Thursday, July 5, 2012

What happened to just buying clothes and selling them?

I have a radical new idea that will revolutionize fashion as we know it. If a blouse costs a designer $50.00 to make, they then charge $100 for it wholesale and the retailer charges $200 for it. Everybody doubles their money and is happy. Of course I'm being catty because that was RTW for about eighty years but somehow that is now considered passe and poor business. The modern approach to business seems to be to maximize profits not by innovating, expanding, and out performing your competition but by maximizing margins by putting the hurt on your labor and suppliers. Pay as little as possible and charge as much as possible. The problem with this equation is of course obvious as you are damaging the very people your business depends on. Please don't misunderstand me, every business should be as efficient as possible and do everything they can to keep the costs of goods and services low. But that's a finite space, if you force your suppliers or workers to accept lower incomes their product or quality of work declines as surely as rain falls.
Wayne Fall '12

The rise of E-Commerce has made this problem worse as there are now a myriad of sites and stores that have every conceivable variation of giving designers money other than just buying their clothes and selling them. "We'll make you create a collection out of your own pocket and then when pieces sell, even though we can't point to a track record of great sales, we'll give you 60%!" Or, "even though our record of converting hits to sales is around 5% we get so much traffic you should sell though us!" I always tell the designers I consult for that you should only do any type of consignment for your first two seasons. After that if your work has had over 80% sell through the boutique is giving away profit by not buying wholesale from you. I hear from designers all the time how boutiques and sites talk about "supporting" designers but will do anything and everything to avoid paying wholesale on time. You want to support a fashion designer? Buy the damn clothes wholesale. If you can't, don't go into business till you can.
Ohne Titel Resort '13

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