Posts Tagged ‘ Liz Riley ’

One KOOZA is Never Enough

Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza opened in Phoenix on June 8th. Every time I see one of Cirque du Soleil’s shows, it never ceases to leave me mesmerized and thinking about it for days afterwards. This year was different for me because it was only the second time I’d seen a performance outside of Las Vegas. It was a different experience in that the venue was smaller and made the experience more intimate…almost as if you were a part of the show.

Recently, a few of the Phoenix Fashion Week team were invited to do something few fans get to do. We were allowed to tour the theater, view the costumes up close and learn a little bit about the people who make sure these amazing performers look and feel great for their very demanding parts in the show.

Justin Lee, the Style Director for Phoenix Fashion Week, was one of the lucky attendees and has offered to share some of his insights with us.

“ Kooza is a return to the origins of Cirque du Soleil. It combines two traditions – acrobatic performance and the art of clowning. The name KOOZA is inspired by the Sanskrit ‘koza’, which means ‘box’, ‘Chest’ or ‘treasure’, and was chosen because of one of the underlying concepts of the production is of ‘a circus in a box.'”

“I’ve been a big fan of Cirque du Soleil shows for a long time, so you can imagine my excitement when I was told I could have a private tour and preview of the costumes/wardrobes for one of their shows, Kooza. I left the tour anxiously waiting for the show to start, giddy with excitement, feeling as if I had a ‘koza’ of secrets. It was an amazing show and it was a true pleasure to meet some of the people behind the scenes as well as some of the artists and get an insider’s look at Cirque du Soleil.

Here’s what I found out…

Backstage. Kooza hires local PT and massage therapists to be onsite for the artists where ever they travel.

Artists practicing and stretching backstage. 53 artists total. Some artists assume multiple roles/characters. There are dedicated stage crew members, but artists also help with transitions during the show.

The largest ball is 200 kg. Artists balance and walk on them. There are more than 200 props used in Kooza.

Drums. Kooza featured a live band and singers. The musicians and singers are showcased during the show and change costumes to match the current scene.

Main Stage. Artists will be entertaining the crowd as everyone is being seated later in the evening before the show.

Wigs. 12 wigs total.

Merideth (head wardrobe person) w/ Unicyclist Wig (only wig with real hair). 40+ hours for a skilled person to create one wig by hand. Strands are tied at the base of a lace cap. Allows for ventilation.

Backstage. (Megan) Fixing costumes before each performance. Everything is looked over carefully before each performance. Replacement costumes need 90 days notice to order so they must anticipate what will need to be replaced. 50+ costumes are shipped each month for replacements. The old costumes are sent back to their headquarters for Cirque du Soleil’s charity organization, Cirque du Monde. There is one copy of EVERY costume from EVERY Cirque du Soleil show on display at their headquarters in Montreal.

Backstage. (Marcus) 6-8 hours of steaming and ironing every day.

Skeleton masks. Hand painted ostrich and rooster feathers.

High wire artist’s boots. The mid sole is coated to help extend the life of the boot.

King’s shoes. Front flap is held by magnets to hide the laces behind for a clean finished look.

New performer applying make up under the supervision of the head make up artist. They each receive detailed instructions and steps. This particular performer had 26 steps. Some of the more detailed performers might have 46-50 steps for make up. Step by step instructions with pictures laying to his right.

A lot of Ben Nye, MAC and Maybelline Cosmetics. MAC Cosmetics are a sponsor, but they are not required to only use MAC Cosmetics.

Trickster’s jacket. Custom fit to each performer. All of the lines match (both sides of the jacket as well as pants). The level of detail and finish to the costumes is amazing. Each artist is fitted specifically to the costume in Montreal.

Kooza runs through July 15th at the Big Top tent adjacent to the Jobing.com arena located just off the 101 at Bethany Home. Tickets are available online through the Cirque du Soleil website or in person at the box office 30 minutes thirty minutes prior to the performance.

Thank you to Sue Kern-Fleischer and Lindsay Derr from Barclay Communications and Mami Ohki, Publicist for Cirque du Soleil, who made this opportunity possible!

Article by Liz Riley, Phoenix Fashion Week Media Editor, and Justin Lee, who provided both content and images.

