Style Biz: How to Get Exposure for Your Designs

Style expert Daisy Lewellyn says attention to detail is key when pitching your fashion line.

In the fashion industry, image reigns supreme. And when it comes to getting a line seen by the top trendsetters, editors, and style forecasters, gaining exposure relies directly on how a brand is presented. The wrong pitch can make or break chances of building an audience of potential consumers and buyers.

“No matter whether you are a designer of gowns, jewelry, belts, or furs, your brand is your baby–which is your image–which is your everything,” says Daisy Lewellyn, says Daisy Lewellyn, style expert and author of Never Pay Retail Again: Shop Smart, Spend Less, and Look Your Best Ever ($15; Gallery).

Lewellyn, who as an editor, handpicked the hottest accessories and fashion for the likes of In Style, Glamour, and The Today Show, tells how to get your designs exposure.

Lewellyn’s Do’s and Don’ts:

Don’t …

Ignore the details when it comes to your lookbook: “I get some lookbooks that have beautiful packaging, expensive paper, and special intricate detailing, only to find not so great pictures of the garments or accessories.” Be sure images are clear, properly labeled and current.

Offer items that are not available: “If you send images of items, they should be available immediately,” she says. You should be able to get stock upon request, otherwise you risk losing a good opportunity.

Get too personal before you establish a relationship: Editors and writers see hundreds of collections, so be patient and humble in your correspondence with them. “Getting offended if they need refreshing as to who you are or what your collection is should not offend you,” Lewellyn says. “Instead feel privileged that they are interested.”

Do …

Have a clear concept of what you’re offering and portray that: “Strategically decide what you want to be identified as, who you’re similar to, who you will be compared to, your goals, [and] your target market,” she says.

Have a clear understanding of the person/company you’re pitching to: “If it’s a women’s magazine, and you are a menswear designer, how can you somehow fit in?” she says. “Be honest and strategic about the match.”

Hire a publicist with solid relationships and a good reputation: “It’s their job to be persistent, not pesky, and get you access to cover shoots, celebrity features, and stories.”

Finishing touch: Send a token or note of thanks after you’re granted a meeting: “If she mentioned that she can’t live without Sprinkles cupcakes, by all means, give a gift card to Sprinkles, or send a half dozen cupcakes for her to share,” she says. “Small gifting is a wonderful way to compete with the big poppas of the industry.”

Further Reading: Three Ways to Brand Personalization