Events

Des ailes et des racines

4:46 AM


The Exhibition "Des ailes et des racines " by  Casablanca Design Week 2017 took place from 24 to 30 October 2017 at "Ecole des Beaux Arts de casablanca "
The exhibition tells the story of design in Morocco, It is an invitation to a trip back in time through the products and the designer.
 Renowned designers and young talents from  Morocco exhibited their creations and ideas. to suggest a new look at the nature of the objects, their originality, their practicality, their authenticity, their manufacture, their ingenuity, their ergonomics, their aesthetics and especially their impact.



(photo by www.huffpostmaghreb.com )



Culture

loved clothes, last !

1:57 PM


Iv'e been too lazy this year to focus on my work and update my blog because of my health issues! however I'm So happy to recover and slowly catching up and getting myself back into design and Fashion Rev mode !

Fashion revolution  launched a video in collaboration with AEG/Electrolux on the Loved Clothes Last project, looking at mass production, consumerism and the tragedy of modern-day landfills, to remind us that small individual actions can have a lasting effect. more at  fashionrevolution.org  


Events

Tips : How to prepare for a trade show

12:38 PM


Are you getting ready for the first time for a tradeshow?
I remember  how stressful setting up my first room at who's next ! it is a big deal !!

To get the most from attending a trade show, you need to be really well prepared! my advice if you are a fresh designer,don't invest in a tradeshow, sell on your own, make a little place on the market before attending any event, tradeshows are a lot of hustle, money investment! and buyers look to connect with brands that have already some bestselling items! Here some  tips  from what I learned from my first experience !

- Before the exhibition


If you have a chance to visit any trade show, do it !!  upload the trade show promotional documents read it carefully. Choose the best companies profile that inspires you and consider sending emails to them or calling to take appointment on the exhibition.
- Visit all exhibitors you choose ask question, note what other clients ask,Take their promotional flyers, lookbook or anything can helps to understand what you need to have on your desk .
- Once you've decided  to  attend a trade show ,Book your room well in advance that will allow you discounted rates. You should think carefully which exhibition to choose, so you  fit in and get better response! ( for example who’ next is for ready to wear  and Tranoi is for handmade products, premiere class for accessories ... )

-You  should be well prepared  to be a multitask person from attendee to exhibitor!  
A trade show must be prepared at least 6 to 12 months in advance to design your collection and prepare a budget !
3 moths before your event you need to prepare your press kit marketing materials.
6 to 8 weeks out you need to book your arrivals before the date  2 days at least  to be ready for set up ! your participation must be confirmed ...
you need to release your presskit ,check your products samples and your display materials. 2 to 3 weeks out you must start to send mails to your clients, to vip, and buyers ...
1 week out everything must be ready: your garments samples, your brand identity materials...

and Here is The hard thing and most important step to do before a trade show:

Find buyers to contact :

Connecting with the buyers is the ultimate goal for both your brand marketing and sales,
To find buyers :
-You can invest and  buy lists online prices are between  50,400 £/ list   and even more !!
- You can contact stores pr managers,online shops retailers ask for their  buyers contact ,or try to connect via LinkedIn : Lafayette,le printemps,Isetan …it will take time but it works !! 
Why  you should contact them in advance if they will attend the exhibition ?
Because time is money !!! Walking a trade show can be an exhausting exercise!!! most of the buyers  have no time to waste on the ground they have many clients they already know, they come prepared with their list and map to visit , Even their clients make appointment months before to be sure to connect and save everyybody's time!!

Branding identity :

It's very important, I still work on that too, you need to create a design that fit the image of your brand! a brand is not only garments, it's the quality of your work,it's the pictures, the spirit of your photos, the models the chosen fonts,logo...


Prepare your  Lookbook

- Once you have your buyers list you should send a lookbook  or prelookbook, a product simple if you have enough budget for that  or at least a “save a date card”  by mail  if you are a fresh designer and your collection is not ready yet! Which happens all the time !
- Send your documents to all of them ! and be sure to personalize your messages as much as  possible,many buyers reacts by feeling,  they need something reel, if they don’t like your mail, they will not answer, you should make a great impression! call followup, insist, many have a tight agenda  as well  and have to answer their clients first, so  a 3rd, 4th message  will get probably their attention  …
- Also, some buyers don’t like to carry around a big lookbook, so think of making thin printed books to bring and make sure to prepare plenty of well designed cards,with your best item and with some lines about the spirit of your brand , contact ... in a postcard format

 








Prepare your line sheets and wholesale documents.

