Open Source Fashion is all about connecting people and making information and resources more easily available to those starting out in the fashion business. These resources include the latest fashion business news and valuable insights for designers and fashion start-ups. Twice a month, OSF Magazine will bring you Fast Fashion Finds, a collection of articles, lists and op-eds curated by OSFashion Founder, Pavan Bahl and Content Coordinator, Alex J. Tunney. For more great articles check us out on Twitter: @osfashion.
Third Wave Fashion || Your Startup Needs To Host More Events. Here’s Why… by Leticia Domenech
We all love a good party. There’s nothing better than great horde’euvres, some refreshments, and plain ol’ good company. Interestingly enough, these features are typically what makes a business/networking event so successful. So why is it that so many startups choose not to host events? It’s an interesting paradigm but we’re siding with ‘you should definitely be hosting more events.’
Third Wave Fashion || Major Brands Are Adopting Startup Strategies And Here’s Why by Leticia Domenech
Here at Third Wave Fashion, we understand the amount of research and preparation that goes into launching a successful startup. There are trends to discover and analyze, as well as previous business models to dissect — from all the things that worked to all the things that fell short. Not every great idea will translate into a solid business. VentureBeat coined the term, ‘Enthusiasticus Founder Syndrome’ (we’re not kidding) wherein a novice entrepreneur allows the enthusiasm of his or her idea to take over, and ignores the critical mistakes of inexperience. Other times that isn’t the case at all. There are plenty of fashion tech startups whose business models are so effective and downright innovative that even major brands have adopted their models into their older, more mature fashion tech functions.
Cannon Hodge: I’m really fond of twitter and how it’s given Bergdorf Goodman’s single New York address such an instant connection to the world. From the very first tweet we knew we wanted to create a human connection – Bergdorf can be overwhelming so we knew this would be the place to show the store’s personality. That said, we still wanted to provide the best customer service possible (it’s a matter of pride for us) – so I make a point to read every tweet and mention and respond when applicable. The entire company is attuned to how quickly twitter unfolds, so we have a rule that any customer service issue must be answered within an hour.
Business of Fashion || First Person | Brian Atwood Says Never Compromise on What You Love by Tommye Fitzpatrick
“Key” to his growth has been listening closely to customer feedback, says Atwood. “Talking to your customer at your stores and seeing what the customer’s buying, I think that is so important. [Because] what are you going to do, just have a store full of shoes and not sell any?”
So what has he learned? “It’s not only 20-year-olds who want a six-inch heel,” he says. But conversely, “some women don’t want or can’t walk in the high heels. That’s something we’re responding to very quickly. They like the fun fashion shoe — on a sensible heel, sometimes. Sensible…[it’s] not in my vocab, but we do it. I’m learning.”
He also interacts with customers directly online. “Sometimes I’ll tweet and say, ‘Guys, I need names for shoes, send me names,’ and I’ll have 1,000 names, which really helps me out when I’m thinking,” he says. “It’s fun to see the reaction, and you’re not giving up the luxury, you’re just putting it out there and getting more followers.”
Business of Fashion || The Fashion Industry (Still) Has an Image Problem by Imran Amed
As beautiful as fashion imagery can be, the so-called ‘dream’ that the industry projects can lead to unhealthy behaviour. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, twenty years ago, the average model weighed 8 percent less than the average woman. Today’s models weigh 23 percent less.Would the industry ever be able to change and step outside these ideals? I wasn’t sure.
Success in the fashion industry is whatever you want it to be. Yes, the fashion industry is tough. And yes, just like anything else worth pursuing it takes a lot of hard work to build a business and become profitable. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And it surely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go after you want. When I hear people talk about being successful, so many concentrate on making exorbitant amounts of money. Don’t get me wrong, this can obviously count as success. But so can making a living spending your days doing exactly what you love.
Your POS system should be easy to set up and simple to use. You’ll want a POS system with an intuitive interface to process sales quickly and keep lines moving. Training cashiers and managers should take minutes, not hours. Managing inventory should be straightforward and painless. Remember that any POS system that’s confusing to learn or complicated to use will decrease employee satisfaction and waste time that could be better spent elsewhere.
Which factor measures the success of a few companies while others falter? The reasons vary. But, most often the prime reason behind the failure of most companies is the poor marketing and advertising campaigns they have tried on social media sites. Well, leave the ones that faltered, but consider the ones that have succeeded with their exceptional campaigns. Trying the tricks they have followed would give a deeper insight, which in turn allows you to come up with an interesting advertising strategy yourself.
MassChallenge founder and CEO John Harthorne explains what early-stage entrepreneurs can take away from the experiences of more than 350 start-ups that have participated in his annual $1 million global start-up competition and accelerator program since 2010.
Inc. || The Only 2 Words an Innovator Needs to Know by Howard A. Tullman
The key to successful and ongoing innovation is simple. You need a perfectly clear understanding of the two concepts that define the process: mistakes and failures. Understanding and discussing these two ideas correctly in every conversation about innovation is crucial to your focus, clarity and momentum.
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Our friends over in DC, The Tailored Man, were featured in The Washington Post.
The Washington Post || Alexandria tailor weaves custom solution for taking orders by Abha Bhattarai
It takes 25 measurements, including the circumference of a client’s ankles, for Sanjay Daswani to design a suit. By the time he is done, there are numbers upon numbers to calculate and crunch.
All those numbers add up to data, and Daswani, vice president of operations for The Tailored Man, has found a way to weave the information together, in hopes that it will help the Alexandria-based business become savvier about marketing and anticipating customers’ needs.
Meanwhile our friends at L+C featured our other friends, The Vanity Project, in a recent article:
Lifestyle + Charity || The Vanity Project – Finance to Fashion and Philanthropy In Between by Danielle Valente
These graphics represent “TVP’s” mission: to create non-profit apparel that “people would actually want to wear,” compared to oversized, unappealing tee shirts typically given out at charity events. It donates 51% of proceeds to the organizations it represents.
The meaning behind the clothes is just as significant as the story behind its Northwestern University co-founders, both of whom stumbled into the industry somewhat untraditionally
Even though Sochol’s family participated in service work throughout his life, he never thought he’d work with non-profits full-time, until several experiences swayed him away from the life in corporate America he had originally imagined.