Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Judging the Chambord Shine Awards

So last night, I was a judge for the Chambord Shine Awards heat in Melbourne held at The Long Room. My fellow judges were Emily Power from the Herald Sun, designer Joe Farage from Farage Style and Kate Mansour from Chambord. We were given a set of criteria to fit the Chambord brief upon which to judge and the 2 judge finalists were; Anna Campbell and Jolet with the Poeple's choice award going to limedrop.

Held in 3 states (Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney) the 3 finalists from each state will go onto compete for the ultimate prize where their outfit will be worn by a fashion forward celebrity during Spring Racing Carnival and show their collection at a fashion festival in 2011.

The fellow nominee's for the heat still have the chance to win the Wild Card entry so we wish above., Stacey Christie, MLY Black label, Michelle Czech and Alexi Freeman the best of luck.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Panel Beater

So I've taken to becoming a panel beater of late.. and no, not the tradey kind with a flannie and boots (although both are in fashion!). I've become a panel advisor - don't quite know how this happened, but here I am realising I'm on a variety of panels.

1. RMIT asked me to sit on an advisory board panel for a new course they are looking at launching.

2. AEC asked me to sit on their advisory board for the trade exhibition Fashion Exposed of which I have been a guest speaker and judge for the Debut award. (only problem has been both panel meetings conflicted with other commitments, so I haven't been able to attend any meetings as yet - do I still qualify?)

3. City of Melbourne asked me to sit on their breakfast series seminar panel for Melbourne Spring Fashion Week to discuss the topics that should be addressed at this years seminars.

4. I sat on the panel assessments for third year students at Whitehouse Institute of Design in Melbourne where I lecture to assess the commercial and marketing reality of the collections presented.

5. I just got approached today to sit on another education institute's panel to review students work as well.

What's happening? Are all those years of me thinking my opinion mattered when it clearly didn't coming back in a good karmic way? Who knows, but I enjoy it and should anyone else want me on a panel - just holler... apparently I can't say no!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Design Victoria run a lot of great seminars and events based on education and understanding the implications of being involved in the design industry. Most of the events are free and many involve industry icons. I was thrilled when approached to be a panelist in an area that I come across regularly in the fashion industry: Fashion Copyrighting and IP.

Even when lecturing with my fashion design and branding students, I am often at a loss to understand the financial costs and legalities behind copyright. So the seminar I am speaking at addresses the role of registering designs, trademarking, copyright infringement and the reality for small designers and what rights they have. I will be posing case studies and asking Trevor to explain the implications of these cases so that we as an audience can clarify the legalities around this hot issue.

My co-panelists are:
Trevor Choy of Choy Lawyers is an Intellectual property specialist
Eddie Zammit, Founder of T Magazine and Creative Director/Principle of Grin Creative
Ivan Gomez, Managing Director of Department of the Future

Thursday 13 May 6-8.30pm at ACMI Cinemas, Federation Square Melbourne

Hope to see you there.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Guest Lecture about blogging for UTS Fashion Students

I was approached just before fashion week about speaking at UTS for the 4th year fashion students about the role of blogging and my career path. After meeting with the lovely Cecilia Heffer (Course Director of Fashion & Textiles) during LMFF, we discussed how we could make this a stand out, interactive lecture and tutorial series for the students to get the most benefit.

So, I am off to teach 45 students/emerging creatives about the role of online fashion and blogging on Thursday 15th April.

Wish me luck!

For more info on the course, click here.

RMIT - Fashion Promotions Lecturing

I was approached by RMIT School of Fashion and Textiles to teach the 2nd years a new subject "Fashion Promotions" for 1st semester this year.

I have written the curriculum and assessments myself which revolve around 2 assessments; a promotional portfolio and a media plan. So, each Friday I head off to the brunswick campus to teach 80 odd students about the world of Fashion Promotions from sponsorship, loyalty programs, media plans, press releases and the various media distribution channels that the industry use to reach their customers.

I like to incorporate a variety of current examples and case studies into the lectures from fashion, pop culture and lifestyle to show these aspiring creatives how integrated the design world is.

For more about the course, check it out here.

LMFF Fashion Blogger

I was asked by L'Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival to be a guest fashion blogger for the 2010 festival which involved attending all official events during the LMFF week as well as reporting behind the scenes with exclusive news, designer interviews and industry updates.

Pre-festival I wrote weekly blog posts and during the festival it was a fast paced daily blog post update with a big wrap up post festival.

All of my blog posts can be read here.

