The Pull Agreement: How to safely lend out your collection

Pull agreements are an important part of fashion business collaborations. These types of arrangements will become more and more commonplace as your brand starts to grow and develop, and are an important part of relationship and brand building. It is more formally known as a “Letter of Responsibility,” is a contract that legitimizes the relationship between the designer (owner) and the stylist (borrower). It outlines what the borrowed items will be used for, states how long they’ll be borrowed, and allocates financial responsibility to the borrower in the event of loss, damage, or theft.

To get you started, here are a few things you would want any “pull agreement” to spell out:

  • Names and roles of parties involved (stylist, model, photographer, designer, publication, and creative director).
  • Credit Rights- Not only are you protecting your property– you are establishing your right for editorial credit wherever your items are published or posted. This clause should also grant you the right to share on your social media platforms.
  • Date, time, and location of the photo shoot
    The date and time the shoot will commence and when the items will be returned to the owner (designer) including date and time.
  • Theme & concept- The theme and concept are pertinent information as it provides insight into how your pieces will be represented. This can help you determine whether the items will be represented in a way that helps reflect your brand.
  • Detailed itemized list of leased samples including the retail price value and current condition. You want the return process to go as smoothly as possible so take thorough notes on your items before lending them out.
  • Responsibility- The name and signature of the person taking financial responsibility for possible loss, damage, or theft. This clause varies depending on the complexity of the shoot and the status of the designer and the publication involved. Some designers ask for a deposit upfront to cover minor damages or dry-cleaning. Some designers simply allot space for credit card info on the document in case recourse becomes necessary.

The more you grow and expand as a designer, the more press opportunities will come your way. As a start-up designer, there’s a possibility that you may have to absorb the damages that occur. There’s a balance of being firm and lenient when you’re still trying to get your name out-especially if a major publication is involved.  it’s important to be friendly and cordial but remember that this is business.  So, treat a “pull agreement” like you would any legal contract, if you’re being presented with one, then read it over, understand it, and ask your lawyer for help before you sign. If you’re presenting one, work with your lawyer to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.

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