Fashion PR Podcast: Kristen Calavas, Cofounder of Online Fashion PR Directory, LookBook

Fashion interns, database makers, fashion and celebrity PR pro’s rejoice! For our third installment of the Fashion PR Podcast, PR Couture spent some time with fashion PR entrepreneur Kristin Calavas, cofounder of the free online Fashion PR Directory, LookBook. A searchable database and directory that provides contact information for fashion brands, stylists and their celebrity client list, what was once a cumbersome task made worse by quick turnover, is now simplified.

Fashion PR pros and media can now find fashion brands and their PR representation, stylists’ celebrity client lists and agency contact information as well as information about celebrity contracts and endorsement deals, for free at LookBook.

Kristen Calavas most recently worked as a fashion public relations professional representing internationally renowned clients such as Alberta Ferretti, Rebecca Minkoff and Celine.  Her partner, Rhonda Richford comes  from InStyle magazine, where she served as Associate Editor for Entertainment in the Los Angeles bureau.

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While listening to the show, browse through the following interview Kristen recently did with PR Couture blog designer Rik Spencer Davies who blogs about digital fashion PR at Petite Bourgeoisie.

Today I was lucky enough to get an interview with Kristen Calavas, the co-founder of the new online resource, TheLookbook.com.

Check out a review of the website from PetiteBourgeoisie here…

Below is the full transcript, feel free to have a look, and don’t forget to check out the site.

Spence: What is your experience in fashion media?
Kristen: What other digital fashion projects have you worked on?
I have over seven years as a fashion publicist and my business partner is a fashion editor formerly of InStyle.  We saw a great need for something like TheLookbook database and though we weren’t experts in the digital fashion world, we knew this resource had to be online to accommodate the ever-changing nature of fashion contacts.

S: Why did you start TheLookbook?
K: We started TheLookbook after one too many phone calls asking “Do you know who is styling so-and-so?”  We realized that in every fashion office an intern or assistant was tasked with keeping this info updated, and we just thought it made sense to centralize the information and eliminate duplicituous work.  Really we started TheLookbook to make our own jobs easier!

S: Where do you see TheLookbook in a year’s time?
K: In a year’s time we plan to have expanded TheLookbook to include Beauty Brands and their PR contacts as well as a listing of Beauty Professionals, their agency information, and their celebrity clients.  We will also have a section listing editorial contacts for the major fashion and beauty publications.  There are some additional possibilities in the works, too, that we can’t talk about yet.

S: Do you think there will be a change in the way fashion professionals interact and utilise the internet?

K: We feel that the fashion community as a whole is highly dependent on the internet and it has already added to the frenetic pace of the industry.  Fashion professionals are heavily rely on the internet and this is only increasing with the new wave of interactive portals such as TheFashionlist.com and Stylecaster.com.  Becausee of the internet, our industry expects accurate information at their fingertips in an instant which is why we wanted TheLookbook to be online, simple to use, and updated on a regular basis.

S: Do you blog? What do you think about the growth in online fashion blogs?
K: We don’t currently blog, though there is space on our site and plans to expand this section.  Bloggers have become an unbelievably strong trendsetting force in the fashion world today and their power can’t be overlooked.  On the flip side, though, we do feel that certain blog angles are over saturated and we will only delve into the blog genre if and when we feel confident TheLookbook.com will have a fresh angle.

S: Do you think we will get to the stage where online fashion media competes with traditional fashion media?
K: Yes. In today’s climate where so many of the publishing houses are struggling, it seems that the online media is gobbling up traditional media audiences left and right.  It is dismaying, but we hope the tides will eventually turn.  There is nothing like paging through a beautiful glossy and turning back to it for months.

S: What do you think about the current online strategies of fashion labels and PR companies?
K: In general, many of the online strategies for fashoin labels and PR Companies are outdated.  They have embraced the need to pitch online media outlets but seem to be slower cultivating their own online presence.

S: What do you think the future of digital fashion media/pr is?
K: The future of digital fashion seems to be traveling towards interactive experiences so that the sense of community isn’t lost even when you are alone shopping from your computer.  TheLookbook is missing the community experience, at least for now.  Our site is focused solely on content.

(Image: 1,000 Wishes By Lyka Orhel)

About This Author

Known as the “fashion publicist’s most powerful accessory,” (San Diego Union-Tribune) and the “West Coast ‘It’ girl of fashion PR,” (YFS Magazine) Crosby Noricks put fashion public relations on the digital map when she launched PR Couture in 2006. She is the author of Ready to Launch: The PR Couture Guide to Breaking into Fashion PR, available on Amazon. Crosby spends her time managing PR Couture and mentoring fashion publicists through PRISM and Instappable, as well as the biannual NYC workshop, Fashion PR Confidential. Occasionally, she opens up limited consulting spots for emerging brands through her signature offering, The Brand Elixir.