Debbie Talanian is the founder and designer for stella proseyn. We had a chance to talk at the LA Fashion Council Fashion Week 2015 show. The clean lines of her design appeal to a contemporary market who appreciate the timeless [non-trendy] look that is always relevant. As a veteran in this business [former women’s apparel buyer], we would say that this line would retail. stella proseyn has real staying power.
Debbie talks about her vision, her process, and how she connects with the retailer and consumer.
Debbie, I really find your background so intriguing – journalism and the visual arts – that’s an interview in itself. But today I want to focus on your journey of exposing your fashion design business – stella proseyn.
There is a fine line for a designer to design, develop, and execute a line that could retail. Many designers don’t understand the relationship of sourcing, costing, designing, getting a line to market that is retail friendly, yet not compromising their vision, the integrity of the design, and mostly offering something REALLY new and innovative for the ultimate consumer.
How have you mastered this very challenging dynamic of developing a line that retail buyers would like – selling it in – and the ultimate consumer would buy – selling it through? stella proseyn is an anagram of personal style, we believe every woman feels her best when she’s found hers. We strive to make clothes that are both wearable and beautiful – garments that aren’t especially trend-driven and have real staying power, pieces a woman can keep in her wardrobe for years. All stella proseyn collections tend toward a streamlined, minimal aesthetic. I think endurance is a stand-out feature in each of our collections, the clothes stand the test of time in their aesthetic, materials and construction quality. We believe in attainable beauty and every-day luxury, we produce accessibly-priced garments from high-quality textiles that feel as sophisticated as they look.
stella proseyn offers garments that are relevant to the way a modern woman lives, pieces that transition from day to night, can be paired with pieces from other designers, and are easily styled for casual or dressed-up looks.
Here is a 2 part question: 1) What method do you use to sell in to retailers and 2) how do you make that connection – sales agent representation, trade shows, one on one meeting with buyers, or is your method purely through your website? Feel free to elaborate on what works, the challenges, the successes, etc. To introduce our collections to buyers, we employ a variety of marketing efforts. We shoot a lookbook each season, always with professional models, photography and hair and make-up. We put each new collection on our website and send emails to store buyers directing them to the site. We also include a couple images in each correspondence, as well as print + mail physical postcards. We set up in-store appointments with local stores whenever possible, and step buyers through the collection that way. We also have shown at trade shows and in showrooms.
At the end of the day with the craziness of this industry, what makes life as a fashion designer all worth it? What puts the smile on your face? The line is designed and produced in Los Angeles, we love the industry here. Sure, the hours are long, the days run together, there’s not a lot of sleep to be had, but we still get up and do it everyday because it drives us. It’s not all glamour, it’s not all inspiration, but creating something adds another dimension to your life. Once you’ve experienced that, you keep chasing it.
Cheers to you, Debbie, and EDGE wishes you continued success!