Thanks to the LMFF team for making my time enjoyable at the 2010 festival.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

FGI Fashion Flash Seminar Speaker

The FGI Fashion Flash Seminar is back for Spring Summer 2010 trends in Melbourne again. I will be moderating the panel discussion this time with panel guests including:
1. Nicole Williams from Nicolangela
2. Dhini Pararajasingham from Dhini

As always, we'll be watching a Trend Presentation about the season's top trends for Ready to Wear Spring Summer 2010 which is put together by an industry panel including In Style, Neiman Marcus, Vogue & Bloomingdales in New York. After the presentation, we have a panel discussion about how these trends influence the Australian market, consumer and industry issues facing the Australian market currently and the role of technology and social media influencing trends.

Date: February 4th 2010
Time: 6pm-8.30pm
Tickets: $35 FGI Members $50 Non FGI Members
Location: Whitehouse Institute of Design, Melbourne
Details: Click here

Friday, January 29, 2010

Runway to Reality Press

As some of you may know, I write a weekly column for Australian Exhibition & Conferences. One week its Fashion Exposed Online and then the other its Australian Shoe Fair Online. As part of my involvement with the Runway to Reality Workshops, I was interviewed by Belinda Smart (editor of both online newsletters). Above is the screengrab from the newsletter and below is the copy so you can actually read it!

"As Fashion Exposed approaches anticipation is building, with the trade fair offering a number of value adding events in addition to the usual feast of cutting edge brands and products. The Runway to Reality workshops, presented by style expert (and resident Exposed Online iSpyStyle columnist) Kate Vandermeer, is one of these. From what Kate had to say when I caught up with her, they look set to be stimulating as well as commercially indispensable.

"I think this initiative is great and I'm looking forward to holding the workshops," she said. "Whilst the glamour of the fashion industry is fun, these workshops are about the reality of how to capture customers' attention and get them spending with your brand or business again. Many of the SMEs attending Fashion Exposed have been doing it tough through the GFC and now need new direction and inspiration about their customers, their buying habits and what their next strategy should be."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Runway to Reality Press

As part of the PR campaign surrounding the Runway to Reality workshops between iSpyStyle and Fashion Exposed, the Australasian Textiles & Fashion e-newsletter titled "Apparell B2B Central" interviewed me for a feature about the workshops. Above, is a screengrab of the interview, however the full interview written by Dawn Adams is below.

"Strategies on conducting business in a more challenging economic environment and how to improve relationships with customers will be among the topics covered during a series of workshops to be staged at Fashion Exposed in Sydney in February. The 'Runway to Reality' program will be conducted by Kate Vandermeer, director of iSpyStyle in three business seminars designed to tackle grass roots issues.

In a back-to-basics approach, topics covered will include promotions, visual merchandising and buying strategies. Separate menswear and womenswear programs will review trends for spring/summer 2010 and relate them to exhibitor stands demonstrating how they capture the latest looks. "This approach increases the styling relationship with customers," Vandermeer said.

A third workshop will focus on business practices such as engaging the local community by, for example, enlisting a school to become involved in visual merchandising to increase store traffic. Social networking opportunities will also be reviewed but Vandermeer stressed they should only be used if they are appropriate to an individual business. "If their customer is not internet or text savvy, it wouldn't work for them," she said.

Stressed throughout the workshops will be to ensure that strategies are effective for each customer base. Vandermeer also highlighted how difficult it was to fully comprehend the demographic being reached in today's marketplace. "We tend to shop around, pick who to follow and graze a wider retail environment," she said. "It's harder to pinpoint a detailed demographic."
She said important was to test strategies with care to ensure a core customer base was not alienated.

And she stressed the value of knowledge held by retail staff pointing to the importance of asking the 'right' questions to find out more about a customer base. "Retail staff don't always realise how much they know about the customer base," she said. "They might know their habits, if they shop after school, if times are tough for them or if they're time poor." - Dawn Adams"

Runway to Reality Workshops

2010 is the year of the iSpyStyle Workshops launching and to kick it all off is a great collaboration with Fashion Exposed. This year Fashion Exposed and iSpyStyle are presenting "Runway to Reality"; a series of 'back to business' workshops aimed at supporting, nurturing and inspiring the SME's attending.

The Menswear Report - Sunday 14 February, 1pm - 1.45pm
Be guided on how to maximise next season's trends for the best return for your business.

Retail Workshop - Monday 15 February, 1pm - 1.45pm
Attend this retail workshop to learn secret trade tips on how to improve your marketing, branding and retail presence, incorporating tips on visual merchandising, social media and building customer loyalty!

Runway to Reality - Monday 15 February, 3pm - 3.45pm
Understand the top Womenswear trends and how they can be interpreted to suit a 'real, everyday customer' in order to improve your business and sales.

All workshops are FREE to attend, you just need to be a visitor to the Fashion Exposed Fair held at the Sydney Exhibition Centre, Darling Harbour from Sunday 14th February to Tuesday 16th February 2010.

Look forward to seeing you there. Come and say hi!

For more info on other iSpyStyle workshops, check out the website.