Recap: how to stand out as a young designer

6 Mar 2018

This month’s Underground Session focused on the future of fashion. We dived into the latest Fashion Week trends and heard from the experts on their best advice for how new designers can stand out from the crowd. Our speakers included Gina Marinelli, Senior Reporter at the coveted editorial site, Who What Wear, Gemma Sole, the co-founder of the online manufacturing platform that helps designers scale, Nineteenth Amendment and Tanya Shiekh, the founder of the collaborative showroom, In Support Of. Here are our favorite pieces of advice from the night:

Underground Sessions
Underground Sessions

How to make a splash at Fashion Week

“It costs a lot to put on a show, if you can’t get the right people there and the coverage you need then go for it, but sometimes it’s smarter to send your lookbook to key contacts as budget is restricted for emerging designers.” - Tanya Shiekh, In Support Of

“Think about what your goals are prior to Fashion Week. If you want to grow your instagram following to 10K to unlock the swipe up functionality, there's things you can do digitally that can involve some in person experiences but your call to action is follow me on Instagram - you can achieve that in a Fashion Week.” - Gemma Sole, Nineteenth Amendment

“If I have an invitation come in and I’m not sure who the designer is, I’ll go to instagram to get a feel for their story and brand aesthetic. It’s a form of validation.” - Gina Marinelli, Who What Wear

Underground Sessions
Underground Sessions

Where the buyers and editors discover new brands

“We scope out designers from various outlets, from students who are doing their senior thesis at Parsons or FIT to stopping people on the streets of New York.” - Tanya Sheikh, In Support Of

“We discover brands for Who What Wear through social media, celebrities and street style. We’re always looking for new and unique designers to feature.” - Gina Marinelli, Who What Wear

“You should always be wearing your pieces as a designers. Every chance you have at an event or on the subway, is a chance to sell a piece of clothing. When one sale matters, it’s a great opportunity to share your story.” - Gemma Sole, Nineteenth Amendment

Tips on standing out

“Designers don’t have a clear idea of who their customer is. Like really really know who their customer is. What companies would she work for? Go to those companies and meet women there and take them out for coffee.” - Gemma Sole, Nineteenth Amendment

“From an editorial standpoint, we’re noticing brands using photography more and more to tell their story. You see so many more lifestyle images now that makes consumers want to live that life, which helps sell the product.” - Gina Marinelli, Who What Wear

“At lot of independent brands don’t realize that most boutiques buy on consignment these days which is something to keep in mind when scaling.” - Gemma Sole, Nineteenth Amendment

Underground Sessions
Underground Sessions

How to scale your idea

“A lot of young designers think their line will take off in the first year. This isn’t the case for almost 90% of the brands out there and I think it’s important to educate them on this.” - Tanya Shiekh, In Support Of

“We encourage our designers to do what we call, ‘stiletto strapping’ it’s basically boot strapping for fashion, how can you do the most for the least amount of money and still make an impact.” - Gemma Sole, Nineteenth Amendment

“Think about price. How will your construction influence price? When you’re thinking about fabrics and making those decisions early on, think about what this will lead to at the point of sale. Everyone loves french seams, but will your average customer know what that is? Probably not.” - Gemma Sole, Nineteenth Amendment

Like this space? You can book it here.