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Show Me The Pretty: Fashion PR with Ad Love

smtp-logo1The indie fashion PR component to top fashion PR blog PR Couture, Show Me The Pretty features 5-question interviews with hand-selected indie fashion labels. PR Couture shares the pretty and then turns it back to the designers to ask questions and get advice and feedback about their own fashion PR strategy from a variety of industry experts. Sound like fun? Email info[at]prcouture.com for more information.

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Angel Damico is an amazingly talented freelance designer and illustrator from Chicago with a unique sense of style and a wide range of skills from drawing to painting, digital art, graphic design, playing and composing music, and hand screen printing onto t-shirts, bags and scarves. Connect with her:

Your background is in design and illustration, what inspired you to venture into apparel?

I always want to create something new, and try out everything! I love learning and experimenting with new techniques and fashion has always been a love of mine, so one day I looked up how to screenprint at home and started from there. As time went on, I kept trying new things, and easier ways to make more items. I still do everything from my own apartment, by hand.

What are some of your favorite fashion blogs?

>Most of them are around blogs, design, fashion, illustration etc, and I have so many it would take forever to look them all up! A couple are Flygirls, Aphrochic, Etsy Love, Design Sponge and The Craft Begins and of course, my new blog Indie Fashion and Beauty

What inspires you to create?

Every day life. It is something inside of me that I can’t get away from, If I don’t create something for a few days, I feel like I am missing something. If I have a project I am working on, and it requires working on the computer night and day for weeks, I have to stop, and just sew, or cut flowers, or paint, or screenprint. I also see things pretty much everyday that inspire me. That’s why I have started my blogs to feature the daily inspirations that I see.

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What is Truestar Magazine and why is this project important to you? How can others get involved.

TrueStar is a magazine dedicated to keep teens off the street by involving them into writing, photographing, and designing articles for the magazine. Through paid afterschool apprenticeship programs, teens learn to develop, write and edit content, produce graphic design layouts and photography, sell advertisements, execute events and market the publication. The teens get real world experience, and get their articles published in a real magazine! It is designed by me and edited and organized by other professionals.

They are always looking for teen models and writers, and have many contests for teens to win scholarships. They are currently trying to expand to other major cities, so keep your eyes out!

You have so many talents and are involved in so many things - how do you manage it all and what drives you to take on so many projects?

I just love to try out everything, and its hard for me just to do one thing. Even growing up, I have always played the piano, been involved in arts, school, sports, my family, I just love to do it all! I guess what drives me is to always learn and grow, and figure out new ways to expand my knowledge. I am also driven by very creative parents, who are always into everything from dancing to cooking, to singing, enjoying life, love, and family. My brothers and sister are very successful, and also very driven. One is an electrician building an amazing log cabin by himself, another a super kind and loving doctor of internal medicine, as well as a music performance graduate who is now an awesome music teacher. I think we are all driven by each other’s happiness, success, and just love for each other. My fiancé is an amazing motion graphics artists, and inspires me every day not only by his awesome work and dedication but by just being there for me, and always encouraging me to do what I love. I feel very fortunate to have so much encouragement in my life, and I try to pass it on everyday, through blogs or emails, or convo’s on etsy telling people how amazing they are!

Fashion PR Tips*

What are some budget friendly tips to get my store out there?

PR Couture says…

Look for opportunities to collaborate with like-minded designers. Go in on a table together at a craft fair and split the cost. Look for opportunities to do trade advertising on fashion blogs, swap a banner of your merch for one that promotes their blog or clothing line. Of course, keeping PR central to your promotional strategy will keep costs low. I would be very careful of doing any advertising and instead focus on print and online PR coverage.

First, it’s easy to get your store listed on numerous online shopping sites, city listings and events boards. Keep in mind, any store listing that appears online builds your store’s web profile and is a permanent, searchable link. This is way more valuable that print publication listings which are generally thrown away once the magazine is read.

Then, consider blogger reviews. By focusing in on influential blogs and readerships that match your store’s style and product assortment, it will be easy to get the right coverage ADLOVE.

Finally, develop a social network on facebook. Use your tagline everywhere and build ADLOVE fans. This expanded following could help you spread the word and in return you could offer exclusives, preview shopping experiences and discounts as a special thank you. These are all strategies we implement on social media campaigns for our fashion, beauty and home furnishings clients. It’s definitely time-consuming and requires a commitment. When you’re able to consider outside help, we’d would welcome you to our PR hive here at Buzzflikr!- Debra Stevenson, CEO Buzzflikr

Twitter the heck out of your store/ talent, but be smart about it. Follow some other brands like yours that use Twitter effectively and learn from them. -Kate Sullivan, President, Kick PR

Social media allows so many cost-effective alternatives to traditional advertising. A few options:

Engage with bloggers– Twitter is a great place to start, but also try using your own blog. Add bloggers you admire to your links section, comment on their sites, show your support – the fashion blogosphere is generally responsive to this approach.

Identify where conversations are already happening about your brand and industry (blogs, Twitter, forums, etc) – find a way to participate.

Offer special promotions and use online shopping forums (among other outlets) to help get the word out.

Subscribe to Independent Fashion Bloggers’ Little Birdie service. It’s a free weekly e-newsletter that includes loads of story opportunities submitted by bloggers. It’ll definitely help you narrow your focus when pitching and save you some time researching too.
- Jordana Bruner, PR Professional and Clutch-22 blogger

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The website address ADLOVE.com is already taken, is up for bid in the $thousands, what is the next best web address you would suggest, that would be easiest for customers? Here are some, that i can get: adlove.us, adlove.info, adlove.us.com, should I put a number or the word "shop" behind?

