The designers/brands that were truly professional would arrive a day or two in San Francisco [when I was a buyer for Macy’s] prior to our meeting. They arrived well in advance in order to shop the floor, shop the market, and understand the competition of both my department and their product competition. They wanted to understand my consumer profile so that they could better “sell in” pieces of their collection. During our meeting, I would be quizzed about my business, needs, and opportunities and, of course, the competition.
You must have all aspects of your business covered. You should be able to meet the delivery demands of the retailer with a realistic product development timeline and reliable manufacturer. This will mean a big commitment and investment as part of your business objectives. You must have your support materials and messaging up to date such as your website, publicity, visuals, and line list.
What these brands had in common was a framework of business practices that translated into a solid approach to the business of marketing their product.
Feature photo: Rhonda talks to aspiring costume designer, Tiffany Dawn Silver, Art Institute of California, 2017 | Photo Jason Young