Small Designers

Discussion in 'Designers and Collections' started by Erzébeth, Feb 17, 2004.

  1. micouture

    micouture New Member

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    Where do you live brian? I live her in Los Angeles and you can buy cotton tshirts with lycra, prewashe pigment dyed, fine guage, the same quality dior uses for around $3 each - I figured another 50% for the store mark up to cover expenses and another $1 for misc. and dior could realistically sell the tshirts for $7 but then where would the illusion of luxury be?
     
  2. Lena

    Lena etre soi-meme

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    Okay, I highly doubt that.
    However, if it were true then I am pretty much screwed as I do not have enough money to create/make/print my own fabrics.

    Just like when someone told me that I can't have the name "haute couture" in my company/line's name if it's not "true couture"...which to them means garments made using the utmost highest quality $1,000+/yard European fabrics.
    That is something I cannot do. Yet, anyway.. [/b][/quote]
    if you doubt that companies order special fabrics for their collections,
    join me while working at Premiere Vision fabric fair in Paris next week brian

    or visit the Premierevision site to get some info on exposands and visitors..

    all companies, small and big meet at this huge & prestigious fabric fair
    (and at others- there is also a NY PV preview show) to rder their customised
    fabrics for s.s.05. Everyone needs a customised fabric, be it in texture, colour, print or more. the more exclusive a line/label, the more need for a special kind of fabric that nobody else has.

    this is the way it works.
    there was another topic on your couture line,
    the term haute couture means something very precise
    and should be used accordingly.

    as for 1000$ per meter fabrics, this is in the sf range,
    couture is around 100-500$ for 'basic fabric per meter
    without counting hand embroidery etc
     
  3. Lena

    Lena etre soi-meme

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    dior is not buying premade t-shirts in LA
    please get over this.

    the Dior t-shirts are not the same quality (fabric/cut/manufacturing)
    as the ones you get for 3$ mass production.
     
  4. micouture

    micouture New Member

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    You can use any name you like in your label - f what people say is "juicy couture really couture? People use names all the time to give the illusion of something else. Look at my name "micouture" i am not a couture house nor do I aim to be, I am merely taking advantage of the consumers interest in high fashion, and what they precieve to be high quality through marketing. Feel free to do the same. You have my permision :wink:
     
  5. micouture

    micouture New Member

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    In response to the topic my thought to succes as a small designer:

    Low overhead - buy only what you need to start
    Outsource - what you can, dont hire anyone unless you have to
    Reasearch - know who your customer is, where you plan to sell, how much it will cost and what you will compete against.
    Ask other designers - meet other designers and ask for thier advice
    Intern - work for another company and learn from thier succuess and failures
    Start small - pick a sector (contemporary tops for example) and make only a few tops in a few colorts of 1 material. Once you sell them then grow and add more.
    Network - go out and meet as many people as you can
    Go shopping once a week - know what selling , whats not, whats new, etc.
    Go to new cultural events - exposing yourself to new ideas will get you in the mood to design new things.
    Ask questions - ask lots of questions to everyone you know, including me :wink:
     
  6. Urban Stylin

    Urban Stylin ɐʎ ʎǝɥ

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    you have to love this forum!~~
     
  7. marrimoda

    marrimoda doing it

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    slapping your name on someone elses work, when you dont contribute anything to the final design is in my opinion UNETHICAL.

    That kind of market doesnt belong in stores, theres plenty of it on the streets...
     
  8. g r a c e

    g r a c e New Member

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    Wow, this has been a really interesting debate.
    I agree with the jist of what Lena has been saying, that the days of ripping off the consumer are over. Consumers everywhere are far more in touch with the fashion industry these days, they know what they want and often how much it is worth. Fashion houses aren't going to be able to make money out of tees with a label on the front.
    But then, again the European and American markets are very different, and the Australian market is different again so what I am saying only really applies to my situation.
    In regards to the actual topic - :P - I think small designers should present a small, neat capsule collection. If your family and friends aren't buying or aren't buying enough, go straight to the buyers. Book a nice hotel room for a few nights, send out relatively inexpensive yet very chic postcard invites, call them.
    And if it doesn't turn out, consider it a holiday in a very swish hotel! :P
     
  9. micouture

    micouture New Member

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    Well then every major designer who liscences thier name to products they dont design is unethical as well which is just about every designer who has a fragrance line and a sunglass line ....if you think designers design everything with thier name on it you arent very well informed.
     
