8 secrets to being an influential under 30 fashion brand CEO

So you want to start a fashion brand, right? We are 100% percent behind you. We heart creativity and what’s not to love about art that you can wear on your body.

But the fashion industry is cutthroat and can be unforgiving. Sometimes, just because you make great outfits and gowns does not guarantee you your success. Sometimes it’s about your mindset and your approach.

We’ve interviewed over a dozen successful under 30 designers. From gowns and suit makers to purses and even milliners. How did they become influential so early?

Here are 8 secrets and realities they learnt sooner on their journey to success and influence:

1. You can’t force people to love your craft.

It’s fashion. Not everyone will love what you make. Aim to influence and not change fashion perceptions.

2. Consistency is key.

You won’t be heard the first time. Staying consistent should be your second nature. What’s your target? Are you looking to make ready-to-wear or luxe fashion outfits? Stay consistent to your brand. You’ll seem repetitive and annoy a few people but don’t stop being consistent.

3. Prioritise.

You CANNOT please everyone. It’s aesthetics and not everyone will get it. Circle in on the people you want to please the most with your brand. Middle-aged women? Working class men? Young adults? Whatever your niche, find them and please them.

4. People buy from people and brands that they like.

Don’t get it twisted. Selling is NOT pushing people to buy. Selling is developing a brand that people WANT to buy. Your brand will speak for itself and you are your brand. So…do they maths.

Kanye West in Yeezy apparel.

5. Compounding is always a smart move.

Don’t start big, even if you are big. Yes, you have strong financial backing. Yes, you have access to a shopping space in the heart of the city. Don’t be tempted to splurge. Start small >> Test your market >> Be Consistent >> Grow Big.

6. Be Selfish Today!

Everyone is selfish. It’s the hard truth. Whether it’s people forming being Self Aware, Self Loving or being in Self Control. It’s falls down to being selfish with their time, their person and their money. Build your brand around that note, personal and business-wise.

7. Expect discomfort.

Don’t be a pessimist but don’t be too much of an idealist. Expect the hard times, the negative reviews, the not-so-favourable sales. It comes with the business. Embrace it, learn from it and build better on it. The only certainty is uncertainty. So expect it. Everything worth doing involves some unease. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.

Olivia Yacé

8. Fashion facts do not exist.

Really. They don’t. Everything we hear is an opinion. Many people can agree to one thing but does not mean it is a universal fact. You can try trends but for how long? In that vein, experiment with your craft. Do whatever has been done or hasn’t been done. It’ll make you all the more iconic.

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