Getting your designs on celebrities and influencers is often a goal for many fashion designers and can often seem daunting. But in today’s post, designer Meghan Hughes explains why getting over your own fears is the biggest hurdle if there’s an authentic connection with the celebrity. Meghan shares with us her experience dressing a celebrity with a limited budget and a plan, not a PR firm.
“As young designers, we all have certain celebrities and influencers we dream of seeing in our designs. However, it’s hard to find ways to get our work in front of people in the public eye who already have access to the best stylists, designers, and brands. A few summers ago, I was able to make the most of a wonderful opportunity with one of my favorite musicians and I’m going to tell you how.
I am a huge music fan, and music is one of my greatest influences as a designer. My first collection for Nineteenth Amendment was inspired by Nancy Sinatra and Priscilla Presley, and my second collection was inspired by Glam Rock and David Bowie. I even took drum lessons for almost 10 years. When it became obvious (pretty quickly) that I lacked the skills to be a professional musician, I made it my goal to design for them.
One of my favorite musicians is Kacey Musgraves. She is a great singer and songwriter, but she also has a really fun, bold, quirky sense of style – a little Dolly Parton, a little Lisa Frank. She is exactly the type of person I imagine when I’m designing. When I went online to buy tickets to her concert and saw that I could also get meet and greet tickets, I instantly recognized a great opportunity to create a special piece for an artist that I respect, who also happens to represent the qualities of my brand.
Once I bought tickets, stress set in. This was definitely one of the most nerve-wracking things I have ever done. It was going to be one of the most important garments that I had ever created. I had no idea what her measurements or sizes were. I didn’t even know how tall she was. I had to look through a lot of pictures and make my best educated guess. The design itself, as well as the fabrication, trims, colors, etc. had to reflect her personality and style, as well as be a great representation of me as a designer. It also had to be something that I could fold up and fit in my bag so I could get it into the venue. There was a lot that could have gone wrong.
I think it’s also important to note that this was an experience totally outside my personality. I am a pretty introverted, laid back person. I am not someone who would normally go to meet and greets or chat with celebrities. In this case, I had to put aside the awkwardness and shyness and, rock it, because I didn’t know if I would ever get another opportunity like this again.
I had no idea what to expect from Kacey Musgraves – if she would be friendly, or if she would even look at what was inside the bag. Thankfully, she could not have been nicer and more approachable. She opened the bag and pulled the dress out right there in the line. She really liked it and was very appreciative. A few days later, she messaged me a picture of her wearing the dress at an event and thanked me. She even posted it on her Instagram and gave me a shoutout, which is something I never expected. She went above and beyond, and I am incredibly grateful. As a designer, it is exciting to see anyone wearing your pieces and when it is someone you admire and who also reflects your brand so well, it’s a dream come true.”
- Make it an authentic pitch and connection – if it’s not authentic, people can tell.
- There are ways to get access to celebrities – they may require buying tickets and planning in advance but it can be done (book signings, concerts, openings, etc).
- Don’t let a lack of info stop you. You can usually figure it out through pictures (and sometimes directly in magazine interviews).
- Have plans in place with alternate scenarios. Try and anticipate obstruction and have a response in mind.
- When the opportunity comes, rise to the occasion. If you don’t ‘rock it’ no one else will do it for you.
- Take it full circle – authenticity matters in developing relationships. The most authentic can exceed your expectations. Be positive and proactive and plan.
Got questions for Meghan? Leave a comment on her Showroom. Need help with celebrity placements? Become a designer and learn how Nineteenth Amendment can help facilitate your brand’s storytelling and outreach.