We know no one else is going to rep our brand as hard as we will. - the twentyten
While studying fashion together at Pratt Institute, Jeff Dodd, David J. Krause, and Nina Zilka recognized a kindred belief - that American fashion can be both conceptual and accessible. In their junior year, the team came together to the twentyten, an indie fashion label that creates functional avant-garde pieces that pair a futuristic sensibility with handcrafted, sustainable production methods. Recently, Refinery29 named the twentyten as one of Brooklyn's five best new designers.
the twentyten target customer is either a 20-35 female who shops for a few special pieces a year at boutigues like EVA, Convent, Oak, Opening Ceremony: cool, independent stores that focus on avant-garde labels, and keeps up with fashion by reading fashion and style blogs. Or, a slightly older woman who shops high-end department stores like Saks and Barneys, and reads publications like Vogue. The brand designs specifically for each of the women, while also creating pieces that appeal to both markets.
As a small, start-up label, the twentyten currently handles their own public relations and are looking to expand direct online sales. Currently, they offer exclusive offers to customers through their email newsletter.
the twentyten asked PR Couture: What is the best way to get magazines to do a feature on a designer?
Before you start pitching, get familiar with the media outlet first. Look at the masthead and review articles to determine the appropriate editor to contact. Basically, if you are you pitching a news feature/store opening, contact the features editors, if are you pitching a specific product for their market/trend page, if you are you looking for inclusion in an upcoming editorial or shoot, make note of the major fashion stylists that usually work with the publication and get in contact with their agency.
Once you have the contact name, find ways to build a personal relationship with the editor. Find them on twitter and see what they tweet about and write them back on things that interest you both. Editors love when you take the time to find out about them, what interests them, and when you know the types of pieces they like to write about. Another tip: Go to the magazine's website and google their name, which will likely bring up past articles they've written. Adjust your pitch accordingly.
Building contacts takes up a ton of time and resources. My advice would be to work smarter, not harder and invest in a fashion publicist to has already established relationships with media. We spend our entire careers forging relationships and honing our craft (just like you do with your designs). Look for a seasoned PR professional with established relationships with the big books, but also with local media. Also, many editors repeatedly contact the same PR agencies, because they have built trust over time. This can be a difficult thing for a new brand to establish.
While the above is the basics for getting contacts with editors and establishing a plan for pitching over the year, it really comes down to skillful pitching, communication and the strength of your writing. Consider either taking a journalism/media writing course or hiring a freelance publicist to write your basic press release and create a basic template you can use when creating personalized pitches. Make sure at least one edit is included with the cost.
Finally, don't ignore the value of face time. I am a HUGE supporter of deskside meetings, where you meet with the editor face-to-face. It helps build confidence and rapport. It may be scary at first to meet with Miss XYZ at the Conde Nast Building at ABC Magazine, but the 15 minutes you spend with her will allow you to showcase your product and make an impression with an appropriate pitch angle and an understanding of how your clothes fit their magazine.
One final note, if an editor writes a brilliant piece on your company send them a handwritten thank you note. I do this not only with media, but with anyone/everyone that makes an impact on me or my business. A little love goes a long way!
KristinAnn Janishefski, Agency Director, The Vanguard PR
PR Couture has partnered with FadMashion to highlight their independent fashion designers and provide fashion PR & marketing advice