Samples trump trends in teen fashion outlets

Teen fashion tends to change at a breakneck pace, but the media that cover clothing styles for girls ages 13 to 19 have shown some surprising stability.

Teen fashion tends to change at a breakneck pace, but the media that cover clothing styles for girls ages 13 to 19 have shown some surprising stability.

Print outlets like Seventeen and Teen Vogue remain incredibly influential, notes Chet Gulland, account supervisor at Fleishman-Hillard NGT (Next Great Thing).

"There's still a ritual happening where a teen girl will sit in her room and riff through a magazine," he explains.

But Gulland says teen fashion media and PR have been hugely impacted by the rise of online content and social networking sites.

"A lot of these girls are looking to their peers for a lot of information," he says. "That includes fashion advice."

Regardless of outlet type, Erin Haggerty, SAE at Pierce Mattie Public Relations, says you can have more success pitching individual products than big-picture trends.

"Teen fashion media are much more sample-oriented than news-oriented," she explains. "I rarely write a press release in regard to the fashion, but I do focus a lot on art because images are everything. A lot of teen fashion publications want styles and colors that are really going to pop."

Unlike The Devil Wears Prada-like reputation of the general fashion press, teen fashion editors tend to be easier to pitch, notes Robin Wunsh Barron, senior consultant at Krupp Kommunications.

"But because the trends move much faster in teen fashion, the editors must have a great understanding of their readers," she says. "So you've got to... reach out to these editors with products in a timely manner."

Teen fashion also continues to have a huge celebrity component, especially with stars of hot shows like MTV's Laguna Beach and The Hills. Ypulse.com publisher Anastasia Goodstein says that means you can reach teen girls by getting fashion coverage onto celebrity blogs like PerezHilton.com.

"You're also seeing more opportunities on avatar-based online worlds linked to these shows," she adds. "Lauren Conrad of The Hills recently launched her own virtual clothing line."

But the good thing about teen fashion is you don't need a formal celebrity tie-in.

"You can always find images of [stars] wearing something similar to what your client carries," says Haggerty. "Send that along with a pitch to influence the editor. And keep in mind that teen fashion editors are very price-sensitive. A lot of publications like to keep everything under $100 or $200."

PITCHING... Teen Fashion

For the most part in teen fashion, there's little value in pitching parents because by the age of 14 or 15, most girls are making their own clothing decisions

Teen fashion editors know their readers are on limited budgets, so make sure you are pitching affordable fashion and highlighting price points in your outreach

Outside of seasonal opportunities like back-to-school, most general-interest outlets don't have a lot of space for teen fashion, so you're better off pitching general fashion stories that may have an angle for a younger audience

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