Friday, July 11, 2014

Another Successful Event: The Retailer's Point of View

This past Tuesday, July 8th, Art of Fashion hosted another successful event in partnership with Fresh Collective and the Retail Assembly.  The Retailer's Point of View was an educational event to aide Canadian designers in learning more about the retail environment and how retailers choose what lines and garments to carry in their store.

Laura-Jean Bernhardson, founder and CEO of Fresh Collective gave an engaging presentation covering everything from the operations of Fresh Collective, how they decide what designers to carry in their store, what their demographic is to how their consignment business model works for both retailers and designers.  Laura-Jean also mentioned how crucial it is to create value within a designer's garment.  In the world of fast fashion where larger companies can sell a myriad of options for low prices, it is the job of the independent designer to create value in the garment for their customer to justify the higher price.  This is a task that is impossible to do without defining your customer.  Knowing who you are selling to is imperative to a designers success.  Laura-Jean stressed the importance of knowing everything about the customer you are selling to from their sense of style to their core values and beliefs.

Laura-Jean also reiterated how important it is for designers to nurture the relationships they build with retailers.  The work of the designer does not simply end when they drop off their garments at the store, designers need to be involved in creating an identity for their brand and training sales associates how to sell their clothes.  Building relationships with retailers instead of being a passive participant in selling your garments is more likely to generate sells of your garments, lead to a sell through and therefore lead to more orders from retailers.

This event also gave designers the opportunity to ask important questions regarding working with retailers and how to break into a new store.  A few key points were continually hit upon:  Be creative but know who your customer is, have a business plan and continually evolve it to match your vision and nurture your relationships with you customers, suppliers and retail partners.  

Those in attendance were also giving the opportunity to network with other designers, Laura-Jean and Michelle Planche the founder and President of Art of Fashion.

The Retailer's Point of View event also served as the launch of Art of Fashion's new design competition The Ultimate Holiday Dress.   The winner of the competition will have the opportunity to have their design sold in Fresh Collective stores!  If you are interested in applying please visit our website to learn more and download an application.  Reminder:  all applications are due by August 1st at 5pm.  Good luck to all those apply!

We would also like to give a big thank you to all our partners: Fresh Collective, The Retail Assembly, The Toronto Film School at RCC Institute of Technology, Infinite Media and Saman Design INC for your support and making this event possible!

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