Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Fashion Industry Insider by Nicky Harris

You could be forgiven for thinking that the world of fashion is all glamour, fun and excitement but the reality is that there are several mundane areas of the business too. Travel isn’t always great fun and airports can be trying at the best of times. Packing four days worth of outfits worthy of the fash pack just isn’t possible in a Ryan air size carry on bag! Paper work is a constant battle and like housework is never completely done.

During the Celic tiger many people opened boutiques. They thought that because they had a huge love of fashion that it would be an enjoyable challenge to open their own. They travelled the world and brought labels to Ireland that we only saw in magazines . Many of them are now struggling with the realities of a severe downturn in retail sales and are finding life as a fashion retailer very tough indeed. Some of them won’t survive but those that do will be stronger and leaner by the time the upturn comes.

News from the shop floor is that this year has certainly started out better than last year when we were all in economic shock. Accessories are selling strongly and the new Spring Summer ranges are starting to move.

Double jobbing has brought a whole new viewpoint into focus for me as I now get invited to launches and openings which means I can have a good look before the clothes hit the shop floor..

The good news is that Irish women in particular love fashion and recession or no that is not going to change. Boutiques and stores are working even harder to provide customers with great service and the clothes that suit their budgets.

I’ve noticed that the prices are very keen across the board. Of course you can still splurge on that ‘to die for’ handbag or pair of shoes but you can also but a completely fabulous outfit for a more reasonable and affordable price.

I’m off to London again next week for four days and am looking forward to working in the Jaeger showrooms there, bringing Irish customers who have not completely lost their nerve and who are prepared to continue to seek new ranges to bring to the Irish market. I will let you know how I get on and in the meantime have a great ‘fashionable’ week ahead!........

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