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KOOZA Hits Phoenix

Cirque du Soleil is coming to Phoenix! Opening at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, on June 8th, this show, called KOOZA, is a bright and lively fantasy featuring a character that is “a melancholy loner, known as THE INNOCENT, in search of his place in the world” as described on the Cirque du Soleil website. This character experiences a number of different feelings and emotions as he encounters many unique comic type characters

After touring for this past year in Japan, Cirque du Soleil will be opening their big top production, which premiered in Montreal in 2007. KOOZA was written and directed by David Shiner, who describes the show as the combination of two circus traditions…acrobatic performance and the art of clowning.

KOOZA’s costume designer is the multi-talented, Montreal based, Marie Chantale

KOOZA Costume Designer Marie Chantale Vaillancourt

Vaillancourt, who has designed costumes as well as sets for theater, dance opera and film productions, winning many Canadian award nominations. She’s worked closely with writer, actor and director Robert LaPage on several of his works including Peter Gabriel’s Growing Up tour, and Cirque du Soleil’s KA. She also won awards in 1995 and 2005 for her work on two Masques de la Conception des Costumes (masks for complementing the costume’s concept).

“Even if KOOZA isn’t specifically a clown show, a number of the characters are played by clowns” notes Marie Chantale.” I needed to avoid clichés and caricature so I concentrated more on archetypes of universal and unchanging characters. There is a comic book asthetic to the designs, but it’s filtered through the naive point of view of the main character, THE INNOCENT.”

Marie Chantale credits many sources for her inspirations including graphic novels, the paintings of Gustav Klimt, Baron Munchhausen, the Mad Max movies, time travel movies to India and Eastern Europe. “This visually exotic and timeless universe evokes the world of toys, lead soldiers, and children’s books, with a wink toward Alice in Wonderland, and the Wizard of Oz.”

KOOZA Makeup Artist Florence Cornet

Of course, costuming is not complete without the artistry of make-up. Florence Cornet , was born in France,  but moved to Montreal as a child, initially coming to Cirque du Soleil in 2004 as a make-up consultant on KA, and has worked on a number of other special events. KOOZA is her first assignment with the company as make-up designer. Using the inspiration of African and Middle Eastern golds, jewels and Earth tones, “I adopted a signature that favors the spontaneity of gesture, and accentuates the symmetry of line, the instinctive and the ritual.”

Florence’s career credits include a double role as artistic director and set designer for a multi-cultural show at the World Marionette Festival in France. After returning to Canada she worked on over 200 Quebec productions, and for the past 20 years she’s taught make-up in various theater schools including the National Circus School in Montreal. Her work has appeared in both film and television.

If you have experienced Cirque du Soleil before, you know what a fantastic experience awaits you. If not, you’ll be amazed by all of the visual beauty and incredible performances.  I’m pretty sure you’ll be asking yourself…How did they do that??  You don’t want to miss this!

Adult tickets range from $35 to 130. Specially price tickets are available for children, students , seniors, and military through their website  or by calling 1800-450-1480.  The Box Office is located inside the entrance tent through a designated Box Office entrance and will be opened as of Thursday, June 7th from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. Tickets for KOOZA may be purchased in person.

Regular box office hours are from 90 minutes prior to show time to 30 minutes after the beginning of the show on show days.

For a more behind the scenes look on the Cirque du Soleil costume design process, read Liz’s Pt. 1 and Pt. 2 blog interview with Liz Vandal!

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Article by Liz Riley for Phoenix Fashion Week

“The Resource For All Things Fashionable”

http://www.phoenixfashionweek.com

Fascinating People…Meet Cirque du Soleil Costume Designer Liz Vandal

Part 2…To read Part 1 of this interview, read it here

We were talking with costume designer Liz Vandal about her amazing creations for the OVO Show. Liz and Cirque du Soleil are based out of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Liz Vandal's costume creation

How do you choose the fabrics and trims for your ingenious costumes? Are they sourced locally?

“We use fabrics from all over the world. Once we find the basic fabric, we transform it, sometimes with sublimation, which means printing the color, or motif, onto the synthetic fabric. Sometimes we dye it, when the fabric can be dyed, or we may create permanent pleats. Sometimes we put a coating on it, plastic or some other type.  Often it’s a combination of some or all of these. We rarely use a fabric with a ready-to-use pattern. At Cirque we have the luxury of creating our own prints and textures”.

Unlike regular apparel, these costumes would seem to require a fair amount of engineering. How do you figure out things like stingers and wings, and still allow for comfort and movement as well as stress?

