Joanne Yulan Jong is the successful London-based fashion designer, creative director and author. A natural born entrepreneur, she started selling her collections to stores aged just 15. Her late teens saw her apprenticed to couture houses in London and Paris whilst studying at Edinburgh College of Art and The Royal College of Art.
On graduating, her talent was quickly snapped up by luxury fashion house Giorgio Armani where she worked closely with him. She went on to establish her award-winning consultancy called Yulan Creative working with re-known UK heritage and International brands.
Over the last seven years she as also worked growing E-Commerce businesses, one of which ME+EM as a result saw their business soar, winning them a place in the Sunday Times “brands to watch” fast track list of privately owned businesses. Their Crowd Cube campaign to raise further investment was instantly overfunded.
Whether multibillion corporations or growing SME’s, her winning combination of high level creative vision and entrepreneurship has consistently resulted in a proven track record of creating breakthrough business for clients.
Her book THE FASHION SWITCH The new rules of the fashion business will be published on the 27th of November 2017.
“The digital revolution has changed the fashion business forever, and the old rulebook has been torn up and thrown away. It’s time to rewrite them. Here are the new rules of the fashion business.”
– Joanne Yulan Jong
THE FASHION SWITCH
“The new rules of the fashion business”
It came quietly, crept up on us all. Digital hit the fashion business and has shattered it into a billion fragments. The business is switching from one that has dictated for decades to one humbly trying to understand what the customer wants. Switching from transmit to receive.
Owner led independent fashion companies face unique challenges they are competing with big brands with unlimited budgets, whilst at the same time losing market share to digital savvy, agile up-and-coming newcomers. Without creative and strategic clarity they could lose the business they have worked so hard to build.
Their biggest challenge: how to remain credible, visible and grow in such a competitive environment?
In this book Joanne Yulan Jong explains a powerful 5-step alignment method specifically aimed at helping the ambitious owner led fashion businesses navigate though the challenges and unlock their true potential. It provides a unique and simple framework though which owners can identify key areas that need improvement. Encourages them to push boundaries and make their product exceptional, to highlight and build on the value they already have. To align their creative and strategic vision and stand out in a crowded market.
“This is the right book at the right time for an industry facing massive disruption and in search of guidance. Based on decades of industry insight, Joanne uses her outstanding creativity and analytical skills to consolidate a wide range of information. This provides not only a comprehensive overview of how the industry thinks and what the drivers of change are, but also a toolbox to improve your own business decisions. And, it's fun to read and clearly addressed to the creative business minds in this amazing industry. Truly enriching!”
Thomas Johann Lorenz, Director Business Development Premium Group, Founder Premium Group Digital
“Joanne describes how classic fashion businesses have succeeded to date, through core principles and processes such as a solid financial understanding. She also reveals the current disruptors: digital transformation, the impact of innovation and consumer behaviour on evolving business models, in which customers are centre-stage and purpose becomes an essential component of the value chain.”
Michelle De Conto, Business Development Adviser, British Fashion Council
“The Fashion Switch provides an incredibly insightful view of recent dramatic changes in the fashion industry. It was a relief and a joy to read Joanne’s proposals for how to excel in the midst of such flux. The ALIGN framework is a refreshingly sensible method for boiling down and tackling the myriad of challenges facing independent fashion businesses. Joanne empowers her readers to fix the nuts and bolts, tying together our left and right brains, in order to emerge with a healthy, sustainable and functional business model as well as a more differentiated brand and product offering. I would wholeheartedly recommend The Fashion Switch for anyone starting or building a brand.”
Sara Madderson, Founder & Director, Madderson London
"This is a great read. Joanne has written an indispensable bible, a must read for all designers, whether starting out or years into the game. Joanne generously shares her wealth of experience as a designer for Armani and Missoni and then as an independent brand in her own right, giving a unique insight into how the fashion industry works and how to navigate your way through it most effectively. There's so much fantastic advice in this book, something to learn on every page. I'll certainly be recommending it to people."
