A PR friend sent this WWD article to me for my interest, and while I don't know her position, I do know that this will be viewed as something that is not viable, or as a way for a designer to make money. In my opinion, this is a great way to stop the bleeding from sending samples everywhere without ever getting them back. Not to mention the shipping costs that are not recouped. Here is the article from WWD:
GOOD LUCK WITH THAT: Lots of designers have trimmed their budgets for press samples lately, but James Perse is going to an extreme, making editors purchase products in order to shoot it. Under the brand’s new policy, euphemistically named the “Studio Sales Discount,” editors must prepay by credit card for product, minus a 10 percent discount. They have 10 days, not a day more, to return the product for a refund, minus a 20 percent restocking fee. James Perse will not accept returns of T-shirts, (which are its bread and butter,) undergarments, footwear or bathing suits. Apparently, the company has decided an editorial credit isn’t worth more than 30 percent of the cost of a T-shirt. Returns will only be processed by the brand’s Melrose Avenue store in Los Angeles — not a showroom or press office. Still interested, editors? The first step is to fill out a credit application. Later on, if you need to transfer the account to a colleague or a successor, you will be required to notify James Perse by certified mail.
This really shows the skeptical view of PR, the effort involved, and the unguaranteed sales from it. Yet, PR by certain outlets opens doors to other outlets and even stores. Not to mention the people swayed by what they see in the glossies. It also might give a nod to the power of the internet and word of mouth sales, banking on the presence that designers can build for themselves with a lot of effort.
Mista Readers: What do you think?