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Don’t be a flop with your future retailer

I always look forward to the start of London Fashion Week and this season was no exception.

Most years, we will visit several fashion weeks in different cities around the world, and it is always London that produces the most innovative display of all of them.

I feel that as an old industry hand (32 years this month) it is incumbent on me to help to encourage the next generation of designers and fashion retailers, so we are always looking for some new smaller labels that we can work with.

We are flexible on payment with smaller companies and I am happy to pay upfront deposits to help out.

Last season we were very impressed by the catwalk shows we attended at LFW, as well as by the static exhibition.

We placed four orders with up-and-coming labels and waited expectantly for our purchases to arrive. Unfortunately, this is when the let-down occurred. Only one of the companies managed to deliver what we had ordered correctly and on time. Of the others, the product from two of them arrived two months late, while order from the other label did not arrive at all.

This has not been my experience when ordering from the US or anywhere else in Europe, where we are rarely let down. It seems that in the UK, while we are certainly the most creative, we remain the least commercial when it comes to the fashion business.

So although I look forward to London Fashion Week, please young designers, remember that fashion is a business and that you have to be able to deliver your
beautifully designed product at a profit to be successful.

Bashir Mohammed is the owner of independent designer fashion business American Pie

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