HOW TO DISCOVER EMERGING DESIGNERS?


 HOW TO DISCOVER EMERGING DESIGNERS?

There is not so easy to answer. It all depends on your style and priorities. There are many places and ways you can find new brands–the key is finding one that connects with you and not spending too much time getting there. 

  1. Instagram!
    • You can find new brands from Instagram by looking at what other people are wearing and tagging in their posts. If you already have a brand you really like, you can look at the recommended Instagrams that appear on their profile or explore who they are following to hopefully find a similar brand that you align with. The setback here is that it can be very time-consuming. 

  2. Word of Mouth
    • Talking with friends is a great way to find new brands and shopping websites. Recommendations for a friend are much easier to sort through than hundreds of search results on the internet. Going through a friend is efficient and usually trustworthy. The setback here is that your friends might not know of any new brands that you also don’t know of. 

  3. Department Stores/Boutiques
    • Some large-scale department stores such as Nordstrom stock and work with independent brands. This could be a way for you to find an awesome piece or brand. Being on one site or in one location, makes the shopping experience easier and more likely to succeed than shopping for an individual brand. You can visit boutiques in real life, to see if they have any great new pieces. In addition, most boutiques websites will list the brands they carry, so you can find new brands that way. The setback here is that you may find something you like but not something that is new or aligns with your values and priorities. 

  4. Trove! 
    • Of course we have to add our name to the ring here. Trove is the () the perfect blend of the above 3 choices. We have already scouted Instagram for you and gone through the word-of-mouth channels, plus you get the convenience of shopping multiple brands in one place. What you see on our site is a curation of independent and up and coming unique clothing and accessory brands. You can also get a more personal feel of our brands by looking at their profiles or sorting your searches by our brand mission filters. 

SCHOOLS

There are many Colleges and Universities across North America that offer fantastic Fashion Design programs. Often, they will feature their best talent on their website and within their newsletters and include contact information.

Create a reminder for yourself to check them out periodically for updates if there isn’t an option for you to subscribe.

Most of these schools put on fashion show events at the end of a semester or at year end as part of the student’s final grade. Make a note of when these events are happening and try to attend. If you can’t attend, get in touch with a professor and ask if it might be possible for you to be sent photos and/or line sheets upon completion.

SOCIAL MEDIA

We hope by now everyone has a general understanding of how important a social media presence is. You can certainly count on new designers, especially those just graduating from college or university, to have their information posted electronically whether on a website, on a blog, or on their own Facebook page.

By using some creative search words (or hashtags, if you’re searching via Twitter or Pinterest) like “emerging designer” “independent designer” or “new fashion designer” you will be able to find an overview of general information and do a deep dive from there.

If you’re using a platform like LinkedIn, searching “fashion designer” will bring up thousands of results from people worldwide who have this listed on their resume.

While you’re there, check out the discussions happening inside of groups like “Fashion & Lifestyle Industry Professionals Worldwide” or “Sustainable Fashion Designers” and see if you can join in on a conversation about emerging talent.

GOOGLE/WEBSITES/MAGAZINES

There are all kinds of fashion specific websites, (like Fashionista.com and StartUp FASHION, of course!) blogs, and magazines whose writers take the time to highlight up-and-coming designers. Google these publications and subscribe so they always inform you when a new post is published.

This works great because they already done most of the work for you. Instead of searching through millions of potential designers, these articles put a personality to a name and will tell you all about the designer’s aesthetic making it easy for you to determine if they will be a good fit.

POST AN AD

Looking for new talent? Shout it out! Although it’s possible that out of 100 responses, only 1 might be what you’re looking for, but it would be worth it, wouldn’t it?

Schools often have job posting boards where you can put up a flyer letting students know you’re searching for local designers to carry in your boutique and offer to meet with them.

You could also post an ad like an “open call” in trade publications, on your website, on any of your social media platforms, in your local newspaper or on a free site like Craigslist. We probably wouldn’t recommend doing this as your only search method, but it might be a good practice to get the word out that you accept submissions from new designers.

To take this one step further, consider hosting a contest for new talent and ask for a volunteer panel of judges to come on board and help you sort through submissions. This way, you’ll still be receiving all the applications but you’ll have a team to assist you with sorting through them. It will also create a buzz around your boutique and may send new customers your way.

LOCAL EVENTS

Every city, whether big or small, hosts charity fashion shows throughout the year for various causes. As well, there are many markets, small business events, vendor events, tent sales and arts & crafts showcases where people pay to show off their wares.

Although it may not be advertised as such, any of these platforms provide emerging designers with access to crowds of people in a matter of days, a lucrative opportunity for anyone just getting into the business.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in your community and attend as many as possible. Even if you don’t find your next great designer to feature, networking with business owners and getting the word out about who you are and what you’re looking for is always time well spent. If you’re unable to attend in person, reach out to the organizers and ask them if they can provide you with a list of vendors so you can do some searching on your own.

TRADE SHOWS

There are hundreds of large trade shows throughout the year held specifically to introduce designers to retailers (check out our list, here🙂 if you can afford the time and cost to attend some of the more popular ones like MAGIC it is always well worth the effort.

Because of their large marketing budgets these events have an excellent rundown of information on all the vendors who have taken part for you to have a look at before, during and after the events.

REFERRALS

Reach out to retailers who sell to a similar target market (whether in your local area or across the country) and ask where they discover their new talent. They may point you toward a resource you haven’t considered and there is no better advertising than word of mouth. Business owners will help others out and would relish the opportunity to pass on some great advice.

