On May 6, Cliché Magazine’s Editor in Chief Megan Portorreal (second from right) joined fashion designer Eva Xu (far left), of the emerging brand All Comes From Nothing; Angela Sum (far right), Project Runway alum and designer of asum; and David Leung (second from left), an adjunct professor of Parsons, designer, and entrepreneur as a panelist for AmeriChina’s New Wave of Fashion Design Pioneer in New York City. As a public relations and business-consulting firm that prides itself in “assisting American businesses in establishing and/or expanding their brands in the contemporary Chinese marketplace” while also connecting Chinese businesses with U.S. opportunities, the AmeriChina group often holds events to connect individuals in fashion, media, and business industries.
Aspiring fashion designers and students from FIT and Parsons, many of whom are in the process of launching brands of their own, attended the event to get advice about breaking into the fashion industry and managing their business. Moderator Xu asked Portorreal several questions about how emerging fashion designers can catch the attention of the media, and what the media looks for when selecting fashion designers to feature.
“When I’m going through fashion pitches, I always look for brands that have a good look and a good story,” Portorreal told the audience. “Something inspiring, unique, and interesting—that’s what catches my eye. When I meet designers, I always want to know about their muse. What inspired you so much that you decided to make an entire collection about it?”
Having attended countless fashion shows both backstage and front of house, Portorreal went on to say that fashion shows or press presentations are also extremely important for emerging artists. “Fashion shows or presentations are your introduction,” she said. “It’s your first impression. It will set the mood for not only that particular collection, but for your brand as a whole.”
Portorreal also said that fashion shows generate a lot of excitement, and it’s a great chance for the audience to get a more personal look at a designer’s brand or collection. It’s also a chance for the designer to learn more about his or her audience.
Xu also asked the panelists Sum and Leung about the challenges many emerging designers face, how they should utilize social media, and pricing strategies for new collections, and then gave some advice of her own to the group about launching your own brand and securing the right funds.
In the future, AmeriChina plans to hold more events just like this to bring key innovators in fashion and media together to talk about their experiences.
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Cliché Magazine’s EIC Speaks at AmeriChina Event as Panelist: Photographs courtesy of Zhe Chen