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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Round Rock Prom Dress

Note: Are you an independent apparel consultant? Are you a local independent apparel retailer? Then it is time you inform yourself (or allow me to inform you) on what the Independent Enterprise Network can do for you after you view the video. The bold blue highlights are my additions. This article by Kelly Evans appeared in the Wall Street Journal. gt

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AHEAD OF THE TAPE by Kelly Evans

For Apparel Makers, ‘Challenge’ Is in Style

Apparel makers and some retailers could face a less-than-happy 2011.

That may seem at odds with the strength of this year's holiday sales season. But supply constraints, rising production costs and choppy consumer demand suggest it will be trickier than Wall Street currently expects for many companies to increase profit margins in 2011.

Consider sportswear giant Nike Inc. whose third-quarter results last week beat profit and revenue estimates. Despite this, its shares fell after the company warned of "strong gross-margin head winds for the next few quarters." Nike put the pressure down to higher labor, cotton and transportation costs, plus the recent strengthening of the U.S. dollar. Those aren't concerns unique to the sportswear giant; they are shared across the apparel industry. Rapid development in China, the "workshop of the world," is now pushing up global production costs, reversing a decadeslong trend.

To make matters worse, companies' typical response—raising prices—is proving rather difficult at the moment. The average selling price of apparel in the U.S. has actually fallen for 10 of the last 11 months, according to Piper Jaffray, even though the cost of imported apparel per unit is up about 1.5% year-on-year.

The profit squeeze will likely worsen as the year progresses due to the long lag between merchandise orders and their arrival in stores. The run-up in cotton prices is a particular nuisance and is just starting to feed through the supply chain. Short supply plus strong Asian demand has more than doubled prices from the mid-70 cents per pound range seen this past summer to nearly $1.60 now for March delivery.

As a result, 2011 estimates for many apparel makers "to me are too aggressive from a margins and earnings perspective," says FBR Capital Markets analyst Eric Tracy. Nike at least can use its strong brand and global heft as a bargaining chip with suppliers. This may also make it better able to raise prices for customers. Smaller companies like Gildan Activewear Inc., Quiksilver Inc. and Volcom Inc. probably won't be as fortunate.

Apparel executives were hoping these cost pressures would prove fleeting. Now, following in Nike's footsteps, more will probably have to let investors know they are in for a tough slog.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Texas Gets Torrid

Texas apparel (Cowboys, too!!) needs a little torrid of its own. Lets not be above learning a lesson from Torrid. A local Independent Consultant Network is totally capable of creating and supplying a local retailer or  the IC Network's own clientele such as high school girls prom dress apparel.

This article is taken from California Apparel News Net.

Texas Gets Torrid

November 05, 2010
City of Industry–based Hot Topic will open a new Torrid store for plus-size juniors at The Centre at Preston Ridge in Frisco, Texas. The store will carry Torrid private-label apparel, as well as Source of Wisdom, Fragile, Ed Hardy, Hello Kitty and Z. Cavaricci–branded apparel and accessories. Carrying sizes 12–26, Torrid currently operates more than 150 stores, as well as its e-commerce site at

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Claire James message on The State of Fashion

I invite you all to read Claire James' message. She delivered these comments Thursday at the Austin Fashion Week event on the south steps of the Austin Texas state capitol building.

Malissa, thank you for thinking to invite me to this event.

I am unable to copy/paste the text so here is the Claire's message.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Boutique manufacturer moving to Austin

This is a retype of an email message I just received. Since there is no phone included I encourage any of you interested to either go to the bottom of this article to the comment link and let Sharron know or email Sharron or email me and I will forward your email to Sharron. Gil


My is Sharron Aisenman and the name of my company is Sharron Leslie Designs. I'm planning a future move to Austin and was online looking for operators in the Austin area when I came across your site. Very interesting. We are boutique manufacturers of dance wear, club wear, swim wear, sexy wear and have the capability of producing lingerie. We were in sexy lingerie until it was all sent to China. I design, make and grade patterns. My factory cuts and sews garments and we ship from Sylmar CA. We have over twenty years experience and sell worldwide. Can you list me on your site? Do you have contacts in San Antonio, Austin for operators and mechanic for my new factory to be located in Austin? I emailed Tabitha and Christina and I'm going to call Lee. All sound like I can help them.
I'd appreciate hearing from you regarding these things.

Sharron Aisenman
Owner, Sharron Leslie Designs
SLD Collection
p.s. I'm for real...look at my website.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Houston startup needs pattern maker & contractor

If you are interested you can reply to Tabitha at:

Hello, my name is Tabitha McKelvy out of Houston TX.

I have some sketches that I have been working on. I am interested in starting a clothing line with these sketches. I know that I will need a sample/pattern maker and contractor. Please, help me.
Thanks. Vixen by Tabitha Grace

Best regards,


Monday, February 08, 2010

Prom Dress Network Invitation

It will be here sooner than you think again! The biggest annual extravanganza among teenage girls. I am talking about Prom.

Once again, I wonder how many of the enormous talent pool of dressmaker consultants are ready to take advantage of the opportunity. I wonder how many will miss out again.

This is my invitation to all interested independent consultants and independent prom dress retailers to do something about it.

Before you reject this invitation because of the cost let me clear that up right now.

It costs you nothing.

Why is this free? Because I am more interested that people see the profit potential of the network for themselves rather than showing them charts and graphs.

I am the one extending the invitation. I am the one who will organize and communicate with the network. Your participation in the network costs you nothing. You participation is strictly on your terms and, ideally, as a professional. All fees are strictly between you and your clients. If you attract clients and turn a profit. Great! It's yours to keep.

I am the one who will incur costs. So for that reason I must limit the scope of the network to the Round Rock/Austin Texas area high schools. Anyone outside that area interested in checking out the network would certainly be welcome but my focus will be limited as I have stated.

What you need to do before February 28 is simply either:

1 Post a comment on this article expressing your interest, or
2 Email me directly to Subject: Prom Dress Network