5 Summer Books to Help You Build Your Fashion Business

Need a good summer book? If so, check out these recommendations given to us by our speakers during our Design Entrepreneurs NYC weekend intensives. Here are a few books that will help you build your fashion business.

  1. “The End of Fashion: How Marketing Changed the Clothing Business Forever” by Teri Agins
  2. “A New Brand World: Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the 21st Century” by Scott Bedbury
  3. “The Language of Clothes” by Alison Lurie
  4. “Difficult Conversations” by Stone, Batton and Heed
  5. “Financial Intelligence: A Manager’s Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really” Mean by Berman, Kase and Knight

How Do You Plan a Successful Event? Alice Alan Shoes Tells All

 Alice Chen of Alice Alan Shoes at her Trunk Show

Alice Chen of Alice Alan Shoes

Alice Chen, founder of Alice Alan Shoes and one of our Design Entrepreneurs NYC participants hosts a lot of private events to engage with her customers and also acquire new ones. Her events are strategic, based on her sales goals and planned out in advance. We asked Alice to give us a few tips on how to create a successful event. Here’s what she said:

1. Define your objective and stick to it

Identify what you want to get out of hosting an event.  For example, if your goal is to have a trunk show to clear out samples and last season’s inventory, then all of your subsequent actions must directly work towards it.  Therefore, your top priorities should focus on how to generate sales at your event.

2. Know your invitation list

Reach your objectives by being methodical about your guest list. Invite those who can help you achieve your goal.  If you have a sales objective, your list should consist of existing customers and prospects (intent to buy, not casual window shoppers).

3. Pay attention to the date of the event

You should give advance notice of your event.  Weekly reminders (2-3 weeks ahead) leading up to the event helps you stay relevant on someone’s schedule.  Choose the day wisely, especially around the holidays or the summer.  Be prepared for last minute responses, cancellations and no shows.

 4. Offer something exclusive for the evening

Exclusivity makes all of us feel special.  An exclusive sale rack and/or a discount just for the evening are great ways to entice guests to buy at the event.  Limited time offers create immediacy to make a purchase decision on the spot.

 5. Food and goody bags are a nice to have but not a necessity

Food can lead to greasy hands touching your products, so shy away from it.  Provide some wine and water.  It is nice to unwind with a glass of wine while shopping. A little alcohol could lead to looser wallets.  Giveaways, unless they are useful, will go unused.  Unless you set expectations of freebies, no one will expect it and you can plow that money back into your business.

 6. Master the art of the follow up

Follow up is critical!  A mass thank you email is nice, but a personalized email is best.  Unique messages allow you to continue the dialogue beyond the event. Thank someone for their purchase and encourage her to spread the word. Extend the exclusive offer to those who were iffy.  People appreciate these little things.