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The one dream all emerging fashion labels share is being featured in a fashion magazine. Some fashion labels have the budget it takes to hire a well-known publishing firm with all kinds of connections. However, most designers have a limited budget and must be creative in how they engage with fashion editors of a publication – to get the attention they want.

During Miami’s Art Basel week, I was fortunate enough to meet with Jhon Santos, a fashion editor for two highly-respectful Miami magazines – Key Biscayne, and Brickell. We had an eye-opening talk about how young fashion brands can get the attention they seek from the publication they know could put them on the map.

If getting a chance to be featured in a magazine is what you’re after, then Jhon offers up some “golden nuggets” that will help increase the odds of it happening. Here we go:

1. Your Brand Needs To Tell A Story

Be sure your brand tells a story! Most people know that storytelling is an extremely powerful way to garner attention. But, the story you tell must go beyond words. Your collection, fabrics, packaging and look need to constantly convey your brand’s aesthetics in a seductive way.

“I like brands that have a purpose – a story. I always tell people a story is extremely important,” Jhon says, “it’s not just about the product itself but everything that goes with it – the packaging, way of production, materials, finishing, the purpose that the brand owners put behind their product.”

He added, products that force him to “see beyond” will capture his attention.

2. Make Your Brand Visible and Establish Connections

It’s important that your brand is seen through various social media channels – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. You also need to go out and establish connections with fashion experts. Partake in various fashion events, wear your clothing line and learn who the stars in the industry.

9 tips on how to get in to a fashion magazine

According to Jhon, social media is in the palm of everyone’s hands.

“I’ve learned of new brands through friends or someone I meet at an event. For instance, Mary Jane is an artist and an accessory designer. She discovered Angeles Almuna (a stylist) through social media. Later, Angeles told me about this cool accessory designer from Spain. She suggested we feature her and her line of necklaces,” Jhon shares, “it was a few weeks later but we met up and I fell in love with her pieces.”

3. Develop An Eye-Appealing Press Release

Most fashion designers falsely believe that they don’t need a press release for every single one of their collections. However, editors will read press releases and are often disappointed if a fashion designer put forth no effort while they created one.

9 tips on how to get in to a fashion magazines

“I read press releases, as I believe those are important ingredients. After all, if you don’t read a press release, you don’t know the story behind the product or event,” Jhon notes. “If a person is to feel a brand, they need to know the story behind it.”

A press release needs to state the main idea of why the collection was developed, what materials were used, how they were used and why.
Also, Jhon stressed the importance of writing the press-release by designers themselves.

“I wish designers would write more often their stories. It’s different when it comes from the designer – it’s more real,” Jhon says. “Any publicist can write a good press release, but they may not have the fashion designer’s mindset about why he/she made something the way they did.”

4. Create A Lookbook

The first thing an editor will look for is the lookbook. This is where your money shouldn’t be frugal. It will provide an impression of you and your style.

9 tips on how to get in to a fashion magazine

“The primary thing I want to see is the designer’s look book. Good look book photos must have great lighting and the story needs to be thought out carefully,” Jhon says. “What are the other things that capture my attention? Clothing that’s been beautifully designed and developed, how those look in the pictures, and that something new has been included in their design.”

However, try to be innovative with your look book and search for new ideas while developing it.
“I also like to see that there’s a new idea – that the images look fresh and relevant for the present moment,” Jhon adds.

5. Review The Media Kit, Suggesting Items For A Photoshoot Based On The Time Of Year

New brands can take a real advantage of this. You must be proactive, do some homework, recognize the potential story of a photo shoot and pitch your collection to editors and stylists.

9 tips on how to get in to a fashion magazine

“It’s all about contacting the right people at the right time. Try to touch base with editors or stylists constantly because you never know when reaching out will remind them of how good your product is. Although, it is a publicist’s job to reach out editors or stylists, it might be something that the team of an emerging brand should do to put the brand name out there,” according to Jhon.

6. Do Follow Ups About Your Brand

Don’t be afraid to reach out back to editors – to remind them of you and your brand. It’s not uncommon for editors to get more than 300 emails on a given day.

“I wish that every brand would do a follow-up. It’s so difficult to keep up with them all each month,” Jhon advises.

7. Pitch The Same Items To Various Magazines

Designers are under the mistaken impression that they can only pitch one item per magazine. This causes them to miss out on opportunities. It’s okay to send the same item to different magazines. If something has already been featured, it’s perfectly fine to send it to another publication for them to feature it as well.

9 tips on how to get in to a fashion magazine

“All editors are allowed to choose what they want. It’s all about availability because you never know when you want the dress that’s at another magazine shoot. The dress may look one way in the magazine; but, in my hands, it could turn out to be something totally different. There’s always room and chance for every editor and stylist to use the same piece,” Jhon inspires.

8. Use Your Imagination and Create New Approaches In Fashion

Fashion experts are constantly looking for something new. Make sure that you have something in your collection, in your brand experience to catch their attention and impress them.

“I always say my biggest advice is to do everything. There’s no such thing as holding back. It’s important to surprise people – to do something different and explore things. Don’t think something won’t work, Jhon declares. “Have faith and courage. Think positively. These are the things that will take you far in life.”

“We want to dream, so make us dream. Fashion is dreaming. It’s a fantasy, which is something I wish designers would think about, he adds. “I don’t just want another pair of jeans. I want my jeans to have something different on them.”

9. Be Creative and Surprise Fashion Editors

Fashion editors are all about products that touch their emotions and senses. Do something they don’t expect. Think bigger than just your product. Try to engage the editors in the world of your brand. Excite them with your inspiration and passion to what you do.

9 tips on how to get in to a fashion magazine

“You need to surprise them – provide them with something that awakens their senses and emotions. You want them to think, “I have to show this to someone or a lot of someones.” You want them to feel your product because that’s extremely important,” Jhon addressed to designers. “To get noticed by the people, you need to make some very loud noise. The louder the noise, the more notice you’ll get.”

According to Jhon, fashion is a business with all kinds of ingredients. When people see new clothes – ones that celebrities wear and those that people on social media talk about – it causes a feeling within them that they have to get it.

“Constantly create and think about your next thing,” Jhon counsels, “It could become the world’s next BIG thing.”

There you have it! I hope these great tips inspire you to work hard and pursue getting your brand featured in that magazine which can really make a difference in getting your name out there.

Photo credits: Editorials – Nick Garcia. Jhon’s personal photos – Egor Tsodov.

Do you want to know how to work with fashion bloggers? Read my new article in which Daniela Ramirez is sharing her insights about the collaborations with fashion brands.