How To Do Your Own Fashion PR

Having a fashion publicist is definitely worth the cost, but if you’re an emerging fashion designer, that may not be a business expense you can afford just yet. If you’re working with a zero budget for your PR campaign, don’t sweat. (Well, try not to.) Here are a few ways to get around that dilemma and pitch your fashion label on your own:

1. Do research on how to pitch effectively.

One of the biggest gripes that magazine editors have are weak pitches! If you’re going to go head-on with an editor, especially in fashion, have your pitch down to perfection as a PR professional would. Research what to say and what not to say. Know whom you are contacting by first name, last name, and title. Think of the “elevator pitch”. Can you introduce yourself and describe your company within 15 seconds? That’s how direct your pitch should be. List the basic who, what, where, why, when, and how in an easy, conversational tone, and conclude with an open-ended question about following up with you to send more information about your label.

2. Getting a follow-up and properly responding.

If you’re lucky, a fashion editor will get back to you in regards to featuring your collection in an upcoming issue. Be prepared for any requests that may be asked, i.e. designer bio, line sheets, lending agreements, or lookbook images. At this point, your lookbook or press kit should already be completed for your current collection, and make sure that it’s updated for every new season. Be swift in your responses to editors when they ask for things because they can easily move on to the next designer if you’re not keeping up with them. Remember, they have frantic deadlines and you’re considered to be on their time!

3. Sending your press release to the media.

A well-prepared press release can definitely alert the media of your new collection. Spend some time on PR distribution websites and study how the best ones are written. Follow the standard model of a press release and formulate a few paragraphs about the new release of your collection and about you as the designer. Set up a free account with press release distribution sites and schedule your releases to be sent out to the local media. You can also e-mail and fax your press release directly to news stations and newspapers (they’re always looking for local stories to cover). Who knows – what if you’re called in to be featured in a morning news segment? That’s definitely a good look for your press portfolio.

4. Invite the media to your launch party.

If you plan on celebrating the launch of your new collection, you’re responsible for securing the venue, setting up the event, and sending out media invites. It’s best to send formal invites to editors through the mail at least 3-4 weeks in advance so that gives them the opportunity to pencil you in their schedule. Fashion bloggers are also great to invite, of course. Event photos, blog write-ups, and Twitter mentions from different bloggers means more publicity for your fashion line, which you need in order to attract more customers. Make sure to save your press clips and send thank-yous to anyone doing coverage of your event.

5. Make friends with fashion stylists.

Another way to possibly have your fashion line featured in a magazine is to have a stylist hook-up. They’re always pulling clothes for photo shoots and looking for hot, new designers to work with. Get acquainted with some fashion stylists in your area by using social media and going to different fashion events in your city. It’s also good to know a lot of photographers, models, and makeup artists who can probably help get your collection used in an editorial photo shoot.

There’s so much work that goes into handling the PR side of a fashion label that more than likely should be handled by a pro. Once your label starts becoming increasingly profitable, hiring a good PR team to help you market your brand would be the best way to go. While it’s in your hands for now, do tons of research on the job of a fashion publicist and implement some of those ideas into your own marketing campaign.

Fashion Jobs and Fashion Career Advice

Picking one out of many fashion jobs generally is an overwhelming challenge. There are several different opportunities in the fashion industry that you might not be sure which one is best for you. With the high demand for fashion jobs, you need to be sure of what it is that you want to do so you can get started on pursuing your dream in this competitive industry. Below you will find descriptions for several fashion jobs and, subsequently, be one step closer to establishing your career in the fashion industry.

1. Fashion Designer

Thanks to shows like Project Runway, there are many people whose curiosity has been rose towards the fashion industry, exclusively, fashion design. A career as a fashion designer seems extravagant and rewarding but it takes a whole lot of work. A fashion designer must be well-informed of the latest trends (and sometimes even be ahead of them) and have the creativity to conceptualize new designs. A fashion designer creates sketches, whether by hand or with computer-aided design (CAD) software, of their designs and must be familiar with fabrics and materials in order to create samples that show what the final product would look like. As a fashion designer you can specialize in clothing design, footwear or accessories. Fashion jobs like that of a fashion designer are prolonged with grueling hours of intensive work and lots of traveling if you want to promote your designs. Fashion designers work under pressure to meet deadlines and make an impression on fashion buyers and other potential clients. As a fashion designer you would need not only talent and creativity but also thick skin and dedication.

2. Fashion Merchandising

Fashion jobs in merchandising can be very challenging. A fashion merchandiser must know what consumers really want, how to present it to them, what they want to pay for it and how to lure them to purchase. A fashion merchandiser is not just an expert in fashion but must also have strong business, financial and advertising skills. As a fashion designer you might find yourself creating budgets, tracking profits and losses, tracking inventory, developing marketing strategies and even putting together creative visual displays to draw in consumers. It’s a career that entails many different roles but also has many opportunities to grow and advance in.

