In light of New York Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2015 collections, I wanted to speak to those outside of the fashion bubble to give insight on the process for reaching out to ‘millennials’. Despite what some may believe, young professionals and your interest play a big role throughout the development process. The general idea thought by most people is that fashion is all about the high-end prices seen at high-end retailers. However, this theory is incorrect and only works to discourage people who believe that fashion is out of their price range. The world’s couture buyers have been reduced from nearly 4,000 in the early 1900s to 100 women today paying for a $100,000 gown that may have taken over 150 man-hours. With this statistic weighing heavily on every designer’s mind, they look to affordability, what the working young professional is buying, and how they’re wearing it in order to create the perfect match that will convince you to invest in their brand.
The design process is extremely strategic and scientific, based on a hypothesis that will hopefully yield a satisfied and loyal consumer. Young designers seek the advice of CEOs, VPs, and other notable titles every season to help with this process. This includes choosing which fabric weight gives the loveliest drape, approving the perfect shade of #201 off white, measuring an appealing yet appropriate hem length to the ¼”, envisioning a plunging but not too sexy neckline, as well as deciding if Hilary Clinton or Kim Kardashian are the best representation of the brand and are well respected by today’s young professional. The list is exhausting. But there is nothing left unacknowledged, they all must be on brand and should scream “Buy me!” with a meticulously calculated price to entice the young professional. Every piece of the line is carefully thought out for every season. The designer has to be absolutely in love with it, and there must be a story to tell behind it.
Ultimately, the buyers that shop for young professionals will choose what you will be wearing to work, to play, to interviews, and to dates. Masterminds also known as the design team and the creative director are conjuring up what the young professional wants to wear; they circle with the production manager to make sure prices fall into the consumer’s disposable income. Lastly, the sales director will put the icing on the cake by choosing which store/boutique will actually pick up the collection.
Today’s fashion is not all about young girls trekking through the garment district in stilettos balancing coffee cups. The brown paper bags they’re slinging hold the secrets of the upcoming season, transporting the 5th or 6th mock-up of your favorite mini skirt that you wore to Beyoncé’s concert last month. You did not pick out that military jacket to style your rolled up jeans and boyfriend tee, we did. You don’t just happen to love the shade #18-3025 TPX in fuchsia, we told you to. You don’t have the perfect black dress in your closet just because, we subliminally hung it there. You, as the young professional, benefit the fashion industry greatly by what you’re posting in your Instagram’s, or on your Pinterest page. Then the fashion industry sucks it in and spits out what the masses will want to throw on their backs, and empty their pockets for. It’s a phenomenal cycle that is never ending, and sometimes not always clear on which came first, like the chicken or the egg.
About the Author
Brandy-Courtney Williams, a 2010 University of Texas at Austin Alumnus, heads up the Global and Domestic Production and Sourcing for a contemporary design in New York City. She currently serves as a Junior Board Member of HEAF, Secretary for Students First Harlem Chapter, and a Lead in numerous committees for NYULYP. She has a drive to improve the community’s awareness and how it is perceived from outsiders of the world around. She’s into healthy eating, an avid gym enthusiast, and being active outdoors.