Plug The Holes- Fashion-Art- Creative Enterprise and Tech Startup

The times they are a-changin’.

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Plug The Holes, Plug The Holes…  I cannot stress this enough. The challenge is that too many refuse to acknowledge their holes exist!  I am working with business owner and spend unnecessary time convincing them to address their issues. When they do identify holes and cracks, time and money are serious issues. But the holes, the  cracks that no one (but you)  can see WILL Sink your Ship.

  • A hole is a problem that allows loss, allows water in and eventually sinks entire ship.
  • A crack is solution that appears to do the job but on close scrutiny allows “bleeding.
  • Then there is plain out bad structural design.

Finally we look at who is responsible the boat builder or the person making the design.  Too often business owners chart their own policies and in so doing create extremely dangerous vehicles, but they are often the ones quickest to blame the craftsmen they hire to execute their vision.  Repeatedly I have seen this … in the end the buck stops with the captain of your ship YOU!

Crack… a PR initiative without operational and product strategy  to increase sell through!

My background is fashion and creative products…  I can get a ton of images to share via social media… yet ask a designer for details on the product, pricing and delivery… few have production figured out!  Yet they head to PR experts who tell them to contact Bloggers! So Bloggers are cashing in selling ads to the eyes the designers attract for the designer…

Till they fill in the bits and pieces that are missing  sales won’t change!


Online and offline this is a problem. If you are closed because there is  no sales person in the store  you lose sale. If you left the store open fully stocked, properly displayed and with a self-service cash register… your off line sales will fall flat.  In fact  I’ve seen two different sales person have  varying success with the same set up. Lack of sales ales support is A HUGE HOLE. Yet online most web sales ports are set up without that support!

CURRENT FASHION WEEK/ FASHION SHOW Model Many designers aspire to do a Fashion Week … to reach buyers.  The goal in a fashion week supposedly is sales to buyers … some settle for press.

I run Brooklyn Fashion Week and continually speak to designers ready to show, ask them what their goals are and how they are preparing to parlay their 15 Sec of fame   to cah many are lost. To Properly stage a Fashion Show for 12-15 , with proper lighting  and amenities will cost an Independent designer $3000 -$8000 (by current standards.) These shows however are at night, usually on a shared stage/Platform so the designer  has  little or no control of their presentation.  What press is there may get a fleeting 30 second glimpse of an item captured with a digital devise! For many this may seem enough… but to convince a buyer whether trade or consumer to take a second look this is not enough. There are several holes in the current show/sale model.

A designer’s item has attracted attention an  editorial is being  considered. The responsible editors will ask about availability few designers doing the new slate of “Fashion Weeks’ have pricing production sometimes evn sizing worked out.. as for shipping and delivery.

INFRASTRUCTE… How we sell in a digital age needs to change.. but are current models working.

I have suspended Brooklyn Fashion Week taking time out to plug some huge holes in the current process.  While we did this some designers were brave enough to explore new options. In return we saw the problems from the designers.  the consumers , the retailers and the industry professional’s view point.

Now I have personally been in  each role so I bring to the table a unique perspective..

  • Wrong size… on the rack
  • Wrong concept of what the consumer actually buys/want
  • Where do you want to hang… wrong  consumer profile
  • No sales marketing collateral
  • Wrong sales marketing collateral
  • All pomp no substance… POOR CONSTRUCTION
  • No production
  • Poor production… what ordered is not what is delivered
  • No merchandising to specialize for differences across  markets

Blame the tools… The tech solutions are faulty.

Etsy does not work…  I heard this from designers at a meeting.  Neither do a whole lot of  other tools.  Get independent designers in a room and they start an honest discussion about what they need, what works, what does not.

I can use a razor to cut cloth… if I’m doing a garment a scissors may be fine… for production an electric cutter is needed. How these technologies work depends on your need. But if you have never even used a razor… its very existence seems revolutionary!  Such is the fascination with Fashion Tech. For those new o the field these tech startups seem like tools but from the designers perspective… even as I learned in barcampNYC2011  from   the consumers… they do not cut it!


But these sites are making money …  as media channels, yes. A successful fashion sector is not  about eyes on a page, data harvesting or  sales transaction. IT is about successfully addressing the clothing needs of the consumer and giving  apparel that allows them to express who they are!

So let’s look at the FIT issue…

I recently responded to a post on PSFK about 3d fitting.  It’s current failure on addressing real issues that clothing bought with the current solutions, for the vast majority will not work and that these are toys not tools! The individual  essentially said that  digital fit cannot be achieved. That from an individual pitching investors on digital fit! In fact ask any  business what they need … they all say “money” … show me a business plan for profit… few have figured that out, yet they ask for funding and investment!

In fact in the last few years the focus have been on “branding” and image!  So now we have the equivalent of fancy boats with rudders filled with holes and cracks! It is not the popular choice. .. It takes too long.

The challenge is that few who actually are making these tools or apps have little or no fashion expertise! It’s why I avoid most current fashion tech panels. The video follow up streams usually justify my stance. Even then perception is important. If you have never sold then any sale is an improvement. If you sell then you are looking for solutions that cut cost and save time.

I’ll solve your problem… and since  I know all I  don’t need to address YOUR need! 

A few years back I pushed for a Fashion Tech  Unconference… in the earliest  planning  stages I took  technologist into the  space of a Fashion designer… One of the First acts was to show them the “Books”, collections of magazine fashion clippings and suggested a solution  was needed…  2009.  No one paid attention.  This year StyleSaint debuted and was heralded as an “Innovation”. So a cliping   tools for the fashion sector is finally here,


So what’s wrong!

StyleSaint was developed with a fashion expert and a technologist… LOVE IT

BTW I’ve signed up  in support … but  until I can use it for business it’s a toy!

StyleSaint supports one design house and as there are other feature missing  before it becomes an effective tools. Presently  it’s great model , for that house.  As a fashion tech tool for independent designers, it ignores the very core of the independent nature and the context within which they work. Thus falling way short of what they need!  The dilemma startups are looking to disrupt not address valuable development dollars are being spent on cabins rather than building out the boat itself!



Even before we conceptualized the Tibiae Tech Solution, I began taking a serious look at the concept of plugging holes! That was as way back as 2003 at the request of fellow Entrepreneurs who admired my business techniques.  Since then I have had the fortunes of testing my theories In Real world situations… including the adoption and adaptation of technology!  I also see firsthand the misguided RESULTS of many popularly held beliefs. It was during the last few year we took on The Mantra of  “Plug The  Holes”

While the holes in each niche may differ, we’ve developed an approach that helps us identify them and work through to solutions.  Identifying the holes…

Oh by the way …

It’s not enough simply identify the holes and bring in what’s needed to get fix it … you need to APPLY THE Solutions!




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