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Fashion insights by Moda Database

9 Steps to Successfully Pitch Your Fashion Startup to Stylists

What is a brand pitch?

A brand pitch is a way of explaining your fashion brand and its value-add. Short and simple, like the classic elevator pitch, a brand pitch gets others to see the worth of your fashion brand to them and their clients.

Before creating a brand pitch for your fashion brand, you want to know what you’re trying to accomplish with the pitch. Depending on whether it is for an investor meeting, sale, or introduction, it will determine the outline and direction of your pitch.

A typical brand pitch often includes elements such as: 

A successful brand pitch can guide investors, retail stores, brand partners, or fashion stylists into recognizing the value your fashion brand can add to their portfolio.

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A post shared by BY FAR (@byfar_official)

Create an attractive and impactful elevator pitch to make your fashion startup stand out from competition.


Follow These 9 Steps to Effectively Pitch Your Fashion Brand to Stylists

1. Research who you want to pitch to
2. Find out who the fashion stylist’s clients are
3. Develop a personalized pitch
4. Reach out
5. Be strategic about timing & purpose
6. Give visual & beautiful pitches
7. Follow up (be persistent) & Build relationships
8. Maintain an online presence & Be responsive
9. Use referrals & introductions



#1

Research who you want to pitch to

What is the target market of your fashion brand? Is your fashion brand minimalistic, edgy, or glamorous? Every fashion stylist has their preferred style and field of expertise. This is evident from their work, as well as the brands, editorials, and celebrity clients that they work with. As such, it is important for you to do your homework beforehand to know what type of fashion stylists could be interested in your fashion brand. Build a list of the fashion stylists you want to pitch, and study their past work and style range. Having a clear understanding of the fashion stylist’s brand vision will help you angle your pitch better, so that you can appeal to their preferences and show how your fashion brand can enhance their portfolios.

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A post shared by Jason Bolden (@jasonbolden)

Celebrity fashion stylist Jason Bolden dresses many young, gifted black Hollywood stars; featuring Storm Reid in a stunning Sequin-embellished Dundas outfit styled by Jason Bolden.


#2

Find out who the fashion stylist’s clients are

It is all about product-market fit. The products from your fashion brand will only be used by fashion stylists if they are suitable for their clients. Hence, know who your potential client’s clients are! By studying the current celebrity clients of the fashion stylist and understanding their fashion needs, it will become clear to you what value proposition your fashion brand can offer. Then tailor your brand pitch to show how your fashion brand fits their profile and fulfils their need.

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A post shared by Mimi Cuttrell (@mimicuttrell)

Mimi Cuttrell is Ariana Grande’s fashion stylist. She picks out Ari’s outfit for every occasion – from album photoshoots, music videos, TV appearances, red carpet events, to her wedding!


#3

Develop a personalized pitch

When it comes to brand pitch, there is no one-size-fits-all, because fashion stylists have different needs and specialties. Furthermore, fashion stylists receive a high volume of inquiries on a daily basis. Your brand pitch can easily be lost in the mix if you don’t make it “pop”! A personal touch can be the difference between a fashion stylist ignoring or contacting you back. Think about the keywords that you can use to show that you have done a thorough research on the fashion stylist’s background and needs, and how your fashion brand can benefit them.

To cut through the many DMs fashion stylists get in a day, send a specific, personalized message that captures your brand story.

DON’T do what every fashion stylist sees 24/7:
“Hey, we love your style and would love to work together! Here’s our brand!”

DO create a targeted, storytelling pitch:
“Hi Jason! I’ve been following your upwards journey since outfitting Cynthia Ervo! We love what you’re doing with her Afrofuturism storytelling as we think it aligns with how our brand is creating a new kind of Ghanian fashion. Would you be interested to talk more?

Here’s a sample of our look book.


#4

Reach out

After you have completed your research and tailored your brand pitch to each and every fashion stylist you are reaching out to, it’s time to make the first contact! The most common communication methods are sending an Instagram DM or email directly to the fashion stylist. If you want to be less formal, try responding to a fashion stylist’s IG story first. As Stylist Ali Levine advises, she loves a “short and sweet intro” to cut through the inbox clutter, so keep this in mind when drafting your message.

