From fashion designer to top consultant
A PASSION for fashion, a sense of style combined with some schooling has proved to be a winning combination for fashion consultant Paledi Segapo.
After conquering the world of fashion designing with the label RJKay, Segapo is quietly climbing the fashion ladder with a new venture - fashion design consultation.
His company, Palse Consulting, has been around for less than a year, but it's presence is already felt on the fashion scene.
Palse Consulting is divided into three business units:
- business consulting,
- image consulting and
- model management.
Segapo's business consultation service is a breath of fresh air for designers whose labels need some business wisdom.
"Our focus is on various emerging and established fashion designers, helping them to implement and execute business best practices and also helping them with brand activation and retail penetration," Segapo says.
Among the designers in his stable are heavyweights such as Gert-Johan Coetzee. He recently showcased at the Nigeria Fashion Week - Rubicon, Thunderstorm by Thabo, Bryants Moore -who is a former assistant designer of David Tlale -Lebomash, Mertiques Style House and Scalo.
All these designers will showcase at the SA Fashion Week next month.
Segapo believes the fashion week plays a pivotal role in the careers of designers.
"Our duty, among others, is to ensure that our designers take advantage of this marketing platform because fashion week attracts an array of buyers and media. As a result, this makes business sense for designers for their clothes to make it on fashion magazines and moreover to generate sales through orders from buyers," he says.
"Furthermore, designers showcasing at the fashion week attract brand confidence for the consumer and this helps in making their brands footprint visible," Segapo says.
He says fashion weeks have helped many designers extend their brand visibility and attract media attention.
"Fashion week events are no doubt a marketing platform that assists particularly emerging designers to capture the market and consumers to have their brands pervasively visible. Fashion editors and buyers are constantly looking for new talent to spread in their magazines and introduce fresh products to the consumer," he says.
Segapo says he emphasises to his designers that the business of fashion is about generating revenue.
"A lot of designers think fashion is about glitz and glamour. They forget the business part of it. Our duty is to help designers sustain the business momentum. We guide them on how to win key clients and retain them.
"Other things we emphasise to our designers is that they cannot compete with their clients on the red carpet."
Segapo says that in addition to providing services to fashion designers, his company also offers image consultancy.
"We also render image services to corporate, established brands, artists, sportsmen, individuals and event organisers on how to achieve a certain look," he explains.
"Our designers benefit from the styling services we render. We also help models to establish solid business relationships with designers and with publications."
What's Segapo's claim to fame?
The entrepreneur is also a writer and a business strategist.
The Soweto-born visionary in his 30s is a fashion columnist for True Love magazine, Jozi Beat magazine and a partner at KS Model Management.
He holds a Master's of Business in Leadership degree from Unisa and he has vast corporate experience, having worked for corporates such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Oracle and Softline-Pastel.
How to become a fashion consultant
Becoming a fashion consultant might seem like a dream, but if you have the background and skills necessary to make it in the industry, the idea isn't all that far-fetched.
You need to have a good eye for design and keep on top of the latest trends and fashions.
That, coupled with marketing and textile experience, could be a winning combination.
Get an education. In order to become a fashion consultant, you need to have the right educational background.
A national diploma in fashion, textiles or marketing will prove beneficial in your quest to become a fashion consultant.
Experience in the retail industry is also helpful.
Have an eye for fashion. As a fashion consultant, it's your job to know the latest and greatest trends in the fashion industry.
You need to stay abreast of styles and know what works on different body types. An understanding of colour and composition are essential to succeeding in this career.
Dress the part. You are your own best advertisement, so your appearance should be impeccable at all times.
Always wear items that are trendy and flattering to your figure and pay special attention to grooming.
Work on customer service. A fashion consultant works for clients, so it's important that you understand good customer service.
You need to communicate with clients. Find out their needs and desires and then do your best to give them exactly what they want.
Keeping in touch with them after a job is also essential. - Additional info www.ehow.com