Defining the Fashion Entrepreneur
A fashion entrepreneur is a creative person whose primary entrepreneurial activities are within the fashion, design or luxury based industries. They typically are in possession of a fashion enterprise, venture or idea and focus on results based creativity. A fashion entrepreneur drives forward the design and fashion industries, developing their independent sector and representing the best of their local scene. Within the fashion and design industry, a fashion entrepreneur is involved in the creation of new collaborations and business, co-designed lines/collections, increased participation at international design festivals in an attempt to raise awareness of their profile and designs.
Typical Sectors Associated with a Fashion Entrepreneur
- A Fashion Entrepreneur can be involved in the textile, accessories, architecture, product design and production sectors.
- Specific types of fashion entrepreneur become involved in promotion such as fashion shows, exhibitions, festivals and events
- The most common sectors that a fashion entrepreneur would occupy would be retail, specifically buying and merchandising
- The specific product/service that a fashion entrepreneur is involved in would require product research, sourcing and supply chain management.
- Marketing, PR, branding, journalism and publishing are a necessary part of the portfolio for a fashion entrepreneur
- When a fashion entrepreneur gains enough experience or expert knowledge, they become as consultants providing specialist services in any of the areas outlined above.
Examples of the Fashion Entrepreneur throughout History
Although the term “Fashion Entrepreneur” is relatively new, fashion entrepreneurs can be found throughout history. Commonly recognised fashion entrepreneurs include:
- Ralph Lauren: An American fashion entrepreneur, designer and business executive who is best-known for his Polo Ralph Lauren clothing brand.
- Levi Strauss: A German immigrant to the United States who founded the first company to manufacture blue jeans. His firm, Levi Strauss & Co., began in 1853 in San Francisco, California.
- Coco Chanel: A pioneering French fashion entrepreneur and designer who was the founder of one of the most famous fashion brands, Chanel. Her extraordinary influence on fashion was such that she was the only person in the couturier field to be named on Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century.
- Louis Vuitton: A French fashion house founded in 1854 by Louis Vuitton and is one of the world’s leading international fashion houses.
- Rene Lacoste: A French tennis player, fashion entrepreneur and businessman founded La Société Chemise Lacoste with André Gillier in 1933. The company produced the tennis shirt which Lacoste often wore when he was playing, which had an alligator (generally thought to be a crocodile) embroidered on the chest. Lacoste also patented the first tubular steel tennis racquet in 1963.
- Stella McCartney: An English fashion entrepreneur. She is the daughter of former Beatles member Sir Paul McCartney and the late photographer and animal rights activist, Linda McCartney.
- Harold Tillman: CBE is a British fashion entrepreneur and investor. His current investments include Jaeger and Aquascutum. Tillman rebuilt his fortune through buying and selling UK Yves Saint Laurent distributor Marchpole, then leading the buy out of BMB, a suits wholesaler that supplies Debenhams, Bhs and other retail chains, from William Baird.
- Nicole Farhi: A French fashion entrepreneur, designer and sculptor born in Nice, France, of Turkish descent. In 1982, she and Stephen Marks created the Nicole Farhi fashion label within the French Connection group. The label now has shops worldwide, as well as restaurants in London and New York. It In 2007 she was appointed an honorary CBE.
- Samata Angel: She is a British award-winning fashion entrepreneur, author and designer. Samata’s Muse womenswear clothing label.
Fashion Entrepreneur Aims, Objectives and Practices
The core business practices for the fashion entrepreneur focus on topics such as creativity and innovation, writing business plans, raising finance, sales and marketing, and the small business management skills needed to run a creative company. The fashion entrepreneur also has a primary focus on creating, participating in and leveraging on networks and communities within the fashion industry. This is mainly to increase brand awareness, build profiles, educate and ensure profitability. Individual goals are specific to the individual fashion entrepreneur. For example some fashion entrepreneurs work to:
- Establish and provide a network of creative knowledge sharing platforms
- Address social and structural issues goals
- Take creative work to audiences and communities and highlight the wider social, economic and cultural benefits in doing so
- Develop a mutually beneficial culture of both personal and professional engagement, collaboration, and partnership within society
- Deliver their fashion business expertise in retail, manufacturing, money and marketing.
A successful fashion entrepreneur requires hands-on learning experience in the culture of result oriented creativity, which implies coping with the unlimited imagination of creative people, being aware of the beautiful and original and the constraints of timing and the fickleness of consumers. However, in the right environment with the relevant education, experience and entrepreneurial skill set, a fashion entrepreneur can make a long-lasting impression on the luxury and design-based industries generating limitless opportunities in these industrial fields.
If you are a fashion entrepreneur or manage a small to medium size creative enterprise and need help and advice with starting an online business then contact eCubation today for a FREE consultation.