The Big Hits And Glaring Misses From Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

We’re finally winding up the whirlwind of fashion events that seem to have occupied our collective attention over the last two months. As the last show of the season, expectations ran high from Paris Fashion Week. Some of our favorite designers didn’t disappoint, while others did just that, and glaringly so.

In today’s article, we discuss the seven designer collections we absolutely loved- both for their vision and easy adaptability. We also present a few misses.

  1. Elie Saab: Summer is coming in nice and bright, and Elie Saab at Paris Fashion Week is proof of that. We love the lace details that make summer dresses that much more elegant. Take special note of the use of several different fabrics and accents- a sign of the demanding times to come in fashion. Are you ready to design both workwear and off-time casuals?

Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Elie Saab collection

  1. Givenchy: Givenchy has set new standards for how formal wear must look. Those suits are the very definition of power dressing. We particularly love the use of the silhouette itself to design clothes- it has been a long time since every piece of clothing has not been designed for a mannequin. High waist, big belts, ruffles, full sleeves- all, check.

Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Givenchy collection

  1. Hermes: The famous fashion house’s Paris collection has received mixed reviews, to say the least. We, however, think the collection has a huge adaptability factor. The jackets and overcoats are almost ubiquitous in nature, and we love ourselves a leather pair of shorts. Whether you like the collection or you don’t, you have to admit that a niche choice of fabric has never been this stylish and universal.

Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Hermes collection

  1. Issey Miyake: Miyake is not known for being shy about self-expression. From the villages of Japan (if they still exist) to the modern cities, this year’s collection draws inspiration from every corner of the small yet influential country. The clever choice of colors and fabric lend themselves well to the theme- you know that green coat is meant for the cities. We’re also glad to see flowy pants making a reappearance. God knows we need more of them.

Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Issey Miyake collection

  1. Louis Vuitton: Shockingly, LV has received negative to mixed reviews for their Paris Fashion Week show. While we’re disappointed with the general lack of novelty and the brand playing it too safe, we do love some of the dresses. The blue one, for example, starts off as street-style and ends with a clean hemline. Surely an inspiration for designers to try something a tad bit different with their collection.

Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Louis Vuitton collection

  1. Miu Miu: Formal wear is all set to look different, and Miu Miu is leading the revolution. There’s no denying the fact that this collection is not meant for the faint of heart. But then again, the average Parisienne is not known for being that! Miu Miu has experimented quite elaborately with animal prints, sheer and denim, and we love their use of fabric in so many different ways.

Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Miu Miu collection

  1. Valentino: Most of Valentino’s dresses look like the inspiration for next year’s Met Gala, and that isn’t such a bad thing. For retailers, the key takeaway would be the use of pleats to create form without making them overtly obvious. For everyone else, there is the sheer gorgeousness of the dresses to look at. We can envision some of them as separates- they’d fly off the shelves for sure!

Paris Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Valentino collection

Unfortunately for Paris, it wasn’t all roses. Chanel’s collection came under severe criticism for sheer lack of originality, and we can’t help but agree. Balmain, taking inspiration from a theme they probably didn’t quite understand, tried to go Egyptian and instead ended up all over the place. Perhaps the most disappointing of all was Stella McCartney. After receiving huge media attention post the royal wedding, she couldn’t find a way to make the spotlight work for her and try something new.

But with all misses, we are grateful for these too, because they teach us even more about the consumer’s expectations and how we can stand out.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

Advertisements

The Home Of Haute Couture: Design Highlights From Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Move over New York and London- Milan has just made its most iconic fashion splash yet. There’s something about the spunky vibe of Milan, on and off its runways, that has made this the destination to watch when keeping an eye out for the bigger fashion houses. We think there’s a lot to be learned and implemented from the Dior and Versace of the world, and being one-of-a-kind is just one of them.

Here’s a compilation of designers and clothes we loved the most at Milan this year. Designers with ambition, take note.

  1. Gucci: When Gucci makes a statement, heads turn. Almost singlehandedly, Gucci took clothing from overtly suggestive to plain old, yet standout styles. One look at the whites and tans paired with signature motifs shows us that some fashion houses are more about subtle experimentation than others. The sleeves are the ones standing tall this time around.

Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Gucci collection

  1. Christian Dior: When Dior’s in love with mesh, we know that the trend is here to stay. Casual is the name of the game for SS19, and what better way to do it than with one element in each outfit that grabs attention? We particularly love the understated elegance of the models themselves, allowing us to see outfits as they should be. We could take that blue top right there and think of ten different bottoms we can pair it with, using items already in the wardrobe. Now, that is versatility.

Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Christian Dior collection

  1. Fendi: Fendi is one brand that knows how to have fun in the subtlest of ways. The Milan SS19 runway was full of looks ideal for the workplace, and even better for drinks after. These are clothes you can take to meetings and to holidays with equal panache. Peplum gets a new definition that the world will soon come to love, and we’re not complaining about the very versatile handbag/ phone holder/ fanny pack accessory either. In fact, give us just that.

Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Fendi Collection

  1. Emporio Armani: Armani gets a bit of a ‘not-so-couture’ rep, we think, because of the number of cheap fakes doing the rounds the world over. Imitation is the best form of flattery, so it is safe to assume that everyone adores this label. One look at the shiny jackets that imitate everything from animal skin to a backpack shows us that Giorgio Armani has the uncanny talent for drawing inspiration from just about everything and turning it into some gorgeously wearable works of art.

Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Emporio Armani collection

  1. Missoni: It was a relief to see Missoni on the runway, partly because of the dresses that are everyday-casual, and mostly because of the mesh detail done differently. When you’ve had too much mesh, turn to Missoni for some fashionable relief. The careful placement of prints and flowy silhouettes are made for the modern day Bohemian.

Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Missoni collection

  1. Roberto Cavalli: What’s with the free-spirited vibes, everyone! Fashion labels always channel the mood of the season, and going by the Cavalli designs, 2019 looks like an excellent year for travel and exploration. Mirror work is not a Middle-Eastern trend alone anymore and can be adapted in the most diverse of ways. For those looking for more subtle statements, foil prints are in, too.

Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Roberto Cavalli collection

  1. Max Mara: Add Max Mara to the list of formal wear collections we absolutely love. The pants are getting shorter, keeping in mind the very diverse jobs that women today hold. These outfits are meant for action in the boardroom. The frills, the colors, the polka dots, the statement belts…we could just go on and on with the little details from this collection that everyone can find a way to adapt into their designs.

Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Max Mara collection

  1. Moschino: As the ‘LOVE MOSCHINO’ bags prove, this is one label that is not afraid to stand out every single time. And so it is with the Milan Fashion Week Collection. Why say jackets need to be held together with buttons alone? That red dress is going to make a lot of red carpet appearances soon, and a bralette in lace? Yes, please! Moschino’s prints are so commonplace yet so hard to replicate. Standing out and blending in, both are done right in this collection.

Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Moschino collection

  1. Versace: Swearing allegiance by florals, Versace has a whole new take on them. Out go embroidered flowers, and in they come in black instead. A base of bright colors adds a significant contrast to a collection that otherwise risks fading out. Versace is known for exploring a woman’s sensuality like no other designer ever can, and the lace camisoles and thigh-high slits, artfully covered in long jackets, prove that point once again.

Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Versace collection

  1. Sportmax: A trip to the Hamptons next year is going to be woefully incomplete without at least one piece from the Sportmax collection. These clothes are what you wear when you head off to a game of golf, or lounging by the beach. Some of the elements like the sleeves are clearly drawn from Scuba gear, while others are more suited to cocktails and sunset. Either way, being outdoors is not going to be the same anymore, and you don’t have to play a sport to be part of the game.

Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Sportmax collection

  1. Salvatore Ferragamo: The colors of the outdoors are well-represented in the SS19 collection from the house of Ferragamo. These are beiges and tans that have been carefully chosen to represent the outdoors in as understated manner as possible. Paired with tropical prints in similar shades, it works magic simply by complementing the wearer’s skin tone beautifully.

Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Salvatore Ferragamo collection

  1. Dolce & Gabbana: Occasion wear has been done right with D&G once again. Here’s one design house that is loud, and unabashedly so. Operatic themes are evident, as are carnivals. Suits in gold and silver are most definitely gothic, as are doodle prints with lace. Channeling a bit of the dark side are the corsets and fringes, both of which remind us of Hotel California. With that collection, D&G takes a bow like no other house managed to this time around.

