After years of being an invited speaker at tradeshows, fashion weeks and schools I have noticed how little real life information there is out there. I have also found, after taking several workshops and seminars myself, the information is not genuine or complete. In fact many are just hour long pitches trying to sell you something.
We have developed this program for the designers to help guide them through all the steps needed to be successful.
The speakers we have chosen are all industry veterans but their names may not be familiar to you. Real industry moguls are not household names, they prefer to stay out of the limelight. Think Jessica Simpson. She is the “front” of a billion dollar (yes that is a real number) clothing and accessories brand but the “people” behind her are the ones that made her that billion.
This group of speakers is not made up of professional speakers that might have hidden agendas. They are true garmentos, they love this industry, have great passion for it and are taking some of their personal time to give back. If someone is speaking about buying you can be assured they are a buyer and not a consultant. If someone is talking about production be assured they are not a factory owner but a production specialist. I think you get the idea.
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Schedule of Speakers
Understanding how the Industry Works
An overview of why some designers make it and some never will. Fashion, design and talent are not enough to make it in this industry. Have you ever wondered why all great designers have a “day job”? Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton – Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel – Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein – John Galliano for Christian Dior – Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. This review of the industry will help you set your long term and short term goals
Forecasting and Developing a Signature
So many designers look the same and the market is saturated with many of the same product lines. Understanding consumer behavior, market share and trends while developing your own “look” is the key to standing out in today’s market.
Getting it Right
So many new designers waste incredible amounts of money trade marking, copyrighting and filing for patents. This class will highlight what is really needed, when you should start the process and the cost. It will share with you how to protect your brand, the truth about design protection and international licensing.
Design, Sampling and Production
Most new designers take the “do it yourself” approach to sampling. They do everything from buying the fabrics to being the messenger from pattern maker, to cutter, to factory. This workshop will make the difference in having a hobby (producing anything less than 100 units we feel is a hobby) and a business. Design communication, sourcing the right factory, negotiating price & quality controls are all topics covered.
Using Social Media to launch a new brand
It’s been very well documented that you need a minimum of 2 million dollars to build a brand, but with today’s social media the cost could be as little as $25 a week. This workshop will explore some gorilla marketing and editorial placement.
Making the Sale
You could have the best, well priced new product in the world but if you don’t get the sale you have nothing but a dream. This workshop talks about hitting the streets (yes that is the only way you are going to make your first around of sales) tradeshows, and market weeks. It will help you set a budget and game plan. It will also cover how to get a buyer’s attention.
Financing the Line
So many young designers limit themselves for fear of not having the money to produce the collection. This workshop will teach you how to limit risk, how to develop an investors pitch and what to expect from them. You will learn the difference between, Investors, Venture Capitalist, Angels, Banks, Money men, SBA and Grants and decide which one is right for you.
Logistics, Distribution Center & Operations
Here is the tricky “back office” stuff no one wants to deal with yet it could break your business. Getting your goods to the store on time and the way they want it packed is no easy task. Many young designers think it’s fun to pack the shipments from home. That gets old fast. This workshop will help you see the big picture and have your supply chain in place. You will learn how your DC can zero out to no cost and the importance of CRM. Don’t know what DC and CRM are? Take the class.