You might know it's not the same thing as a lookbook!
- A lookbook is about the collection, the artistic details, it's more about "feeling " the details
a line sheet is more about the"facts" commercial details: minimum orders, delivery dates,cut off dates,prices...
- You will need all your images on a white background, very clean, if you don't have good photos,a clean  technical sketch will be a better choice than bad quality pictures !

Buyers are not artists at least most of them! you should understand their mentality and try to connect with them! Prepare a list with your products your brand's name,contact, adress, dates, prices not only on  local  currency and euro but also dollars! you need to have every detail ready before arriving !

ex details with each item's photo :

Id :item ref 
self : fabric details
color :available colors
wsp (whole sale price): $ /£ / Dhs
Srp (suggested retail price ): $ /£ / Dhs

create-line-sheet


Prepare your press kit

Social media are so important!! I don’t really like to use it personally,
it become so exhausting for me to share all the time but it is the only way to connect your brand with your community, they need to follow your news to remember you all the time and understand your value !
Your collection is ready and packed?  be sure to bring in your luggage  :

- Plenty of business cards, a lookbook to show or to give,
- An agenda and a list to add : contacts ,names or any note
- A comfortable outfit and a pair of walking shoes
- A steamer if you have clothes collection,it’s available on the site but you might be on a waiting list, it will be a waste of time !
- A tote bag to collect materials, in who’s next you can collect them in the entrance (Even if you are an exhibitor you need to connect with others, there is many of workshop around the event !

At the event

Don't forget  your badge, your passport or identity card to have access to the event!

- Take a map to find easily your room


- Be social smile and meet people’s eyes, be confident about yourself and your product !
time to hand out your  business cards you've brought along but don’t grab every brochure you are giving, it will be very heavy later on and you will maybe not find a good place in your room, instead ask to send an email, i had to take so many interesting books however it didn’t fit on my luggage !
-you might meet all kind of people from fashion students to designers or suppliers,to buyers...and others just  copy, you must know when to show all your cards !!

- keep your eyes open for networking opportunities:
Industry leaders haunt trade shows, your time will be only enough to send emails to the people you'll meet, the trade is usually for some days only, so you need to follow up by email after every meeting, in case  the buyers decide to return the day after, they can have already an idea about your package,and discuss further details .

ex questions buyers asked me  :

How much products you make?
how much  you can export?
how much you sell a product piece and how much discount you give to x quantity ?
Which item you sell most ?
your best item ?
Where do you sell ?
Minimum orders you make ? maximum?
Cost of shipping from morocco ?
...

-Take a break whenever  you need ! you 'll need energy to talk all the day and negotiate !!! my advice is to take a good rest before your arrival a week before, your image is your brand !!
- Back up your presence through social media.

After the show

- Be sure to follow up with new contacts
Having a clear plan will make sure that the time you spent at the event a worthwhile investment !
good luck !


Culture

The moroccan fashion evolution

11:15 AM


          
The Moroccan costume is so various because of the multiple ethnic groups and history influences  but until the 50's  the word fashion doesn't exist most of costumes were made by a women generally ,for the family ,sewing and making  embroideries were a part of the education of each girl .


In the the 60s, 70s Moroccan garment design and consumption have experienced a big changement ,influenced by the popularity of Western clothing. with the new Independence of Morocco, the bourgeois kept the values and the fashion of the colonizers !

The film Casablanca put the country on the map of  style and modern life,in reality Moroccan fashion changes all the time. Even during the 80's, after the of Yves saint Laurent and other artists in morocco! thus The king been known as a role model of style  !"Style is man," he liked to repeat, The king  Hassan II was a man in love with perfection. Obsessed, even, by it!
personally i liked his fashion taste !


