If you are planning to write to a clothing company -- rather than speaking to someone you know who works there -- you need to know how exactly to approach the company in order to get what you want. Clothing companies will not grant requests to use their merchandise to just anyone. More often than not there has to be something in it for them. They are unlikely to let you use their clothing just because you want to. However, if they can see the point of your request it may be granted.
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The image projected by a brand is key to its success, according to Jennifer Dinehart of Business 2 Community. As such, a company’s brand is carefully developed, nurtured and protected by professionals with a close association to the company. This is especially true of fashion houses, where image is their raison d'être anyway. It is unlikely that a fashion house will loan you clothing unless you have personal contacts with key people within the organisation, are a well-known photographer or represent a major retailer.
You should aim for a fairly formal tone as this is, essentially, a business letter. However, the world of fashion is full of fun and creative thinking so a playful font is not out of the question. Just ensure the text is legible. Add your contact details at the top of the letter. Insert the date below. Below that, add “Dear sir or madam” or “To whom it may concern” if you are writing to nobody in particular. Explain who you are and what you do. Write about the fashion shoots that you have worked on previously, if any. Indicate any pre-existing associations you may have with the company to whom you are writing, unless they are so tenuous as to be risible. Give links to your websites that show examples of your fashion photography.
Explain that you would like to use clothing made by the company. Outline the aims of your photo shoot and the key details. Indicate any clothing in the range you would especially like to use. Give a date for the shoot if this has already been arranged. Indicate the names of any other people involved, especially if they are well known in the fashion industry. Add as many real details as possible, so they know the shoot is not just “pie in the sky”. Explain in some detail the benefits you see for the company if they agree to your request.
Explain that you intend to telephone the company in a week's time to see whether your request can be granted. This will help to ensure your letter does not simply disappear down a black hole along with all the dozens of other requests made. End the letter with “Yours faithfully” if you do not know the name of the person likely to receive the letter. Send it by first class mail and make sure you follow it up with that phone call.
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