7th February 2019
Italian designer, Clarice Serra, created her first series of headpieces in 2013, with the desire to present fascinating and unique pieces purely for body adornment. Her deep passion for ornaments and excess comes from the many hours spent in churches as a child, as well as the striking historical and artistic surroundings of Tuscany.
Clarice moved to London when she was 19, to study Surface Textiles at London College of Fashion and went on exploring the fashion and costume world. Her work is characterised by exuberance, impeccable details and the combination of different materials and techniques; mixing traditional millinery methods with a flair for the dramatic, to create daring results.
What was the main motivation behind your application to the LCN programme?
I applied to the LCN programme with the intention to take my millinery label a step forward. I wanted the opportunity to receive precious advice to help me run my business more efficiently. I didn’t have a specific need in mind when I applied to the programme but I wanted help to focus my product development, making my products more accessible, saleable and profitable. The workshops offered through LCN cover many aspects of business that I still had plenty to learn about. I was looking for advice from professionals instead of blindly going down a pathway on my own.
What is the most useful advice or tip you’ve been given on the programme so far?
It’s hard to decide what the most useful piece of advice received so far is, there’s been so many! I am going to say always keep in mind your business values, what it is that you want your brand to say to the rest of the world, and make sure that message comes across everything you present. This advice feeds into everything I do now. It helps me stay true to what I want and helps me make decisions. I am still a young business and before the programme I found it easy to forget why I started and chase wild geese, in the need to create easy-to-sell products. But I now feel more focused and better able to plan for the future whilst developing ranges of new products true to my vision.
What new product, service, business system or projects are you introducing to your practice and why?
While taking part in the LCN programme with Cockpit, I had to rethink few business strategies. I have now taken a stronger direction to develop my products for the entertainment industry and stage performers. I am currently testing this market to create new pieces especially for it. Talking this decision through in the one-to-one meetings really helped me to clarify my thinking and gave me the confidence to take my business in this direction. I know I still have changes to make but thanks to all the important lessons I have received, I feel more certain in taking steps that I know will benefit my business.
I have also improved my book-keeping system, extended my knowledge on how to better employ social media channels for my label and discovered a whole new universe called SEO!
What plans do you have after participating with LCN?
I am planning to develop new products. I love the work I have produced so far, but I know I need to focus my time and energy in creating the right product. I need to focus on designing specific work for specific markets. From here I can expand to other projects, but I know this may take a few years.
LCN has given me a clear plan for the future and a realistic view of how I can develop over the next few years. I have learnt so much and I think I will be pretty busy with making lots of small changes for quite a while.
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