The Fashion Designer Survival Guide, Revised and Expanded Edition PDF by Mary Gehlhar

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The Fashion Designer Survival Guide, Revised and Expanded Edition
by Mary Gehlhar
The Fashion Designer Survival Guide, Revised and Expanded Edition

Contents
Foreword
Preface
One Piece of Advice
1 • Before You Start
The Reality
You Survived the Bad News
2 • The Fundamentals
The Plan
Elements of the Plan
Setting up the Business, by Melanie Jones
3 • The Money
How Much Do You Need?
Where to Find Money
Factoring, by Tim Moore
4 • Product Development
Know Your Customer
Have a Point of View
The Trends
The Collection
Signature Items
The Quality Standard
It Must Look the Price
Commerciality and Show
5 • Fabric and Materials
Learn First
The Challenges
The Sources
Once You Order
6 • Production
The Production Plan
Sample Production
Tips and Considerations When Hiring a Patternmaker, by Sally Beers
Production Options
Production Management
Factory Management
7 • Marketing and Branding Materials
Be Your Brand
Logos
Press and Sales Kits
Other Marketing Materials
8 • Sales
The Financial Realities of Selling
Where to Sell
Selling to the Stores
Cold Calling, by Rachel Shechtman
The Appointment
The Order
Getting Paid
Customer Service and Supporting Sales
Who Should Sell the Line?
Trade Shows
Making the Most of the Shows, by Barbara Kramer
9 • Press and Public Relations
Good News/Bad News
The PR Strategy
Dressing Celebrities, by Roger Padilha
Who Should Handle PR?
10 • The Runway
To Show or Not to Show
Producing a Runway Show
Sponsorship
11 • Copyrights and Knockoffs
Fashion Design and the Copyright Laws by Jason Gabbard
12 • Expanding the Business
Licensing
A Second Line
Partnerships/Consulting
Creative Direction
Investors and Partners
Acknowledgments
Notes
Resources
Index

Preface
This book was originally published in 2005 and now, three years later, the proposition of being an independent fashion designer is as exhilarating as ever. Few industries move as fast as fashion, and opportunity abounds as the competition increases and the playing field changes daily. Driven by celebrity obsession, fashion television, and the Internet, fashion is in hot demand. New designers are benefiting from an increased interest by retailers, editors, stylists, and even investors wanting to discover fashion’s greatest new hidden talent and off er shoppers a diverse selection.

Consumers are more interested in what’s new than in big brands. Economic forces are also at play. The deflation of the dollar against the euro is leading American buyers to cut their European purchases and seek new, U.S.-based sources, and Europe is becoming a viable market. Accessories are booming as consumers willingly invest in high-end bags and shoes that don’t fluctuate with their weight. New markets are available to designers as mass marketing and low-end design gigs at large chains, such as Gap and Target, have gained acceptability.

At the same time, the market is more saturated, more sophisticated, and more challenging. Fashion’s increasing role as part of pop culture has put more pressure on designers to be a personality or star and to differentiate their products to compete against the inexpensive, trend-driven fast fashion from chains such as H&M. More celebrities are launching their own labels, scooping up shelf space and licensing opportunities. Stores are less loyal to their designers as they look over their shoulder to welcome the next new name with buzz. The jaded say that starting your own label is really just a short-term strategy to getting a high-profile design job at an established label.

At the end of day, there is still a great need and desire for true innovation and creativity mixed with strong business acumen. Few resources are available to help prepare designers for having their own labels. Fashion school will teach you about patterns, draping, and trend forecasts. It can prepare you for a successful career as head designer and even off er classes on bookkeeping and business plans. But running your own business is another matter.

This book is designed to help new designers successfully set up and run a business, benefiting from the pitfalls, mistakes, and triumphs of other designers who are doing it themselves. This second edition includes new sections on financing and private equity, sales and cold calling, and partnerships and consulting opportunities; an update on the extensive efforts to protect fashion designs legally; photo examples for branding and product development; as well as extended sections of quotes from entrepreneurial designers who are in the trenches facing these challenges every day.

Through the course of writing the book, I’ve spoken with more than 100 designers and industry professionals about their specific areas of expertise. I have gained valuable insight from the innovative thinkers and great business minds who have generously shared their experiences. Among the buying offices, editorial departments, fabric mills, factories, and financial institutions, there is a passionate crowd rooting for the next generation of designers.

These pages will demystify the world of young designers and reveal the tough parts while providing the knowledge and tools to carry on. It is a collective summary of what it takes to survive. The advice is not sugar coated, and it’s not always what you want to hear. But knowledge is power and should not discourage you.

The book is intended to help designers in their first few years and lend guidance to those who have been operating for much longer. It was written to increase the odds of success. Here’s to the next generation.
It is US$10. To get this book send email: textileebooks@gmail.com

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