Saturday, 12 February 2011

VFS Mentoring Event Review - Sales

VFS Sales Mentoring Class has featured guest speakers from both sides of the sales channel. Sales are fundamental to the success of a designers selling collection and this event aims to provide a comprehensive guide to attracting and sustaining both sales agents and buyers’ interest. With an insight into the process, the problems and the pricing we are trying to give the advice to help designers grow their business.

Guest Speakers:

Andrew Ibi Timeline, owner of “The Convenience Store”

Graduates from Middlesex University in 1996 scooping the Graduate of the year award, specialising in menswear. Works in New York and Toronto, fashion forecasting and taking the steps to design. From 2000-2006 Andrew sets up street wear label Handpaintibi and works on rage for Oki-Ni as well as teaching.

Currently developing ‘The Convenience Store’ concept, stocking Intelligent, Influential, Avant-Garde Womenswear fashion labels and FCS Women’s Luxury Accessories line whilst continuing to pursue high-level design consultancy.

Emma Crosby: brand ambassador to TribaSpace, Buyers Relations Manager of Vauxhall Fashion Scout

With a career spanning 25 years and including roles in Sales Management, Brand Management, Buying and Merchandising,. Emma is a freelance consultant to new designers, brand ambassador to TribaSpace and Buyer Relations Manager for VFS. Existing relationships include major department stores, buying agents for international groups and cool indies.

Things to consider when Preparing for Fashion Week

- Look for a contemporary buyer who wants new, edgy, innovative things
- Buyers want brands that fit their profile
- Your brand will not work for everyone
- Be careful and thoughtful about who you target – they must be relevant to your brand
- Understand where your product sits in the market place – do your research
- The pieces may not necessarily look like it, but would still sit with it
- Look at how the store buys into brands
- If shop has something similar to you it’s already covered
- Look for other stores which is similar that do not have that look covered
- Look at your contemporaries/competitors and where they are stocked
- You must pitch brand at the right store
- Do not pitch to everyone – Focus on key stores you want – Do not spread yourself too thin
- Develop a few good relationships

How do you bang on a door?

- Send images under 2mb
- Follow up phone call
- Three season rule – stop trying after this
- ‘No budget for you’ – they don’t want you
- Tailor your approach differently for every store
- Consider the customers of the stores
- Fine line between ‘genius’ and missing the point completely
- If you think your work does not fit in the store do not waste time contacting them
- Book appointments for April
- Showing someone your range and getting feedback is invaluable
- Strengths you can show as a young designers are being organised and switched on, and following up emails, phone calls and arrangement – they know you are not a corporate company so it does not need to be marketed like corporate Gucci

You = enthusiastic, brand = enthusiastic – you are an extension of your brand

Materials for Fashion Week

- Some images
- Business card is enough
- Press release/postcard with a few pictures – snapshot
- Don’t need big book
- Order sheets
- Terms – when I deliver, when I need payment, deposit


- Calculate the value of that store to your business
- Gaining profile but losing money
- Could be broad range of locations
- Which links can they give you to make up lost business?
- Direct recommendation for their stores in other countries
- For example: £5000 for exclusivities – nothing – four accounts could be £20000
- Might fall off radar of other stores
- Can negotiate to be with another store too
- Department stores ,boutiques and online retailers all have contemporaries so have to be careful who you sell to
- For example if you sell to John Lewis you won’t be bought by Liberty
- Asos and net-a-porter will not buy the same products
- Vivienne Westwood took fifteen years to become huge and only in independents
- Keep lines of communication open – might want to use the that store later for another season

Who are buying young designers?

- Italy, Japan, China, Middle East
- Keep mind open
- New stores popping up
- Context and relevance
- Might have to tweak to fit in – do not do completely new pieces
- Listen to advice of buyers – best pieces are dressers – expand your dresses

Payment Terms

- Deposit upfront – 30-50%
- Always ask, can negotiate
- After delivery – normal payment terms = 30 days
- Department stores can go up to 60 days
- Independents pay on delivery
- Online pay upfront

Use instinct in business scenario

- As soon as you have one stockist you look like a business
- Look for references from other smaller brands to see if the stores pay on time – not big brands because they will always be paid on time
- The best decisions you could profit no money, some of the worst could profit you lots of money
- Don’t do sale or return to somewhere you can’t visit yourself
- Don’t bankrupt yourself for the best name out there

Who is your customer?