STARTUPFASHION

Our “BreakThrough DESIGNER” series is a not to be missed! We feature new design talent at least once a week, make sure you check it out and keep coming back for more!

These days it’s easier than ever to support up-and-coming designers. The online marketplace is one that’s always evolving and now there are greater opportunities for emerging designers to get their wares out there. Several online destinations are taking on emerging designers so now us shoppers have greater access than ever before to fresh, new talent. If you like the idea of supporting up-and-coming designers then look at these online destinations where you can do just that.


SPACE: Emerging & Advanced Designer

HERE ARE 15 SUPPLIER AND RETAILER TRADE SHOWS ON OUR RADAR:

January 6 – 8, New York, NY
Accessories The Show

AccessoriesTheShow is the world’s largest juried accessories show and promises a well-rounded floor consisting of a diverse grouping of resources ranging from all product categories – in an extensive selection of materials, shapes and sizes. The show will offer some of the most in-demand styles and must-haves for the serious fashion retailer.

January 14 – 16 – New York.NY
Texworld USA

Texworld USA is the largest sourcing event in North America for apparel fabric buyers, R&D and product development specialists, designers, merchandisers and overseas sourcing professionals.

January 15 – 16 – New York, NY
Indigo (Part of Premiere Vision)

The most important and influential show for the North American textile design market. Three times per year the show brings together some 120 exhibitors, including top international design studios, as well as bookshops and trend bureaus. The comprehensive creative offer, including designs for prints, embroideries, knits, appliqués, jacquards and transfer papers, addresses all segments of the fashion and home markets.

January 15 – 16 – New York NY
PremiereVision

Premiere Vision Preview New York offers a large selection of fabrics and trimming collections of the highest quality & creativity as well as the Fabric Forum, the ultimate guide to seasonal trends.

January 27 – 20 – Toronto, Ontario
Mode Accessories

Mode Accessories is Canada’s only trade show devoted to women’s fashion accessories, casual apparel and fashion items. It is the definitive marketplace for retailers to source fashion accessories from wholesalers and importers. Products exhibited range from handbags, jewellery, hats, scarves, hair accessories, sunglasses, belts, watches, hosiery, apparel, beauty products, body fashions, umbrellas, shoes, and other accessories.

January 21 – 23 – New York, NY
February 19 – 21 – Las Vegas, NV

Project

Held bi-annually in New York and Las Vegas, Project is the worlds preeminent contemporary fashion trade event. Project features the most directional brands and attracts the most influential retailers in the global marketplace; uniting them in a dynamic and community-focused atmosphere designed to drive commerce, creativity and connectivity 365 days a year.

February 2013 – New York, NY
JA New York

For over 105 years , JA New York has been bringing the jewelry industry together featuring  more than 725 of the world’s finest jewelry brands, designers & suppliers representing the full spectrum of market categories and product choices. Vendors range from high-end designers to major manufacturers to rising stars, and encompass every taste, style and price point.

February 5 – 7 – New York, NY
New York Shoe Expo

The Fashion Footwear Association of New York has been bringing footwear manufacturers and retailers, the industry players, together for 32 years. We are a not-for-profit trade association representing footwear manufacturers from around the world and are prominent members of the New York fashion community. The goal of our trade shows, held in February, June, August and November/December, is to create one exciting marketplace in New York City, the fashion capital of the world. Here, exhibiting footwear manufacturers and attending retailers can efficiently buy, sell and develop business networks.

February 18 & 19 – Las Vegas, NV
February 24 – 26 – New York, NY
Curvexpo

With more than 200 exhibiting brands this is the only international lingerie and swim show in New York and Las Vegas. The best lingerie boutiques, the most stylish swimwear retailers and the most prominent department stores coming from all over the world shop the latest in lingerie, men’s underwear, swimwear, activewear and many more.

February 19 – 21 – Las Vegas, NV
MAGIC

By combining incomparable commercial potential, creative inspiration and connection opportunities, MAGIC has become the most influential force in fashion. With an average of nearly $200 million in per-day order volume and 85% of the top 50 retailers in attendance, more business is done at MAGIC than any other fashion retail trade event—making MAGIC the definitive platform for conducting the business of fashion.

February 24 – 26 – New York, NY
Fashion Coterie 2013

Fashion Coterie serves the upscale fashion marketplace, including the men’s, women’s, accessories, footwear, and children’s categories, as well as fashion retailers, which comprise specialty and department stores, and editors.

March 3 – 4 – Miami, FL
The Show Market of The Americas (SMOTA)

SMOTA conducts three trade shows yearly at Miami Airport Convention Center (MACC) and The DoubleTree Miami Mart Airport Hotel. The Markets showcase the entire spectrum of footwear companies, from high-fashion designer collections to the large branded businesses in all the categories: women’s, men’s, and children’s footwear.

March 10 – 12 – New York, NY
MJSA Expo

The MJSA Expo is the largest and oldest show dedicated to professional excellence in jewelry making and design. Every spring, thousands of buyers fill its aisles and connect with the industry’s finest suppliers and service providers. They can also find renowned experts within easy reach, thanks to Expo’s world-class seminar program.

March 17- 20 – Las Vegas, NV
ASD LV

ASD Brings the widest variety of merchandise together in one efficient consumer-goods trade show. Six shows in one:  gift & home, fashion accessories, jewelry & cash + carry, health & beauty, toys & novelties, value & variety.

July 17 – 18 – New York, NY
SpinExpo

Stores that sells up and coming fashion designer

A focused and unique exhibition featuring the most comprehensive and unique international offering of yarns and fibers, knitwear manufacturers and innovative knitwear machinery manufacturers.



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