Stylists frequently borrow items from showrooms to dress models, celebrities, and notable socialites for photoshoots and red carpet events. A stylist may occasionally be approached by a member of the public asking to borrow clothing. People often assume that "borrowing clothes" is all there is to it, but in reality, there is a complex hierarchy at play in determining who, exactly, gets what and when.
Where Do Stylists Get All Those Amazing Outfits?
The first stage is establishing credibility as a stylist, so that brands are willing to provide you clothing on loan. You might expect to be paid more if you have an impressive portfolio, have proven yourself as a stylist (by producing high-quality work), lead a strong team, or are working on a particularly interesting project.
If you're booking an appointment for a reputable publication, they should be able to help you gain a "in" to borrow garments from high-quality labels. Mentioning their name alone will be beneficial. The agency, like a modelling agency, needs to know the team's identity before sending out a model.
You need to "test," or work for free on photoshoots with other creatives (photographer, hairstylist, makeup artist, and model) who are also wanting to boost their resumes. Borrow from regional labels, shop locally, or go into your own closet for these spots. The goal is to produce impressive images that can be used as portfolio pieces when applying for commercial shoots. Building even a small reputation as a stylist can make obtaining clothing for future shoots much simpler. Clothes can be obtained in a variety of methods, some of which are listed below:
Consider Borrowing From the Media Centers
A brand's press office may lend out items for photoshoots; smaller brands may only have one in their native city, while larger ones may have press offices in several cities. If the node is valuable enough, they will ship it to you even if it's on the other side of the world.
You can be sure that only the most prestigious newspapers and stylists will be given access to a sample of this calibre. If the jewellery is very valuable, a guard will be dispatched to accompany it. We won't sugarcoat it: networking with press agents from various businesses is challenging (they can be complete snobs at times), but extremely rewarding.
However, brands don't often ship samples to smaller locations where they have press offices. In this instance, your local press agent should be able to let you borrow from a nearby store or have a replacement model shipped in.
Ask for Clothes From the Stores
Shooting locations can sometimes borrow clothing from businesses. In most cases, they will need approval from corporate if the brand in question is a well-known one. Smaller brands may want payment or a deposit for clothing but will happily reimburse the money if it is returned in excellent condition. Disrupting these bonds by replacing worn out clothing is counterproductive. Get ready to fork over some cash if you make a mistake.
Consult the Work of Nearby Fashion Houses
Especially if you're writing for a regional paper, this is a fantastic choice. Remember the importance of taking care of these connections and always acting kindly towards others. You should always offer to cover the cost of replacing damaged property, provide correct credit to the businesses included in your shots, and provide copies of the final photographs for the brands to review.
You Can’t Go Wrong With Vintage or Your Own Closet
As long as you're not shooting for a major glossy, it's acceptable to credit "stylist's own" for the clothes worn in a shoot. If you are not aiming for a job at a major fashion publication, it is acceptable to include items from bygone seasons as part of your portfolio.
The Shocking Reality of Clothes Pulling/Borrowing
The following criteria will determine whether or not you are permitted to borrow garment samples, most of which are sample sizes:
The Value and Significance of the Task Towards Which You Are Working
A credible magazine, whether it's published online or in print, needs a steady audience. The greater the influence of the outlet or celebrity, the stronger your hand in tugging.
Your chances of borrowing Chanel or other well-known notable designers are nil if no one has heard of your popularity and your online blog does not have a large readership and an actively engaged audience. You may possibly con up some young fashion designers that are looking to have their work photographed.
Connection Between Stylist and Retail Store
When it comes to success, nothing is more important than your reputation. Perhaps in the past when you have borrowed something you have either returned it late, damaged, or not at all. If your connection with the showrooms deteriorates, you may not be granted the opportunity to borrow again.
Showrooms Gives Preference to More Well-Known Stylists
When you and Vogue both want to borrow the same thing, Vogue will get it.
In order to safeguard their client's reputation, the showroom will only have the most professional photography teams and media outlets shoot the clothes. Even in the realm of celebrities, there is a clear pecking order. Angelina Jolie is far superior to any sitcom star.
How to Approach a Designer About Using Their Work in Your Photoshoot
Put in a Word About Yourself and Provide a Portfolio Link
Although a large portfolio isn't required, designers will like to see at least a few photos of your work with models.
Designers don't want to go on a picture quest and usually won't look at more than 30 images, so providing them with a link to an Instagram account or a simple website is ideal.
Request a Detailed Object, but Consider Other Options
There are some outfits that are so intricate and time-consuming to create that only a well-established photographer would be trusted with them.
Caretakers from the design team would be on hand (you wouldn't believe how many times models have tried to eat and drink while wearing white silk sample gowns). Some alternatives are more sturdy or simpler to clean and repair. If you want a response, it's best to specify which clothing you like, while making it clear that you're open to alternatives.
