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Friday, July 17, 2015

Ikram's wit at the Lake FX Summit - YES, it's been a while!

Restarting with a bang, a few wise words by Ikram Goldman, proclaimed at her talk during the first Lake FX Summit last April (the picture above was taken at this year's SAIC fashion show, and was originally posted in the Reader online):

"We see so many designers, and I look through every piece of fabric, every single piece. Many clothes don't have hanger appeal, so looking at the construction, quality of the fabric - even at the label the designer chose to put on their garments - is really important to me. Also the name they chose. What's a good name? Yours!"

"When you come into my store you won't find what you already know, but you also won't find something ridiculously ridiculous that you can't relate to."

"For years I avoided e-commerce, but one of the things I realized is that people need instant gratification, and they need it at 2 o'clock in the morning when they're drunk."

"Stay away from trends. They will only last you a very short time. Follow your heart, follow what you believe in. Do not show me things that other people are already doing."

"If you don't know how to sew, you're never gonna make it. Take a class and learn the art of sewing, the art of stitch. You don't have to be a sewer, and at the end of the day you'll probably never even sew, but it's imperative that you know how to do it. You don't want to be the millennial that just wants to draw."

"Don't walk into this business thinking you're a star, because you're really not. Go get some coffee for your boss. [...] I served coffee for a very long time, and I still do."

"I'm not successful because I'm great. I'm successful because I work really hard."

"It's important to read a newspaper or magazine front to back every day, and it can be Splash, The New York Times or US magazine - I don't care what you read, but read it. And it's also really important to have a hobby."

"There's just too much junk everywhere, so how do you set yourself apart? [...] Do it in a way that's curated thoughtfully and carefully. You don't have to overdo it; do it small, with precision."

"When you're designing a collection you have to ask yourself: 'Who am I designing this for, why am I designing it? Who are the other designers already doing this? Who's gonna produce it? How am I gonna be better every season?' If you can answer three of those questions, great. Then you have to unfold a collection that makes sense alongside your competitors and your peers."

About Creatures of the Wind: "For years Shane Gabier - who was my mani - would come to the store and show me collections. And I'd say 'That's great, but who's the girl wearing this?' And they'd say: 'The Comme Des Garçons girl', and I'd say: 'But the Comme Des Garçons girl is going to Comme Des Garçons!' So I kept asking the same thing every season for many years. Their success didn't happen overnight. And it was not because of me, but because of them. Do I help? Absolutely. But they were ready to be showcased on that level."

"The biggest turn off is someone walking into my shop and saying they wanna show me their collection. [...] I'm at the store to help my clients, so when you come unannounced you're disrupting my ability to do it. [...] You need to ask yourself if it's a collection that Ikram would house in her store [...] then you can email or call the shop and ask who the buyer is."

A real intensive flash course in fashion business!

Many more posts coming up soon, stay tuned!