EP35 - How to Create a Virtual Fashion Show With Gwendolyn Devoe


Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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Can I still host my own fashion show in times like this?

How can I launch a fashion show on a low budget?

Am I really gonna be able to pull this off?

In this episode of the FastTrack Your Fashion Brand Podcast, I sat down with Gwendolyn Devoe, a mentor, public speaker, and executive producer of Full Figured Fashion Week.

Gwendolyn’s experience in fashion shows helped her “pivot not panic” when she had to cancel her 12th Full Figured Fashion show. Gwendolyn is known for her ingenuity and passion to see representation in the fashion industry and started her first fashion show featuring full figured models and brands. I loved talking to Gwendolyn and learned so much from our chat about creative strategy for the future of fashion.

This episode is packed with insights on how to get the customers we need to buy in and become champions for our designs. I love how Gwendolyn breaks down the creative ways that the fashion industry is adjusting to this strange times we’re all in. If you need a creative strategy on how to get your product in front of people and how to stimulate sales, then this is the episode for you! Gwendolyn is such an incredible mover and shaker in the industry and I’m so excited that you all get to be inspired by her!


Following up on the success of Gwendolyn's virtual event, she created an e-book on virtual event planning. She will launch the e-book on August 22, 11 AM - 12:30 PM ET via a webinar entitled, Pivot, Don't Panic: How to Turn Your In Person Event into a Successful Virtual Experience.

If you are an event producer, you can't afford to miss out on this webinar!

Get all the details and register HERE.


Gwendolyn is so generous to us that we’re doing a *T-shirt GIVEAWAY together just for you, FASTTRACKERS!!!

*available in sizes: L-3XL, colors: black, hot pink

Get this T-shirt in 2 easy steps!

  1. Leave us a rating or review on iTunes 🎵
  2. Tag me @nicole_di_rocco and Gwendolyn @moguldiva in an IG story of your favorite clip from this episode 🤩

IN THIS EPISODE, YOU WILL HEAR ABOUT

  • Creating a virtual fashion show experience in COVID-19
  • Budgeting your virtual fashion show the right way
  • Mistakes to avoid when participating in a virtual fashion show
  • Resources for creating your own virtual fashion experience

How is The Future Of Fashion Shows Shifting?

The best thing about Gwendolyn is that when she sees a need, she fills it. When she went to her first fashion show and couldn’t find a single designer that designed with her figure in mind she decided to change that...

She debuted her first Full Figured Fashion Show in 2009 and has been producing the show every year until this year when she had to switch to a virtual fashion show experience. What I love about Gwendolyn is that when she was faced with cancelling her show, she did, but that decision didn’t mean it was the end of the road for her show. She saw an opportunity to pivot her mentality and get creative with her fashion show by going virtual! She navigated acquiring a whole new team, learning a virtual platform, and finding multiple sponsorships in a matter of four weeks to put on an incredible showcase of full figured designer wear. 

On the show we talk about how the future of fashion and tradeshows might be shifting to accommodate more creative showcasing in a virtual format. I love how positive Gwendolyn’s voice is about her experience and what it could mean for smaller designers who have a budget and have beautiful designs to share. The future of fashion is calling and she wants her heels back!

Are You Budgeting Your Fashion Show Correctly?

One stop planning coming at you! I loved talking through all the logistics with Gwendolyn on what is most important when planning a virtual fashion show.

She talked about a variety of budget-friendly opportunities that can help designers like us get creative and drive sales. One of the ways Gwendolyn got creative was using smaller sponsorship packages starting at $50 in order to pay new team members that specialize in virtual platforms.

Yes, you heard that right, new team members! There are so many jobs that aren’t necessary when you’re planning something virtually rather than in person. One of those jobs is hospitality or ticket takers, they just aren’t needed for an online experience. But what is needed is content creation and customer care for those customers who aren’t used to a new virtual platform and need help utilizing it.

There are so many ways to maximize your budget when you go virtual that I hope will stick around post-pandemic to give smaller designers a way to participate in bigger showcasing opportunities.

What Mistakes Should You Avoid?

As designers, we know exactly how many things can go wrong before your model walks out on the runway…

What Gwendolyn talks about are the mistakes she made and how you could avoid them in the future, one of these was giving designers too much time to show their pieces. You want to keep the momentum going as if you were at a live event not watching tv while doing the dishes (You know we all do it!). Gwendolyn also highlights the complexities of showcasing live and all the little things that could go wrong with lighting, sounds, models, and bandwidth. So make sure you invest in what will ultimately make your product stand out and not get lost along the way.

One last tip... Don’t overdo your environment. Visuals are important, but so is your product, and sometimes simpler is better for a backdrop choice. So make sure you pick a backdrop that highlights your specific line and doesn’t take away from it.

So How Do I Host My Own Virtual Fashion Show?

Gwendolyn gave us her personal guide on how she created her first virtual fashion show and it’s a lot easier than you think!

  1. Pick your platform first! There are several platforms out there, but make sure you use one that is geared for virtual shows and conferencing. Zoom is great for small productions but you’ll want something that is more manageable and easy for your customers to navigate. Gwendolyn personally recommends Accelevents. It's the platform she's currently using. And the best part? There's no money upfront required!
  2. Build your team. This is so crucial to having a successful virtual fashion show! Something I always need to remind myself that, "I’m a designer, not a producer or software engineer, and my job is to make sure the designs look good on the models." See to it that you have a small team of people who are learning the platform, are comfortable interacting with customers, and can be “backstage” to make sure everything runs smoothly.
  3. Choose the right location. All that’s left is finding out where to shoot from! Gwendolyn recommends filming outdoors whenever possible because nature is beautiful and we should utilize it as often as possible! Plus it's free, and doesn’t require a down deposit (most of the time). The tricky thing is lighting. As designers, we know how important the right lighting is to showcase the intimate details of our designs. So whether you’re shooting outdoors or indoors make sure your lighting is reflecting your designs well.

Gwendolyn has so many tips for how to film, whether to do it live or pre-recorded and how to have the best experience as a designer. The technical ins and outs can be a bit daunting but if you follow the steps and give yourself enough time, the experience is so worth it!

 

EPISODE BREAKDOWN

11:20-21:17 - Fashion Shows and the Future

21:19-25:04 - Creating a Virtual Fashion Experience In COVID-19

25:05-31:20 - Budgeting and Building a Team

31:25-36:48 - Mistakes to Avoid Participating in a Virtual Fashion Show

36:50-43:43 - The Roadmap to Hosting a Virtual Fashion Show

43:46-49:38 - Resources and a Giveaway for Listeners!

CONNECT WITH ME

INSTAGRAM: @nicole_di_rocco

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/nicoledirocco

PODCAST FB GROUP: www.facebook.com/groups/fasttrackyourfashionbrandpodcast

WEBSITE: www.fashionbizmentor.com

SUBMIT YOUR FASHION BIZ QUESTIONS: www.fashionbizmentor.com/breakthrough-coaching

SEE MY DESIGNS: www.mynicolita.com

THE SOLD OUT CHECKLIST FREE DOWNLOAD: https://bit.ly/FASHIONCHECKLIST

CONNECT WITH GUEST

INSTAGRAM:

@moguldiva

@fffweek

FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/fffweek/

https://www.facebook.com/DeVoeSignatureEvents

TWITTER: @fffweek

WEBSITE: https://www.fffweek.com/

 

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