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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Fashion Industry Insider

The Fashion Business that I started working in many years ago has changed in a huge number of ways. When I started as an Agent there were definite Seasons, forward ordering and a few major fashion fairs that all the buyers attended. Harrogate was a huge and extremely popular show and the many nights on the Konegsalle in Dusseldorf bumping into Irish buyers and sharing stories and beer brings back lots of good memories.
Now we have a year round buying event, shorter and shorter lead in times and lots and lots of shows with buyers travelling the world. In some ways this has made life difficult for both buyers and agents. On the other hand the choices now are many and where once a few large companies used to take all the major budgets we now have lots of smaller fashion labels offering more and more choice.
This recession (my second serious one) has brought with it huge challenges, which have come upon us very quickly, and this fact alone means that many retailers have had to make big adjustments in quick time.
On the plus side there are lots of new boutiques opening and there are lots of older ones doing a fantastic job of serving their customers and bringing the best fashion to every town in Ireland.
The principal companies I work with are always amazed when I tell them that Ireland has a population of 4.9 million and that none of my customers have postal numbers. They often query the very short addresses that I send them and I constantly have a chuckle when they quiz me on this fact. It seems Irish women love fashion and I am sure that per capita we spend more on good clothing than in some other countries.
That all bodes well for a business that I love. I’m lucky that I am flexible as an Agent to be able to adjust to the changes and challenges as needed.
This week the showroom is buzzing with the expected arrival of Heidi Higgins new collection. Flights are being booked for meetings in London and Milan later in the month, orders are being processed and new customers keep on coming.
Have a very fashionable week ahead……

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