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Posts in: fashion-trade-shows

Fashion Trade Shows

Here’s Your List of Fashion Trade Shows 2017

Fashion Trade Shows 2017 It’s about to be a new year and you might be thinking about fashion trade show participation. If that’s the case, here’ s a list of fashion trade shows for 2017.

Fashion Trade Shows- Sourcing

Source fabrics and trims, attend business seminars, meet factories, sample makers, printers, and all kinds of production focused industry folks. These are shows you attend for free. DG Expo: DG Expo offers a textile and trimmings exhibit for designers and retailers. The expo also offers seminars on business growth and textile classes. The expo hits New York Jan 18th and 19th, 2017. Texworld USA: Texworld USA is North America’s largest sourcing event for designers, fabric buyers, and merchandisers consisting of products ranging across the entire spectrum of fabrics. The next Texworld USA is scheduled in New York January 23rd-25th, 2017.
Fashion Trade Shows

10 Ways to Prepare for Attending a Fashion Trade Show

sourcing-fashion-trade-show With sourcing season quickly approaching, a lot of designers and brands are putting together their plan for getting the most out of attending the fashion trade shows in January. And while that may sounds a bit dramatic to you, I think it's a really good idea. Here's the thing. Fashion trade shows are not just a place to source. They are place to connect, learn, and build your fashion business. When you attend one, you are in a place with your peers where everyone is talking shop and immersing themselves in the industry. It's exciting! And any time you can do research and properly prepare for the event, you are putting yourself in a much stronger place to get the most out of the experience. There are a lot of reasons why attending trade shows is a good idea for your business. But none of those reasons matter if you're not prepared for the event. So I've put together a list of things you can do to get the most out of your experience, not just in terms of finding the right fabrics and trims for your collections, but also in order to make strong connections, build relationships, and implement the things you learn into your business. [Tweet "10 Ways to Prepare for Attending + Sourcing at a Fashion Trade Show"]

Create Your Must List

There are going to be fabrics and trims that you absolutely know you are going to use next season. Make a list and be as detailed as you can. Include the weight, width, color(s), fiber, and fabric structure that you are looking for. When you have this info at your finger tips, you look a whole lot more professional to these vendors than if you're stumbling over your details and unclear about your needs.

Create Your Bonus List

Separate from your "must list" in your "bonus" list. You know, those novelties or extras that you may want to incorporate into next season but aren't dead set on them. They depend on budget and design direction. Make a list of fabrics and trims that you'd like for next season but you're not scrambling to find. That way, when you see something you like, the discussion is more in your favor. It's clear that that material is an extra and you're not desperate to get your hands on it.

Practice Your Intro

Some call it an elevator pitch, I guess, but that's way too formal for me. I prefer to simply think of it as what to say when people ask about your business. This mindset feels less intimidating. But it's still important so write down a short sentence or two to say when you meet someone. You want to be succinct but informative. And don't forget to ask them about themselves, too.
Fashion Trade Shows

How Independent Fashion Designers Can Succeed by Knowing Their Fabrics

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I was recently interviewed by an emerging fashion designer for her upcoming podcast featuring fashion industry folks (more on this later) and during our discussion she asked me about anything I’ve observed over the years in relation to designers not reaching the success they desire. Now, there are things in various areas of business that could cause this (i.e finances!, branding!) but the very first thing that came to mind when she asked the question was — not knowing their medium.

Fabrics. This is what a lot of us- clothing, accessories, even jewelry designers- use to create our products, yet so many of us don’t know much at all about the textiles themselves.

It’s strange, really. I mean, how can we use a material without really understanding the structure, drape, shrinkage, wrinkle tendency, dye-ability, and care instructions of the textile?

And it’s not just the fit and construction we have to think about. There’s also the financial factors that come into play. You don’t want to lose money because you don’t know your stuff, right?

How can we know what we’re ordering or whether we’re unnecessarily throwing money away when we choose to use one fabric over another?