Tamsin Blanchard, Fashion Writer and Editor
“When I founded Orlebar Brown I had no experience of fashion. People were very generous with their advice, but the tools available were either too simplistic or too complicated. Like many others, I had to learn it all myself. Joanne, with her wealth of experience, explains the fashion business in a clear and succinct way including its challenges and opportunities, which enables any potential founder, or start up to actually see a way in, provides a framework and makes it all seem possible. This is an invaluable and book for anyone running a fashion business in today’s world.”
Adam Brown, Founder & Creative Director, Orlebar Brown
“The Fashion Switch is an inspiring book on many levels. I connected immediately with Joanne’s thinking not only about the fashion business as a whole, but more around how she clarifies the mindset of successful brands. Her rigorous and systemised approach to reconnect owners to their businesses, and to articulate their meaning and purpose, is invaluable. That blend of thinking like an entrepreneur but striving to deliver the best, creatively and through product, is a winning formula in today’s challenging times. Brilliant.”
Nick Falkingham, Founder, Pure Collection
“Joanne draws from a deep wealth of knowledge from fashion experts and legends alike, as well as her own impressive industry experience to design a blueprint for creative entrepreneurs in this rapidly evolving digital age. The Fashion Switch is an easy, approachable read complete with personal experiences and case studies that offer insight into practical applications of her thoughtful and effective methodology. Coupled with thought-provoking exercises designed to allow the reader to dive head first into the ALIGN programme, this is a must read for those wading into the churning waters of today’s fashion industry."
Marty Wikstrom, founder, Atelier Fund & Corporate Director
"Expertly written with amazingly astute thoughts. The ALIGN process that is introduced in this book will become the standard by which fashion brands will benchmark their businesses by. A must read for anyone looking to create their own brand and for brand owners who want to take the their business to the next level. Buy it. You Need this book in your library."
Bharat Sarollia, Burton & Walsh
"Like Joanne Jong, I've been working in the fashion industry for more than twenty years, from the branding and communications side. Even with all of my own knowledge, I found The Fashion Switch to be insightful and articulate, full of new angles and ideas. The author has in-depth firsthand experience and recounts the detailed case studies in a fresh and engaging way, and explains why they are relevant. She is honest about how she has made mistakes in the past with her own collection, which gives the book even more credibility. The ALIGN approach makes sense and I encourage everyone in the fashion business to read this book. An intelligent and interesting read."
Madelyn Postman, Co-Owner and Director, Grain Creative
"The Fashion Switch provides an invaluable and accessible breakdown of the challenges faced by business owners in a swiftly changing fashion landscape. Joanne’s ALIGN method provides a straightforward, pragmatic system for analysing your business practices, that even the most “creative” of us could master! This is a unique opportunity to mine Joanne’s vast experience in the fashion industry, and should be compulsory reading for all SME’s."
Stuart Parvin, MVO, Couturier
"Having worked in the luxury fashion industry for many years, specialising in starting up new businesses and defining their strategies, this was a book I really wanted to read. Joanne has been behind the scene in this business for so long, she tackles it with gusto, and her usual distinctive flair, you will love getting an expert view on this topic. Enjoy!"
"The Fashion Switch is the genuine article: a real ‘insider’s guide’ to the industry. If you are not already an insider, this book can help make you one. Read it now and enjoy all the great pearls of wisdom that Joanne shares, then put them into practise and make your business a success."
"A smart and essential blueprint to help build a successful and sustainable business in fashion."
ABOUT THE BOOK
The book is the first to take the principles of brand alignment – the backbone of the historic fashion powerhouses – and apply them simply and practically to owner led independent fashion businesses.
A unique approach to fashion business from the perspective of an experienced creative who fully understands emotions and passion that drives designers and entrepreneurs to launch and run their own brands.
Interspersed throughout the book are valuable case studies, insights and quotes from interviews with prominent industry insiders, facts and exercises.
Encourages fashion business owners to enjoy the creativity of entrepreneurship across all areas of their business including finance (not just the design process).