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 speakers:



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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 headhunter in the luxury sector with clients such as LVMH and Kering portfolio brands, Ieva has founded Fashion Bloc to provide exposure and business support for independent designer brands from emerging fashion destinations, also running a subscription-based business support membership DIY fashion agency. Her expertise lies in smart communication and business growth strategies through storytelling. Throughout her mixed experiences in the fashion industry, Ieva has developed a network of partners and professionals across emerging Europe and established fashion capitals alike. 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 universities, mentor to emerging designers and an active supporter of ethical fashion. She aims to help designers grow regardless their geographical location, budget or influence in the fashion world.

Communication Strategies for a Fashion Brand

As a part of your hands-on, practical business course you will have a chance to better understand your unique brand positioning, learn how to write a perfect pitch, what is your brand voice and how to communicate your message to your audience in the best way that is suitable for your brand specifically. Storytelling is one of the most important parts of your brand communication. Learn how to tell your own story so everyone listens. This workshop includes:

√ Communication Dos and Don’t’s

√ Success stories

√ Practical tasks

√ Personal reviews & recommendations

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.





Alison Lowe MBE – 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. Awarded an MBE for Services to the Fashion Industry in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2017, and also named as one of the Maserati 100 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 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 is a serial entrepreneur having owned and sold four businesses before starting and running her current businesses Felicities, Business Protocol and Start Your Own Fashion Label – so she has a true understanding of the issues of running a company as well as the knowledge she has gained from supporting 200+ brands over the past 12 years. Alison established Felicities in 2003 having discovered a gap in the market for business development, PR, marketing and sales support for emerging creative brands.


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.





Indre – 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.

Professional Experience

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.

Meet-The-Buyer Q&A

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 GuzeviciuteFashion 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?





Ada Yi Zhao – Founder & CEO of Curated-Crowd, a part of Curated Ventures

Professional Biography. Ada is a member of the British Fashion Council – Fashion Trust and the Founder & CEO of Curated Crowd – a digital space connecting emerging fashion talents with their consumers through crowdfunding and social sharing. After a distinguished career spanning over 10 years in the world of Investment Banking with Lehman Brothers, Nomura and Barclays, Ada founded Curated Crowd in Spring 2016 to offer a unique way for emerging brands to introduce themselves to the world. Curated Crowd is the first integrated crowdfunding & e-commerce platform that provides funding, mentoring and a direct sales channel where emerging talent can access captive Patrons, who want to discover new and authentic items. Drawn from her extensive banking experience and investor networks, Ada also provides financing and investment sourcing advice to fashion brands, who are particularly interested in accessing the Chinese consumer and capital market.

In her spare time, Ada also writes for the Huffington Post as an opinion leader of the fashion industry. She also sits on the board of the organising committee of the Convoco 3.0 Forum, a pan European think-tank for leaders of the economy, politics, law, science, culture and media that enable a free and interdisciplinary exchange of ideas regarding questions of social relevance and inspire a debate.

Alternative Investment Strategies Seminar

 How to build a successful fashion brand in a digital age?

  • Digitalisation has disrupted many traditional industries, fashion industry is only slowly waking up to it
  • How can young brand leverage on the “democratised” financing and consumer market
  • The world is at your fingertips: how to access the capital markets that seemly so far away, e.g. China.





Vitali Autukas – Product Development Manager.

Professional Biography. Vitali Autukas is a Product Development Manager with 10+ years’ experience, proven analytical prowess, genuine commercial acumen, and an excellent track record overseeing development processes, product margins and category critical paths to drive sales, efficiency, growth and profits for premium and luxury fashion brands. Vitali has been working with international fashion brands in RTW overseeing Product Development and Sourcing utilising his vast network of suppliers and excellent people facing skills. His client database includes London Fashion Week veterans such as PREEN by Thorton Bragazzi, luxury womenswear Nicole Farhi, contemporary womenswear label Peridot London and others.

Seminar: Product Development and Production for Emerging Fashion Brands

  • Sourcing: UK / Europe / Far East
  • Challenges in finding right suppliers
  • Getting the best from your suppliers. Developing successful long-lasting relationships.
  • Costings / Margins / Profitability


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Paula Trindade – Architect and designer, founder of Studio Lisboeta in London.

Professional Biography. Paula first trained in Lisbon, Portugal as an interior designer and then completed her architecture degree. Growing within the creative Portuguese scene made Paula realise early on that design goes beyond aesthetic exercises. Projects across all scales and sectors have a concrete and significant impact on the way people feel, interact and engage in activities on a daily basis and therefore this should be at the core of the design process. In 2006 Paula decided to broaden her architectural experience and moved to London where she worked with a number of major architectural design practices including Stanton Williams. Paula is a member of the architecture industry’s professional bodies ARB and RIBA, and her work is dedicated to promoting higher standards of design to positively contribute to people’s lives and society as a whole.

Workshop: Architect your fashion business

  • Understanding key shared concepts of architecture and fashion design.
  • Learning from successful cross-industry collaborations.
  • Practical workshop:
    • How to use architecture concepts to translate and support your fashion label & business.
    • Spatial sales strategies to engage clients in online or physical retail spaces, from start-ups to established brands.
    • Which resources can you use to implement your ideas?
    • Do I need an architect?

Check-in later to see more exciting speakers and lecturers.