The business of fashion

My favourite fashion show these days is @NBCFashionStar – a competition-style ‘unscripted’ show that pits designers against each other… with a twist. It incorporates the need to have one of three retail chains purchase designers’ clothes to ensure the contestants make it through to the next round. Further, viewers can buy the selected clothes online from the retailers within minutes. Clothes available as part of the show often sell out at either Express Macy’s or Saks Fifth Avenue. This high-low empire dress by designers JesseRay Vasquez and Garrett Gerson is already sold out at Macy’s:

Fashion star dress

What I love about this is the rounded view the show gives viewers of the fashion industry. Designers are given a challenge each week and have to create ‘saleable’ fashions that the store buyers want in stock. It’s not just about fashion as art. It’s not about out-of-range couture creations. It’s about the fashion industry as a business.

The show offers a glimpse at not only what it takes to create great fashion, but also what buyers look for when considering merchandise. When a designer’s piece is selected, the successful buyer explains what made the item so marketable. And, when a designer fails to sell his or her piece, the buyers identify why the item was not picked up. This is a fascinating look at the business of fashion, from concept to sale. It is further validated when the successful designs are sold out at the retailers.

No other unscripted show gives viewers such a complete look inside an industry. If you’re interested in fashion, you should check it out. Fridays on NBC.

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