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 Careers – Job List in the Fashion Industry

A career in the fashion industry sounds glamorous and lucrative. Have you consider getting into the fashion industry, but might think that you cannot manage it? There are so many different roles and positions that you can play in the fashion world. One does not necessarily be a fashion designer but still be able to have a very success career in the fashion industry.

Being able to make a living with things you like is always enjoyable. If you are a fashion fan and love to see beautiful clothing, accessories or sketches around you, you should consider starting a career in the fashion world. Below are some key roles in the fashion world where you can take part in – from design, production, marketing, to many more.

Designing
This is one of the most high profile jobs in the fashion industry. Designers are responsible for conceptualizing their ideas on trends and realizing them on their final products. Designers can be employed by companies which own a group of designers, or work for their own brand and production line, or, even as a freelancer providing designs for difference companies.

There are several types of fashion designers:

1. Apparel designers: Obviously these are clothing designers, ranging from lingerie, sports wear, casual wear to high fashion couture, for men, women and kids.
2. Footwear designers: They design footwear for men, women and kids from a style point of view, as well as from a foot-health’s perspective.
3. Accessory designers: Accessories has a broad definitely – from handbags, hat, eyewear to gloves, scarves and jewelry pieces.

Production
Production involves the sampling of garments and accessories until producing the final pieces that would deliver to shops and customers. This massive work involves a team of various professions:

1. Merchandiser: Merchandisers play a key role in the production process of a fashion product.They are responsible for buying raw materials for production, selecting fabric, textiles and trims. They have to make decisions based on pricing, quality and latest trend and innovation of raw materials.

2. Technical Designers: Technical designers are the one responsible for doing fittings during the whole sampling to production procedure. They might not be the one who designed the garment but are the experts in providing alternative to the garment to improve the fitting of garment.

3. Pattern Makers: Pattern is the basis for a garment to be sewed. Pattern makers produce and maintain patterns for garments that designers have sketched out. Pattern makers are key persons in realization of a garment.

4. Pattern Graders: The sizing of garment starts with the pattern grading. Pattern graders are experts in creating size specifications for different sizes. They are vital persons in for any fashion brands, as a consistent sizing across products can maintain customer loyalty and confidence.

5. Fitting Models: Ultimately garments and footwear are made for putting comfort and style together. Fitting is a crucial part in fashion industry and the most precise fitting is to use model as the body for fitting.

Many companies have their own dedicated models for fitting their lines, who has the exact sizing measurement the brand requires. Sometimes you would see ads looking for sampling models, from kids, men, women to plus size models.

6. Quality Control Specialists: Quality control is of top importance for any sort of products, and is no exception in fashion industry. Quality control specialists look at the quality of raw materials, like peeling, shrinking and color fading of textile and overall quality of a fashion item, for instance, the overall assembling of an accessory item.

7. Planners: Fashion planners coordinate closely with designers, merchandisers and buyers to decide the production plan for the coming seasons. They look at both production and marketing side while paying close attention to the latest fashion trend.

Marketing
Marketing is as important as making a perfect piece of fashion item. Whether it’s marketing in a wholesale or retail side, people in fashion marketing bears the mission of promoting the fashion item into this fast changing world.

1. Fashion Buyer/ Retail Merchandisers: Product merchandisers are the ones who buy ready-made products to be sold in a shop like department stores. These merchandisers conduct researches and analyze market trend, the relative customer wants and stocks. They bear huge responsibility in terms of profit making, since having the eye to buy the right product for sales can make a difference in revenue.

2. Showroom Sales Specialists: Some brands own their showrooms, displaying their collection for fashion buyers (wholesalers) to make their orders. Compared with retail sales, showroom sales specialists should know their seasonal returning customer better and be able provide detailed information on the selling collections.

3. Retail Store Manager/ Boutique Owners: Retail shop manager, sales and boutique owners are the first line personnel facing retail customers like you and me.

Other Fashion-related Professions
Besides in the field of designing, producing or marketing a fashion item, one might be attracted by other positions like as a writer of fashion magazine, online blogs and fashion event management etc. Below is a list highlighting the other possible jobs related to fashion industry:

1. Fashion Writers: Writers or freelance writers can write for magazines, online blogs or sites on reviews, trends and recommendations. Fashion writers can also develop into fashion magazine editors.

2. Personal Stylists:Some department stores provide personal styling services while some private customer would employ personal stylist giving them recommendations in personal styling.

3. Fashion event Management/ Public Relations: There are nameless fashion events which requires professional public relations and event management personnel to take care of. There are PR companies specialized in holding fashion related events.

Grasp the Opportunities!
Besides the above mentioned careers in the fashion industry, there are still many other opportunities like photographer, costume designer and catalog/ fashion show models, etc. One of the most reachable way to keep yourself updated with job opportunities and fashion trend is to be active in fashion forum and subscribe to fashion magazines.

Grasp the opportunities and enjoy a fashion career!

The Fashion Scene in East Africa

Fashion has for the longest time been perceived as something foreign and not essentially African. However, the roots of African fashion can be traced back as far as can be remembered. From the vibrant sisal skirts which were an important part of African dances to the Kanga which is now an iconic fashion garment, featured on high fashion runways around the globe; though subtly, fashion has always been a part of the African lifestyle. Recently, the fashion scene in East Africa has seen a surge of growth accompanied by several runway showcases hosted every other day and an equally large number of designers competing on the same level as international designers.

Fashion showcases in East Africa are glamorous events which attract a wide range of fashion enthusiasts from all over Africa. Fashion with a purpose is a recurrent theme for most of these showcases, often hosted to raise funds towards noble causes. Fashion High Tea, Fashion Café and Trendz Kenya Fashion Festival are some of the annual fashion events which have risen in popularity in the East African region. Trendz Kenya Fashion Festival is a relatively new fashion event held in Kenya; having hosted its 3rd edition this year, the event sees fashion designers and models from East Africa and the rest of Africa come together to showcase their designs.

Fashion is also a big part of the East African pop culture. Select designers have a strong following with celebrities and public personalities. Not only celebrities, but East Africans in general have embraced fashion and they simply want to look good. East African men have also taken to fashion, with a number taking up modeling as a serious career. Designers such as John Kaveke from Kenya and Black Bird Jeans based in Kenya and New York primarily cater to men’s fashion needs.

The Miss World beauty pageant has also contributed towards the growth of fashion in East Africa. The Miss World representatives from East Africa also turn to local designers for dashing outfits to adorn during the grand event.Several fashion-oriented TV shows have also gained popularity in East Africa and at the forefront of these shows are the creative creations of local designers.

Fashion in East Africa has to some extent also crossed over to the political scene. During election campaigns, political aspirants enlist the services of local designers.

The fashion scene in East Africa is undeniably thriving and its growth is only expected to reach greater heights in the near future.