Native New Yorker Ah-Niyah Gold established her agency A Gold Consulting in 2020 and in just two years has built an enviable roster of fashion and beauty clients who value her relationship-oriented approach. Director of communications for Black Fashion Fair since its inception, her current client roster also includes Theophilio, Homage Year, Topicals and Black Boy Knits. More recently, A Gold Consulting was brought on to lead fashion programming for Afropunk.
We had a phone conversation with A Gold Consulting to learn more about her background and what makes her representation stand out from the pack.
Snobette: Where do you call home, and what was your childhood like?
Ah-Niyah Gold: “I’m a born and raised New Yorker. Very few people know this about me, I was actually a child actor. I started working at about 11 years old. I was Nayla in “The Lion King” on Broadway. That experience shaped my work ethic at an early age. My cousin was my chaperone, and my mom would come to most of the cities when we toured.
“As a child, I was then used to a certain discipline. I was a tween with a schedule, and in many ways I became like a little adult. I was exposed to so many talented experts in beauty and design that really shaped my appreciation and passion for fashion and style.”
Snobette: When did you decide public relations would be your career path?
Ah-Niyah Gold: When I returned home to finish high school, I was already enamored with fashion. Just being around the Tony Awards and all the talented costume designers, I knew I wanted to work in fashion. At that time I wasn’t sure in what capacity. What I did know is that I was really into shows like Kelly Cutron’s “Kell on Earth” and her People’s Revolution agency and Rachel Zoe and “The Hills” with the likes of Lauren Conrad. These shows gave me insight into alternative careers in fashion. I knew I did not want to design or be an editor.
“In terms of work, I also felt like I didn’t want to wait. If I could have interned in high school I would have. I was ready to work so I literally started researching jobs on Fashionista and that was how I landed at Factory PR, starting in the events department. In essence my start was in production. But it was like a cross between PR as well. I was able to dip my toes in and learn.
“I then started working with Brittany Escondido’s Beyond 8 production agency. I was with her for four years. She hired me out of high school and that was the beginning. I had the opportunity to work on projects for Betsy Johnson and work with Pyer Moss. That was how my relationship with Kirby [Jean-Raymond] started and developed.
“Later on I met Sydney Reising, who would be my first boss as a publicist. So my career until now, has been a natural progression. I never want to put limits on myself, there are so many things to do in this lifetime, and just in the world. I went to Paris for the first time and worked fashion week, literally a month after my 21st birthday. Those are experiences that I can’t replace and I’m so grateful for.”
Snobette: What did you see in public relations that you wanted to do differently by opening your own agency?
Ah-Niyah Gold: “I really just listened to my peers. Oftentimes I was the youngest in the room, I always kept an open mind, and sought to make connections and hear things other people didn’t hear. I noticed common practices my counterparts weren’t really paying attention to. The conversations often sounded like, ‘This is what you need, this is what we do, and this is how we do it.’ I learned to really listen to clients.
Public relations is often practiced with a one-size-fits-all approach, but I knew when I launched my agency, I wanted to have a more tailored approach. I learned a lot and built great relationships that have become a huge asset. With the diverse experience I gained at various agencies, I was really able to hone it on how different I wanted my strategy to be.”
Snobette: How do you decide whether you’re going to work with a client or not?
Ah-Niyah Gold: “The best thing about starting this company has been the ability to be selective about who we work with. I am a firm believer that there has to be a certain level of passion on our side first. If I see it and I’m in love with it just personally, or even if my team brings them to my attention we’ll just connect.
“There are brands I felt weren’t ready for PR, but if I believed in their work, I’d help steer them in the right direction. Oftentimes they circle back and we end up working together. I’m a firm believer in making sure that people spend their money wisely. I currently have a couple clients that are pro bono, just because I believe in them so wholeheartedly. I take the time out to support them, and get them off the ground. I know they will get grow, build more resources, and luckily, I haven’t been let down as of yet. That’s pretty much my approach to working with clients.”
Snobette: You talked about fashion PR having a one-size-fits-all approach to clients. Have you observed other growth opportunities for the field?
Ah-Niyah Gold: “There’s quite a few. I see so many missed opportunities for people to connect. Obviously press is a big deal, but public relations firms can also teach brands to build their own relationships. That is so important; for example, finding opportunities to create bridges between a client and a larger conglomerate.
“With Edvin Thompson of Theophilio and Antoine Gregory of Black Fashion Fair, we have a great time being out and about in the City, and I’ve conveyed to them how important it is for them to be present in certain spaces and connect to people. They also understand the importance of connecting with their peers. It’s very different from social, where people connect through seeing the clothes. In person, people really get to understand the essence of who you are. People will feel your passion. I stress this to all my clients: You truly represent what you are building.”
Snobette: How did you get involved with Black Fashion Fair?
Ah-Niyah Gold: “So Antoine being the genius that he is started Black Fashion Fair via a Twitter thread in 2016. He was amplifying the importance of supporting Black designers, creatives and talent. In 2020 he was finalizing the development of his idea and was in the process of building it outside of Twitter. Coincidentally, I had just left an agency and wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. I was a little lost. I actually tweeted something like, ‘Okay, well, this has been great, guys. But I think I’m done with fashion.’
I think the tweet is literally still there. It’s so funny, obviously, nobody took me seriously. It was around late August and Antoine reached out to me to look over his deck. I saw it and it was like an epiphany. Something that brings you back and centers you. This was exactly the kind of work that I want to continue doing. He brought me on board, and we launched it together. Black Fashion Fair became A Gold Consulting’s first client.
Snobette: What do you want A Gold consulting to be known for?
Ah-Niyah Gold: “I want us to be one of the leading public relation firms. I want us to be known for being holistic and having a tailored approach to the strategy we build for each client.”
Snobette: Do you have a dream client?
Ah-Niyah Gold:” Everyone that I work with is pretty dreamy. I see so much in my clients, and vice versa. I pour into them and they pour into me. In a way it’s like we’re growing together.