PR Couture says…

I wouldn't worry so much about what you call your domain, I think shopadlove or adloveonline are both fine. Instead focus on making that site reflective of your personal brand, and then keeping that consistent across your social media profiles. I do think that a .com is going to be stronger than a .us or a .info so see what you can get that you like with a .com. You could also just keep angeldamico.com and do angeldamico.com/shop for your online store.

additional ideas…

How about shopadlove.com or adlovechicago.com- Kate Sullivan, President, Kick PR

This happens a lot. I think you’re on the right track with adding “shop” to the domain. Perhaps shopADLOVE.com or ADLOVEonline.com? Consumers tend to expect “.com” URLs, so I would stay away from the other options (.us, .info, etc). - Jordana Bruner, PR Professional and Clutch-22 blogger

For pricing i try to keep a mid range, so that people like me can afford my one of a kind clothing, Everyone tells me to increase my prices, but then i don't think they will sell as well, what do you think?

PR Couture says…

I love that you are designing for someone with your same income and I appreciate the idea of unique, hand-printed clothing at an affordable cost. I would recommend committing to an affordable pricing structure for your basic items, but don't be afraid to increase costs on special items or those that took you longer to create. Those people who really value your skill and the one-of-a-kind nature of your pieces will pay more. Perhaps you look at ways to mass produce your more popular designs so you can keep costs low, and then bump up pricing on those you still do by hand.

Knowing your customer is a fine art. Understanding their financial priorities, discretionary spending and the other places they shop will help you make this decision. Also strictly following the MSRP for your brands will keep your store competitive in the marketplace. Today, all your shoppers can compare pricing on the web so set your pricing unilaterally across the market without exception. - Debra Stevenson, CEO Buzzflikr

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Does it help having facebook, myspace, flickr, etc. etc.... and what is twitter? any other free sign up sites you suggest?

PR Couture says…

You want to make sure that your strategy involves not only getting people to come to your store, but going to where your customers already are. Social shopping sites, Facebook fan pages, flickr are all extra tools in your PR toolkit. But know that in order for them to work, you have to commit the time per day to update and interact on them. Each social media tool is different and its easy to get overwhelmed. Start with one, get comfortable and then expand. For a few quick tips on Twitter, check out this recent PR Couture post: Fashion PR/Social Media: 5 TwitTips for a Successful TwitPitch as well as our recent interview with Marie Claire about their Twitter strategy.

additional ideas…

Absolutely! You don’t need to have a profile on every site, but I’d recommend Twitter to start. It’s a central place to consume information that matters for your brand, not to mention a place for you to have real-time conversations with media, peers and others in your industry. Follow bloggers and other Etsy/indie designers to get a feel for how people are using it. Some great Twitter designers/e-tailers to watch are @choosespun, @wendybrandes and @moxsie. They participate regularly and show a ton of support to fashion bloggers and have in turn, gained visibility for their brands in an effective, respectful way.

Additionally, a Facebook business page would be a great place for you to share content (press, photos, updates, etc.) and build a fan base. At this point, I’m not sure you need to invest time/resources there, but it’d be good to keep it in the back of your mind for when you’re ready. -  Jordana Bruner, PR Professional and Clutch-22 blogger

I am also thinking about making a new shop adlove.etsy.com, and separating my clothes from my artwork, do you think this is a good idea, since people already know angeldamico.com and angeldamico.etsy.com?

PR Couture says…

My recommendation is to focus on your personal brand and house everything together. You want people to seek out everything that you do in all forms, and there is no need to make it more complex to be able to access all your work in one place.

additional ideas...

This is a great question and shows your understanding of complex brand development issues. Your longterm business goals really hold the key to making this decision. - Debra Stevenson, CEO Buzzflikr

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PR Couture is committed to sharing a variety of voices and opinions related to PR on our site. While we may not always agree 100% with our advisory panel’s suggestions, we believe in the power of discussion and debate and recognize that there are many approaches to fashion PR and each one deserves it’s due. Please consider leaving a comment with your own thoughts to continue the conversation. Or to put it another way, The opinions contained in this article are those of practitioners quoted and may not reflect the opinions of PR Couture.

4 Comments

  • Posted April 30, 2009 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Love when you do these and thanks for looping me in. Excited to see where she takes her business. :)

  • Posted April 30, 2009 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    This is such a great idea! It’s tough to look at your business and problem solve on your own. It’s really imperative to have a set of fresh eyes once in awhile and since most indie designers do not have the funds to seek professional assistance, these types of avenues are just pefect! Thanks Jordana for including me in the Twitter group with @WendyBrandes and @Moxsie! I love Twitter and absolutely agree with Jordana that it is an effective way to gain visibility. <3 Sara @choosespun

  • Posted January 23, 2011 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Traffic means profit – make no bones about it – the law of averages will tell you that the more people you attract to your craft show booth, the more sales you will make. So, carefully planning where you want to have your booth set up, is nearly as important as what you have in the booth to buy.

  • Anonymous
    Posted November 1, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

     

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Meet Crosby Noricks

Hi. I'm Crosby, the founder of PR Couture and a fashion brand strategist. I care about supporting and celebrating fashion publicists as well as helping rad companies connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways. Recently, iMedia included me in their annual list of 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, along with people from Starbucks, Twitter and Volkswagon, which I think is pretty neat. Like Elle Woods, I am a Gemini-vegetarian (that's about where the similarities end). Let's connect: Check out my full bio, Brand Elixer sessions or shoot me an electronic communiqué.