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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.

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!

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!

Fake it until you make it pt. II

18 Apr

We already talked in this blog about notorious it bag Birkin by Hermès, one of the “most desired” accessories for fashionistas at every age. This time I’m gonna show you another unusual approach to get to have one (again, waiting for a real one): painted on your shirt!
The idea came to two young venetian students who started by chance to create some ironic t-shirts just for them and their friends representing their icons in a slightly ironic style and that then created a brand named Scandalousinnuendos (quote from a literature essay). This is how the two students describe their attitude to this line:

We really can say that everything started from a game, and as a game it’s going on (even if we admit we got some satisfactions like the fact that some vjs from Mtv wore our shirts).

Some of their favourite subjects are fashion-world inspired: queen of Vogue America Anna Wintour, girls’passion for diamonds and, last but not the least…Birkins!

So, as diamonds and Hermès bags are a privilege for happy few, these young designers decided to put them directly on our t-shirts, in order to let us proudly wear them in everyday life…you know how they say: “well pleased is well served” (especially in these hard post-crisis times).
Their link to potential costumers is once again the web, as they sell their creations exclusively through myspace and their success is mostly due to a word of mouth advertising thanks to different blogs looking for new trends to share with their visitors.

The treachery of images.

12 Mar

+   =

This René Magritte inspired t-shirt is by 5Preview, italian born label which owes its success to myspace. Here you have an estract from an interview to one of the label’s creators:

5Preview was created by chance in january 2008. For many years I worked for another label where I learned a lot. Then one day I made a “do-it-yourself” article for a magazine about making prints on shirts. I put on myspace a pic of one of my shirts and I suddenly got so many requests about where they could find tees like that! So i needed a brand name and a logo, and it was pure minimal inspiration. The major intent was the one of making a starting collection of 5 pieces (this is the reason of “5 Preview”, the preview of an entire collection!). 5Preview got much attention from medias, magazines like Dazed & Confused and SUINO first talked about us, then many more others like Glamour, Vanity Fair and GQ published photos of our clothes. Slowly 5Preview became known not only in Italy, Japan and UK, but also in Scandinavia and North Europe thanks to a collaboration with svedish label WEEKDAY.

A growing success so, up to the distribution in shops all over the world, enthusiasm by the media, celebs and rockstars. All their t-shirts are tailor-made, rigorously white and hand printed, with an irreverent and debunking attitude towards the logos and the surrounding reality, all with an ultra-cool minimal aesthetics and a powerful immediate impact.

Now let’s dig deeper in artists’ inspirations. Why these t-shirts? Why the minimal black&white look? :

To avoid a “cheap” product, like the effect of shirts by Henry Holland a couple of years ago. Nowadays the consumer got so much to chose…That comes to my mind anytime I go to Starbucks and I JUST would like a normal coffee (no soya milk, no fatfreemilk, no fatfreesoyamilk and so on). Why do we have to complicate our lives by giving to much possibility of chosing to the clients? My world is in black and white, I dress like that and people around me dress like that too.
My ideas came from a deep research and from what I see around me: concerts, streetart, “quotes” from toilets’ walls, performances by unknown or famous artists (right now I’m totally into Hopper and Pettibon), street markets. I make photos, drawings and then I put all together and I reclean it. I cut, I try to make it minimal. This is what I do!

So…what do you think about the idea which gave life to this line?
This is just a sort of introduction to 5Preview’s world, I’ll talk about this brand more very soon in this blog! Stay tuned!