Here are 3 aspects of knowing your fabrics that can make or break your bottom line.

 

Talking the Talk

Yep, negotiation. In order to be a successful negotiator and get what you’re hoping to get from a negotiation, you need to know what you’re talking about. Nothing says “take advantage of me” more than a fashion designer who is sourcing fabrics with no real knowledge of what they’re sourcing. It’s incredibly important to speak the language of the manufacturer and be knowledgeable about the composition of a fabric.

Imagine you’re in discussions with a supplier for a certain type of cotton, and they suggest say, a tencel, instead due to limited supply of the original fabric. Do you know enough about tencel to approve the switch? If so, do you know how to zero in on the differences and use them to your advantage when negotiating the price and minimum?  There’s a lot of power in talking the talk with suppliers and manufacturers. Impress upon them that you know your stuff and can’t be taken advantage of.

From Sketch to Reality

Oh, the delight we all feel when we sketch something that has the potential to be a real game changer for our businesses. Whether a custom gown that will get all kinds of media attention or a ready to wear silhouette that every woman will be dying to get her hands on, creating something with real potential is so exciting.

Now imagine you are ready to translate that sketch to a sample. You start with a muslin, then you start sourcing the perfect fabric. If you don’t understand the way a silk drapes, fits, and shrinks versus say a cupro, how much time and money are you willing to waste figuring it out? How much frustration are you ready to take on as you try various fabrics in hopes that it will not bunch at the seams or pill on the shoulder where the handbag strap lives everyday.

See where I’m going with this?

The Cost

When you design something, do you ever think about whether you can accomplish the same result less expensively than your original idea calls for? I feel like this is one of the signs of a really smart business owner, finding a way to reduce the cost without compromising the quality.

Finding less expensive textile alternatives that do the same thing, create a very similar look, and still make you proud to put out into the world is an incredibly effective way of finding success in your business. After all, while your vision is super important, if the finances are off, your ideas will never become fruitful.

If the above three points aren’t a strong case for learning more about textiles, I don’t know what else I could possibly say.

Get started by learning online, attending trade shows, and sitting in on seminars…

You’ve heard us talk about Texworld USA many time before, they are one of our sponsors because we really believe in the importance of attending shows like this as a means of learning, connecting, and building a stronger business.

Here are some ways that attending the show in NYC can help you succeed in your fashion business.

How Texworld USA Can Help You Improve Your Understanding of Textiles and Ultimately Succeed in Business

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Seminars

While there is a long list of awesome seminars on the schedule this season, three really stand out as must-attends if you’re looking to improve your textile knowledge are:

  • Materials Matter – Take a Dive into the World of Wood-Based Cellulosic Fibers (Wednesday, July 22nd, 4pm)
  • Adding Value – The Power of Premium Products (Wednesday, July 22nd, 2pm)
  • Sustainable Cotton Options (Wednesday, July 22nd, 10am)

Networking

Even if you’re not ready to source fabrics just yet, actually especially if you’re not ready to source yet, attending the trade show to listen, observe, and learn is a mini-education all in itself.

Think about it, walking the floor, talking to vendors, asking questions about fabrics when you’re not boggled down with the pressure of sourcing and negotiating minimums and price, is perfect.

Trend Forum

The Trend Forum that Texworld USA creates each season is incredible. It’s not just about color, it’s about textiles as whole. Knowing what consumers are looking for in terms of silhouette, texture, and surface is incredibly important when designing.

Not only that but think about things like wrinkle resistance, breath-ability, wicking. Knowing the trends in textiles can help you in the designing process to bring something to your customer that they didn’t even know they way wanted!

Bottom line, knowing your fabrics will help you make more salable decisions in the product development stage of your collection, which ultimately leads to a more profitable business, of course.

Save the Date!

The next edition of Texworld USA will take place July 12-14, 2016at the Javits Convention Center, North Hall, in New York City and will feature the International Apparel Sourcing Show.

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