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18-08-2005
  1
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Selling my Line to Buyers/Boutique Owners
Hi all.

I have a new line and was wondering how to go about presenting to buyers at boutiques. I have samples of my line but would like to reach out to buyers both in and outside of my area.

What should I send? Should I call first? Should I send samples to everyone? Should I send a full catalog or will a linesheet suffice?

Thanks in advance.

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18-08-2005
  2
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if you have a little $$ to spend, doing trade shows is always a good way to reach the masses

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20-08-2005
  3
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I think it would be better to present your collections individually to each buyer, so they feel as if you have chosen them - so they may be more likely to accept your offer.

Also there are two ways of going about this - start off at a less known store and work your way up, or try really hard to get a more known store to accept and then other stores will be more likely to accept

Good luck


Last edited by Ceptuouse; 20-08-2005 at 04:02 AM.
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20-08-2005
  4
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excellent advice JR1 & crepe

sending out 'teaser' dvd'c or digital lookbook as a warm up for your appointments, will also help a lot..
tradefairs are good but you need to have a 'client base' to start with..
choosing the right tradefair for your line is also crucial, need quite some scouting before making up your mind on which tradefair is better for your line..

good luck with the project nappywun and welcome to tFS

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20-08-2005
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Hello Nappywun,

Congradualtions on your new clothing line! Obviously you know which level of consumer you desire to appeal to with your new line. You should than research the boutiques, deparment stores or online boutiques that best fit your target market. After you have gathered or selected your choices, contact them through telephone or e-mail or, best of all and if possible, in person.

When you arrive in person, do not bring your whole line, only the important pieces of the collection along with some of your designs. Be ready to discuss price-points and your vision of where and on who you want to see your products on.

As a buyer for high-end boutiques, some important features I look for are:
1). Quality of fabric
2). Cut precision and quality
3). Correct fabric usage for the design
4). Quality of stiching, tailoring
5). On jackets and pants: quality of buttons (a good jacket or a great pair of pants will never have cheap buttons.)
quality of button holes ( the button holes should have no lose threads or unfinished ends).

However, the above are just a short list of what buyers would be looking for and everyone is different. Most importantly when I buy from a new designer, the number one factor is how focused and sure he or she is on the direction of the line. The number one thing is to know what you are good at and what you are not. Do what you are good at and hire people around you that are good at what you are not.

Boutique runs are the best for a new designer. And of course, let your friends wear your designs, they are your best promoters!

Good Luck!

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20-08-2005
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JR1 and Lena gave great advice. Be well-prepared, if you can find a friend to model your clothes when you make in-person calls would be great as well. And if you can use the same friend and make a CD of your line and send them out to perspective buyers is a great first step as well.

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20-08-2005
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nice to have a buyer's opinion posted here, a warm welcome to tFS for you dancingqueen

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21-08-2005
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Thanks all for the advice.

I was thinking of sending a cd/dvd of my line to potential buyers but wasn't sure if that was acceptable in lieu of an actual catalog or linesheet. Which do you guys think is best if I am mailing to a store I cannot physically go to?

Also are there specific times to approach buyers (ie. before october for fall/holiday season etc.) to get the best response?

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21-08-2005
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a cd/dvd is really fine.. thats what most people sent before arranging personal interviews with buyers

mid to end of september is very good for fall winter lines if you are based in EU, in USA you may need to sent a bit earlier.. i'd say before the shows, since after the shows/trade exhibitions most budget is gone

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11-09-2005
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Join Date: Feb 2005
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Hi there, I am also a designer and am now working on my first range under my own name...
Just a quick question for DancingQueen.. I was wondering why you recommended only bringing a few pieces from the range to showings rather than the whole lot?
Thanks in advance...


Last edited by BetteT; 13-09-2010 at 01:36 PM. Reason: Removing response to moved post.
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13-09-2005
  11
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You are all so inspirational

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04-01-2011
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Hey I wanted to bump this thread and get a bit of clarity of when the best time is to court boutiques and buyers about picking up new lines.

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13-04-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markese91 View Post
Hey I wanted to bump this thread and get a bit of clarity of when the best time is to court boutiques and buyers about picking up new lines.
This is a very good question specially for those interested in selling collections (i.e. designers, marketers, PRs)!

Consider how the fashion wholesale and retail trading calendars work on your target market to get you an idea when to approach buyers.

The UK, for instance, has two sales windows lasting from 2 to 4 months: the main seasons (S/S and W/A) and the pre-season collections (designers nowadays can show up to 4-5 collections per year! ). This pre-collections permits the designer creative freedom to keep it's main collection as inspirational as possible whilst leaving the other collections more wearable and/or affordable. The pre-collections also help retailer's cash flow, and give him/her a good opportunity to sell good fashion designs earlier, be on the top of trends, and to replenish stock.

Anyway, from a retail perspective the S/S pre-season collections are sold end of May/start of June, and the Winter/Autumn pre-season collections are sold late October/early November.

For wholesale puroposes main S/S collection is sold from August to November and main A/W collection is sold from January to April. For S/S pre-seasons are sold in July and A/W pre-seasons are sold in December.

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13-04-2011
  14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frances View Post
Hi there, I am also a designer and am now working on my first range under my own name...
Just a quick question for DancingQueen.. I was wondering why you recommended only bringing a few pieces from the range to showings rather than the whole lot?
Thanks in advance...
I think DancingQueen gave a tacit answer that old but still relevant question.

For the busiest fashion buyers time is money: they usually don't have the time to go through whole collections (specially during buying seasons), but they would happily look into a practical solution like quick-reviewing samples in-site or in a showroom or trade fair, etc. Designers and PRs should apply the same logic.

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23-04-2011
  15
windowshopping
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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DANCING QUEEN:

I was wondering, since you are a buyer, if you could help me? I am in the process of getting my samples made and am starting to research how to go about selling to stores. I am a bit confused about the process though, when I go do I bring just some samples, or do I need to have an inventory before I go? Also, I should bring a "look book" with me? and how does pricing and payment go? if a store orders some pieces from me, they pay on delivery? and if a store buys my pieces and they sell, what happens next, do they contact me to buy more peices? any info you could give me would be greatly appreciated! Thanx!

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