FABRIC AGENTS – how, who, where, what!?

FABRIC AGENTS – how, who, where, what!?

Posted by on Oct 2, 2018 in Emerging Designers, Established Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Industry Know How, Industry Trends, Manufacturer, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

As part of our Fashion Label Launchpad program we have a group call with our Mentees to discuss challenges and questions they may have. It is also a great opportunity to chat with industry, and like minded people who are in the same position as you. Who knows what next great idea or inspiration will come out of the conversation! During our August catch up there were a range of great questions (and answers!) but let’s talk about the very first one “HOW TO CONTACT FABRIC AGENTS.”The reason I am choosing this topic, is because fabric sourcing is often one of the first questions we get asked when people first approach Sample Room. It is hot on everyone’s lips to say the least. Unfortunately we will not supply you with fabric. This would be an impossible task as there are 1000’s of fabrics and I believe that fabric should inspire your design process. This is far less frustrating than choosing a fabric that you can not find locally. We will however provide guidance in where to do and if a fabric is suitable.  So; how, who, where, what!? Let’s start with WHEREYou don’t need to find someone in your local state. If you choose the right agent and communicate your needs correctly there is no reason why you can’t use an agent interstate. Most fabric companies will have a local rep so please call and find out if there is someone near you. You could search overseas as well but keep in mind the shipping charges. To begin with, try not to think about having a fabric made up just for you as the minimum order qty will be out of your reach (often 20-60 rolls). Which leads us to HOWThis is the most important part. How you approach Fabric Agents and how you communicate your needs will determine your fabric success!I recommend the first contact made is via a phone call. But before you pick up the phone be prepared.Prepare yourself by:–Creating two moodboards; one for colour and one for styling- this is important to show the agent what you need  if you don’t know the names of the fabric-Detail, very specifically, who your target market is so they understand the price point and end look.-And, how will your target market be using your garment?-You might also like to find garments that use similar fabrics so show what you like.Have this at the ready and pick up the phone. Ok, so WHAT fabric do I need?Leave this up to the Fabric Agents! They are very knowledgeable, they ARE the experts in fabric. You can have a look through the range but if you give them an idea of what you are looking for from the above list then they will be able to suggest a variety of fabrics to suit.  If you follow the previously mentioned preparation steps they will be able to...

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Q & A With Mentee Joseph Carl

Posted by on Sep 10, 2018 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Mentee, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Joseph Carl Streetwear by our mentee, Joseph CarlWe love seeing our mentees journey throughout the Launch Pad program. A lot of hard work goes into every stage of design, construction and production and it is wonderful to see their collections in their final form. Below we have a Q & A from our past mentee, Joseph Carl, we discuss the challenges, successes and the big question – Would he do it all over again???  Visit Joseph Carl. What is your range about?Joseph Carl is a high-end streetwear brand with it’s main goal of merging luxury elements with streetwear. We are inspired by trends and era’s mixing old and new, street culture, music and sporting lifestyles. Our first collection “Chapter One: The Introduction” is an introduction of the brand to the people. It is a set of limited edition high-end streetwear basics that can be worn all together or separately and be styled formally or casually.Who is it for?It is a menswear brand but the brand is suited for anyone (male or female) who have an appreciation for street culture and luxury.What did you do for a career before you started your label?Before I started Joseph Carl, I was studying a university degree and graduated with a Bachelor of Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations, while working part-time for a media company.What is the biggest thing you learnt whilst working through the development process.There have been so many things I have learnt while starting this label. It’s been a massive learning experience. Stepping into this industry with no fashion related experience the whole development process has been a massive eye opener. I didn’t realise how much it took to create a single garment. Fabric knowledge, Sampling stages and garment construction, and dealing with people in business and the fashion industry are the biggest areas in which I’ve learnt the most.What would you do differently if you did it all over again?Time management is something that I would work on in the future. focusing your time (hours/days) on certain sections of the brand/business to really be able to excel in all areas. If this is achieved in future collections, it will be a smoother ride.How can people buy your product?People are able to purchase items through our online store at: www.josephcarl.comWhat is some advice you would give someone else looking to start a label?My advice to anyone starting is to do your research. Know exactly who you want to target and what short and long term goals you want to achieve. Once you have this you have drive to achieve the things you want.Another piece of advice is to be able to think on your feet, not everything is going to go to plan. Be able to think quickly and have a solution to problems that you didn’t think you would...

