I’m a London based, 26 year old aspiring designer currently committed to launching a startup fashion label in 2013. Significantly, I have had no formal design training bar a couple of short courses at the London School of Fashion, but fuelled by a lifelong passion of clothes-making and the sense of “I can do anything” furore propelled by the Olympics, I quit my Arts PR job in July to launch myself, hook line and sinker, into the treacherous waves of fashion’s vast expanse. Here I invite you to observe whether I sink or swim!
I’d like to use this blog for two reasons:
There seems to be an unsatisfying lack of transparency in the rag trade for people like me: fashion hopefuls taking the plunge without the network and support enabled by a 3 year honours degree at Central St Martins. For those of you who are in the know – please bear with me – but what I have been unsuccessfully trying to determine is WHERE are these purported factories in eastern Europe or on the Chinese border, and HOW do you hear about them? A good network, useful contacts and a pinch of luck seems to be the general consensus – but as a result of this seeming lack of a general fashion directory or go-to forum which is FREE – I thought it would be useful to raise these questions here for other fashion entrepreneurs to read about, and hopefully add to!
The second use of this blog is simply to get online. Marketing is arguably the most important factor of running a successful clothing label, for if no one is privy to the crystal-embellished, hand-embroidered, leather-quilted, bespoke treasures you are artfully creating, you may as well be churning out a range of recycled diapers. Now – I realise this might be a foolhardy and naive move – for if you are trying to promote a luxury clothing label, the customers buying said luxury pieces probably don’t want to know, or buy into the fact that you have been working in MacDonalds every Friday to fund your internet connection, and that the personal assistant, sales manager, and garment technician they spoke to on the phone when ordering their new item, was in fact just little old you.
Nevertheless, this is a reality for many new designers, and if I can inspire even a fraction of camaraderie and mentorship to assist others during those fractious founding moments, and visa versa, I’ll be pretty content.
So, from here on, I aim to share weekly insights into my startup journey, as well as interviewing two designers a month to reveal their highs and lows of launching and running their own fashion business.
Please enjoy reading, and get in touch if you have any insights or questions! X