D.I.N.E. Designers In Need of Elevation
This week’s blog is dedicated to all young, upcoming budding, wanna be fashion designers.
I can’t draw, sew or pattern cut to save my life, but I know what I like to wear and hopefully from over 20 years in fashion from retail to being a fashion agent. Between us, I and Mark (my second pair of eyes, is as forthright as they come and funny as heck) have over 35 years in fashion, so we would like to think we know what our customers want for their stores.
We don’t always get it right but sometimes we come across a strong potential.
The reality is that we, as fashion agents and store buyers are all looking for products that are new in design, wearable, of good quality and most importantly, that are desirable and so SELLS!
I have had the good fortune to see many new designers. Some find me through the web, blind email or by post. Many I find through my visits to exhibitions, word of mouth or just plain old store visits.
But there are many designers that contact me that I feel have not really grasped the true nature of this highly competitive business.
London-a-la-Mode is another very good example of a company that aims to give budding designers guidance and a ‘reality check’ as to what buyers are looking for.
Darling Emma has a patience of a saint! and an keen retail eye, so if you are lucky to have bee chosen by her. LISTEN to what she has to say. Emma hasn’t been in this game as long as I have not know a little of what is required.
I and Mark could give a lecture on this, but you are not in school anymore and so I am just going to give a little insight.
One of the very first questions I ask myself when seeing a new designer and collection is
‘How many pieces and times can I actually wear? ‘ Secondly, ‘Can I name 5 stores that would be interested in stocking the collection?’
If I cannot then my next question is…
‘Who is the designer aiming for?’
At the end of day Fashion IS retail and sadly, many budding designers do not understand this basic rule. All designers should have ‘cookie’ pieces in their collections and the rest should be wearable, fashionable and reasonably priced pieces to accentuate your designer ‘cookie’ pieces.
Then it is a matter of perseverance, patience, finance, hard work and luck to be picked up by stores. Some are lucky from the go and are lauded by press and stores, but that is a very small handful compared to the 1000’s of collections available on the market today.
A few will succeed, but sadly many will fail. So try to be realistic and understand the market you are aiming for, visit as many stores and exhibitions as you can to get a feel of what’s happening in the market.
And to all Buyers- Give designers a chance!
A few minutes of time & some feedback would be greatly appreciated by them!
Hope can be cruel at times, but you have spirit and determination to achieve.
I BELIEVE IN YOU & GOOD LUCK!