MANNEQUIN TO MILANO
“The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” – Nolan Bushnell
Fashion Entrepreneurship is the most popular and majorly discussed topics amongst youth. Be it the glamour, recognition, and acknowledgment accompanied with the success of a new business idea or else the number of profit returns involved in it.
New aged youth is majorly driven away by the fact of starting up with something novel and out of the box.
But the question is, how many ideas and visions really make it to fortune 300 or 500 ?? Probably just a handful of visionaries actually make it to the final execution and even lesser sustain the heat of the ever competitive market.
Then very few, who ultimately survive the competition of innovativeness coupled with sturdy planning, make it to the top.
But, still, the question arises that what all it takes to make a foolproof plan and then proceed towards its execution?? Banuben N Tanna, one of the founders of Lijjat papad probably can’t even spell entrepreneurship, marketing or planning, but is running the multi-dollar business.
So what is it that makes difference when it comes to starting and sustaining a startup? This article curtails few points that would elaborate the seams of executing one’s vision or idea.
Fashion as an industry has most creative competition and products with very short shelf life, this creates a lot of entry barriers for a new juvenile entrant.
But people & especially youth have always been in awe of the glamour quotient of this industry and always try to become a part of it.
Be it aspiring models, designers, photographers or choreographers, everyone wants to create their mark or a peculiar position in the fashion world.
A few years back the fashion for small-town boys and girls was limited to fashion TV and few limited fashion magazine.
But due to digitization and increased reach of print, digital & social media the Indian youth has become more sensitive towards fashion as an industry.
People are getting educated enough to understand the brands and justification of the prices.
Since every coin has its flip side, so the knowledge about the inner cores of fashion as a business has made a lot of designers and stylists to try their luck into the domain with not much differentiation and innovativeness in the idea.
Because of which the fashion domain has become crowded over a period of time, which in turn has created a lot of unwanted entry barriers.
Every market needs liberation, and thus Indian fashion industry always gets a heads up from the international fashion influx which cannot be absorbed by the innovation lacking chunk of the industry.
This process has kept the Indian fashion industry maintain a niche with respect to buyers, sellers, critics and even exporters.
When we speak about the vitality of Indian fashion industry, following factors play a major role:
- Scope for fresh entrants
With the changing time technology has played a major role in maintaining the absorption of new entrants into the fashion industry.
A lot of designers or stylists are communicating with the world by using Instagram hashtags, youtube channels & facebook pages.
And this has created a major change when it comes to the acknowledgment and outreach of the budding talent and creativity in people.
Today people have full liberty to express theirs though processes and ideas about any topic. Youth has become vocal about the career choices they want to make in their life.
Parents have become more open and understanding when it comes to acknowledging and supporting the out of league choices of their children.
A few years back the fashion education industry was confined to the female students and the involvement of male students was limited to the tier 1 cities that had more liberated and open headed parents. But due to the formalization of fashion as a sector has changed the perspective of the mob at large.
Fashion institutes and opening up of formal education and introduction of engineering courses has given this field the kind of attention and acknowledgment it has always been seeking for and has always deserved it.
- Advent of e-commerce
“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”– Benjamin Franklin
Fashion E market has marked a before and after in the retail industry and has engulfed the whole globe within no time. The drive that started with alibaba.com has made all the nations understand the immense power of the digital world.
Fashion retail has changed immensely from being a brick and mortar model to be 100% electronically present.
Digital revolution, enhanced globalization, and altered in consumer expenditure habits have made fashion industry to change the customer experience.
Fashion students are getting a fully prepared platform to start off their business and especially those who are aspiring to be fashion entrepreneurship. E-commerce has reduced the hustle of fashion students by lowering down the capital expenditure cost which in turn increases the revenue in a very short time period.
- Globalization of fashion
“I don’t design clothes. I design dreams.” —Ralph Lauren
With the changing time, the 100% in-house manufacturing of garments has also changed its form and has become more global in every aspect. This includes a very closely monitored web of contractors and subcontractors.
Started by the major sports giant brand like Nike & Reebok by outsourcing their apparels & shoes it has soon reached to most of the sports & utility wear brands. Presently companies are not producing their own goods and get it outsourced by some economic bulk manufacturers.
Globalization with respect to production is one of the aspects that are covered as benefits of fashion globalization. Apart from this, there are various major points which are making it easier for the new budding talents to get a universal taste.
Presently the approach of fashion is not confined to metropolitan cities with a niche following the trend. Steadily whole Indian market is getting engulfed by the global fashion, the trending designs & patterns are finding their way to reach to the bigger masses.
