Ex-Credit Suisse Exec Launches Luxury Blog

Pamela Thomas-Graham, luxury blog, fashion, private banking, technology, Dandelion Chandelier

Pamela Thomas-Graham, luxury blogger and ex-Credit Suisse top executive (Keystone)

Pamela Thomas-Graham left Credit Suisse last month, after a restructuring under new CEO Tidjane Thiam shut her out of top management late last year.

Thomas-Graham had been relegated to a job as head of Credit Suisse's business with African-American clients and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. 

New York Glitz Hits Swiss Banking

Thomas-Graham was always somewhat of an anomaly at Credit Suisse, where her background as a high-powered New York fashion and media executive was often at odds with the secretive and staid world of Swiss banking.

Now, Thomas-Graham is returning to her roots with a luxury blog called «Dandelion Chandelier,» firing off three entries on Monday and a handful of Instagram photos, including one from a luxury hotel balcony overlooking Costa Rica’s Mount Arenal volcano. 

Dandelion Chandelier Insta

The move is an interesting one, given that fashion and luxury blogging is an extremely crowded universe of both established players like Women’s Wear Daily but also upstarts like «Luxe in a City» and «BornRich», where only the most renowned bloggers actually make a living from their writing.

Luxury and Private Banking

She admits this herself, writing in an initial entry, «Another blog . . . seriously? Is this what the world needs right now?»

Thomas-Graham, a graduate of Harvard and the first African-American woman to be named partner at consulting firm McKinsey, says on the blog she wants to explore the «intersection of luxury, marketing and technology.»

Dandelion Chandelier blog

Follow the Money

To do so, she’s looking at fashion, beauty, travel, automotive, gadgets and – private banking.

«Here, readers can delve into the world of wealthy consumers and how modern businesses are capturing their attention,» Thomas-Graham writes of the $1.2 trillion global luxury industry.

A case of follow the money, then.

Media Maven?

To be sure, Thomas-Graham is no Andre Leon Talley, a Vogue contributing editor and – literally – towering figure in haute couture who is followed by more than 193,000 fashion acolytes.

Thomas-Graham’s blog, «Dandelion Chandelier», has a mere 16 Instagram followers. Her personal Twitter account has only been active since April, or roughly two months before she suddenly left Credit Suisse last month.

On her personal Twitter account, she has accumulated 136 followers – not exactly a commanding presence for a media maven such as Thomas-Graham. Neither the blog nor Thomas-Graham herself have a fan page on Facebook, a major generator of traffic.

Hint at Next Move?

So what is Thomas-Graham’s motivation to tell us in breezy blog-speak that «Umbrella» is her favorite Rihanna song and that she «loves!» her Louis Vuitton wellies?

The answer could lie in her focus on the wealthy, and in particular how technology’s booming growth rate will disrupt a luxury industry with anemic growth, at best.

Thomas-Graham has launched her blog as the tech world is looking to become more luxury-like by attempting to make its brands – Apple, Google – as enduring as storied names like Dior and Burberry.

Tech Snags Luxury

A striking example is Apple’s hire of Angela Ahrendts, the former boss of Burberry who is now the Cupertino-based tech firm’s highest-paid executive.

At the same time, companies have fat marketing budgets, highlights Thomas-Graham, who has also written three crime novels.

«So there’s a lot of money at stake here. Do I have your attention yet?,» she asks readers.

Resurfacing in Luxury, Fashion

She clearly expects to draw interest: finews.ch asked Thomas-Graham to elaborate on her plans for «Dandelion Chandelier», her future career prospects, or whether she would work with Credit Suisse in her blogging ventures, and a publicist responded.

Thomas-Graham wouldn't immediately be commenting on her plans, the spokeswoman said.

For long-time observers of her career, it seems obvious that Thomas-Graham will resurface eventually – after her contract with Credit Suisse has officially run out – with a high-flying job in the glamorous world of luxury, fashion and media.

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