The fashion designer survival guide revised and expanded edition start and run your own fashion business [ebook] download. 1. The Fashion. Advanced · Try Libby, our new app for enjoying ebooks and audiobooks! ×. Title details for The Fashion Designer Survival Guide by Mary Gehlhar - Wait list. The Fashion Designer Survival Guide - Mary Gehlhar - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read book online. fashion designer.
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Online PDF The Fashion Designer Survival Guide: Start and Run Your Own Fashion Own Fashion Business, All Ebook The Fashion Designer Survival Guide. The Fashion Designer Survival Guide book. Read 20 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Mary Gehlhar, author, industry authority, and c. [PDF] The Fashion Designer Survival Guide, Revised and Expanded Edition: Start and Run Your Own Fashion Business Full Ebook Download.
Check the hashtag or just join a convoy of people with Books are my Bag totes — I refuse to wash the Tracey Emin special edition. Now based at the Savoy, my salon is simple — a mix of established and emerging writers read new work, then we talk about it and them too. Nowadays, readers want to meet writers whether writers like it or not.
Much Ado Books in Alfriston very kindly put me up in their barn while I finished the last draft. At Lighthouse Books in Edinburgh I played fetch with Artemis, the bookshop dog, while perusing their radial shelves — a bookshop pet really helps trade, the cuter the better.
Every month, my salon celebrates a different indie. Douglas Mandel, who designs the menswear label, Kamkyl, advises, Spend ten years working in the industry to get to know exactly who and what you are, and to find a backer.. Designer Doo-Ri cant stress enough the importance of pedigree. No one knew who she was when she started, but the fact that she had worked for Geoffrey Beene for six years gave her credibility and Vogue came to her first show.
Its all about relationships. The fashion industry is based on relationships. The interactions you have with financial people, factory owners, fabric suppliers, sales reps, downloaders, and editors will largely determine your success. Fashion is a small industry. Everyone talks to everyone else, and word travels fast. In any interaction, there is opportunity. Its best to be nice. Bad behavior will come back to haunt you. Fashionably late is also a misnomer.
The shows run late because of crazy scheduling, but if you are late to meet a factory owner, downloader, or heel maker, you send a message of disrespect.
Listen to everyone. Many people, including patternmakers, salespeople, contractors, and downloaders, have a wealth of valuable knowledge and experience, which can help you. Listen to advice and criticism with an open mind and take every opportunity to learn.
Keep the door open. Learn to say no politely. If you arent interested in working with someone nowa stylist, sponsor, magazine, or supplierthere is always a chance you will want to later. Young pride shuts doors that designers often wish they could reopen.
Unfortunately, the most in-demand designer one season may find he is virtually forgotten the next. If you have a dispute or end a relationship, do it as professionally and amicably as possible. Be flexible and learn to compromise, but also be prudent on your own behalf. The business demands constant negotiation. Friend or foe? Obviously there is competition in the emerging designer community. If there are ten of you in a room, odds are several of you wont be in business in a year.
But you are all struggling with the same issues, and no one will understand your highs and lows better than another designer. Take advantage of the plentiful opportunities to meet each other, such as when waiting in line at Galaxy for buttons or when downloading fabric at Mood.
Introduce yourself to the designers exhibiting across the aisle at trade shows. You dont need to give away your address book, and dont expect other designers to share all their resources either, but many designers do help each other, meet regularly to commiserate, and barter for each others expertise and skills. You can work together to meet minimums, create selling opportunities, or just learn from each others mistakes. Its not a fair game. Some designers have strong advantagessocialite or celebrity friends, fluency in Mandarin, a family-owned factory, an influential husband, rich parents, or pull with Anna Wintour.
Others have the looks or charm to melt icebergs. One young female designer noted, Face it, Andre Leon Talley is not going to fall in love with me. Get over it. Insecurity is distracting, and bitterness is unproductive. Use the advantages you have, stay focused, and realize that in the end you make your own luck.
The ego. One designer told me the hardest part of the business is how it aff ects the ego. It hurts if the product doesnt sell or the press doesnt cover it, and it hurts if you compromise your vision to make the downloaders and editors happy. Make the product you believe in and realize that self-consciousness is a waste of time. Designers too often mistake people loving or disliking their designs for loving or disliking them. You Survived the Bad News If life as a design entrepreneur is right for you, dont be disheartened.
Shoe designer Kristen Lee says, At the end of the day it is extremely gratifying to do exactly what you set out to do despite the odds. Designer Steven Cox from Duckie Brown says, There are more highs than lows, and no matter the problem, theres always an answer. What was the biggest lesson you learned in your first year of running the business?
