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Key Takeaways from MBFWA AFC Industry Panel On The Future Of Resort Wear
 
 AFC Industry Panel, image captured by  Tim Da Rin for Flaunter

AFC Industry Panel, image captured by Tim Da Rin for Flaunter

I was honoured to take part in an important conversation last Thursday on the future of resort wear at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia. The discussion, hosted by Harpers Bazaar Australia Editor-in-Chief and Australian Fashion Council Board Director Kellie Hush focused on the impact of the resort wear market and the global appeal of Australian fashion.

Fellow AFC members, Robert Moore CEO of Alice McCall and Toby Jones, Co-Founder of Double Rainbouu  joined me on stage for the chat providing a variety of perspectives on resort and shared opinions on the future of the season and the perception of our industry in general. 

 AFC Industry Panel, image captured by Tim Da Rin for Flaunter

AFC Industry Panel, image captured by Tim Da Rin for Flaunter

In case you missed the conversation in person, read on for some of the key takeaways from the discussion.

  • On the positive impact resort wear has had on the local industry - Resort wear collections have provided a confidence and trust in Australian design, Australian designers have become highly recognised on the global fashion stage because of the spotlight that is shone on our industry at the beginning of the global resort wear buying calendar. 
     
  • On accessing new markets with resort wear - Understand the markets you want to sell into, sure there's an amazing opportunity for Australian brands to flourish in Asia, but you really need to understand that customer inside and out, get on the ground in these countries and do your research, work with local agents.
     
  • On the opportunities for Australian brands when it comes to resort wear - As the spotlight is shone on Australia for setting the tone for resort wear each year with MBFWA being the first main event of the fashion calendar for the season it's an opportunity for all brands to highlight their unique design aesthetic, celebrate your local makers and continue the conversation about your sustainable business practises.
     
  • Advice on how to think about resort wear collections within your own business - Remember to stay true to your design aesthetic, don't loose sight of your brand's philosophy, regardless of what season it is and remember it's always beach weather summer where in the world! 
     
  • General advice to emerging brands/designers

    Just give it a go and learn from your mistakes!

    Patience is a virtue, no one becomes an overnight success, take your time and get things as right as possible, if you don't have the skills surround yourself with other who do and focus on what you're good at.

    Emerging designers should not feel overwhelmed by the pressures to over design and produce large collections for resort, just get involved and keep it simple and leverage your data, freshening up your best selling styles in new colours or innovative fabrications.

 

 
What is a resort season? The fashion buying and selling seasons demystified
 

With Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia Resort 2019 just around the corner, (kicking off on May 13) I thought it might be a good time for a little refresher on the fashion buying and selling seasons and provide you with some clarity on what exactly the resort season entails. 

So, what are the all-important seasons that you need to know about? Well, there are three main collections that retail buyers will allocate budget for: SPRING / SUMMER, HIGH SUMMER / RESORT, and AUTUMN / WINTER. Buyers will be looking to deliver stock purchased from these seasons at particular times of the year.

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE SEASONS
Here in the Southern Hemisphere retailers will buy and sell seasonal collections as follows:

SPRING/SUMMER
RETAILERS BUY IN - FEB/MARCH/APRIL
TO SELL IN STORE - JULY/AUG/SEPT

HIGH SUMMER/RESORT
RETAILERS BUY IN - MAY/JUNE
TO SELL IN STORE - OCT/NOV

AUTUMN/WINTER
RETAILERS BUY IN - JULY/AUGUST/SEPT
TO SELL IN STORE - FEB/MARCH/APRIL

NORTHERN HEMISPHERE SEASONS
Our retail friends in the Northern Hemisphere will buy and sell seasonal collections in the exact opposite order to us. 

SPRING/SUMMER 
RETAILERS BUY IN - JULY/AUG/SEPT
TO SELL IN STORE - FEB/MARCH/APRIL

HIGH SUMMER/RESORT or CRUISE/HOLIDAY/RESORT as they're most commonly known in the northern hemisphere.
RETAILERS BUY IN - MAY/JUNE
TO SELL IN STORE - NOV/DEC/JAN

AUTUMN/WINTER or FALL/WINTER as they're most commonly known in the northern hemisphere. 
RETAILERS BUY IN - FEB/MARCH/APRIL
TO SELL IN STORE - JULY/AUGUST/SEPT

You may have noticed that the RESORT season is similar in both hemispheres with the only difference being in the selling period which is slightly shorter here in the south. This is because in the southern hemisphere, Australia in particular, consumers hit pause on fashion spending from around mid-November until the pre-Christmas / Boxing Day sales start. The Northern Hemisphere, on the other hand, has not been tarnished with the same bargain hunting brush and in fact, RESORT is regarded as the most lucrative season of the year as consumers in this part of the globe shop for both coats and swimwear for their various holiday destinations. In most cases stock delivered into store as part of a RESORT season may never need to be discounted as these products remain relevant well into the Northern Hemisphere well into the spring/summer months. 

