Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

Mar 10

How The Weather is Changing The Fashion Industry

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

Has spring arrived early?  Well, it looks like it has.  Winter started late and seems to be ending early.  Yesterdays high temperature in NY was  77 degrees while the historical  average is 47 degrees. Todays high is expected to be 75 degrees with 48 as the historical average.  Wow!  Last night I went out to dinner and actually ate outside on a deck overlooking the Hudson River.  There were women wearing flip fops and men in short sleeves.  It’s the beginning of March for goodness sake.

Are people out there buying spring?  I’m not sure but it will be interesting to see the March retail numbers when they come out.

The weather in this country has been very unusual for the past several years.  The seasons don’t start and stop at the same time they did before.  In fact clothing made for specific seasons shipped at certain times make less and less sense. Making wear now clothing that is shown by manufacturers closer to the shipping date seems like the next big trend.

This spring 2016, Matthew Williamson has launched his first buy-now-wear-now collection. This line follows last year’s announcement that he would be stepping away from the London runway. The designer also closed his Mayfair flagship and has decided to focus on a direct-to-consumer model.

Burberrys and Tom Ford both announced last month that they will be launching see-now/buy/-now collections.  In a press statement Tom Ford stated; “In a world that has become increasingly immediate, the current way of showing a collection four months before it is available to customers is an antiquated idea and one that no longer makes sense,” Ford said in a release. “Our customers today want a collection that is immediately available . . . Showing the collection as it arrives in stores will remedy this, and allow the excitement that is created by a show or event to drive sales and satisfy our customers’ increasing desire to have their clothes as they are ready to wear them.”

This seems to be a trend and can certainly help with syncing fashion to the weather patterns.we

Mar 03

Why It Is Important To Hire A Lawyer With Fashion Industry Experience By David Colby

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized


Why is it important to hire lawyer with fashion experience for your brand?

Hiring an attorney with fashion business experience may be one of the best strategic decisions any fashion-related enterprise can make. Whether you are a designer, retailer or other fashion entrepreneur, having an experienced legal advisor is not just for big business anymore.

No doubt the fashion business has always been a challenge. But with the rapidly changing way information is shared and processed, the dynamic of today’s business climate presents many new challenges and opportunities. An attorney who practices in the industry should be part of your team of advisors to help you build a solid foundation, protect your interests, counsel on your options and advise on the best way forward.

A lawyer with fashion experience has insight on the expectations of deals and transactions involved in the fashion industry; thus, having a better understanding of the whole picture, they spot issues for you and not only can help you avoid costly mistakes, but can help you make the most of opportunities.

Legal issues arise during all phases of the business lifespan, from the initial formation and incorporation, to raising capital and hiring employees, and to the ultimate exit in an acquisition or IPO.   Making the right legal decisions early on creates a strong foundation to build upon; if any legal issues are not addressed at the onset, they are much more expensive problems later on. In the long term, it is cost effective to hire an experienced fashion lawyer because of the potential time, money and stress that can be avoided.

Of course, new business owners are often hesitant to hire a lawyer because of the costs associated — or the perceived costs, at least. The fact is, many legal services are more affordable than most people believe. If you put the time in finding the right person or firm to represent your business, you can get quality representation at a fair price.

One of the important things to consider is how to find the right attorney for your startup. A lawyer who specializes in real estate or personal injury litigation, although technically qualified, would probably not be the best fit for your fashion start-up, for example. Yes, you need to hire a lawyer, but you also need the right one. There are major implications to hiring the wrong lawyer because each type of business has its own legal obstacles to hurdle, and you need a lawyer that knows your industry inside and out.

David L. Colby, Esq., a Business Attorney and Managing Partner at Colby Law Office, P.C. in New York City and Miami. His firm is focused on the needs of creative entrepreneurs worldwide. David is also an Professor at both Parsons School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. He can be reached at dcolby@colbylaw.com

Feb 26

Ralph Lauren: A Success Story by Nicole Caropolo

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

The fashion industry has several iconic designers that are seen as prime examples of successful high-end fashion brands, and Ralph Lauren is one of those successes.

