The Grand Hall Stage, situated alongside Body and Womenswear, will offer seasonal trend forecasts and panel discussions on all aspects of lingerie, shapewear, swimwear and womenswear.
WGSN will return to the show with predictions on the colours, styles and shapes that are set to be huge in womenswear for 2014, whilst Stylist Tamar Kendall will identify the key trends in lingerie; both will be demonstrated on the runway with daily inspirational catwalks.
British Fashion Icon Zandra Rhodes will also take to the Grand Hall Stage to discuss her latest venture- the launch of her eagerly-anticipated footwear collection. Other speakers include Kamil Tavas, New Business Development Manager for Google, and Mimi Noor, founder of her eponymous boutique, who will both explore opportunities for establishing and marketing a business online.
In amidst Footwear and Accessories, The Gallery Stage will provide further seminar content in between presentations of next season’s hottest footwear and accessory trends on the catwalk.
Dan Le Sauvage, Owner of Urban Vintage, will join a panel of independent retailers to advise on building customer loyalty within stores through VIP evenings and other tailored services; whilst Paul Sheehy, Founder of Folk Digital, will explore key social networks and how they can also be used to enhance customer engagement. Brand Consultant and Guest Blogger for House of Fraser, Noelle Reno, will also touch upon social media and other PR opportunities that can increase sales, boost business, and build a boutique’s reputation with industry peers and customers.
Other seminars include a discussion on the world of ecommerce and a look at how independent retailers can help to regenerate the high street.
Housed within Spirit, the National Hall Stage will also welcome a selection of key speakers and showcase multiple young fashion catwalks, with brands such as Kacoo Fashion, Forever Unique, and The Pretty Dress Company featuring.
Retail Analyst and TV Personality Kate Hardcastle will present a session on ‘keeping your customer at the heart of your business’. Featuring regularly on Sky News, ITV Daybreak and BBC, offering insight and opinion on the latest industry news, Hardcastle is sure to bring expert tips and knowledge for both buyers and visitors at the show. She will also chair a panel discussion on inspiring independents and retail experience
A retail forum will also take place on the National Hall Stage, where four panellists will analyse areas of retail that have worked well over the last year, and look towards new ideas and ventures for a successful year to come. The session, which will open the floor to discussion, will be held by: Guilio Cinque, Founder of Guilio; Sarah West, Founder of SLW; Melissa Wheeler, Founder of Ambiance of Colchester; and Sonya Lennon, Stylist and TV Presenter.
Safia Minney, Founder and CEO of People Tree, will also share her insight on retail experience and how retailers can promote ethical fashion for their customers. She will be joined in discussion by Michelle Lowe-Holder, Designer, and Anna-Maria Hesse, Founder of Here Today, Here Tomorrow.
Other insightful sessions include a stylist master class from Ihunna Eberendu on dressing for all body types; a financial advice forum with top tips on how to improve stock management and cash flow, delivered by Drapers ‘How To’ money expert Bobby Lane; and a look at retail in the digital age with Kate Payne, Co-Founder of Hengelo.
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