Want to learn more about how to create a relevant transeasonal collection for resort? Then you should join me at MBFWA on Thursday 17th May at 3pm as I take part in an industry discussion on the future of resort wear alongside designers, Alice McCall and Double Rainbouu, hosted by Kellie Hush, Editor-in-Chief Harper's BAZAAR Australia and supported by the AFC - Australian Fashion Council. You can find out more information about the session over at the offical MBFWA schedule.

Further reading resources on resort
https://www.manrepeller.com/2016/06/what-is-resort-season.html
https://www.highsnobiety.com/2017/05/22/why-are-resort-cruise-pre-collections-important/

 
A shop should be like a song of which you never tire
 
  Bassike  Glenmore Road, Paddington store in Sydney

Bassike Glenmore Road, Paddington store in Sydney

“A shop should be like a song of which you never tire” -  Harry Gordon Selfridge.
Yesterday I took that time to sit down in front of Netflix to take in a documentary that has been on my list for ages - Secrets of Selfridges. A very interesting story of one of the worlds greatest retail pioneers, Harry Gordon Selfridge. Many of his game changing strategies around the customer experience have become common place today. The documentary was peppered with loads of inspirational quotes from the man himself, the one above really resonated with me, describing the feeling you get from that great retail experience, the one that keeps you coming back time after time.
Whilst the image I've chosen above is clearly not of Selfridges itself, it is of a shop which is like a song I never tire of, Bassike's Glenmore Road store in Sydney's Paddington.

 

 
OKAY, SO I'M NOT PERFECT BUT HERE'S WHAT I LEARNT FROM WRITING 230 BLOG POSTS
 
230 blog posts

On January 9 last year I nervously embarked on the challenge of composing a new blog post every week-day for the entire year. I can hear you all now whispering to yourselves saying “was she insane!” and yes I thought that too at the beginning. How the hell was I going to write a blog post every day on top of running my business (and working in another with my husband, yep I essentially work 7 days a week) oh and sleep, eat and live. 

Well here I am on the other side of 230 blog posts and whilst I’m not perfect, I certainly learn’t a lot and thought it was fair to share a few hints, tips and tricks from my time in the blogging trenches with you all just in case you want to challenge yourself and I highly recommend you do!

  1. They're all right, blogging really is great for generating new business. Probably the biggest take-away for me was that people actually read and benefitted from what I had to say. And as it turns out people wanted to know more and started to book mentoring sessions with me off the back of blog posts. I now constantly reference content I have created for my blog with my clients and have shared some of my articles with other fashion networks to further my credentials and expertise in the industry. 
  2. Structure is important. At the very beginning I decided in order to for me to be able manage the sheer volume of posts I was committing to I had to have some kind of structure. So I chose to allocate a topic a day - Monday was for business content, Tuesday for trends, Wednesday for inspirational posts, Thursday for digital marketing content such as video's and Friday was a round up of the week’s most interesting global fashion news. Timing content (just like Instagram posts) was also pivotal, I saved all of the big juicy business advice pieces for the beginning of the week and threw in a dose of inspiration in the middle of the week. 
  3. Save the stress, write when you get those creative bursts. It’s so hard to force yourself to write, I did this to myself a lot until it dawned on me that I should just continue writing posts when I get those creative bursts of energy (it’s happening right now!) If you do write your posts in batches, inevitably there will be days when just can’t get to the computer to scribe anything and you will thank yourself for having a few posts up your sleeve. You can even schedule pre-prepared posts on your site if you know there are days coming up when you’ll be away from the desk. 
  4. It’s okay to put your hand up and ask for help. I’m not a naturally gifted writer, but I’m lucky enough to be married to a bit of a word smith, so had an editor on hand 24-7. Funny thing was though after a couple of months of sending my “Editor” my posts to finesse I quickly got the hang of things and gave him the boot hahah. One resource I did come back a lot throughout the year was this fantastic book on creating content, Everybody Writes - Your Go-to Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Anne Handley. This book basically takes you by the hand and walks you through how to write really good content for all kinds of purposes - blogs, Linkedin profiles, website landing pages and many more. I literally have over 30 sticky tabs littered across the book, highlighted hundreds of useful snippets and read it cover to cover around 4 times - go get a copy now (and no this isn’t a paid post for Anne). 
  5. One blog post = at least 3 other pieces of content. Once you’ve done the hard yards and published your blog post the magic does not stop there. Re-purpose that article into an Instagram post, you could also take a small excerpt from that same article and turn it into a quote for social media, hey you could even turn it into a Facebook Ad! I’m even thinking of taking it to the next level and turning some of my business articles into quick and useful e-books (stay tuned).

My business has benefitted from sharing my thoughts, experiences and knowledge with you over on my blog, so thank you for tuning in and I hope you’ve also taken something away from my blog that has helped you in your own business journey. 

If you ever want to pick my brain about blogging or have a topic you would like me to cover, feel free to drop me an email, amy@thefashionfuturist.com