How To Get Your Fashion Designs in Boutiques: The Inside Scoop From a Fashion Buyer!

Getting your fashion designs in stores can give you major credibility, exposure and prestige! Retail stores have large customer bases, lots of foot traffic, and well-marketed online sites that can really help to launch your brand!

For new designers, I recommend that you focus on getting your designs sold in small boutiques before trying to get into department stores to gain exposure and to learn the ropes. Small boutiques are usually more flexible for new designers and you can use the exposure in their store to help build up press about your brand.

Trend & Lifestyle
Do your designs cater to the stores target demographic? Do your designs fit into the lifestyle of the consumer? Does your product work with what is fashionable/ on trend in their stores? Make sure that you visit stores to make sure your brand makes sense there before setting up meetings with Fashion Buyers. You don’t want to waste a ton of time trying to sell your hipster clothing line to a store, only to realize that they focus on purchasing wear-to-work clothing for businesswomen.

Price Range
Do you understand what customers are willing to pay for your product? How much are customers paying right now for similar products? Have you done your research? Stores have to be able to make a profit and you need to make sure you have priced your designs for you to make a profit before even meeting with any buyers. In a tough economy, Buyers are playing it safe when it comes to price, so this can make or break you.

Hanger Appeal
Does your product sell itself just by being on a hanger or is it tricky and only looks good when a customer tries it on? Your product must function and look fabulous with no explanation/convincing from sales people. Product needs to have hanger appeal that will convince buyers that customers will see your product in their stores and will just have to buy it on the spot!

Distribution
Fashion Buyers will want to know who else you sell your designs to. Are you established in other stores, like small boutiques or do have a big online following? Will your designs be exclusive to their store or is it the same product that you are selling in other stores?

Delivery
You have to be able to ship your product on the agreed date. You cannot be late. Trust me, you don’t want to be late…it can become a very, very expensive mistake! If you are late on shipping your product, a buyer might decide to just cancel their order all together, which can potentially put you out of business if it’s a big order because you’ve already spent the money to make the product and now you have nowhere to sent it. Also, how often will you ship new collections? Generally, most brands ship new designs monthly, some ship new product twice a month.

Are you Ready?
Fashion Buyers want to make sure you are really ready to be in business. Their stores credibility is at stake if something goes wrong with your product (such as quality issues, late shipments, etc). Stores are taking a risk by doing business with you and do not want to be let down if you can’t deliver on your agreements.

Next Steps
If Fashion Buyers are excited about your line and you meet all of the applicable criteria that I mentioned in the post, they may want to give you an order. Buyers may want to “test” or try your product in 1 of their stores or in a handful of their stores. You will sell the product to them at a cost price (set by you) and you and the buyer will work out the rest of the details from there.

It can be a difficult for a brand new designer to launch their designs in well-known stores because of the lack of credibility and selling history as a newbie. This is why I recommend that new designers start out trying to sell to small boutiques. You can start out with a small order, as a test and hopefully grow from there.

Some new designers may decide to start out by doing consignment with small boutiques. Selling on consignment basically means that your designs will be put up for sale in the store and you will only get paid for what sells. Just be aware that this concept works to the stores advantage, not yours (there is basically no risk for the store if the product doesn’t sell). You will have to take back what doesn’t sell (or you can try sell it to the store at a discounted price).

What to Wear – Essential or Trendy Fashion Clothing?

There are many questions about fashion clothing that occupy the minds of all women on this earth- what should I buy for casual and formal wear, what should I wear with skirts and/or jeans, which type of fashion clothing will suit my body type, what are the latest trends and whether to buy seasonal trendy clothes or not, what others will think if I wear a particular dress and many other such types of questions? But the issue is whether we need to think about only the fashion trends or also about the comfort level and other things such as personal preferences about fashion clothing, the types of cloths which suit us or just blindly follow the trends set up by some designers and big companies and brands? For this we need to analyze both the points- our taste, budget, and preference about personal style as well as the fashion norms and how far to follow them!

Essential Fashion Clothing- The Personal Style Statement!

Now what is this essential fashion clothing? Simply explained, it is all types of women’s garments that you prefer to wear day in and day out. These may include your formal shirts, tops and blouses, jeans, trousers, skirts, and even evening gowns and other dresses that you wear for formal parties. These define your personal preference because you will not go shopping everyday for essential clothing- you buy these as practical solutions. For example, you will buy many T-shirts, blouse tops, and shirts but will only a handful of jeans, trousers and skirts to wear with them. It is how you mix and match your various clothing items and how you use other accessories that will define your personal style!