  10. tealady

    tealady New Member

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    micouture, in the scenario you posed it seemed as if the real designer of the clothing in question would have no idea that you were going to "literally" rip them off. When designers license products such as scent and glasses, everyone knows what's going on. Designers are involved in choices that reflect what they would like to see in the end product. That is completely different from what you seem to propose.
     
  11. micouture

    micouture New Member

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    Well there are a couple ways you can go about it - Lets talk about t-shirts. some companies will allow you to cut thier labels off (american apparel) since they sell primarily to wholesalers, I mean who wants to manufature t-shirts as a young designer , you will never be able to sell them for what you put into them. Now if we move down the line to dresses it becomes tricky, you might be able to fool a buyer that dosent know of the other product, but if they do you will look bad, unless its cheaper.

    One of the biggest problems with young designers is the inablity to produce a product due to limited capital. If you want to start a line and have $1000 how far can you strech it? If you are creative $1000 can go a long way. If you are not you could burn $1000 on 1 garment. Production mistakes and costing a garment down from what you originally thought it would cost, along with grading and fittings, etc, it all adds up. If you take an existing product alot of the work has been done for you, and if the product is selling in the market already you know it has a place.

    Another thing most designers do is to knock off something higher up the food chain and modify it in some way hence making it thier own. Lets say you had a bridge line and you want to sell dior type stuff at a lower price, you could buy a dior dress that you want to knock off, take it to a sample maker, have them measure it and make a pattern from it, then buy less expensive fabric and have it made, slap your name on it an viola, you have a great product that people who cannot afford real dior but like the look may buy. Most of the biggest companies knock off in some way or another because most consumers want to look like a million bucks but dont have a million bucks.

    And as far as lena's comment about respect the customer, its a ncie concept but I just dont think its practical in the real business world. A business is there to make money, if the business has investors the pressure to make a profit is even greater, if you think you can tell your investor, we are going to make 50% less but we will respect our customer they will laugh and say "f the customer" "show me the money" Now you may give the consumer the illusion that you are resppecting them but the reality is that pushing consumerism onto people is a form of brainwashing.

    If you want to truely resepect the customer then you should tell them not to buy any more products since most people have enough clothing in thier closets to last them for the rest of thier lives. Most consumers are jaded by advertizing into thinkng they have to have what thier nieghbor has or what the cool guy on tv has, and its turned into big business. Just imagine if all the biggest companies stopped advertizing and placing product on celebrities, what would you end up buying? To me i see these big companies as drug pushers, each add calls you to take another hit, put yourself into debt, just so you can feel special for a few moments when you tell someone "its dior".
     
  12. Urban Stylin

    Urban Stylin ɐʎ ʎǝɥ

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    by the way micoutures avatar is also the beautiful image on his site.........just to neutralise the thing!
    when do we see the rest of the site?off topic i know~~~
     
  13. micouture

    micouture New Member

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    Thanks eguana!

    Well I am finalizing production on my spring 05 which should be ready by next week. I may show in LA fashion week if all goes well, I will have pictures from a runway show, if not pictures from a photoshoot. Either way about a week or 2.

    Did anyone at fashion week in NY see any www.micouture.com stickers? We bombed most of the olympus signs, the subway and various spots here and there. Gorilla marketing at its best.
     
  14. brian

    brian New Member

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    *guerilla
     
  15. micouture

    micouture New Member

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    well i sent a man in a gorrilla suit to put them up so its gorilla guerilla
     
  16. As You Like It

    As You Like It Proponent of Plaid

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    I can tell you what I do as a small-time operator to kind of keep going.

    1. Advertise locally. I am registered with several fabric shops on their "recommended dressmakers" lists. I post flyers in shops in trendy areas that have flyer boards, I leave business cards with cool shop owners (often stores that cater to a clientele such as I do, but sell different products, like an art supply store, a skateboard shop, and a gay gifts/novelties shop). I advertise in the neighborhood newspaper (one of those Thursday freebies). If anybody asks me about my hat or my outfit, I tell them that I made it, that I run a small sewing business, and I give them a business card. I always carry my business cards.

