December sales were not what I hoped they would be. I knew I was taking a risk with the focus on party wear, but I didn’t realize what a small segment of the market I was catering to with those styles - not because only a small segment is interested in party wear, but because those styles don’t necessarily appeal to everyone. I liked the collection though- and it was fun to design styles and put them out there because I wanted them to be a part of the collection, rather than editing them until they “fit in” with the styles that have done well in the past.
From customer feedback and sales, it seemed as if people either really liked the styles in the latest Winter Collection, or they really disliked them. There weren’t many in-betweens. In many ways this is a good thing because it means that the brand has a distinct point of view. However exploring the area of “fashion-forward, niche clothing” has meant catering to a narrower and slightly more high-end customer base – which, aside from the sales perspective, wasn’t really what I set out to do with Brass Tacks. What can I say- I got carried away with designing and forgot to think about commercial appeal!
I want to design creative clothes, but I also want to appeal to a wider, more mainstream customer. Enter new plan: Brass Tacks Gold. In every collection I will have 2 or 3 styles that are a little more adventurous and fashion-forward compared to the usual Brass Tacks collections. These styles can be quirky or glamorous, but they must be visually distinctive. From this past collection French Parfait (with more volume at the hip ruching) and Sculpted Dhoti fall into the Brass Tacks Gold aesthetic. For these styles I will have a small inventory, but these are the styles that will carry the brand image. The rest of the styles in the collection (around 10 styles) will stick to the core Brass Tacks aesthetic: simple, with small twists and tailoring details.
2009 has been a difficult year with a lot of lessons learned. Now with the new pricing scheme, a “kurta” quota in every collection, and ‘Brass Tacks Gold’, I’m excited for this year.