When the Market Gets Tough, the Smart Get Creative was pitched as: “When the market gets tough, clever retailers and designers are getting creative. Using design and creativity to produce their business model, they are working with under-exposed local designers and labels instead of following mainstream trends”.
Guest speakers on the final morning were Edward Church (Creative Director, TCH Group), Thibaud Cau-Cecile (Creative and Managing Director, The Wearers Right) and Alasdair MacKinnon (Designer Consultant, orangechairs for Otto and Spike).
The seminar kicked off with Thibaud Cau-Cecile. Creative and Managing Director of ‘The Wearers Right’, Cau-Cecile spoke to us about his beginnings (1997) in Melbourne, before heading to Paris and getting amongst the glamorous international trade show scene. He returned to Australia and cemented his involvement in the inaugural Life Instyle, a boutique trade event that delivers a mix of beautiful designer brands sourced from a diverse range of companies featuring homeware, giftware, lifestyle and kids products. “I don’t want to organize just a trade show, I want to create an experience”, he said. Cau-Cecile concluded his discussion with a narrative on his latest venture; The Wearers Right – a Sydney based fashion trade event with substance and personality for labels of the same kind from Australia and abroad (inc Nom*D, The Horse and Trimapee).
The second speaker, Alastair MacKinnon from Orangechairs, chatted about the development of Melbourne label ‘Otto and Spike’. From their knitting origins 40 years ago, to making beanies for surf brands like Rip Curl, and taking us on a visual journey of the building of their stand alone label today.
Two fabulous quotes from MacKinnon:
“Be attuned to Design Culture, and living in Melbourne is the perfect place to do that”
“We shop online for value, we shop in store for values”
And the final speaker, Edward Church, ran us through the 4 expressions of branding:
I was very impressed with all three of the business seminars presented by the Victorian Government and City of Melbourne during MSFW, 2011. The diversity and skill sets of each of the speakers were varse, as was the audience. I believe everyone who attended could take something from each of the presentations and shape them to adhere to their own business models.
Enjoy, melbgirl x