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Mentee’s Launch: Akilah Active Wear

Mentee’s Launch: Akilah Active Wear

Posted by on Aug 11, 2018 in Emerging Designers | 0 comments

 ‘Akilah’ Active Wear by our mentee, Georgit Maarrawi At Sample Room, we love seeing our mentees journey throughout the Launch Pad program. A lot of hard work goes into every stage of design, construction and production and it is wonderful to see their collections in their final form. Past mentee, Georgit Maarrawi discusses the concept and processes behind her new activewear range, Akilah.Akilah is a luxury activewear label for curvy women. My aim is to promote body positivity and diversity in the industry and to help women feel confident, strong and beautiful just the way they are. It is currently for curvy women from sizes 14-22Before embarking on this journey, I was just working in retail. I did study fashion and always knew I wanted to start my own label someday and so I just kept working and saving my pennies until I was ready both financially and mentally for this journey.The biggest thing I have learnt is to not stress so much! Everything always works out and you are going to get a few bumps along the way but that’s what makes it part of the journey. And most of the time I stressed for nothing! Just stay calm and breathe! If there is anything I would do differently it would be to not be scared to ask more questions to suppliers. A lot of suppliers are really happy to help out new designers.Currently, our range is only available here at our online store.The best advice I could give is don’t be scared to follow your dream! You will get people who will be negative and put you down but if it is something you are passionate about and want to do just go for it! That’s what I did and honestly, it was the best decision I have ever made. Business is hard but when I look at how far I’ve come I wouldn’t take anything back. Surround yourself with positive people who will be there for you when your feeling stressed and you will be ok!  Also, just save as much money as you can! You need to think about promoting your range once it is developed and getting it out there. You don’t want to miss out on opportunities because of lack of funds.Before coming to Sample Room,  I was lost as to where to even begin and to be honest, I was very overwhelmed. I definitely do recommend getting some guidance and support especially when you don’t know the industry and getting in touch with the right...

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Mentee’s Launch: Sleep With Me

Posted by on Apr 16, 2018 in Emerging Designers, Follow the Label, Mentee | 0 comments

Our Mentee: Sammie Russell, Owner of Sleep With MeToday, we would love to introduce you to our latest mentee to launch, Sammie Russell from Sleep With Me.Sammie’s journey of launching her range combined her love of prints, her understanding of social media and her new found knowledge of the development and manufacturing process. Always a pleasure to work with, her friendliness and enthusiasm for learning makes Sammie one of our favourite customers. I hope you enjoy learning about how she developed her range.What is your range about?Sleep With Me is a luxury sleepwear label. Each piece is sourced carefully utilising luxurious fabrics, while also partnering with considered detail. Our one of a kind designs are hand drawn and digitally printed making them truly special.Who is it for?Our customer appreciates high-quality fabric, ethical manufacturing and attention to detail through our packaging.What did you do for a career before you started your label?I jumped into the design world straight out of high school with no industry experience. I built the brand from a dream and a strong work ethic.Never lose your passion and don't be afraid to ask for help. Click To TweetWhat is the biggest thing you learnt whilst working through the development process?I think the biggest lesson for me is that you don’t know what you don’t know and the best thing to do is to surround yourself with industry professionals and mentors that can guide you. It can be incredibly overwhelming and things often don’t go to plan but if you have support around you and are not afraid to ask for advice, it can make a huge difference.The development process can be incredibly stressful as things don’t often go to plan.What would you do differently if you did it all over again?If I did it all over again I would hope that I would allow myself more time to work through problems that arise and I would definitely reach out for help rather than trying to resolve everything myself.How can people buy your product?You can buy our products via our website www.sleepwithme.com.au and we are currently working on stocking to other e-commerce sites which is very exciting.What is some advice you would give someone else looking to start a label?I would say that it is not easy by any means but hard work often outweigh talent so if you are willing to put in the work, you will reap the rewards of a successful business. Never lose your passion and don’t be afraid to ask for help.If you would like to learn how to develop and launch your own range. Join our Fashion Label Launchpad, as Sammie did, and learn all there is to know to be a fashion designer.Follow Sleep With MeWebsite: www.sleepwithme.com.au Instagram: @sleepwithme Facebook: Sleep With...

