College friends collaborate to build brand agency

Heather and Allesandra

From meeting on their masters to setting up their own agency, we speak to Heather Texter and Allesandra D’Atanasio about their brand agency and success after Condé Nast College… 


Heather Texter and Alessandra D’Atanasio met on the Master’s Fashion Communication Course at Condé Nast College of Fashion & Design in 2019, and they’ve been inseparable ever since, being co-founders of The Hanging Agency ( where they build brands, create content for clients and carry out powerful research for them.  


“Being on the same course, we immediately connected,” Heather says, “especially as we both initially struggled with feeling a little homesick.  But we also found we had a lot in common. We worked together on a Creative Collaboration project, and realised straight away it was a no-brainer that we should team up.  Alessandra is very creative and has some amazing ideas for socials and developing content creation. She also has a bubbly and genuinely warm personality, while I’m a bit quieter at times.”


Alessandra says as soon as she met Heather, she knew she was a leader.  “Her work ethic, her organizational skills, her dedication all told me she was the perfect business partner. I wanted to start my own business and I just knew it had to be with her.”

MA Entrepreneurship: Fashion & Creative Industries

Starting your network


Heather says their friendship means respecting each other’s ideas, while her partner says Heather is indispensable when it comes to making business decisions based on rationality rather than just pure emotion.  The two came together at Condé Nast College harbouring very different ambitions for their futures.  Heather had plans to become a marketing strategist, while Alessandra wanted to be a fashion journalist.


Heather says, “I was so excited to have found Condé Nast College because it offered such an in-depth and hands-on learning experience that I knew would open up a lot of paths, but also individually help me grow as a person by getting me out of my comfort zone.  What I learned overall, and that had the most impact on me, was a drive to keep going, keep reaching for my goals even if along the way those goals change.” 


Alessandra had always wanted to study in London and found the College while trawling online for master’s programmes.  “We had quite a small class,” she says, “and spent a lot of time learning alongside Fashion Entrepreneurship students, and I’m actually very glad we did.  Being surrounded by all these creative, confident and powerful women that wanted to build their own brand deeply inspired me, and literally a year later I was asking Heather to be my business partner.” 


The Hanging Agency Logo

Starting their business


The idea for the agency’s unusual name came to Alessandra in a dream she was having about a childhood friend who had a picture of the spooky Tarot card tattooed on his arm.  “The next morning, I went to Google the meaning behind The Hanged Man and I was shocked.  He’s stuck in an uncomfortable position – obviously – but he has such a serene expression, and behind you can see the sun shining in the background. The card represents a man who finds himself in a difficult situation, but his soft smile lets us know that he’s aware it’s not going to last forever and that better things will come.  Add to the fact that we founded our agency during the pandemic, a tricky situation for everyone, and the whole idea fitted perfectly.”


“I loved the idea from the start,” Heather says, “as it also seemed to fit, in that clients who come to us often do so because they are stuck somewhere with their businesses where they don’t want to be.  Our agency is passionate about enhancing brand identities through customised strategies from launch to social media content. We hope, as we grow, to mainly serve creative sectors like fashion, beauty, and unique clients finding their niche. Our current clientele mostly comprises young brands needing help shaping their ideas into compelling storytelling.”


Alessandra adds, “Our slogan is ‘You got the wish, we got the plan.’  Sometimes clients have good ideas but don’t know how to put them together, so we help them define their goals and give them a structure. Other times they already have a brand and they just need some touch ups here and there; maybe they feel like their brand identity is not strong enough, or their aesthetic is a little bit chaotic – and that’s where we can help.”


The Hanged Podcast


The pair are confident enough to share their ideas with the wider world through their, The Hanged Podcast, on Spotify.  Alessandra says, “We want people that want to start a business to feel like they can. That’s why we share tips and tricks and we’re not afraid to talk about the struggles of starting from scratch. It’s easy to go online and feel like a failure because most people just share their successes and don’t mention the bumps in the road.  We want to create a safe, non-judgemental, healthy and educational space within the marketing community.”

Studying with Condé Nast College


Both say their time at Condé Nast College has been instrumental in where they are today.  “I loved meeting new friends from around the world and enjoyed the great guest talks, like Deborah Joseph, Glamour UK‘s editor-in-chief, sharing her journey. Gideon Ponte’s insights into Gucci’s set designs fascinated me. London Fashion Week was a highlight, especially RIXO x Christian Lacroix’s show. The staff were always there to guide us towards our goals and teaching us to think innovatively about branding.”


For Alessandra, it was the chance to meet so many other creative minds that meant the most to her.  “It wasn’t only the amazing guest speakers, but also the other students. You are surrounded by people from all over the world, with different backgrounds and experiences. I remember seeing the project by the students from Creative Direction and I was blown away.  Going to Fashion Week was a real thrill and made me feel like a celebrity.  The teachers helped me to think outside the box and challenged my thinking and creating process in a way that completely changed how I see things.”

The teachers helped me to think outside the box and challenged my thinking and creating process in a way that completely changed how I see things.”

Both say they would urge other people to seriously consider the College for themselves.  Alessandra says, “There’s lot of different courses and you don’t have to commit to a full year or two if that’s not possible, as there are also summer courses or ones that last a couple of weeks.  You just need to look to see what suits you best.”


Heather adds, “You really will learn a lot and grow as a person. Plus, you will get exposed to new areas and potential careers you may not know exist. For me, I moved to a new country and that was a huge step, all on its own. I met new friends and of course I’m now even working with one of them as we continue our journey to reach our dreams.”


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