Spell Out Exactly Why You Need to Borrow the Outfit
Many photographers head out into the world without ever having thought about what they want to capture on film. Designers are picky about which hits will make their dresses stand out, thus they will never lend one of their dresses to these photographers. In your email, be sure to specify the location(s), people, and goals for the shoot, as well as any specific ideas you have for the project's theme and genre.
Designers are artists, so they know that these plans can and will evolve, but they will respond much more enthusiastically if you can show them examples of how the final photos will look. Pinterest is equally as useful as mood boards for this purpose. Generally speaking, designers are more likely to lend clothes for interior picture sessions than for outside activities like strolls on the beach or stomping through muddy fields.
Tend to the Dresses, and Report Back to the Designer on the Status of the Photographs!
If you want to borrow from a designer more than once, you should alter their photos quickly and let them know where you plan to submit them. It is expected that this will take a couple of months, but there is nothing more discouraging to a designer than having to wait months for photographs that will soon be out of date.
True authenticity and a refusal to let disappointments diminish your self-assurance are paramount. It's usually more of a practical than an emotional limitation for designers to turn down requests from photographers for outfit loans.
Do Test Shoots
When reaching out to new PRs or designers to borrow clothes, you should have a few photographs of your previous work ready to share via a link. You may now prove to everyone that you are a true fashion stylist. Images do not need to have been previously published. The best method to get these shots is to undertake test shoots. Make an effort to work with aspiring artists in the fields of photography, makeup, and hair design.
When a PR or designer sees that you've shot garments before, they'll feel more confident lending you clothes to shoot.
Pull Clothes From Around Your Area
One cannot begin a career in fashion design at Gucci. Start at the bottom and climb to the top. Check out up-and-coming designers and designers who are still in school; you never know who will become the next big thing. Shop at independent boutiques and borrow from family and friends. A time-honored technique involves purchasing the garments to be shot, keeping the receipt out of camera view, and then returning the things for a refund.
It's important to keep in mind that the brand name of an article of clothing has absolutely no bearing on how it is perceived.
Trying to Get Clothes From Designers and PRs
The act of "pulling clothes" requires a high level of confidence in one another. Brands and public relations firms will give out their apparel if they have the following assurances:
- The planned visuals are consistent with the image they wish to project about their company.
- You will put the clothing to their intended usage.
- You promise to give the garments back in good condition and on time.
You earn respect by acting in a responsible manner at all times, from making the initial enquiry through returning the garments. Care for the garments, give proper credit, and be as open as possible about your method, including admitting when things go wrong.
What to say in an email to PR firms or designers:
- Your work is represented via a few low-resolution photographs that are linked to from your profile.
- When and where will the shoot take place?
- A list of the contributors and examples of their work (photographer, stylist, makeup artist, etc.)
- Concept art for the overall theme
- Specifics on the works you wish to borrow and how they fit into the narrative
- Timeframes for both item pickup and drop-off
Fashion Stylists: Follow These Golden Rules When Borrowing Items
Being a stylist is a legitimate profession with serious obligations. Your main source of income will be "pulling out" (the fashion industry slang for "borrowing") clothing from shops and designers.
Below are some guidelines to follow if you plan on making a career out of style and frequently borrow stuff from other people.
No company or designer has to lend you their merchandise. Since you are the one seeking assistance, it is incumbent upon you to enquire politely and in a businesslike manner. Sending a follow-up message (by text or email) is OK if you haven't heard back within a day; it's possible that they were too preoccupied to answer your initial message.
If your request to withdraw still hasn't been granted after that time, please be considerate and stop sending constant reminders.
Tend to the Loaned Items With Care
Protect it with your life even if it's only a pair of socks. For the sake of reciprocity, if a designer has loaned you some of his or her outfits, you owe it to that person to treat them with respect.
Borrowing something solely to treat it poorly is a nasty sort of disrespect; you never know how much time, energy, and money were poured into that one article of clothes, and it's rude to assume otherwise.
Give Due Credit
I won't even bother explaining this one. The least you could do is give credit where credit is due, especially if you did not spend a dollar for the used item. Don't forget to identify the brands and designers when sharing an item on social media; it will only take you two extra minutes to make sure you have their names and Instagram handles spelt correctly.
It's nothing compared to the hours upon hours of labour they put into each clothing, yet they nevertheless decided to lend you their most valued possessions. Please keep your half of the bargain and give credit where it's due.
Don’t Forget to Bring Back Loaned Items!
After having goods removed, it is customary to return within a week. Some shops are particularly stringent about this policy, and with good reason: they need to keep track of inventory at all times, and every day that things aren't on the shelves is a day that they don't make any money. However, it is only fair that, if you took the time to borrow, you also take the effort to repay.
In most cases, borrowing objects and keeping them for more than seven days is considered excessive. But if there is a good cause for the holdup, you should act professionally and let the designer/store know. Give an unconditional apology, and then follow through with the revised schedule for getting better.
Put It Back Exactly as You Got It
This shouldn't be a problem as long as you followed the instructions in #2. While it's ideal to have clean clothes for a photoshoot, the reality is that things like makeup smudges, sweat, and the model's perfume will inevitably find their way onto the garments.
