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Jen Cullen dressing a Model A PR Couture Guest Article by Jen Cullen Williams

Front Row Fashion PR: How to work with Celebrities & Celeb Stylists for Product Placement

The celebrity placement process involves a few things: hard work, the right timing, the
right product, the right connections and good old-fashioned luck.
There are many ways to approach celebrity placement opportunities, but the main thing
is forming relationships with celebrity handlers. Celebrities have many handlers or
gatekeepers, as I like to call them. Celebs typically have at least one personal assistant, a
manager, publicist, agent and style teams for wardrobe, hair and makeup. I constantly
reach out to stylists and publicists on behalf of the designers, manufacturers and
retailers Luxury Brand Group represents.
Prior to an event or awards ceremony, key celebrity stylists contact me with requests.
When a stylist is choosing wardrobe for a celebrity, they start-out by selecting the dress
and the overall style and then they consider the accessories. Most stylists pull several
garment racks full of options, and the celeb usually decides the final selection a few days
before and even the day of the event. The stylist has to pull accessories, shoes, purses
and jewelry for all wardrobe options.
It is quite the process for the stylist, so when requests come in, I work very quickly, often
with a day or two notice. If any designs are chosen, the merchandise is arranged to be
delivered to the stylist. After that, I cross my fingers and toes that pieces are worn. Many
times the pieces are worn and other times, they are not. There is never a guarantee until
you see it!
A designer or brand can develop relationships with celebrities by connecting with a
celeb’s stylist, publicist or handlers. This requires research, networking, cold calls and
constantly delivering what they need, when they need it. With so many designers and
brands vying for a celeb’s attention, forming relationships with these key contacts is no
easy feat.

The reality is the likelihood of a small, unknown designer being worn by top-tier celebs
is extremely tough and uncommon, but not unheard of. Celeb placements do not
necessarily guarantee sales, they are just one touch-point to the brand’s overall PR &
marketing program. There are fashion/jewelry/accessory brands that tend to only focus on specific areas, such as celeb placements. It may bring some heightened brand awareness and initial sales success; however celeb placements do not sustain a brand.

About the author: Crosby


Known as the "fashion publicist's most powerful accessory," (SD-UT) and the "West Coast 'It' girl of fashion PR," (YFS Magazine) Crosby Noricks is a brand strategist, author and founder of PR Couture. Crosby was included in the iMedia 25 Class of 2012 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, and enjoys helping fashion and lifestyle brands connect with their audiences in meaningful and creative ways.

7 Comments

  • Posted August 27, 2010 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Great article – provides realistic insight for those of us just beginning to research the PR side.
    xoxo – Kat.

  • Posted November 6, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    This was an insightful article thank you so much for sharing. Celebs are a lot fo fun to work with but also can be a headache at times. It’s definitely great for brands to have some sort of celeb endorsement. I think with celebs, once you’re in, you’re in.

  • Posted December 7, 2010 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Love the advice you give about forming and keeping relationships with celebrities and their stylists. Best part of that advice is “delivering what they need, when they want it.” I also like how you gave us an insight as to how you get celebrities to wear your product. You hear about the term “gatekeepers” all of the time, but you don’t always realize how real they actually are until you give an example like above. Keeping steady, good relationships with those gatekeepers will definitely help boost the chance of getting your product worn or used. Thanks for this glimpse into your world.

  • Posted May 7, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    This was an incredibly helpful article, thank you!

  • Posted August 29, 2012 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    This was a very good article, thank you, especially the part about how to ensure the products being loaned out are kept safe/returned… It seems similar to the gifting/loaning of products to magazine editors in the hope of editorial placement…Or the loaning of products for a photoshoot – we’ve declined the latter twice due to the risk of damage to the requested piece etc. I would also add that brands should be careful when contacted by stylists/magazines/photographers etc… We’ve certainly had some suspect requests!

  • Posted December 13, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    Well done article. Informative and insightful.
    xx

  • Posted January 31, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Great article – I am just new so it proves to provides realistic insight for those of us just beginning to research the PR side..

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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 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 a note.