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How to produce a successful fashion show

7 Things Guaranteed to Ruin Your Next Fashion Show

Having a fashion show is a great way to garner press and buyer interest for a brand, but a poorly produced show can lead to disaster and turn off industry insiders faster than you can say “Werk It!” Having the right team of seasoned professionals who know how to orchestrate all of the moving parts that will culminate into a 15-minute runway show or 45 minute presentation is key to driving success.

Fresh off the heels of MBFW, here are 7 fashion show mistakes that are guaranteed to spell disaster:

Bad model casting

 As an agency with years of fashion show production experience, we can spot a rookie casting from a mile away. Never book models from a comp card! You need to see their runway walk, or mannequin pose, and how heights line up with the other models. Models are notorious for using creative math when listing their height, and photos often contain heavy editing, so a live casting is necessary.

Not scheduling a proper fitting

A model fitting is critical to the success of a fashion show whether runway or presentation style. The fitting allows you to determine which pieces in the collection will work with which model, handle last minute alterations, and make line-up changes. Pay close attention to hemlines of long gowns. You don’t want your models tripping on the runway. This is also a good time to communicate to models the mood of the runway walk, reiterate the call time, and clarify what should be in their model bag for the show (color and style of under garments, etc.).

Not having enough dressers back of house

Have you ever seen a fashion show where the queuing of the show seems off or there are long pauses between looks? That is a telltale sign that they had wardrobe issues back of house, and it typically means there were not enough dressers helping the models. It is also important to give dressers a tutorial on any articles of clothing or jewelry that have complicated straps or entry.

Not having a front of house plan for last minute arrivals and key media

High profile editors and celebs are notorious for arriving at the last minute for shows and it is important to ensure that your front of house staff is trained properly on how to handle the unexpected. The timing of filling in rows is truly an art. Too soon and you are left with VIPs without a seat. Too late and you are left with empty seats and photographs that make your show look like it was not well attended.

A bad invite

Your invitation sets the tone for your show, and a poorly designed invite can discourage buyers and media from attending. If you are on a budget consider a digital invite and keep things simple. Be sure to avoid using any pixelated images. Make it a requirement for show sponsors to provide a 300 DPI or vector logo to guarantee inclusion on the invite.

Failing to do a run-through of the show

Doing a run-through gives you one last opportunity to give models direction on their walk and mood, check music/lighting queues, and handle any issues with the look of pieces in your collection as they come down the runway. Our team once caught a see-through pair of men’s shorts in a run-through for a Mercedes Benz Fashion Week show that we were able to fix easily with a quick purchase of nude men’s briefs at a local drugstore (the model only brought underwear with an anchor print). It doesn’t have to be a full run-through if time is tight, but a quick run-through with sound and lighting checks is critical.

Shoes that don’t fit the models

Often designers try to save money by using brand partners to supply footwear or purchase limited sizes. If you want the show to run smoothly you need to provide models with shoes that fit. Shoes that are too big result in a wobbly walk, shoes that are too small often result in unattractive runway photos, and audience members paying attention to the wrong thing. Avoid wedges and other shoes that give models a “clompy” walk.

Avoid these 7 mishaps and you will be well on your way to a show where the clothes and the brand shine bright.

Photo Credit: Terence l.s.m

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What does it mean to be creative in PR? A PR Couture Guest Article by Courtney Lukitsch

3 Steps to Bring Creative PR Talent to the Forefront of The Agency-Client Relationship

Is there creativity in PR? There is a dedicated annual Holmes PR Industry Report on this very topic, and this important skill-set is a key team-building asset both internally and externally to organizations.

However, few public relations agencies would be able to substantiate what constitutes true creative potential or the “it” factor. While leading PR professionals would profess ‘if they’ve got it, I can immediately spot it’ -- this does not begin to describe what is involved in the daily art form that comprises the creative public relations practice.

Once an agency wins the business on any given client campaign or official status as Agency of Record [AOR], the daily operations of liaising with talent both internally and externally comes into play. It’s no longer sufficient to create a flashy infographic or circulate branded content in hopes of a long stream of coverage, it’s necessary to be unorthodox not only in the idea stage but in the execution stage. This attention to detail and further tailoring of the message for each outlet will allow for a deeper stream of coverage as well as opportunity to manage client’s expectations, an idea that can be unorthodox itself.

Delivering results and confirming creative efforts with an account can be one of the most challenging obstacles of the relationship. What many PR companies may not realize is that they are being interviewed during the agency selection process not just as to how viable their business will be to PR, but as well as the talent attached to their internal team.

No reputable PR agency wants to assume the burden of a dysfunctional client or a negative work environment. It becomes the agency’s proxy duty in addition to weekly deliverables, to increasingly work toward efficiency, demonstrated press and marketing results -- but also to lend a positive perception of their client’s overall business ranking. As the daily business press diagnoses, a positive work environment contributes to the bottom line.

So then, if delivering campaigns and creative solutions both internally and externally through cultivated management talent is the ‘secret sauce,’ what constitutes the positive attributes necessary to create this dynamic interaction? After all, fostering creative problem-solving could be seen as a complex recipe unique to each agency culture.

Instead, it starts with a 3-point character assessment, identifying desirable daily interactive traits:

  1. Natural predisposition to dream big
  2. But sensibility to think small and execute the idea
  3. Overall positive attitude

These seemingly simple identifiable traits are often overlooked. Instilling a creative vitality at your firm is at the base of big ideas and fosters the commitment to seeing a unique project to its finish. Having a positive outlook throughout is both a driver of the process and an outcome, a cyclical relationship that will inevitably lead to innovative new ideas and in-turn attract prospective, like-minded clients.

An ideal match between skill sets and a creative meeting of the minds is the desired working relationship, but more often than not, the agency is retained to educate the client how best to manage communications creatively and to train talent internal to their organization to ‘sing off of the same song sheet.’ This often requires organizational as well as behavior modification.

Attaining consensus is a process, one which a positioning audit may address on the strategic front, but on the creative side of the equation, might require a different methodology based on observation of individual and team interactions.

Because words carry tremendous weight if not power, the truth is that change occurs at the top of an organization. The ways in which leadership communicates drives dynamic opportunities for positive change.

It is increasingly important for PR practitioners to navigate the delicate yet highly strategic tightrope of cultivating talent both Agency and Client-side, a core tenant at Gotham PR for 12 years.

It would be challenging to find an account today whose priority was not sourcing exciting, innovative ideas and actions. Agencies who fail to recognize the importance of their creative capabilities in addition to tactical, day to day operations, will fall short of client expectations in the problem solving realm, as well as growing the brand and business into exciting new arenas.

 About Courtney Lukitsch
Courtney, Principal and Founder of Gotham Public Relations Inc, located in New York City since 2002, is a media and marketing strategist responsible for hundreds of noteworthy brand launches and successful national and global marketing PR campaigns. Prior to founding Gotham PR New York, Courtney was Vice President for Business Development and Strategy at Rubenstein PR, Management Supervisor at PepperCom and Account Supervisor at TSI/Interpublic; all based in New York. With global experience in positioning, strategy, creative, retail and brand marketing, balanced with tenacity and a sense of humor, Courtney possesses ethics, problem-solving skills, a strong results orientation and solid dedication to profitability.

Photo Credit: gnsk

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.