- With your Price point you should be targeting professionals in media, city workers and some celebrities
- Think about where is your customer going to wear your designs
- Look at brands you like and try to under cut them
- Look at retail market stalls – they know their customers
- Small designers don’t need massive collections – ten strong pieces – delivered on time

Charlotte Summers

Friday, 11 February 2011

Interview with Ones To Watch MEN designer - Tom Lipop

Tom Lipop is the designer behind the brand - Mr Lipop. It is one of my personal favourite brand names. Cool and also easy to memories. Tom is also the first professional football player fashion designer I've ever known, maybe that's why his design is so effortless and strong. Can't wait to see what he brings to us for next season!

How are you feeling on winning the Ones to Watch from Vauxhall Fashion Scout?

- Its a great feeling to have been selected as one of the brightest emerging menswear talents at the moment and I am really looking forward to showing with VFS.

What did you do to celebrate?

- To be honest I havn’t, I just got my head down and got on with the collection, there will be plenty of time to celebrate after the show!!

What was your experience in the fashion industry before forming your own brand?

- I  worked as a senior tailor for Nathan Jenden for the past 3 seasons which was a great experience and I learnt A LOT! Before that I was freelance designing and pattern cutting, working with brands such as Halfpenny London and Griffin Laundry, invaluable experience which drove my ambition to launch my own label.

Who is your favourite designer and why?

- This season I love what Lucas Ossendrijver has injected into Lanvin man, introducing ‘elegance to the young’. Other lifelong favorites include Massimo Osti for C.P Company and YSL’s overall aesthetic but I’m pretty partial to what Acne is doing at the moment.

If you were not a fashion designer, what would you do?

- I always wanted to be a footballer, I play Saturday league and train a few times a week still, Its like my home away from fashion, I love it and my beloved Liverpool Football Club!

What music do you listen to when you designing?

- We have everything on from The Horrors to The XX but I am pretty keen on Cee lo Greens newest album-Lady Killer!!

Where would you like to see your brand in a few years?

- I would love to see the mrLipop label in my favourite boutiques and department stores in the UK and overseas and I hope that in a few years we can be showing On Schedule on the menswear day at LFW or even over in Paris Mens Fashion Week. We want to establish ourselves in the market and would like to collaborate with other designers and emerging talent, not just in fashion but in music and film!

Have you been to any of our mentoring event? What are your thoughts of the events? Have they helped?

- I have been to a couple of the mentoring events and think they are brilliant. It has helped in all departments from sales to Pr and marketing. If anyone had the chance to go to these I would strongly recommend it.

Are you looking forward to your show in London Fashion Week? What do you expect from it?

- Of course were looking forward to it, its the reasoning behind our 90 hr weeks!! We hope to gain some good exposure and hopefully some new stockists!!

Kenny Wang

Thursday, 10 February 2011

VFS Ones To Watch MEN Announcement


 Asger Juel Larsen


Mr Lipop

Vauxhall Fashion Scout, London Fashion Week’s only full sized independent event, is delighted to announce the launch of new menswear showcase, Ones To Watch MEN.

Coinciding with Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s 10th season anniversary, the launch will see A.Hallucination, Asger Juel Larsen, C/BRUERBERG and Mr Lipop on the catwalk as the line up for the new Ones To Watch MEN AW11.

Building on the success of VFS’s acclaimed Ones To Watch show, Ones To Watch MEN will showcase London’s most exciting innovative menswear designers. Specifically tailored to the men’s market on LFW’s dedicated Menswear day, Ones To Watch MEN will provide a collaborative platform for four of the hottest new talents.

Hwan Sung Park and Chung Chung Lee, design duo behind the label A.Hallucintion successfully launched their first collection at Vauxhall Fashion Scout last season. The Central Saint Martin graduates have worked for a number of well-respected design houses including Burberry, Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, Ozwald Boateng and Lie Sang Bong Paris. The London based menswear brand presents a sharp, contemporary take on the classic British dandy with urban city wear influences.

London College of Fashion MA graduate, Asger Juel Larsen, quickly gained a following after being awarded the Harold Tillman CBE Scholarship, and since, the Danish born designer has enjoyed enormous media attention picking up joint first prize for an industry project with Turkish luxe label, Tween, and reaching the final stages of the prestigious Mittlemoda Fashion Awards. Inspired by historic events, Asger’s blends unusual materials to create a silhouette that is sharp and structured.

Camilla Bruerberg, the designer behind the label C/BRUERBERG, graduated from Oslo National Academy of the Arts in 2008, and showed her debut collection as “Debutant of the season” at Oslo Fashion Week in 2010. Drawing inspiration from evolution and traditional craft, Camilla’s work focuses on a combination of knit and digital print. In addition to individual projects, Camilla has also collaborated with electro band Royksopp and the Norwegian Theatre.