Milan Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019 showcasing Dolce and Gabbana collection

Which of these designers did you absolutely love? What are some details that you’ll be taking away from Milan and into your collections? Tell us in the comments.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

Ruffles, Florals and Jewel Tones: Updates From London Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Before we state anything else, let us say this- cherry red is the new color of the season for SS 19. When Prada and Salvatore Ferragamo go overboard with it, we know there’s good reason to start using it in our collections too.

Which brings us to the other thing we love about London Fashion Week in general, and this year in particular. Unlike the clean-cut lines and definitions of other showcases, LFW is all about leveling the playground and providing equal opportunity to both established designers and newcomers alike. This is why so many new trends come forth here- it is just a different perspective.

Here are some key lessons from LFW that all retailers can follow:

  1. Bending, not breaking the rules: Halpern Quinn is all about sequins, but other shiny things can follow suit as well. Burberry is known for their iconic checks, but they can be adapted. Brands are very conscious about moving away from their statements entirely, but they do know how to play within the boundaries and create something unique. In fact, this is what sets a good brand apart from the rest- the ability to see itself with stark clarity.
  1. A touch of nostalgia: New doesn’t always mean doing away with the old. For Victoria Beckham who marked a decade of her collection at both NYFW and LFW, the choice was clear. Nostalgia in motifs and elements can be an excellent way to rehash an old collection and make something new and spectacular.
  1. Not too streety: Street styles are great- they’re comfortable, cozy and very easy to maintain. However, fashion houses at LFW disagree. They did their best to take clothing away from the streets and into couture without losing the very aspects that make street-style so desirable. Looks like the time has come to put street-style and athleisure together, and let the good clothes be as they are.
  1. The loud colors: A Londoner, until yesterday, would never be caught in a bright coat. Indeed, a black or a tan overcoat is a wardrobe staple that never goes wrong. Blame it on the political circumstances in the world, but everyone wants to express themselves today. True to London style (where coats, let’s admit it, are needed ten months in a year), the overcoats are getting brighter and chirpier, not to mention bolder. Yep, time to get spotted on the Underground.
  1. The full look: Not so long ago, the real intent behind a fashion week was to showcase individual pieces, heavily dressed up. Patrons would then face the challenge of taking the different elements and creating their own looks with them. Either people are bored in general, or online shopping has done its bit, but shoppable looks are all the rage this season. You might do well to design a collection with a few different complete looks than to leave it to the consumer to mix-and-match. Fashion as a form of self-expression is, for one, giving up the hot seat to fashion for comfort and speed.

Meanwhile, we’re not done yet! What is a fashion week if we don’t give you the lowdown on the designers we loved, and hopefully you did too? Here are a few that stood out.

  1. J.W.Anderson: One of the few street-styles we saw on the runway, and yet, here’s a collection that manages to look so chic! We’re in the same league as mesh any day, and we know it is good when we have these looks for a company.

J W Anderson runway looks from London Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. Christopher Kane: Form meets high fashion in this collection for so many different body types. We can already see the boxy mini dress on a tall woman, and the warrior suit is a must-have for the power dresser who makes a statement at work and the after-party.

Christopher Kane runway looks from London Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. Burberry: We’d die of nostalgia if we didn’t spot at least one piece in the Burberry collection with the trademark lines and colors. Luckily for us also, Burberry is going experimental- with colors and form. Needless to say, this is one work wear collection people will be waiting for. The proof is in the reinterpreted animal prints.

Burberry runway looks from London Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. David Coma: Never one to shy away from bold silhouettes, this one. Can just a juxtaposition of black and white give rise to such stunning outfits for work and beyond? David Coma’s collection proves that it indeed can. We love that cutout details are making a comeback. Nostalgia, anyone?

David Koma runway looks from London Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. Erdem: Making a point on the shoppable looks we mentioned above, Erdem’s collection is one that you can walk off the runway and onto the streets in. We love the high-waisted pants so reminiscent of a tuxedo, and the more feminine outfits with stunning details. The fascinators, we’d probably save for the next royal wedding.

Erdem runway looks from London Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. Victoria Beckham: posh spice meets everyday woman, and that’s where Beckham’s magic lies. Her clothes are as easy to pull off as they are elegant, and that’s why we’re rooting for them.

Victoria Beckham runway looks from London Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. Mary Katrantzou: Bohemian prints have the uncanny ability of looking good on all clothes. Mary’s collection is perfect for workwear as separates, and to the Met Gala alike.