If this happens to you, the ethical thing to do is to get it dry cleaned before giving it back to the shop or designer who made it. Please return it fresh and odor-free.
Accept Responsibilities for Broken Things
When things are returned to stores or designers, they undergo inspections to ensure their condition. The borrower is naturally responsible for any damage, whether it is a snag in the cloth or a lost button. You can't and shouldn't try to avoid taking care of this responsibility. It's advisable to discuss the situation to the designer or business via email if you think there's been a mistake.
The final say rests with them, but you'll have to foot the bill for the broken goods if they decide you owe a particular amount.
Show Your Appreciation to Them for Lending You the Materials
Although it may seem obvious, there are many writers and editors who are unaware of the significance of this little change. If you're just starting out in the style industry, let me give you a friendly reminder: tagging companies and designers on Instagram and returning loaned products on time isn't enough to develop a good connection with them.
Act charitably; express gratitude; and imply that it's sincere. Because how else can you expect to make it as a stylist without them?
In order to dress their museele, models, celebrities, and socialites, stylists frequently borrow items from showrooms. How and when resources are distributed is determined by a hierarchical system. Several options are provided below for acquiring clothing. Shooting a regional fashion spread? Have your press agent arrange for samples from a nearby store to be loaned to you, or have a replacement model flown in. Clothing from smaller brands may require a deposit or payment upfront, but the money will be refunded if the item is returned in good condition.
To capture the full beauty of some ensembles requires the skill and experience of an established photographer. Your chances of getting another loan from the showrooms decrease if your relationship with them deteriorates. You should quickly edit their photos and let them know where you plan to submit them if you intend to borrow clothing from the same designer more than once. Bear in mind that the label on an item of clothing has zero effect on how it is received. As a fashion stylist, "pulling out" (the slang term for "borrowing" clothing from stores and designers) will be your primary source of income.
Take good care of the clothes, give credit where credit is due, and be as transparent as possible with your process. It is only fair to return a designer's or store's loaned item if you borrowed it. A snag in the fabric or a missing button will result in the borrower having to pay for the repairs. If you're going to post something online, be sure to give proper credit to the brands and designers involved. Be gracious to the people who lent you the resources.
The decision is ultimately up to them, but you'll have to pay whatever they decide you owe. There are still options available to you if you are denied a loan.
- A stylist may occasionally be approached by a member of the public asking to borrow clothing.
- If you're booking an appointment for a reputable publication, they should be able to help you gain a "in" to borrow garments from high-quality labels.
- In this instance, your local press agent should be able to let you borrow from a nearby store or have a replacement model shipped in.
- Shooting locations can sometimes borrow clothing from businesses.
- If your connection with the showrooms deteriorates, you may not be granted the opportunity to borrow again.
- In your email, be sure to specify the location(s), people, and goals for the shoot, as well as any specific ideas you have for the project's theme and genre.
- When reaching out to new PRs or designers to borrow clothes, you should have a few photographs of your previous work ready to share via a link.
- The act of "pulling clothes" requires a high level of confidence in one another.
- Your main source of income will be "pulling out" (the fashion industry slang for "borrowing") clothing from shops and designers.
- Below are some guidelines to follow if you plan on making a career out of style and frequently borrow stuff from other people.
- If this happens to you, the ethical thing to do is to get it dry cleaned before giving it back to the shop or designer who made it.
- The final say rests with them, but you'll have to foot the bill for the broken goods if they decide you owe a particular amount.
- If you're just starting out in the style industry, let me give you a friendly reminder: tagging companies and designers on Instagram and returning loaned products on time isn't enough to develop a good connection with them.
- Building solid connections with PR firms and companies is crucial.
- Do excellent job, and don't be afraid to take credit for it.
FAQs About Clothes for Photoshoots
A wardrobe stylist can also be referred to as a fashion stylist, fashion editor, or celebrity stylist.
Most stylists learn their trade by shadowing more experienced, high-profile stylists, much like an apprenticeship.
A pull refers to the action of gathering clothes for your job. If the mood board or style guideline calls for a certain look, you will physically select that look from the racks of a showroom or store.
You can hire a wardrobe stylist for an hourly wage, a daily rate, or a rate per job. In general, advertising jobs, commercials, and spokesperson campaigns pay more than editorial work. Freelance fashion editors, or stylists whose only focus is on editorial content production, may be paid on a per-page basis by certain publications; such rates are often negotiated annually, and fashion editors are given a set number of pages to produce as part of a given project.
A buy out, or one-time payment to a stylist for the duration of a job, is another option. Some hairstylists accept monthly retainers, where they are paid a flat rate for a specified amount of time and are required to be available for appointments during that time.
The application process is simple. If you have any images you'd like published, I'd appreciate it if you'd select a few magazines you enjoy, check their submission guidelines, and get them in on time. Photographs sent to periodicals devoted to fashion generally need to have a certain vibe. If you want your fashion photography to get published in a magazine, you need familiarise yourself with its aesthetic first.