Before the Internet, many aspiring designers and hopeful fashion professionals relied upon pricey classes, guidance counselors, encyclopedias, and niche resource books to help them break into the fashion industry—unless they were among the lucky few who had industry connections, of course. Thankfully, along with the birth of the social Web, came empowering opportunities for emerging designers and other up-and-coming fashion professionals. Today, people pursuing a career in fashion can turn to the Web for information, advice, inspiration, support, and so much more.
StartUp FASHION is a comprehensive resource for emerging and established fashion professionals. This blog-style website provides: seminars/keynotes with leading industry professionals, virtual events, networking gatherings, trunk shows/fashion markets, buyer showings, and opportunities to participate in a dialogue centered on fashion. Maintained by a team of industry insiders, StartUp FASHION offers everything from information on local boutiques to independent designer interviews. Updated weekly, StartUp FASHION is a valuable resource for fashion enthusiasts and fashion veterans alike.
Finessed: What inspired you to create a resource for new independent designers and fashion professionals?
Nicole Giordano: I saw a need. There is so much to learn, understand, and adopt when you’re starting out on a new venture. Having a single place to go that covers topics that range from textile sourcing to marketing and public relations, written by your peers, is a very valuable resource. When I was designing, I didn’t have that.
Finessed: What do you believe are three of the biggest challenges for new designers and others who are getting started in fashion today?
Nicole Giordano: Sourcing small fabric yardage and manufacturing small runs are two biggies. It’s tough to find a mill/factory that will continue to produce small lots as your company grows. Another challenge is marketing. Once you have your business up and running, getting the word out is a full time job in itself.
Finessed: What are a few things people can do to support emerging designers?
Nicole Giordano: Buy from them! Invest in the work of a young designer; it could make all the difference. Also, when you find a brand you love, become an ambassador! Share what you love about the brand or what you just bought on your social networks. This is one of the best ways to help a new designer survive.
Finessed: What mantra would you encourage new fashion designers and fashion professionals to live by?
Nicole Giordano: If you love it, keep at it. And remember to not be afraid to evolve. You’d be surprised at how many businesses start out one way and transform into something that you wouldn’t expect.