Mary Katrantzou runway looks from London Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

Which of these business trends do you see as easy to adapt for your brand? Tell us in the comments below.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

The Fashion Business Epiphanies We Garnered From New York Fashion Week Spring Summer 2019

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The recently concluded edition of the New York Fashion Week held not so many design surprises as it did business lessons. It is only natural, then, that we wanted to do a feature right away!

Fashion is a form of expression- there’s a reason why people buy so loyally from the brands they love. This applies to all strata of the fashion society. People love their labels as much as they enjoy the ease and comfort of label-less, brand-less clothing. And that’s what NYFW was all about- shunning the label in favor of the individual.

Here, we deconstruct eight ideas from NYFW SS’19 that are worth exploring in your own fashion business.

  1. The Return Of The Self: Colors to make you feel better, shapes and silhouettes to help you feel safe- clothing is now about your mood. You may remember from one of our earlier features that color is a huge determinant of how we feel and how we express this to the world outside. A similar idea was extensively visible in the designs of Prada and Givenchy.
  1. Landmark Collections: Ralph Lauren turns fifty. Fifty years of bringing enhanced sports fashion to mainstream shows. Emotions ran high at NYFW, but what we took away is the message that sportswear is becoming the new casual wear. Looks that respect this notion will go very far.
  1. Tailoring Done Differently: Was it only yesterday that form and fit were the fashion buzzwords to look out for? Well, both form and fit are on holiday at NYFW, and the focus is instead on comfort and function. Not surprising, considering the urban commuter who moves around so much, and people’s general lack of interest in buying pieces that only ever sit in the wardrobe.
  1. Feminine Goes Fierce: This year, even the more conventionally minded designers shifted their focus to clothing that made a stronger statement. Case in point- Brock Collection. Their collection is so much more refined and represents strength, inside and out.
  1. Subtlety Over Statement: While everyone is busy making a statement, The Row toned it down. This is a potent message for fashion houses designing their collections right about now. Sometimes, in a world that is screaming statements, not making any statement at all may just be the most powerful way to go about anything.
  1. Nostalgia: Perhaps the harshness of the world we live in today, with its myriad issues and its elected leaders, is making us fond of the services, army, and even the eighties! Junya Watanabe and Isabel Marant both took this nostalgia and channeled it into something beautiful.
  1. Beyond Visual: The tink-tink of Paco Rabanne’s dress collection proved, yet again, that there’s no end to innovation in fashion. Auditory stimuli aren’t the first thing you’d associate with a dress, but they need not be the last either. We’re not rooting for squeaky shoes and hopefully, haven’t descended to dresses that play songs, but as long as the sound is pleasant to hear, why not!
  1. The Return Of The Unisex: There’s no way to know how much of it is because of a movement, and how much merely a factor of comfort, but clothing collections are no longer split along gender lines. Case in point- all of the designers who exhibited their collections for men and women at the same time, on the same stage. Come to think of it, why doesn’t love a multipurpose piece?

The looks we loved from New York Fashion Week SS’19: 

  1. Mara Hoffman: We love a designer with a voice, and what a statement voice she has! We love her easy whites, stand-out silhouettes and statement florals.

Mara-Hoffman runway looks from New York Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. Marc Jacobs: elegance never goes out to style, and neither do high collars and breezy cuts suggestive of the elite. Culottes can be statement pieces too, if you know how to stitch them.

Marc Jacobs runway looks from New York Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. Naeem Khan: contemporary has never been this classic. Spaghetti dresses and high collars meet more modern ideas of prints and embellishments in this highly versatile collection.

Naeem Khan runway looks from New York Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. Prabal Gurung: did we say pops of colour? Prada is not left alone on that count, what with Prabal Gurung joining in. We love the bright shades sure to make any day better.

Naeem Khan runway looks from New York Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. Rebecca Minkoff’s collection is perfect for a statement workwear.

Rebecca Minkoff runway looks from New York Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

  1. Tadashi Shoji: a master of the feminine, if there was one. Also one of the few collections we spotted this season with animal prints. They’re not going out of style anytime soon.

