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InsideFMM | September 1, 2014

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What I Learned At Fashion Camp, Part III

Fashion Camp LA: Jennifer Margolin, Jade of Style GemFashion Camp LA brought together fashion and technology insiders and knowledge seekers to Santa Monica’s Coloft on June 13, 2010 with speakers Philip Warbasse (CEO, Warbasse Design), Matt Szymczyk (CEO, Zugara), Syuzi Pakchyan (Author, Designer, Writer of Fashioning Technology), Lisa Borodkin (Attorney, Blogger, Writer at LAist.com), Christina Gagnier (Attorney), Darryl Jung (CEO,Clashe), Crosby Noricks (PR professional, Writer of PR Couture) and FMM’s own Macala Wright Lee.

Go to What I Learned  At Fashion Camp LA, Part I and What I Learned at Fashion Camp LA, Part II to read about the first eight things I learned at Fashion Camp LA, gleaned from Philip Warbasse’s presentation on QR codes and Matt Szymczyk’s presentation on augmented reality.

#9: Many websites fail.  Don’t waste all your money to miscommunication.

@ElleComm: 60-80% of IT projects fail. Awesome infographic at #fashioncampla

Darryl Jung of Clashe.com explained the all too true tale of many websites: The brand or company have specific ideas of what kind of website they want to build is but have difficulty communicating it to developers and designers.  The developers and designers misunderstand the company and build a website that is completely different from what the company wanted in the first place.  Everybody feels confused, uninformed and most of all, disappointed with the final outcome.

It’s a tangled web of miscommunication, different backgrounds and divergent ideas.  But according to Jung, it doesn’t have to be this way, and it doesn’t have to be expensive, either.  Jung’s website, Clashe, works as a sort of CMS for emerging fashion brands — allowing them to build a very social website / lookbook that aggregates various social networks (like Twitter) and designs.

In order to know what you want in your website, you have to find what you want.  If your brand is just starting out, you may not want to work with a big team to build your own website from the ground up, as miscommunication can be rampant, and so can the prices.  Start off by figuring out what’s available, and learn how to use them so that you can communicate your needs later on.

#10: Building your brand online means being social and harnessing the power of others.

@fashmarketing: “Build websites that fits the fashion designers/brand’s goals. Make it functional, searchable and social!”

Fashion Camp LAThe Dessy Group’s Clashe account, for instance, enables the bridal wear manufacturer to show off the many designs it has produced for various brands like Cynthia Rowley, Alfred Sung and more.

By harnessing the power of various social networks, brands don’t have to shell out a ton of money trying to create their own unique website — especially if budgets and time don’t allow for it.  Use the help of other websites and other people, and you can take your brand online.  Also: myFDB

#11: Trademark your brand.

@PR_Couture: “Trademark, domain name, promote, build a unique identity”

As Lisa Borodkin and Christina Gagnier stressed, it’s important that you make your brand unique.  You should check with the United States Patent and Trademark to see that no one else is using your brand name and then trademark it.  This will save a lot of headaches and stress later on.  Moreover, social networks like Facebook, Twitter and eBay all take trademarks seriously; if you don’t want to lose your brand’s identity on a social media site like Facebook, then file for a trademark.

You can read Lisa Borodkin and Christina’s Fashionably Legal slide show for more information.

#12: Keep yourself updated on legal issues in fashion; it’s always changing and developing!

@risteeka: ”There IS copyright in fashion. Work with people who know what they’re doing”

Christina Gagnier and Lisa Borodkin: Fashion LawyersLaws concerning fashion are constantly changing, expanding and developing — especially in a world of so many countries, so many laws and everchanging technology.  Borodkin and Gagnier explained that trademarking actual clothing designs is tricky and underdeveloped.

Many designs belong to no one, but a few are unmistakeable; however, it can be a difficult judgement to make in court.  In 2009, Gwyneth Shoes filed a law suit against shoes Paris Hilton helped to design.  According to Gwyneth Shoes, Paris Hilton and the shoes she helped to make copy the heart shaped sole designs that Gwyneth makes.

And it’s not just designers and brands who have to think about the laws at stake.  The FTC requires bloggers to reveal sponsored content. This means everyone should pay attention to the laws.  Transparency always helps, and remember to always check the terms of service for everything you use!

Follow Lisa Borodkin and Christina Gagnier on Twitter @lisaborodkin and @gagnier.

If you are interested in reading more about Fashion Camp LA, then check out Kelsi Smith’s article about wearable technology at Dedicated Follower Of, Connie Cho’s article at California Apparel News, Crosby Noricks’ article about her PR presentation on PR Couture andTammy Trujillo’s re-cap on Fashion Hodge Podge.  Photos are from Jennifer Margolin and Lisa Borodkin.

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