Your clothes are being sold in Joyce in HK, Excube in Japan and H.Lorenzo in Los Angeles (among others). How did you approach the buying process? What advice would you give other designers hoping to sell in these stores?
When I started the brand in 2016, I promoted it online by posting process and detail shots, later adding lookbook images.The first stores I sold with were H.Lorenzo, VFILES, and Joyce. Some people who worked at H.Lorenzo saw my work online and used a few pieces for an editorial shoot. That led me to meet their buyers and show them my pieces. I had created a simple “designer profile” on the VFILES website in 2016 and they noticed it a few months later. Their team reached out to me and asked if they could buy my first collection. A buyer from Joyce had seen my work online in 2017 and came to meet me at my home studio in Los Angeles. Since then, we have brainstormed the one-of-a-kind collections I’ve created for them each season. I try to reach out to stores with press clippings, lookbooks, and line-sheets, but it’s very hard to get their attention when they haven’t heard of the brand. This approach hasn’t been very successful for me. It can be difficult and discouraging at times, but I keep trying. Most of the stores I’ve worked with so far discovered my brand themselves or from word of mouth. My advice is to put in the hard work, stay true to your voice and eventually people will notice and hopefully spread organically.
“I try to reach out to stores with press clippings, lookbooks, and line-sheets, but it’s very hard to get their attention when they haven’t heard of the brand.”
How do the stores and geographies differ in terms of what sells? What have you learnt from seeing the response to your clothes in different cultures?
It’s hard for me to know, but each store has a slightly different customer base. I’ve been happy with the response so far, as the pieces ordered tend to sell out relatively quickly, especially in Hong Kong, LA and NY.
“San Francisco. It lacked a variety of fabric stores to source from and a community of designers putting on fashion shows, so I didn’t have as many opportunities as someone studying in London or New York might have.”