California Dreaming

As far as ‘Busman’s holidays’ go, my recent sojourn to LA served up a pretty balanced combination of work and pleasure.

For those who know me and in true ‘Nadia style’ I made sure that I maximised every minute of my 10 days, as well as every opportunity I had to enjoy the blue skies.

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Having spent the first part in Downtown LA showing our Nadia Minkoff London collection at the California Market Centre I spent the latter part visiting vineyards, driving along the coast, exploring desolate beaches, collecting moonstones ( for real) and finally back to LA for some much needed retail therapy.

My chosen ‘companion’ on this journey? The Richmond midi tote in yellow and I am happy to say it didn’t disappoint.

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Going to let the photos do the talking as they are SO good. A big thank you to Director of Photography Dennis Madden for these beautiful captures.

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My travel lowdown:

I flew out from London Gatwick  to LAX  with Norwegian Air on the brand new Dreamliner, can’t recommend enough! Return trip with luggage and x 2 meals from as little as £500

Stayed at the  Millenium Biltmore Hotel, in downtown LA. This hotel has seen more glamorous days the lobby is grand but alas the rooms are in need updating, still the location is great. Rooms start at  £150 per night.

Don’t leave downtown LA without trying Pitchoun Bakery, the raspberry croissants are as tasty as they are beautiful! You will be spoilt for choice

For some of the best handmade noodles you will ever try and an impressive selection of beers to boot visit Peking Tavern

Mexican with a twist at B.S.Taqueria, so bloody good, take me back today!

The Landsby boutique Hotel in Solvang, Scaandi interiors to die for, wanted to move in. Double rooms start at US$350 per night

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Fireside Inn on Moonstone Beach, if you are after spectacular ocean views, moonstone collecting and sea lion viewing, this is the perfect location… complete with your very own in room  fire place , Doubles start at US$ 200 per night

Rock n Fish restaurant, Manhattan Beach LA, for some regional food and super fresh fish dishes, beautifully served in this gorgeous seaside corner of LA

The Griffith Observatory, immerse yourself in La La Land, watch the stars, the Hollywood Hills, the view of LA, have a dance if you want!

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How we venture to pastures new

Globalisation of a brand is such a difficult thing when you run a small to medium size business. Apart from deciding on a clear strategy of where you want to be placed , the financial expenditure on pastures new is large, somewhat risky and certainly not to be taken lightly.

Working with agents in foreign lands is a great solution and over the years I have worked with many, in many countries. Some successful, some less, it was a good way of getting a ‘foot in the door’ so to speak and a great way to establish new markets with insider knowledge and without crippling expenditure.

Things have changed, being an agent used to be a great job, but alas these day… it’s tough and more often than not-without sufficient financial rewards . If you are a travelling sales person, fuel , hotel and food bills mount up quickly- you need to be taking a lot of firm order at a short period time to make the travelling pay off, easier said than done. If you work from a showroom it’s all about the brands you attract for your portfolio and of course it’s all about the triple ‘L’- Location, Location, Location- beautiful, central showrooms are hard to find and cost the earth.

In the UK it feels like agents and showrooms have all but disappeared-it used to be that at a Fashion trade fair such as London Fashion Week or the Paris pret, we were inundated with cold calls from agents looking to discuss our brand for their territory. These days, in our UK shows we hardly ever get approached by a single agent, where have they all gone?

But agents and agencies still exist, in some countries more than others and I genuinely believe that as long as you start off on an even footing, both parties looking to support the other with the objective to grow, albeit taking small measured steps- it’s a recipe for success.

I have been looking closely at Germany and Scandinavia as two new potential markets for Nadia Minkoff London, in fact I have been looking at these territories for just over 2 years ( yes- I am a slow mover).

Eventually I decided, my decision was to aim for Scandinavia to start off with and with that said.. I  got an offer  I couldn’t refuse from an agency in Germany- how the cookie crumbles!

Having signed the agency agreement and sent out our collection a couple of weeks ago this week is the first real ‘test’,  we’ve collaborated to show at the GDS fair in Dusseldorf. So far so good, everything got there, the stand was set, our lovely agent Annette is at the helm, making sure it all runs smoothly and looks the part!  It’s the last day of the show today, next week we shall be reviewing it together and plotting the next steps- exciting times.



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