Archive | May, 2010

How to…? pt. II

30 May

After having somehow tried to understand how to create one or more customized t-shirts, we’re now gonna talk about the other important aspect we need to consider if we aim to start a succesful business: promotion.

Some say this is actually the hardest part of the job, and I think they’re right. Let’s see if we manage to sum up some key-points:

  1. Make some simple tests market addressing yourself to relatives and friends to gain a sincere opinion about what you’ve done; try and sell some of your “pieces” on ebay or on other websites; if you know somebody who owns a fashion store ask him his expert opinion.
  2. Focus on your target: who you think will wear your creations? You must create very clearly in your minds the image of your standard purchaser in order to reach “him” in the best way, with well targeted promotions conceived in a graphic and style that could capture his attention. Teenagers? Great public? Sport fans? Trendy people? You need to chose.
  3. Create a logo easy to remember and that, at the same time, manages to express “a concept”. The clients range you aim to must recognize itself in your logo!
  4. If you’re planning to sell your line mostly online, be very careful about your site’s placement on the search engines market and cure properly the graphic side of it, always having in mind who will visit your page: if you address to a young public don’t use too many technical and specific words and focus on sense of affiliation and group instead. Do you need any clarification about how online promotion actually works? This link might help you, taking to you the example of myspace, one of the most used site to advertise personal creations (music, clothes, paintings and so on).
  5. If you decide to propose your line also to the traditional market (much more hostile and hard to win), you need to intensify your promotion activity by advertising your product in any possible way…make that all of your friends and relatives wear your creation!

If you are convinced that a painting on a white shirt will make you earn a lot of money easily, you’re probably getting wrong.
Anyway by proceeding by objectives and planning your steps very carefully, you’ll manage to get lots of satisfactions, as already proved by many succesful business ventures both on the internet and on traditional market.
So, work hard and step by step, putting all your effort in achieving your goals. If your activity makes you happy and interested in your work, your passion will push you through new hints, tendencies, ideas: this, plus your enthusiasm and tough work will lead you to the construction of a prosper business.

Disney meets Fashion!

24 May

Genius, extravagant, their look is unmistakable: major fashion designers in the world have got their own peculiar style, which make them recognizable even when they’re transformed in…cartoons!
This is what a funny editorial on Elle Spain’s pages show us. Its title is “La Moda Animada” by Ulrich Schroeder and it appeared on April number of Elle Spain magazine.
Karl Lagerfeld, Donatella Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, John Galliano, Sonia Rykiel and Alber Elbaz become cartoons acting in a reproduction of their natural habitat, still keeping the attitudes that made them notorious.

So among the pages, you’ll see: Karl Lagerfeld walking the red carpet as the big bad wolf;  Jean Paul Gaultier hosts a small party on a balcony over Paris; Marc Jacobs, as a kilt-wearing duck, directs the backstage chaos of a show; Donatella Versace vamps for the paparazzi as a blonde duck; Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz, also as a duck, puts the finishing touches on a dress; Dolce & Gabbana, reinvented as Mickey mouse and Goofy, sketch their latest collection; John Galliano takes to the runway as a pirate-inspired duck; Sonia and Nathalie Rykiel dine as ducks at a Parisian café.

Karl Lagerfeld

Jean-Paul  Gaultier

Marc Jacobs

Donatella Versace

Alber Elbaz

Dolce & Gabbana

John Galliano

Sonia Rykiel

What do you think about this step back from seriousness taken by Elle Spain? I think it’s really nice and funny (maybe because I’m literally Disney-addicted).

ps. Try and recognize all the Disney characters featuring in these images! (Did you spot Peter Pan, Captain Hook & co on Galliano’s front row?)

(Fashion) Kings are Naked!

17 May

The it-model of the campaign is always his best friend Agyness Deyn but this time the  protagonists of his line of tees are no longer models: what’s more Fashion than designers?
House of Holland by Henry Holland proposes a series of t-shirts featuring a powerful clique of fashion designers proudly posing…naked! John Galliano, Donatella Versace, Alber Elbaz, Karl Lagerfeld & co for once appear not covered in beautiful self-designed clothes (or, talking about Galliano, even masked, as he likes to show himself in many of his catwalks’ endings), despite all the nudity fashion industry throws our way.

Donatella Versace

Karl Lagerfeld (Chanel)

Alber Elbaz (Lanvin)

John Galliano (Dior)

…Anyone still convinced that fashion world can’t conceive self-irony?

How to…?

11 May

Many times on this blog’s pages I talked about new brands (e.g. 5preview, scandalousinnuendos) which reached fame and success thanks to the internet (free) advertising through social networks like myspace and a consequent massive word of mouth effect. Behind them very often there are group of friends that manage to start their “business” all by themselves, with few expenses and a lot of…creative imagination.
Let’s see now how they did that analyzing two different steps of this process: creation and promotion.
Who knows, maybe one of my readers might be interested and one day will become a notorious designer thanks to my suggestions!

