NYFW felt Differently this Year

Granted I wasn’t sure until end of January if I was going to attend this year. So I was a little late on sending out RSVPs. But I ended up attending 3 shows and showcased at Essence Fashion House with my client Ese Azenabor which was more than enough. I was glad that all shows listed on the official calendar were at Spring Studios and not all across town as in previous years. Big trend this year was the influence of Asian designers. More and more Asian designers are trying to break through the U.S. market and have the financial & moral support from their home country. Another major change this year was the charging of an entrance fee of $550+ to the once invite-only shows. It is important to mention that only a certain amount of total seats were sold and that the majority was still invite based. NYFW can be very expensive for designers, so I understand trying to recuperate some of their investment. But some argue that this trend could destroys the industry and keep the real industry leaders away by eliminating the notion of exclusivity. Instead of selling tickets designers could reach out to corporate partners that will help offset the cost. The presence of A-List celebrities and Editors in Chief was also missing at many shows instead Reality Tv Stars and unknown influencers kept snapping selfies sitting front row this year.

The first show I attended was Randi Rahm:

Randi Rahm who’s known for providing gowns to the Bachelorette cast, presented her latest Fall/Winter Evolution Couture/INK for NYFW 2020 at the Public Hotel. Her signature gowns, many inspired by the art of tattoo, stylish party-goers in their luscious dark and gem tones reflected the mood of the evening. I believe the designer was going for a Moulin Rouge vibe but the space was very small for the number of guests in the building. There were approximately only 30 guest seated and everything seemed very unorganized. The runway was elevated in a short T-shaped layout. I’m 5’11 and wore heels so I was able to see standing but the rows behind me couldn’t see a thing. What I loved was that the runway show featured models of all ages, sizes, and gender identities. The garments were beautiful with very sleek silhouettes, high slits, mesh illusion sleeves and backs.

Photo Credits: Getty Images

The second show I attended was the Asia Fashion Collection:

An incubation project produced and supported by Vantan Inc. and PARCO, in cooperation with other Asia-based partners. AFC is passionate about widening the reach of the fashion industry by fostering the growth of the continent’s most promising up-and-coming designers. This year’s designers were KTOKA – Japan VEGAN TIGER – South Korea, ito – Japan, zizi shi – Parsons (born in China), chalisa – Thailand, SEANNUNG – Taiwan, aNANA tih sayim  – Japan

Third show and one of the most fun shows was Cynthia Rowley:

I was granted behind the scenes access and could witness the prep work of the glam team as well as get a first peek of the looks and runway production layout before the general audience. Hair was sponsored by Moroccanoil and Make-Up by Bobbi Brown. Produced by IMG Focus, models strutted up and down the U-shaped runway.

I loved the unexpected element they included in their show. They scattered models in the audience to storm the runway and shock their seat-mates. People were literally gasping with their mouths wide open.

“Airy dresses over t-shirts, feather-weight silks and cotton, a collage of spicy colors, faux fur
and suede created a season less mix of layers. While it was a mash-up of color, texture, and
print, every piece was designed with intention and is produced in limited quantities keeping
fashion’s impact on the environment in mind.” – Cynthia Rowley PR. The overall theme was very playful with a 70s flair. The models had fun, flirted with audience and photographers.

I will write about Essence Fashion House in a separate post. Until then, read, comment, and share. Would love to hear which shows you’ve attended this year!

XOXO,

Dynamically Branded

Elevate your Fashion Business in 60 Days

I’m so excited to announce that my First Online Fashion Marketing Course is LIVE!!! It’s titled ELEVATE YOUR FASHION BUSINESS IN 60 DAYS and you can register HERE. If you’ve been reading my posts you know that I’ve hinted at a course launch for a few months now. I’ve had the curriculum finished in August of last year but with caring and raising a little human I had to figure out Mommyhood first and business later. Thanks to my Partners in Crime at Fashion Mingle we went live yesterday and the course is open for registration. But Hurry there are Only 10 spots Available!!!

