Marketing

Marketing

Posted by on Jun 14, 2017 in Fashion, Industry Know How | 0 comments

Whatever your position is within the fashion industry, if you want to take a leap into becoming a designer, you might be wondering what happens next. What are the best steps to make yourself known?Sample Room’s very own mentoring program, Fashion Label Launchpad, is actively supporting many emerging designers with the finer details that are relatively unknown, and seemingly secretive, in this industry.  But firstly, and probably the most important piece of information to impart is to get onto marketing EARLY. Draw up a marketing plan. Don’t leave anything to chance. This is how customers are going to know about you, place their trust in you and your product, and ultimately make a purchase. This goes for anyone, not just those on our mentoring program. Marketing is the way to get yourself, and your big idea out there.Fashion is ubiquitous, like cafes! There’s a café on nearly every street corner, have you noticed? How are they all managing to sell coffees each day? And food? We don’t actually need to buy coffees and food from a café every day, so that’s where the fashion industry is a bit different. Everybody needs to wear something, so the market is flush with products, from high-end suits to the daggy trackies that we wear when we’re slopping around at home. If you’re going to get someone to buy your wares, you’re going to need to stand out, to market yourself cleverly.And to do this, you need a marketing plan. These plans incorporate a few essentials, such as:Defining your customerYou might choose to design leisure wear for the person in the 50-plus age bracket. Or you might design children’s wear. Regardless, you need to know your customer. You need to research them and their spending patterns, understand what they want. Does an inactive 55 year old person really want Lycra or do they want cheap, fleecy track pants? Does a cash-strapped young single mother still want her child to wear the best they can afford?Social mediaThis form of marketing is important. It’s currently the way the world is turning, in a marketing sense as well as a social, connective way. Facebook’s targeted ads provide a way to market your product to just about anyone. You can target to people based on relationship status, work and business areas, parental status, age, fitness levels, leisure activities to name just a few. Use Facebook to your advantage. It’s also important to separate your social media sites. Your personal site should not be the same one as you use for your products, particularly once you’ve passed the start-up phase.Measurable goals and time framesIn the early days, it’s best not to focus on making money. Don’t bring in huge amounts of stock in the early days; it’s never going to be as easy to sell as you initially think it will. First of all, you need to test your...

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Today must be a slow news day. Fit Model Controversy!

Today must be a slow news day. Fit Model Controversy!

Posted by on Jul 7, 2015 in Industry Know How, Industry Trends | 2 comments

This morning I have woken up to the controversy about fit models/receptionists roles within our industry. I believe that ignorance in many areas of life is caused by lack of education, so today it is my aim to provide some education, not only to those outside of the fashion industry, but also to those clients we work with every day, on the importance of fit models.Firstly, a fit model is not a photographic model. You will never see photos of a fit model in advertising. There may be numerous photos taken of your armhole, neckline or sleeve for the purpose of communicating pattern and fit issues but non require touch ups or make up. A fit model is solely for the purpose of fit and comfort and for immediate human feedback on issues that may affect the final customer (you) that cannot be obtained from a firm surface mannequin.I think we need to take a step back further in the process to truly understand the importance of this role, and why a company such as Lorna Jane would in fact need someone in this role, so much so that it may be the majority of their job description with some light duties in between, such as answering the phone.One of the first questions I discuss with all of our clients both in our mentoring program and as established companies is: who is your customer? Are you designing for an 18 year old or 45 year old, are they average height or tall? Are you trying to solve a fit issue that you have a problem with yourself such as big hips and small bust? Or are you just looking to fit to an Australian body shape in an industry of poorly fitting garments (see previous posts)? It is so important to establish this customer profile and more importantly to find a fit model that you can use for every fitting to ensure you are consistent in the fit of every garment in your range. With internet shopping on the rise it is essential that all garments in your range fit to a consistent measurement and shape to reduce returns and customer dissatisfaction.I strongly suggest that you do not fit on your own body. Unfortunately we are all very critical of our own body shapes and you will be not be able to look at the garment objectively.When choosing a fit model for your brand you are looking for the middle size of the size range. For Lorna Jane it is a size 10, so that when the pattern is graded up and down 5cm (made bigger and smaller) it will be the middle size of a 6,8,10,12, 14 size range. If you are working on a plus size range, that’s a size 18 model for a range of 14,16,18,20,22. They must have good proportions, average body length, average leg...

