Kiki’s Diary coming soon to FashionCapital
Ever wondered what’s it like to have your own retail business? Come and read Kiki’s diaries, which will start this Friday – in the diary section.
In November last year the LFF embarked on an exciting project – the LFF boutique at Kingly Court off Carnaby Street London. The LFF realised that designers and manufactures alike need genuine contacts and positive sales leads. The best way to achieve this was to open our own boutique to enable up to 25 pre-selected and carefully screened designers the chance to sell direct to the public.
The LFF did not have the budget nor the scope within it’s remit to commence upon such a large scale project but basically we knew it was right for the designers. So it was all hands to the deck and off we went to Kingly Courts management team at Shaftsbury to negotiate a “deal”. Actually Julia Wilkinson (now on maternity leave) and Donna Lambert were absolutely fantastic and supported the initiative 100% – they still do and without their commitment and support the project would not have got off the ground.
We wanted to create a stylish and elegant ambiance and there had to be some clear ground rules such as:-
– the designers themselves have to learn from the experience and have to work in the boutique on a roster basis
– the LFF is a non profit making company so only a nominal Â£100 a week charge to the designers could be implemented
– each designer had to be carefully screened
– designers have to be rotated so the shop looks different and new every single week.
– each designer has a chance of prime footage locations
– NO discounting – if it an upmarket boutique then basically the clientele can afford the well priced and beautifully made garments. We have special promotional evenings but that is all.
Then we had to find the right staff. At first the shop was managed by Amy Roberts along with Mimi. Both were a great team and the shop worked well under their careful supervision and guidance. Mimi was very creative with shop merchandising and window displays and Amy ran the administration side like a dream! However, it was plain to see that the outright success of the boutique needed a full time and dedicated manager
Enter Kiki. Kiki is an accessory designer in her own right and has worked in retail management for both Gap and also H&M. As soon as Kiki saw the shop and the concept of the boutique she was in raptures and new that the job was for her. Likewise the LFF knew we had found the “right” person for the job!
Now it’s time for Kiki to pass on her words of wisdom to you all in a weekly feature that commences this Friday. Kiki will give you a weekly review on the highs and the lows of running an upmarket boutique from her own unique perspective.
If you would like to know how to apply for your collection to be showcased in the LFF boutique please click here for additional information.