New to the fashion industry? Learn the nuances of working with celebrity stylists to be taken seriously.
Working with celebrity stylists can be your ticket to a bigger audience reach and fantastic sales. However, that short phrase “working with celebrity stylists” takes more work than is common knowledge. Learn what you need to get your brand handed to the stars with the most straightforward effort.
Here are the pro tips you should follow to work with fashion stylists in 2021
Research first, then outreach
If you’re contacting a celebrity stylist when you only know who a few of their clients are, you’re missing a huge part of the picture you need to know to work with them. When your timing is right and relevant to their client list, stylists are much more willing to listen to what you have to offer. When you’re researching a celebrity stylist, you’ll want to know:
- Who they style.
- Do they have any exclusives for other brands?
- Are there upcoming events their client list will be attending?
- What is their stylist story and values,
Read their interviews, look up their stylist portfolio and their personal website, browse their instagram. You need to remember, you’re building a relationship with a stylist, so putting the time into research is choosing the right stylists to build relationships with before investing effort that doesn’t result in leads.
Reach out through the Stylist’s assistant to better support the stylist
Celebrity stylists are busy. Imagine running from event to event styling multiple a-list celebrities. Who has time to look through instagram DMs or email inbox’s? Their assistants! While not often common knowledge, many celebrity stylist assistants can be found through instagram, or, for some sleuthing, through LinkedIn pages. Message their assistants through instagram or directly and ask about upcoming events and clients need to know what that stylist will be looking for and if they’re open to new brand suggestions. Keep your correspondence brief, light, and professional while centered around best helping the stylist.
Be bold, brief, and evocative with your outreach
Eye-stopping images, line sheets, and blank are your friend to refresh a tired celebrity stylist who needs to know exactly what you offer. Use images that highlight what your brand has to offer their clients and keep your communication to a minimum. Simply saying who you are and what you offer in a sentence or two is all that’s needed. Stylists will appreciate your brevity.
You also want to have a respect for the stylist you’re reaching out to and their artistry to fulfill their needs. Stying is an art, and celebrity stylists are constantly constructing their client images with their work. As top celebrity stylist Ali Levine says, “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.” When you understand a stylist’s storytelling through styling, you can tell them what story you’ll be able to create together, which will make busy stylists much more likely to work with you when they see what you’ll add to their portfolio.
Give the stylist time, and be persistent
Busy stylists and stylist assistants may not check their unread DMs often, so don’t think the first time is a bust. Try again in a few weeks, and give a brief refresher on who you are. Don’t think that an unanswered email or unopened DM is the end of the road. Trying multiple ways such as DM, emails, and industry networking, with time in between. It will eventually lead you on the path in.
Be prompt to respond
If the stylist does get back to you, make sure you respond with all the necessary information quickly. Time is of essence. How long you take to respond is revealing of your future work relationship, and stylists value responsive business partners to match their ever-changing work event and client needs. Maximum 48 hours to respond is celebrity stylist Ali Levine’s golden rule, and even less is better!
Use tools others won’t
Rather than taking the long route many other brands are trying with DMs, show up directly in a celebrity’s stylists inbox where there is much less competition. Be brief: come up with an eye-catching email headline, one or two stunning photos, and a brief description of what you offer and how that will add value for the stylist. You’ll set yourself apart and have a greater connection automatically.
Understand how stylist pulls work
You’ve made contact! Now to actually get your product in a stylist’s hands, you need to understand the basics of how celebrity stylists operate and “pull” work. A “pull” is having a product taken by the celebrity stylist to be in their closet for outfitting celebrities. A pulled item doesn’t mean it will be featured on celebrities, only that it is possible.
With their busy schedule, a stylist is not likely to come to your office or showroom to pull a product and may send their assistant instead. To build a personal relationship and enhance the importance of your brand, offer to bring the items to their showroom. Don’t focus on pulling only your favorite pieces for them or the ones you need press for. Instead, focus on cultivating the stylist’s storytelling by presenting pieces they can pull to build their narrative, fit their celebrity clients’ style. This way, you can easily explain how the pieces support their artistic vision.
Document agreements in writing
Before loaning out your products, discuss with the stylist what the product could be used for, the loan duration, and return policy. Make sure to have a signed loan form or a credit card on file in case the item is damaged. By taking care of logistics and making the relationship easy, the stylist will feel more inclined to work together again in the future.
Become BFFs with the stylist (and their assistants)
Celebrity styling is all about relationships. Stylists pull products from brands they trust. So in every step of the process, from reaching out, bringing pulled products, to following media appearances, become a stylist’s best friend. Know stylist’s needs and anticipate them, whether that’s the difficulty of getting good clothes at certain times of the year or needing a “back-up” dress in case the first one breaks. Bring coffee on a pull, invite stylists to lunch to show your product, send thank you notes or helpful gifts (like coffee during their busiest times), and continue to anticipate and ease their needs with reliable, friendly communication and brand collaboration suggestions that spark their creativity. A little helpfulness goes a long way.
Befriending their assistant in the beginning is a great way in the door. Once you’re there, continue to build your relationship with their assistant. A stylist may not have time to respond to your texts, but an assistant may be able to key you in on what a stylist is looking for their upcoming season, potential new clients, and timelines of media events. Treat everyone on their styling team well and appreciate the relationship they are building with your brand for the best return for everyone.
Follow up on social media
Don’t expect the stylists to tell you if your brand is worn. You have to follow along! Celebrity fan sites are a great place to find celebrity street photography and event images. Many celebrity stylists post client features and paparazzi shots on instagram. Follow them, and then use their postings to boost your brand. Make sure to send a thank you note when you see your brand featured to build your relationship with the stylist, and follow up with more items from your collection.