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Mentee’s Launch: Frankie + Roy

Mentee’s Launch: Frankie + Roy

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Emerging Designers | 0 comments

Jessica Haley, the Founder of Frankie + Roy, came to us in August 2016 with an idea to create a range of slim-fitting childrenswear. Jess became increasingly aware of how hard it was to find clothing that would fit her two boys, and as a result, took matters into her own hands and began working on Frankie + Roy.Introducing Jessica Haley, one of our amazing Mentee’s who joined us in 2016.A year later, she has officially launched her label and is already thinking about her next range due to drop in Autumn 2018.We sat down with Jess and asked her a few questions about the journey so far. We wish her nothing but the best, and we can’t wait to continue working with her on future ranges.Congratulations, Jess!What is your range about?  Frankie + Roy is all about slim fit classic design clothing for skinny kids.Who is it for? Kids sizes 1-7What did you do for a career before you started your label? I currently work in sports administration and prior to that sales and retail.Every day I learn something new about the industry, selling online, social media and so much more.Click To TweetWhat is the biggest thing you learnt whilst working through the development process?  Everything to do with designing and manufacturing clothing. I knew nothing prior to starting this journey, but I have been very open to learning and developing my knowledge the whole way through and still am now. Every day I learn something new about the industry, selling online, social media and so much more.What would you do differently if you did it all over again?  I don’t think there is anything I would do differently if I could. I love what I have produced and have loved the whole journey that has come with it.How can people buy your product? Frankie + Roy will be selling online only at www.frankieandroy.com.auWhat is some advice you would give someone else looking to start a label?  Know your point of difference and your client, and work that to your advantage. There are so many products on the market and people selling so you need to be specific and target the right people. And network! This has been something I have enjoyed doing as who doesn’t love a lunch and catch up? I have met so many people along this journey who are now going to help me launch and support me. I have made real connections with these people and am happy to help them in return.Follow Frankie + Roy:Online Store Facebook | InstagramIf you would like to know more about the journey of starting a fashion label and how to take the first steps, please let us know at info@sampleroom.com.au. We would love to meet you and have a...

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Your Brand. Your Launch.

Posted by on Jan 25, 2018 in Emerging Designers | 0 comments

If you are an emerging fashion designer, from day 1 you are probably considering your brand launch. What lengths should you go to in organising a launch? Is a launch expensive?Well, like anything in life, launching your brand, and the expense behind it comes down to YOU. At Sample Room, we’ve seen many different launches over the years, each of them equally wonderful and successful, and some not so successful. You just need to know who your customer is—we say this a lot at Sample Room, but we can’t stress how important it truly is to know who you’re selling to BEFORE you start selling—and cater to them.Not so long ago, one of our mentees launched her brand and it was a huge success for her with sales on the night of the launch reaching $30,000. One of the reasons behind her success was that she lived and breathed her brand. She wore her designs, she constantly marketed her brand and knew exactly what type of woman she was designing for. Because of the groundwork, she laid in establishing her brand before launching, our mentee was able to invite friends, work colleagues, neighbours and family members to her launch. Each of these people also spoke about the brand and invited more people along.How to successfully launch your brand? Know your target crowd and what type of people you're designing for.Click To TweetYour launch need not be a tricky process. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars and you don’t need to include Anna Wintour on the guest list. It can be as simple as inviting school or kinder mums over for champagne, or a bunch of your girlfriends and theirs too. It can be a dinner party where the men at the table get a chance to see the host wearing your brand. Why not consider a pool party, if you’re designing swimwear or a cycle event and the endpoint is your launch? Get creative in planning your launch. Maybe your designs are kids’ sleepwear—invite all the mums you know, stock the freezer with Icy-Poles and have a face-painter there so the kids are entertained while you launch. If the label you are designing is clothing for woman, why not consider bringing in a stylist to help your customers learn how to put an outfit together? Most of us need a little styling help, wouldn’t you say? We’ve all got different—yet equally fabulous—body shapes so having someone on hand at your launch to give guidance in say, teaming a particular scarf with a shirt. Or how those tailored suit pants you’ve designed can be dressed-down to go from the office to a casual night at the movies.The important thing to remember here is not to underestimate the option of in-home selling. Remember all those lingerie parties, Nutrimetics and Tupperware parties, where the host invited all her friends over?...

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