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A post shared by H.E.R. (@hermusicofficial)

To contact H.E.R.’s fashion stylist, Wouri Vice, you can either DM, email, or fill out a contact form!


#5

Be strategic about timing & purpose

Make sure you pick the right time to reach out! If you send a brand pitch during award season, the fashion stylist isn’t going to have time to read nor respond to your query. So time appropriately – and use this knowledge to your advantage. Find out what events fashion stylists have coming up on their calendar, and send your pitch far in advance to lock in a collaboration. For example, if you have a statement-making rainbow apparel from your clothing line, suggest it to the fashion stylist as a fitting piece to dress their celebrity clients in for pride events.

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A post shared by Maeve Reilly (@stylememaeve)

Have a perfect outfit in your fashion brand for Megan Fox? Think about when and where she could wear it, and find the right time to contact Megan Fox’s fashion stylist, Maeve Reilly.


#6

Give visual & beautiful pitches

Fashion stylists are in the business of creating stunning visuals. This means that they are naturally drawn to beautiful things. Your talent and brand value will be judged by the aesthetics of your brand pitch, because it is an indication of your ability to construct a cohesive brand story. Fashion stylists appreciate brands who put together “strong images, line sheets, and [presentations]”, so invest time and effort to design a strong visual outreach to showcase the full potential of your fashion brand.

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A post shared by Alessandra Rich (@alessandrarich)

Use imagery to convey your fashion brand’s theme and message. For the Daisy Desire Pre-Fall 2021 collection from high fashion brand Alessandra Rich, a whimsical background is chosen to emphasize the dreamy vibe and illustrate the transition from midsummer to autumn.


#7

Follow up (be persistent) & Build relationships

Fashion stylists are extremely busy. If you don’t hear back from them once, try again after a few weeks. Give them time to review your fashion brand pitch – and see your perseverance! This will give them assurance that you are serious about working together, and is ready to hustle.

Expect your brand pitch to be turned down, or not hear back from fashion stylists at all. Rejection will make up the majority of this journey – but don’t feel discouraged! On the contrary, consider every interaction an opportunity to learn and improve, receive valuable feedback, and build relationships. Always be polite and friendly, graciously thank the fashion stylists who respond, and keep the door open for future partnerships.

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A post shared by Pnina Tornai (@pninatornai)

Pnina Tornai was brutally rejected during her first meeting with renowned bridal store Kleinfeld. The buyer stated that her designs were too sexy and would never sell in America. Instead of throwing in the towel, she incorporated the feedback, adapted a collection for the US market, and sent the gowns back to Kleinfeld. Her persistence paid off!


#8

Maintain an online presence & Be responsive

Social media is crucial for market outreach and education. When you are starting out your fashion brand, make sure you establish a strong digital presence to promote your brand story. Your website and social media profiles will serve as digital portfolios for fashion stylists to evaluate your fashion brand’s worth.

With social media comes instant messaging. If you have an account for every social media platform (which you should), check your inboxes regularly and frequently so that you do not miss important messages. Be prompt in replying to all inquiries, because this builds the foundation of your fashion brand’s reputation and image. It is recommended to take no more than 48 hours to respond. When you delay in responding, it reflects tardiness, and the fashion stylist might get busy again and you would have missed an opportunity to work together.

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Don’t underestimate the power of social media! Draw inspiration from successful social media strategies and campaigns of other fashion brands.


#9

Use referrals & introductions

The fashion industry relies heavily on word-of-mouth. When your fashion brand pitch comes from a glowing referral, the fashion designer will regard it more seriously.

If you have worked with photographers, hairstylists, makeup artists, or other brands in the past, ask them to make introductions. It is therefore important to stay in touch and maintain close relationships with these industry contacts. They are more likely to give recommendations and referrals when they are on close terms with you, and have you in mind.

You may also be surprised at the networks already in your social circle once you start reaching out, so leave no stone unturned!

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A post shared by Hugo Comte (@hugocomte)

When pitching to fashion stylists, show them how your fashion brand is relevant to their style vision. Appeal to their artistic taste by depicting how your fashion brand can enhance their artwork – don’t be afraid to flex!