New marketing services for emerging fashion designers

Earlier this year we launched a number of support services for emerging fashion designers: web design, marketing and social media and public relations.  Our crowdfunding website can now be found at and we are getting ready for next season!

For the last 2 years we’ve been working with dozens of fashion designers and we’ve learned some things about their business process and what defines success:

1. Good designers DESIGN. We’ve talked to designers that went to school or that were self-taught, and they all share the same passion: to design. If they are good at it, they live and breathe design.

2. Designers are CREATIVE minds. They work well with shapes, colors, they have a visual memory. They are not as good with numbers and analytics.

3. Designers lack TIME. You see, if they are good designers they spend most of their time designing and use their creativity to get inspired and keep designing. They don’t have the time for much else.

The problem is a business is not just the product. It’s just not good enough to have amazing products. The online space is an opportunity and a curse. It is an opportunity because you can reach so many people around the world virtually instant. But you are a small fish in the biggest ocean there is, so you will have a very hard time getting on that opportunity.

I was fortunate to be able to build an amazing team around me and that we share the same common values: to help emerging designers succeed in their businesses so they can create more jobs locally and further grow our textile industry.  We decided to put forward our knowledge, our skills and our experience and continue our work a lot more hands on that we were doing it before.

So here is how we can help aspiring and emerging fashion designers:

1. Fashion Branding & Web Design Services

Remember that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it” – and for that you need cohesive branding and a strong online presence that tells your story.

I know that web design might be overwhelming, and I also know that design agencies take advantage of those that are not tech savvy. We build wordpress based websites that offer our clients a variety of options and e-commerce built in. The advantage is that your website will be search engine optimized (SEO) and responsive (mobile friendly) and we offer free coaching to teach you how to do your own small changes and updates and how to further optimize your content to get more online traffic.

2. Fashion Public Relations

We created a unique new method of running public relations campaigns for our fashion clients. Our formula is easily customizable, and we can either teach you how to do it yourself or we can run a complete PR campaign for you. Be aware of agencies that charge ridiculous amounts of money and request monthly retainers. We can help you on a project based basis and we only charge a one time fee, there are no hidden fees with us!

3. Social Media for Fashion Brands

With this one we really have fun! While I teach Social Media at the George Brown College Fashion School, I make sure that myself and our team is always up to date with the latest tools and techniques.  We can work with you on a one time basis where we evaluate your social media presence and build your strategy, or we can get our hands dirty and manage your channels month to month.

As a side note, I am also personally available for hourly consultations if you just need me to come in  for a couple of hours and give support. And always remember, that we don’t start a project until we communicated the solution with our potential customer. So not only do we analyse the state of your business and your goals but we also offer our recommendations for free.


This article was written by our co-founder Ana Caracaleanu.



5 Networking Tips for Aspiring Fashion Designers

Networking is an interesting topic for me, as I grew as an entrepreneur and learned along the way to be more natural at it.  I don’t believe there are any books or courses that can teach you how to network well, but I believe you can teach yourself in finding your own “groove”.


Leave your inhibitions at the door, and step in with grace, value creating thoughts and the mindset that anyone there can be as much help to you as you are to them.

I recently attended a Fashion and Tech meet-up in Santa Monica with my business partner, and our goal was to meet new people, and why not, potential customers or partners. We work with fashion designers, we help them get their businesses off the ground, help them with marketing, web development and strategy. This was a great opportunity to get some of my knowledge shared with the right individuals and get us known with the LA fashion community.

Networking tips

Here are my top 5 networking tips:

Tip #1: Know your audience

This was a meetup so I could read everyone’s profiles before attending from I learnt that most people in the audience were aspiring fashion designers. So instead of pitching the company I started talking to them about their problems, making suggestions and I offered my business card to take our conversations further.

Tip #2: Don’t rush

This is your douche-bag networker and I hate him (or her). They come to an event and their only goal is to go around and talk to as many people.  Most times you’ll end up in a conversation with above said networker when he’ll abruptly stop you and says something like “I have to go around and do my rounds” or “I have to go meet other people” . He has no interest in you and you’ll never see him again. Don’t be this guy.

Tip #3: Give value

This ties back into the above two points. if you know your audience, then you know what brings them to the event in the first place. Spend time with each prospect and provide something of value to them, they will be more engaged with what you have to say. At this event I tried to provide as much feedback as possible and make appropriate introductions to help the aspiring entrepreneurs.

Tip #4: Don’t stick together

I noticed that the events I attend together with my partner I tend to network less. We end up talking to each other, and by the end of the night we think that the event wasn’t worth while because nobody wanted to talk to us.  The problem is, when you stick together, others won’t approach you as they’ll think you are engaged in a private conversation.

Tip #5: Follow up

This one drives me insane. So many times I have met people that for one reason or another they couldn’t share their contact info with me (some genuinely forgot their business cards at home or my phone would be dead  and couldn’t take their info). I have met many fashion designers that I could have helped, but they only connect with me when they felt they needed something from me – sometimes months later. I am sorry, but by that point, I’d forgotten who you are.

Some of these may seem like common sense, however, when networking many become overwhelmed and unnatural. Just take it easy, one step at the time, and just think that everyone is there for the same reasons as you are, to meet new people!