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Looking for a Point of Difference?

Looking for a Point of Difference?

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

The fashion industry is always changing. Trends in how to design and manufacturer a product change just as often as hem lines.  One of the biggest changes I have seen in the last year is that a lot of traditional developers/retailers have started to design. Now this may sounds a bit strange but what I mean by this is, in the past designers have often travelled overseas and purchased samples, come back and designed ‘based’ on these styles.With the ‘onslaught’ of overseas retailers, it has made it increasingly hard to ‘develop’ product from these buying trips. On top of this, there is the financial pressure to reduce travel etc. There are a new breed of developers who are quickly climbing the ranks and we are liking it!These developers still research the trends on buying trips and trend forecasting websites but they also bring more experimentation into the design process. They design unique garments!But this makes it harder to develop your product with overseas manufacturers who are very literal and require detailed instructions and specifications to make a pattern. This new way of designing requires a closer relationship with a pattern maker to create unique patterns and problem solve any issues before heading back overseas for production.Well not all pattern makers are set up for offshore production. The minimum requirement is a computer pattern making system that can export patterns to DXF, a universal file format that means you can open in most pattern making programs. Other skills a pattern maker needs to successfully work with offshore manufacturers include a knowledge of offshore specifications, and how a manufacturer thinks and works as well as an understanding of what can go wrong to set up instructions to elimiate the risk. At Sample Room we are onshore and offshore friendly.You might come up against some resistance from your manfacturer and it is important for you to know why. They may want to control the patternmaking process to lock you into a ‘contract’- if you need that particular style/fit then you have no choice but to stay with them. They may not have a computer pattern making program and don’t want to tell you (we can always send a paper pattern by mail). They may not know how to import a DXF pattern (believe us this happened just the other day when we showed a Tasmanian manufacturer what a DXF pattern was and now he has discovered a whole new world to his manufacturing business!).Anyway, whatever the reason, we just want you to know that if you are looking to do something a bit different and you have no idea how to get your idea across. Don’t worry, have a chat with us and we can get you to market quicker with unique design that no one else has thought of. How cool is that!You can email us at info@sampleroom.com.au or give us a call...

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Fast Fashion or Great Fit – Which will triumph?

Posted by on Feb 10, 2014 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

There is a lot of press at the moment about the big International retailers coming to town to take everyone’s retail dollar and shut down every local small label that ever dared to think yeah I could survive in our market. Well, I’ve had enough of this… There are a few points of view I think need to be told.Last Friday night, I went clothes shopping. This does not happen a lot, mainly because as every long-term fashion industry employee would understand, that after a week of working, sweating and stressing over patterns and samples, the last thing you want to do in your spare time is shop. The result of this is that I don’t have a lot of clothes in my wardrobe and what I do have has to be pretty special, either in design or fit. Before you say why don’t you make your clothes? I always do a quick comparison between the cost to make one sample and the cost to buy off the rack. Off the rack nearly always wins.So, I head to the city on Friday night and start with the regulars: Zara, MNG, Myer, etc. The selection is okay, lots of clothes for a university student who looks good in nearly anything, but also a huge line up to try clothes on. I grab a couple of tops and make an educated guess of the size I need, based on what I make everyday and what I have known for 20 years.  I grab a medium, as I would call myself an 11 at the moment, head to the checkout and pay for the tops, taking note that in the off chance that the tops don’t fit; I can exchange them for the next size up.As soon as I get home, I tried them on (I was keen to wear them as soon as I could). I found that they are too small, I’m not talking half a size; I’m talking 2-3 sizes. A small button also comes off one of the tops during the process.On Saturday afternoon, I head back into said store to exchange the tops for a larger size. Instead of going one size up, I grab an XL and head to the long line for the changeroom.Whilst standing there, I notice a couple of things: 1 – There doesn’t seem to be anyone with hips, boobs or a bum in the store. 2 – Almost every lady walking out of the change room hands back nearly every garment and says – no thanks.Finally, it’s my turn. I try my tops on and find that, at two sizes up, the XL tops are too loose in the bust and hip (as I think the styling intended), but the sleeves are still very tight. There is also a sleeve tab, intended to fold the sleeve up to 3/4 length, however...

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