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The Fashion Designer Survival Guide, Revised and Expanded Edition: Start and Run Your Own Fashion Business Paperback – July 1, 2008


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The Fashion Designer Survival Guide, Revised and Expanded Edition: Start and Run Your Own Fashion Business + How to Set up & Run a Fashion Label 2nd edition + Fashion Design Course: Principles, Practice, and Techniques: A Practical Guide for Aspiring Fashion Designers
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A must-read for anyone in the world of fashion. Gehlhar offers practical tips and strategies to increase chances of success." -- Soma Magazine, September 2005 Wordplay

"Every aspiring designer needs this book. Mary Gehlhar wrote an invaluable, step-by-step guide to succeeding on Seventh Avenue and beyond." -- Nancy MacDonell, Editor at Large, NYLON, and author of The Classic Ten: The
True Story of the Little Black Dress and Nine Other Fashion Favorites


"For anyone seeking to compete and succeed in our crowded and highly competitive industry, Mary’s comprehensive advice is required reading." -- —Peter D. Arnold, Executive Director Council of Fashion Designers of America

"For anyone who’s ever aspired to be an independent designer, this is the book to pick up." -- --The Daily

"Lest fashion's neophytes get too dreamy, Gehlhar is there to ground them…" -- From Women’s Wear Daily

"Mary presents many expectations he or she will confront in the marketplace and provides excellent professional advice throughout the book." -- —Margaret Hayes, President, The Fashion Group International

"This book encourages all aspiring designers ready to embark on an independent career within the industry." -- —Rebecca Taylor

"Touching on everything from sales to runway shows and everything in between, this new book has got fashionistas everywhere covered." -- Nylon magazine BOOKMARK

Must read…find out from a pro who has worked with up-and-coming designers. -- --New York Daily News --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

As the Fashion Division Director of Gen Art, Mary Gehlhar has worked closely with up-and-coming designers to start, operate, and grow design businesses. She has lent her expertise to the Rising Star Award committee at Fashion Group International, the Pratt Institute Fashion Jury, and the Open Call panel for the Miramax/Bravo show Project Runway. Mary has been interviewed by the New York Times, British Vogue, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and E! Style channel.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing; Exp Rev edition (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427797102
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427797100
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

As the Fashion Division Director of Gen Art, Mary Gehlhar has worked closely with up-and-coming designers to start, operate, and grow design businesses. She has lent her expertise to the Rising Star Award committee at Fashion Group International, the Pratt Institute Fashion Jury, and the Open Call panel for the Miramax/Bravo show Project Runway. Mary has been interviewed by the New York Times, British Vogue, Washington Post, Boston Globe, and E! Style channel.

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to Fashion Designers.
Angel P.V.
I am not a fashion designer, but when I bought this book, I was starting my own fashion business and this book was exactly what I needed to help me along.
Nicoletta Carlone
I've read a few books on how to start and run your own fashion design business, and this is one of the best ones I've read so far.
Alisa

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

83 of 88 people found the following review helpful By clothing design entrepreneur on December 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
Mary Gehlhar's book is outstanding. It has depth and breath. I really enjoyed all the quotes and pearls of wisdom provided by so many lovely people in the apparel industry. This book covers everything - from concept and design to wholesale price points to retail product placement. This book shows you "the what" and "the how" like no other apparel industry book has.

What I especially enjoyed learning about was the legal information. Thank you Charles Klein for you saved me much heartache that comes with losing your intellectual property. Now I can work with investors wisely for you have banished the only fear I have and that is losing control of my intellectual property as I lose some corporate control due to investors' terms. This is what I read books for - to gain knowledge and insight from people who have done it before me, do it better than me, and write it down to share with us curious souls and thirsty minds.