I’ve been in the Fashion Industry for over 6 years and met so many amazing designers. Unfortunately, 90% of them either quit, struggle or go back to their 9-5 because they can’t live off their passion. I know that many of them have a difficult time with marketing and business administration yet can’t afford to hire a professional in that area. Consequently, I wanted to create a course that teaches them just that. You will learn how to find and reach your target market, how to create social media content, the best ways to start dressing celebrities, how to plan and host a successful fashion show and much more.

Marketing Campaign for Ese Azenabor

I’m also aware that networking is crucial in the industry, as a bonus I will share my resources and contacts with my class. I will offer weekly one-on-ones to solve business challenges and have live sessions with celebrity stylists and fashion show producers. This will also educate the class about fashion marketing practices, so when the time comes to hire professionals they know what these experts should be able to deliver. I think sharing knowledge is very powerful and if you can learn from me and avoid mistakes my clients and I made you will elevate faster to the next level and have a greater chance to become Million Dollar Businesses as well. This course is for Fashion Designers, Retailers, E-commerce Boutiques, Accessories Designers, and Wardrobe Stylists.

Noha Raouf at Fashion X Dallas Noir

So if you’ve been struggling to find clients, are miserable in your 9-5 or simply don’t know how you can turn this passion for fashion into a profitable business. Register at ElevateIn60days.com

Of course like, share, and comment and feel free to send me a personal email at Sschirru@dynamicallybpr.com with any questions you might have!

How to Elevate your Brand to the Next Level

Do you feel like you’re stuck and not leveling up to your full potential? Are you tired of still being in the same place you were over a year ago or even longer? Sick of low or non-existing sales? Are you finally ready to make a drastic change to reach your goals? Then this post is for you!

When my clients and myself started taking these 3 steps, we saw exponential growth in clients, sales, productivity, motivation, network.

1. Invest in your Business: That means, allocate funds towards a professional website, a real logo, labels, packaging, a storefront/showroom, etc.. Hire professionals to do what you can’t. If you’re a fashion designer, hire models and a great photographer to capture your collection. Employ someone in charge of just sales & marketing, hire an accountant that keeps up with your business finances. This will free up your time and allow you to focus on designing and the bigger picture of your business goals. If you’re a busy stylist who can’t keep up with social media hire someone to manage it. Invest in your education via classes and webinars. The Fashion World is one of the fastest-changing industries, it’s very challenging to stay abreast of all the changes and trends. But thanks to the internet you can attend online classes, webinars, masterclasses, or even get certified in areas such as social media, fashion marketing, Fashion Business Management, etc. without having to leave the comfort of your home. Hootsuite Academy and Fashion Brain Academy offer great courses and so do Fashion Institutes. I personally will offer an online class on Nov 6th for Fashionpreneurs that are serious about taking their business to the next level but can’t afford to hire a marketing professional yet. You can REGISTER HERE for it.

Once you enhance your expertise you will be better prepared to cater to your clients and understand the ecosystem of the fashion industry. There is also financial gain in offering a superior product/service, the more qualified you are the more you can charge. Another benefit of investing in your business is that you come across more professionally and your audience will take you more seriously.

Also, invest time in reading about the Fashion Industry. I created a habit of reading Fashion Newsletters before I get started with my day. The ones I recommend are Business of Fashion, WWD, Vogue Business, and PR Couture. See those line items as investments in your business that will pay off in the long term and enable you to reach higher levels. If you’re not willing to invest and believe in yourself why should others?

2. Be Consistent: Your quality of work needs to be consistent with all clients, products, events, etc. This will establish your reputation, create accountability, and build your brand identity. Be consistent in the quality and frequency of the content you put out on social media and online. Don’t just post to post but instead add value for your audience. Also, consistency is the only way to measure if a new strategy is working or not. Be consistent in your leadership as well. If you say you only care about results and not how your employees achieve them you can’t start micro-managing them all of a sudden. It is said that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, so when trying something new try to maintain it for at least 21 days.

