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Barbara Grispini
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RELATED TO:

Helsinki New Fashion Seminar 16 May 2017
10am-3pm at Helsinki City Hall
Tickets 75€ / 25€ / Early bird ticket 50€
Register here: https://holvi.com/shop/helsinkinew/

"Creativity is the biggest commerciality"

Barbara Grispini is a brand strategy & international marketing specialist. In 2011 she founded D /ARK [De Ark], the agency specialises in cross platform strategic marketing and communication, global brand positioning, distribution and amplified end consumer perception.

Aside directing D /ARK, Barbara has worked as a consultant to the British Fashion Council where she currently holds the role of Designers Brand Development Consultant and Curator of the LONDON show ROOMS, supporting through her work the development of over 150 designers’ businesses, including Christopher Kane, David Koma, Erdem, J.W. Anderson, Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto and Simone Rocha amongst others. Grispini has additionally been an online contributor of Vogue.it since 2010.

We talked with the first keynote speaker of the Helsinki New Fashion Seminar about branding, commerciality and creativity.

1. What would you call the do’s and don’ts of building an internationally successful fashion brand in 2017?

Do: Think about yourself as a brand rather than a designer: have a strong point of difference and a very identifiable brand identity, down to every material, from images to logo etc.. down to clothes labels and tags. Ask and listen to feedback of people you trust / respect; invest in professionalism, customer service, reliability, and distribution strategy, research on the demographic and geographical market difference as well as price resistance per category; a part time job in a multi-brand boutique as sales person for example could give a lot of info on this. If you have friends from different parts of the world ask them what fabrics people in their country do or do not wear in summer or winter etc. Don’t: try and be everything to everybody.

2. What do you regard as important strategies for standing out, or are there any general guidelines for this?

It is totally up to individual creativity to make somebody want something they never thought they’d want it. At the same time think is important for designers to be aware that, event though you need some key “press pieces” to get editors and music celebrities interested, you also need to keep in mind the current real lifestyles of the people who may buy your clothes.

3.Can you give us some recent examples of successful branding? Who are some of the designers or brands that have a new approach to things?

Alyx, Craig Green, A-Cold-Wall, Rick Owens, Vetement, Gosha Rubchinskiy  they all do things (including formats of showing, visual content etc..) very differently, while at the same time their clothes are highly wearable and highly recognisable.

4. LONDON show ROOMS was established to help designers balance between creativity and selling, and guide them through the selling process. What do you regard the biggest challenges on the designers’ side?

For sure having prices that can compete in the market and internal cash-flow are the biggest challenges. It’s difficult to reach decent margins and have realistic prices while you sell a relatively small amount of units. Factories charge sample prices (double) for low units production per style; so inevitably emerging designers are more expensive to buy than established designers, who on their side have huge brand awareness (plus advertising) and demand, so they appeal to a vastly wider audience.

5. How would you like to see the work between designers and buyers develop in the future

In partnership, with open and honest conversations. Regardless of what most people say about wholesale, it is still a healthy business if you put effort into relationships and growing the business in partnership; I think this is going to be even more key in the near future.

6.What about the debate on commerciality over creativity – is there such a thing as going too far, and where is the line?

I believe creativity is the biggest commerciality, they key is finding a way to enhance one’s signature and handwriting at doing better what is already doing best, while also take in consideration the reality of current lifestyles and find ways to be cleaver about pricing.

Helsinki New Fashion Seminar brings top international professionals in PR, branding, sales and funding to Helsinki on May 16, 2017. The main topic – Turning Creativity into Business – will be looked at in keynotes, workshops, panel discussions and international case examples.

1 / 1

RELATED TO:

Helsinki New Fashion Seminar 16 May 2017
10am-3pm at Helsinki City Hall
Tickets 75€ / 25€ / Early bird ticket 50€
Register here: https://holvi.com/shop/helsinkinew/

"Creativity is the biggest commerciality"

Barbara Grispini is a brand strategy & international marketing specialist. In 2011 she founded D /ARK [De Ark], the agency specialises in cross platform strategic marketing and communication, global brand positioning, distribution and amplified end consumer perception.

Aside directing D /ARK, Barbara has worked as a consultant to the British Fashion Council where she currently holds the role of Designers Brand Development Consultant and Curator of the LONDON show ROOMS, supporting through her work the development of over 150 designers’ businesses, including Christopher Kane, David Koma, Erdem, J.W. Anderson, Mary Katrantzou, Peter Pilotto and Simone Rocha amongst others. Grispini has additionally been an online contributor of Vogue.it since 2010.

We talked with the first keynote speaker of the Helsinki New Fashion Seminar about branding, commerciality and creativity.

1. What would you call the do’s and don’ts of building an internationally successful fashion brand in 2017?

Do: Think about yourself as a brand rather than a designer: have a strong point of difference and a very identifiable brand identity, down to every material, from images to logo etc.. down to clothes labels and tags. Ask and listen to feedback of people you trust / respect; invest in professionalism, customer service, reliability, and distribution strategy, research on the demographic and geographical market difference as well as price resistance per category; a part time job in a multi-brand boutique as sales person for example could give a lot of info on this. If you have friends from different parts of the world ask them what fabrics people in their country do or do not wear in summer or winter etc. Don’t: try and be everything to everybody.

2. What do you regard as important strategies for standing out, or are there any general guidelines for this?

It is totally up to individual creativity to make somebody want something they never thought they’d want it. At the same time think is important for designers to be aware that, event though you need some key “press pieces” to get editors and music celebrities interested, you also need to keep in mind the current real lifestyles of the people who may buy your clothes.

3.Can you give us some recent examples of successful branding? Who are some of the designers or brands that have a new approach to things?

Alyx, Craig Green, A-Cold-Wall, Rick Owens, Vetement, Gosha Rubchinskiy  they all do things (including formats of showing, visual content etc..) very differently, while at the same time their clothes are highly wearable and highly recognisable.

4. LONDON show ROOMS was established to help designers balance between creativity and selling, and guide them through the selling process. What do you regard the biggest challenges on the designers’ side?

For sure having prices that can compete in the market and internal cash-flow are the biggest challenges. It’s difficult to reach decent margins and have realistic prices while you sell a relatively small amount of units. Factories charge sample prices (double) for low units production per style; so inevitably emerging designers are more expensive to buy than established designers, who on their side have huge brand awareness (plus advertising) and demand, so they appeal to a vastly wider audience.

5. How would you like to see the work between designers and buyers develop in the future

In partnership, with open and honest conversations. Regardless of what most people say about wholesale, it is still a healthy business if you put effort into relationships and growing the business in partnership; I think this is going to be even more key in the near future.

6.What about the debate on commerciality over creativity – is there such a thing as going too far, and where is the line?

I believe creativity is the biggest commerciality, they key is finding a way to enhance one’s signature and handwriting at doing better what is already doing best, while also take in consideration the reality of current lifestyles and find ways to be cleaver about pricing.

Helsinki New Fashion Seminar brings top international professionals in PR, branding, sales and funding to Helsinki on May 16, 2017. The main topic – Turning Creativity into Business – will be looked at in keynotes, workshops, panel discussions and international case examples.


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