The Apprentice 2017- Week 10
The show has finished now but I’m still catching up on past weeks.
Lord Sugar says Somerset House has hosted a lot of fashion shows and the fashion industry is worth £23 billion pounds a year. The task this week is for the candidates to act as fashion agents. They need to choose a designer to represent then convince a fashion magazine to support that designer, then sell the collection to retailers at their own catwalk show. The team that generates the most money from commission from sales will win.
Joanna and Michaela are moved to Graphene. Sarah is moved to Vitality.
Lord Sugar allocates women’s fashion to Vitality and men’s fashion to Graphene.
On Graphene, Joanna says her business plan is about a fashion brand, and would love to be project manager. The others agree with this. She says two people will be meeting the designers so she will place herself in that team. She asks James to come with her because he’s the male in the group and has great style. She asks Michaela to organise the fashion show as sub team leader and Elizabeth to join her.
On Vitality, Harrison says that Jade or Sarah should be PM. Sarah says she doesn’t know about fashion so Jade takes it on but says she is uncertain about negotiating a commission with the designer. Sarah just says to work with them and then push the commission to the max. “O.K” says a very uncertain Jade.
The teams split to do their jobs. Elizabeth and Michaela are very happy with their main job that day of interviewing male models! The other sub team of Joanna and James meet the designers to decide who to represent. Their first designer wants £8500 for 12 pieces. One piece is a ridiculous car wash brush headress which pop star Sia might wear, but no-one else! The items range from totally outlandish to the almost wearable.
Jade looks at an outlandish range from designer Helen Woollams whose brand name is “hellavagirl” and the collection was inspired by “post apocalyptic, regal rock and roll”. She says she won Britain’s top designer last year. The whole collection is £8,500 and Jade asks for a commission of 15% but ends up with 10%. Jade phones Harrison and Sarah saying to go for Helen Woollams.”Think Henry VIII Tudor meets darkness, rock and roll” she tells them! “It’s not like really, really, death dark Gothic, really is it?” asks Harrison. “No, it’s Gothic with a sequinned chic” says Jade. She tells them Helen was Britain’s top fashion designer in 2016 and the highest price point for the gowns is £1,045 with a 10% commission. Sarah asks if Jade squeezed her on that and she said that was the highest she’d go to.
“It looks like we’re going for a deathly Gothic sort of theme, which is .. nice” says an amused Harrison to a laughing Sarah! They choose their models based on the theme.
“All business, no pleasure at all” says a straight faced Elizabeth to camera after having “interviewed” the male models, looking at six packs and measuring some inside legs!
James and Joanna look at their designer for the day who says she sells ethical contemporary men’s wear. The designer says the fabric is organic, using bamboo and coconut shells. She says it’s for the “fashion conscious with a conscience”. Joanna asks for a 50% commission but the designer asks for 10% and they end up with 17% with James negotiating 10% off if a boutique or shop buys the whole collection. Joanna phones Elizabeth and Michaela and tells them she’s going with the cheaper option of ethical contemporary wear, called Zaramia Ava and the highest price of an item is £160. She tells them the strapline, and that the colours are blacks, whites and greys. Michaela wants more information on the images wanted and the spelling of the strapline but Joanna and James say they need to get to their photoshoot.
James and Joanna decide that James will be in the photoshoot and Joanne tells the hair stylist to do James’ hair in a centre parting to look really quirky. She directs another model to be in the shoot to represent James’ conscience as the tagline is “fashion conscious with a consience”. She tells James to look upwards with hands together in the shoot.
Elizabeth and Michaela get the photo shoot shots and with little time towards the deadline put a bamboo background on and the tagline.
Jade is now at a photo studio directing a model for her potential fashion magazine cover. She’s going for “dark and sinister” she says to camera!
Harrison and Sarah are planning Jade’s catwalk show and decide on some balloons to spell out Helen’s name at the back of the venue. They look at the front cover photo Jade has sent them and say it’s more “galactic, spacey” than “regal rock and roll”. Harrison says they need to get her name and “Britain’s top designer 2016” in there. Thinking of a space strapline Sarah comes up with “Light years ahead”.
Magazine covers submitted they return to the house for the catwalk show the following day.
The front cover mock up boards arrive for the teams to check out and Jade is delighted with hers.
James and Joanna look at their photo as embellished by Elizabeth and Michaela and Joanna says she loves the bamboo background and James is happy with it too. Elizabeth says that was her idea but the rest was Michaela and she thinks it’s good for the pitch to the magazine.
James and Joanna go to the magazine headquarters to pitch the front cover whilst Elizabeth and Michaela go to the venue to set it up. In the taxi Michaela says to Elizabeth that she is concerned that if the other team pick a more high end range then they will have to sell far more than them to win the task.
