4 responses to “Caribbean Fashion – The cost to a designer”

  1. Fashion notes: Ri-Ri sells a milli X 12, Zoe S in Cannes & Fashion Weeks « Islandista

    [...] Turns out I’m not the only islandista (?) asking these questions. There is a great post over at Caribbean Fashion Style Journal asking some of the same questions and giving some more informed perspective on it. Possibly related [...]

  2. Bonnie Sandy

    A couple days before CFDA meeting to discuss “fashion week format not Working” I posted a article asking designers why they wanted to do “FashionWeek”. It may be surprising to note that I organize a designer run event http://www.BrooklynFashionWeek.com. It is a discussion many designers do not want to hear. What is needed to get into an establishment is a connection to a buyer. Ask a designer where they would like to “hang’ they may call a familiar retail outlet , ask them to define how their brand serves that store’s customer and they draw a blank they have no idea of the company or it’s consumer. essentially that is what designer is … Creating to service a need. i’d gladly challenge any of the show producers to define thee buyers needs and identify the buyers they are “promising.”

    The truth is most buyers run small boutiques and cannot easily attend these events or shop for large retail establishments and are on the clock hence 9-5. The worst factor is that when they do get in front of buyers many designers rep themselves ( a bad idea) and are not at all prepared for the business aspect.

    As for cost their is no getting around that especially with the larger shows. NYC Fashion Week cast a designers a minimum of $ 50,000 US.One leading designers is reported to have spent $700,000. Trade shows while less expensive can cost $20,000 by the time the event is over. At least here there are actual buyers and not an assortment of literally glitter and glam in attendance. The designers we know who write orders do so at trade shows. Yet even these are not effective with 500-1000 booths they all meld into one after the first row! Still this is one of the key points of contact for the designer. the key is to have an effective support program and strategy built in!

    The problem is that those advising have very little experience or success in penetrating the market. As designer we found very few who had, and now devote our programs to addressing this weak point in the supply chain.
    While we have successfully gotten designers in front of buyers we now draw the line at insisting that programs of support be developed BEFORE going to market. Those “money’s” being invested by local governments would be better spent on quality control programs, shipping and delivery, Color and line management. Production, financing and funding. I have asked several designers from the Caribbean who have sat with me for their sizing specs and line sheets. Three years later I’m still waiting.

    The irony is that as I review the trend shows Caribbean design aesthetic is well positioned for it’s time in the spotlight. As I See It designers need to face reality and come together to create what they need.
    http://www.demarketplace.com/blog/2009/07/while-you-were-on-facebook-3/trackback/
    http://www.demarketplace.com/blog/2009/07/why-do-you-want-to-do-a-brooklyn-fashion-week-show/trackback/

  3. admin

    Thank your for your insightful thoughts Ms. Sandy. These are some of the issues that we know have been discussed at length. We hope that they will be addressed soon. There seems to be a total disconnect on some of these issues and we hope that changes quickly.

  4. dean mascall

    HELLO ALL,TRUTHFULLY,ALL THE SO CALLED DESIGNERS IN THE CARIBBEAN NEED TO GET PROFESSIONAL SCHOOLING.90% OF THEM ARE BASICALLY AMBITIOUS SEAMSTRESSES AND TAILORS,WITH A FEW MARGINAL IDEAS.NO ONE WANTS CARIBBEAN FASHION.THE ONLY SUCCESFUL DESIGNER TO COME OUT OF THE SOUTH AMERICAS IS CAROLINA HERRERA.WE NEEDTO STOP DOING THOSE OLD [WOMAN BY THE RIVER,LOOKS] AND GET READY TO DRESS REAL FASHION ICONS.THE BIGGEST FASHION PERSONALITY THE CARIBBEAN HAS EVER PRODUCED IS THE LEGENDARY,GRACE JONES.TAKE NOTE,SHE IS A GLOBAL FASHION FORCE.SHE DRESSES LIKE TRUE FASHION ROYALTY,OUTLANDISH AND BRAVE.SHE TAKES RISKS.SIMILARLY TO TRINIDADS YOKO FUNG[WHAT A WONDER TO SEE].OUR FASHION IS WAY TOO SAFE TO ATTRACT BUYERS. ALSO AS ADESIGNER U NEED TO BE ABLE TO DRESS URSELF.TOO MANY DESIGNERS MALE AND FEMALE,LOOK WASTED.HOW CAN THESE PEOPLE PROPEL THE INDUSTRY FORWARD.TO BE HONEST THERE IS NOT ONE CARIBBEAN DESIGNER,THAT CAN DRESS AN INTERNATIONAL CELEBRITY THE LIKES OF PARIS HILTON,BEYONCE,PATTI LA BELLE,JOAN COLLINS,MAQDONNA,ETC. ETC.ITS ONE THING TO SKETCH A DESIGN,ANOTHER THING TO BRING THE DESIGN TO LIFE,YET ANOTHER THING TO MARKET,MERCHANDISE AND SELL WITHIN A SPECIFIED TIME FRAME,SO U CAN ACTUALLY DO BUSINESS.CARIBBEAN FASHION IS NOT READY.IT WILL NOT BE READY ANYTIME SOON.TOO MUCH WORK TO BE DONE.BYE

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