Many people think that designers create collections to showcase them for runway shows, only to begin the process over again, and that is their success story. The runway shows, fashion weeks, and presentations however are only preparation for the beginning stages of becoming a successful designer. Selling your collection, after showing it on the runway, is where the real success happens.
Selling you collection depends on your demographic and target audience which may be boutique, department store, or online shoppers. It is your job to define which of these categories your customer fits in. After taking this step, follow-up with buyers to get your collection on the racks and in the press to begin the selling process. If you’re wondering how I know this, it is because I am a fashion designer. Read my tips to the selling process after your New York Fashion Week showcase and remember to follow my journey the FashionMingle.net series “The Making of Faith by Jessica“.
My Tips to Begin Selling Your Fashion Collection to Retailers
- Network, Network, Network: New York Fashion Week is not only about sharing fashion. It is also about networking and making connections. Whether you are hosting your own show or also attending other events, be sure to keep your business cards in hand. Prepare to to share your card with members of the press and retail buyers. They are people who may contribute to your career as a designer in the future.
- Pitch It: Putting yourself out there terrifies many emerging designers, however it is the first way to get your collection into stores. Promptly after your show send out emails to buyers, press, bloggers, stylists, and celebrities to promote your brand and get your collection responses.
- Public Relations, Promotion, and Press: Whether you hire a PR team or not, getting your public relations and social media strategy under control is essential to getting press on your new collection after the runway show. My advice to emerging designers is to save the money spent on a PR team and hire an intern, or manage it yourself. Invest your extra money in developing your next collection.
- Do the Research: Since you have already established your target audience, it is important to research which retailers your customers shop. After you’ve done this contact the buyers and pitch your look book to await a response from the retailer’s buyers team.
- Follow Up: After you pitch your brand and create a quality online appearance, be patient for responses. Keep in mind that following up after a week with all of the buyers and press does show dedication. Such persistence may cause potential buyers to reconsider if they were originally not interested in selling your collection, convincing them to respond.
Scheduling buying appointments and selling your collection is first priority at the outset of launching your collection, especially if you want to use the momentum of your runway show to kick off your business’s selling process. Keep in mind that success in the fashion industry is determined by the customers and the buyers. While there are tips to success, there is no formula. Keep an open mind to opportunities and these time-tested tips to make your brand grow in this exciting industry.
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