30-year-old Oklahoma native who has spent more than half her life in the retail industry. After working at her local mall clothing store as a teenager, James began her career in merchandising at JC Penney, but quickly realized there were big opportunities for the brand in the then-nascent world of social media and influencers.
How Tiana James is reviving the Pink brand at Victoria's Secret
“I pulled together a deck of influencers—who weren’t even called this term at the time,” she said. “I said ‘Look at how much engagement they have,’ and [Penney executives] said, ‘You need to be on the marketing side.’”
Following a stint at Keurig Dr Pepper, James joined Pink last fall and has helped the brand boost its following among target consumers at a time when parent Victoria’s Secret has also been undergoing a brand overhaul. The company recently merged Pink operations with its beauty and namesake business. As manager of PR and partnerships, James spearheaded a partnership with first-time male brand ambassador Darren Barnet for Pink’s new gender-neutral line, a deal with TikTok star and inclusivity advocate Remi Bader and also negotiated a sponsorship with Coachella.
“I don’t personally have a platform like an influencer or celebrity, but I can be a part of leading partnerships with people who do have platforms that can showcase representation,” James said. “And that’s a really important part of what I do.”
When she’s not analyzing engagement rates, James, who is biracial Vietnamese, supports the Orchid Giving Circle, which awards community grants for the North Texas Asian community.
If you could have dinner with one person, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Hands down it would be Dolly Parton. She’s as authentic as it gets and has so many Dollyisms that I feel like even five minutes with her wit and wisdom would be life-changing!
What are the top two social media sites you use on a regular basis?
Instagram and TikTok for sure, but I’d argue that LinkedIn is a close third!
What’s currently on your bedside reading list?
Lately I’ve been enjoying “Clarity & Connection” by Yung Pueblo.
What was the last show you binge-watched?
“The Summer I Turned Pretty” on Amazon Prime Video. Jenny Han is brilliant and of course, I’m #TeamConrad!
At what age do you hope to retire?
If I was romanticizing my life, I’d probably say that I’ll retire at 50 and travel the world. However, I’m such a workaholic that I’d probably continue to work as long as I could.