The Big Apple Trade Mission – Designer presentations
How do decide what designer to take to New York when 1000s applied throughout the country for the FREE trip to the Big Apple? There are over 60,000 unique users at FashionCapital and there are over 1000 members to the Fashion Enter organisation so it was no easy job! Fortunately there was a panel to decide who was right and the trade mission was also organised by Barking and Dagenham Regeneration via the innovative Manger Derek Levy!
First we had to review the database of Barking and Dagenham Designers and then we previewed each designers work and assessed the individual merits of each applicant within the Barking area. After deliberation the final cohort of designers was a strong line up which included the impressive Karen B, Mambo Mambo, Catharina Eden, Gonul Couture, and Shyamoki with additional ranges from Fanniann and Stateless.
We were based at the Essex House Hotel which is grandly located on Central Park South around the corner from Bergdorf Goodman – an ideal location for all the forthcoming meetings in the lobby area.
The trip was excellently organised with partners Nolcha who have also invited Profile to showcase during next seasons New York Fashion Week. The agenda was highly impressive networking the designers to a host of companies including PR gurus, Head designers (from Calvin Klein no less), independent stockists such as B Boutique (who expressed interest in two of the designers' collections), publications and more besides. There was also time for that all important comparative and directional shopping trips plus there were meetings with fabric agents too.
One of the most demanding parts of the visit was the pitching for space in the New York Fashion Journal. Petra Vincent and George James really put the designers through their paces during their presentations and you can view exactly how they got on by clicking the links below.
So what did the designers think of this NY experience?
Gonul – "I didn't know what to expect before I came here – I have always wanted to come to New York with my collections. Its clear from all the feedback that I have received that there is real demand for my couture garments here for celebrity dressing. The contacts organised by Nolcha were spot on for me and this has really boosted my confidence no end. I worked for Bruce Oldfield for many years and even dressed Lady Diana – my work is very high content and exquisite. This is perfect for the New York high end market. Thank you everyone!"
Mambo – "I am so glad that I came to New York and I am very appreciative of the experience. I am still a student at Croydon College and I can't believe that I have had this amazing opportunity so early on in my career. I have been really encouraged by the positive response I have received from companies that have reviewed my garments with real two leads that I will follow up when I get back to the UK. I also bought some amazing fabric here too – I couldn't be happier."
Karen B – "With a name like Karen Barney I couldn't wait to get to New York! I have always wanted to have my collection in Barneys. This is my first trip to New York and it won't be my last! I have learnt so much from being here over the last five days and the work with the different boutiques, fabric agents, and PR companies has been invaluable to me. The feedback from my collection was just what I needed and I was thrilled that they loved my trousers so much. Many thanks to FashionCapital, Jenny and particularly Derek for making all this happen!"
So mission accomplished – well done to the designers for all their hard work too. Ok where do we go next?