Ralph Lauren, born as Ralph Lifshitz in 1939, grew up in the Bronx with his family of Jewish working-class immigrants, leading his career to be summed up as a “rags to riches” story. His fashion interest stretches all the way back to when he was 12 and selling hand-made ties to his classmates. He spent much of his down time as a child watching movies, which sparked his inspirations.

Lauren dropped out of college after studying business at CUNY Baruch College for just 2 years, and briefly joined the army. After Lauren left the service, he married Ricky Low-Beer in 1964 and went from a sales job at Brooks Brothers, to working for Beau Brummell, and ended up at a tie-making job with Rivetz & Co.

While working at Rivets & Co in 1967, Lauren launched his brand with wide cut neckties for men, called “Polo.” Just three years later he won the Coty American Fashion Critics’ Awards for his men’s fashion line.

The signature trademark of Ralph Lauren’s fashion, a polo player, was created in 1972, where the logo was stitched onto short-sleeve cotton shirts.

Ralph Lauren is seen as a fashion line that combines British and American upper class styles.

Ralph Lauren boutiques have been opened internationally since the 1980s, with the main store residing in New York’s Rhinelander Mansion.

In September of 2015, just late last year, Lauren handed his chief executive position of his company over to Old Navy’s global president, Stefan Larsson. Even with the shift of power, combined with falling shares, his fortune is worth over $6 billion dollars, making Ralph Lauren one of the 200 richest people across the globe.

Ralph Lauren’s company produces luxury clothing and fragrances, as well as home furnishings.

A popular quote by Ralph Lauren spread around in the industry is, “Style is very personal. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly, style is forever.”

Jan 26

5 Tips for Persuading Fashion Boutiques to Carry Your Line

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

 

Yes, the world of e-commerce is getting stronger every day. But if you make a fashion line you still need to sell traditional brick-and-mortar stores to boost your sales and branding. Here are 5 tips to persuade fashion boutiques to carry your line.

  1. Make sure your product is great!  While this sounds obvious it is surprising how  many people fall short.  This means having a product that is special and not like anything a store might already have.  It also means having samples that are made beautifully, in the right fabric and trim, that fit well.  If a samples isn’t well made it is a red flag to a buyer that you may have trouble with production.
  2. Make sure your product has value and a store can make money with it.  Your line needs to price in line with your competition and have enough margin (the difference between the wholesale price and the retail selling price) for the stores to make a good profit. If it is priced too high for what the buyer sees as the products value they won’t buy it.
  3. Visit the stores.  There is nothing like actually meeting the buyer in their store.  You get a better idea of what the store is about and how your line fits in the store.  Also you can bond at a deeper level with the buyer.
  4. Have all your ducks in a row.  In other words make sure you have all your information at your finger tips.  Business cards, order forms, fabric content, fit information, delivery dates, and how you are going to produce.  This give the store confidence in your company.
  5. Do not oversell an area.  Nothing upsets a boutique owner more than a line that sells their product to a competitor down the street.  Stores want their customers to think their stores are special and unique and do not have product that they can get anywhere.

What retailers want is to please their customers. If they’re convinced your product will help them in that quest, you’ll be well on your way to a fruitful partnership.

 

Jan 11

Creating A Modern Luxury Brand Experience

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

 

A friend and I were speaking today.  She was telling me about a new company she discovered called Shinola Detroit.  They started by opening a watch factory in Detroit.  Their goal: Making in America.  Their story: “Making an investment in skill. Creating a community that will thrive through excellence of craft and pride of work. Where they will reclaim the making of things that are made well. And define American luxury through American quality.  They now make leather goods and bicycles.”  If you look at their site you can see the quality of the workmanship and design.  They are creating a modern luxury brand experience.

A modern luxury brand experience is different from what it used to mean even as little as 10 years ago.  Today it means not only having luxury that is obvious in the details and design of the product, but also communicating that effectively in your social media as well as advertising.   It also means doing things that resonate with your end customer.  As in Shinola Detroit which features American craftsmanship as a key feature of its product.  This helps to create an emotional connection to the product buyer.