Mr Lipop pushes the boundaries of fashion craft with successful, conceptual and aesthetically progressive garments. Since graduation, Tom Lipop has held senior design positions at Nathan Jenden, House of Holland and Griffin Laundry as well as featuring predominately on Sky One’s Project Catwalk. Inspired by the Historical Lineage of British Fashion, Mr Lipop’s signature takes technical cutting and blends it seamlessly with luxururious fabrics, beautiful illustration and a ‘less is more’ minimalistic aesthetic.

Following in the footsteps of Ones To Watch which launched in 2009, Ones To Watch MEN will offer business support and sponsorship opportunities to designers as they showcase their talent in a collaborative show at the official Vauxhall Fashion Scout venue, Freemasons’ Hall in Covent Garden.

“VFS’s Ones To Watch has been such a huge success that we are now launching a Men’s version. It’s exciting to showcase and support the best new menswear talents during our 10th season anniversary, I believe Ones To Watch MEN will open a bright new page.”

Martyn Robert - Director of Vauxhall Fashion Scout

The new initiative stems from a growing increase in the strength of the UK’s menswear market and will provide new designers with a platform to show to international audiences.

Kenny Wang

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

VFS Ranked Number 4 in Twitter's Most Influential Fashionista Index by The Telegraph

Vauxhall Fashion Scout have been handed the great honour of being No. 4 in the Daily Telegraph’s list of Top Fashionistas on TWITTER. It is a titanic achievement from our team, with number one being fashion journalism’s powerhouse Hilary Alexander, two Susie Bubble and three Gemma Cartwright,

In our current climate of rapidly developing technology, the key to success and acknowledgement is keeping up with this digital revolution. Twitter is now a vital aid for every area of fashion communication. Vauxhall Fashion Scout have been so successful on Twitter they have beaten over forty prominent fashion commentators. This triumph has been calculated by judging how much impact they have with their social Web presence, how thoughtful the cementation is, and if the links provided are engaging and stimulating. The main three points used to study this are their triple A; ‘Authority’, ‘Audience’ and ‘Activity’.
With fashion week season launching before our eyes, it is imperative we keep our fingers on the tweet. It is the fastest most effective way of immersing ourselves in this delicious furor of creative innovation and beauty. Look out!

Thank you to all our followers!!! Congratulations to all on the list – see the research criteria and full list here! 

Charlotte Summers

An Interview with VFS Ones To Watch - Anja Mlakar

How are you feeling of winning the Ones to Watch from Vauxhall Fashion Scout?

Excited and focused on my work. This is the next step.

What did you do to celebrate?

I had a lovely Christmass party with my family.

What was your experience in the fashion industry before forming your own brand?

Before my MA I spent four incredible months at Bless in Berlin.

Who is your favorite designer and why?

I can't name only one. At the moment I think Nicolas Ghesquiere,

What music do you listen to when you designing?

Currently I'm listening to Violens - Are you still in the illusion? On repeat.

What’s your inspiration for your last season’s collection?

I'm inspired by art, random situations, the future. Currently I'm very much interested in architects. Just today, I've been researching David Chipperfield.

Where would you like to see your brand in a few years?

On top, haha. Realistically, I'll be more than happy to show regularly on LFW and establish a solid business.

Have you been to any of our mentors? What are your thoughts of it? Has it helped?

The mentors are a really great way to receive valuable information which is hard to pick up otherwise.

Are you looking forward to your show in London Fashion Week? What do you expect from it?

Personally, I expect to push my own boundaries further and with that, hopefully, get in touch with loads of new people, open new doors and possibilities. I expect it to be fabulous!

Kenny Wang

Monday, 7 February 2011

Georgia Hardinge on Live City & Islington Magazine Cover

Vauxhall Fashion Scout A/W 2011 Merit Award winner, Georgia Hardinge, has once again shake up the razzle-dazzle world of fashion. This time, the visionary designer is featured in this month’s Live City & Islington’s cover alongside one full page article discussing about her exquisite pieces for this year’s London Fashion Week. Georgia gleefully shared her passion for fashion and her perspective towards size issues in modeling industry in the cover story, written in an amusing way. The lady also tells the magazine regarding her A/W 2011 work of art’s aesthetics and inspiration, as well as her special technique in fabrication that tremendously appeal big names such as Sadie Frost, Alesha Dixon, and Rihanna. Experience and enjoy her smart yet witty attitude by grabbing Live City & Islington February 2011 or simply visit for the full-fledge story.


Daud Gultom