Breaking Into Fashion Public Relations

Publicists are masters of communication. They not only help to create an image for products and companies, they also spearhead efforts to get the word out and create buzz. If you love fashion and have stellar communication skills, you could enjoy great success in fashion public relations.

Retailers hire fashion publicists to develop and promote a certain image to the buying public. To the fashion publicist, it’s all about who you know. Those in fashion PR have important fashion editors and top designers on speed dial and collect contacts on a daily basis. The more people you know, the easier it is to promote something.

Not only do fashion publicists have to know important fashion players, they must also know the politics, economy and sociology of their target demographic. While you can learn about the ins and outs of PR by majoring in it, it is also wise to enroll in fashion courses to gain industry and technical knowledge. Not to mention, fashion school will also serve as a networking opportunity as you connect with classmates who are also entering the fashion world.

People skills are essential to those interested in fashion PR. Since the job is basically communicating constantly, it is important to know how to get a point across and how to be likable and graceful under pressure. Another important quality to have is ambition. Since fashion PR is a highly competitive field, only the most driven will make it through and get the job of their dreams in fashion PR.

Learn more about Careers in Fashion.

What’s Hot Across The Pond: European Fashion Designers

It seems like Europe is always one step ahead of the United States of America when it comes to fashion design. Whether you know it yet or not, what’s fierce on the runways of Paris and Milan’s fashion weeks have likely not made it over to American runways just yet, and when they do, Europe will likely be on to more cutting-edge trends by then. So what is it that keeps the European fashion market one step ahead of the American market? Among many things, fashion school students speculate that it is the inventive European designers that keep their eyes wide open and their collections fresh and innovative. For those of you in speculation of this phenomenon, here’s a list of European designers who put on 2011 runway shows that awed young fashion lovers, photographers, magazine editors and seasoned fashion veterans alike!

Daughter of Beatle, Paul McCartney, the British-born Stella McCartney has been a successful designer since the nineteen-nineties. Though some speculate that she got an industry advantage because of her ultra-famous father, McCartney has proved herself time and time again to have immense creative vision and talent. After she graduated from fashion college in England, she was quickly appointed chief designer at the Paris fashion house of Chloe. Since then, her designs have been almost unanimously commercially successful. Her most recent collection for Autumn of 2011 plays with a lot of delightful gender ambiguity. McCartney has created loose, yet tailored women’s wear, including collared coats and blazers with a playful sensibility.

British shoe designer Nicholas Kirkwood was raved about after February’s Autumn/Winter 2011 fashion week presentations. Relatively new as fashion industry insider, the designer has practically re-defined what is thought to be possible in shoe-design, with his alienous, decorative collection. Kirkwood’s shoes are usually unthinkably high, and they are often sprouting fur, feathers and beads. Often, they feature wild patterns, layered and diverse fabrics and materials, and always artful and unexpected angles. Kirkwood’s Fall and Winter shoes are truly a fashion delight.

Of Italian and Japanese heritage, Nicola Formichetti is the creative director for the French fashion house, Thierry Mugler, and the chief designer for pop sensation Lady Gaga. Originally an architecture student, Formichetti dropped out of school and became heavily involved in London’s club scene and immersed himself in the world of European street fashion. Eventually, he got himself a job at a fashionable boutique called The Pineal Eye quickly working his way up to art director and head buyer. His talent was soon recognized by fashion editors, which led to work in several high fashion publications, and eventually to his position at Mugler. Formichetti’s designs are often futuristic and hyper-sexual, evocative of the club scene he was once so heavily immersed in.

McCartney, Kirkwood and Formichetti are only three of the countless innovative minds in European fashion design. We look forward to future fashion seasons, and the striking collections that they will surely produce in years to come.

Fashion Designers: 5 Affordable and Alternative Ideas for Showcasing Your Fashion Collections!

The runways of NY Fashion Week are the pinnacle of all things glamorous and can turn fashion designers into industry darlings. However, it is also a very costly production and may not be the best place for a new designer to launch their line. As much as I love, love, love seeing shows during Fashion Week, I don’t recommend that new designers spend that kind of money to get their designs seen so early in their careers. This post will give you ideas for alternative ways to showcase your fashion line during Fashion Week (or any time of year!).

Putting together a Fashion Week runway show can be very expensive. It costs at least $30k to show at NY Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. You need to have proper funding to pay for the: space, models, hair, makeup, set design, lighting, photographers, videographers, plus the cost of your actual designs, among other things. In my opinion, new designers shouldn’t be doing runways shows until they are making enough money to sustain normal business activities plus the cost of putting together a Fashion Week Runway Shows.

Fashion Week Runway Shows are the best platform for established leaders in fashion innovation. There are over 100 shows in NY during Fashion Week and it’s hard for Fashion Editors and Buyers to make it to all of the well-known designer runway shows. If you are able to hold your fashion event close to where the actual runway shows are taking place, it makes it easier for editors and buyers to stop in and attend.

Wherever you decide to have your fashion show, be sure to have someone videotape it so you can post it on your website and blog (and so the fashion bloggers can do the same thing for you!). Live video-streaming is also an excellent option for your fans and clients who live out of town but still want to support you and “be a part” of your fashion show!

Here are a few ideas that can be used for a more cost-effective fashion presentation:

1. Do a fashion installation in a hotel suite. You can have models standing in the room that’s put together like a chic fashion shoot set wearing your most exciting and show-stopping designs for editors and buyers to walk around and see.

2. Throw a cocktail party at a popular local lounge that features a few models in your designs to launch your line. You can invite lots of friends, family, buyers, bloggers, local boutique owners and press to attend and you will also have some of the location’s regular foot traffic to rely on.

3. Are you an early-bird? Consider hosting a small invite-only breakfast buffet at a cute local restaurant where you can do a fashion show. Both women and men love free food and the fact that it comes with entertainment (your fashion show) is an added bonus for them!

4. Is there a great neighborhood garden, park or local museum that you could negotiate using as a space to showcase your designs?

5. Many colleges have fashion shows, especially around homecoming time. Could this be another way for you to get your designs seen?