Last night marked the premiere of a new fashion-related reality show, “All on the Line.” It’s on the Sundance Channel and I believe there will be eight episodes.
If you don’t get the Sundance Channel, you might seriously consider it. They have recently made fashion a priority. They just completed running four delightful and informative programs called “Love Lust” which featured, in this order: the LBD, the bikini, high heels and makeup.
“All on the Line” is a reality show with a purpose and, like “Project Runway,” it’s a program that gives the viewer insights into both the creative process and the business of fashion.
Joe Zee, Creative director of Elle magazine, is at the center of the show. He chooses a designer or design firm that’s in need of help and tries to, essentially, save them from imploding.
In the first episode, Zee visits Liquica (designer) and Andrei (business advisor) Anggraini of Radenroro, a seven-year-old line that is not going to make it through another season unless sales pick up. Andrei gave Liquica $3,000 to start her business and now the business is costing $300,000. Not great numbers if the sales don’t match, which they don’t.
Zee begins by analyzing the last few Radenroro collections and finds them to be “safe, boring and forgettable.” He encourages them to create a line that’s unique and special. An interesting quote from the show: “Sometimes bad is better than boring.” Not sure I agree wiht that, but I get his point. He is emphasizing the importance of creating buzz around a collection.
Zee sets up meetings for Radenroro with a group of fashion media folks and with a buyer from Nordstrom, as well as the online editor for Elle. As the couple struggles to redefine the line and create an exciting collection, Zee stops in on them and offers words of instruction and encouragement. His approach is tougher than that of Tim Gunn, who is far more gentle.
There’s a lot of discussion back and forth between Radenroro and Zee and much of it can apply to many fashion businesses. It’s really a shame that more design schools do not teach courses in the business and marketing sides of fashion.
Radenroro tweaks some pieces, throws out others and creates some brand new ones. the final six looks they present to Nordstrom are sexy, playful and far more original than what they showed at the beginning of the show. The Nordstrom buyer makes her selections and says “We’ll have them in five to ten stores to start.” Bingo! The line is saved, at least for another season.
Joe Zee is smiling.
– Paula Rath