Monthly Archives: February 2013

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: After The Show…”The Rules”

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IMG_0006  2013 WWD Magic Market Week

So now what? Well, to sum it all up, back to reality. I have to ask myself what do I do now; what is going to change, what life lessons have I learned, and how can I maximize this experience, to achieve dreams and reach goals?

Rule Number 1. Remember, nobody is going to chase your dreams like you.

You’re on your own. This is your baby, don’t expect others to understand or participate in this journey. But that’s ok, it doesn’t mean people don’t support you, they just might not get it. More than likely those people are not your target market, and that’s who needs to understand you as a designer.

Rule Number 2. Utilize your support system.

My biggest support system is my family. Chasing my dreams has been a pretty rough ride, and I just don’t know if I would have come this far without them. We all support each other and it creates a safety net. That stability adds to my confidence, and gives me flexibility to make moves like traveling to trade shows.

Rule Number 3. Synchronize your brand & your values

You represent your brand first. The life you live, and the choices you make are all influenced by your values. They define your personality from childhood, especially your creative/artistic perspective. Your brand should support that same value system. Before any celebrity spokesperson co-signs for you, you(the designer) should visually send a clear brand message.

Rule Number 4. Keep your social media profiles updated

Networking is an essential element of a success strategy. Social media allows you global networking opportunities, and is what currently drives productive promotion, as well as growth for small businesses and large corporations. When you first start out, lack of a solid, progressive online presence is an early death sentence. You miss access to markets that were very difficult to reach in the past. This offers the option of real time marketing, at an affordable rate, FREE. Remember to constantly update statuses and albums; including video. You’re basically filming commercials for your brand. Make sure the lighting is good, and the sound is clear. Use these outlets to maintain relevancy.

Rule Number 5. Pray on it.

A spiritual base is a must. Without it, you just won’t make it. You have to stay mentally on point when you’re trying to make it in any field. Constantly pray, meditate, do yoga, and try to go to church. It will give your mind clarity. No matter what your religious preference is, give thanks, communicate, and maintain a relationship with that higher power.

Rule Number 6. Believe.

Believe in yourself and go hard. Because if you don’t trust your vision enough to give it beyond 100%, an investor or a customer will not give you one red cent(or one of whatever their currency is)of their money. You have to be able to stand on your ideas, support them, and sell them. Otherwise the visual representations won’t work.

Rule Number 7. Know your shit.

This may sound crass, but I’m not going to sugar coat it. Get as educated as much as possible. At the minimum you have to have an understanding of sewing, construction, illustration, basic design, basic fashion design, basic technology, art, basic technical design, trends, some fashion history, and sourcing. You can never obtain too much knowledge. So enroll in every workshop, seminar, class, online group, webinar; and read every book, magazine and e-book on the fashion business(design/art).

Ok…no matter what anybody says or what happens keep going and moving forward. Obama didn’t use the word forward as his campaign keyword for nothing. The phrase is so simple yet so true. Control all that you can in your life and go with the flow. Stay driven, confident, and creative; and you can take this life journey wherever you want.

Stay tuned MUAH aaand scene…

TSX Design House: Beyond New Style, Where Fashion Is Art In 3d

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Diary Of A Fashion Designer: #WWDMagicMarketWeek day 3

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So, the show is over and it’s time to go back to work. I have hours, if not a few days worth of paperwork, however, everything from here on out will take my brand to the next level. This show is about gaining knowledge, making connections, and gauging whether or not you have what it takes to make it in the industry. At this point, someone from the show told me I have the whole package, and I’m going to roll with that.

I was impressed by the magnitude of the booths, and the showmanship of the brands; but not the product. It was also surprising how rude some of the vendors were. I had money to spend but when I did see some things I wanted for my store, the vendors were just so non-personable, I see why some brands struggle and never get off the ground. Every seminar talked about customer service, and I guess those guys didn’t get the memo. The menswear side of things was weird, this skinny jean and tight shirt look ruled this year and I don’t like it. I feel sorry for the guys, their fashion outlook is somewhat drab. Even the urban-wear was too metro-sexual for my taste, I prefer a more masculine look, with more color. But I’m open to it if they add some “ease” to the stylelines and silhouettes.

What have I learned? As I may have stated earlier I learned first hand about doing business in China, labor laws, copyrights, trademarks, patents, trends, online retailing, and most importantly I found out where the money is. Because isn’t that the bottom line of any business venture? In the coming weeks I’ll be breaking down all this information and sharing it in these blogs, because I’m sure there are designers out there who just couldn’t make it to this event, and I’ve been in their shoes. So I want to give them just a little piece of what I have, which is the tools to go from chasing a dream, to catching up to reality…stay tuned, MUAH aaand scene.

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Diary Of A Fashion Designer: #WWD Magic Market Week Day 2 PLATFORM-Shoes

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I came here to learn what the trends are, where the industry is going, source fabric/supplies/new brands for a new store, learn about new technology, e-commerce and to network. But I had the oppurtunity to experience shoe merchandising at PLATFORM.

The shoe portion of the show is a whole different monster. I am drowning in footwear right now. This section is very chic, sleek, and on point. The diversity at Platform is what draws the buyers. No matter what you’re looking for, it’s here, and ready to be bought.…

Now I have to do some research on the shoe market. I met some shoe designers and manufacturers who I’ll be doing business with in the future. I like that they are open minded enough to deal with a small up and coming business like mine. But I guess that’s how any industry grows, by building relationships with up-and comers, while maintaining relationships with veterans. It’s crazy, I love shoes, but I don’t want to see a shoe store for a long time. However, I noticed that the show floor has more money flowing than any other place. Deals are going on all around me and it’s buzzing with activity. Once my brand gains momentum, it will me time to consider designing shoes to match my purses… stay tuned, MUAH aaand scene.

Diary Of A Fashion Designer: #WWD Magic Market Week 2013 Day 1(morning session)

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TSX Design House is embarking on a weeklong journey on the fashion frontier. I’m here at WWDMagic and I’m so excited. Fashion at its fullest! All the movers and shakers in the industry are here, including me and I am determined to rub elbows and leave my mark. This is only the beginning of my journey to the luxury brand catwalk, and I am beyond ready. This week will put me up on the latest trends, e-commerce solutions, as well as branding and licensing information.

What will I gain from this experience? Hopefully some clarity for the direction of my brand, marketing solutions, and networking oppurtunities. I’m trying to learn how to make money within my craft, and here I can gain some international perspective on the apparel frontline. What sells, and what bombs out? I am hungry for knowlege, and I have an appetite to win! Gotta go, time for my first seminar, and then I’ll walk the floor! MUAH, stay tuned aaand scene…#urbancouturelife