This course is organised by Fashion Bloc, a London-based fashion agency for emerging designers.
A full list of Fashion Business Course speakers for May 2018 cohort will be announced soon.
Meet some of our previous speakers:
Alison Lowe – a Managing Director of Felicities and Founder of Start Your Own Fashion Label. Fashion Business Course curator and one of the main lecturers of the course.
Professional Biography. Nominated and awarded as one of the Maserati 100 for 2016 for the support she gives the next generation of entrepreneurs – Alison has built a reputation as one of the leading supporters of emerging fashion talent. Alison is a dynamic and results-oriented entrepreneur, credited with achieving success and profitable business growth for her clients. She is passionate about supporting creative talent and preparing them for the challenges of balancing creativity and commerciality. Alison is renowned for her practical, realistic approach to running a creative business and is constantly in demand to share her knowledge and advice. She acts as a consultant to brands across the globe from start-ups to established fashion businesses, supporting fashion brands, retailers, manufacturers and training providers. Alison teaches on several business courses at London College of Fashion, developing courses for the college up to and including MSc level. She is a consultant for international on-line training provider Mastered and is a regular guest speaker at international conferences, events and universities.
Aspiration Versus Reality Masterclass
- The Aspiration: Glamour, creative freedom, press recognition, international travel, on-schedule catwalk shows and global stockists.
- The Reality: Discovering the hard way that running a fashion label isn’t for the faint-hearted, that you will initially be a small fish in a big pond – it is a tough industry with limited support and information.
This master class will develop an overview of the skills and knowledge needed to establish an international fashion brand, taking into consideration all the creative, managerial and commercial aspects of an ever-changing global fashion industry.
Ieva Zu – a Founder & CEO of Fashion Bloc. Fashion Business Course organiser, speaker and curator.
Professional Biography. After working in the fashion industry as a journalist and professional recruiter in the luxury sector, Ieva has founded Fashion Bloc to provide exposure and business support to the selected designer brands from emerging fashion destinations. Throughout her mixed experiences in the fashion industry, Ieva has developed a network of partners and professionals across emerging Europe and established fashion capitals. Her vision to help talented fashion designers grow their businesses internationally has materialised into the Fashion Business Course. Ieva is also a speaker at international conferences and an active supporter of ethical fashion.
Retail Tour guide & course moderator
As a part of your hands-on, practical business course you will be invited to the London’s retail tour visiting selected multi-brand stores and boutiques to map out your alternative retailing options and opportunities. You will be provided with a detailed fashion retail map helping you understand the reality of the London’s fashion industry. This tour will be complemented with the private tour to the Moda Operandi’s London showroom Moda Mews in Central London.
Ieva is also your first point of contact for the course and a course moderator. Feel free to get in touch with any practical questions.
Agnieszka Kij – E-commerce, Technology and Product Advisor, former Head of eCommerce at Net-A-Porter.
Professional biography. Agnieszka has 12 years experience of innovating in logistic, e-commerce and mobile, with four years in senior leadership roles in software and product development. She is an expert on E-commerce, Technology and Product Strategy with the key luxury fashion industry players.
E-Commerce: A Road Map
E-commerce is one of the essential parts of your brand. All things matter, including the technology you use, the team you build around it, the progress you make and the metrics you track.
Agnieszka will talk about technology, metrics, product development, strategy and planning for a successful online business. She will explain the main steps you need to take, the main mistakes to avoid and the progress you need to measure to grow successfully. Be prepared with loads of questions as Agnieszka will share her experience from working with a number of luxury fashion brands, including Net-A-Porter’s white label clients such as Jimmy Choo and Givenchy.
Indre Butkeviciute – Founder at Lily Advisory, a London-based investment advisory focusing on women entrepreneurs.
Professional Biography. Indre Butkeviciute is a financial advisor with a background in wealth management. After finishing her studies in Economics and Business at UCL in London, she started her career at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management. Indre spent almost 8 years with the firm covering High Net Worth and Ultra High Net Worth clients from Iceland and the Baltic States. At the end of 2013 Indre left Morgan Stanley to set up her own venture Lily Advisory, where she continues to focus on investment advisory. In addition, Indre works with entrepreneurs helping them manage the financial side of their businesses as well as helping them prepare for financing when and if needed. In April 2016 Indre was elected as board member of UAB FMI Orion Securities, the largest non-banking financial group in Lithuania. In addition to her business ventures, Indre also runs a few different networking clubs in London and has been a frequent speaker at various investment related events.
Workshop: Financial literacy and investment readiness
- Financial terminology (from basic terms to complex): key terms to understand and apply.
- Investment and financing: pros and cons of receiving investment from angels vs VC funds vs other types of investors, should every business aim to raise finance, how to prepare for it and know when your business is ready for it, alternative ways of growing your business, pros and cons of financing vs organic growth
- Practical workshop: how to read a balance sheet and why it is important, what do investors look for in it, P&L and cash flow projections and analysis (how to prepare it, how to read it, what is important in it).
