Fashion & Business are always in style
If you haven’t heard me rant about ” fashion is a business and not a runway then here it goes one more time , FASHION IS A BUSINESS!
This weekend I was doing what I do best ” shopping” and I ran into a young lady who was getting inspiration for her new collection . So I began speaking to her and she was on her 4th collection for the year and I said WOW that is amazing , where could I see your collections and she proceeded to tell me that she she has only sold a few here and there and her future goals for buyers etc . So I then asked ” what else is your brand comprised of ? she quickly said just clothes so I began to ask her where does she get her inspirations for her lines and she said her grandfather used to be photographer and when she was a child she would spend hours in the dark room and began a passion for photography and not just any photography vintage old looks. So her line mirrors that era, I said wow so why don’t you have that apart of your brand since its a passion ? she looked at me eyes wide opened , giggled and said how ?
You see we are all comprised of passions and in fashion we have different customers and in this BUSINESS ;clothing is just one facet that you can offer your customer so if you add many elements in to your brand the possibilities are endless. What do you offer your customers besides a piece of clothing ? Besides the experience ? Do you offer a brand that encompasses a lifestyle ? While Fashion is a Business , fashion should represent you because “You are your brand and if people like you they will do business with you “-KK
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I designed a collection now how do I get buyers ?
When I first started designing in college I didn’t even know what a “ real buyer “ was let’s just say the cash sales from customers made me happy and as long as I didn’t have to eat ramen noodles I was happy but then it dawned to me “what was my next step ? Yup this question was so frequent in my head that I started having dreams about it and kept me on edge because I needed to know what they want. They as in “buyers” what do buyers really want and how do I get them? Later I realized that I wasn’t the only designer having this infamous question. For every designer I work with this is the most popular question so here’s what my easy button says: If you have a strong fashion brand, buyers will detect it without you even selling it to them (point blank)… so your real question should be “Do I have strong fashion brand?”
Here are some of my snap snap tips to see if you’re close to establishing that brand?
Snap 1- Have you done your Beautiful Plan (some might call it the scary Business Plan) The map that gels your business aspect with fashion. Think of it this way without a map where do you know where you’re going? Do you really have a fashion brand that encompasses who you are? Does it really connect with your target audience and your entire vision/ lifestyle and purpose? I like to always reflect on why I started designing clothes in the first place because that reason always leads to a higher meaning.
Snap 2- Show us what you got? Building a strong fashion brand is basically mirroring what you love and what else you have to offer to the world besides fashion that is your passions. The reality is not everyone is going to wear your clothing but if you can impact a wider audience through your line, make money from it and leave the same impact would you do it? Now that’s what you call a fashion footprint!
Snap 3- Do your Homework, you can’t expect to make people happy, excited and motivated about being in tuned with your brand if it’s the wrong audience. I always say “who’s your girl, what does she do, where does she shop, how much money does she make etc . You can’t even begin to approach a buyer if your customer doesn’t even shop there. If you understand your audience you will understand the buyer’s behavior.
So as you can see there is no easy button for buyers and while there’re many elements in getting a “ real “ buyer the facts say it all : a buyer needs no introduction to a line because it’s speaks for itself in everything that it has to offer and in this industry that is your sales pitch . Don’t get me wrong they look at your collection; they look at your sales which don’t always have to be warranted but most importantly they look at your social media involvement. At the end of the day a buyer wants to buy a line that will sell to new customers and keep old customers because fashion ultimately is dollar for dollar.
Does your brand speak without saying “I am just a clothing line; if your answer is yes then you have a brand!
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