Thursday, August 31, 2017

Cocktails and Couture, Fashion Start-up Insights with Kacey Devlin

Another K&L Gates event of Fashion intelligence; this time with National Designer Award winner Kacey KACEY/DEVLIN Devlin (KD); is that an eponymous label name? I think so. This intimate evening talk Cocktails and Couture was not about the usual branding or design elements of fashion; it was about developing depth to your fashion business through a deeper understanding of business. This was the second time KD had applied for the award which is only open to designers in the first five years of their operations; as if starting out is not tricky enough - this prize is highly demanding in terms of preparation - though the "prize bursary valued at over $100,000 including cash" must certainly be a shot in the arm for any new business. There were a few key takeaways for me from this Q&A type discussion with Kacey, chaired by K&L Gates IP Partner Lisa Egan.
  • Understand your clientele.
  • You can't do everything yourself (forever).
  • Treat it like a business - and keep some time for life.
  • Not all opportunities are (good) for you!
One of the things I found fascinating was that KD had a strong background in PR here in Sydney and mentioned having interned during her fashion design studies; and after graduation worked in fashion PR for some years before finally biting the bullet and starting her own label. I have to say her marketing looks spot on and I can feel the fashion when looking at the pictures; which is great and a little unusual. Curiously, in the days before this event I read somewhere - but where - that designers were not "draping" anymore; and yet here is a designer that does draping beautifully! And it was in conversation about draping and wrapping that Kasey gave us some insights into both her design process and understanding her all female clientele. In a nutshell the garment is informed by a flexible fit/fastenings evolved out of the draping, and watching how women chose to wrap their clothing on their bodies. One could almost call it a scientific approach to design. While watching the slides I was drawn to the idea that many of the KD designs would also work very well for men. I took the opportunity during question time to ask if there might be a menswear range on it's way. Sadly the answer is no, or not yet  and "men don't buy fashion" which is pretty much true. We buy clothes.. and that's about it really - come on Aussie guys! Anyway; congratulations to Kacey Devlin &  KACEY/DEVLIN and thank you to K&L Gates for a top night with lovely drinks and food; it really was a wonderful and informative evening of business and fashion.
Cocktails and Couture guests at Kacey Devlin at KL Gates. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.

Kacey Devlin speaking with Lisa Egan,Cocktails and Couture KL Gates. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.

The view from the 31st floor of K&L Gates in Sydney. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.

Fashionistas check out the clothes by Kacey Devlin at Cocktails and Couture. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.

Tall white wedge shoes with a large silver star motif. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.

Blogging duo The Adelaidian, Kristen Byass and Melissa Zahorujko pose with designer Kacey Devlin (middle) at K&L Gates event, Cocktails and Couture.  Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.

K&L Gates Partner Lisa Egan with designer Kacey Devlin and lifestyle blogger Vivienne Shui at the Cocktails and Couture event. Photo by Kent Johnson for Street Fashion Sydney.

Oh, and it's all made here in Australia - Cheers to that too!
Previously with K&L Gates,

Telling Stories in Pictures all over..
Kent Johnson, Sydney, Australia.
0433 796 863

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