Fashion designers are known to produce fashion collections every now and then to bring new and exciting pieces to their clients. While some of these collections are misses, many others are total hits.
It is not uncommon for stylists to want to pull out pieces from collections that turn out to be great hits to style their celebrity. While this can prove to be a great form of influencer marketing for the brand involved, it can also prove to be a dire mistake the designer would regret.
This is why a pull agreement/letter is important.
What is a Pull Agreement?
A pull agreement is a contract that legitimises the relationship between a fashion designer/owner and a stylist/borrower. More formally, it is known as a Letter of Responsibility or an Editorial Request.
This agreement clearly outlines what the borrowed items will be used for, states how long they’ll be borrowed, and allocates financial responsibility to one of the borrowing parties in the event of loss, damage, or theft. It is a very important part of fashion collaborations.
As much as you want to be cordial with people and build meaningful relationships, you must cover your bases and have this document in case anything happens. The most important elements your pull agreement should have are:
1. Details of the Parties Involved.
You also need to know if they are pulling pieces from your collection as an individual or on behalf of a publication. If it’s as an individual, their name and contact information can help you do an online vetting of their work thus far.
If it’s for a publication, you need to get the editor’s contact information and confirm that they are indeed authorised to act on their behalf.
2. Details of the Photoshoot.
You need to get insight into the time, date, and location of the photoshoot. Sometimes, you also need to get the theme and concept of the shoot.
The theme and concept of the shoot are important because they give you an idea of how your pieces will be used. This will help you see if their use of your pieces will represent your brand properly and reflect the original purposes of the pieces.
3. Detailed List of Leased Pieces.
Write out the details of each product that is being borrowed from your store. You need to indicate the model name and number, colour, size, retail price value, and current condition of each item.
Taking thorough notes of your products before lending them out will help ensure a smoother return process. If possible, take photographs of each item being sent.
Always have the borrower sign your list to confirm everything is as stated.
4. Loan Duration.
Sometimes, borrowers do not return items on the agreed-upon date. This can be avoided or minimised by indicating the date of collection in your pull agreement.
You should state out how long they can stay with the items and when they should bring it back to you. A penalty should also be described the agreement in case the borrower does not adhere to the timelines.
5. Credit Rights.
The main reason you are lending your pieces out is for visibility. However, sometimes, the borrower failed to indicate where they got items from and this defeats the contract.
Your agreement should state how crediting should be done on the publishing shoot. Not only are you protecting your intellectual property, but you are also establishing your right for editorial credit wherever your items are published or posted.
Don’t forget to include a clause that grants your the right to share the shoot photos on your online and social media platforms.
This is a very important part of the agreement. It involves getting the name and signature of the person taking financial responsibility for possible loss, damage, or theft of your pieces.
Some designers ask for a deposit upfront to cover minor damages or dry-cleaning. However, it is important to note that if you are a startup fashion business, you might have to absorb the costs of damages to your items or be lenient with penalties.
This clause should clearly define what kind of costs you will expect the borrower to account for. It should also cover reputable damages such as if the items are used for purposes that you did not agree to.
7. Extra Costs.
Sometimes, additional costs pop up during the process, such as shipping/transportation costs if they cannot come to your store or dry-cleaning costs. Incorporate a clause in the pull agreement that states this information as well as preferred service providers or handling.
8. Buying Options.
At the shoot, someone might be interested in purchasing one of your pieces. You can add a clause that allows people to buy your pieces together with the purchase price and whether a discount can be given depending on the circumstances.
Pull agreements are important legal documents that must be taken seriously in collaborations. Whether you are an established or an up and coming fashion designer, you need them to give your projects an air or validity and a level of comfort.
Since it is a legal contract, you need to seek the help of a lawyer in drafting one and always read through contracts to ensure everything is in place.