How To Approach Fashion Buyers

How To Approach Fashion Buyers

Charlie Bradley Ross Thursday, 1 February 2018

Buyers are powerful creatures - they could "make" your brand. Their opinions, experiences and advice is extremely important to the success of your business. We had the opportunity to pick the brains of three sustainable boutique owners, to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the buying cycle works, what to do to get in front of them and how they like to be approached.

Sheer Apparel is an online sustainable and ethical womenswear boutique founded by Paula Haunit; she knows the customer and she knows the modern lifestyle too. Consumers don’t often have the time to shop around and research, so she compiles the best ecofashion brands into a stunning online boutique that makes sustainable style easy. Paula also writes for the Huffington Post. The aim of the business is to “prove to you that beautiful, high-quality, conscious style is available at comparable prices to equivalent brands you’ve loved for years.” Well, I salute that! Some of the brands they stock include Armed Angels and Maska.

Alicia Taylor, Co-founder of Gather & See is very well equipped to understand the fashion market, consumer habits and the way that designers and labels work. She worked in PR, then at LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy), and then moved on to Value Retail. Launched in 2014, Gather & See first started to sell products in their online boutique. They select like-minded, forward thinking designers that fit into at least three of Gather&See’s five founding philosophies: Fair Trade, Organic, Eco-Friendly, Small Scale Production and Heritage. Examples of the brands they stock include Conditions Apply and Kowtow.

An avid researcher of the most sumptuous and delicious of ethical brands, Kate Richards curates a shop that almost resembles a gallery with all of its fantastically crafted eco-luxe items. The task of filling a physical shop allows Kate to really showcase the textural, sensual qualities of the brands she represents. She stocks brands such as Desmond & Dempsey and Thought.

With a bricks and mortar, Kate offers the unique perspective of how consumers behave and respond to pieces in a physical setting; these are the moments when a passer-by can be distracted by the sheer beauty of a garment in a shop window, and a lifelong appreciation for that brand can blossom. But how does Kate know which brands will work? And how do you become one of those brands in the window... watch to learn!

In this Lesson you will learn:

  • Why our guest speakers focus on eco-friendly brands for their shops
  • Customer's relationships with sustainability today
  • The buying calendar for retailers
  • What's a buyers mindset?
  • How should designers approach buyers?
  • Boutique's favourite trade shows
  • How to present your label to a boutique

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