HOW AN AVERAGE GIRL CAN BECOME AN OVERNIGHT FASHION TYCOON.
Do you have a sense of style? Diane Von Fustenberg did (though she had no formal art training). She bumped into the fashion industry, --some CEO liked what he saw, stylewise, and bingo: INSTANT BILLION BUCK CAREER! You can do that too, go in the backdoor of the Fashion industry with no training at all. How? By DESIGNING a new BUSINESS MODEL that nobody else ever thought of (FASHION MANUFACTURING IN OFFSHORE ATELIERS for big AMERICAN CORPORATIONS, but being their salaried, paid AGENT IN that remote, third world place and then, being the ONE GIRL who could pull it off as you have a UNIQUE TALENT. Your ego can tolerate being an AGENT IN PLACE, an 'at-site rep' a cog in the machine, organizing third worlders in villages abroad because you adore PEOPLE! You care about starving villages. (CURRENT STATISTICS ON STARVATION of children is HERE: THE STARVING THIRD WORLD CHILD)
These children are in Asia, Philippines, Africa, Haiti, Central America mainly. If you rapport with Philippines as that's your background and you plan to do fashion in the Philippines, your gift is that you're Philippino, can get along in Manila with their language, even having to live there part of the year. If you are an African American girl, your gift would be the ability to safely reside part time in Africa.To get this job, you simply target FASHION CORPS that you find online (or in the dept. store, on the rack,) with this BUSINESS IDEA MODEL, an agent in place. An "at-site-rep.' I googled AFRICA with search term like SPORTS WEAR and Philippines and found many fashion corporations situated in those two third world areas.
See how third world designers applique, sew,bead,
embroider, weave, make beautiful things for you to
sell. Want to find this dress? I'm in NYC now
selling for 600$ but in ETHIOPIA I cost 22$
Google up a list of great local retail fashion houses. Write the boss, send your resume and ideas along the lines of the ones in this article.Google up other corps that make sports clothes and approach them, too, by mail and email both. By the way, as I'm a writer by trade, my gift to you is all the forms, the LETTER to the CEO and the RESUMES, four of them,(all at page bottom here) and I'm calling it a 'resume' which it isn't, it is really some MAGNIFICENT BUSINESS CONCEPTS that you hand this CEO. Then google up your favorite countries to visit, China, Africa, South Korea (I hear the seamstresses there do better work than Paris!) and add in search terms like clothing, fashion, dress manufacturing.Or google up folk art + host country name, Senegal for instance, and dresses and see what you find.
It wouldn't be a bad idea to write down the names of whoever made the great designer togs in your local high-end department store. Check the label. It'll say something like "CALIFORNIA GIRL DESIGNS." Right now, they pay 15$ an hour to seamstresses and have to have health coverage, etc. So it ends up being 20$ an hour they're paying. In the third world, 20$ is a good, whole week salary.
Now GOOGLE around & find CALIFORNIA GIRL online, and find every other fashion corp that's near you. Get their phone number. You call in and get the EMAIL of the CEO. Because the files you will send are EMAIL.
If you were in California, where I am, that would be designers in Frisco and L.A. as those two big cities dominate western dressmaking, i.e. the RAG TRADE. On the east coast, NYC. If you are in MANILA, then you'd have to google all the big American cities looking for sportswear manufacturers. You would google them, find them online, but if you are in a big American city, you'd simply find them in the phone book.
If you were on the east coast, again, it would be NEW YORK and anywhere in the center of America, or Midwest you'd find it easier to deal with corps in Chicago, but Denver, Houston, Minneapolis/ St.Paul have big fashion houses too. Many of them are represented in your city's FASHION WHOLESALE MERCHANDISING MART, which you want to visit. Every city has one, a big building full of merchandisers. They take orders on their garment line via that office. There, you can get CEO's email addie. And always tell the lower down employee. "I had an idea that would work for your corporation, benefitting the third world, gaining you huge publicity, I'd like to share it with your CEO by email, could I have his addie?" because otherwise they're real wary of giving you that!
All the time that you're working on resumes and send outs, bone up on the FASHION WORLD and the rag trade. Learn what a bustier bodice is, what a shirred yoke might be, or sea shell applique. Study with the clerks in high end dress stores. Ask questions. Find out what's hot from clerks too, as your design input and sensibilities may someday come into play.