This article was first published on LinkedIn by our co-founder Ana Caracaleanu.

Top 3 Social Media Practices for Fashion Designers

You are a fashion designer and want to grow your brand and ultimately you want to grow your sales. You might think using social media is a good start to spread the word about your brand, and hopefully achieve your sales goals. You are on the right track! Indeed, social media are online tools that can help you grow awareness, connect with people you otherwise could have not and they can help you get closer to your audience.

These are the top 3 social media practices we’ve implemented at Luevo and proved to be successful for us. It led to partnerships, media coverage, and more happy customers.

Social Media Practice #1

LISTEN. Use social media channels to get valuable feedback about your products or services. Your customers will use Twitter, Facebook and other channels to mention and review your products, and even suggest new features.This practice can help you with your product development; it is key to an eCommerce retail business that may lack the face to face interaction with its customers.

Social Media Practice #2

LESS IS MORE. Post valuable information that your fans, readers and potential customers may find useful and less about your own products (self-promotion). Be less promotional, do less product pitching: try to be helpful to others and become a great resource for what they need.
TIP: You can easily test this: post only about your brand and products and you will see no growth in your number of followers or even a drop.

Social media practice #3

MONITOR. You can learn a lot about your market by monitoring industry specialists, your competitors and their customers. Add your business to Google+ communities and join LinkedIn groups, set up Twitter lists and monitor the pulse of your industry.
This article was first published on LinkedIn.
 Keep in mind that if you make it about them (your customers, your audience), your social media tactics can only have a positive impact on your business. If you need any help with your social media strategy, feel free to connect with me personally and we can talk! We’re also launching a Social Media Guide, so sign-up to get it first!

Branding and Communications for Emerging Designers (Part 1)

Are you a designer with a great collection? Perfect. Now you just need to sell it by using branding and communications; you need to let others know of your amazing designs! This is a three part series aimed at giving emerging designers the top branding and communications tips they need for their businesses.

In order to understand how to brand a collection let’s start with the basics of communications and branding.

Communication refers to the reception and/or broadcasting of information, news, ideas, feelings, etc. This happens by speaking, writing or any other mediums. This communication drives the connection of people or places and meaning.

Strategic communication is coordinating the things you do and say in support of your objectives. More formally, I define strategic communication as coordinated actions, messages, images, and other forms of signaling or engagement intended to inform, influence, or persuade selected audiences (…)”
-Christopher Paul, Strategic Communication: Origins, Concepts, and Current Debates

Branding is creating a unique name and image for a product or range of products in the consumers’ mind. Branding focuses on influencing the perception of customers as an image or impression is built in the mind of customers. The idea of branding came up when the product itself was not enough in the midst of many competitors. Branding gave more options for the customers to choose from: the brand was an added value to the product. Customers could recognize their set of values through the brand.

“ Brand is the image people have of your company or product. It’s who people think you are. Or quoting Ze Frank, it’s the “emotional aftertaste” that comes after an experience (even a second-hand one) with a product, service or company.  (Also, it’s the mark left after a red-hot iron is applied to a steer’s hindquarters.)”
-Ann Handley , Author with C.C. Chapman of Content Rules

The Millward Brown Pyramid is an extremely simple visual of what builds a brand and customer loyalty.

millward brown

The next important step is creating a Presence – customers have to notice your brand. Consider how your products can be sold and where: will your products be located online? In a brick and mortar store? Do you want to concentrate on your local market or reach other countries? If you will reach an international market, are you ready to ship products overseas? Deciding on your target market will help this process and improve communication as well. By simply deciding on location, you can assess the selling platforms that will best be accessible. An example is having your target be an international market. The easiest method would be to contact the appropriate websites that have reach many consumers. In contrast, brick and mortar distributors may be better for local markets.

After you succeed choosing how to create your presence, the next step is to think of the type of customer and their needs. This is your Relevance.
What type of customer will be interested in your products? What type of customers are you interested in? And most importantly, how much is your target customer willing to spend? Because the customer has so much influence over the price, you must consider your market when determining price points that are relevant to them. Factors to consider are: customer’s age, shopping patterns, revenue, and interests. In order to build a strong brand relevant to your target, you have to understand your customer.

Finally, how do you compare with other brands? This depends on your brand’s Performance. Performance adds value among other competitors. Understanding what already exists in the fashion industry is vital to the growth of your brand. What are some strengths/weaknesses of other brands? Where do you fit in? Asking these questions and taking what you’ve learnt about your brand will allow you to stand out. Being unique is not hard to do once you find what is unique to your brand.

A factor in addition to your brand’s performance is the Advantage it has. There will be many comparisons to be made based on the quality and pricing of your products, but what makes your brand truly stand out? This can be done in many ways through your engagement with customers and the customer service you provide. Whatever can contribute to the brand’s essence and values to help the customer relate to it is valuable.

After your customer has identified with your brand and products, you’ve Bonded with them. Hopefully ,the customer will become a loyal follower and continue to support your brand.

As you can see, communication and brand building takes a lot of work, but the most important part is understanding the customer and who you’re designing for. With the foundation, the next steps will be easier to build upon.

Stay tuned for practical steps to branding (Part 2/3)!


This article was written by Alexandra. Follow her on Twitter @Stylindublin

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