As your design dreams become tangible it’s time for you to showcase them. This is a very exciting part of designing. Along with glamour will come fame, fun, and celebrities. The fashion show is the culmination of your dreams, the stage when the world will see your creations on beautiful models. This may be your first brush with the fashion moguls. Full of anticipation and hope! The show metamorphoses the designer into a celebrity himself. It’s a launch pad and leverage when it is attended by celebrities and media that will work for you in the long run. With the show, your name will be linked with renowned designers and you will be recognised by your target customers and retailers. It’s also a welcome break from working in absolute solitude.
Fashion shows are costly, to say the least. Many designers have gone out of business, because they couldn’t sustain themselves after the show. Overspending on fashion shows, and not keeping enough for production, publicity, or delivery can impact the business in a disastrous manner. You need a good amount to spend on the fashion show as the costs involve products, models, coordinators, stage, lighting, area, make up, music and so on. There is also the cost of publicity of the show and advertising.
There are ways to minimise your expenses for shows. You could find sponsors; use your network to get free publicity, discounts on advertising expenses, new models who want to showcase themselves on the ramp and so on. There can be many ingenious ways to lessen your expenses on fashion shows, if you do effective micro planning. Do not sacrifice professionalism while you seek to cut down costs on shows. Your line concept and your clothes should coordinate with your show and the show should express and speak directly to your target market. Do not rush into staging a fashion show, until you have the resources in place.
Attracting the Audience
When you plan resources for the show, keep in mind the audience. You need the decision makers to come and watch the show. There are numerous fashion shows organised all around the country. Your show must be placed in a manner that the people you want to attend, are free to do so and not attending another show. There will be vendors, buyers, suppliers, retailers, editors, critics, fashion scouts, and the like.
Showcase products that look good on the ramp. There will be pieces in your collection which will look good in a catalogue or lookbook but do not have a stage presence. Plan the products you want to display on the ramp. The ramp is for over the top, glitzy glamour. If your line is conservative, try to display it at a trade show rather than a fashion show.
Fashion pundits opine that budding designers need not have a fashion show to launch themselves. They could display their products through other modes. For instance, they could use mannequins in strategic stores or hotels or trade shows. They could have a fashion presentation at a boutique to display their line. Decision makers in the fashion business are busy during the fashion weeks where they have to make an appearance. Sometimes the show runs on for hours. Using this information, a designer can hold his presentation or cocktail party or high tea close to the location of show and display his entire line within minutes to these decision makers. When your product is high priced, you can hold an upscale event where a few models display your collection and intermingle with the audience, simultaneously. If your event is short, precise, pleasant and impressive chances are you will hear from the decision makers in no time.
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How to profit from the show?
Before you go ahead and plan for the fashion show, you need to decide what profits you hope to reap by staging the show. There is the glamour and fanfare associated with fashion shows, and the celebrities and media coverage, but what is the take home? Just putting up a great show and getting applauds is not enough. Is your show establishing your brand image? And will this brand image translate into sales thereafter, are the key questions you need to ask yourself. Your fashion show can be exhausting both mentally and physically. It can take away your focus from your real work that will bring in the money. It is more important that key people know you and want to do business with you, rather than you being known by everybody in the fashion business. When decision makers know you personally and see your work at close quarters, there is a better chance of getting orders that you seek. You could seek advice from people within the industry if you are intending to participate in a show.
When you have decided that you want to go ahead and have the show, you have to strategize about the timing of the show. Groundwork should be up to the mark before you go ahead. You must come across as professional before, during, and after the show. Established designers suggest you have your first show after your company starts making profits. Your production and deliveries should be up and ready before the show. Once you have the show, media will talk about it and customers will be interested in buying your brands. So if you do not have enough production, the show will not reap you rewards and your customers will lose interest.