Natalie Lewis has been at the top of her game in the fashion PR world for decades. With her own PR agency, Brower Lewis PR, she had prestigious clients including Net-a-Porter.com, Jimmy Choo, Matches.com, Diane von Furstenberg and Anya Hindmarch.
In 2007, Brower Lewis PR was sold, and Natalie planned to take some time off and, in her own words, “drink mojitos”. That didn’t quite happen. Instead, she became the PR consultant for Victoria Beckham (amongst others), working with the popstar-turned-designer from her very first show in 2008, until 2020.
Natalie’s Midlife Reset
In 2020, Natalie walked away from her successful PR career of nearly three decades, to take a sabbatical. And we all know what happened in 2020 – the global pandemic. Using the enforced at-home time wisely, Natalie decided to do something she’d always wanted to do: She wrote a novel.
Taking online writing courses from leading literary agency Curtis Brown, Natalie got to work. The result is Don’t Believe The Hype, a fast-paced romp through the world of fashion PR, and the perfect beach lounger read for Summer 2023.
“I was desperate to write,” she told the Sunday Times Style magazine. “If you’re a good PR you’re always writing, from press releases to [fashion] show notes, but it’s always in someone else’s voice.”
In a recent Instagram Live with Hylda co founder Saska, Natalie admitted that her Midlife Reset has been one of the most liberating things she’s ever done – and also daunting. Stepping out of her PR comfort zone hasn’t been easy.
She’s now planning her second novel, and taking on PR consultancy projects, including the upcoming sale of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury’s estate at Sothebys.
As Natalie celebrates the success of her first book, we asked her share the things that keep her sane and happy in midlife. From the fashion accessory to her swear-by skincare serum, here is Natalie’s list.
Keren Bartov Super Anti Aging Serum, £170
As I’ve got older my skin, has got drier and pigmentation has started. The curse of us all as we age.
When I got introduced to Keren Bartov it was a game changer for me. I think she is probably the best facialist in London, creating a bespoke programme for your skin involving a lot of machines. It’s all scientifically based.
She also has the most incredible skincare products, including the ultimate serum. It’s literally a lifesaver for my skin. I slather it on morning and night. If I could drink it, I would.
Green Wolf Studio Murano Glass Portable Table Light, £240
Nothing makes me happier than when the light starts to fade outside and I can switch on my Greenwolf Murano glass lights. They are portable and rechargeable and are the most beautiful addition to my home.
You can have them on a candle setting so they flicker, and they can change my mood as they alter the ambience of any room. I’m slightly addicted to them.
They’re not cheap as they’re handmade in Murano, but I do treat myself to a new one in a new colour when I can.
READ MORE What are the 34 menopause symptoms?
Pauer Codebreaker Bracelet, £368
I love this bracelet because it’s quite masculine and chunky, but also because you can play with the words and messaging. Each of the letters in it are interchangeable.
Pauer is owned and designed by Francesca Amfitheatrof, the artistic director of jewellery and watches at Louis Vuitton, so you know you’re wearing something with real design integrity. But I also just think it’s fun. When someone at home annoys me, I can change the letters to the name of the person who is annoying me the least that week!
Bella Freud Loving Candle, £50
I am a huge fan of everything Bella Freud creates. All of her slogans make me smile and think. Her homeware is so clever but it’s her candles that make me especially happy and I think the one that makes me smile the most is the Loving candle.
Just the fact that it’s red and has her iconic signature handwriting is enough to lift the spirits when I’m having a bad day. I always like to have a candle or two burning and I haven’t found one I love more than Loving.
Vintage Vase Company, prices vary
This company sources vintage vases and they sell out as fast as they come in. They don’t even have a website, it’s all word of mouth and by direct message on their Instagram @vintagevasecompany.
The vases come packaged so beautifully, that I often gift them, but I do have a lot of my own dotted around the house. Some are so delicate they just hold one flower. I love having flowers around me, and I much prefer single stems than large bouquets – which is actually more cost effective, which makes me happy.
Reading and Writing, £Priceless
I have always been a voracious reader. There’s no greater feeling than having a great book I cannot wait to get back to.
When I took a sabbatical back in 2020 from my very long career as a fashion PR, I took the opportunity to write my own book. Turned out I loved writing as much as I love reading.
It also turned out I had no idea how long the whole process would take once my agent sold the book to a publisher… a shock after the speedy deadlines in PR.
Almost three years later I am very pleased to say Don’t Believe the Hype, my debut novel based on that world of fashion PR is finally out in the world!