Guest Blog: Fashion Designer Suzannah on Pinterest

by Sasha Wilkins on August 13, 2012 · 5 comments

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The lovely Suzannah, designer of glorious dresses, worn by everyone from the young Royals to stars of stage and screen and, er, me, is always a joy to talk to. I’ve been in her boutique in West London several times this year, both for fittings and to film for Good Morning America over the Diamond Jubilee, and we always have lots to say! One of our conversations was all about how she used Pinterest to help her business, and I found it so fascinating that I asked her to write a guest post for me on the subject.

Over to Suzannah:

I have fallen in love with Pinterest, so much so that I have been acting as a kind of pushy ambassador with my female business friends and my entrepreneur network, telling them (or possibly lecturing them)  about Pinterest, and the benefits it can have on driving awareness about your business.

One would think that by this statement that I was a social media whizz or that I had been pinning on my virtual pinboards for months and months. No. I started pinning this year,  and became immediately hooked because of its simplicity and its effectiveness on so many levels.

Pinterest is a great, free virtual pinboard personal tool which can be useful whether doing up a house, planning a wedding, kids party, planning outifts or simple just building up visual references for fun and to share with others.

As a designer with a fashion business I use mine for fashion, design and product ideas and as a styling tool.

Sasha and I first started discussing Pinterest when we were fitting the Judy Blue Eyes cocktail dress which I designed and she wore (well!) for the recent Oliviers Awards and to a recent wedding in California.

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We were in my boutique and were talking about style and ‘what to wear with what’ and what works and why. We got quite in depth in our conversation:

”Maybe you could carry that clutch as it is clean and graphic and the dimension echoes the size of the pockets.” I would say.  Sasha would add, “I’m going to wear Nicholas Kirkwood neutral snake sandals as they add a lightness to the outfit, oh and a bright burst of colour on my nails. How about orange?”…..

We are both fashion people at heart and knew what we wanted to achieve in this conversation:  I have a background in styling and design so it comes as second nature, and Sasha has a great fashion eye, a fashion background and a fabulous sense of style. But what if we weren’t like that naturally, or didn’t have daily access to this world? We started discussing this, and I mentioned that it is for this reason that Pinterest has become so useful for me. ..and Sasha asked me to write a post about it…

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Everyday I receive emails from clients asking what shoes  and what bag I would recommend to wear with the dress they’d bought from me. They would often attach several images of various shoes, jackets and accessories they already have. These are real women: business women, girls planning weddings, fashion editors, housewives, and people very much in the public eye.

I would then try and explain verbally the kind of thing that would work and attach several links to products that I had found through quick searches in my favourite online stores.

Now though, with Pinterest, I can simply and really quickly create a board just for them or  send them through a link to a pre-prepared board  so they can instantly get the gist of what would work and why. It also helps that the images on the board  all link through to the original source! Perfect.

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Of course I am not expecting everyone to fork out for that Miu Miu jacket that I recommend from Selfridges, or a pair of shoes that I have found from an online store in Japan! But it’s invaluable for giving a general idea so people know what would work and why with my designs.

That being said, I still sketch furiously on the backs of envelopes and tear out pictures from magazines etc… for my own inspiration and for my clients,  and my iPhone is still crammed with ‘research and ideas’. But having this online tool for those pieces and nuggets of inspiration that I come across online and want to keep, share and enjoy is an amazing addition to my business. It helps people  see into my world, and allows me to  share theirs. From my studio in West London often as far as clients on the west coast of LA!

www.suzannah.com
Suzannah Boutique, 6 Bristol Gardens, London W9 2JG

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Haidee August 14, 2012 at 08:58
Clare August 14, 2012 at 11:26

I absolutely LOVE Pinterest. I started using it personally, pinning images I loved or that inspired me. I then began using it in my day job as a Marketing Manager for an Outdoor media company (resulting in us being the first Outdoor media company in the UK on the site) and finally I created a page for my beauty and fashion blog, SparklySexyCool. It’s beauty is in its simplicity as Suzannah says and in sharing your ideas and inspirations with the world. Having said that I do also feel it’s hard to generate mass followers – you can ‘like’ or ‘repin’ an image without actually having to follow that user’s boards, so the key is to have enough unique content to truely engage someone enough for them to follow you.

PS Suzannah, I would love to see images of your ‘sketches on envelopes’ on the site as well!

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Erica August 14, 2012 at 20:07

Oh man,….when you first wrote about this store, I put it on my list of must places when I was in London in May. I never made it since she’s a bit out of the way but I sooo want 3/4 of everything on her site. I need to figure out fit before ordering from her website but once again, thanks for pointing me towards something awesome. She has gorgeous designs. I did leave the UK with many purchases – and several spa services – that came from LLG recommendations.

As for PInterest, I do really need to get with it. I’ve mentioned before that I lobby for these types of inventors and tech geeks, but I am totally inept at using anything they invent or create. One of these days….maybe. Until then, please keep writing here because I’ve mastered blogs.

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E August 15, 2012 at 01:01

Great post, Sasha and Suzannah. I enjoy using Pinterest as it is fun to see pretty pictures of recipes and outfits and things. To be honest it is very unlikely that I will actually make 99% of the recipes I pin, or wear exactly any of the outfits I pin, but still it gives me general ideas and inspirations. I even pin certain images just because I like the emotion it conveys – for example, I might pin a photo of a girl with long wavy hair running along a beach because it inspires me to live free and seize the moment.

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