Monday, May 31, 2010

Blood, Sweat and Tears are not just in the Threads

pic taken from

I’ve just read an article in where the sad reality of hungry fashion designers is laid bare. After 10 years of establishment, the article says, Alexander McQueen’s label was not making the profits. Some might find this hard to believe, but this article gives cold hard facts of the glamorous yet seriously difficult business of fashion.

Some designers are inflated to Kingpin status and probably deservedly so taking into context the talent it takes to create fashion that can be considered art; something for which McQueen was credited a master at doing. The problem, however, is that building a brand that sells is a mammoth task. And maybe the frivolities that have previously been seen as necessary- the grand parties at which celebrities are brought in to schmooze with industry heavyweights all at the designer’s expense- are no longer sustainable. Maybe they never were.
When South Africa Fashion Week decided to only admit journos, buyers and faithful clients of the designers to the shows it was widely recognized as a step in the right direction. And maybe many more interventions need to be looked into by designers as they sweat blood and tears to make their businesses work.
But then again, a lot of South Africa’s designers don’t have a large staff and don’t often do the whole extravagant thing I just called unnecessary. Maybe on these shores the key to making businesses profitable would be to study new brand strategies that have not yet been implemented by a lot of local houses. In designing these strategies, however, the size of our market needs to be taken into account and the UK with its limited market size is a good place to learn from. America is not.
Designer dreams don’t pay the bills is the title of the article and I think it is required reading for anyone who takes this industry seriously.

1 comment:

Maque DeGorgeous said...

with that said, keep in mind McQueen was bought by a Huge Conglomerate which paid him millions which, according to "Fashion Babylon", is the ideal situation:
1) they need not worry about the finances of the company
2) they need not worry about advertising and costs of creating a fashion show.
3) they have decision-making authority without cost implications (i.e. free to be creative without stressing about the cost of creativity)

So - did Lee worry that his company was probably running at a loss? I do not think so! he bagged his millions, WOWed the world with his edgy work - and that's all he (probably) ever wanted!