As much as I loved Fashion Week as a fashion publicist, I love it even more as a beauty publicist with new responsibilities that are equally as challenging and exciting as those on the fashion side:
Securing sponsorship. It is very hard to secure shows to work on as a beauty sponsor because the designers prefer to work with the same makeup artists and hairdressers on a consistent basis. However, there is the rare occasion that a designer, particularly the emerging one, is looking for sponsorship. This can mean that they use your lead artist/stylist and team with or without a fee.
Negotiating fee. When I first started in this business, designers used to pay hair and makeup teams. Now beauty brands pay the designers, as shows are very expensive to produce and designers recognize the value of beauty brands being aligned with fashion brands. There are times when it is worth paying the designer and times when the ROI is just not there.
Assembling the team. If you are lucky enough to have in-house artists/stylists, then you are one step ahead. If not, you work with agents to book your team. Regardless, it is imperative that you put together an experienced team that has worked backstage before, as you must put your best face forward – literally.
Securing backstage press. It is important for you to reach out to the press announcing the shows you are working on to ensure that your lead artist/stylist books backstage interviews to discuss the beauty look and inspiration. This gives you a chance to promote new products and get your ROI.
Booking/attending makeup test. A few days before the show, the designer meets with the show stylist, hairdresser, and makeup artist to discuss the inspiration for the collection and do a makeup and hair trial. This ensures that everything runs smoothly on the day of the show.
Drafting the press release. After the test, PR drafts a press release with a face chart about the beauty inspiration, tagging special products used to create the look. The beauty press reference this tool when doing their backstage beauty roundup stories.
Organizing backstage on show day. Call time for a show is about three hours before the show is scheduled to start. You have to make sure your team is there on time and that the lead artist/stylist takes them through the look. Then, in between trying to get 20-plus models ready, you also have to organize the chaos backstage and manage interviews, photo crews, etc., as your lead artist/stylist can do up to 30 interviews backstage while working.
Weeks of preparation are over in the blink of a smoky eye, but the real work begins post-show.
Alexis Rodriguez is executive director of global communications at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics - @LexiRo29 or @ThePRCloset.