“Coming from the dance world I was already used to considering the comfort of the artists. The idea is simple. The fabric on their body has to stretch, and nothing can be in the way of their movements while performing.  The key is: understanding the body. I’ve worked with dancers for 20 years. Experience has taught me what flatters the body, what sublimates it into an exceptional human sculpture, without fabric getting in the way…experience and feeling it on my own body. At my shop we always make the prototype on me, so I can feel if it is right…very kinesthetic!”

How large is your staff?

“When I worked for Cirque, I designed and THEY produce the costumes. I did not make the costumes in my shop. Our costume production team was over 50 people. At my little shop, we are 4, Yveline, my partner, 2 seamstresses, and myself. We hire more when production requires it.”

You also need special footwear. Is the footwear outsourced to a manufacturer or done in-house?

“I know everything is done at Cirque, even shoes.”

What was your biggest challenge designing for this show?

“To evoke (summon forth the spirit) not imitate. Also to get used to the Cirque du Soleil machine! It’s BIG! It was a shock

Costume by Liz Vandal

coming from a small enterprise and trying to fit into a multi-national mentality. Like an anthill, everyone has a role and you need to understand what it is. It took me a few months to realize that all I had to do was design and not worry about production or ordering fabric, or any of the rest of the processes. Imagine, for 20 years I supported the team, now the team was supporting me. It was very intense. Like a loooong marathon, getting more intense as you near the end.

At Cirque, it is the ultimate way you can live , it is a designer’s dream, but in exchange you have to give them the ultimate of you….and they do, squeeze you like a lemon.”

What’s next for you?

I am now working on a big show for Washington Ballet, Alice in Wonderland.  We will be using high technology partnering with the company MTI for fabric transformation, exploring more and more of what I learned working for Cirque du Soleil.

“Through my study of line I try to make the body dynamic and reveal its intrinsic beauty.”

— Liz Vandal, costume designer

To learn more about Liz Vandal and the extraordinary costumes created for OVO and other shows go to: www.lizvandal.com and  www.cirquedusoleil/en/shows/ovo/show/costumes.aspx

OVO is running in Chicago until August 21st, and will open in Calgary, Alberta, September 17th, and Mexico City October 30th.

We love feedback!  Write a comment or ask a question and you could win a Phoenix Fashion Week t-shirt!

Article by Liz Riley for Phoenix Fashion Week

“The Resource For All Things Fashionable”

http://www.phoenixfashionweek.com

Fascinating People…Meet Margaret Merritt, Director of THE AGENCY ARIZONA

When I was a little girl, after realizing I probably wasn’t going to marry royalty, I decided I wanted to be a model.  My friends and I would play dress-up and walk around the house like it was a catwalk, adorned from head to toe in our mom’s dresses and accessories, make-up smeared all over, convinced we were too glam for words.  Sound familiar? A lot of us had similar dreams, but took life’s path in a different direction.

There are, however, those divinely gifted fashionistas, who actually go on to become models. An even more select few however, blessed with vision and an incredible eye for the artistry of fashion, as well as a head for business, open a modeling agency. One here in Phoenix, pursued that path and has found great success and happiness.

Meet Margaret Merritt, Director of THE AGENCY ARIZONA, Phoenix’s premier modeling agency.  Originally from Dallas, Margaret began her career early, working at the Dallas Market Center. She explored her creative side by studying and performing with the Dallas Ballet and also earning a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts. Later she became an agent for the Kathy Muller Agency in Hawaii, even scoring a couple of dates with Tom Selleck!  Eventually Margaret made the move to Phoenix. Once here, her experience led to a position with the Robert Black Agency, before joining Saks Fifth Avenue as Director of Fashion PR.  Finally, Margaret moved into the position she holds now, Director of THE AGENCY ARIZONA. Margaret also produces and styles shows for prominent clients including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Westcor.

According to Brian Hill, Executive Director of Phoenix Fashion Week, “Margaret was the first agent who would work with Phoenix Fashion Week and take us seriously in the early days. Margaret has been a great supporter of Phoenix Fashion Week and a mentor to me. She’s taught me so much about the modeling world and helped us to create truly professional shows. She’s been a great friend”.

I caught up with Margaret via my new iphone. Here’s what we chatted about.

Q. Phoenix isn’t generally the first place you think of when talking about fashion. What was your biggest fear about opening your own agency here?

A. Well, I never planned on opening an agency here. It just fell into my lap…so I never had any fear about it.

Q. Can you give us some insight into what your day is like?

A. It’s like…multi tasking on steroids. Every day is different. It may include casting, event planning, bookings, placements, test shoots, checking job locations, doing market research, interviewing models, styling, meeting clients, planning projects, and watering plants. We’re always busy and it’s always fun. I travel a lot.  Our services include a full service production company and our clients and models can be in various locations.

