Adjoa Osei

'Experimentally Classic' clothing line launching mid July 2011

Breathe and stop….

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….

Adjoa

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