Last year, Natalie Meyer was working as business manager for Los Angeles-based couture fashion designer Laura Basci (worn in the last couple months alone by Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Saoirse Ronan, Elizabeth Banks and Marisa Tomei) when she recognized an opportunity. “I was getting fed up with the process of having to send the same PDF lookbook to all the different stylists and then track down the pulls using emails, as well as Instagram DMs and text messages, to coordinate pulls with stylists.” Meyer told The Hollywood Reporter. “I started to figure that there must be an easier way to do this!”
Meyer teamed with her USC business graduate school friend Pavel Presniakov and the duo soft-launched the digital platform Pullquest in November 2018 with the goal of “creating an online booking platform where fashion brands, fashion PR and stylists can all connect and collaborate on projects together,” says Meyer. “Basically, designers can upload all their looks and build an online lookbook for their brand, and then stylists can go online and request to book pieces directly.”
To date, over 250 fashion stylists and 50 designers (ranging from high-end streetwear to couture, emerging to established and including fashion, accessories, jewelry and footwear) have signed on. The service is complimentary for stylists, while fashion brands pay an $180 monthly subscription — pricing is tailored for showrooms and independent designers. Some labels in the mix include Rachel Zoe, Rebecca Minkoff, The Kooples and Furla, as well as discoveries such as New York couture designer Michael Fausto, sustainable Lebanese couture label Hassidriss, Toronto-based bridal and eveningwear designer Ines Di Santo and Los Angeles designer Catherine Gee.
Gearing up for the 2020 awards season, Pullquest officially launched the site Friday at an event held at Leica Gallery in West Hollywood that was co-hosted by Hollywood stylists and founding Pullquest ambassadors Tanya Gill (Jane Fonda), Jeanne Yang (Christian Bale, Jason Momoa, Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr.) and Ali Mandelkorn (Janelle Monae, Katy Perry). Stylist Cristina Ehrlich (Greta Gerwig, Laura Dern, Andie McDowell, Mandy Moore) also turned up to fete the platform.
“Ali helped us come up with a new feature we’re adding this week for stylists to actually post on a feed what clients they have coming up for what events, and then the brands can send the stylists look suggestions through the platform,” says Meyer.
“Being able to just upload a post with all my event information, and then have interested brands reach out with options, is so much more efficient than blindly emailing hundreds of brands, hoping for a timely response with our ever-tightening deadlines,” Mandelkorn tells THR.
The feature gives newer and smaller designers the opportunity to get their work in front of A-list stylists, and for larger brands to discover smaller stylists. “It makes it easier for a brand that can’t go and pay for a p.r. fee to be able to go out there and have the equivalent of a digital showroom,” Yang tells THR. “I’m taking note of lines I’ve never heard of, which I’d like to think is nice for some of these designers. And they’re delivering it to you, so it really makes it easy to go ahead and take that chance in checking out something new.”
“I use Pullquest to discover new designers that I otherwise may have never come across,” says Gill. “To me, it’s not only always about pulling from the most well-known brands, I also want to see what’s new, who are the up-and-coming designers. And when I have last-minute fittings, Pullquest is so helpful, because I can just book pieces directly online. I don’t have to make 10 different appointments anymore!”
Pullquest also offers same-day, door-to-door delivery for members in Los Angeles. A major plus for Hollywood stylists who often work with as many as 15 clients for a myriad of red carpet outings, lunches, panels and parties. The company is currently working to add a backend inventory tracking system, so that designers can easily track pulled pieces.
A few years ago, another online platform launched with a similar aim of connecting stylists with fashion brands and publicists for digital pull requests and real-time tracking to make the process more efficient. Recently relaunched in October, Stylepull was co-founded by former film and television director Kyle Heller (who also co-founded the now-defunct video company Cinematique) along with Jonny Saven, former CEO of stylist-turned-designer Andrea Lieberman’s L.A.-based fashion brand A.L.C.
According to Heller, Stylepull now counts 250 labels — including Lacoste, New York labels Ace & Jig and Alix of Bohemia and Los Angeles brands St. Roche, Sol Angeles and Re/Done — and over 1,000 stylists, including Andrew Gelwicks (Catherine O’Hara, Ryan Jamaal Swain, Dominique Jackson), who has consulted for the company. Similar to Pullquest, Stylepull membership is complimentary for stylists, while brands pay $500 to $1500 per month, depending on the level of services.
Heller says that the platform is continuing to expand, with plans for “a Stylepull offering that will help stylists make money directly from the pull process, and a content creation division for brands to generate more authentic placements across social media, traditional media and entertainment.”