Step into the future
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For Russian designers, cooperation with specialists of the Paris professional fashion opens up new prospects and opportunities in the development of their own brands.
At the first stage, it is important for the designer to decide at what time and what seasonal collection he will present internationally. The choice of a showroom depends on the brand's specialization in certain product categories. If we talk about showrooms, some of them work only with women's clothing, others with accessories, etc., and some combine several directions.
The presentations of collections organized by showrooms reflect the calendar of fashion weeks and are seasonal in nature. The designer should take into account that the Men's Fashion Week starts in the second half of January, followed by the Haute Couture Week, and at the end of February the secret-a-porter Week. The next season opens in June, and Men's Fashion Week and Haute Couture Week are held in the same sequence. In August, there is a lull, and in September, showrooms during fashion weeks present secret-a-porter collections for future spring and summer.
How to present a brand?
Important components of success are brand presentation and correct information about the collection. The designer needs to prepare material about the history of the brand, a press release, a press book and a catalog. The story should be brief, and its volume should not exceed two paragraphs, while 3–5 keywords will help emphasize its uniqueness. It should be noted that the technical catalog presents the fabrics with which the designer works, and the size grid.
In the materials about the brand and the collection, it is necessary to highlight the competitive advantages and features of the collection. Environmental problems and new technologies are very relevant for Europeans. Therefore, they attract attention and at the same time emphasize the uniqueness of the brand environmental initiatives, handmade knitwear, original embroidery, linen lace, faux fur, fabrics with an interesting composition, etc.
One of the conditions for success is not to be sprayed and purposefully promote collections in showrooms and stores that correspond to the brand's image.
How to choose a showroom?
The specifics of showrooms largely depend on the geography of exports and business ties. So, some of them are focused on America, others on Dubai, and others on Korea, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China. Paris is popular among Chinese buyers interested in purchasing collections of Western brands. The professional bureau, based on the style of the designer's collections, determines the geography of sales and recommends countries in which fashion products will be in demand.
Showrooms, as a rule, prefer to work with collections similar in style and price level. Therefore, positioning is an important aspect of choosing partners in the European market. If luxury and premium brands are represented in the showroom, then the designer should think about whether his brand is close to them and develop a strategy that would help him interest buyers from this segment.
During the negotiations, it is important to ask questions about all aspects of cooperation to the director of the showroom, while he should tell which stores the showroom works with, where designers are sold, etc.
We are studying the terms of cooperation
The terms of cooperation and services offered by the showroom require a preliminary detailed study. It is important to pay attention to the dates and duration of the future presentation. Although the collection is usually shown for one – two weeks, showroom representatives can shorten the period, which, as a rule, is due to the desire to study the buyers' response. The designer can receive various offers and make his choice in advance.
Another aspect of cooperation is related to the organization of the presentation. The style of fashion showcasing can be different. It should be borne in mind that the conditions for providing equipment are not the same, and the opportunity to show the collection is evaluated during negotiations. The spread of prices is large and depends on the opening hours of the showroom in Paris, its name, orientation to the regions and business ties. A preliminary discussion is also subject to the issue related to the percentage of sales that are planned to be transferred to the shoreroom for services rendered.
Text: Elena Varnina
To be continued.
Photo: Adrien Ganzer