Q. What makes you know that a shoot or show will be great?

A. Honestly, you never know. When you think it’s perfect, something happens …or it’s a nightmare going into it, but it ends up going off flawlessly. That’s show biz!

Q. What do you love most about what you do?  Hate most?

Merritt with The Agency Arizona models

A. I love building relationships with clients. There isn’t anything I hate about it. I love what I do.

Q. How do you determine who to rep?

A. It depends on what we need at the time, which division they’re right for.

Q. When looking to hire employees, what do you look for in terms of qualifications or skills?

A. We rarely need to hire anyone into a management position. New hires are almost always interns. They need basic computer skills, an understanding of programs like Word and Excel, social networking. They don’t need to have a strong understanding of the industry, they’ll learn as we go. A good head for business is great, and definitely, good communication skills. Interns move up, but it’s important that they understand that if they want a job with us, it’s going to start out with answering phones and running errands. Many of our interns have gone on to find great jobs in New York and Los Angeles.

Q. What should every model know? And never leave home without?

A. A GOOD ATTITUDE!  A project, wherever they are, will let us know in advance what will be provided and how they want the models to look when they arrive. Often, they will be expected to arrive with clean hair, no make-up and clean, unpolished nails, and stylists will create the desired look. Otherwise, we’ll be advised in advance. Models might want to bring their own nude thong and bras, a shoe bag with an array of shoes including day and evening styles in a variety of colors.

Q. What fashion trend would you like to see disappear forever?

A. 80”s mall hair.

Q What completely cracks you up?

A. Currently,…Honey Badger.

Thanks, Margaret.

You can contact Margaret Merritt at THE AGENCY ARIZONA, 4725 N. Scottsdale Rd, Suite #110 Scottsdale, AZ, 85251. 480-947-5588, www.theagencyaz.com

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Article by Liz Riley for Phoenix Fashion Week

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“The Resource For All Things Fashionable”

Inside E-Commerce

Susan Brandt

Over the past decade, retail has gone from sleepy brick and  mortar, with the seasonal catalog on the side, to instant gratification.  You see it, you want it, click, and it’s yours. You can get just about anything online, from shoes to steaks, and cars to houses.

More and more retailers are choosing e-commerce over, or in conjunction with, the more traditional form of retail we all grew up with. So what goes into establishing an online store? What do you need to know? We asked Susan Brandt, CMO of Voomerang, a new “deal-a-day” website, for some insider tips. Here’s what she told us.

1. Study and learn what others are doing

Ecommerce is constantly changing and it is important as a new merchant when you enter this field that you learn as much learn as much as possible and keep up to speed with the changes.  Fortunately, there are many great resources available online — all you need to do is find the time to  read them all!  One great place to start is CNET– You don’t  need to be a technical expert to run a successful online store, but you do need to have a little understanding of how online stores work.  CNET also carries the latest technology news.

Also, look at other online stores so when you select a vendor you can tell them some of your favorite stores and what you like and don’t like about how they work.

2. Plan carefully and be realistic

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when starting out is to assume that on the Internet, normal business rules do not    apply.  You need to have a business and marketing plan. You need to be realistic about the time and money it will take to build your business. You need to determine the number of visits you think you will receive, and the percentage of visitors who will make purchases.  Always remember to focus on your customer.

3. Choose your shopping cart carefully

Another mistake people make is to choose a shopping cart that only meets their current needs, not their future ones.  If you create a plan that defines plans for now and in the future, you need to incorporate this into your shopping cart. Of course the technology changes frequently so you need to be realistic in planning for 18 to 24 month ahead.

4. Selecting a vendor to build your store

There are a lot of vendors out there who say they can build and promote your store for you. This is why it is important to do some research ahead of time to  have some technical understanding  and you are not overwhelmed by the vendor.  If you know other people who have an online store, ask for a recommendation.  If you see a website you like contact them and ask who has built the site for them.  If you find a vendor you like on your own make sure you check their references.  You want to make sure this person gets the work done on time and is available if there is a problem.  You need to determine if this person is going to host the site for you or do you need to find your own hosting company.   If you want to update products on your store by yourself you need to make sure you can learn to do it easily.  Check to see if maintenance is included in your fees.  Many of these vendors have packages, but you need to determine what is included in the package.

