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Maverik Agency – a chat with Bridget Boakye
Freitag, Apr. 1, 2011, 08:03 / London, United Kingdom
Some situations present us with just two options – retreat or attack. For Bridget Boakye of Maverik Agency, plunging headlong into her business was undoubtedly the right call.
Located in London’s East End, Maverik Agency represents international and domestic womenswear labels, including bright Brazilian brand Totem, Italian sunglasses star Retro Super Future, modish Parisian Mardi Jeudi and the enduring British label Lila Hudson.
TribaSpace spoke with Boakye to find out what it takes to stay on top of the game...
TribaSpace: What fashion industry experience did you have before founding Maverik?
Bridget Boakye: I’ve worked in fashion for the last 25 years, from retail/wholesale to my owning my own company. I spent over ten years in retail, with the likes of River Island (then called Chelsea Girl), DKNY and Joseph, and four years in wholesale. In between I also worked with Jeff Banks and the local government in finance.
So where did the idea for Maverik began?
In 2000 I was employed as the United Kingdom Sales Manager for a brand. Two days before Christmas I received a call stating my position would no longer be available and I had a choice – either quit, or become their UK agent.
At home that evening I watched the film Maverick (starring Mel Gibson). Liking the word I looked up the precise meaning, thought about all the work I had done for the company over the year, checked to see who else was using the name Maverick (at the time it was only Madonna's record company), dropped the "c" and became Maverik Agency – the rest is history. I like some challenges and to go against the grain!
What does it take to create a successful showroom?
Sales experience, an understanding of your target market, good administration skills, and clean, clear surroundings so brands can communicate their own identity. Numeracy, integrity, an eye for fashion, sense of humour and retail experience – all my team have to have this.
Finally, balls, luck, a whole lot of patience and ability to make the buying experience enjoyable.
What criteria do you follow when selecting brands to represent?
The UK market is one of the most condensed and competitive in the world. It now beats New York, Tokyo, Paris as number one in retail, so many things come into play. My criteria is based on brand image, presentation, the product’s ability to communicate itself to the general public (not the buyers), company structure, history, price points, production and quality.
I ask myself ‘Can I wear the brand? Can I name five to ten clients that would be interested? 'Would I pay that price? Who would be the brand’s competitors?’
How do new online platforms, such as TribaSpace, impact your daily business? Do they help you access the international market?
It depends. Many of the brands I represent already have international agents/distributors. However, TribaSpace is clearer and easier to navigate compared to others platforms I have seen or approached. Functions are well and clear for buyers to understand, as many buyers are too time poor to visit all showrooms and see new lines. Once [the Sales Showroom is] up and running, TribaSpace should become an integral part of my business. Looking forward to it.
I understand you are in the midst of relocating. Are there any special plans for the new space which you can share with us?
Ooh, you have to wait and see! For the coming season (SS12) I will probably be doing a pop-up showroom for Maverik Agency. For Maverik Showroom, my partner, Creative Gallery Director Angelo Carnielo has a lot of new plans and work on the agenda. This will take time as we want to create a space that will hopefully surpass our previous one. In meantime, you can view our past exhibitions including DJ Goldie, Absolut Vodka and Converse here.
Melisa Gray-Ward | TribaSpace
Sales, PR, Representation, Promotion, Buying, Ready-to-Wear, Other, Eyewear
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