But also, at the same time, send the RESUME FILES to CEOS. You have the right to change them around if you want. Use the RESUMES as your own, EMAIL RESUME. The chances that a CEO will ask you, 'did you write that?' are one in a hundred. If he does, be truthful. 'No, my teacher did.'
You can edit an HTM file as much as you want, any HTM software like MICROSOFT WORD, or use NET COMPOSER which is inside your NETSCAPE BROWSER and that works fine. (BTW, Download that browser, free, online.) They need to be SENT from your computer as EMAILs so you must save them as an htm file. Then in the body of email say "DEAR CEO, here is the file I described to you in our phone conversation." There are four, one in each email.
Then, append the file as an attachment to the CEO himself as the designer would definitely read you as a competitor and the files might disappear!
A better way to present files is to get a WEBHOST and domain name. TRADEinAFRICA.ORG is good. Stay humble pie for a few years, not your own name. I recommend DOMAIN MONGER who will give you the website for 7$ a month. You can write them, they answer fast. Say, 'don't need an email addie,give it to me for 5$ as there are so many 3 and 5$ webhosts out there. THEY WILL BARGAIN with you. Or you can bargain with them! They are HUMANS. LIkeable ones.
NOW, once you have a resume and pic up at your SITE, make your resume Send all four resumes to the top CEO of the corporation as emails. These ideas are so good that that CEO will be impressed with you and want to hire you, meet you.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL BUYING: The concepts of developing a new continent for dressmaking ateliers, have been used by American fashion corps in past, (Indonesia, China, Taiwan have been favored as they're 'cheap' places.) A worker may earn 5$ a day there. But, as a black woman, you can do something no other manufacturer's agent can do. You can open up a new CHEAP LABOR COUNTRY, AFRICA. With a little googling, you could bring graphic proof of the beautiful textiles in Africa. These corps would see your files and realize that AFRICAN cotton and fabric is TRENDY, HOT, SAUCY, ALLURING, VITAL! Yet it's an untapped resource for the RAG TRADE due to civil unrest in many countries on that continent. Nobody wants to go there. They can't send agents there, but because of your skin color, you can go and be safe.
As you roam through the ideas on the whole TRAINING SITE, the ideas will trigger or inspire you to have plenty of your OWN ideas, and these IDEAS wouldn't be bad for AFRICA so by moving in this direction with your career, you are becoming a person who advances the action, who forwards EVOLUTION, who brings trade to strife-torn lands. You will bring peace and prosperity. For you, that is good karma, luck. So that must be your overview, your chief aim. It is not important that any or ALL of these Fashion corporations hire you. The fact that they read your letter and recognize and act on a good idea is sufficient here. They may have a black designer on the payroll, they may send her. NOT TO WORRY. The concept is, you are first of all THE GIVER of an IDEA that has legs, second a one-woman charity, third a superb idea person, and fourth and last, a gal looking for a job!
You may think, 'oh that designer girl will run with it, she'll start factories all over Africa, there'll be nothing left for me. She'll get famous, get all the credit.' Mere 'insufficiency' fears which are always without merit. There IS enough trade to go around. If you really want to create world change, don't NOT share the basic ideas, and don't desire or expect fame & credit. Don't ever ask for credit. I don't. Do the work without asking for anything. Just tell CEOs that you're available to implement these ideas, period. If l00 CEO's run with it and take their designers to Africa, then the rape, murder, famine, genocide, civil war will stop dead. And You did it. Who cares if you don't make a penny. Anyway, I doubt that would happen. In my experience selling ideas, I find that always, the rule is...out of three people you pitch, one takes you and the idea. That's the statistic.
Meanwhile do a "ROCKY", go into training. sharpen the blade of the knife. Study fashion mags, industry trade mags. Larn the terminology. Go to the library and get bios of Chanel, find the shelf numbers for fashion. Read up on sewing, yokes, gussets, bias. You may not have time out or money to go to the FASHION INSTITUTE OF DESIGN AND MERCHANDISING but you can widen your terminology. ( My daughter did get accepted by FIDM in L.A, took a long bus ride daily but dropped out after a year saying 'Mom there are fags with Mohawks who sew better than I do.' She went into photography and did very well, worked with and for celebrities. Lives in NYC working for the uberwealthy. Like my daughter on a small level and Diane Von Fustenberg, on A HUGE LEVEL, you don't need to graduate F.I.D.M to be a tycoon. So this is just a give it a try, give it your shoulder kind of thing.
