Getting Your Fashion Collection To Market (Weekend)
How do you promote and sell your fashion collection into major retail stores as well as independent boutiques and websites worldwide? Led by an industry expert, this course will untangle the many routes you can take in order to deliver your clothing line to your customers, increase your sales and develop your brand...
Taught by: Clare Stephens.
How do you promote and sell your fashion collection into major retail stores as well as independent boutiques and websites worldwide? Led by an industry expert, this course will untangle the many routes you can take in order to deliver your clothing line to your customers, increase your sales and develop your brand.
You will learn how to approach and sell into the key retail stores that suit your brand profile and price points, such as Selfridges, Liberty, Topshop, Asos, Revolve or Dover St Market. How do you get to these key buyers? When you get there, how should you present your collection and what are the communication tools that you would need to support your collection at retail?
During the past 15 years the way makers reach their consumers has changed radically and vice versa. Core elements such as making a product and selling it remain constant. However, the traditional selling models of wholesale/retail and suppliers reaching customers via retail specialists (online or in stores) have become more blurred.
If you dream of having a successful fashion business one day, come along and get some useful and practical tips from someone who has done it!
- Your manufacturing base: suppliers, timelines and deliveries.
- Approaching buyers, agents and distributors: pros and cons, and how much they take from your margin.
- Multichannel retailing: making it work for your brand and sales.
- Selling directly on marketplaces: advantages and disadvantages.
- Financial tools: having cash flow plans in place to deal successfully with larger buyers.
- The legal stuff: trademarks, terms and conditions of business.
- Cutting through the fluff: managing social media, press and PR to your advantage.
- Key terminology that any designer/brand owner should be aware of.
- Concessions: large stores often offer concessions rather than buying in the brand. We look at how this works.
- Non-seasonal cycles and working outside the traditional buying seasons to meet consumer demand.
- How to reach the 'not so obvious' buyers
- How to respond to ‘unknown’ buyers who contact you directly.
The opportunity to take a niche product to market and then reach enough customers worldwide to sustain the business has never been so high. Book your place if you want to find out more.
Who should take this course?
- Fashion designers new to the market who have an existing collection/product that they wish to wholesale into various retail outlets (online and in-store) and expand their overall customer base.
- It is suitable for those keen to explore the advantages of direct sales online via their own website or if they are considering setting up their own store.
- Those with some previous business experience elsewhere wishing to move into the fashion market.
Level: This is not a course for beginners,. You should have a degree in a fashion-related subject AND a fairly developed idea for the product(s) you want to sell, or some experience of working in the fashion sector. Your product will be the epicentre of your business.
- A good understanding of spoken English.
- You should already have a range of products ready to go to the market
What will I get from the course?
- This is an opportunity for you to explore your initial ideas for your fashion label/brand. Due to the real-life content of the course, it will give you the tools to identity alternative and more profitable ways to take your original work to your customers.
- By the end of the course you should get a better understanding of issues around costs and how to manage budgets.
- You will explore the many ‘invisible people’ in the industry running small but very creative and profitable own label businesses who are often the main drivers and creators of the trends that then filter up and down the fashion mainstream.
"The tutor has been strongly professional and focused on the topics of the course. She has been really attentive to listen to our personal background and gave us very good tips that matched our personal situation. She is also a really nice person, involving everybody of us in the course during discussions and sharing. I really came back home inspired beyond my expectations and with a knowledge that for my future plans is fundamental" - S de Vito, August 2017
"This course is great! The tutor has great knowledge and experience and we covered a lot. I feel inspired" - K Pinkowska, March 2017
"It was great that the tutor had so much hands on experience - the tutor was lovely" - A Spanggaard, Nov 2016
Please note: This course is for students aged 18 and older
Clare Stephens has run her own design/clothing business since 1985 starting with a market stall set up during her college years. Specialising in niche trends and products, she found that these gaps in the market were the most consistently profitable for a small business.
Developing a large vintage clothing business from the late 80’s, she was at the forefront of many niche trends, including the de-construction of unwanted clothing and turning it into new saleable shapes, exporting to Japan large quantities of heritage clothing and working a fast stock turnover model to keep the large shop she co-owned fresh. The Vintage business ran for 15 years.
In the late 90’s she opened a further boutique in Brighton that ran profitably for 12 years. To provide stock for the stores, she ran her design studio in Brick Lane from 1999 – 2005 and added a small wholesale business supplying independent mid-high end boutiques.
Developing a niche body-con look in the mid-noughties led to being stocked on Asos from 2008 until 2016, she developed this look into a mainstream trend that was stocked at many levels of the fashion cycle including Selfridges, concessions in Topshop, House of Fraser Online, Lipsy Stores, Bank, Nelly, Zoot, Namshi, independent boutiques and online stores worldwide.
Please bring with you to the first class:
- a notepad and pen
- line sheets, look books, and samples of your collection if you have any of these available
- laptop or tablet