At their venue, Harrison and Sarah get to see the clothes for the first time. Harrison is rather bemused saying the collection is interesting, they’ve got a cape, a space raider and something from “Dawn of the Dead”. He says he will struggle describing them saying one item looks like a gold ghost and another is like what paramedics throw over you at the end of a marathon! Sarah puts a particularly strange item on and asks if she looks catwalk, “you look like an alien” says Harrison!
At the magazine headquarters, Jade produces her front cover board saying she presents “Helen Woollams”. Asked if that is the brand she says yes. One magazine rep asks why she’s chosen to put 2016 designer of the year on a 2017 cover, Jade says she is still at the forefront and relevant. In mid pitch, one of the reps asks if Helen Woollams is “Hellavagirl” and Jade says they’re pushing Helen Woollams. Asked if Helen is happy with that Jade says yes.
At men’s magazine ShortList, Joanna and James show their front cover. Joanna asks if they recognise anyone, and on getting no recognition, Joanna points out it’s James, with a different hairstyle. “It’s a look” they say! The magazine chap says it’s not the clothes that jumped out at him but James’ pose which looks like “amateur magician”! Joanna says it’s James contemplating whether to go for an ethical brand or not. The magazine chap says the fact that it took so much explaining is probably not the best sign. He says it doesn’t pop because the background is not a colour and having two models doesn’t look like a front cover and looks like something from a catalogue.
Later on the teams learn whether the magazines will support their front covers. Jade is delighted to hear that the women’s mag felt she’d nailed their demographic and were impressed with it so would use it. It’s not good news for Joanna and James though as the men’s magazine say their cover was not bright and vibrant enough.
At the venue Jade breaks the good news to Sarah and Harrison about getting the magazine cover. She mentions that there was a bit of an issue about the designer going under another name. Sarah and Harrison show Jade the balloons spelling out the name Helen Woollams and Jade decides to go with it.
Meanwhile, Joanna and James tell Elizabeth and Michaela about not getting the magazine cover because of the bamboo background. Elizabeth says to camera they might try and shift blame to her cover but the people at the meeting, Joanna and James were responsible for selling it.
The teams start doing their catwalk run throughs. Joanna gets frustrated with Elizabeth who she has given the job of directing to but she says Elizabeth is taking too long. Elizabeth on the other hand is saying she should direct and it’s currently a free for all!
Jade’s team are visited by their designer who points out the balloons spell her name and not the brand “Hellavagirl”. They take the balloons down. Sarah says to camera that she and Harrison didn’t know about the brand name so that is frustrating.
The catwalk shows begin. Joanna hosts her show explaining the items and prices as the models, including James, walk down the catwalk. Elizabeth prompts the models and Michaela dresses them.
Jade does her introduction for the “Last Dawn on Mars” collection saying “there’s nothing more that you can do than represent a UK based woman that makes people feel fierce”. She comments on the clothes mentioning one is based on clouds in the sky enabling you to drift off and another having quality ingredients!
After the catwalk, the teams have an hour to sell goods. Jade is asked about discounts but has to say they haven’t got that available. Sarah does manage to secure some sales though.
On the other team, Michaela is doing the hard sell pushing the eco-friendly aspect. Someone points out that H&M do a range thats eco-friendly but she says you wouldn’t want to buy off them!
Back in the boardroom
Lord Sugar comments that now Joanna and Jade are in separate teams it “could be called a needle match”!
He comments on Joanna being PM and she says she was in her happy place. “grumpy cat to Cheshire cat” jokes Lord Sugar. As Elizabeth was keen on directing he says her favourite designer could be “Hugo Bossy”! Elizabeth says she had tried to step back but Lord Sugar says that getting the last word with her “was like getting Naomi Campbell to fly economy”!
Claude says that there was a complaint of Michaela’s sales technique being too aggressive. Michaela just says she was pointing things out.
Asked if they worked well together both teams said they did.
To the sales, Vitality had a commission of 10% and order value of £11,015 so they got £1,101.5
Graphene got a commission of 17% and orders of £25,663.50 so they got £4,362.80.
So a win for Graphene, their treat is an indoor sky diving session.
In the firing line
Harrison says that going for the high end designer meant they could not sell enough, and Sarah agrees saying that she and Harrison had an uphill battle trying to sell it. Jade says they knew it was high end and could have spoken up but Sarah says that Jade said she felt she could be passionate in selling the high end items. Lord Sugar says it was “The Frocky Horror Show”. Harrison says that when they opened the items he didn’t know whether they went on your head, around your waist or where! Asked what he did in the task he says he contributed and was fashion director and that they agreed it was best to let Sarah lead the sales as she knew more about women’s fashion. Lord Sugar says he was as much use as a “fur coat in a sauna”.