If something is aspiring to break the barricading of time and trend, it needs to be exceptionally different to the market. The same applied for the fashion entrepreneurs as well, unless something is out of the box and very novel to the society, it can never be long lasting and perennial.
“In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.”– Coco Channel
Do’s and don’ts of fashion entrepreneurship
“Build a lifestyle around your brand, and the audience will follow.” – Eva Chen
Following someone always kills the creativity and novelty of an individual and acts as a never progressing trap for the future.
Getting inspired and following someone’s individuality has a very thin line of differentiation amid it.
For a fashion businessperson to be termed as a fashion entrepreneur it is a prerequisite to have a novelty in the aspect of work he/she is doing.
Understand need of the fashion market
“Fashion is architecture… it is a matter of proportions” – Coco Chanel
The whole global market always remain need to be driven and its absorbing power increases when the need for any product or service increases.
Before starting off with an anything in the fashion domain, it’s very important to understand the persistent need of the customers.
For eg. If we go back in time when the cotton fabric was one of the majorly used fabrics and it was manufactured in a huge quantity.
There lied a need of having some lighter fabric which doesn’t get crushed and lasts much more longer than 100% cotton fabric. This gave birth to the polyester fabric which started blending cotton fabric with more synthetic polymers.
This process not only gave a variety in the market but also created a totally different domain to the people who were involved in making creative outfits. As they got a fabric which can be much easily manipulated than the cotton fabric.
Giving correct shape to the idea
“Ideas shape the course of history.” – John Maynard Keynes
Idea generation is the very first step towards planning any new thing to perform, the post which there are a series of serious steps required to convert that idea into a lucrative model.
This comes under giving a correct shape and look to the generated idea, which requires so much of brainstorming and analyzing the same idea from various angles.
Determining the drawbacks in any generated idea also make an essential component of the complete model.
So, post a person gets a brilliant idea of becoming a fashion entrepreneur with some out of the box thought process, he/she need to shape up the idea in a way that it gets executed in the similar manner as it’s getting reflected on the planning paper.
If we take the example of Tata Nano, it was India’s one of the biggest revolution in terms of getting a four-wheeler commutation to every section of the society.
This idea or rather intention in itself was very different and thoughtful for any business house, which is why its association with TATA made a complete sense. But the problem that happened with the branding of the product was the association of the cost of the product.
Though the price of Nano was much cheaper than any other 4 wheeler commuter, yet the consumer of lower-middle-class society doesn’t want to get associated with something ‘cheap’ which can be tagged as ‘economic’.
Thus the absorption of this mass targeted product didn’t turn out to be that fructifying as it should have been with a proper branding. This clearly indicates that one glitch in pitching the idea, and the future gets adversely affected.
Accepting the negative comments and converting them into feed-forward
“To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.”– Elbert Hubbard
People who want to become big in their life and perform an exceptional business need to accept the negative comments with the same zeal as they accept the positive feedbacks. This generates a self-improvisation model and leads to a better output.
When an idea comes into the market the percentage of positive comments are always lesser than that of negative ones, thus there always stays a chance of improving the idea and putting it into a better shape.
This is why the original developer of the idea always gets a profitable return once he/she is much open to criticism and amendments.
But still, there should be a stringent sense of understanding where it judges between the feedback worth implementing and feedbacks which would damage the initial ideation.
Creativity coupled with calculative risk-taking ability leads an idea generator to become an entrepreneur. When it comes to fashion, the blooper of experimentation is an everyday job and people find an open platform to criticize the things that they don’t like or rather accept.
Build a complete ecosystem
“If you want to go fast, go alone….If you want to go far, go together”
– African Proverb
For a business to become long lasting and stable it needs to strongly intermingle with the dependencies that are associated with the business.
When a person starts to amalgamate the supporting structures with the main model, the structure becomes stable and much sturdier or future jerks of time and changing trends.
In order to become a successful fashion entrepreneurship, it is very important to understand the basic necessities of the business model like karigars, essential vendors, supporting designing agencies, marketing people etc.
Fashion entrepreneurship is common to regular people with a sturdy vision, properly planned ideas, better execution which they put up in a more leak-proof package.
This process is making youth aware of different and variable platforms in which they can make their future without having to spend hours altogether into something they don’t like.
“A person who sees a problem is a human being; a person who finds a solution is visionary, and the person who goes out and does something about it is an entrepreneur” – Naveen Jain