In 2015, Steven Mena was having an ordinary day at the MENACE Los Angeles office, printing labels and sorting out packages for his customers. The founder of the LA-based brand—just 2 years old at the time—was taking care of orders when he noticed a shipping label heading to Sacramento with the name of NBA center DeMarcus Cousins. Mena couldn’t believe his eyes. “I’ll never forget that because he purchased items from the website without saying a word,” says Mena. Amongst those items was a white N.W.A. cap with “MENACE” stitched across the front panel. That very moment changed everything for Mena, who launched his brand with just $500 to his name.
“When a celebrity starts wearing something [from] Instagram, and they tag that they’re wearing a specific brand, next thing you know, it’s taking off because of their cult following,” says Nikki Jackson, a New York-based stylist. Jackson spends hours scrolling through Instagram, going through DMs, trying to find brands for her clients, including Cautious Clay, AlunaGeorge, and Phony Ppl. Preserving the client’s image is vital for a stylist, and they act as a liaison between budding designers and celebrities. But just how do up-and-coming brands get on their radar? What does it take not only to be seen, but to have your product worn by someone you admire?
There isn’t a standard process to get your clothes on the backs of celebrities, but the founders of MENACE Los Angeles, Vale Forever, C’est Bon, and Felt USA shared insight on what it takes to make that happen. Check out the tips below.