To Sarah he says she negotiates with suppliers every day yet she let Jade go and choose a designer and negotiate a commission when by her own admission Jade had said she didn’t know how to do it. Sarah says it seemed straightforward and in week 10 they should all be capable of doing a simple negotiation. Jade says she felt she got all that the designer was willing to give. Lord Sugar says that Sarah stepped back and she says part of her did think she should have gone on the designer meet and she is willing to take that on board. Asked who is responsible for the failure of the task she says Jade.
Lord Sugar says that Sarah has been in the losing team three times on the trot and she might be sliding off a cliff. She says she managed to sell a £1000 dress and felt she had to spend time with people because of the high end cost. Jade says she spoke to eight people in the same time frame and sold £3000. Sarah says that Jade had all the information on the items whereas she was selling blind, to which Jade says they heard her pitch. Sarah says she was dressing twelve models and didn’t hear it.
Lord Sugar says to Jade that given the fact she didn’t negotiate a high commission or a volume discount then who is responsible for the failure of the task? She says Harrison as he didn’t contribute much, much to his obvious disagreement on his face! He says he did everything he was asked to do and regarding sales says to her “you’ve worn more women’s dresses than I have”! Karren sticks the knife in by saying Harrison is forgetting she was there all the time and saw what he did and didn’t do.
Summarising Lord Sugar says that he wonders whether Sarah has staying power having lost three tasks in a row. He says Jade admitted all the mistakes made, but doesn’t see what Harrison has done this week or in other weeks for that matter and fires him.
He says to Jade this was a big mess up and fires her.
Well Harrison fell foul of the “not doing anything” excuse. With only three people to choose from and two people to fire this week, the odds were stacked against him. Better to do what you’re told and get on with things rather than throw someone under a bus which I think Sarah did to Jade.
As with Harrison, Jade got put into this position by Sarah who took no time in stepping back when it came to choosing a PM. I think Jade would have been a better candidate for the final five than the other two.
If this had been a normal week I would have fired Sarah and kept Harrison and Jade. However, this is the week before the interviews where there needs to be just five candidates left so under those circumstances I would have fired Sarah and Harrison.
I thought Sarah got away with it here as she basically manoevred Jade into choosing the designer and sorting out the commission which she knew Jade was nervous about. She threw her under the bus. Jade came up with the photo which Karren said was what the magazine liked, not the writing whicn Sarah did. I thought Jade worked hard on this task on her own. She made an error in being her own sub-team. She should have put Harrison with herself and left Sarah on her own. Harrison might have picked up the Hellavagirl mistake and bolstered Jade. Sarah didn’t need him.
Sarah was accused of not being tough enough in the boardroom and she said she had no problem with disciplining or firing staff. I believe her too. She had no trouble in hanging Jade out to dry or Bushra last week either. In the “doggy business task” she managed to put her other sub team members Anisa and Andrew in the frame to get chosen by PM Charles who was on the other sub team . Andrew and Anisa got fired with Charles.
So the final five are Elizabeth, James, Sarah, Joanna and Michaela. Interviews next …
|Week||Task name||Winning team||Back in Boardroom||Fired||Comments|
|1||Burgers||Graphene (the girls)||Elliott, Danny, Charles||Danny||Disagree. Would have fired Charles if only for having silly glasses!|
|2||Hotel redesign||Graphene (the girls)||Jeff, Ross, James||Jeff||Disagree. Would have fired Ross for lack of leadership.|
|3||Robots||Graphene (the girls)||Harrison, Michaela, Elliot||Elliot||Disagree. Would have fired Michaela|
|Vitality (the boys plus Michaela and Sarah)||Elizabeth, Siobhan, Joanne||Siobhan||Agree, based on who was available.|
|5||Lord Sugar’s birthday||Graphene (the girls, minus Michaela and Sarah, plus James)||Ross, Sajan, Harrison||Ross||Disagree. Difficult one as they were all bad but probably would have fired Sajan for lack of planning.|
|6||Bruges tour||Graphene||Andrew, Sarah Jayne, Charles||Sarah Jayne||Agree, but would have also fired Charles a shambolic performance.|
|Vitality||Elizabeth, Sajan, James, Joanna||Sajan||Disagree. Would have fired James and Joanna.|
|8||Doggy business||Graphene||Andrew, Charles and Anisa||Andrew,Anisa
|semi agree, would have fired Charles and Andrew|
|9||Food boxes||Vitality||Elizabeth, Sarah, Bushra||Bushra||agree, but would have sent Sarah, Joanna and Jade home too.|
|10||Fashion show||Graphene||Harrison, Jade, Sarah||Harrison then Jade||disagree, would have fired Sarah (and Harrison if we needed a final five)|