This job you're volunteering to do and presenting to the CEO as a concept is more of a corporate job than a SEWING/ DESIGNING job. He already has people who do cutting/ designing and the high paying job, MERCHANDISING. You'd be his agent in place ABROAD but get ready to be able to talk to his designers so they don't stand agape at how LITTLE you know. Increase your sensitivity to manufacturing procedures, pattern making, cutting and assembling. Not so much required is high fashion though that definitely would be heightened by your standing at a news stand every few days and reading the FRENCH FASHION mags. I'd also read Teen Vogue as it's trend-spotting. Do you know any gals who have old copies? This mag is hip, looser, edgier than Vogue and has all the new, hot trends. They go looking for them when they're fresh, not done yet. Subscribe to it now if you have some $ or get old ones if you can find them in beauty shops, etc.
The first girl I told this idea to ...about approaching CEOs with a resume got all excited and said that she had a nifty idea for a FASHION HOUSE NAME, a name for her own fashion corporation. I swear, she did! I immediately emailed her: "Sweetie, keep the idea of your BIG NAME CORPORATION to yourself. Any big corp that hires you and sends you out to do the work is all you are going to need for quite a few years. Everything that will give you experience and power, knowledge is in THEIR HANDS and that is worth gold. Doing your own corporation and naming it your name is not in the cards for a bit. In your apprenticeship, be loyal to the CEO. It's really not like you are a graduate of FIDM and can start your own corporation like TORY BURCH did. You come from nowhere, no studies.
I reminded her of a law of metaphysics: one can do anything if one just didn't hunger for credit. Anyway, a fast start like that would be like dropping a raw egg on a plate. It's raw. It ain't ready! You're green and moving too fast would get in your way, expose your lacks. You actually need a period of apprenticeship at a fashion house to learn:
a.) how to create a factory in a village with a lot of huts. Befriend all the women there
b.) how to organize a labor force that doesn't speak English when you don't speak Swahili.
c.) how to speak conversational swahili as your best area is Africa though you may want Bali, asia, vietnam, south korea. but trust me, all those big corporations have Asia hardwired. AFRICA they don't. Only you are their passkey to that country. IF youre African American!
d.) how to determine what local gal or guy in that AFRICAN CAPITAL CITY is a good designer with ties to villages. You want to meet every hot boutique /manufacturer in the capital city as that's how you'll find some artisans, some seamstresses, sewing machine wholesalers, etc.
e.) Learn how to run an international charity on the side. SEAMS ORG you might call it, "Society to Educate African Mothers to Sew."
They pay us 25c per hour. If your atelier would pay more
we would be very grateful. 1$ an hour is a fortune here.
We're paying you wage minimum for California. 15$. WOW!
Now, if you were in ASIA, South Koreans are the best fashion manufacturers, their seamstresses in the factories the very best, their pattern makers are supposedly SUPERB, very close to the artisans in Paris. (THEDA MAYER told me this, a designer in LA fashion market.)
But when you get to a foreign country, find a great designer expert there as you are limited in your abilities now. Then tour the villages with that designer. That designer NOT ONLY has an incredible artistic/ trend sense but speaks the language so is an invaluable tour giude. They very well could run your ateliers in that country. So you may tour different villages with different designer/ artisans experts from that local country to find the one that really isn't going to steal the operation. IN THE EYES of any big designer, a big corporation sending you in to conscript the village artisans ---well that could be interpreted as THE USA trying to steal THEIR workers, their profits and they could justify purloining your workers or operation though the good salary that you pay would prevent that.. Maybe you could numb that paranoid part of them by telling them repeatedly, you will be OUR LOCAL "MAN IN PLACE" We will be salarying you onwards of today.
See who goes for it. As you can imagine there is a culture clash and much dissenting FASHION TASTE in any FOREIGN COUNTRY. For example, maybe that nation is making TOGAS out of printed textiles. We don't wear TOGAS in the USA. Europe doesn't either. You need sharp, new, edgy designs. HOW WOULD YOU KNOW what design is going to sell among western dress buyers. TOGA's sure aren't. So you have to do a design upgrade to utilize that printed fabric. Vests? Mens sportshirts? Flashy frocks?
