Fashion shows are social events which are gaining popularity in many communities as an opportunity to raise funds for local charities and philanthropic organizations. Organizing one of these events requires stamina, an eye for fashion and attention to detail. One of the main tasks in organizing a fashion show is identifying what designers, stores and clothing styles you want to feature. Beyond that you need to solicit loaner fashions for your models to wear as they strut down the runway. Here are some tips to assist you as you undertake requisitioning loaner clothing.
Things You’ll Need:
- List of local designers and boutiques
- Fashion magazines
Research styles, designers and individual garment types. Decide on a theme early in the planning stages of the event to help guide you in selecting garments. If you plan to requisition garments from local boutiques it is helpful to visit the stores in question and take notes on specific garments and/or designers you’re interested in featuring in your show.
Identify the decision maker at each boutique (usually a manager or owner). Make a note of her name, position, email address and work phone number. If you are contacting designers individually you should compile the same information. Coordinate your notes on garments so that they correspond with the information on owners, managers or designers so that you have a clear idea of what you’ll be asking each individual to contribute.
Write an “elevator pitch” for your event. An elevator pitch is a brief summary of who, what, when, where and why for a product or event that can be “delivered in the time it takes an elevator to go from the top floor of a building to the lobby.” Typically, an elevator pitch should be no longer than one minute long and should highlight the salient points of why your event is important and what the benefit will be for the boutique owner/manager or designer to participate.
Phone each decision maker. Personal contact is essential in creating a good rapport with someone you do not know. Briefly explain your purpose for the call and what you’re seeking. Identify garments and specific designers you’re interested in showing. Ask directly if you can count on her participation in your fashion show.
Negotiate the terms of the contribution. Do you need the designer or boutique owner to deliver the garments to a specific place or to style the models in the garment on the day of the show? You should also discuss if the clothing items are a donation or if they will be returned. If you’re returning them, you’ll need to discuss if your organization will need to have them dry cleaned after the show. Get a loosely structured verbal agreement before you end the call. Take lots of notes and let the decision maker know you’ll follow up via email.
Email each decision maker immediately after your conversation. Outline the details of your agreement as discussed in your phone call. Make sure to highlight where the clothing is to be dropped off or who will pick it up and what date that will happen. Include your personal phone number so that the decision maker can contact you with additional questions or concerns.
Follow up via phone a week or two before your event with each designer or boutique owner/manager to remind him or her that the show is coming up.
Follow through on the details of your agreement. If you’ve promised advertising in the program or tickets to the show, make sure to get those details sorted out well in advance. After the show ensure that all garments are returned to the proper place and are cleaned or packaged to the specifications in your agreement.