How To Get Your Fashion Designs in Boutiques: The Inside Scoop From a Fashion Buyer!

Getting your fashion designs in stores can give you major credibility, exposure and prestige! Retail stores have large customer bases, lots of foot traffic, and well-marketed online sites that can really help to launch your brand!

For new designers, I recommend that you focus on getting your designs sold in small boutiques before trying to get into department stores to gain exposure and to learn the ropes. Small boutiques are usually more flexible for new designers and you can use the exposure in their store to help build up press about your brand.

Trend & Lifestyle
Do your designs cater to the stores target demographic? Do your designs fit into the lifestyle of the consumer? Does your product work with what is fashionable/ on trend in their stores? Make sure that you visit stores to make sure your brand makes sense there before setting up meetings with Fashion Buyers. You don’t want to waste a ton of time trying to sell your hipster clothing line to a store, only to realize that they focus on purchasing wear-to-work clothing for businesswomen.

Price Range
Do you understand what customers are willing to pay for your product? How much are customers paying right now for similar products? Have you done your research? Stores have to be able to make a profit and you need to make sure you have priced your designs for you to make a profit before even meeting with any buyers. In a tough economy, Buyers are playing it safe when it comes to price, so this can make or break you.

Hanger Appeal
Does your product sell itself just by being on a hanger or is it tricky and only looks good when a customer tries it on? Your product must function and look fabulous with no explanation/convincing from sales people. Product needs to have hanger appeal that will convince buyers that customers will see your product in their stores and will just have to buy it on the spot!

Distribution
Fashion Buyers will want to know who else you sell your designs to. Are you established in other stores, like small boutiques or do have a big online following? Will your designs be exclusive to their store or is it the same product that you are selling in other stores?

Delivery
You have to be able to ship your product on the agreed date. You cannot be late. Trust me, you don’t want to be late…it can become a very, very expensive mistake! If you are late on shipping your product, a buyer might decide to just cancel their order all together, which can potentially put you out of business if it’s a big order because you’ve already spent the money to make the product and now you have nowhere to sent it. Also, how often will you ship new collections? Generally, most brands ship new designs monthly, some ship new product twice a month.

Are you Ready?
Fashion Buyers want to make sure you are really ready to be in business. Their stores credibility is at stake if something goes wrong with your product (such as quality issues, late shipments, etc). Stores are taking a risk by doing business with you and do not want to be let down if you can’t deliver on your agreements.

Next Steps
If Fashion Buyers are excited about your line and you meet all of the applicable criteria that I mentioned in the post, they may want to give you an order. Buyers may want to “test” or try your product in 1 of their stores or in a handful of their stores. You will sell the product to them at a cost price (set by you) and you and the buyer will work out the rest of the details from there.

It can be a difficult for a brand new designer to launch their designs in well-known stores because of the lack of credibility and selling history as a newbie. This is why I recommend that new designers start out trying to sell to small boutiques. You can start out with a small order, as a test and hopefully grow from there.

Some new designers may decide to start out by doing consignment with small boutiques. Selling on consignment basically means that your designs will be put up for sale in the store and you will only get paid for what sells. Just be aware that this concept works to the stores advantage, not yours (there is basically no risk for the store if the product doesn’t sell). You will have to take back what doesn’t sell (or you can try sell it to the store at a discounted price).

Lucrative Fashion Jobs Abound

The latest fashion industry news has announced a great number of varied fashion positions that eager enthusiasts must fill up. Numerous jobs abound in the fashion world. One can be a model or designer – every skilled individual is needed to take up an exciting job. Still, the industry is not just about designing or modeling – it is so broad that there are immense fashion career opportunities available to those who want them.

Best Fashion Jobs Available (Aside from Modeling and Clothes Designing):

Even if an individual has no skill or talent to start his own clothing line, there are actually tons of other opportunities that will allow him to become a part of the fashion industry. There are jobs – and not just as a model or designer – that anyone else can enjoy doing within the industry.

Fashion Merchandiser

A competent merchandiser spots anything that can be turned into the latest fashion hit. For an individual to do well as a fashion merchandiser, he must have the instinct to know if an emerging style has the potential to become a hot fashion item.

He knows wearable items that sell, and identifies ones that will forever remain as stocks in department stores. A good fashion merchandiser performs product development – from the conceptualization to the final production and marketing of the product.

Fashion Brand Manager

Anyone who is serious in selling clothes knows that he is promoting and selling a brand. The main responsibility of a brand manager is to create an image for his fashion brand. He does this by developing unique ways to present such brand to consumers. Ideally, a brand manager possesses a degree in Merchandise Product and Brand Development to do well in this career.

Accessories Designer

For the individual who believes that he has an eye for accessories, and can create ones that can make a lasting impression to people, he must consider a lucrative career in accessories designing. To do well in this job, accessories designer must go to the hottest accessories oases such as fairs and trade exhibits. From these events, he can gather helpful inspirations to create unique designers for his own line of accessories.

Fashion Buyer

Fashion buyers are responsible for maximizing the sales and profits of a fashion boutique. They are a step ahead when it comes to fashion trends. This allows them to be ready to provide clients with the clothes that will satisfy their fashion preference. Apart from the selection of merchandise for the store, a fashion buyer is involved with its promotion and sale.

Definitely, the fashion industry is one of the most vibrant industries today. This is why there has been a great supply for jobs of all types, each of which zeroes in on a particular area in fashion. Most fashion industry news point to the fact that such availability of fashion jobs will remain on the rise for a couple more years.

Gen Art: A Fashion Organization That New Fashion Designers Need To Know About!

Are you a new fashion designer who is looking for new ways to develop and promote your fashion collection, while gaining exposure to some of the fashion industry’s most respected movers and shakers? If so, you definitely should read on to learn more about this organization!

One of the most challenging aspects of becoming a fashion designer is having the right connections. As a new designer, it’s key that you have access to fashion buyers, boutique owners, and amazing photographers to help you to launch your new fashion collections.

Gen Art is a popular arts organization that focuses on developing and showcasing the skills and talents of up & coming fashion designers, artists, musicians and film-makers. The organization provides new fashion designers with an opportunity to showcase their work to a credible audience of tastemakers & fashion industry leaders.

The management of Gen Art has recently decided to re-launch their “Fresh Faces in Fashion” Program, which is partially responsible for the rise of the careers of some of today’s hottest young fashion designers, such as Zac Posen, Geren Ford, Rebecca Taylor, Vena Cava & Phillip Lim.

Gen Art has re-organized its organization and has big plans to help develop new fashion designers by providing them with the support required to show their fashion designs on the runway. Gen Art’s “Fresh Faces in Fashion” Program will also teach designers how to build successful fashion lines and get product distribution, while providing priceless exposure to some of the biggest names in the fashion industry! The organization will soon be seeking designers to join their spring 2012 “Fresh Faces in Fashion” Program!

Elizabeth Shaffer, Gen Art’s Co-President, stated that “We want to be able to introduce designers who may not be ready to show on the runway but are well on their way. We can provide guidance early on and get them out there. You can still sell and create signature pieces online and develop an online following before you’re ready to show on the runway.” The newly relaunched “Fresh Faces in Fashion” sounds like a perfect launching pad for new designers!

When the fashion program was initially introduced in 1995, social media was pretty much non-existent and online shopping was unheard of. With the “Fresh Faces in Fashion” program being re-launched, Gen Art will maximize social media usage and various e-commerce vehicles to aid in building the careers of the fashionistas that they decide to take under their wings.