For established brands and start-ups, samples are a precious commodity. Oftentimes, a fashion label will only make a single set of samples for a new line, and if fashion magazine X doesn't return it, there simply isn't anything to send over when fashion magazine Y decides they want to shoot it. Even for companies that produce samples at a lower cost, keeping track of which editor has what can be a time-consuming process. When I worked for a fashion jewelry company, my desk was always brimming with invoice print-outs of items I had sent out to magazine editors and stylists. I tried folders, posting things on bulletin boards, and other ways to keep everything organized, but would inevitably fall behind on my filing. I honestly never found a simple, organized method of keeping track of it.
That is why the idea behind Fashion GPS, a New York company, that has developed software specifically for the needs of the fashion world, is so fantastic, and why companies like Zac Posen, DKNY and Fashion PR agency KCD have all started using their "sample tracking" software. According to this article in WWD, not only can fashion houses now keep track of their samples online, Fashion GPS works off a shared server, so that both the fashion label and their respective Fashion PR agency can see and reserve samples. Pretty swanky.