LGFW: Robin Kay’s Road to Success

LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oreal Paris kicked off last night, with fabulous shows by Holt Renfrew, Izma and Juma. In case you missed the opening speeches, this season focuses on The Business of Fashion. This is something at which Robin Kay, president of the Fashion Design Council of Canada (@LGFWbyFDCC) and executive director of LG Fashion Week Beauty by L’Oréal Paris, is an all-star. 

Did you know that Kay started her fashion career as a knitwear designer? In 1976, she founded a high-end fashion retail chain called Robin Kay Clothing Company. She opened 18 retail stores and her label was sold in more than 600 accounts throughout Canada and the United States. She also had a massive factory in Toronto that made all her goods.

Kay definitely knows a thing or two about what it takes to succeed in the fashion industry. Here, she gives us her five steps to success, which can help any aspiring designer in the fashion industry.

Step 1. Product

What is your product? How does it look and feel? What’s the texture of it? The colour? The shape? Having a clear and focused idea of what your product is will enable you to position your brand and sell your line effectively in the marketplace.

Step 2. Location 

It’s not only about who you are, but where you are. Finding the right selling space for your collection is increasingly important. Aligning your brand with the proper retail space, be it an online boutique, luxury retailer or department store, can be the difference between selling a few goods and building a mega brand.

Step 3. Marketing and Public Relations

It’s not enough to have talent. You need to tell the world, show the world, tweet, blog and Facebook to the world that you have talent. You need to let people know who you are, what you stand for and what you sell. Marketing creates the campaigns; PR tells the story.

Step 4. Management

Working alongside the right team and being in touch with what is happening in all parts of the business puzzle is one of the most critical steps in achieving long-term success. It is most important to find the balance between trusting people to do their job and keeping a mindful eye on what’s going on.

Step 5. Finance

Budgeting appropriately to your growth can mean the difference between making a profit on your collection and having to sell your samples to pay the rent. It is critical to be realistic about your finances.

See you on the runway!