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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nickys Ragtales !

I spent Monday in bustling London, up at 3.30 am, fortified with a bowl of porridge and was at the Jaeger showrooms before 9.Oclock. The preview put my faith back into my ability to get excited by fashion. Maybe it was that Jaeger has transformed itself so amazingly into a collection that looks both current and timeless. Getting and remaining passionate about what I am selling is a major factor in driving business forward. I think that’s a principal that can be applied to any work that I do. If I am not enthusiastic about what I have to sell then how can customers be expected to be enthusiastic and spend their money?

Today I worked the phones until three O’clock making appointments with buyers or in several cases leaving messages. The appointments are coming along really nicely, no one is saying they don’t want to look or buy and that is I think because of the product I’m selling and nothing to do with me. Sales people often have the misguided opinion that it is their terrific sales ability that drives the business when often it is what they are selling rather than who is selling it. That may seem like I’m shooting myself in the foot here but I believe there is a large element of truth in it.

Years ago when I started in the business there was an agent who had a really terrible personal hygiene problem. So bad in fact that I personally could not go within 100 yards of them. It didn’t prevent lots of buyers treading a path to their door to buy the collections on sale. The Agent had a huge success, which, I think, proves my point!

I spent the rest of the afternoon in Portloise where I had a meeting with Heidi Higgins where she ran through her ideas for her next collection. Another hugely excited prospect is definitely in store. Have a fashionable week ahead….

Friday, July 23, 2010

Race Week @ Occasions Boutique Galway

To celebrate the Galway races Occasions Boutique Galway are having a 20% off Promotion !
On Tuesday 27th July Occasions Boutique will host a draw for two tickets to attend "Ladies Day" on Thursday at the Galway Races.

This offer is open to all Ladies who make a purchase by that date,!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Share Female

After its successful launch across Europe last year, Share Female is being launched in the UK for autumn/winter 2010 and is the brainchild of two designers, Lena Christensen and Nina Frederikke Thomasen. With the might of Danish company Brandtex behind the brand, Share is destined to become a major player in the market.

The Rock Ballerina is Lena and Nina’s muse – a fictional woman who exists in the designers’ heads but who is always eager to get out. She balances on a knife’s edge between the Utrafeminine and the tough look – and she is not afraid to take chances. The Rock Ballerina bravely plays around with her look, creating a personal and, most importantly, confident style with atypical layered effects and unique details. She is always feminine, so even dressed in a worker-inspired, stone-washed trouser suit, she combines the style with feminine details and adds a pair of cool stilettos. “In the Rock Ballerina’s style and in our designs, if there is a rough edge, there is also a lace edge,’’

Lena points out a fantastic cotton fabric that has been enzyme washed to give it a pre-washed surface as the most important quality of all: “The wash gives it a rough look, but it is also silky-smooth against the skin and that accentuates the contrasts in our designs.” Denim, leather, nylon and knit feature in the rock’n’roll part of the collection, while delicate chiffon, exclusive silks and soft and light cotton qualities give the ballerina her feminine touch. The colours also emphasise the contradictions in the collection with a dark and edgy palette comprising masculine colours, such as black, grey, army green and petroleum, and more feminine colours – soft pastels and shades of white. Share Female’s distinctive style has much to do with detail, and that is why every single T-shirt in the collection has been carefully designed down to the last little hem. A small button that stands out, fine frills, edgy laces, pockets, lace or contrast stitching and a special print are just some of the details that give the unique collection a personal touch.

The Fashion Industry Insider

Firing on all cylinders is how I would describe the life of a Fashion Agent (or me in particular) right now. Dealing with the now, the future and sometimes the past at the same time gets a little confusing. The Now is all the ranges coming in which each have to be edited, priced and displayed and appointments made as well as the task of collecting money owed to the companies. This is one of the most important jobs for without payment there can be no future orders and no commission which in effect is the life blood of the business. The Future is the collections I have been asked to look at for next season which simply can’t be ignored and the Past is dealing with customer queries, deliveries of goods that were ordered a few months ago but that are hitting the shops now. As in every business it is the variables that can be either a positive or a negative and minimising the possibilities of things going wrong is a complete job description in itself.

On the blogging front there are days when I think, ‘what in the name of heavens am I going to write about today’? then I bump into someone who says they love my blog and read it every day and that gives me the kick in the backside needed to start me rolling again. The whole area of the Internet is an absolute fascination to me and I’m lucky that it is in the main, inhabited by people much younger than me who are generous with their time and advice. When I get stuck I simply shout out on Twitter and someone is bound to come to my aid fast. I find myself repaying in kind by offering, for example a recipe for lamb the other day and what to take for a sore throat on another occasion (zinc is the answer to that question by the way)

For those of you who haven’t dipped into either Facebook or Twitter and who need a little advice I’m happy to pass on what little I know. You can find me on Nickysragtales on both. Who knows what you might learn and where it might lead….

