GUEST BLOG: Why Are You In This Business?

GUEST BLOG: Why Are You In This Business?

By Linda Arroz - Makeover Media | Attend Linda's seminar "From Pop Culture to Cryptocurrency, the Trends that Shaped our Future " at WWIN on Wednesday, February 6 from 9 to 10 AM 

It’s important to remember why we are working so hard and why we make the effort to attend great trade shows like WINN.

Often the day to day endeavor to keep a retail or manufacturing operation afloat steals the show, and we forget to have fun, we lose touch with the “aha” moment, that moment in time when you ultimately knew you had to open a store or start a design business.

While the usual platitudes and to-do lists for being successful are not to be ignored, one of the most important actions you can make is to recharge your creativity. 

It’s easy to be so busy we don’t feed our psyche and while we have to mind the store, we need to restore the mind.  Take a minute to go back to the genesis of your inspiration to enter the fashion business. That moment you thought to yourself, “I can do that, I want to be that, I want to wear that, I want to make something.”

The current challenging and disruptive marketplace doesn’t provide answers, but there can be inspiration. Take a cue from the volatility and chaos of the retail world and shift the gears of your routine. Change the way you do things. Take a walk. It sounds so trite. But walking generates endorphins, and we can all spare 10 minutes. Set an alarm and just do it. Look up, look down, look for patterns, colors and shapes. One of my favorite things to do is study treebark, where I marvel at nature’s camouflage and color combinations.

Try taking a different way home for a change of pace, take surface streets instead of the freeway. Drive through shopping districts at night and look in the windows. The New York Times columnist, Bill Cunningham, made a name for himself shooting real people in the street, capturing an authentic, personal style. Look at what and how people are putting themselves together.

Listen to an audiobook or podcast when you’re driving. Choose something you’ve been curious about but never seem to have the time to investigate. Right now, I’m listening to an audiobook about Cryptocurrency, in order to have some awareness of what it is, and how it might impact the way we conduct business. That may sound boring to you, but the idea is to hear things that may be a bit out of your realm, just to trigger various parts of your brain.

Get online and look at the outrageous and provocative images featured on the runways and connect the dots to the merchandise you carry. Check out Pinterest boards on color, trends or locales. Check out fashion films and documentaries on Netflix or Amazon Prime.

Here are a few suggestions to rev up your creative juices! (And if none of these seem to resonate, just Google “great fashion films or best fashion films on Netflix, etc.)

  • Bill Cunningham New York (2010) – a peek behind the scenes of legendary street fashion photographer, Bill Cunningham who worked through his 80s, and his musings on the role of fashion.
  • Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards (2017) – a fascinating glimpse into the life of Manolo Blahnik.
  • Iris (2014) – The story of nonagenarian interior  textile designer Iris Apfel.
  • The Gospel According to André (2017) – a documentary about Vogue Editor at Large, André Leon Talley.
  • Funny Face (1957) – Starring Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire, this film frolics through fashion in the ’50s.
  • The First Monday in May (2014) – Spotlight on the making of the annual, glitzy Met Gala.
  • Dior and I (2014) – Features designer Raf Simon’s creative work for Christian Dior S.A.
  • The Women (1939) – Starring Norma Shearer, the costumes were created by none other than the illustrious fashion designer, Adrian. The clothes are so good you’ll be pausing to inspect the divine details.
  • The Eye Has to Travel (2011) – A profile of Diana Vreeland, the formidable and remarkable former editor in chief of Vogue magazine, who gave fashion editorial a new look and changed the way we look at things.