    2. Word of mouth. I started out mostly doing my own clothing, and doing mending and alterations for my friends. I did some formal-wear for a couple of friends, who referred other customers to me, who referred a couple of other customers to me, ect. Do nice work and treat your clients well, and they will speak well of you to other people who might need your services.

    3. Run a tight business. Keep good records, give receipts, pay your sales taxes on time, or the government will put the deep hurtin' on you. Be prompt with your deadlines, give your customers realistic estimates, both for time and price, and make sure you get a down payment on any big project you undertake. Build up a good working relationship with your wholesalers, any consignment shops or retail outlets you plan to sell through, essentially, don't piss off any of the network you have to work within. If you don't pay up on your bill at the wholesaler, get a bad credit rating, ect., it will hold you down later on. Pretty much be professional, run a good business, take care of your business, and keep up good relations with your customers, suppliers, partners (if any) and sellers (if any).

    4. Sell online. I make up things that require minimal sizing--hats principally, then auction them online. This is not a major part of my livelihood, but it is fun, and it does bring in a small amount of money that I can re-invest into my business or use for the occasional indulgence for myself.

    5. Don't quit your day job. I have a "real job" that keeps the bills paid, the ends met, and me at the end of my chain. I realize that realistically, it is not possible to fully support myself with my sewing business...yet. I hope someday to sew full-time, but right now, I'm still starting out. I think I could make more progress with my business if I didn't have so many hours with my day job, but I also have large student loans and other financial commitments that have to take priority.

    So anyway, that's my advice for getting going and staying afloat.
     
  17. softgrey

    softgrey flaunt the imperfection

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    i can't believe i missed out on this one...it's great to hear people who actually know a thing or two having an animated discussion/debate. :heart:

    Lena :heart: -you must know that smaller designers do not always have their own fabrics made...they can't afford it...you must work with some higher end or mass market companies who have bigger budgets.
    I know about premier vision-the fabric show in Paris, I've been with a designer friend of mine, but she has to order silk from China because it's all she can afford. Then she"customizes" it in her own studio by hand dying/ painting and various other techniques which she has come up with which I won't go into here. You've got to be resourceful and creative.

    Micouture :heart: I'm familiar w/ the t-shirt company you referred to-American Apparel. You're right-tons of contmporary sprtswear companies buy their tops and put their own logo or label on them. It's completely legitimate. The t-shirt company puts the label in for them. and they are super cheap!

    And quite frankly, I'm not convinced that Tom Ford has ever 'designed' anything in his life. I think he copies, styles and edits well-maybe he will make a good director since he's good at putting the team together and getting results-the same can be said of Marc Jacobs.

    I think the main thing is, that-Lena is talking about the pure art of design and Micouture is talking about what it takes to be successful in business. The marriage of art and commerce is the ideal... :flower: Each person's path will be a little different. There aren't any surefire tricks for success.

    Good Luck :flower:
     
  18. micouture

    micouture New Member

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    well said softgrey :wink:
     
  19. Oria

    Oria New Member

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    you posted bills all overt nyc? that's illegal :lol: i think some of your comments make good business sense, but some of your ideals just differ to mines and others. Designers of all sorts take inspiration but to completely go unoriginal in interpretation is rather tried and dead to me.
     
  20. Jentlemen

    Jentlemen New Member

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    to the orignal poster.. i recommend he or she check out Gen Art

    http://www.genart.org/

    "Gen Art is the leading arts and entertainment organization with offices in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami and Chicago dedicated to showcasing emerging fashion designers, filmmakers, musicians and visual artists. "


    For those new to the industry fashion designers.. Gen Art has an annual fashion show for
    · Women’s Ready To Wear
    · Women’s Eveningwear
    · Women’s Avant-garde
    · Menswear
    · Accessories

    http://www.turnstyle.com/genart2k/infocent...333.65B9.0.9E1C

    with five.. $5000 cash awards :smile: Also only designers with 7 yrs or less experience, students of fashion, etc are allowed to enter.

    and most importantly.. the event gets ALOT of coverage from the press and it also catches the eye of companies who might be interested in your collection or talent
     

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