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Book review: Design, Create, Sell

The synopsis: A guide to starting and running a successful fashion business.

The author: Alison Lewy is founder of Fashion Angel, an organisation that offers help and support to emerging and established entrepreneurs within the fashion industry.

Lewy launched and ran her own fashion label for 15 years, before becoming a specialist consultant and then heading up the Fashion and Textile Museum for six years.

The contents: Design, Create, Sell covers every aspect of setting up and nurturing a fashion business, from jargon-busting and helping readers identify target customers, to exploring routes to market and explaining why effective budgeting is so important.

Other sections include drawing up a business plan, VAT, trend research, brand building, garment specification, preparing a pitch, marketing, cash flow forecasting and trademark protection.

In spite of being such a comprehensive guide to the ins and outs of fashion entrepreneurism, Design, Create, Sell avoids overloading the reader with hefty swathes of information or going into too much detail.

Instead, they are pointed in the right direction and provided with specialist insights that enable them to do their own research, with Lewy suggesting scores of organisations, initiatives and online resources – across a wide range of topics – to help them on their way.

The format: Design, Create Sell uses easily digestible language and a clear writing style, along with an informal and aspirational tone of voice and lightness of touch that still manages to maintain an air gravitas and authority.
Its pages are well laid-out – featuring ?doodled? graphics, bullet points, charts, tables and different fonts to help break up text ? which makes them easy to read and understand.

Real-life case studies provide working examples and emphasise key points, while a glossary of fashion industry terms at the end provides a helpful ‘go to’ resource.

Design, Create, Sell is a pocket-sized paperback, so fits easily into your bag without being too cumbersome and heavy.

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