3. Fashion Buyer

Fashion buyers are among the most crucial people for brands and companies. They must have good communication skills, be aggressive, organized and driven. As a fashion buyer you work hand in hand with designers, merchandisers and other key people to select what pieces to present to consumers and ensure that best-sellers are continually available. Buyers must be mindful of both current and future trends so they can make the right choices of clothing, shoes, accessories, etc. to ensure high profits. Working with suppliers to negotiate prices suggests that a fashion buyer must have good interpersonal skills, be educated in market costs and also in consumer demands. Fashion buyers must be ready to work under pressure, travel and research and analyze in order to make practical decisions on what products to offer their target customer base.

4. Fashion Director

Fashion directors, also known as creative directors or fashion coordinators, are in charge of the image and look of a store, magazine or a fashion house. They are accountable for that first impression given when people look at ad campaigns, shoots and even fashion films. A fashion director must make sure that the models, photographers, location and concepts characterize the store, brand, or magazine in the best and most genuine way. One of the most well known creative directors in the industry is Grace Coddington who, alongside Anna Wintour and other industry professionals, are a part of American Vogue. In the documentary “The September Issue” we are able to see Coddington showing us her best work and the steps she takes to produce the magnificent spreads in Vogue. Now, don’t think it will be a snap landing one of these fashion jobs. Be prepared for long hours of work, creative stumps, frequent traveling, crazy deadlines, and being willing to go back to the drawing board time and time again. Remember, as a fashion director you are responsible for the image of a brand; you produce something that the whole world will see. People will base their opinions on what you present to them. As one of the top fashion jobs in the industry, the pressure is on!

Fashion Jobs – The List Goes On

5. Fashion Forecaster

Probably one of the highest ranking careers in the fashion industry, fashion forecasters do just that, forecast the future trends and styles. This is much more sophisticated than forecasting the weather. Not only does a fashion forecaster need to have in depth knowledge of fashion but he or she must also be creative and surely have the skills necessary to research and analyze potential trends, colors, fabrics and patterns. Fashion forecasters seek inspiration in everything from movies, music, even science and technology. Getting a position as a fashion forecaster is one of the most prestigious of all fashion jobs you could aspire to.

6. Fashion Stylist

A fashion stylist has the easy (or is it?) task of making someone look good. A stylist must be familiar with what colors, fabrics and styles work best to flatter someone’s shape while also knowing ways to accessorize and finish the perfect outfit. Fashion stylists are responsible for picking the best pieces for photoshoots, events, etc. and putting them together for the final product. A stylist’s reputation lies on how good the client looks and, in the case of ad campaigns, whether or not the stylist can communicate the image and vision of a product. Don’t be surprised if, as a fashion stylist, you find yourself traveling for motivation or shopping for clothing, or even spending a day (or a few) revamping a client’s closet. Finding fashion jobs for stylists can be as uncomplicated as working as a personal shopper or styling photo shoots for websites or local magazines or newspapers.

7. Fashion Photographer

It’s not just about knowing just how to take a good picture. Fashion photographers basically have two fields to be good at: fashion and photography. The photography part consists of knowing what angles, lighting, etc. As far as the fashion, photographers really need to be experts in that as well. A fashion photographer should always know what the best trends are, top designers, top fashion events and any other heavy hitter aspects of the industry. Fashion jobs in this field can consist of taking pictures for model portfolios, ad campaigns, and fashion shows. Fashion photographers are responsible for producing a shot that requires excellent technical skills and extensive fashion knowledge. For example, when a fashion photographer goes to shoot at a fashion show he or she must know exactly when to snap the shot of that model wearing the flowing dress. The picture must showcase how the fabric moves and flows instead of displaying a dress that falls limp and drags on the floor. A fashion photographer works hand in hand with stylists, makeup artists and models to ensure that the final product is efficient in sending a visual message.

8. Fashion Editor

Fashion editors supervise the direction of a fashion publication, website and other media. They are in charge for editing a fashion writer’s work, making suggestions, and researching the possibilities of future stories. Fashion writers must be aware of trends and classics to assure that coverage is provided for the target audience. A fashion editor works under the pressure of meeting deadlines, supervising writers, discovering features and fresh ideas all while staying current on the industry and scanning the levels of competition. Some of the qualities necessary for one of these fashion jobs are being organized, punctual, able to communicate verbally and have impeccable writing and journalistic skills. Being one of the most competitive fashion jobs in the industry, a fashion editor should be ready to put some hard work in and spend long nights brewing up excellent, creative content.

9. Fashion Writer

Being a fashion writer is not as easy as picking up a pen and paper (or laptop, tablet, etc.) but includes extensive amounts of research. Fashion writers must be current on their knowledge of fashion and creative when drumming up writing ideas. Of course, outstanding writing skills are a must and meeting deadlines are also fundamental in this career. Fashion writers can execute interviews, cover fashion events and supply reviews of products. You have a choice of working as a freelance writer, with television shows, websites, blogs, smaller publications like local magazines and newspapers or with major publications such as Vogue or Elle, among others. This is one of those fashion jobs where you can find many opportunities and can be fairly simple to get started.

10. Fashion PR (Fashion Public Relations)

Creating a good consumer opinion is of the utmost importance for this fashion job. Where advertising and marketing can create a consumer desire to purchase a certain fashion item, public relations handles the image in its relation to the public eye. Public opinion can gauge the success and longevity of a company. Out of all the fashion jobs mentioned, fashion pr is the piece that ties it all together.