The other aspect of this book I found to be stellar and not noted in any other fashion industry book (and I read them all) is what Mary Gehlhar says about patternmaking and samplemaking. She states both sides of the argument, doing it yourself and others doing it for you, articulately and succinctly. I applaud you Mary Gehlhar. You wrote a great book.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Serendipity. on November 13, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I will admit-- I chose this "how to start a fashion business" guide book over the other ones because it's more famous. And because of the Diane Von Furstenberg foreword, Tim Gunn review, and many little interviews with actual designers. Lets not forget the great price (w/ free shipping if $25 is spent).

This book is definitely a good read-- its full of practical information and great advice and real-world examples of situations designers go through (designers going bankrupt, exclusivity of certain production factories, problems with selling to certain stores, etc). Its a very "real" look at fashion from a well thought out point of view.

All that said, when I began to create my business plan this book was little help. I mean it certainly gave me a great summarized outline, but it lacks numbers. I just wish it had more number examples, you know more "averages". Like the average or sample amounts of material cost, production, and overhead cost for an emerging designers. How many pieces are recommended for a new designer and if they choose to sell to a store-- whats the average amount of pieces they sell the store and how many of each sizes (ie: 20 dresses? size 2(2) size 4(2) size 6(4) size 8(4) size 10(4) size 12(4))

I know averages can greatly differ, but I wish they would have made-up or created a fake fashion line, and created a very modified business plan with numbers, just as a sample. (That alone would have made this book perfect.)

It also needed more equations. The only equation was COGS. The book was great, but it seriously lacked numbers and tangibility. As in I was thinking this book would be a onestop shop, but it wasn't.
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64 of 69 people found the following review helpful By msb on January 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Extremely disappointed with this book. Rather than focusing on the struggles, adversities, drawbacks, and the unhappiness of being a designer, I'd rather invest my time in a text which offers concrete instruction on how to overcome the obstacles. This book is premised upon the "facts" that you: a) require hundreds of thousands of dollars in reserve to even consider launching your own line, b) MUST work for several years under another designer prior to designing for yourself, and c) you most likely won't make it, even on a small scale. Every artist is aware of monetary limitations and minuscule success rates, so I believe most of us would benefit more from tangible advice, and an author who can offer various routes to achieve discernible goals (rather than abstract ideas and incessant "words of warning"). A few good points throughout the book, but I wouldn't recommend it.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By R. Akuffo on January 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
By far, the most impressive, knowledgeable and useful guide to everything from the decision to start your own design business to handling the press, buyers and everything else.

It's not a book that sugarcoats the truth about how hard it is to succeed in this business and how few succeed at all. Even established designers who didn't lay the right foundations, had it come back to bite them. It starts you off in the right mindset and helps you learn from the mistakes and experiences of others, so that you don't waste time and money screwing up by yourself!

A must have book!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By thequarterlife on September 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As another reviewer said, this book is best suited to those designers who want to be the next big high fashion thing. I'm not taking stars off for that fact because some people don't want to be a smaller, more independent label, and to have a book geared towards them makes sense. This is the type of career I'm after so for that purpose, this was the right book for me to choose. I started reading it before I knew ANYTHING about actually running a fashion label; I knew about fashion but I didn't know about the business side. This book provided the basic introductory information I needed and I did learn a lot. I'm in a much better position to start my business than I was before.

Having said that, Gehlhar's approach is downright unpleasant. If we're invested enough in starting our own labels to research and read in order to further our education, it's likely that we are WELL AWARE of "The Reality" she so thoughtfully placed in the very first chapter of the book. In fact, it's likely that this "advice" has been pounded into our heads since the very first moment we told someone we wanted to work in fashion. If we're at the point where we're taking the initiative to study the subject on our own, it's 100% unnecessary for this "wisdom" to be included at all, nevermind reiterated in every freaking chapter. Being told that it's hard serves zero purpose; what does telling us we *might* fail do for us in the long run? It's such a myth that "preparing" young hopefuls for the failure that might not even come is constructive. If things end up not going the way we had planned, what will having read it in a book beforehand do for us at that point? Nothing.
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The Fashion Designer Survival Guide, Revised and Expanded Edition: Start and Run Your Own Fashion Business
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