If you are an emerging fashion designer, from day 1 you are probably considering your brand launch. What lengths should you go to in organising a launch? Is a launch expensive?
Well, like anything in life, launching your brand, and the expense behind it comes down to YOU. At Sample Room, we’ve seen many different launches over the years, each of them equally wonderful and successful, and some not so successful. You just need to know who your customer is—we say this a lot at Sample Room, but we can’t stress how important it truly is to know who you’re selling to BEFORE you start selling—and cater to them.
Not so long ago, one of our mentees launched her brand and it was a huge success for her with sales on the night of the launch reaching $30,000. One of the reasons behind her success was that she lived and breathed her brand. She wore her designs, she constantly marketed her brand and knew exactly what type of woman she was designing for. Because of the groundwork, she laid in establishing her brand before launching, our mentee was able to invite friends, work colleagues, neighbours and family members to her launch. Each of these people also spoke about the brand and invited more people along.
Your launch need not be a tricky process. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars and you don’t need to include Anna Wintour on the guest list. It can be as simple as inviting school or kinder mums over for champagne, or a bunch of your girlfriends and theirs too. It can be a dinner party where the men at the table get a chance to see the host wearing your brand. Why not consider a pool party, if you’re designing swimwear or a cycle event and the endpoint is your launch? Get creative in planning your launch. Maybe your designs are kids’ sleepwear—invite all the mums you know, stock the freezer with Icy-Poles and have a face-painter there so the kids are entertained while you launch. If the label you are designing is clothing for woman, why not consider bringing in a stylist to help your customers learn how to put an outfit together? Most of us need a little styling help, wouldn’t you say? We’ve all got different—yet equally fabulous—body shapes so having someone on hand at your launch to give guidance in say, teaming a particular scarf with a shirt. Or how those tailored suit pants you’ve designed can be dressed-down to go from the office to a casual night at the movies.
The important thing to remember here is not to underestimate the option of in-home selling. Remember all those lingerie parties, Nutrimetics and Tupperware parties, where the host invited all her friends over? There was bubbles, cheese and kabana, dips and crackers. Ah, yes, we might look back on such evenings with cynicism, but they worked! And in-home selling still works. Invite your besties, your greatest supporters. Use word-of-mouth advertising and your launch will be a great success. It will be specific to your brand. It will be true to you. And that is precisely where success ushers itself in.