5. Make sure your site is designed well and has good functionality

The principles of web design are just as important for an online store as other websites.  Keep the site simple and the graphics small.  The fundamentals for web design include having good, clear navigation.  The navigation should either be on the top of the page or on the left hand side of the page.  An important thing to remember is that people might enter your store from many directions (not just your homepage) so make sure all of the pages have the navigation or links to the homepage. Look at other e-commerce sites for the locations on the shopping cart and other vital information. Users are accustomed to having these elements in the same location so it is a good idea to keep them there.

6. Accept credit cards

While there are many methods of paying online, the main one is credit cards.  It is vital to accept credit cards on your site if you want to maximize sales.  Remember, from your customer’s point of view, the most important issues are privacy and security.

7. Having postage information upfront

The longer you wait in the order processing, the more anxious potential customer get.  The more anxious they get the more they are likely to abandon their shopping cart and the sale.  Try to have this information upfront so there are no surprises before checkout.

8. Promote your store

There are many ways to attract visitors to your site, some are free and some cost money. Some free ways to promote your online store are submitting to search engines, soliciting links from other sites, and posting information to bloggers and other newsgroups.  Some paid methods include search engine advertising (keywords), banner ads, doing public relations and advertising in other paid media. Make sure you know your customers and figure out the best way to reach them.  Your website vendor might also offer some services which you might want to review.

9. Listen to your customers

The most important data you will receive is feedback from your customers.  You must reply to inquiries, complaints, etc. in a timely manner.  Your response will determine if people will come back to your site.

10. Analyze your data

It can’t be stressed how important it is to have an analytics  package as part of your store. The Internet is great because you can take so much information but you need to have analytics package so you can get to this information quickly and easily. You need to and analyze the data, make required changes, and test the changes.  Some of the data you should look at are the path customers are taking through your store and the pages they are buying from.  You also want to know how they come to your site.  If it’s from a search engine, what keyword or phrases did they use to get to you?

Susan Brant is was formerly VP of Marketing for Shopzilla and has over 15 years of internet marketing experience. Susan received her MBA from The College of William and Mary, and earned her BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Long Island University .

Are you going to Los Angeles? Check out www.Voomerang.com  before you go to find some great deals on restaurants an entertainment.

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Article by Liz Riley, Editor

www.phoenixfashionweek.com

“The Resource For All Things Fashionable”

Fascinating People…Meet Dennita Sewell

Dennita Sewell

If you love fashion there are a number of directions you may follow to find the career you want.  If you truly love the history of fashion, the evolving of it, the construction and the stories behind the incredible vintage pieces that can still occasionally be found, you may have a future as the Fashion Department Curator of a Museum, overseeing the exhibition of amazing fashions from past decades.

Dennita Sewell is the Curator of the Fashion Department for the Phoenix Art Museum. She oversees a collection of thousands of pieces. These treasures have come to the museum from various sources and represent different times in history; a path of evolution to where we are now. After all, fashion is a reflection of our lifestyle and as it changes, so does fashion.

I had the opportunity to chat with Ms. Sewell in her office on the grounds of the beautiful Phoenix Art Museum.

Q.  How long has the Phoenix Art Museum had a permanent fashion exhibit?  What was in the first exhibit?

A. Actually, the gallery that houses the exhibits is permanent, but the exhibits aren’t, they change. The Phoenix Art Museum Fashion Department was founded in 1966 by the museum’s Board of Trustees. Jean Hildreth , the first curator, was hired in 1971 and the collection has been growing ever since. Her first exhibit was called “La Belle Epoque”, and featured dresses from the 1890’s.

Q.  How many pieces are currently in the collection? Are pieces from any particular time more difficult to find than others? How are they acquired?

A. There’s currently over 5000 pieces representing various times in history. The more contemporary pieces are easier to find. Most of our pieces come from private donations, though some are purchased. The pieces from the 1800’s are the most difficult to find in good condition, and usually come from private collectors.

Q.  How often do the exhibits change and how you decide what to exhibit next? 

A.  Textiles, like works on paper, are subject to light damage, so it needs to be on display for a limited time, generally, no longer than three to five months. There are usually two fashion exhibitions per year. It takes time to take them down and make sure they’re stored properly, then set up for a new exhibit. For the topics, I like to rotate concepts and reflect a broad diversity of fashion. Maybe do one historical followed by one really contemporary.

