By Matthew Leksell
The Jacquemus spring 2020 runway in Provençe, FrancePhoto: Getty Images
In a rapidly growing industry like public relations, there are many different sectors to PR that influence the world around us. Ever wondered just how some items become trends, and why you start to see them across your social media feed daily? Fashion public relations deals with the promotion of clothing and accessories to the clothes-conscious consumers. It calls for working with brands, media and influencers through earned media channels to get the word out. In this blog post we’ll define fashion PR, show examples of its usage and how it’s growing, as well as learn skills needed to become a fashion publicist.
What is Fashion PR?
Fashion PR is the business of promoting clothing. Items will get shown through earned media channels like social media posts, articles and features in publications, thus generating more buzz and hype for the client that you are working for. Earned media is key to fashion PR. It sets PR apart from advertising because publicists are not paying for the features. Remember that PR and marketing have different audiences. In fashion, marketing is aimed toward the customers and PR focuses on building industry relationships.
Not only do PR professionals deal with media, but high-profile events are also a huge part of publicity. The biggest events happen around Fashion Week, whether it be fashion shows or brand parties. Publicists will invite people of importance, like celebrities/influencers and fashion editors to create hype for the brand.
Why is Fashion PR Important?
Fashion PR is important because if you have an emerging fashion line, you need to get your name out in the industry. And, in order to do so, you would need a fashion publicist to get your product featured in various publications. This could also lead to forming relationships with stylists that will put your items on celebrities, exposing your brand to potential consumers with their huge audiences. If you are someone studying public relations that has knowledge of fashion, this niche of PR may interest you. Fashion public relations needs people that have a love for fashion, are hardworking and are personable.
Tips and Skills needed for Fashion PR
It is highly important that you be personable and a good communicator to be in the fashion industry. When pitching brands for fashion editors to use, you will need to be able to write well and speak confidently to in order to build relationships and ensure a good outcome for your client.
Knowing how to form relationships and network within the industry is also important because it opens doors for you in your career. Having contact with a particular figure in your industry can put you in the right direction when you are trying to promote a clothing item.
Extensive knowledge of fashion itself is needed to be a fashion publicist. Being able to analyze trends in order to impact a brand, contact the right celebrities to wear your product and pitch the fashion publications will be extremely helpful in your work. For example, you wouldn’t want to send your product to someone that does not match your item’s target audience.
When working in such a demanding business, you may have to put out some fires-- to say the least. Sometimes brands mess up or things will go wrong, and you will be the one to fix it. You need to be able to work under stressful conditions and make sure that your client is happy. The industry is fast-paced and needs someone that is organized and can multitask whenever the situation calls for it.
How PR Works (British Vogue)
In this video for British Vogue, fashion icon Alexa Chung takes you to Black Frame, a PR firm in New York City, to break down their work for luxury fashion brands. Black Frame gives examples of how they represented various brands. They go into detail about working with Opening Ceremony to put together a fashion show stunt where models seemed to fall on the runway, only for them to get back up and start a dance routine. This is a helpful video because we’re seeing examples on fashion PR and what it takes to work for a brand. It also shows the impact of their work on the future of fashion and makes you think about how brands will try to garner attention through public relations in the future.
If you’re someone who has a clear love for fashion, then being a fashion publicist will be exciting for you. But it takes hard work, personability and organization. The tips in this article will help you to create and form industry relationships on behalf of the brands you work for, making sure that they are getting the proper endorsements from publications and celebrities to make their brand stand out. Your ability to understand trends and key figures in fashion will also lead to ensuring your client has the most distinctive brand amongst others. It’s all about impact. You are in charge of guiding conversations about style, fashion and the culture!
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