Trendy Fashion Clothing- The Ramp Defined Style!

Trendy women fashion clothing is what is displayed on ramps through catwalk by models every season. These cloths are showcased by designers and apparel brands as well as other beauty products companies. They are the one who define the coming trends of the season. There is nothing wrong in it- after all it is their profession! What is important is to make a differentiation between the ramp and everyday fashion clothing. For example, the women’s fashion trends- 2011 clearly define the retro and punky fashion as the prevailing norms of this summer and spring season. However, you will definitely not go out and change whole of your wardrobe into such style of clothes. What you can do at the most is to buy some of the clothes inspired by these trends for wearing either as daily casual wear or for special occasion wearing.

Conclusion- How to Decide What to Wear?

Does it mean that we should totally ignore what trends say and go by only our personal preference about our clothes? No, not at all. We do have right to be called trendy fashionable women! So, what can be the right way of deciding what to wear is a little thought about how to complement our personal style with the ongoing trends! For example, for retro style, you can simply sort out your wardrobe to find some of the pieces that have a retro look- the ones which you have discarded years ago. You can even buy a couple of new clothes according to the trends as well as some fashion accessories (bags, footwear, hair accessories etc.) that go with your existing wardrobe. This way, you will not loose your personal style and will remain trendy too!

Men’s Fashion Clothing – How Did We Get to Where We Are Today?

Men’s fashion clothing trends really started in the seventeen hundreds – in eighteenth-century France, during the reign of Louis XIV, men were referred to as the ‘peacocks of fashion’. They wore very decorative Rhinegrave breeches covered in lace and bows made of the finest silks and satins; impeccably clean white linen shirts with lavish cravats; and overcoats called justaucorps adorned with lavish buttons and gold braid that stretched from chin to knee.

This form of conspicuous consumption was considered the epitome of good taste. After the French Revolution (1789), however, the canons of tasteful dress changed dramatically. Simplicity, starkness and refinement became the order of the day with long trousers, vests, frock coats and top hats defining the role of the gentleman in society.

Well-tailored suits made from the finest cloth became the requisite of determining your position in society, and your delegation to the ranks of the upper classes. Tales of the infamous dandy, Beau Brummel, abound: a man who befriended the Prince of Wales in the early nineteenth century and set the benchmark for cleanliness and restraint in male attire, with understated but beautifully fitted and tailored clothing. He is credited with introducing and establishing the start of modern men’s clothing suits.

English men’s fashion clothing, underlined by the British landed gentry, established the European stylistic trends of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was during this time that the tailors of London’s Saville Row became famous for exquisitely cut and tailored garments for men.

Saville Row was built between 1731 and 1735, originally as part of the Burlington Estate. Beau Brummel helped to establish its reputation as he patronized the tailors congregated on the Burlington Estate, who then started to occupy premises on Saville Row. Even contemporary designers, responsible for men’s designer clothes of the day, including John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, chose to serve an apprenticeship in Saville Row, and no matter how outlandish their fashion garments appear, they retain respect and admiration for their industry through their masterful tailoring expertise.

In 1818, Harry Sands Brooks established Brooks Brothers, one of America’s oldest retailers, known for its classic and conservative styling. It was the first company to offer ready-made men’s clothing suits to individuals like sailors, who were only on shore leave for a short time, and gold miners before they headed west.

For over 100 years, they also supplied uniforms to the US military. The innovations of Brooks Brothers include the first summer seersucker suit (1830), mens clothing suits and beachwear made from madras plaid (1890), the button-down collar shirt worn during polo matches (1896), Shetland wool sweaters (1904) and the first wash-and-wear Dacron and polyester shirts (1953).

Always synonymous with fashionable, well-constructed garments, they attracted the business of celebrities such as the Rolling Stones and other pop stars of the 60s.The British company Marks and Spencer bought Brooks Brothers in 1988.

After the Second World War, the influence of American ready-to-wear clothing had a worldwide impact on the direction of business suits and men’s casual clothing. Designers like as Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein offered the ultimate in men’s casual lifestyle dressing.

Influenced by Italian designer, Giorgio Armani, and his informal, easy-fitting clothing, a new era in menswear was born. This loose-fitting styling was reinforced by menswear designed by the Japanese designers, Yohji Yamamoto and Rei and was adopted by new age, avant-garde males.