A fashion show serves many different purposes for different people. It can be the designer’s statement for the season, the showing of the latest collection for buyers, or a bid to generate attention for the brand. As part of the team behind the label, a PR professional has to be aware of these objectives and help guide the show’s execution to serve those goals. Traditionally, a major brand with substantial resources produces and shapes its own shows in complete accord to its image. And depending on creative considerations and the budget, a fashion show can be as lavish or as simple as the brand wishes it to be.
Some brands commission an outside PR or production agency that specialize in all the countless physical details of staging a show from model casting, direction and the construction of a runway set to lighting and music. In this instance, the in-house PR coordinates these details along with managing the invitations and media opportunities for the show. Regardless of where you might fit in these scenarios, here are some helpful tips on how to produce a show that delivers the most impact for your brand:
Location, location, location
For maximum impact, nothing bestows credibility by association better than being in the lineup of Fashion Week events by the officially organizing bodies: For example, IMG in New York handles most of the esteemed fashion designers in the US. Several additional advantages to participating here include having an established, convenient venue and a built-in draw of all the critical media and buyers. On the other hand, this can be a pricey investment and, unless you’re a major draw, you have no choice regarding your schedule.
One of the things that distinguish a designer from a resource is a cohesive theme for a collection. This can be as ephemeral as a mood, or as specific as a style reference. This helps to create a distinct message for the editors and the media if the collection can be somehow summed up in a concept to illustrate relevance to everyday life.
You are cordially invited
A considerable amount of your time will be devoted to who’s attending your show and seating them properly. From the weeks leading up to the show until the day of, you will inevitably be flooded by requests for invitations. There will be talent submissions from publicists and managers, who will try to wrangle those coveted front row seats for their clients, and other submissions from buyers, editors, stylists, sponsors and friends of the designers. Part of your job will be to sort through the submissions and seat according to what will serve the designer's best interest. The list that comes out of this hard work is your most crucial piece of document on the day of the show. Be sure to have the most updated copies on hand for the personnel manning the check-in and the people assigned to assist in the seating.
After the designer’s bow, you should have also made arrangements for select media to conduct brief interviews with the designer backstage. The things you need to ensure is that your designer is ready with his talking points and for you to have a breakdown schedule of interviewers and their time allotments. Ideally, you should have a mix of top tier editors, photographers and TV news camera crews backstage to cap off a successful evening and hard work that took weeks and sometimes months of planning.
About Joseph Pastrana
Prior to joining Mannfolk PR, Joseph Pastrana had already worked on various corporate and commercial public relations campaigns for various brands. He eventually transitioned as the fashion director for trade publication MetroStyle before returning to PR. His extensive experience in both editorial and publicity gives him valuable insight into how media functions, providing the boutique agency’s clients a distinct advantage in achieving exceptional branding goals.
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