Recap of Phoenix Fashion Week’s “The Business of Fashion Seminar Series”

Phoenix Fashion Week 2013 opened up a series of one-hour advice filled classes to every and any aspiring fashionista on Oct. 3-5 at Scottsdale’s Talking Stick Resort.

Each day held three separate classes that were no more than a few hours in length, all helping to bridge the gap between “wannabe” designers and actual “doing it” designers in Phoenix, Ariz.

The mini-lecture series featured behind the scene looks on how to start your brand, trend forecasting techniques, advice for an emerging designer, how to get your collection retail ready, blogging advice, along with other insight on the business of fashion.

Jamee Lind (me) and creator of StyleandPepper.com, Jessie Artigue.
Jamee Lind (me) and creator of StyleandPepper.com, Jessie Artigue.

I had the chance to attend the classes held Friday, Oct. 4, which began with Brian Hill’s, CEO of Phoenix Fashion Week, “Designer Boot Camp.” Hill provided a realistic formula for emerging designers—use your own common sense to keep your clothing line thriving. Hill said students should start out simply, narrow your designs down to one important question: “Who would buy this?” Hill also shared news of the upcoming Phoenix Fashion Hub—an open space to help fashionistas alike create and work in a shared workspace. The Fashion Hub will open Feb. 1 and it is sure to be a hit with the designers. Hill finished his seminar by noting that the “Emerging Designer Bootcamp” will be held June-Sept. 2014.

At 10 a.m., Melissa McGraw took to the podium with “How to Sell Your Collection to the Best Retailers.” McGraw is the CEO and founder of The Fashion Potential in New York City, which helps emerging designers launch their own fashion label. McGraw provided each student with a checklist to help designers decide if they are actually ready to contact a retailer. Some of those questions included, “Do you have a line sheet?” and “Do you know where you want to sell your collection?” McGraw stressed the importance of the presentation of a designer’s garments to buyers and the communication involved in successfully selling your clothing.

Friday’s seminar ended with Jessie Artigue, fashion blogger of StyleandPepper.com. Artigue stressed the importance identifying your audience and then reaching out to them through social media. The expert blogger said, “Consistency builds stability.”

For those that are still unconvinced of Phoenix’s budding fashion industry, I remind you that fashion is making its way into this cacti-filled city in more ways than one. Phoenix Fashion Week’s “The Business of Fashion Seminar Series” proved to be both insightful and encouraging for both fashionistas and emerging designers living in Arizona’s growing fashion scene.

By: Jamee Lind

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