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Friday, January 27, 2012


Well it's now three weeks today  until London Fashion Week opens, and for all designers involved, whether they are have a stand at one of the exhibitions or are showing on the catwalk, the workload is building and stress levels are rising.

It always fascinates me that brands commit to showing a few months in advance and therefore, in theory, there is more than enough time to design and make up your collection.
Except that there are, of course,  so many variables including, your sample materials or trimmings don't arrive on time, the factory can't get the make right, let alone when only a week before the season starts you decide you don't like what you've designed at all and want to start again!!

Although to some extent designers do thrive on the adrenalin of working close to the wire, invariably it ends up a last minute panic and by the time you get to opening day you are so tired you can't think.

Here are a  few tips to help you survive the next few weeks:-
  • Every morning block out half an hour  of  'you time' so you can sit quietly and review  what stage you are at and what you need to achieve for the day. Do this before you get involved with emails, calls, machinists ect
  • Update your To Do list from the previous day and create your new list for the day.
  • Prioritise your actions so you quickly can see the tasks that need your immediate attention and those not so urgent.
  • If you haven't done so already - set up a sampling schedule spreadsheet  - this should list all the samples you are making as part of your new collection, who is making them, the materials being used , columns for waiting to get made, in work and samples completed. You should then be able to see at a glance at what stage your collection is at  and monitor progress. 
  • Once you are clear of your plan of action for the day - communicate with your staff or anyone working with you - make sure there are no issues you should be aware of. 
  • Check your sampling schedule and make sure everything is fine with  your sample machinists.
  • If there are any problems - tackle them straight away otherwise they will loom over you and hamper your productivity.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Try and get some good nights sleep.
You'll be amazed how much better you will feel by being organised, allowing your creative juices to flow and to enjoy the moment when you finally get to show the world your new collection. Before it all starts again....

If you have any other tips/comments please do post them.

Good Luck!!
Author, Alison Lewy founder of Fashion Angel

Friday, January 20, 2012


Last night's E-commerce Excellence talk was a resounding success. The event was held at McQueen, a cool restaurant/bar/club in the heart of Shoreditch. 

It was great to see so many talented designers networking and sharing information and ideas with each other, some of whom had already set up their own e-commerce website and others were already Etsy sellers or sold through other websites. The common factor was that everyone wanted to increase their online sales but weren't sure how to go about it.

Etsy's UK Marketing Manager, Georgina Blain, shared with us her expertise on how to maximize online sales.
Her top five tips were:-
  1. Your product photos need to be good - they are your main selling tool so poor images will mean poor sales.
  2. Tag your photos with descriptions your customers are likely to use if looking to buy your type of product , otherwise your product won't show up in searches.
  3. Give clear descriptions of your product so customers know exactly what they are buying
  4. Important to build a relationship with your customer - tell a story behind your products and make sure you highlight any interesting facts.
  5. Buyers won't just come to your product or website - you have to spend time on your own marketing and  PR. Send press releases and good images to relevant media - social media sites are a very useful tool to build followers and brand loyalty.
Alison Lewy also pointed out that before you decide which website to sell through it is important to research and think about the websites your target customer is likely to visit. Websites have various pricing policies so make sure you understand what you are committing to.
Etsy's Georgina Blain and Fashion Angel's Alison Lewy 

Alison Lewy introducing Georgina Blain to guests

E-commerce Excellence talk in full flow!

Guests networking after the talk

Guests networking

Georgina Blain and Alison Lewy

Georgina Blain and Alison Lewy

Georgina Blain and Alison Lewy

Thursday, January 19, 2012


We're very pleased at fantastic response to our business mentoring competition, sponsored by Etsy, launching tonight at our E-commerce Excellence talk at McQueen in Shoreditch. It just shows how much designers and craft SMEs need this kind of industry focused support. Read the latest press in Sportswear International.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


We are thrilled to announce the launch of a new competition, sponsored by Etsy, for designer/makers to win one of our business start up mentoring packages. The competition will be launched at the E-commerce Excellence networking event on 19th January 2012 and continues our commitment to nurturing and developing young creative talent to turn them into successful businesses.

To book your ticket to the E-commerce Excellence networking talk click here.

The competition is open to aspiring designers and craftmakers who have been trading for fewer than two years. The winner will be announced as part of London Fashion Week on Sunday 19th February 2012.

The Prize

Fashion Angel business start up mentoring package

The lucky winner will win a place on the Fashion Angel six month business start up mentoring programme.

For new designer/makers with a new label, innovative idea, or product this is a unique opportunity to access six months of one to one mentoring from industry professionals.Our team of experts can give you the tools you need to give your business the best chance of success.

By the end of the programme the winner will have an infrastructure in place and have the confidence to build a successful and sustainable business. They will also benefit from the exposure their brand will be receiving as a result of winning the competition. For more information on the programme click here.

Deadline for Entries Sunday 12th February 2012
Finalist Notified Wednesday 15th February 2012
Winner announced Sunday 19th February 2012

Entrance Criteria
  • Open to designers who have been trading for fewer than two years in the UK
  • To enter the award, entrants must email info@fashion-angel.co.uk to request an application form or download the application form and submit to info@fashion-angel.co.uk
  • Entrants are asked to submit product images and answer ’Why the Fashion Angel mentoring programme will benefit my business’ (500 words max)
To enter the competition, download an application form or request one from info@fashion-angel.co.uk.

Full terms and conditions can be found on the application form.