While it’s easy to get caught up in pitching your client’s fashion designs to magazine editors, having a great rapport with celebrity and wardrobe stylists is also key in creating brand awareness. Ali Levine, Celebrity & Wardrobe Stylist, is someone you want to be connected to. This extremely busy go-getter has worked with an endless list of celebrities, editorial and television projects, is one of the first stylists to be signed to the celebrity social media platform WhoSay.com, and also has her own collections with accessory brands Sterling Forever, D’mimi, and Zack Lo Shoes. We are thrilled to share her tips on how to best pitch her your clients and develop an ongoing, professional relationship.
How do you prefer to receive pitches?
I love when publicists send me a short and sweet intro to their client’s line with a link to their site, what their size range is, and what the brand’s inspiration is. I also love line sheets. I don’t need a huge wordy story…just the facts. Honestly, It’s a lot of hit and miss, and I’m checking out new brands all the time. I do love hearing from designers, but I ‘m so busy, that I don’t always have time to go to showrooms. That’s why I prefer line sheets with modeled shots so I can see how the clothes fit someone’s body.
I love when publicists send me a short and sweet intro to their client’s line with a link to their site, what their size range is, and what the brand’s inspiration is. I also love line sheets. I don’t need a huge wordy story…just the facts.
How far in advance do you work?
LOL…I try to prep jobs a week or two in advance, but there are days when I’ll get a red carpet job with 12 hours notice! Whether it’s a two day prep or a two week prep, I’ve learned to work on my toes.
What types pitches are you looking for?
Everything from clothing to accessories, really. I originally started off styling women, but now I also work a lot with men and kids, from editorial shoots to red carpet looks. I really love working with kids, too, even thought they’re actually harder to dress. You have to make sure they’re comfortable, the clothing is age appropriate, not to mention, parent-approved! I also really love to be pitched avant-garde designs. Even though I can’t use it for everyday jobs, I love having an arsenal of all things to pull from.
What makes a great PR pitch?
Aside from strong images, line sheets, some type of presentation, I want publicists to tell me what it is they want to do with me. Do you want to send clothing to me for my kit? Do you want me to style a specific actress I’m working with? If they’re vague with their pitch, I don’t always know what to do with it. I guess it’s like when they pitch editors…be specific with your intentions.
Aside from strong images, line sheets, some type of presentation, I want publicists to tell me what it is they want to do with me.
If you are interested, what do you need to move forward?
In a perfect world, once someone pitches me something that I love and I respond with my request, I would love it if they would respond within 48 hours. Since I’m always working with short lead times, I need to hear back ASAP. If a publicist doesn’t respond quick enough, they can get lost in the shuffle, unfortunately. I need to make things happen quickly. Also, I really appreciate when a publicist sends me all the info I need in one email…not five emails with one point in each one. Please send me a list of what items you’re sending, along with all your social media information for tagging purposes in one email. And please keep it keep it short and to the point.
Since I’m always working with short lead times, I need to hear back ASAP. If a publicist doesn’t respond quick enough, they can get lost in the shuffle, unfortunately. I need to make things happen quickly.
How do you deal with publicists reaching out to you who want to send you products for your styling purposes, but who don’t have a styling budget?
Here’s the thing: When I first started out, just like anyone trying to make it in this business, I hustled and worked with brands that came my way to get out there. But at the same time, I’m not employed by any particular designer, publishing house or network. I’m not a fashion editor with a salary. I’m my own boss. I make my own hours and work tirelessly to make my clients happy. It’s a hard thing for many publicists and especially smaller brands to understand, but working stylists like me do have to eat, too! There’s a lot of misconception that stylists get paid by their clients, but that’s not always true.
What is the best way for a publicist to build a relationship with you?
Reaching out in the right way and understanding that if I don’t get back to them right away regarding something they sent me, it’s because I want to make sure that I can use it. I really want to help everyone and utilize all the samples that I’m sent. I also want them to be happy with the way I style. It should be a win win for everyone.
What is a guarantee that a publicist will never hear back from you?
I don’t like egos. I truly do my best for my clients and for the publicists reaching out to me. I can only hope that they understand that about me and respect me!
Photo Credit: Samantha Trauben