Q. How is the Arizona Costume Institute connected?

A. The Arizona Costume Institute is one of several volunteer groups that are part of the Phoenix Art Museum. It’s comprised of Phoenix Art Museum members, who, among other things, raise money to help with the purchase of fashion items for the exhibits. They do this through fundraisers and special events.

Q.  Did you begin your career with an eye toward being a museum curator?  Did you follow a particular course of study?

A.  I grew up on a farm in Missouri, with a mother and grandmother who were wonderful seamstresses. I grew up sewing and developed a true passion for it. Eventually, I attended the University of Missouri, majoring in Clothing and Textile Management.  After that I got my MFA from the Yale School of Drama, working in the Design Dept., with an emphasis on costume design.  After college I worked for the Metropolitan Museum in New York as a Collections Assistant, then Collections Manager. I spent six years there before coming here to Phoenix.

Q. Which eras are your favorites? 

A. It’s hard to choose just one. Whatever I’m working on tends to be my favorite at the time, but if I had to pick just one, I say probably the late 1700’s, or the very contemporary.

Q. Last time we chatted you mentioned that there are specific times that students can come in and sketch.  Are there other special events for students?

A. That’s true. The museum permits anyone to come in and sketch in any department, so you can sketch paintings, sculptures or fashions. However, only sketchbooks and pencil are permitted.  Also, there are a lot of events scheduled that we’re excited about. There are lectures, films and musical events. They’re mostly held on Wednesday evenings and unless otherwise indicated, are free.

Thank you, Dennita.

The Phoenix Art Museum is located at 1625 N Central Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85004. For information on activities and events, check out the website at www.phxart.org, or call 602-257-1880. Don’t miss any of the exciting events scheduled for this year!

The Phoenix Art Museum is open to the public FREE on Wednesdays from 3:00pm to 9:00pm and includes entrance to the lectures and film events taking place on those evenings.

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Article by Liz Riley

www.phoenixfashionweek.com

 “The Resource For All Things Fashionable”

Business Etiquette Works

The subject of etiquette isn’t what we think of first when planning our career or contemplating opening a business. There are so many other things to consider. Product, finances, marketing, etc., are all important, daily concerns. Each requires some kind of communication, and appropriate interaction is what is going to keep the business moving in the right direction.

Every business needs staff, and staff needs to be on top of lots of things.  One of the most important is effective business communication. Whether your business is domestic or international, understanding and utilizing business etiquette is essential to success.

The code of conduct applies whenever you or a staff member walks into a business environment, or someone enters yours. It also applies if you are interviewing for a job. This is a topic that could be discussed extensively, and should be investigated further if you’re business takes you abroad, since customs are often different in other countries. However, the following tips apply anywhere.

Always be on time, or a bit early. This tells the person you’re meeting that you value their time and are serious about the business.

Introduction. When you arrive, be sure to address the person you are meeting respectfully. Address that person by name (if the person is senior to you in age or position, be sure to use Mr. or Ms. If they want you to call them by their first name, they’ll invite you to do so). It’s a good idea to learn a little about the person you’re meeting or at least about the work that person does prior to the appointment, as a way to facilitate talking points.

Meeting. Use a firm, handshake, make eye contact and smile. You’ll appear confident.

Appearance.   The fashion industry is less strict about dress codes for business, as a rule. What remains true to all, however, is looking professional and polished.  You have only one chance to make a great impression. You will be able to determine, as the relationship continues, what is appropriate for that work situation.

Cell Phone. TURN IT OFF UNLESS YOU WILL NEED IT FOR THAT PARTICULAR MEETING. Nothing is more annoying than to be interrupted mid-sentence by someone answering the phone. It could cost you the client (or customer, or job…).

E-Mail Communication. If you need to connect with your client or potential client via e-mail, be as professional as you would if you were speaking to them face to face. No emodicons, and watch the abbreviations.  Be sure to proof for spelling and grammatical errors before you send. ALSO: Beware of hitting the “reply to all” button.

Thank you note. Sending a note to thank the client for their time and interest in your project is wise and polite. You might briefly recap the discussion or mention a particularly interesting idea. This will cause the client to recall the conversation once again, and remind him that you’re serious and professional.

For more information on Business Etiquette, you can check out www.ehow.com, and type in Business Etiquette to search. You will also find books on the subject at your public library, or ask at your local Barnes & Noble or Borders.

 

Article by Liz Riley for Phoenix Fashion Week.

The resource for “All Things Fashionable”

www.phoenixfashionweek.com