Fashion Jobs that Require WORK!

Whatever one of these fashion jobs you determine to make your career, remember that in such a reasonably competitive industry it’s important to put in a lot of hard work and to be determined. All employers look for something that make their next hire special and capable of making their publication, line, show, or website shine amongst the rest. What is it that you have to offer that others don’t have? How motivated are you? Tell us, which one of these fashion jobs appeal to you the most?

Fashion Editors Take Notice – Authentic American Indian Jewelry Should Be the New “It” Jewelry

Coming from Santa Fe, New Mexico and working in the American Indian art business, I’ve grown quite accustomed to seeing the coolest, edgiest, and most beautiful American Indian jewelry being worn on a daily basis. Flip through the latest issue of Vogue, Elle, or InStyle, though, and I dare you to find a model wearing a piece of true natural turquoise. To me, this is quite the fashion travesty, for good Native American jewelry worn the right way can make all the fashion difference in the world. Here are some reasons why quality Authentic American Indian jewelry should be the new “It” jewelry:

  • Most authentic American Indian jewelry is hand-made rather than mass produced. What could be better than wearing a piece of fantastic jewelry that no one else has!
  • If you’re wearing authentic American Indian jewelry you’re supporting true artists and an art form that has withstood the test of time while constantly evolving into new innovations as well.
  • Natural American turquoise (the subject of an article to come) is truly rare. Some of the turquoise mines are no longer even producing that type of turquoise. If you’re able to acquire a jewelry piece with natural turquoise, you’ve got a piece with a stone that’s in quite limited supply.
  • Antique or vintage American Indian jewelry pieces, like turquoise stones, are obviously limited in supply, so again, you won’t have to worry about showing up at the Academy Awards wearing the same Leekya Deyuse fetish necklace as your on and off-screen rival.
  • Don’t like silver or turquoise? No problem, a lot of Native artists are taking their jewelry to new and incredible gold heights. Check out Maria Samora’s work – she was the poster artist for the 2009 Santa Fe Indian Market.
  • You want a jeweler’s name to love, a Harry Winston of the Native jewelry world perhaps? Don’t worry. There are true “stars” in the American Indian jewelry world, artists who have a cult-like following among collectors because of their innovative designs and expert craftsmanship.
  • In our eco-conscious world, what could be more green than buying a NATIVE American made piece that’s hand-fashioned out of natural materials?

I hope this little piece at least nudges you to do a little search of American Indian jewelry on your own. You’ll be amazed at how wonderful it is. Who knows, maybe next time I’m traveling outside of Santa Fe, I’ll see a really great pair of Mike Bird Romero earrings on someone, or maybe, just maybe I’ll open up that issue of Vogue and see a model wearing a Charles Loloma pendant with her Marchesa gown.

7 Reasons Fashion Brands Should Be Nice to Bloggers

In the fashion world bloggers are rising to prominence as a force to be reckoned with. For some reason many new and established fashion brands still seem to treat them as second class citizens. We think this is a mistake, and here are a few reasons why we think so.

1. 40% of the press at New York Fashion Week are bloggers.

According to Reuters the presence of online media at fashion week has grown more than 20% over the last six months. This means that of the 3, 600 members of press present, nearly 40% are fashion bloggers.

2. Major fashion brands are inviting them to shows.

Designers like Carl Lagerfeld and John Galliano are inviting bloggers to their shows. In some cases they are even paying all costs to fly the bloggers to the show. If top end designers are doing this, don’t you think it’s time you start being nice to your local fashion blogger?

3. In the USA fashion bloggers are becoming very popular.

Blogs like Style Bubble are getting up to 25 000 hits a day. While some bloggers have tens of thousands of twitter followers. If this isn’t enough to make you sit up and notice then I don’t know what is.

4. Bloggers are now judges for CFDA

For the first time ever bloggers have been invited to be judges for the Council of Fashion Designers of America. This is a landmark event for the fashion blogging industry. It is an indicator of the power and influence that is moving into the hands of fashion bloggers.

5. Traditional fashion editors are losing control.

Just like the film and music industry is struggling to come to grips with the fact that the internet has made them largely irrelevant; the fashion editorial industry is losing much of it’s power. In the good (or bad depending on your point of view) old days fashion editors could control what and who the public sees. With the advent of the internet and growth of fashion blogs this power is now gone.

6. Enthusiasm = Influence

Everybody knows that the thing that sells clothes is enthusiasm and passion; not knowledge. The average person out there doesn’t care about technical details and high-brow descriptions of the “silhouette” and “architectural lines” of a garment. On the other hand, having somebody who clearly loves clothes recommend an item they love carries much more weight. Bloggers mostly do this because they love clothes and fashion, yes some of them make money from their blogs, but they only make money because they are passionate about what they do.

7. The rest of the world lags behind the USA

If you are based outside the USE this might be the most important reason to start building relationships with local bloggers. The developing world runs 3-4 years behind the states when it comes to the adoption of internet trends. This means that before long all the major local brands will be beating a path to the door of your favorite blogger. Shouldn’t you be there first?