Have a fashionable week ahead…

Atir Shapewear for women

One of the newest innovations in women’s shapewear ATIR is set to become your new best friend. An Irish designed product, the ATIR Shaper fits snuggly underneath the bust creating a streamlined toned look. The golden standard of comfortable shape wear, designed to make you look and feel fabulous all the time. With interchangeable straps the ATIR shaper is the perfect accompaniment to any party or slinky day dress creating a smooth look without all the hard work. Designed to be comfortable & breathable your ATIR will visibly slim, tone and smooth. Such is its comfort it can be worn everyday.
The ATIR shaper is extremely wearable and practical and it combines unsurpassed design integrity and quality standards always boasting what we need most COMFORT. ATIR is also perfect for new mothers.

ATIR was selected RSVP Network Ireland Best New Business and has already been featured on Ireland AM and many local and regional features as well as magazine and newspaper editorials. The ATIR Shaper is available in nude, black and red in 2 styles the body shaping slip and the body. Now stocked in 50 boutiques throughout Ireland women have the opportunity to experience the difference the shaper makes when they try on a new outfit, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Kildare, Limerick, Mayo, Meath, Sligo, Westmeath, it is quickly growing in popularity.

It is important to remember when it comes to buying your ATIR shape wear
always buy the right size for you. This is not the time to go a size down out of wishful thinking, or a size up out of extra comfort. When it comes to your ATIR shape wear, it is very important that it fits properly. This can help you to buy garments that fit much more comfortably. Finding the right size will ensure your slip stays in place and you see the best results.

If you would like more information on ATIR shapewear call Rita on 087 0506463 is an innovative online designer clothes shop with a difference; offering rare, eye-catching handmade dresses made in Paris and delivered straight to your door, without the boutique price tag. Looking for a beautifully tailored dress for that special event? Want to stand out from the crowd on a Saturday night? Or do you need a sophisticated gown for a black-tie reception or that special debs? You can be sure that a dress from CoutureOnline will get people talking.

With cocktail dresses, maxi dresses, shift dresses, bridesmaid dresses, debs dresses, knee length dresses and full length gowns, CoutureOnline has a huge range of dresses for every occasion and every taste. Each dress is handmade of 100% silk, with each bead and sequin hand sewn with precision and care, creating a true work of art. The range is designed and painstakingly created in Paris and stocked exclusively by CoutureOnline in Ireland. Each dress is designed to fit like a glove, with some of the dresses including built-in corsets and cups. MORE

CoutureOnline owner Nadya Gaughran has a really solid grounding in fashion, having worked in the business internationally for years. Upon returning to Ireland last year, Nadya was struck by the lack of good quality women’s dresses at great value prices. CoutureOnline was born as the ideal response to this problem.

CoutureOnline allows you to shop from the comfort of your own home instead of paying for car parking and having to visit six different stores to find the perfect dress. Alternatively, if you’re new to on-line shopping or are simply the '' try before you buy'' type, CoutureOnline offers a very special service, an online store that also provides fitting rooms. Exclusive fitting rooms, located conveniently just off Dublin's Grafton Street, letting you take advantage of the excellent eye of one of CoutureOnline’s highly trained stylists, free of charge!

So why not settle down in the comfort of your own home, browse, buy, and add a bit of red carpet style to your wardrobe at a reasonable price!

***Visit our new Showrooms – 1st Options, 3rd Floor, 28-30 Exchequer Street, Dublin 2***

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Fashion Industry Insider

With so much happening from week to week I have to have really good systems in place in order to remember everything. I use my laptop, Iphone and synchronise Google calendar with both with reminders set for three hours before appointments. Even with all that in place I sometimes forget and then it’s apologies all round. The reason I say all that is that I’m late again with this blog post!

I have been travelling around the country, which is always enjoyable at this time of year. It’s difficult to stay completely focused on business as I stroll through small towns. First stop I have to find the best coffee shop which is sometimes difficult so when I see those awful filter machines I ask for tea. You can’t go wrong with a nice pot of tea! Some of the boutiques and shops are trading well with increased business being reported while others who are still overstocked are struggling to make ends meet. Those retailers who are staying close to their business and who are focusing on great customer service are winning others are struggling or in some cases closing.

I had two interesting meetings last week; one was with a young Irish T-shirt company called Lady Umbrella. I met them on Twitter and Face Book (they have over 5,000 followers on each) and curiosity brought me to the Loft in Dublin’ Powerscourt Townhouse Centre to see whether the T-shirts lived up to the hype. It does and what is really interesting about this company is it’s use of Social Media which it was pointed out to me by Rob Ryan and his Designer partner Elena, is free. I wrote a post on my blog, which if you haven’t already set up a Face book page for your company/boutique you should read.

The second meeting was with a young PR company who also understands and use Social Media along with interesting and novel approaches to getting the message out. I think that what I am continually learning is that there are ‘several ways to skin a cat’! (Or something along those lines)

The beautiful ‘Good Charma’ jewellery samples have arrived and I must go and drool over them…… Have a fashionable week ahead.