Merchandising Digital Fashion, Bricks behind the clicks...
For those who have just crawled out from under a rock, fashion doesn't simply happen without the efforts of outstanding creative thinkers, aided by scores of well-organized and highly cooperative enablers. To be popular and well positioned in the marketplace is to be fully imersed in lifestyle culture. To influence and inspire that culture though creative vision and stategic presentation is what showcased fashion is all about.
Get It Out There...
It might sound simple but Get It Out There is the essense of Fashion Merchandising. If style fails to appear, nobody would know it exists and nobody could ever buy it. You might be surprised how many retailers have closed doors because they never put enough styles out in front of shoppers. In digital commerce, styles need to seek out an audience. The right mix will result in the most clicks. We cannot spend enough time emphasizing the importance of creative design at every stage of this process. This also means eliminating anything and everything that detracts from the merchandising objective of furthering the creative promotion. If something (or someone) gets in the way, make changes! Styles must be produced, positioned and promoted at speed of creative impulse (yeah, really, really fast). Everybody involved must live this mantra and demonstate it in practice. Style changes quickly, we must too. There is no time for excuses as merchandising is a very demanding enterprise where only those positioned for responsive change will live up to the challenge. The only metric is style that sells well: the style with the creative impact strong enough to attract interest, solid enough to affect market demand and positioned well enough to return a profit.
Organize With Flexibility
Rigorous rules usually do more harm than good in Fashion Merchandising. Tear up everything in your procedure manual because it was outdated the day it was drafted. Instead, do everthing to get the style moving into the marketplace. Requests can be absurd but that absurdity is what makes a style unique. While everyone likes to be pro-active, Fashion market enablers would only frustrate themselves by trying to out-guess the creative process. Just take what you are given and run with it. Enablers need to be organized but they should not expect to impose organization on anybody else. Doing so would only stifle creativity. Your brand probably went to great lengths to implement an elaborate business system. Keep in mind that all it does is tally up how much money comes in the door and how much goes out. Nobody cares if the system needs somthing done a certain way and nobody wants to listen to you making an issue of it.
As profane as it sounds, anybody who does not foster the selling of merchandise is completely unnecessary in a Fashion Merchandising enterprise. Therefor, whether you like it or not, you serve at the pleasure of the consumer by carrying out the bizarre ideas of creative designers. While nobody ever warned you about that in college, it is essential that you try to understand this dynamic rather than campaigning to change it. Venture Capitists have learned the hard way about trying to quanitify the creative process. If you are part of this process, you are a servant to the servants of style. Accept it and do everything to support and sustain the merchandising objective!