Sue Seel – Brand and Content Strategist, PR guru.
Professional Biography. Sue has worked as a brand consultant for over ten years across multiple sectors with a bias in fashion, film, music and sports. She is a specialist in consumer PR with heavyweight contacts in both the UK and international media (men & women lifestyle, print, online and broadcast) together with social media influencers, celebrity management/stylists. Her strength lies in her can-do attitude and ability to build a successful profile through a cohesive PR strategy that ensures exposure on the right platforms and in the right way.
Creating a Digital Fashion Family: How building friendships became more important than retail
As the volume of available customer data grows, brands are increasingly able to identify their most valuable and engaged customers. Brands are seeking ways to develop friendships with their shoppers across engagement and value and building real loyalty by creating more of a collaborative relationship with their best customers. This leads to brands looking to new ways of building relationships, such as creating unique experiences or offering personalised products based on their preferences.
The focus on trust is never greater than it is today. Brands are offering radical transparency by leading different initiatives in talking to consumers; from regular open studios to factory tours that can emphasise ethical production values.
Brand ‘social clubs’ offers a testing hub and pop-up shop, allowing the opportunity to connect with their most valuable customers and see responses to their product in a physical space.
Karen Thomas – International fashion buyer and consultant, founder of the Boutiqueye Buying Office.
In 2004 Karen established Boutiqueye Buying Office, a buying and sourcing consultancy targeting luxury overseas store international markets that were looking to expand their international buying arm.
In the last 11 years, Karen’s portfolio of accounts has included a host of well-known global boutique’s, department stores and e-commerce sites, all of which capitalising on her expertise, contacts and ability to apply her creative and commercial eye to their business and product portfolios. Karen’s clients have included prestigious accounts such as Harvey Nicholls Baku, Per Lei couture Doha, Harvey Nichols Riyadh, Anma Group (Riyadh/Jeddah) Sauce in Dubai, Selfridges London and others.
Karen Thomas will talk about her international buying experience and her recent experience as a buyer at one of the main London department stores Selfridges. She will answer the questions including:
- What is a fashion buyer and how they work with sales agents
- How to contact and connect with fashion buyers?
- Is it essential to have a sales agent to be noticed by fashion buyers?
- What are the essential rules to follow when approaching a fashion buyer?
- What are the biggest mistakes brand managers do when contacting fashion buyers?
- What are the best international markets for emerging fashion brands?
And many more questions moderated by the course organisers and by you, course participants.
Evelina Guzeviciute – Fashion Wholesale Agent and Consultant.
Professional biography. Wholesale specialist within a luxury fashion industry, holding 9 years of experience with Haute Couture, Pret-a-Porter and Accessories. Broad knowledge in luxury fashion distribution by having collaborated with over 200 top retailers worldwide between department stores and multi-brand and mono-brand boutiques. Proven track record in achieving volume growth, creating expansion opportunities, product and customer awareness, remarkable analytical abilities and strategic planning skills.
International Sales Seminar
Expect to find out all about the fashion industry from the Sales Agent’s point of view:
- What is a role of a Sales Agent
- How to find a right Sales Agent for your brand
- How sales agents work with fashion buyers
- What are the ways for an emerging fashion brand to grow internationally
- London, Paris or New York?
Polly Haile & Alex Hill – Co-Founders of the Brand Photography studio in London We Are Studio.
Professional biography. We Are Studio is a South London based photography studio, focused on brand photography, both product shots and creative. Together we bring 14 years of in-house fashion photography experience with a diverse portfolio of fashion organisations. Working with brands, big and small, We Are offer insight into creating relevant and vital imagery for brands tailored to each of their specific requirements and needs, maximising on budgets of all sizes.
Brand Photography Workshop
- Brand photography on a budget – where you can and can not save money & how to get the most out of the shoot, generating content along the way.
- The low down on product photography
- All the different facets of brand photography – lookbook, product and content, where they all meet in the middle and how you can utilise each element within social channels
- Biggest mistakes & essentials of fashion product photography.
Andrew Solomon – Senior Associate at Kingsley Napley LLP, specialising in Corporate and Commercial Law.
Typically, Andrew acts for creative and innovative entrepreneurs, facilitating their exploitation of valuable intellectual property and their receipt or provision of specific services or products. He also regularly advises owner-managers of businesses helping them to secure investment to facilitate growth and on the terms of exits after sustained periods of growth.
Andrew provides pragmatic, easy-to-digest legal advice that is aligned with his clients’ commercial goals. He simplifies complex transactions to facilitate completions and has considerable experience successfully negotiating commercial contracts on behalf of clients contracting with larger organisations.
- Creating, protecting and exploiting intellectual property rights
- Trademarks, copyright, design rights, etc.
- Trading Agreements – standard terms for the sale of goods & the need for the specific care when selling to consumers as opposed to businesses
- Key areas of concern when engaging consultants, agents and distributors.
Check-in later to see more exciting speakers and lecturers.