The first generation is more of few elite women ,as a part of a respectful young girl’s education in morocco they learned how to sew, despite they had no formal training in fashion design,they had a modern vision and had grown up accustomed to an active life and travel.They changed the caftan dress by introducing European haute couture fabrics ,the difference between them and artisans they were the first to sign  their garment with their name and opened luxurious boutiques or dressed celebrities. like  Zina Guessous,tami tazi ,naima bennis...
The second generation appeared in the 90’s  and is no longer necessarily members of the Moroccan elites , due to the opening of a new fashion schools that encouraged students to take courses ,and to new feminine magazines featuring fashion trends and styles and influenced a lot of people,however the market were  not ready to consume local contemporary fashion,most  of the laureates  worked in textile sector for the export or opened there own atelier of traditional clothes, both tailored and high couture were limited to an elite because of the high prices of handmade products, they participated to international events and dressing celebrities  like  the designers  Zhor rais ,Albert oiknine,Nourdine amir,fadila lgadi ,Simohamed lakhdar....

The 3d generation to which i belong is a generation that  did not fit in the existing fashion sphere ! it’s the first contemporary generation focusing on bringing design to the street, and promoting the made in Morocco by expressing their ideas ,identity and lifestyle,such as amine bendriouich, Said mahrouf , Sofia arabi...
formed in 2000-2006 after the first contemporary fashion event Festimod  which become later on a fashionweek,encouraging emerging and established local/international designers to take a part of the runway.


however it lasts only for 8 years ! also after many underground music and art events creating a new young platform, especially the artistic residency“Naida”(means in moroccan to move, to dance or trouble  sometimes ) a project that  i've participated in 2007 ,organized by BIJ ,the project connected 70 multidisciplinary international artists  in morocco and due to some problems as usual we didn’t have any support  from the local ministry and the project moved  to Belgium, it was the first auto motivation to take action and move without support, my generation of artists suffered and still suffer from many severe political, social and cultural censorship,ultimately  the struggle influenced fashion designers to express their idea through style .
Until 2012 the market was still not ready to celebrate local or contemporary fashion designs however many luxurious spot opened especially in casablanca,such as morocco mall hosting many international label influencing young generation of the fast fashion,in addition the designers needed to highlight the importance of local design,pointed this subject in many events and interviews!
later on many concepts opened in Marakech and Casablanca! the hard work of designer brought  Morocco on the map of the african and arab style! social media and especially the use of instagram helped also  to highlight some careers and create a community by being influencer designers but still most of us are confronted with the consequences of both local developments and suffering from globalization consumption , and especially to commercialization ,most of us are designers without commercial training, there is no platform in the country offering such a program, we still learn by experience on the spot,  and on the production ground our  budget for mini collection doesn’t fit in the system of fabricants most of  them asks a big quantity of production, working with artisans can be a solution however  a hard way to progress many  problems can be faced : the artisans don’t understand design or technical  drawing they need prototype all the time and the designer need to keep following each step of production, and when it comes to selling phase, it's complicated to distribute, until now  i didn’t come a cross someone who buy a stock most of them sell with a high commission and it take time to get payed,in addition  most of artisans and fabric sellers can’t give invoices for small collections ! hence it  take a lot of time and effort  and patience to have a successful business plan with an average budget!
under those circumstances most of the designers try more to find  alternative to survive in morocco and global fashion industry !


there is a few research about fashion in morocco, but for further information there is a book research of Angela Jansen, honestely i didn't read  it yet but known her while she was researching about the subject , it seems This book presents the first detailed ethnographic study of Moroccan fashion.
there is also Victoria and Albert Museum collect the work of contemporary Moroccan fashion designers, with the aim of establishing a representative timeline of postcolonial Moroccan fashion, and the changes it is undergoing today.
Hopefully the upcoming generation will do better by  learning  more from our progress.  










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Culture

Casablanca design week

4:11 AM


finally !!

Casablanca will host the first edition of Casablanca Design Week, a cultural event organized by Houna, from 24 to 30 October, with the aim of mobilizing different actors of design and creation through a series of events taking place in ten different venues in the city .

for more infos:  casablancadesignweek.com


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