Monday, August 31, 2009

Calling all independent fashion designers in Birmingham

Kings Heath independent fashion traders are planning to set up a ‘pop up’ shop in Corporation Street during the Style in the City fashion weekend – 24th to 26th September.

So far 8 fashion designers have signed up for this ‘pop up’ shop, but there is space for a few more. The designers from around Birmingham are welcome to participate.

This is an opportunity for independent fashion designers, whether its dress, jewellery, handbags or hair style, to show off their designs to 10,000 plus visitors from across the region.

Although this pop-up shop is being set up in less than four weeks, it is hoped that if this is successful this will be the start of a future Fringe fashion festival to the main Style in the City event. Whereas Style in the City is a ticket only event, the pop-up shop and fronge would be free and show off the many independent fashion designers who live and work in the suburbs of Birmingham.

Both Councillor Mullaney, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport and Culture, and Nikki Carr, town centre manager for Moseley and Kings Heath, are pulling together the package, whilst leaving the creative side of the event to the fashion designers to agree amongst themselves.

The shop unit is the former Jade shoe shop, about 4 doors from House of Fraser – see attached photo.

The unit is one of six empty Council owned shop units immediately next to the House of Fraser.

Since the fashion designers want to promote and sell their wares, they are having to pay the full rental price of the unit.

The unit is on three floors. Basement is storage, tea room and toilets. Ground floor will be used to display the fashions. First floor will be used for stage shows, photographic exhibition and DJ.

The cost of renting the unit for four days, to be shared between the traders is £1450. Uitlilities and license application is an additional £100.

The Council are requesting a further £1000 to remove and replace the vinyls on the front window – I am trying to see if I can persuade the Council to waive, since I feel this event is adding value to the Style in the City event.

If the pop-up shop attracts 10 designers, then the cost to each designer will vary between £160 to £260 for the four days.

If you are interested to be part of this venture, please contact me on or Nikki Carr on . We will forward your details onto the 8 fashion designers who are taking part in this project

Some further background on Style in the City

First event – 2008

Style in the City is a three day fashion event, hosted by Retail Birmingham Ltd (the Business Improvement District for the City Centre). The first event took place in April 2008 which incorporated mini in store events throughout the city centre, a large scale catwalk show hosted by Kelly Osborne (with 5 showings per day) in a purpose built marquee in Centenary Square, and a ‘Style Academy’ with Trinny and Susannah in St Martins Square, Bullring (With four shows per day). In addition, there were consumer offers available in the Pavilions, Mailbox and top designers such as Betty Jackson at Selfridges.

The 2008 event attracted nearly 10,000 visitors to the city centre over the three days and ticket holders were provided an exclusive goody bag and free transport around the city centre.

Many retailers reported their sales doubled over the period, and there was press coverage form the likes of local radio, TV and Hello magazine.

2009 Event

The 2009 event is scheduled to take place between 24 – 26 September. Although the premise of the event is the same, the catwalk show will be at Mailbox (6 shows per day*), and Gok Wan will be conducting 3 ‘Style sessions’ a day** at St Martins Square behind the Bull Ring. All 10,000 visitors will go to House of Fraser, Corporation Street to recieve their exclusive goody bag.


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