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Facing fashion's challenges online
Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011, 12:36 PM
When we asked fashion professionals about the biggest challenges faced when preparing for a new season, all agreed the greatest demand resulted from working within an increasingly limited time frame.
It is true that for some creatives the pressure to do better in the shortest time possible results in increased energy and inspiration, but for most the product of this equation is more negative than positive – translating into stress, physical and intellectual exhaustion, influencing important choices and preventing optimal results.
Today’s professionals also deal with the pressure of adapting to a new era in fashion business, influenced by Internet and a global market, speeding up a process that should be based on innovation. Designers find themselves caught in the dilemma of producing collections that are interesting for the press and social media makers while also ensuring their success with the buyers. Timing is vital for influencing choices. "With the tough timing I have decided to make a smaller, practical collection", affirms Esther Perbandt, one of Berlin’s most interesting contemporary designers. The designer has also developed a strategy about what type of pieces to include in a collection depending on the season: "Summer is not traditionally my editorial time, so you would rather see more wearable pieces and not as many dramatic dresses [that are] more deserving of winter".
Ashburn Eng is the designer for Singaporean label Young & Restless, and creative director of Test Shoot Gallery (TSG) – an unique visual gallery showcasing new and established artists across multiple disciplines to the world. When it comes to preparing for the season, Eng gets "attuned to the strigent schedule of working three to four seasons ahead to meet the demands of press and buyers." Rather than timing, he identifies his main challenge when preparing new collections as "Designer ego versus commercialism." And there is no doubt that commercialism is in a new phase. The online revolution of fashion has "opened the gate for fashionistas everywhere, he reflects.
Amid this online fashion revolution, new products such as Secure Online Showrooms are also emerging. Secure Online Showroom owners can create and manage digital order books of their collections, including product images, descriptions, fabric images, colours, sizes and quantities – presenting their products to international audiences as a result.
Arne Eberle, press and sales agent, confirms many of the brands represented by his agency seek international sales. "Our challenge is advanced and timely communication to get the message across – for both our shows and showroom presentations," Eberle says.
While buyers previously struggled to find enough time to visit a numerous showrooms and see new lines, Secure Online Showrooms make it possible for buyers to view collections at any time, from any place. New designers can expand into the global market, acquire new strategic network alliances, conduct secure sales interactions and ultimately win exciting new global opportunities.
As the fashion industry adapts to an online, globalised marketplace, the way we do business changes accordingly. However, the abundance of information available can be overwhelming at times. Anaya Mameli, a French fashion professional and blogger makes a good point: "It's nice to have fast information and to be able to find whatever you need whenever you want, but I think we are bored faster as well", she says.
In order to keep audiences interested, industry leaders produce fresh content and campaigns, and maintain a professional online image. The new technologies in fashion business help labels maintain their brand image in an innovative way.
Whether you are a designer, PR or sales agent, tradeshow organiser or buyer, Secure Online Showrooms provide a powerful business system – helping you confront some of the usual challenges head-on, resulting in more time to make inspired business decisions.
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