The Fashion Show: Why? When? How?
I have this picture up, this is very nostalgic for me 'cause it's a picture of so many designers and models and makeup and hair people all who worked fashion week one year and I'm actually there in the middle, the skinny barefaced one sitting on the ground. I look like I was 12 but it was 1999 and this is a little nostalgia because I was really proud of our origins, but also to emphasize how important this community is and these building these teams and knowing that a fashion show, there's no way of getting around having an incredible amount of people involved. Whether you're hitting them up or someone's doing it for you or you're just involved, you're just a guest designer in a show. I think it's a really important thing to respect the sheer scope of what's involved so that's why I wanted to kind of break it down today and allow you to address all those issues so that you can create your own fashion show when you're ready for it. Alright so as we said it's the why, the when, and the h...
ow. So I've broken it down into three particular ones. So for the why, the question you want to ask yourself is it a personal reason or a professional reason, a business reason. And here I think that what we're weighing is, is it something you want to feel do we feel like we need a little glory like you mentioned, that sense of people are celebrating me and my work by coming to a fashion show because that's perfectly valid. We work hard all year gearing up for this and having a moment you kind of celebrate what you do is really exciting, but if you approach it from a business point of view, and ask yourself how is this valuable to your plans for the business of fashion design. Then I think you end up having to answer a whole lot of other questions and I think they can be really helpful because in the end, the fashion show is this huge investment in time and resources so you don't want to do that for a 20 minute or a ten minute or however long the fashion show is, you want it to be fruitful and provide additional things and experiences and content that you can extend the life of the experience afterwards. We'll talk a little bit about that later. So the second one, is the when. And this is are you on the calendar or are you off. And by that I mean we know that sometimes from a business standpoint we need to be on the calender in order to connect with people early enough for instance that are going to be buying and selling your clothes after the fact. So the big industry shows usually happen ahead of season. So in February the shows will be showing fall merchandise and giving that sort of that buffer of time. But sometimes fashion shows, that's the business point but then the entertainment value of fashion shows or promotional value of fashion shows can come at any time of year and they can attach to any situation, because sometimes we forget that most of the general public looks at fashion in two ways, shopping and the entertainment value. There are people the shows are just merely entertainment like going to the theater and they leave and they don't give it a second thought, they thought it was fun that was great, it was exciting and it was all about the experience. A lot of designers walk into the idea, go into the process of creating a fashion show thinking this is going to solve all of their problems, they're going to have buyers, they're going to have press. The truth of the matter is that in most major cities that are fashion cities, yes the buyers and the press are probably there, but when it comes to regional areas and we've learned this in Boston it's not about that. It may be the fantasy, but the real value of it is connecting with your audience locally because anyone who's thinking about buying globally and that kind of stuff is going to be going to the major hubs. So although it'd be nice if we got buyers and press from all around the world coming in. What we really need to concentrate when we're doing fashion shows either for charities or in our local communities at any given time of the year is how are we connecting and building a customer base. So that speaks to when you do it because for some people they want to see a fashion show and they want to buy it the same day or in that season, so in September there may be a fashion show and in Boston we have designers who show on both timetables. They'll show in season which will be so that that customer can in theory go to that show or go to that shop and buy the next week and other people are projecting for the next season for the buyers that need that lead time or not just even the buyers but sometimes the press, magazines need a long lead time, any kind of promotional thing so again this strategy of when is very very important because they're not created equal. And then do you have the resources? This one seems pretty simple enough but after we go through the checklist I think everyone's going to wonder if they have the resources and it doesn't mean always money but do you have the talent, all the creative talent and logistical talent to make things happen?