In fashion, a lot of PR agencies have showrooms. It allows them to house their client’s collections, and it’s a versatile space with an open door policy for stylists, celebrities, bloggers and the media. It can host some events including seasonal Press Days, creative workshops or sample sales. Sometimes it also serves as an inspiring and creative space for clients to hold meetings, whether they need to connect with buyers or stage brainstorming sessions.
Some tips for the creation :
1. Transport your journalists : the environment has to be warm and inviting. Of course, it has to be perfectly clean all the time. Focus on something that is aspirational in your showroom.
2. Connect with fashion industry : journalists want to see nice pieces, that are going to inspire them or serve them for articles. When a journalist walks into your agency and sees products that reflect the styles of the magazine or that are liked to trends, there is a connection to the fashion and demand. You have keep the latest styles in your showroom and always change it in order for them to always find something new to talk about or to borrow for their shootings.
2. Focus : With every new design idea, you always need to keep in mind basic design principles and the need for a person to focus on something. The eye can only handle so much detail. So try to be minimalist and add some focus points like a central item that catches the eye on each display. Also, make sure all of your displays look great from the front of course, but also from every direction.
4. Have nice displays : all is a question of display and arrangement. Pieces have to be well-presented and follow some rules of “visual merchandising”. The displays of each designers have to be balanced but need variety : in colors, shapes, textures. You can use the technique of the “relance” (French luxury showrooms manner) : a left to right reading, and with a presentation of “related merchandise display” that shows ideas of a complete outfit mixing all the items of a collection (in an order that creates flows and changing of length : vest, pants, skirt, tee-shirt, blouse,… this pattern repeated on the display).
How to optimize the management of your showroom?
What are the objectives?
- Optimize the management of the showroom and not waste time with low value-added tasks
– Get better visibility for the agency and the brand
– Reduce the lost of money in tracking check-ins and check-outs.
– Improve the rotation parts with new pieces
– Increase and enhance coverage
And the more important, not wasting time with operational tasks. Imagine a journalist calling you and asking if you can lend piece X for a shoot next week …! The piece X yes, you can see what it is, you gave it to an other reporter last week, it came back and is normally available! Oh no, you just find a post-it left by your colleague, saying that the piece was gone to an other journalist… But who? And for how long? In short, you have information in all directions and can not inform the journalist! Now imagine being able to manage your entire showroom from a single platform : managing all contact files (journalists, bloggers, celebrities, influencers, production houses …) traceability of the pieces,… Not to mention the opportunity to work collaboratively: even if you are away, your colleague can access all the information and respond to questions from journalists. Would not it save time and productivity? Here we go !
Follow / trace the inputs and outputs of your parts : The heart of the showroom, it is the products that it highlights: you must be able to show them to as many people as possible and lend them. Yes but now, because you lend items in all directions, at the end of the season you realize that there are a lot of losses. How to reduce these losses? Save all your parts in an online platform or in paper in a file, using the nomenclature of your choice. You can create looks as collections and organize your items according to your needs. It will allow you to track your inputs and outputs and their movements in real time and know where are your products.
Organize your schedule ready : If you lack visibility on the availability of your items you can not optimize their rotation: is that this piece will be available at a particular moment or not? Do a visual calendar (with Excel for example) of all the pieces if you don’t have a lot. In my agency for example, we lend the pieces on a basis of 1 week only and we extend if needed but tha tallows us to have a view on each piece. Such visibility helps you organize reminders, set reminders on returns in delays and increase the rotation of your pieces and your looks in newsrooms.
Highlight coverage obtained with your showroom : It’s fine to manage all these loans but if you fail to know what press coverage were generated well it has little value! To overcome this problem, use a social media mangement software as Hootsuite that allows you to manage the mentions of the brands online and find directly the publications of journalists or bloggers. In a few clicks you can generate reports that gives you a global view of the impact of the activity of the showroom, like the tweets, the articles,…
Photo : River Island PR