It’s been a very frustrating couple of weeks, don’t get me wrong a lot of awesome things have happened but there’s been some real ‘moments’ too…I debated as to whether I should or can post about this particularly as i’m still in the midst of going through ‘it’ but hey in the words of Solange ‘it’s my damn blog’…
Models; I put out a casting call a couple of weeks for models for the next lookbook and over 200 ladies put themselves forward. I stated in the casting call that I was interested in hearing from ALL types of women; red heads, those with Afro hair, those with shaved heads, blondes yet only certain types of ladies can forward; for the white ladies mostly blonde haired ones and for the black girls mostly ladies with long weaves…Really??? Are these the only models out there, surely not.
I have already shot with the amazing Queenie who wears a weave and the equally amazing Emilia who has blond hair so I was really keen to take the look of Modify - the new collection - in a completely different direction…so that search continues to a certain extent…at one point I had considered shooting with ‘ghosts’ i.e. etching out the model afterwards…that is still a real possibility afterall it’s about the clothes not the models
Webstore; Now I had said that I wouldn’t be releasing a new collection until I had my own webstore up and running, now this was largely driven by the fact that online stockists normally want anything from 30% - 50% commission of any sales you make. Yes, up to 50%! There is ofcourse a real need for stockists I’m not denying that, being stocked in the right place can do wonders for your sales and reputation but the one’s that want 50% commission, really??? This drove me to consider trying to do a majority of selling through my own website and then reinforcing that with one or two key stockists.
‘Cool’ I thought ‘I’ll just get some quotes in for a webstore I thought, a decent webstore wont cost that much I’m sure’. Cue the depressing trumpet sound ‘Wah wah wahhhhhhh’
How does anything from 2K to 5K sound for a BASIC webstore with decent security? It’s estimated that Karen Millen and the likes spent anything from 50K to 250K on theirs…so what do you do when you’re just starting out?? I began to realise why so many of the new up and coming designers that surrounded me or had come a bit before me, hadn’t invested in webstores yet - because they are extremely expensive…was I trying to do too much in the 12 weeks since launching, did I really need a webstore I asked myself..
Yes yes yes I hear you ‘but you have to invest in a new business Adjoa!’, yes this is true but you begin to wonder why you see a new designer once and never again; between 50% commission rates of the stockists or a 2.5 times mark up by the boutiques, participation in trade shows costing anything from £300 to £500 a pop, you begin to appreciate why only a few people make it…
Production; the designs for the collection have been finalised, the material has been bought and yet everything is at a standstill…the production house tells me that the collection will cost X rather than the original Y that we had agreed on so what to do? We’ve now lost at least a week…momentary stalemate
Now I WILL find a way through this ‘learning process’ I WILL find the models I want, I WILL find a reasonable quote for a webstore and I WILL come to some kind of agreement with the production house
but let it be said here; fashion is NOT for the light hearted, it’s business, we all know that but sometimes I find myself asking who are the real people making the money? The web designers, the production houses, the stockists or the designers???
Cheerier post sometime after the new collection is released….
I’ll be shooting my second look-book for my website mid November and I’m just trying to get a sense of who’s out there.
For my last lookbook I worked with;
- Italian Vogue published Agata Preyss http://www.agatapreyss.com/
- Amazing hair and MUA Ana Popescu http://www.anapopescumakeupandhair.com/
- Super Stylist Sarah Amarteifio www.sarahalexisamarteifio.tumblr.com
So more than likely I’ll be working with this super team again.
Two out of the three unsigned ladies from the last lookbook have gone on to do amazing things; one’s on the verge of being signed and the other is now the face of a major international designer’s lookbook.
So the details;
We’re looking for models of all races, hair wise there is a preference for models with the following;
- brown hair
- a shaved head
- Afro hair
- red hair
We’ll also consider models with straigthened or relaxed hair, if like this new capsule collection, your look is ‘experimentally classic’.
