The Fashion Designer Survival Guide, Revised and Expanded Edition: Start and Run Your Own Fashion Business

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Kaplan Publishing, Jul 1, 2008 - Business & Economics - 286 pages
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Mary Gehlhar, author, industry authority, and consultant to hundreds of designers, including Zac Posen, Twinkle by Wenlan, Rebecca Taylor, and Cloak, gives readers behind-the-scenes insights and essential business information on creating and sustaining a successful career as an independent designer.

With advice from fashion luminaries including Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, Cynthia Rowley, Diane von Furstenberg, Richard Tyler, and top executives from Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys New York, this fully updated and revised edition of The Fashion Designer Survival Guide addresses the latest trends in apparel and accessories, the newest designers, an updated introduction, and a new foreword by Diane von Furstenberg, Designer and President of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).

The Fashion Designer Survival Guide provides the necessary tools to get a fashion line or label up and moving on the right track, including:
  • How to create a viable business plan
  • Figuring out how much money you need, where and how to get it, and how to make it last, including the latest on private equity
  • The best sources for fabric and materials
  • Navigating the pitfalls of production both at home and abroad
  • Marketing, branding, and getting the product into the stores and into the customer’s closets
  • Romancing the press, dressing celebrities, and creative publicity techniques
  • Producing a runway show that will get results
  

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Contents

Before You Start
1
The Reality
2
You Survived the Bad News
10
The Fundamentals
13
Elements of the Plan
15
Setting Up the Business
19
The Money
33
How Much Do You Need?
34
Where to Sell
145
Selling to the Stores
156
Cold Calling
160
The Appointment
164
The Order
166
Getting Paid
176
Customer Service and Supporting Sales
179
Who Should Sell the Line?
186

Where to Find Money?
39
Factoring by Tim Moore
47
Product Development
59
Have a Point of View
60
The Trends
63
The Collection
64
Signature Items
65
It Must Look the Price
66
Fabric and Materials
68
The Challenges
69
The Sources
74
Once You Order
78
Production
84
Sample Production
87
Tips and Considerations When Hiring a Patternmaker
90
Production Options
96
Production Management
108
Factory Management
114
Marketing and Branding Materials
121
Be Your Brand
122
Other Marketing Materials
134
Sales
138
Trade Shows
193
Making the Most of the Show
195
Press and Public Relations
201
The PR Strategy
203
Dressing Celebrities
212
Who Should Handle PR?
217
The Runway
219
Producing a Runway Show
223
Sponsorship
239
Copyrights and Knockoffs
242
Expanding the Business
251
Licensing
252
A Second Line
254
PartnershipsConsulting
256
Creative Direction
259
Investors and Partners
260
Acknowledgments
261
Notes
263
Resources
271
Index
283
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

As the Fashion Division Director of Gen Art, Mary Gehlhar has worked closely with up-and-coming designers to start, operate, and grow design businesses. She has lent her expertise to the Rising Star Award committee at Fashion Group International, the Pratt Institute Fashion Jury, and the Open Call panel for the Miramax/Bravo show Project Runway. Mary has been interviewed by the New York Times, British Vogue, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and E! Style channel.

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