At Fashion Mingle’s Industry Luncheon, designers and creative directors alike were offered guidance and expertise from leading professionals in the industry.
Fashion Mingle, a global platform for fashion industry professionals, comprises local fashion directories for every major city in the world. The luncheon, which took place at Fashion Bar at Riu Hotel on November 3, 2022, was hosted by the founder of Fashion Mingle, Melissa Shea, and featured celebrity guest, Cesar Galindo.
“I think these kinds of events are so important,” said Galindo.
“It’s always important to connect with real people doing the same thing that you’re doing. It’s almost like a community support group. Everyone needs to really connect with each other because that’s the opportunity,” he said.
Galindo is an A-list fashion designer and creative director whose exceptional work ethic is eclipsed only by his brilliant designs and distinguished reputation. In a Q&A with DCG Public Relations CEO Dee Rivera, Galindo advocated for designers to embrace their creativity, value their products, and derive a strong work ethic from their passion.
“Don’t let your passion get distracted. The world is really rough sometimes around you, and things can distract your energy. I’ve learned to edit that energy away from myself and stay focused. You have to pay respectful attention, but just remember what your passion is and what you want to do. Don’t put the blinders on, but keep your heart open,” he said.
Galindo recounted his epic 35-year history in the industry from Houston to Paris to New York and into the pandemic. Instead of feeling defeated when the initial quarantine was instated, he used that time to reflect and improve his brand.
“My biggest takeaway from COVID is that I’m always going to have limited resources. That has to be my attitude because I need to be more conservative about how I’m spending my money, energy, time, and who I’m working with, and the quality of the work we’re doing together. I appreciate everything that gets pulled, but I want to make sure it’s getting pulled for the right reasons and for the right people,” he said.
This persevering, ambitious nature has driven Galindo to the top of the fashion industry, and he advises new designers to acquire a similar attitude.
“Your competition is your alarm clock. If you don’t get up and move it, it’s not going to happen for you,” he said.
After the Q&A, attendees gained further insight from Galindo, Rivera, and Shea, as well as leading professionals Nic Hyl, owner of Nic Hyl Clothing and Nic Hyl Fashion University, and Maria and Rafael Barraza, founders of Brooklyn Fashion Incubator. During candid group conversations, designers’ biggest business challenges were addressed and tackled.
“That’s what I wanted to learn. I already have the design ability, but what I need is the business side,” said designer and entrepreneur Laura Díaz-Alberto.
At Díaz-Alberto’s table, Maria and Rafael Barraza led a discussion on how to implement systems that increase profitability. Galindo’s group similarly raised concerns about profitability, to which Galindo recommended investing in content creation teams.
Hyl addressed questions of how to understand a brand’s customer base, stressing the importance of “involving your audience during the product development stage, so that the product that you develop is a product that your customers have been involved in helping make and that works for what their needs and their lifestyles are.”
Members of Shea’s group discussed their difficulties in trying to increase traffic to their websites. In response, Shea proposed hosting a webinar during which she will show attendees how she conducts search engine optimization. Rivera also made plans to meet with her group after the luncheon to further resolve their PR challenges. They brainstormed how to reinvent their brands by revamping their social media accounts and determining their respective niche markets.
The luncheon flourished, not only with productive conversation, but with exciting developments. Shea announced the upcoming launch of Fashion Mingle’s latest feature, a career portal. This pivotal new tool for the industry will allow professionals to post jobs, freelance gigs, internships, and other opportunities, such as collaborations and partnerships.
“This way everyone has a real, professional way to engage and make money because that’s why we’re in the fashion industry, right? We’re here to have successful businesses,” she said.
Each guest left with a “Fashion Pro on the Go” drawstring bag filled with a resource list, a gorgeous fall eyeshadow palette gifted by Estate Cosmetics, and a notebook gifted by Texworld. These gifts equipped new designers with everything they needed to get right to work on their next projects (and look good doing it!).
Events like these are crucial to the integrity of the fashion industry as a whole. When experienced professionals take the time to nurture newcomers in the business, ideas multiply and creativity thrives.
“I always find these events a great way to network, to meet new people, and to offer your expertise to those who really need it,” said Rivera.
If you are interested in attending future Fashion Mingle events, you can register for a free membership at www.FashionMingle.com. As a member, you’ll be immersed in the flourishing Fashion Mingle community of over 8,500 professionals and afforded exclusive opportunities and invitations from the members of the community.