You must be between 5ft 7 and 5ft 11, samples for the shoot will be a size 10 so you’ll need to be a size 8, size 10 or a small size 12 (There will be a fitting date TBC).
This is a paid studio based shoot in East/Central London early to mid Nov - exact date TBC
Full day shoot with full creative team!
There’ll also be a brief fitting beforehand date TBC
If you or anyone you know is interested please drop me an email with;
- Rates (half day/full day)
- Your stats
- non professional picture
- a link to your online portfolio if you have one
Looking forward to hearing from you and please spread the WORD!
In acknowledgement of all of the Fashion Weeks and Fashion Night Out we’re giving our customers 10% off all orders from NOW til 12pm GMT tomorrow 8th Sept. Orders can be placed at firstname.lastname@example.org Happy Shopping!
*For orders under £100 discount excludes postage and packaging costs
**Orders must come to £100 after discount to be entitled to free postage and packaging
Offer ends 12pm GMT Thursday 8th September 2011
I know I won’t be able to post tomorrow so I thought I’d write a short blurb now…
So an update..charity fashion show went well and I did pop by My Asho pop up boutique in West London, as always I learn alot…it was good to see what everyone else is doing every now and again…
Last week was the MOST MOST surreal week of this journey so far - this is the bit where I start to get all secretive and vague, sorry :-P ..I went to a networking event the panel there was quite frankly inspiring, from lots of different sectors - music, business and FASHION or FA - SHON as my friend Salwa says. They all gave their words of wisdom and I, like all the other people in the room, started thinking of ways to get fashion editor on the panel to ‘notice’ me.
I knew instantly that that meant that I’d have to ask a question and a seemingly intelligent one at that. I put up my hand and gave the host my best grin. She eventually saw me and there was my moment. I stood up voice quivering, back, armpits and forehead sweating and I asked my question….
‘How do you keep the buzz around your brand going when all the press has died down’? How do you translate press into increased sales’?
Yea I was a little bit impressed with me too, not at my question but at the fact that I even managed to get the words out in front of all those people. Pat on the back Adjoa indeed.
Members of the panel responded and I quickly sat down to scribble down some notes writing one key sentence down that the editor said in capitals….
AUGUST IS A QUIET MONTH IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY SO THIS IS THE TIME THAT I’D CONSIDER WRITING ABOUT THINGS THAT I WOULD NOT NORMALLY.
bingo. I just had to get this lady’s business card..anyhoo I am drawing this out, it is not a novel or a film. I did get her business card and I emailed her the next day to thank her for her advice and I asked if I could send through a short blurb since August was a slow month…The next day, there on her website, that normally features celebrities and established designers, I saw MY press release and MY images…then I saw the retweets of the article, then the new posts, then new bloggers, editors and PR agencies getting in contact all because ONE softly spoken, incredibly humble lady had featured me on her website.
I still cant believe it even now….lots of exciting things to come for the brand hopefully and I’m grateful. Truly truly grateful.
But back to the title of the post, with all of these amazing amazing prospects on the horizon I CAN NOT afford to get side tracked. FULL STEAM AHEAD WITH THE NEXT COLLECTION. My peer mentor Ash always says (in her best stern voice (I love you darling)) What’s the timelines for the next collection? Where are you producing the next collection? Fabrics darling, finishings darling, I want the insides of the garments to look even more beautiful than the outside darling, what’s your turnaround times darling, you better make sure your production line is slick darling, what are your overheads………yes she says all of that everytime I see her and in one breathe lol
And you know what? I am grateful. There will be a time to rest but it’s not now! So yes I am working on the next collection called Modify. I have another meeting with my pattern cutter tomorrow and I’ll probably be at it for most of the weekend. I will take an evening off to catch up with some friends this Bank Holiday weekend but even then i’ll be honest i’ll be thinking through garment construction, colour palettes and all things design…
So, in a bit,
PS. What would you like to see in the next collection?