A luxury brand doesn’t need heritage to convey its legendary status; it needs attitude and a strong personality to match. There has been a shift in the way the public perceives brands and they are now expecting more than just an out-dated piece of passive communication. Consumers want to experience and discover the brand for themselves, they want to be involved and become a part of that brand story.  Luxury brands need to wave goodbye to exclusivity and say hello to accessibility, allowing fans to not only participate in, but also shape the story.

One of the key takeaways to know when creating a modern luxury experience is that it is an experience.  Sometimes this has nothing to do with actually selling the product but rather a world that your customer visits and spends time in.

 

 

 

 

Jan 08

Sales – It Takes Time

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

 

Sales – It takes time.  I repeat the title because it is an important fact of life.  I have run companies in the fashion industry for 25 years.  But I consider myself a salesperson.  Many owners and managers hire salespeople and expect fast results.  They invest money in the staff they hire and they want to see quick outcomes.  If they don’t they think they are getting business quick enough they move on and hire another person.  They put together a road force and aren’t happy if they don’t have enough orders at the first trade show.  So they switch people.

A good sales manager knows it takes time to reach out to people and get them to respond.  Repeated attempts at contact is required.  Even then sometimes a buyer will need to see a line a few times before they decide to buy.  If you change salespeople often you don’t have continuity and there is no time for the salesperson to build a relationship with the buyer and the company.

NSEA-OFFICIAL-STATS

Recently I met with the owner of a very successful fashion company, and asked him why his staff seemed able to write large amounts of business and his response was very simple ‘me and my team have been here a long time’. It was obvious when talking to this very successful individual that he thought that too much staff churn can reduce your chances of being successful, that constantly investing money in new people for only short periods was a costly and futile exercise for all.  By building rapport between the salespeople and the buyers, the salespeople not only develop a synergy but they learn what works for the stores so that the retailer is successful with the product.

Of course there are poor salespeople.  But you can tell by the activity level if a salesperson is doing their job.  But keep in mind that sales do not happen overnight and it is a process.  Communication between you and your seller about what they are doing and how you can help them will increase their opportunities for success.  Give the sales process the time it needs to develop a healthy and growing business.

Jan 06

15 Inspiring Quotes On Entrepreneurship

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

 

There’s something about quotes that we all find irresistible. Maybe it’s because they inspire us.  There’s nothing like a great quote to get your revved up.  Here are 21 inspiring quotes that will get you hyped up and keep you motived as an entrepreneur.

  1. “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” Henry Ford
  2. “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  3. “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.” George Addair
  4. “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein
  5. “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky
  6. “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” Vince Lombardi
  7. “Every time you state what you want or believe, you’re the first to hear it. It’s a message to both you and others about what you think is possible. Don’t put a ceiling on yourself.”  Oprah Winfrey
  8. ”Genius is 1% inspiration, and 99% perspiration.” Thomas Edison
  9. “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”  Vince Lombardi
  10. “This defines entrepreneur and entrepreneurship — the entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.”  Peter F. Drucker
  11. “Opportunists seek for a chance.  Entrepreneurs make new chances.”  Toba Beta
  12. “I think a great entrepreneur is learning every day. An entrepreneur is somebody that doesn’t take no for an answer — they’re going to figure something out. They also take responsibility. They don’t blame anybody else. And they’re dreamers in one sense but they’re also realistic and they take affordable steps when they can.”  Damon John
  13. “Many have sight but few have vision.”  Idowu Koyenikan
  14. “Success is state of mind.If you want success start thinking of yourself as a success”  Joyce Brothers
  15. “Entrepreneur, noun: someone who takes calculated risks to add value to wider society with the hope of making money and building wealth”  M. James Airey
Dec 28

Why A Business Needs Goals

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

 

I have had many clients who start new businesses.  I also have clients who already have businesses.  When I have my very first conversation with them I usually ask what their goals for their business are.  Many do not have goals.  Or they don’t have specific goals.  More like vague ideas of where they want their brand to go.  It is almost like they are afraid to have any, because if they do maybe they will be to hard to hit.  So you may ask yourself “Why a business needs goals”?