You never have enough money. Alison Kelly, womenswear, Project Runway contestant Dont do everything yourself. If you can hire someone to do it well, do it! And the most important thing is the product, not the press or the marketing. Jada Simons, Marie Marie, womenswear Not to trust retailers. I know this sounds harsh, but it is true.
I sold shoes to stores that I thought were reputable because they carried brands like Prada and Giuzeppi Zanotti. Now, I have a factor do credit checks on the stores, and I do not ship shoes to any store without good credit if they will not give me a credit card. Ruthie Davis, shoes Many new designers think that its mandatory to spend a lot of money on a public relations blitz or an expensive fashion show. In reality, when first starting out, your money is more effectively spent on developing quality samples and developing sales.
Public relations is only effective if customers are able to download product they see in magazines, on celebrities, etc. Build sales first and focus on promotion second. Romain Kapadia, menswear You have to spend money to make money. Paying people to help you is not a luxury, its a necessity. Its alright to learn as you go, but you cant do it alone.
Lily Raskind, Sunshine and Shadow, womenswear The importance of defining my customer.
For example, what type of garment will I design, who will wear it, where will they wear it, and the appropriate price range for that garment? Nicole Romano, womenswear, accessories Enjoy the ride.
I forgot to enjoy what I was doing while I was working on building the business. In the first year, I put so much emphasis on creating the perfect collection and having the best marketing plan that I lost site of the adventure. I have learned to take a step back and appreciate all that I have created and pat myself on the back every so often. Owning your own business and having it run while making money is a huge accomplishment beyond any tear sheet in a magazine. Try to find help before its too late.
Chloe, Samantha and Caillianne Beckerman, womenswear Its extremely important to set up a solid foundation to run a proper business. Having insurance, finding a proper warehouse to ship, and great showrooms are very important for your growth.
Grace Sun, womenswear Our biggest lesson in our first year was to see that it really is possible to build a company without many resources or financial security, and that no matter what happens, there is usually some way everything works out in the end. Cheyenne Morris, Tashkent, shoes That I couldnt do everything myself. Corinne for Society for Rational Dress, womenswear It only gets harder.
Its flattering to have people love the line and download the line. Once you start producing and having a demand, it becomes a totally different story. I started by making everything down to the fabric myself. Filling orders and keeping up with the demand when Im doing everything myself with my own techniquesits hard to find outsourcing that will work the way I am used to working. It becomes a puzzle to figure out which way is the best way.
I became the salesperson, the PR, the face, the producer, the manufacturer, and graphic designer of the company. I had too many roles, which now I am happy to say is starting to change. Karelle Levy, Krelwear, womenswear One of my biggest lessons was to learn to not take everything too personally.
I see my designs and work as an extension of myself, and the first year, hearing from my clients and facing the issues dealing with fit hurt my ego.
Grow thick skin for this business and take criticism as advice, not a threat to your self-dignity. Christine Alcalay, womenswear A big lesson I learned was that fashion is a serious business and much more complex then it seems.
Hajnalka Mandula, womenswear The first year is the easiest in fashioneveryone wants you when youre new. It does not have to be stressfulyou just have to time it right. Bliss Lau, accessories The Fundamentals The Plan Before you even start your own fashion business, you need to know where you are going and how you will get there. Showroom owner Greg Mills says, You really have to have passion and a plan.
Th ink about what you are bringing to the game, and how to get from point A to B, then to K and Z. It defines short-term and long-term goals along with the actionable steps to achieve them. It provides insight into the market opportunity, determines which resources you need, and proves the legitimacy of your business to potential suppliers, contractors, and investors.
Write It Yourself In exchange for a few thousand dollars, there are people who will write your business plan for you. While it is extremely tempting to hand off what appears to be an overwhelming taskdont. No one can make a plan for your company better than you, and you will learn much in the process. Th inking through each element of the business is invaluable to creating the company you want and preparing it to succeed.
It will point out your strengths and weaknesses, helping you anticipate and avoid problems. While you should not outsource the plan, you should avail yourself of resources that can help you. Designer Alice Roi took a business course at Parsons: The New School for Design that included writing a plan, and she says the process was really helpful.
Books, software, and templates are available online and at major bookstores. Websites, such as Entrepreneur. Business plans average 15 to 20 pages, but they can be any length and as simple, formal, or involved as you want.
Have someone review your plan once you are done. Bounce it off people in the fashion industry, as well as small business owners in nonfashion fields. SCORE advisors have decades of experience running businesses, and in New York, several were in the fashion and garment industry. The advisors counsel small business owners on a variety of business problems, review business plans, and help find funding.
