Fashion Week is a platform for designers to showcase their collection to the fashion industry that includes media, buyers, and the consumers. Earlier this year, Swati spent time ensuring that Atiz's supply chain logistics were in place to be able to deliver goods in time to retail buyers across the U.S. Once the manufacturing components were set in motion, the next step was to get the sales samples ready and prepare for fashion weeks that Àtiz was to participating in, September and October.
Selecting which fashion weeks was not an easy decision. We had to understand which ones and how many to participate in. Having been selected for Phoenix Fashion Week to participate in others fashion weeks maximize the Atiz's brand reach and exposure in west coast markets.
Swati with VFW Founders
Swati with Project Runway Winner Seth Aaron
Prepping backstage at Fashionxt
Portland FashionNXT was selected because of their high production value and media exposure, while Style Fashion Week LA was selected because it’s the heart of fashion on the west coast, and because of its tie to Hollywood.
Figure 1Swati with Designer Bri Seeley, Executive Director Brian, Moda & Estilo Publisher Cynarah
Preparing for fashion weeks are a fun and creative process, with lots of important questions needing answers: from the thematic concept — what is the emotion/feel we are trying to convey — to which and how many pieces we want to showcase to best highlight the Àtiz collection.
Atiz Promo Captured by Blogger Zoe Cayetano
It also requires a lot of planning: putting the looks together, packing the right accessories, hotel reservations — but most importantly, sending the paperwork and tech files to the fashion week organizers. Kudos to our marketing team for pulling all that together. Even with a cautious month of planning, one is never fully prepared for the challenges of doing four fashion weeks back-to-back in different cities. Each one of the fashion weeks had their own surprise elements and different approaches to the production and presentation. But our team rose to the challenges and we overcame them with success. You can ask our marketing manager, Cynarah!
A preview of Atiz Spring 2015
Vancouver Fashion Week was our first, at which we debuted our Spring/Summer 2015 collection. There was a lot of excitement and anxious moments before and after our show. Showcasing with 80 other designers and over one thousand spectators was overwhelming. The crowd was very fashion-forward and glamorous. The opening gala was the highlight of the event where all the 80 designers and their muses walked to kick-start the fashion week. The media and photographers came from all parts of the world such as Brazil, United Kingdom, Australia, and Spain, to name a few. Àtiz was even featured in British Vogue. At this event We also gave a lot of interviews to international media channels including China, Australia, and Vancouver.
The most fun was the after show. Swati enjoyed a late celebratory dinner with Cynarah and her daughter Tejal. After my show on September 16, we stayed back till that Friday and enjoyed watching other designers’ collections on the runway and made connections. It was interesting to see the trends and reactions on social media.
Phoenix Fashion Week As part of PFW, Swati participated in a four-month boot camp that aimed to prepare emerging designers for success in this competitive industry. Swati believes that the PFW boot camp was one of the best of its kind and was happy to have partaken it. It was an intense course of on and offline eight-week sessions that taught you the business of fashion. As the day of the show arrived, the weather was perfect for an outdoor fashion show, and we showcased our Spring/Summer 2015 collection along with 13 other emerging designers. Swati was fortunate to make a lot of friends in the process with whom she shared experiences and ideas. The highlight of the week was the emerging designer contest on the last day, which was won by Mendocino
Next stop was Portland for the Fashion. Our show was scheduled for the second day, October 9. The first night, entitled “A China Moment,” was the opening of the show, showcasing designers from China, along with a Chinese delegation representing the fashion and apparel industry in China. The strength of this fashion week was its ability to attract more retail buyers to the show. The next day was spent on foot visiting almost 15 retails stores to talk to owners or store managers about carrying our collection in the spring. We also wanted to ensure that each store would be a good fit for the Àtiz brand, so seeing them in person was very important to us. Some potential deals with the local boutiques are in the pipeline as a result of visiting and we are super excited about the possibilities.
Our final stretch was the week of October 15 in Los Angeles. LA Style Fashion Week was a great experience. The backstage organization was excellent. There were lots of celebrities and media, and Swati couldn't help but feel like one too. The interviews post-show on the red carpet with Fashion News Live was the highlight, and we made sure to soak in the glamour and glitz of L.A. with some awesome restaurant visits to complete the experience.
After a month of non-stop travelling and showcasing, it was time to go back home.
The fashion weeks helped raise the profile of Àtiz and provide us with more brand recognition, which was our goal. From that perspective, we feel that our mission was accomplished.
However, the most important part of any business is sales. Therefore, now that our supply chain piece is in place and our brand awareness is increasing, the next big step for Àtiz is to secure a sales rep that can represent our brand and sell our collections to retailers across the U.S. After our hard work with fashion week participation, we were able to secure two. Àtiz has sales reps on the west coast at the California Market Center and in Canada. Expect to see our collection at a store near you in the spring!
In the meantime, take a look at our website where you’ll find promotional savings on pieces of the Àtiz collection, which by the way, are selling out fast!
Now that the holiday season is over and we’re back to work, we look forward to bringing you new designs and accomplishing more amazing things this year.
Thank you for your support and may you all have a joyous and successful 2015.
Happy New Year!