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INTERVIEW: #INDUSTRY 101 – PQ CHANEL TALK’S WITH ONDRIC DONELSON

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Welcome to Industry 101 with The Red Carpet Hero. This will be your official guide on how to make it in the industry. What makes me an expert you ask? Besides being a publicist to your favorite DJs, fashion designers, bloggers, radio personalities, reality stars, and recording artists, I also write for top magazines and websites. This column is here to help you build your career. Feel free to shoot all your questions to @pqchanel on all your favorite social networks!

Lets start our new lesson of #Industry101 “So, you want to start a clothing line? ft Ondric L. Donelson. Ondric is the founder of New Classic Clothing Co. Though the brand is fairly new, I have been following the line enough to know upcoming designers can learn from their progress.

1) Quality over Quantity – Just because you have a t-shirt line, does not mean the world sees it as couture knits. Make sure your brand is innovative and is made from good fabrics. If it looks and feels cheap, know your brand won’t last or at most will become a nightshirt for your girlfriends.

2) Know Your Market – If your price points belong Bloomingdales, but the quality of your pieces belong in Walmart you must reconsider your pricing. Maybe it is time to find a cheaper manufacturer.

3) Investment – Any new venture is an investment on your time, but especially a clothing brand. Know it will not turn a profit for at least two-three years. Patience is key.

4) Dress for the Job You Want, Not Have – Regardless if you’re selling your line out of the trunk of your car, your website should visually compete with any major retailer. If your site is bad, shoppers won’t come back.

5) Network Makes the Dream Work – Continue build relationships with stylists, publicists and key influential people in your network. Make a list of any of the mentioned you know and rank them by influence. You should use your placements with them to secure larger impressions for your brand.

6) Use Social Media to Your Advantage – Platforms like Instagram have made it easy to find new brands by using basic hashtags for shoppers to find. Use it to your advantage!

Now for some insight from Ondric L. Donelson, Founder of New Classic Clothing Co.

How did you get your start?

I’m all about the latest fashion. I’m a person that likes to match from head to toe and a lot of times its hard to find clothes (especially tees) to complete my outfit. I’ve always liked business and wanted to into business for myself so I decided to start a t-shirt company.

What are the first steps of starting a clothing line?

Write everything down! This is where I would say I didn’t do so well. In the beginning I would want to this and that but never wrote my ideas down. It is always good to track everything you’re doing. Don’t rush! Be patient! If you’re not ready, don’t release anything. The clothing business isn’t going anywhere. Its getting bigger and bigger every day! Until you feel like your brand can stand out and delivery a good message continue to grind and your time will come.

Number one rule for designers?

Its not really a rule but more of a saying but success doesn’t happen overnight! That’s the only thing I can say to up and coming companies. If you want it go and get it and know its going to take a lot of hard work and hours put in to get where you want to go.

What should today’s up and coming clothing designers stay away from?

Stay away from those spam people on instagram wanting free material so they can “advertise” your brand! I did it in the beginning and realize that was a major mistake! Those people live off receiving free gear from up and coming brands saying they will market and get you so many followers and so much money! Nonsense!!

What makes one designer stronger than the next?

Creativity. If you as a designer can keep a fresh idea coming every collection/season then you will be a great designer in my opinion.

Fashion school? yes or no?

Not a must, but I would love to attend a fashion school.

When is it ok to gift your pieces?

Its ok when you know you’re surely getting exposure. People don’t understand starting any business is hard and expensive. If you give everything away what do you have to sell? Or even profit from? But if you’re giving away pieces which in return you will receive some sort of exposure then its good publicity.

What general career advice would you give any mentee (not just a designer)?

Don’t start a business unless you’re going to keep going with it through thick and thin!

State a social media do and dont. –

Do – advertise…advertise…advertise!!

Don’t – this everyone who follows you are supporting your business and will buy your product.

How can someone work for you?

I don’t want anyone working for me. I would prefer people to work with me!

New Classic Clothing Co. | www.shopnewclassic.com | ondric@shopnewclassic.com

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