Liberty Best Of British Open Call 2014: top tips


I noticed I’m getting a lot of blog traffic from people searching for Liberty Best Of British Open Call. This is the very popular X-Factor-esque competition that Liberty runs to find the next wave of home-produced talent. Alas, registration for this summer’s open call on 30th August is full to capacity, but if you have managed to nab a slot, then do re-read my post from a couple of years ago when I helped judge the fashion entries.

The post includes tips on how to present yourself (you only get a few minutes), price your work, what to research and how to stand out. Here are some quick tips. They’re relevant for any designer going to meet with a retailer about potentially stocking their collection…

Rehearse a couple of times beforehand so that you’ll feel prepared and less nervous

Pre-empt the kind of questions you might get asked and have your answers ready

If there’s an interesting story behind your brand or product, tell it (but keep it brief), it will help you stand out

Remember to pause for breath so that the buyers can ask questions. This will help your nerves too

If you can, leave something physical and visual (a press pack, printed images) as a reminder

Think quality, not quantity. One or two amazingly finished samples are more memorable than lots of average bits and pieces

Try to visit the store beforehand to familiarise yourself with any recent changes, new departments, competitor brands etc. If you can’t, at least check out the store’s blog or social media for up to date news

Research what the latest buzz about the store is (is it sustainability? artisanal products? Affluent overseas customers?). For example, Liberty is filming its second series of its documentary, a useful thing to know if you’re making small talk

Make sure you flag up why this product is so right for the store

Know who your competitor brands are and if they are stocked in this store

Emphasise what make your product special and if there are ways you can make it unique to that store (special colourways, a personalisation service?)

Have an idea of what similar products in your market go for

Be prepared to be a little flexible on pricing (perhaps you can consider cheaper fabrics or fewer details)

For more tips and advice, read the full article, click HERE.