Rakia Reynolds, owner of Skai Blue Media, a boutique communications agency, has launched a new division in response to a growing client base of fashion designers.
Reynolds has opened Skai Blue Show, a fashion designer showroom at 109 South 13th Street, which features original fashions from designers such as Chinoo Designs, Duke & Winston, Lobo Mau and Strangefruit.
Reynolds brought in a team of industry professionals who focused on creating an environment that would expose their clients’ talents to buyers, media and fashion retailers. The showroom, which opened in May, offers an array of trendy fashions, hand crafted accessories and original prints.
Skai Blue Media assists its fashion clientele by helping them create look books, develop digital, social media and public relations strategies, pricing structures for their wares, and getting them placed in boutiques that suit their respective brands.
“My strategy is more on boutiques than the bigger stores,” says Reynolds, who is Philly360’s fashion ambassador.
She said she’s noticed that many designers are under the misconception that they should only be focused on being placed in large department stores like Macy’s, Barney’s or Neiman Marcus.
“That’s such a crash-and-burn strategy. You need to be able spread yourself out to a ton of boutiques and make relationships with the moms and pops — because they are the people that are going to help sustain you,” Reynolds said, noting that completion is tough for floor space in major department stores.
After realizing that some of Skai Blue Media’s fashion clients were struggling to sustain their business, Reynolds expanded the company’s offerings to assist with their business strategies.
“We need to be more of a concierge service. We just can’t be a typical PR firm and get you placement. We need to make sure that you are in stores and that you’re constantly selling. You have to have a steady stream of sales to survive in this business,” says Reynolds, who has a bachelor’s degree in international business and marketing from Temple University.
Reynolds founded Skai Blue Media with the intension of focusing on Philadelphia’s arts, design, fashion and culture scene.
Skai Blue Media currently represents 18 public relations and 12 fashion design clients.
Patricia Stewart of Chinoo Designs, a fashion line for plus-sized women, has been a client for the last three years.
‘They’re like my left and right hand. Things that I can’t get done, I know that they can,” Stewart said of Skai Blue Media’s team.
“They’ve been definitely active in getting boutiques to recognize my line because it’s a plus size. I think there is a need for it.”
Stewart developed her line because she realized that there was a dearth of trendy, sexy clothing for curvy women. She wanted to offer women something other than boxy, unfashionable clothing.
“I think I’ve found my niche in the industry,” said Stewart.
She appreciates the concept of having more visibility for her clothing line through the new showroom.
“Having the showroom gives me the opportunity to know that my designs are going to be shown to more buyers than me just trying to do it myself,” said Stewart.