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How To Write a Commissioning Letter to Fashion Pr’s

As a freelance stylist I have styled editorials for both established and new magazines.  The tips I am about to share are for the fashion magazines that have just started, and the stylists they have been commissioned to style a shoot for their issue.

I decided to do this post because in the past when I would submit my commissioning letter from a new magazine to a selection of PR’s, I would get a string of questions back from the PR Account Executive and this was mainly due to the lack of information that was on the commissioning letter.

Like I’ve said, PR’s work from a more business angle than say an in-house emerging designer, so when one submits a letter, it can’t simply say, ‘ We(X) have commissioned Stylist (Y) to do an editorial for us.  We would be grateful for your support.’  Ultimately the PR’s are less interested in your ‘creatively, weirdly, fabulous fashion editorial theme/brief’ and are more interested in whether the loaning of their client’s pieces will benefit their client in terms of exposure, positive product placement and sales.

Also, the more established a magazine is, the less likely they will have to follow all of the protocol below.

So when a new magazine is drafting a Commissioning Letter for a Stylist, the following details should be included-

  • The full address or/and website of the magazine as well as all the contact details of the person who is authorizing the commissioning.  PR’s always want to see the website of a magazine, as the visual and content display gives them a good idea as to whether they want to work with the magazine or not.
  • The website links for the stylist and photographer involved in the shoot– this is particularly important for a new magazine, as often I have found that when the magazine is unknown, the PR will then turn to view the work of the team involved as that helps to determine or show the quality the magazine is aiming for.
  • The season the editorial is for and the issue date of the editorial.
  • The creative brief of the story– for e.g. is the shoot a ‘black and white’ story, it has a ‘romantic’ theme etc.
  • The ethos of the magazine and who their target audience is- PR’s especially want to know this from a new magazine, as that will determine if they feel their clients/designers have the same target.
  • If the magazine is in print, the countries the magazine will be sold in should be listed– for e.g. some London PR’s will not lend their pieces to magazines that are not sold in their country.
  • There should be a statement that states who is responsible for any loss or damage to the clothes.

I hope you find these tips useful.  I’d also like to hear from stylists who are pulling pieces for various shoots.  Have you found that it is now harder to do so and are PR’s requiring more information from you before they lend?  Are you finding it easier to pull from established magazines as opposed to newer ones?