Tadashi Shoji runway looks from New York Fashion Week Spring Summer Collection 2019

Which of these ideas will you use as inspiration for your next collection? Tell us in the comments.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

A Toast To The Best Formal and Semi-Formal Styles We Spotted At Lakme India Fashion Week

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

If you’re a fashion aficionado, an aspiring designer or a follower of celebrities, your timeline was probably flooded with images from Lakme India Fashion Week that concluded just a few days ago.  We know because we’ve been digging some of these styles, too.

Here at Fuel4Fashion, we’re huge believers in practicality. Some of the most stunning styles on-ramp often fade away from existence entirely. Some others look great on models but probably not so much on real people in real situations, minus the flashbulbs. That said, three designers absolutely stood out for us and showcased designs that can be adapted into wardrobes.

Take notes, fashion entrepreneurs- your customers will be asking for these styles very, very soon.

  1. Saaksha and Kinni

Perhaps the clearest example of a designer’s clarity of thought comes through in this designer duo’s collection for Lakme India Fashion Week this time around. Prints are a very urbane expression of the self- in fact, think back to your ancestry, and you’d be sure to remember one print or one weave that everyone spoke about.

LFWWF18D4S1bSaakshaAndKinniRunway012-copy1

Interpretations of Ikat and Pochampally in 8-bit game pixels is a genius move, we think.

Also, everyone needs space, people!

Flowy fabrics are in, especially for formal wear. In a tropical country like India, and for the sake of comfort the world over, people are seeing the virtue in abandoning the sharp suit for more statement pieces. Think blouses with bell sleeves and prints, printed formal pants with plain shirts, and jackets in a variety of cuts and styles. We’d go so far as to say that you should think of one statement accessory in the collection to lift up all the Boring formal wear that all of us inadvertently own. Excited yet? Thanks, Saaksha and Kinni!

  1. Kunal Rawal

We love Kunal Rawal’s collection because it comes as a breath of fresh air in the parched men’s formalwear section this Fashion Week. It’s still super cool to wear formal-ish suits and all-black this festive season too, guys!

Also, come to think of out, wardrobes should always be function over fancy, and while it’s nice to have the flower-embroidered jackets, we all need evergreen pieces that can be adapted to a variety of occasions.

LFWWF18D4S6KunalRawalRunway080

And that is precisely what this collection brings to the ramp, and to wardrobes. We highly recommend including some earthy hues in the formal menswear collections this time. They add a nice touch to an array of blues and blacks.

We also like the idea of using self-designed motifs on pants and jackets for an extra layer of detail. Dinner jackets in shades of orange and burnt umber, details on trousers, and brogues with extra motifs at the toe cap- all recommended.

Did we mention athleisure? A wholly tailored suit with pants that mimic tracks are in right now, and this is a trend you can adapt for both genders with relative ease.

  1. Amit Aggarwal

Bringing some much-needed sass to women’s evening wear is Amit Aggarwal. We particularly love his silhouettes because of the sheer global appeal of those gowns. Here’s a cocktail dress that one could pull of absolutely anywhere in the world.

Shades of grey and bronze, a dress separated into coordinates, African culture inspired gowns- is there any better way to go global? Also, grey is a color that is kind to all skin tones, and in all climates, so that’s an added plus too. Think cocktail dresses with one central motif, and add in geometric details.

LFWWK_Amit Agarwal

Another way to adapt Amit Aggarwal’s collection into your stores, apart from the gowns, is to design peplum tops in metallics, tailored pants and thinking of bow pants a la Emma Watson.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

 

Authority Marketing: How To Give Yourself A Voice That Is Heard

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Have you noticed, of late, just how many influencers there are on Instagram? That’s the thing with marketing- gather enough people and demonstrate expertise, and you have a market for your products.

Instagram influencers aside, personal branding is the buzzword of the day. “If you don’t build a personal brand, you have no influence,” they say. This is because we are a generation that loves stories. Born to a generation that experienced globalization and the consumerism that came with it, today’s crowd needs an experience. And even better, they need the experience to come from someone they can trust, because of (drumroll) their past experience.

Enter, authority marketing. 

Unlike regular marketing that says, ‘here’s a product, it is so awesome!’, authority marketing says, ‘here’s a product, and here’s why you’ll like it. I know, because I’ve tried it.’

