I was recently challenged to ACT to hold a trade show; well I responded ” THERE ARE TRADE SHOWS.”
I’ve attended them
I send out notices about them
I’ve planned them
The first at the age of 20, circa 1986 in Trinidad it was successful and I personally attracted offers from a Canadian Buyer! Then again in 2006 VBAS, Sponsored by Macy’s attended by Macy;’s buyers. I’m proud to say we really impressed one of the Head decision makers with the quality.
I’ve followed our designers through them.
I’ve recommended them and had designers call me for advise on maximizing their sales at them. One spent $7000 and wrote $200000 in orders following my advice… but he did not go back the next year why…
Later that same day another post on “promoters” and lack of professionalism at these types of ‘fashion Events” .
In this month alone I have had at least 7 intense debates about fashion and trade.
Why…The format is outdated and does not work, as I said to one store owner…
IT’S TIME TO SOLVE THE SUPPLY CHAIN PROBLEM
Yes the first step is to admit that there are problems yet few designers and buyers even the ones crying for change will admit this. We’ve tested several formats and every-time we hit a wall or challenges, I took the time to work through them.
I also know the costs and that for buyers, especially small boutique owners, coming out is an expensive gesture so I have been working on technology to cut through these challenges.
The goal is selling product… You cannot sell what designers do NOT have. I am Not interested in selling mass produced products, my consumer is not interested in buying mass produced products. There is nothing wrong with that sector… It simply is not mine, it does not fulfill the need of the consumer I enjoy serving.
On the other hand I’ve been thinking PROMOTERS are not the ones we should depend on to bring the trade as is presently the practice on the indie scene, nor is the events they throw the setting to sell to trade. When you are the draw at a Promoter’s event you are talent and YOU should be treated and paid as talent, it is a concept the maker as product is yet to grasp.
I’ve also observed this from the neutral standpoint of fashion editor. I stopped attending promoters shows since they did not address my business needs. Wrong Lighting, Distracting Noise, Inappropriate comments, no privacy and I could not really see the offerings. These promoters promise the hungry “exposure” what I need as a design business is Sales, as an editor, information.
I’ve been kicked off promoters’ list because of my stance and one designer, who knows my view point keeps asking promoters to add a trade component then gets upset when they get it wrong! A trade show takes expertise and experience and trade show should have trickle down as well as residual effect.. A trade event or platform needs the right conditions to be effective.
I am NOT speaking about trade shows that are at Javits. usually over 1000 vendor strong, after the first aisle, I zone out. The question is how effective are these. We need to reconfigure the platform for show and sale especially of creative products and services.
In 2007 I was challenged to rethink the trade platform using the technology Iwas heralding as innovative. Today the FASHION Tech Space is Littered with Tech companies promising to “get it right” .
What does successful selling look like!
“RIGHT” is comparative.
For the new designer $16000 is great, as a designer who has seen $100000 earned in less than 10 months of a the first year in a new venture, that figure is not even nearing the mark of “possibilities” . Platforms like FAB.com and modaoperandi.com only hint at new possibilities.
- FIT Sizing – Measurements
- Color and Theme calibration
- Quality control
As an “insider” someone who has been designer, buyer, editor, and incubator leader, I have a unique viewpoint that of an Eco-system. Concepts such as “group Buying”, pretail, Crowdsourcing, social commerce and even social networking are NOT new. They were concepts that facilitated the survival of my mothers dress shop. So how do we leverage these and the new technology to create a better eco-system. Old Habits are not easy to change even for the the Fashionably Fickle
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