Getting Your Designs on Celebrities

Are you looking for free press or for that extra boost on social media? Then dressing a celebrity might be your next big move. But how do you make that critical connection? You can try to contact them directly with a DM but from my experience, this has never worked. Not because celebrities aren’t interested but simply because they receive way too many messages to filter through what’s legit and what’s not. It’s more effective to contact the person in charge of dressing them, usually their stylist or assistant. Most celebrity stylists list their email address or agent’s email address on their social media profiles. If you can’t find an email you can DM them briefly asking professionally for an email address to send your latest look book or work sample. If you don’t have any luck with your DM or email you can always try to get in touch with the celebrity stylist’s assistant, as most experienced stylists have a team of other stylists around them.

Photo Credits: OutNow.Ch

The most effective way to get in touch with celebrity stylists is to simply be in the same space as them. Many celebrity stylists attend fashion events, host workshops, or speak on industry panels. There is no better way of initiating contact than in person so bring your business cards, wear one of your creations and introduce yourself. Boom! The first contact has been made.

Photo Credits: Dreamstime.com

Now it’s time to cement the connection. Don’t let more than 72 hours pass before following up. Introduce yourself, remind them of how you met and include a message about your interest in collaboration on upcoming projects by providing garments (bonus points if you know what project or event you would like to help with). Include one strong photo in the body of the text and then attach your look book. If your look book is too large try to compress it or create a Google Drive or Dropbox link instead.

Make sure to do your research about the stylist’s clientele and style. Don’t email an exclusively female wardrobe stylist a men’s look book or pitch winter clothes in the summer time. If you know that a particular celebrity loves to wear very fitted dresses, I wouldn’t propose a wide-legged oversize pantsuit.

Remember timing is of the essence. What are some events your collection could be leveraged for? Any award shows, galas, premieres, or product launches coming up? Get on the stylist’s radar weeks before or create a special design for the celebrity if your chances are high for being pulled.

Michelle Williams, Tina Knowles-Lawson and Kelly Rowland at the Wearable Art Gala. Photo Credits: Chron.com

Now that you’ve got the stylist’s interest here are some important things to remember before facilitating the pull:

1.    Make sure your garments are dry-cleaned and cleanly sewn (cut off any loose threads, tighten up loose buttons and beads, etc.)

2.    Have the stylist fill out a pull request form with all his info, credit card, ID, which items pulled, when they will be returned, etc. (A stylist pull request form is a legally binding contract that documents every detail of the pull)

3.    I highly recommend charging a refundable deposit at least the first time. I had an incident where I received a pull request form and when the stylist didn’t return the garments, the credit card declined because I was given an invalid card number. I definitely learned my lesson. Most legit stylists receive decent budgets from their clients so a deposit shouldn’t be a big deal. If it you get any pushback, I would consider this a red flag.

4.    I always ask for a shipping account number if the stylist doesn’t come to pick up the garments

5.    Follow up to see if garments have been received and if they worked out. If they so, ask for pictures for your personal portfolio.

6.    When you receive the garments back verify, they are in good condition before refunding the deposit.

If you’re more interested in celebrity pulls, need a sample stylist pull request form, a sample email, or more info about fashion events to attend to connect with celebrity stylists. Sign up for my upcoming Fashion Marketing Class “Elevate your Fashion Business in 60 Days” in collaboration with Fashion Mingle.  You will receive an email you when the class is live.

Please comment and share!

XOXO,

Dynamically Branded.

5 Lessons I learned from the Fashion Industry This Year

steph

This year has been a very eventful and wisdom packed year in my fashion world. I was blessed enough to participate in 2 New York Fashion Weeks with Esé Azénabor was a driving force getting the brand into stores across the U.S. and across the globe, helped forming the brand’s identity through a variety of marketing activities, took charge of all special events and fashion shows and was/am constantly on the look out for opportunities and strategic partnership that will elevate the brand to the next level. Further I became an active part of Lifestyle Magazine Cosign Magazine as fashion director and learned more about the editorial side of the fashion business. These are the following lessons I learned:

 1. If you don’t have your stuff together you are getting LEFT BEHIND!

With stuff I mean look books/line sheet, professional logos and website. Social media is also becoming more and more important. If you have a business profile keep it business and update it on a regular basis. Provide extra value such as styling ideas, what kind of fabric or special techniques are being used to create the garments etc. Don’t post too much personal content and keep the selfies to a minimum unless you are the face of the brand. Also use a business email and NOT a gmail or yahoo account. The first impression is crucial in the fashion industry. Second chances don’t happened very often. Take the time to get everything in order.

look book

2. In Fashion you have to plan 2 years in advance

Woah 2 years? Yes, get at least a road map of what you have to accomplish in the upcoming 2 years. The fashion life cycle is very short-lived 3 months the longest. Designers are working on Fall Winter Collections 2016 right now and most buyers have completed their Spring Summer Collection 2016 shopping. But keep in mind that designers don’t only have to work on a new collection but also on setting up a photo shoot, look book, marketing campaign, fashion show and trade show all while also operating their daily business. I hope it becomes clear now why it is so important to plan a head of time and to create a calendar with deadlines. If you don’t have a team, now it’s time to start recruiting as it will be impossible to take over all these tasks by yourself. Comment below if you need help finding the right people. MS word offers great templates for project management plans as shown below.

calendar

3. If you want to learn about Fashion you have to be in the midst of Fashion

Honestly, I hated going to social events to “network” and small talk. It appeared fake to me. But I have learned to keep an open mind and my own authenticity. I can read people very well so if I got a hint of BS I simply stayed away from those people. By attending industry related events I got to know great fashion influencers, learned more about the fashion industry and have found a group of people I can turn to for any kind of advice. I will update my calendar next week so you guys can attend all these fabulous fashion events.

4. Everyone is faking it to a certain extent

Everyone is always doing fabulous in the fashion industry, whether facing bankruptcy, decreased sales, or sitting on 2 seasons of inventory. Very few are willing to open up about their mistakes and tragedies. I understand that the dream has to be kept alive but I also believe more designers could actually help each other if they shared their obstacles and found solutions together. That’s why I love Diane von Furstenberg‘s book “The Woman I wanted to be” she just tells it all! I pokered very high myself, I didn’t know anything about fashion sales when I accepted the position of sales rep. She just had heard about my great work ethic and was given a recommendation from one of mentors. I read books, listened to podcasts, took seminars and eventually figured it out in a very short time. My position evolved beyond sales now and it was and still is my passion and drive that kept me focus.

5. Fashion is like marriage and divorce isn’t an option!

You have to move on quickly when things don’t turn out as planned. Don’t dwell on the past but keep a positive mindset. Be prepared for many sleepless nights, especially before presentations, fashion shows, or store launches. I sent emails and was on the phone for 3 months straight before even receiving a response from a store about carrying the collection. Yes it was frustrating but I didn’t give up. I tried to understand the industry better and found out it takes 7 contacts of communication before I can even expect an answer and that right after fashion week is the peek buying season. So I started building rapport and got on their map before those season. After 3 months of trying to get in contact it took another month to solidify the orders. I developed an efficient strategy how to get into stores. Success doesn’t happen over night and if it was easy everyone would do it!

Comment or email me if you have any questions!

XOXO,

Dynamically Branded