3 Questions for Priscilla Jokhoo
Business Division Director for the Fédération Française du Prêt à Porter Féminin
As Business Division Director for the Fédération Française du Prêt à Porter Féminin, Priscilla Jokhoo helps emerging and creative brands. She tells us about her perspective on young designers, her current outlook, and her expectations. She also shares some valuable advice not to overlook when launching a brand. Let’s take a closer look at the young designer scene today and in the future!
How are young fashion entrepreneurs doing?
In today’s context, which is so uncertain, young entrepreneurs are showing unfailing determination and optimism. And those are, in fact, indispensable qualities for starting out! Entrepreneurship is an adventure that’s risky and intense over the long term. Emerging brands are, of course, more affected by the health crisis, but they’ve also developed incredible creativity and an exceptional fighting spirit. I’ve admired them for quite some time. Beyond being creative, fashion businesses are also increasingly transparent and demonstrate their authenticity with an honest, unfiltered message that translates into reality. Their raison d’être is at the heart of their project.
Customers don’t buy just a product, they need to identify with a brand’s values and with the business leader’s convictions. Personal branding and all that involves are powerful tools when you know how to be genuine with your community. This dynamic encourages responsible, innovative and socially active businesses, like the ones we work with in the Talents program. Common features of all our Talents groups are their immense solidarity, incredible agility, and ability to ask themselves the right questions to push their projects forward.
A call for candidates for the next session has just been announced. I’m sure that, this year again, we’ll find incredibly talented individuals to participate in this extraordinary real-life adventure full of important challenges.
What elements must not be overlooked when starting a business?
In the past five years, entrepreneurs’ profiles have grown more diverse, and their inspirations are increasingly unique. Beyond their creative aims, theses are people who want to remake business and play their part in instigating new solutions. Most of them aim to make fashion more accessible, more tangible, and more authentic, as much through the products as the message. Technological solutions, e-commerce, social media, and now the health crisis are providing numerous possibilities. This is an opportunity to invent new ways of being creative, selling, and even manufacturing. The fashion industry certainly has rules and a lot of intermediaries, but it also has the advantage of an extremely rich ecosystem.
This is the dynamic that spurred our recent launch of the Fashion Ecosystem, a directory of solutions that brands can access. Our goal is to show them the wide selection of professionals and organizations ready to help them, work with them, and further their growth. The interactive space connects users with reliable information that’s organized by specific needs, so they can find all the answers to their questions. It’s an introduction to our networks, representatives, and available solutions. The Fashion Ecosystem is designed to direct, guide, and inform with over 250 solutions, programs and organizations that are critical for helping young brands develop. The tool was set up to share our knowledge about networks, contacts, and available support.
To give your business a good start, it’s imperative to believe in your project, to differentiate your brand, and to know how to surround yourself with the right people. To encourage this kind of networking, last month we introduced the Generation Entrepreneurs course in partnership with the fashion incubators ADC, La Caserne, Maison de Mode, Le Village des Créateurs, and Les Ateliers de Paris. A series of day-long classes gives industry leaders an opportunity to introduce the massive fashion ecosystem. Participants will learn about a range of approaches and courses of action so that, in turn, they can create their own. The collective mentality is also a quality we’ll seek to highlight throughout the program.
How do you see entrepreneurship in the future?
Entrepreneurs want to reinvent business and selling methods. By being original and opposing current codes, they’re going to surprise us more and more. I think there will be a greater number of “insolent” entrepreneurs who are guided by their true convictions instead of industry codes. More hybrid business models will appear and segments will overlap. The ones who will do well be those with an authentic approach and a project founded on a mission and strong values. It’s the sincerity of the message that will create brand loyalty. And since future entrepreneurs will all follow a responsible code of ethics, that will no longer be an element of differentiation.
Ideas about importance, success, or achievement have different meanings for each entrepreneur. There’s not one way, there’s only each one’s way.