Top 3 Mistakes Designers Make When Contacting a Fashion Buyer


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Oh the magic of the pitch. The strength and relevance of this piece of email communication is absolutely the difference between being clicked into the trash, or moved into the prospect folder. While designers make many mistakes in their emails, three are more glaring than others.

Pitch Mistake #1 – Too Much Information

A buyer is not the same as a prospective customer, so don’t communicate with her that way. You aren’t appealing to her fashion sense, you are appealing to her business sense. To that end, minimize the focus on your design philosophy or inspiration, because buyers simply aren’t very interested. Stick to the facts, who, what, why, where and how much. Charlotte explains, “We care about margins and sourcing more than anything. Offering more will prove annoying. Make sure your email includes answers to the following

Five questions:

  • Who are you, what is your basic background?
  • What do you design?
  • Where are you made and based?
  • Why is it directly relevant to those who shop at my store?
  • What is the MSRP?

Pitch Mistake #2 – File Attachments

In a word, attachments. Do not overload your email with line sheets, lookbooks, sketches, trade show snaps, flyers, logos, etc. The only graphics that should be included are a handful of product shots and maybe an editorial shot to get a sense of your brand personality. Instead of including these images as attachments, embed them directly in the email. Charlotte suggests that the goal behind these images should be to “tease the offering but make sure you pick your best products. The show stopper pieces that make me want to know more. Then I might be encouraged to ask for a line sheet or lookbook.”

Pitch Mistake #3 – Confusing Line Sheet

Traditionally, your line sheet will include a short product description or key product attributes. Avoid the mistake of being too creative, out of the box or esoteric with your line sheet. Save the creative imagery and experiential graphic design for your lookbook and website. Instead, let the product details and prices shine through on the line sheet. Buyers need to easily understand so focus on delivering that information clearly.

Photo credit: Made Gold