30.03.2017

FashionCapital Take On Manchester

FashionCapital launch the first in a series of six UK trunk shows to really lift the lid on the inner workings of the fashion industry in Manchester.

The event, hosted by Freeths and supported by the ABC Awards, comprised of two three-hour seminars attended by universities, students, lecturers, brands and individuals looking to gain insider knowledge from the top.

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Joined by Gabby Shiner-Hill, Rosie Davies, Deborah Shulton, Freeths and ABC Awards the team were able to provide guests with a wealth of knowledge from industry experts that together have over 30-years of industry expertise and insight!

Starting the day off, CEO of FashionCapital / Fashion Enter, Jenny Holloway welcomed the first group, before introducing Deborah Shulton who discussed fabrics and their properties and the implications fabrics can often have on manufacturing and cost.

“Aesthetics, feel, country of origin, production, wearability and aftercare are crucial to consider before purchasing fabrics for your collection..” she explained before continuing to state, “key factors that influence costs of fabrics are fibre qualities and spinning systems that are used, which mainly impact raw materials.”  Offering her expertise, she advised that when looking for a fabric mill, you must ask yourself what is the country of origin and what implications could this have?  How can you ensure that bulk production costs the same as the samples?  How can you ensure continuity throughout?  Deborah also highlighted that customers may not often realise it, but the quality of the fabric impacts the cost of the garment as well as the wearability and aftercare.

Next to take the stage was Gabby Shiner-Hill, who was on hand to explain the design process and product development. “Product development is the process of a design idea right through to an actual product, whether it be creating an entirely new product or improving an existing one.” Advising that a designer should always start off small and plan at least a year in advance, Gabby went on to explain that a tech pack is a crucial element and must include sketches of garments with annotations including stitching, measurements, fabric information, secondary fabric, trims, artwork and finishing.  Often finding that designers often miss many important factors from their budget, Gabby explained, “you must consider the price of fabrics, patterns and grading, samples, shipping, labels, trims and packaging before you actually get to the cost of the garment.  The way you aim to sell will also determine the overall budget you need in place and also the cost price of your garment.”

On hand to inform the group of Intellectual Property, Contracts, Copyright and employment types, Charlotte from Freeths along with Lindsey and Sarah took to the stage.  “When you enter a business relationship you need to know who you are contracting with, how to form a contract, who is responsible for the contract and who is responsible if things go wrong…” advised Lindsey who stated, “retail is as much about people as it is about product.” Sarah Moore then discussed portfolio solutions, what Freeths can offer and gave an overview of Freeths and their current clients who include Michael Kors, Paul Smith, River Island, Kikki K, Models Own and Speedo. “To us, team work is key. Tailored to your needs of course… When working with Freeths we ensure that we understand your business objectives, listen to what you want, deliver on time and on budget, and more.”   Charlotte then discussed different types of employment, from part time, to full time, self-employed to freelance and the benefits and advantages as well as disadvantages to each.

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Jenny Holloway, once again took to the stage, to discuss the history of Fashion Enter, starting right at the beginning in 2010 through to the present day.  Highlighting cabbage, the Stitching Academy, the Modern Slavery Act and how a manufacturer becomes Fashion Forward audited and SMETA Approved and what this actually means for a British Manufacturer. Jenny left no topic uncovered as she discussed many of the job roles at the Fashion Enter factory and how each process in the garment life cycle is crucial!  “Start small, end big… network and take advantage of social media and ecommerce platforms as well as events to grow your brand and sales.”

Last but certainly not least, founder of The London Fashion Agency, Rosie Davies, shared her secrets on how to successfully do your own PR!  “Before you start with any PR you need a strong brand identity, brand ethics, brand story and brand imagery!” Rosie began, before stating, “social media is crucial to brand awareness and it is great for establishing relationships with editors, bloggers and your customer… but you have to ensure that your tone of voice is consistent throughout!”  Telling the group the benefits of working with editors and influencers, Rosie continued, “working with influencers is great for building brand awareness, however, this may not always translate to sales straightaway. When working with editors, always remember to show thanks… they will remember this!”

An extremely successful day, feedback included:

“Today was really informative, thank you!" – Emma

“I’ve learnt so much and can take something away from every guest speaker… I particularly enjoyed Deborah's session and hearing Jenny speak on all aspects of garment production... We had a fab afternoon and both myself and Bethany, my Deputy Editor found it really interesting and learnt a lot! The speakers were very knowledgeable and it opened my eyes to many areas of starting your own fashion line that I‘d never considered." – Sam

“Today has taught me lots about the industry from fabric, to design and more from such a talented group of speakers. Thank you so much!” - Bethany

“We need more of these events in Manchester for fashion designers to grow their businesses!” – Beryl

“Today has informed me about different fabrics, how a factory works and all about PR! It was such a good morning!” – Kirsty

“I would definitely be interested in working with the factory as I was so impressed!” – Sarah

“I’ve really enjoyed my experience and extended my knowledge in retail opportunities!”- Ethan

“I have been inspired to re-visit my own brand and try to start out again!” – Kerry

“Today was very useful – as a lecturer I would be keen to bring students to both the factory and future events!” – Anna

“I’ve learnt a variety of information covering many topics – great speakers and amazing knowledge. Thank you!” – Jenni

“This have given me so much knowledge into starting your own business that I had never even thought about!” – Olivia

“Every small business or idea has a chance – thank you!” - Emma

"It was great to be involved with an industry event and to be updated on important issues by people who have great passion! Thank you." - Judy

"Today has taught me that the British fashion industry can be regenerated!" - Jackie

"ABC Awards was delighted to help and support with the FashionCapital Trunk Show. The speakers were all so interesting and knowledgeable and I for one learnt so much.  People I spoke to throughout the day were so complementary about what you had achieved by holding such a fabulous event. ABC Awards would be delighted to support and collaborate with you in the future." Bernadette Done, Business Development Manager ABC Awards

"Just wanted to thank you for inviting me to attend yesterday. I met some interesting people and the presentations proved useful, even though I am not in the manufacturing business. I was particularly impressed with Fashion Agency London, and how she started out with few connections in the industry." - Louisa

"I just wanted to say thanks so much for the event, I am launching my luxury online womenswear brand in the next few months and it was invaluable!" - Rachel

The next FashionCapital trunk show stop will be Plymouth, more information to follow in due course. If you think your area needs a visit from the FashionCapital trunk show team please express your interest to jenni@fashioncapital.co.uk

Lifting the Lid on Fashion! #liftthelid