Thousands of websites and e-shops promote t-shirts on which customers can print paintings or sentences chosen by themselves so that they can buy customized and particularly fanciful creations for few euros.
There are a lot of peculiar techniques of production and when you’re projecting how to build up your business from zero, you need to think about which one suits your idea the best considering your starting budget and the way you want to develop what you have in mind in the future.Infact you can choose between simple print, embroderies, serigraph and so on and your costs of investment change according to the technique you decide to pick: the most common one (which is also the cheapest) is the print, that gives you the possibility of creating what you want easily, with no need of particular skills or experiences. If you have got a smart idea but few money to invest, you can rely on external entreprises that will produce the t-shirts for you on commission or, even better, you can start your own activity zero costs by adressing yourself to websites you trust: if you are sure they will take care properly and seriously of print quality and adequacy of materials, they’ll do the job for you with very low prices (you won’t have to buy all the very expensive equipments necessary for professional prints) and you’ll have the time to concern just about the creative side, promotion and selling of ready-to-wear t-shirts.

Any advice about recommended websites needed? The most popular ones are: Customthink, E-shirt, Spreadshirt and many more.
For those who are really curious about how self-made t-shirts are actually made, here you have two videos which show us different techniques involving different “instruments” to create design tees on your own: have a look and see if you can find some inspiration!

the screen printing method

In this post I tried to give you some hints about how to construct concretely what your creative minds may one day generate…
Next time we’ll talk about promotion: how can we convince our potential clients that our product is good? how can we sell our creations and become popular? This is what we’ll try to figure out!

Shoes or Foes?

7 May

Designers are recentely a bit in cage because of fashion system crisis: they were told they need to slow down with their extravagant creations, trying to link themselves to a major number of clients, so more and more often their clothes are getting wearable, many times they re-invent collections inspired to previous ones by the same brand declining in different ways fashion statemens clients appreciated the most (buying concretely in stores).
Anyway, they’re still keeping a free-zone in which they can work as real artists, creating objects exactly as they had in mind, avoiding worries about “next phases” (anyone will buy it?): accessories, in particular shoes.
Let’s see what happens when designers’ imagination gets wild and leaves their heads directly aiming to reach our feets!

Alberto Guardiani lipstick heels

Balenciaga fall/winter 2010-2011

Cinderella inspired glass design heels by Åsa Jungnelius

LEGO Converse Chuck Taylors

Marloes ten Bhomers’ radical sculpture-shoes

The Alexander McQueen Spring 2010 shoes, Sea Creatures inspired

Marc Jacobs “backwards heels”

So, here you have just few examples of Beautiful Killers, that are pure joy for eyes and at the same time cause of extreme suffering for our poor feet and (not to forget) for our wallets (Alexander Mc Queen’s ones overcome 4000 $)!
Besides even many professional models seem to have quite a few problems handle with these creations…

What do you think? Can you “suffer” these fashion crimes or you’d like to see in shops just normal, wearable, practical, common (and maybe a bit boring) accessories?
Well, I guess you’ll easily get my opinion if you “carefully” analyze the adjectives I chose for the previous sentence!

United we stand, divided we fall: collaborations in fashion industry.

2 May

Collaborations between different brands are the way forward now in a rapidly changing fashion landscape.
Everyone from high-street retailers right through to smaller are collaborating with creatives from all disciplines in an effort to bring a bit of true individuality, exclusivity and authenticity back into fashion. Besides, this kind of cooperation between forces having same interests (selling their creations to as many clients as possible) but sometimes very different targets (e.g.: haute couture VS fast clothing clients) seems to give strenght, adding attractiveness, to a fashion world which is suffering the effects of the post global economic crisis.
What people want now? A nice price. The “nice price” gets fashion, but it’s not something simply temporary.
This attitude is taking the form of an earthquake hitting the fashion market: Topshop arrives in New York, in the middle of Soho, Zara opens shops very quickly all over the world even in places far from the fashion crowds like New Delhi or Bombay. As it seems, Zara (inditex Group) has a large number of designers at work everyday to be able to offer their clients new lines 12 times for year: big names of fashion maisons, once very snob, will have to reconsider this phenomenon to reach the success of fast fashion, so called for its abilty of proposing new clothes (almost) continuously.

Perfect example of a successful collaboration between big names and fast fashion is H&M, who recently put at work designers like Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Roberto Cavalli, Victor & Rolf, Jimmy Choo and many more.
Here you have the wonderful spot created by H&M for the arrival in stores of the line conceived by Karl Lagerfeld, which ironically jokes about what the common posh chanel haute couture target clients of Lagerfeld could think about this “joint venture”.

“Why have a garden when you can have a forest?”

H&M reached infact, during the first session of 2009-2010 exercise, a net income of 3,74 billion of  crowns (386 millions of euros), overcoming the result of 2008 of the 45% and surprising the analysts.
This is the reason why the group is planning to open 73 new stores soon (mostly in the UK, China, Norway, Denmark and  Deutscheland).
The reason of this success? Collaborations, absolutely!