Local economic development agencies also have resources and funding to encourage the growth of small area businesses. Take Your Time Its not all work. The business plan is part of the creative process, and the time you spend now will result in a plan that you will rely on and continue to evolve for years. Michael Spaulding of Gunmetal spent six months writing his page business plan before starting his business. Th ink through the entire process as if you had a label already. Know how much you will spend, research and choose your patternmakers and factories, plan all the sales steps before you even launch so that when you get the moment to hit you will be ready..
Spend time each quarter comparing your plan to your current situation to include unexpected opportunities as well as to stay focused and realistic about where you stand in respect to your goals. Elements of the Business Plan Executive Summary The executive summary is the beginning of the plan, but you will probably write it last. It is a short summary of the entire plan and outlines your objectives for the next one to five years.
The summary should refer to the major points in each section of the plan and clearly state any resources you need and how they would be used to make the business profitable. Make the summary as interesting and engaging as possible. This is the key section that potential investors read to gauge their initial interest in your business and decide whether they want to learn more. Company Overview The overview is a general explanation of your business and product. Start with some background on the fashion industry and the potential for your product in the market.
Explain the structure of the business and how it fits into the industry as a wholesale, retail, or custom operation. Specifically describe what you design and whether it targets high-end, mass, or niche markets or fits an important lifestyle trend. Include the attributes that make your product unique and different from the competition.
Describe your customers along with the strategy to reach them in terms of the stores in which you want to sell and the marketing and public relations efforts you plan to use. Finish this section with a top-line review of the money involved, the factors that will make you profitable, and the related time frame.
The Marketing and Sales Plan This is one of the most interesting parts of the plan, because here you explore the market and opportunities for your product. The market. Try to pinpoint the size of your market both in terms of number of customers and in dollars. If you design mens hats, research how much men spend annually on hats and what months of the year or geographic areas have the most sales. The Internet offers a wealth of statistics on the apparel industry, but you may also need to clock some hours at your local library to find free market information.
Be realistic about your market potential. Too many designers want to design a high-fashion, high- priced line, which in reality appeals to a very small market. The consumers who are fashion-forward are often young and dont have the money for high-end designer clothes. A designer can apply style to any of these markets and fill a need.
Each market is unique and evolving. For example, industry experts point out that in menswear, the high-end designer category is more difficult than womens because the number of stores that service this category is significantly smaller, there are fewer items to design, and its more difficult to grow the business exponentially each season. However, in the past year, a new contemporary market for menswear has emerged, offering new opportunity for designers.
The male mind-set is changing, and men are becoming more confident about style and less threatened by fashion. They are shopping more often and downloading a more diverse selection of items, and new boutiques are opening to sell fashion- forward mens products at a slightly lower price than the designer category. Even the department stores are growing their independent and contemporary designer sections for men.
When researching any market, identify the broad lifestyle trends that relate to your product. Dont forget the other forces that influence demand for your product. The weather plays a major role in the success of a coat business, and swimwear designers should focus on the sunny states where a hat and glove business would be less active.
The target customer. This section should reveal a clear and detailed understanding of your customers. How old are they? What are their income levels, hobbies, and occupations?
Where do they vacation? Include where they shop, how often, and whether they look for bargains or spend money freely. A customer may be influenced by trends or focused on the classics. A customer may be particular about fit, comfort, or glamour and might be motivated by brand, innovation, or luxury materials.
Be able to picture your customer and keep that mental image with you at all times. The unique selling proposition USP. What is different about the product you design, what will make it last, and whyamong the hundreds of labels already out theredoes yours stand out?
Ask yourself what niche you can fill for both the customer and the retailer. Sales strategy. The sales goals should outline the amount of product to be sold each season and to which accounts.
Explain your pricing strategy and include actual numbers for expected sales and projected growth rate from season to season, as well as details on how you developed these projections. Decide which accounts to focus on domestically and abroad and whether the product will be distributed in many stores nationwide or in a few select places. Outline your plan to hire a salesperson or showroom, to attend trade shows, or build a website.
Include promotional plans to support sales with press kits, runway shows, travel for in-store appearances, and catalog downloads. If you get to know them, they get to know you and your tastes far better than any algorithm can. Round Table Books has just opened a permanent shop in Brixton, south London.
In , the UK boasted 1, indies — more than twice what we have now. Indies are recovering, just like fish stocks, but they remain fragile and need government help just as much as they deserve our love. Books pile up on every surface, the half-finished lost among the much-loved, bath-swollen paperbacks compressed between hefty hardbacks.
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