Why do celebrities launch, endorse and be seen in their own fashion labels? Think Beyoncé, or Gwyneth Paltrow for Goop- these celebs know that products launched, tried and endorsed by them have a better chance of selling in the market. In other words, gone are the days of bringing in a celebrity and advertising a product. Today’s customers ask, “Why should I listen to this celebrity on this matter?”

How to use authority marketing effectively for startup fashion brands

Now that we’ve covered the concept, how can you adopt authority marketing to promote your fashion business?

  1. Build Your Personal Brand. Don’t just be a face in the crowd when you can be the face of your brand. Alicia Souza does this right, through her eponymous brand and also through her Instagram handle. Many Alicia Souza customers can genuinely claim that they know the person behind the product. The same goes for you. What are your fashion sensibilities and how do they influence your brand? Put it out there.
  1. Use Content: Have you ever wondered why copywriters make as much as they do, seeing as they actually write so little? Because lines like ‘Because she’s worth it’ sell products, and brands know it. Market your product through content- offer helpful guides, styling tips, day-to-night looks. The list of things you can do with your material is almost endless. Become an authority through the written word.
  1. Influence The Influencers: Make your product so good that authority has no option but to advertise it. But don’t stop at that. Influence your influencers. Send them free samples to try. Ask for reviews. Tell them your story. In short, make an impression on them.
  1. Don’t Be Salesy: Sounds counterintuitive? Yes, we’re asking you to sell a product by not selling it at all. Because, when a product speaks for itself, there is no need to sell it actively. Take a look at Fizzy Goblet. They make handcrafted footwear. But they make the footwear so unique that you can’t resist buying. They tell a story around each piece with exciting product titles. What can you do to make the product stand out?
  1. Get Coverage for Yourself: Grab every interview and every podcast opportunity that comes along. Answer questions thoroughly. Show the world that you are an expert. You can also submit articles about your entrepreneurial journey to relevant publications to get featured.
  1. Attend Events: If you knew just how many deals are closed at an event, you wouldn’t miss attending a single one of them. Sign up for regional fashion events, or put models in your clothes for a pop-up. Advertise to many people in one go, without making it look like an advertisement at all.

Remember, it is all about authority. The more of an expert you come across as, the more people will believe you and take your advice. Consider offering free in-store consultations with yourself. Make the story of the brand the story of you. There’s no better time than now to do it.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

Bootstrapping Your Fashion Business? Let These Seven Tools Help You

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Choosing to start a business of any kind with no external funding can be a daunting task. If you’ve chosen this path, well, bravo! We’re here to help you succeed. And in today’s work environment, we know that success is directly proportional to the degree of automation we can create.

How to bootstrap fashion startup with the right use of fashion software and fashion tools for the fashion entrepreneurs

Here are seven tools that our team uses and approves for running a successful fashion business.

  1. Pixlr: Pixlr is a photo editor for those with minimal photo editing skills. Pixlr’s advertised USP is that it has over two million free combinations to try out and it doesn’t disappoint. If you’re looking for something beyond a photo editor and need a tool that can help with design, look no further than Pixlr. A host of icons, illustrations, and base templates almost ensure that you always find something that you need.
  1. Pexels: We all know that stock images are costly, and while we may splurge on them for branding, a free photo or two ensure that your campaigns are not held up for want of a beautiful image. This is where Pexels comes in with a host of stock free images that are easy to find with the right keyword. Another tool you can try is PixaBay.
  1. AwesomeScreenshot for Chrome: Those who use a Mac probably don’t need a screenshot tool because a keyboard shortcut and the Preview app are quite sufficient. For everyone else, there’s AwesomeScreenshot. This Chrome extension allows you to take screenshots of virtually anything on the browser and even provides cool editing features.
  1. Calendly: As a businessperson, you will now be meeting and interacting with a lot of people. You want to ensure that you don’t miss an appointment and that you’re adequately prepared for each one. This is where Calendly helps. Just send a link to the people you’ll be interacting with and schedule them into a time slot. Gather their email address and phone number, and call them proactively. Another handy way to use Calendly is to incorporate the link into your email campaigns.
  1. Google Drive: A paid cloud subscription is almost irreplaceable now that you’ll be gathering a lot of raw data. Sign up for one of Drive’s paid plans and store all of your data safely, prevent losses and share what you need to easily.
  1. Noisli: It’s okay to admit that our days are often filled with distractions. The Noisli app is just what you need to put a hard stop to these distractions and do your best work. What better way to do it than with music and white noise? Still, have doubts? Give it a try- you will not be disappointed.
  1. Zoho One: Many entrepreneurs call Zoho One their own personal assistant. And why not? With over forty app integrations that work seamlessly with each other, it covers the whole gamut from sales and productivity to finance, and people management. And the price will really, really surprise you.