Now, the flash factor and the fabric itself. Some are garish fabric, some are folklorico, florid, interesting. Some are cheap polished cotton that loses color first wash. Some are good, sturdy cottons. Do you have the knowledge that permits you to pick the right cotton goods manufacturer? You've never been a dressmaker. You didn't go to sewing school. You don't work with fabric. The local boutique owner/ designer could tell you fast, SHUN THAT YARDAGE. It's what they sell to the third world, it's no good, etc. SO MUCH to distinguish. Now, the urge to FLY before you can walk is inherent in mankind. Usually as nobody can fly before they walk, nobody sees that happening much in a leader. Napoleon might be an exception. Alexander the Great, but he was born a prince.
It gets dangerous when one combines that "I CAN FLY before I walk" feeling (or MODE) with the EGO that NEED to EXCEED AND BE RECOGNIZED. Before you've even learned the first thing about the rag trade field, that attitude is going to move you to make mistakes, get in your way. At this point, you need to put your ego on a diet, or a fast. A humility fast. If you catch your ego fantacizing about being a big tycoon, stop it. Get yourself a simple little WEBSITE that is about creating trade in AFrica, i.e. the GOAL, and not about you. Note that the four RESUMES have nothing to do about YOU. No way your name on your email addie should show where your head is going. The girl who had that FLY FIRST idea ..wanna know her EMAIL? TYCOON OF TOMORROW! JEEZ LOUISE! You need to stop your head from going to those narcotic, false heights to be able to aim to serve the planet and mean it. Read the PROSPERITY TRAINING by the MASTER JULES.
SO. Plan of attack. Here's what you want to get to them, not a real resume as your real qualifications don't get you in the door in the fashion industry. No. The FOUR BUSINESS IDEAS that you SEND, those make their eyes pop. THE FACT that you're black and volunteer to go work in AFRICA to set up AFRICAN ATELIERS (ahh-tell-E-yays) is from left field for these people. It's never ocurred to them that AFRICA has its own style, is cheaper than Asia, and all the other things that are in your FOUR RESUMES. So you need only an email for someone high up in the tree in CORPORATE. Not a designer, not a secretary, maybe someone in personnel hiring though only a smart personnel director would be impressed. YOU ARE VOLUNTEERING to be an AGENT IN SITU (ON SITE) a big job that entails:
a.) finding seamstresses with sewing machines.
b.) finding out what they think a good 5 day a week salary is
or would they rather do PIECE WORK out of their home?
c.) finding a manager to go get the pieces at the ladies' homes. Someone has to do that if that's the choice. That's the assistant to the MANAGER of the actual atelier or factory. (a FACTORY means many sewing machines means it becomes target for burglary theft.) Judicious thought must be given to the safety of workers and machines. So do you rent an ENTRY PROOF BLDG? ARE THERE ANY? An investment in machines can be considerable and you really cannot assume your manager won't sell the key to a local gang to burglarize. In those countries however, a night watchman and a dog and a cot are affordable.
SO there are many things that you need a strong man beside you to do. You know, there's a REASON that nobody does ANYTHING WITH AFRICA. If you look at CRAIGS LIST, the only country on it is South Africa as those three cities, Joberg, Capetown and the other one were all white people cities for hundreds of years, way way colonized, up the wazoo. NOBODY does anything with the rest of AFRICA as the men are over testosteroned, that is the devil's own hormone. They're all ALPHA males in a country with no ALPHA ECONOMY! There are no jobs or supermarkets. It's like BED STY on STEROIDS but everyone living in the street. Don't worry, when you're finished setting up the operation you can relax and do the same in INDIA which is like a walk in a sweet pitcher of kool-aidin comparison.If you have a bodyguard as the men are all hot to touch.
HERE IS THE LETTER to the CEO that you send with the RESUMES. Now the resume files!
On your mark, get set, GO! OH WAIT, ONE MORE THING. THE FULL TRAINING for the IMPORT/ EXPORT INDUSTRY is at THE FRUGAL ARTISAN WEBSITE. A slightly LONGER SEMINAR. (ABOUT 2 DOZEN CLASSROOMS if I RECALL RIGHT!) which will help you to see the BIG PICTURE of where you can go when you fully expand into MERCANTILISM.
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