Getting Your Fashion Collection to Market
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.
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 product is the epicentre of your business/future business. We will cover various issues you may face regarding your manufacturing base, such as 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.
• We will cover 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.
• We will also look at non-seasonal cycles whereby the designer may work outside the traditional buying seasons manufacturing to meet consumer demand.
• You'll learn about various ways to reach the 'not so obvious' buyers and how to respond to ‘unknown’ buyers who contact you directly.
By the end of this course you should have a good understanding of how to you’re your niche product to market and reach enough customers to sustain your business.
Who should take this course
• Students who have an existing collection or those who are thinking of creating a collection that they wish to wholesale into various retail outlets (online and in-store) and expand their overall customer base.
• It is also 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.
• For those students who already have their own collection there will be an opportunity to receive specific feedback on suggested ways to proceed.
• For those without an existing collection, there will be advice given on how to move forward with their ideas and plans.
A good understanding of spoken English.
A fashion collection, or an idea for a collection, that you would like to take to market.
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 to the first session:
A notepad and pen
Samples (digital or otherwise) of your collection if you have any available
Laptop or tablet