Which of these tools would you like to try for your business? Also, have you taken a look at our article on Design Tools for your business yet?


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

Start-up Fashion Entrepreneurs Are You Looking For Some Inspiration? Look No Further Than Design Tools

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

Inspiration can strike at the oddest of times, as every creative professional knows. Long gone are the days of using notepads and colored pencils to jot down ideas. Today, ideas have a new, virtual home. What’s more, these homes are that much prettier and detailed, and at any given point, you can access them from any device in the world.

How to use fashion software for building your startup fashion brand

As you may have discovered by now, we are huge fans of online tools and applications. Call us geeks, but once you take a look at the list of these design tools, you will wonder why we didn’t swap notes sooner!

  1. Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop: No designer’s arsenal is complete without these tools. Adobe tools are to a designer what a sketchbook is to an artist. Some start-up fashion entrepreneurs opt for a crash course to learn the basics and then develop skills on their own. Give them a try!
  1. Sketch: Sketch is a simple, easy-to-navigate alternative to Adobe InDesign, as its Facebook Ads rightly claim. Grid guides are especially helpful for those with no eye for design except knowing that something looks good. You can also use Sketch for free for a while to see if you like it and create your basic garment sketches to share with the design team.
  1. Ideaboard: GoMoodboard is an excellent way for startup fashion entrepreneurs to gather their ideas and design a professional mood board. The best part is that they come with pre-designed templates, so it is easy for a novice designer to get started with. Tools like this allow you to gather and share your ideas with the design team, primarily if you’re working remotely.
  1. Pinterest: No article on design tools is complete without a mention of Pinterest. The original inspiration board is also a source of relevant pins. Create your own board and share with your external design team, or curate ideas from around the Pinterest globe to get started with. Pinterest is also very intuitive in that once it learns your search patterns, it begins to show you a lot of relevant content that you can also pin.
  1. Coolors: Why generate a color scheme from scratch when a machine can do it for you, and perfectly at that? All you need to do is lock in one color after another until you are happy with the palate. You can then export this palette in a variety of formats such as SCSS, SVG, and COPIC without losing an inch of the precision. Again, for teams that are coordinating virtually, this tool is an invaluable resource to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
  1. Pantone Color Finder: This is every designer and color enthusiast’s bible. Just enter the color number and see how the shades translate to your specific requirement. Even better, just enter a color name to see all suggested variants in one go. The beauty of this color finder is that everyone who accesses it and searches for a specific code sees the same exact color.
  1. Canva: For the start-up fashion entrepreneurs, Canva provides templates, illustrations and thumbnails to be used in a variety of different contexts especially your social media marketing. The paid version unlocks many more features. Canva for Business allows you to standardize colors and use it for all of your communication needs.

Which of these tools have you already tried? How would you rate them in terms of ease of collaboration? Share with us in the comments.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

 

Why You Need A Business Plan For Your Fashion Business

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

 Many people falsely assume that a business plan is only for those businesses that want to raise funding or make an investor pitch. There’s no easy way to say this- the first person who needs a business plan, and will most likely use it extensively, is you!

As the adage goes, ‘failing to plan is planning to fail.’ So, a business plan is not just a spruced-up, fancy document that you rarely take out. It helps you determine exactly how you run your business, right from using your cash well to managing inventory.

Why You Need A Business Plan For Your Fashion Business

Mind mapping ideas before creating a business plan

Here are some goals, apart from being an investor document, that a business plan serves.

