Blog: Where Experience Counts…….

Blog: Where Experience Counts

There are some key players in the fashion industry that just can’t seem to keep away, they have lived and breathed the fashion industry through the good and bad. They have seen recessions, the thriving periods of wholesale and retail in the early days and have moved with the times by adapting their fashion businesses to vastly differing and varying climates.
Phoebe Garland co-owns Garland & Garland Fashion, a leading fashion agency based in Sydney. which also offers business mentoring & project management of marketing to the fashion industry.
I posed some questions to long-standing industry manufacturers & retailers Danny Avidan, C.E.O of Discovery Group, the iconic Joseph Saba and Danny Guest, C.E.O of Blue Illusion label and retail stores.

While accountability has never been more relevant Danny Avidan claims to have the answer to producing labels that sell. “The right strategy is to have a range plan that dictates the number of SKU’s (Stock Keeping Units) into each range, as well as defining the correct occasions and price points within each delivery period. Importantly the plan ought to be influenced by the trends and customers needs for each delivery period”.

Joseph Saba, says the fundamental components for creating a successful range is the fabric. “My ranges always start with the fabric. The choice of fabric – colour, print, functionality, quality – all have to work together, then the style selection builds on from the fabrics”.

With challenging retail conditions I asked Avidan what his thoughts were for innovative retailing. “Retailers ought to focus on a particular market segment, stay ahead of the competition on all fronts and offer additional service that others fail to address (eg stylist on hand, free alteration, unique VIP club)”, Avidan states.

Being in the industry since 1965, Joe opened his first store, the ‘Joseph Saba Shirt and Sweater Shop’ in Flinders Lane. He went on to create the famous Staggers jeans label, which revolutionised jeans in Australia in the 1970’s. He then introduced his now famous Saba brand in 1974, building the business up to 17 stores before selling the Saba business in 2002 and now is head designer for and works alongside his wife Marita. He was also honoured with The Australian legends in Fashion with his own postage stamp in 2005.

I asked Joseph if he thought the same strategies he used years ago could be used today for launching a label. “No, today you really have to plan out your ranges and your business and know what you’re getting in to and who your customer is – you need more of a business head now than you did 20 to 30 years ago. There’s far more competition now – and you need to create your niche”

While Danny Guest has over 70 Blue Illusion retail stores, he discusses the secrets to surviving difficult retail periods and how they have evolved their business “We opened our first store 1998 in a quest to understand the challenges our retail accounts were faced with. What we learnt was: There are no difficult periods – only relative periods to last year’s performance. You need to constantly work on differentiation whilst building brand equity. Look after your core customers and always strive to build strong brand loyalty. A passionate team with a positive service culture is a must. Retail is detail. Constantly looking for the many 1% improvements.”

Wise words indeed from fashion industry veterans, it seems the key to success is adaption and innovation. I for one, look forward to seeing these businesses continue for many more years to come.

As always, very interested in your thoughts. Email me at: [email protected]
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Garland & Garland Fashion Pty Ltd Fashion Agents Sydney Australia

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