Do you remember Andrea “Andy” Sachs (Anne Hathaway) in the film The Devil Wears Prada? Thousands of girls are looking forward to get a job like this, working around all kinds of gorgeous dresses. Actually this is Fashion PR.
A fashion PR is not only trying on beautiful dresses. So, what exactly a fashion PR is focusing in his/her job?
The press release is the most frequently used of all fashion tools. The release usually consists of an A4-size sheet containing brief details of a newsworthy event such as the launch of a new line, a new collection or a new fragrance by a designer, along with the contact name and number of the PR director. These releases are circulated to all the editors who might have an interest in the story.
Not all photographs generated by PRs are destined for feature articles: Some are commissioned for window and showroom displays, for display in trade shows and travelling exhibitions and as “set designs” for designer trunk shows and at press receptions. Other photographs may be destined for clients’ corporate literature: company reports, annual accounts, staff training manuals and in-house journals.
- Fashion Show
The event most closely associated with the fashion PR industry is the lavish, large-scale fashion show of the internationally famous designer. For the PR, handling this event is the ultimate accolade, and possibly the ultimate challenge. While it may be glamorous, the aim of the catwalk show in PR terms is to get coverage of the show in the world’s press.
What a Fashion PR cares about in a Fashion Show:
- Bringing together those who will contribute to the show: the producer, the stylist, the make-up and hair artists, and the models.
- Seating Planning: members of the press, journalists, photographer and TV crew.
- Good seats at the shows are generally given to those journalists who received and reviewed the previous seasons’ collections in a favorable manner.
- Pre and post show interviews with the press have to be organized.
- Once the show starts, the PR keeps one eye on the clothes and the other on the press to gauge their reactions to each outfit.
- Backstage Permission: decide who will be allowed into the magic kingdom of “backstage” after the show.
- After the show, pictures to be chased up, sample garments to be sent to magazines for fashion shoots, articles and reviews to be gathered, clipped and filed for the designer’s press book, and television footage to be videotaped into a compilation to be presented to their client and for possible use in retail stores.
- Provide merchandising information, prices, sizes, colors, styles, and stockists for newspaper and magazines.
- Guest appearances at stores by designers, in-store fashion shows – particularly for bridal and evening wear – prove successful vehicles for disseminating information about the designer, particular fabric or fiber.
- Large-scale exhibitions are increasingly popular as a method of getting in contact directly with the target market.
- To demonstrate that the fashion industry is “caring”, PR offices are often involved in fundraising and consciousness-raising events.
- Charity balls offer the opportunity for designer outfits to be seen being worn by the rich and famous: the ensuing publicity from such events raises the designer’s profile and helps to encourage contributions to charities, demonstrating to the general public that despite appearances. The fashion industry is socially aware and responsible, even though it is concerned with the transient and often fickle nature of fashion.
In the fashion industry today, fashion PR plays an increasingly important role.The different parts of the fashion industry will have different PR needs because they are dressing different publics.
Source: Fashion Marketing and PR ,Maria Costantino BT Batsford Ltd London 1998
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