  1. A Communication Tool For Your Team: A business plan is a great way to show your team precisely what each person needs to do to achieve a very defined set of goals. Without a plan, most people don’t know where they’re heading. Worse, you’ll end up paying all of your resources without grasping why you aren’t getting any results. So, use a business plan to communicate your ideas to your team.  
  1. A Ready-reckoner Of Goals: Having a business plan means putting down goals and objectives in as granular a manner as possible. You can always go back to your plan and review if you’re meeting goals. If not, the plan serves as a guide to see what went wrong- was it your strategy, or was it execution?  
  1. A Flexible Calendar: One thing that all businesses, and young business, in particular, should remember is that no plan is set in stone. A business plan serves as a guide and allows you enough leeway to make adjustments based on the market from time to time. This is one key reason why a structure is essential. It is always good to make changes to a base template than to throw ideas around and let them stay amorphous.
  1. A Guide To Inventory: In the first year of your business, when you have no past sales data to fall back on, a business plan serves as a projection tool to decide how much inventory you need. As you know, holding too much stock can block up your working capital, and having too little can cost you a sale. Projections obtained from a business plan are an excellent way to assess just how much inventory you need.
  1. Cash Flow Management: Retail businesses need cash to procure inventory, to sell and to keep up sales channels, as well as to pay employees. In fact, a continuous supply of liquid money can decide how far you go into retail. Having a sound business plan helps you decide which months/years involve more spending so you can cut down on other costs proportionately. Likewise, a plan also enables you to determine how much of your profits should go back into the business, and under which head.

What does a good business plan involve? Broadly, it contains your executive summary, your vision and objectives, market potential and implementation plan over both the short and long runs.

As you can see, the headings in themselves are simple enough. However, filling them up with workable solutions is the real challenge. Most of the new fashion brands either turn to mentors or consultants to help give a proper shape to the plan. If you already have experience working in the fashion industry, consider seeking help in those areas that you are not yet entirely comfortable with.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram


 

Beyond Digital: Offline And Inbound Marketing For Your Fashion Business

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Digital marketing may sure be the only way to get the attention of an online audience. However, does this mean that merely by betting on it, you’ll be able to get your brand visibility and sales? The truthful answer is, no.

For one, online shopping is just about catching up, and before buying clothing and accessories (beyond the t-shirts and tunics), most people would want to experience the product, especially if they’re new to the brand. It is thus safe to say that just as brands and retail are present both offline and online, marketing efforts should be directed in both channels. In an earlier article, we have spoken about digital marketing for fashion brands.

In this one, let’s discuss offline and inbound marketing.

Today, most marketers understand inbound as a subset of online marketing, specifically, emails. However, anything that actively brings customers and their buying intent into your store is inbound, and this can be anything from a store level event to a pop-up. Without further ado, let’s look at some offline methods you can use to market your brand.

  1. Go Beyond The Billboards. Today’s customers are bombarded with static and dynamic billboards wherever they go. This influx of information does nothing for brand recall. Instead, focus on value. What can you offer through your advertising that is useful to a potential customer? This can be anything from a lookbook to a consultation. “But how do we get them to come to us first?”, you may ask. Online advertising is an excellent place to begin.
  1. Level Up Your Ideas. For brands that are beginning to sell in multi-store settings like malls, it is essential to direct the attention to yourself actively. Remember a decade ago, when mascots would be standing around to guide you to a place? You need to do something similar, but make it much more sophisticated. What if you could organize a treasure-hunt around the mall, with simple cues in the elevator or stairs? Marketing has long moved past flyers and bills.
  1. Make Packaging Awesome. Many lingerie brands do this, as do perfumeries. Make the packaging so attractive that people feel like they’re giving themselves a present. Chances are, they’ll share it online and tell more people about it. In any case, it doesn’t hurt to add a small CTA (call to action) on the box asking people to share their experience online.
  1. Look At Pop-Ups and Collaborations. Pop-up stores are insanely famous today because they offer an element of the unexpected. Make your pop-ups interesting, but not intimidating. Depending on your brand’s core audience, loud music may or may not work. Likewise, look at collaborating with other stores to conduct events on grooming and makeup, or to educate people on the different kinds of handbags. You’ll be surprised by how many people look for such advice.

As you can see, offline and online marketing today do not exist in two separate vacuum containers. They go hand-in-hand to help you gain more out of your efforts. For example, an event could be offline, but its promotion takes place online.

What is the most exciting marketing campaign you’ve ever encountered? Tell us in the comments.


Supriya Ghurye is the founder and owner of Fuel4Fashion. She is a Freelance Fashion Designer and Brand Consultant helping fashion brands to create great products from idea to launch. Fuel4Fashion social links: TwitterPinterestInstagram