One of the most important reasons why a business needs goals is to measure success.  Good organizations should always be trying to improve, grow, and become more profitable. Setting goals provides the clearest way to measure the success of the company. When you are looking at your company from a three- or five-year perspective, you are looking beyond the tactical side of your business and instead taking a much more macro view, which allows you to see the company from a competitive, business vertical or economic perspective.  It also helps you make decisions based on where you want to go.  If you want a small volume but highly profitable fashion brand you might want to sell small boutiques as opposed to high volume department stores.

Goals move entrepreneurs from “I have a dream” to “I have a strategy and a plan.”  Which to me is probably the most important reason.  It makes your business real as opposed to a hobby you’re dabbling in.  It forces you to take your business more seriously.

Using S.M.A.R.T. goals is probably the best way to make your goals.

 S.M.A.R.T. Goals are

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Realistic

Timely

Having clear goals will help you grow you business which is why a business needs goals.

 

 

Dec 18

Weatherproofing Your Fashion Business

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

 

“More Than 5,900 Daily Records Broken as Pre-Christmas Warm Wave Engulfs East, Midwest, South,” was one of the headlines on the weather.com site today. In fact it seems that the early winter weather has been rather warm the last several years.  November was the planet’s warmest month on record, in addition to an unusually strong El Niño effect heating up the US and Europe.  Neil Saunders, an analyst with the Association of Retail Environments, wrote that the total growth rate in retail across the board was an “anemic” 1.5% in November, calling apparel retail “a particular area of category weakness during the month” – specialist retailers dropped by 1.6% and department stores were down 2.8%, which Saunders attributed to warmer-than-average weather.

Now we industry people do not need to read a report by an analyst to know that warm weather impacts Fall sales.  Boot sales are down as are sweaters and coats.  Customers are not buying what they don’t need.  To compound this problem it seems spring weather comes later than usual.  So as fashion people you need to start weatherproofing your fashion business.

What does that mean?  It means we need to design clothing that is season-less.  Clothing that works for at least 3 seasons.  Coats that you can wear when the weather is a moderate 50 degrees.  Booties with open toes that you can wear stockingless in the spring or with a pair of tights in the fall.  As a young adult I dressed with scarves, hats, heavy socks, boots, and a coat in the winter.  Today I went out with Jeans, flats (no socks), and a light weight quilted jacket and a scarf that was purely for decoration and not warmth.  The climate is changing and unless we want to continue selling our clothing on sale we have to design accordingly.  It is time to start weatherproofing your fashion business.

Nov 30

Cyber Monday Is Better Then Black Friday

By Maria Pesin | Uncategorized

Cyber Monday is better than Black Friday…at least that is what my 23 year old daughter told me.  The three reasons she gave is…1. No lines…2. You don’t have to leave your house..3. The deals are just as good and most companies give free shipping.  She loves on line shopping and so does her friends.  They can spend time on each site thinking about what they want and do not have to make a decision right then and there,  like in a store.  She feels she makes better decisions and can plan her spending before she commits.

“Retailers are rolling out online deals on so-called “Cyber Monday.” But now that shoppers are online all the time anyway, the 10-year-old shopping holiday is losing some of its luster.  Still, Monday is expected to be the biggest online shopping day ever, with estimates that it will rack up over $3 billion in sales. There were some outages, including Target’s site briefly midmorning. An alert said high traffic was causing delays,”  according to Mae Anderson of nbcnewyork.com.

Truthfully my daughter has been on line since Thanksgiving planning her purchases for the season.  No one is really waiting for Cyber Monday to shop and many deals were offered long before the day.  Of course my Yahoo in-box was cluttered with emails from brands and retailers with on line sales trying to entice me to part with my money.  The problem for them is I feel no sense of urgency to shop because there are going to be bargains available everyday till Christmas.  So, if I don’t buy this one there will be another to take advantage of.  If I feel this way how many other consumers feel this way also.

I do love on line Christmas shopping!  It does make my life so much easier.  Everything seems so much easier since the internet was born.

 

 

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