We all know that even the best piece of clothes can not be sold without get the word out. Unfortunately, not a lot of fashion designing schools in Eastern Europe teach their students about the marketing skills required to make a business out of their own designs.
I really love to dig the fashion industry here in Budapest, but as I am still not able to speak and read in Hungarian (yep, I am a lazy ass), there is no better way than finding the people who are behind the fashion business in Hungary.
What happen if two persons , one with a degree in industrial design and the other in sales background work with each other? That is the best thing happening to a fashion designer, as both found an agency whose contributions helped to sell the collections.
Few days ago I had a real pleasure to have an interview with Juli Décsi and Orsi Dániel – two stylish girls who are the owners of ONE Fashion Agency, and as you know, that I love to dig deeper to get the complete information, this time can not be different. We spent an hour in their showroom at Ráday utca 9. to discuss the main concept of their agency, the big picture of fashion industry in Hungary and my favorite topic – money issue and sponsor’s contribution to the fashion business.
The Spoiled Queen: How did you come up with the idea of creating One Fashion Agency & Retail?
Although I studied Industrial Design at Budapest University of Technology and Economics (and in Rome as well), I worked as an industrial designer only for 1 year.
Orsi (my business partner) studied Sales and Management at Budapest Business School.
Before we founded ONE Fashion Budapest, I worked 4 years in the fashion industry, like a stylist in fashion magazines then with Hungarian fashion designers, as a brand manager.
Orsi worked for big fashion companies, such as Peek & Cloppenburg and ZARA.
After all these, we got to the same company who worked with designer. During this time we come up with this idea.
Hungarian designers need help in the business field. They are really creative, perfect designers but they don’t have time or don’t have the knowledge – schools don’t teach them – how to sell and to whom, their beautiful products.
So we found this company which helping the designers to step out to the real market and supporting them from the business part online and offline as well.
The Spoiled Queen: What is the main aim of your Agency?
Difficult to explain in a few word. But we would like the people to get to know better and also to wear Hungarian fashion designers’ clothes!
These products – although they are unique – they are not that expensive how people think. These clothes are slow fashion, so it worth to pay a little bit more then for a fashion piece, but the customer can wear it for many years and it will be still unique after years.
The Spoiled Queen: With how many designers are you currently working, and how does the selection process look like?
Currently we work with 12 clothes designers and 10 accessories (bag/jewellery) designers.
In the first time we were looking for designers whose brand is already enough matured and have the own unique, identified style. And the other important standpoint is that they don’t be each others competitions – i mean with their target or style. This results that we have a wild selection of style. Everybody can find their style and favorite items.
But nowadays we get a lot of request from designers how they can get in our store or webshop. And this is a good feedback for us.
The Spoiled Queen: Let’s talk a bit about fashion shows in Budapest, what is your opinion about them? Do you see them as professional projects or there is still some room for improvement?
I think we (I mean the whole fashion industry) still need time to improve, and also to get used to make these shows on a higher level. We can’t be satisfied if one show went great. We need to keep that level or even make better and better shows time after time. Professionalism is the best way to perform good job.
The Spoiled Queen: How about sponsors? Is it easy to approach them, here in Hungary or they are not in favor to support fashion business?
This is the most difficult part I think. To get investors or sponsors – if we speak the money point of view is really hard. To get promo products from sponsors for fashion shows it’s not a big deal, but to get money for the shows that is!
Investors don’t believe that they can deal a good business with designers in Hungary. The economy is not good, so they think people don’t have enough money – or don’t want to spend money for consumer goods – although nowadays more and more people would like to be unique and be identified by their style, and not to wear the same “uniforms” that fast fashion stores offer. And they spare money for this.
The Spoiled Queen: Talking in general about fashion business in Hungary, is there a big demand for local brands? Or do Hungarians have a tendency to buy clothes in big malls?
Usually Hungarians go to big malls. That’s reasonable. On one hand they can park there easily and they can buy there everything from the foodstuff till the clothes. But on the other hand everybody is interested to enter small, hidden, unique shops where they can buy different things from what most of the people can get in malls.
Even if these hidden shops provide local designers collections, it’s even better. So the demand is getting wider. To summarize it, we are on the right tract!
The Spoiled Queen: What do you think about Hungarian street style? Is trendy look important for an average Hungarian?
Getting better and better. Also because of the globalization. Everybody can surf on the Internet and find cool and trendy styles as an inspiration.
The younger generation started to copy famous celebrities, actress and bloggers. That’s not bad I think. First they copy, but later – as they grow up – they’ll have their own style.
The younger generation is braver then “we were”. They like to stand out and because of this the Hungarian street style and “street view” will approximate to the bigger fashion cities’ – although we are still fare away from those, but small steps are also important.
The Spoiled Queen: Tell me more about your Magazine, what we can find there?
We created our online Magazine to promote our fashion designers and to collect the most important – mostly Hungarian – fashion news on one objective site.
Mostly we write the articles in Hungarian, but before we had a trainee who translated those to English. We want to make this habit again.
Our magazine is between a magazine and a blog, because the tone is more graceful but the theme is not about us and our life, it’s about Hungarian fashion designers, fashion events, collections, etc.
The Spoiled Queen: Do you organize some fashion events? Where can we see you outside your showroom?
Yes, we do. In this month, for example, we organized two fashion shows. One at Zizi Bár, and the other at Four Season (Gresham Palace).
They contacted us that they would like us to raise their event light with a fashion show. We got really good feedback of the partners and we get more and more referral for shows like this. Which is really impressive us, since we are only one-year-old company.
But lets go back to the shows. I create the styling from our selection that you can find in the store. The looks are different all the time, because I make those for the models.
These appearance are really good for us because we can reach more people, and more people get to know that Hungarians have such good designers and their’ products are affordable!
We also make pop up stores on fashion days or in other places.
The Spoiled Queen: As an experienced agency, what would you recommend to a new designer? Do you have any do’s and dont’s?
Wow, the list is too long..
Of course we have DO’s and DONT’s.
DO: creativity is really important, but to manage your brand is more important, because you design for selling not only for show them on fashion shows! Networking is also really important! To go every place where you’re invited to get to know more professional people who maybe can help you later is really useful.
DON’T: Don’t make everything by your own! Ask an expert or competent in every question if you are uncertain in it!
I also took a chance to showcase some trendy pieces straight from the best Hungarian designers.
sweatshirt & clutch: Dora Abodi
Don’t hesitate to visit R9 showroom, when you will travel to Budapest. You will find different styles from hip and sporty ones to elegant and glamorous. Also there is a big variety of accessories – I am deeply in love with jewelery, especially necklaces and of course bags – my favorite ones form Dora Abodi and Balilla.
photos: Rony Soltzman
How about you guys? Do you search for unique, fashion pieces?