3. Surround Yourself with Positive Energy: There is nothing more draining than being around negative people that suck the life out of you. Surround yourself with like-minded go-getters who will motivate you to keep going and to level up. If you don’t have any friends that are part of the entrepreneurial lifestyle join groups or attend conferences. Great groups to join are FGI, DIFFA, your local Entrepreneurship Center, Start-Up Fashion, and Fashion Mingle. There are additional programs such as GC4Women, Tory Burch Foundation, The SBA, and Accelerator Programs such as Y Combinator, that provide small businesses with mentorship, consulting, and funding opportunities.

I would love to hear from you. What do you struggle with the most in your business? What’s holding you back? Which investments are difficult to make in your business? Or which step(s) mentioned in my post would you like to implement next? You can comment below or email me at Sschirru@dynamicallybpr.com.

XOXO,

Dynamically Branded

Getting Your Designs on Celebrities

Are you looking for free press or for that extra boost on social media? Then dressing a celebrity might be your next big move. But how do you make that critical connection? You can try to contact them directly with a DM but from my experience, this has never worked. Not because celebrities aren’t interested but simply because they receive way too many messages to filter through what’s legit and what’s not. It’s more effective to contact the person in charge of dressing them, usually their stylist or assistant. Most celebrity stylists list their email address or agent’s email address on their social media profiles. If you can’t find an email you can DM them briefly asking professionally for an email address to send your latest look book or work sample. If you don’t have any luck with your DM or email you can always try to get in touch with the celebrity stylist’s assistant, as most experienced stylists have a team of other stylists around them.

Photo Credits: OutNow.Ch

The most effective way to get in touch with celebrity stylists is to simply be in the same space as them. Many celebrity stylists attend fashion events, host workshops, or speak on industry panels. There is no better way of initiating contact than in person so bring your business cards, wear one of your creations and introduce yourself. Boom! The first contact has been made.

Photo Credits: Dreamstime.com

Now it’s time to cement the connection. Don’t let more than 72 hours pass before following up. Introduce yourself, remind them of how you met and include a message about your interest in collaboration on upcoming projects by providing garments (bonus points if you know what project or event you would like to help with). Include one strong photo in the body of the text and then attach your look book. If your look book is too large try to compress it or create a Google Drive or Dropbox link instead.

Make sure to do your research about the stylist’s clientele and style. Don’t email an exclusively female wardrobe stylist a men’s look book or pitch winter clothes in the summer time. If you know that a particular celebrity loves to wear very fitted dresses, I wouldn’t propose a wide-legged oversize pantsuit.

Remember timing is of the essence. What are some events your collection could be leveraged for? Any award shows, galas, premieres, or product launches coming up? Get on the stylist’s radar weeks before or create a special design for the celebrity if your chances are high for being pulled.

Michelle Williams, Tina Knowles-Lawson and Kelly Rowland at the Wearable Art Gala. Photo Credits: Chron.com

Now that you’ve got the stylist’s interest here are some important things to remember before facilitating the pull:

1.    Make sure your garments are dry-cleaned and cleanly sewn (cut off any loose threads, tighten up loose buttons and beads, etc.)

2.    Have the stylist fill out a pull request form with all his info, credit card, ID, which items pulled, when they will be returned, etc. (A stylist pull request form is a legally binding contract that documents every detail of the pull)

3.    I highly recommend charging a refundable deposit at least the first time. I had an incident where I received a pull request form and when the stylist didn’t return the garments, the credit card declined because I was given an invalid card number. I definitely learned my lesson. Most legit stylists receive decent budgets from their clients so a deposit shouldn’t be a big deal. If it you get any pushback, I would consider this a red flag.

4.    I always ask for a shipping account number if the stylist doesn’t come to pick up the garments

5.    Follow up to see if garments have been received and if they worked out. If they so, ask for pictures for your personal portfolio.

6.    When you receive the garments back verify, they are in good condition before refunding the deposit.

If you’re more interested in celebrity pulls, need a sample stylist pull request form, a sample email, or more info about fashion events to attend to connect with celebrity stylists. Sign up for my upcoming Fashion Marketing Class “Elevate your Fashion Business in 60 Days” in collaboration with Fashion Mingle.  You will receive an email you when the class is live.

Please comment and share!

XOXO,

Dynamically Branded.