Seasonality in Design

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Industry Know How, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

Are you someone who’s ready to jump into the fashion industry? Are you an aspiring creative? Maybe you have a business that is linked to the industry, or you create gorgeous designs. You know you’ve got style, the eye for detail and the ambition that is needed to drive success. But there’s still so much within the industry that eludes you. Maybe you are already in the design stage and ready to choose the gorgeous fabrics that you’ve imagined for your designs. Maybe you don’t know how to approach a fabric supplier.There is a bit more to seeing a fabric supplier than you might imagine. Let me explain. A fabric agent is a trendsetter the same as a designer is. They are ‘designing’ their range in the same way a top design house does. They look to future trends in colour pallets and fabrication from the leading authorities and design the range of base fabrics and colours so that when you, the designer, come to see them they have what you have been inspired by. They understand what fabrics they need to have on hand so that you can design the look you are after.There are also 2 major different ranges they hold. One is stock fabric and one is seasonal. Did you know about the seasonal aspect behind fabric selection? If you are looking for the latest in fabrics and colours you will be looking for seasonal stock. This stock is limited and will not repeat so the fabric agent can bring the latest and greatest to their range each season. You will need to be quick from initial sampling to purchasing bulk as this fabric sells out and does not repeat. You can put a hold on the amount of fabric you need, but only for a short time. I can tell that some of you might be nodding your head because you have experienced this, but believe me when I tell you that there are plenty of people out there who aren’t aware. I feel that seasonal fabric buying is best left to the experts who understand the pace of the fashion industry and their customer requirements.There is also forecasting of fabrics. For example, when Melbourne is in the heart of winter and you look out the window of the tram in the city, you see the teeming rain and bleak greyness. You also glimpse people moving around – under umbrellas or running for cover – dressed in the chic style of winter: scarves, boots, hats and coats. Understand that designers are way past that season. The colours you are looking at today were selected a year ago and have come and gone from the fabric agents. Designers are beginning to sell summer stock to buyers and retailers for a full year ahead and they are delivering summer stock into retail stores that they first saw...

Read More

Colourways – What Does This Mean?

Colourways – What Does This Mean?

Posted by on Aug 23, 2017 in Fashion | 0 comments

The language in the fashion industry can be daunting if you are considering the new and exciting pathway to being a designer. Language, specific terms, and acronyms all create an environment that makes it hard to delve into.But we’re here to help you, to guide you, so that your entrance into this new world is smooth and seamless (pun intended). So, here’s another word in fashion that you’ll hear quite a lot, but you may not know exactly what it means: colourways or colour grids.What are colourways? Where are they used? What does it mean, precisely?Colourways are different colour combinations that are used in the same design. For example, you might create a dress in navy and white, and offer it also in navy and red. This is known as two colourways. These options are created for your customer to have more choice by each design.For each colourway it is essential for production that you create a colour grid to keep track of the colourways you are offering for your garment and so your manufacturer knows how you want your garments to look in production.Here’s an example of a grid:However, it’s often not as simple as our example above. It is important to test elements of each component. Fusing colours (which only come in black and white) can change the look of a fabric colour. You might find that you need to fuse the whole panels rather than part panels so there is no change in colour. For example, the back panel of a jacket that might have a back yoke fused in black may need the whole panel fused in cream to ensure it looks even and allows an even amount of colour through. You can test this yourself. Cut a panel that is about 60cm x 60cm and press a square of fusing of 20x20cm in the middle. Put this up against the fusing and then drape over a colour fabric to see if it is noticeable.Another aspect of colour in production is thinking about the manufacturing minimum order quantities by colour. Keep in mind that all the machines required to sew the garment need to be changed per colour run, therefore colours cannot be sewn together in the same production run. It is possible to cut all colour ways together to save production costs, most of the time. A situation where you would need to cut colour ways separately is with components such as fused panels or different combinations.Introducing different colours ways to your range is a great way to expand your product offering without extra money spent on development costs. When it comes to production runs, remember to have specific planning for the style quantity in each size for each colourway. The machinist will do all the sizes in the one colourway, then switch the threads on the machine for the next colourway, and so on.And...

Read More

Sample Room: Account Manager / Customer Service

Posted by on Aug 18, 2017 in Fashion, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

Now, prepare yourself. We are hiring!Are you a pattern maker who feels that doing tech packs for the rest of your career might be the end of you? Use your exceptional skills in a new role!We are looking for friendly experienced pattern maker ready to step into a customer facing role to help designers to create their ideas. Experience in Business to Business Account Management with small through to large business would be a huge asset.If you are someone who prides themselves on developing great relationships with their clients and has an exceptional ability to attract clients, nurture relationships, communicate design requests and close the loop on the design process then we would love to have you on our team.Location: Northern Suburbs, MelbourneWork Type: Full TimeKnow more about your tasks and...

Read More

Sustainability in Fashion

Sustainability in Fashion

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017 in Fashion, Industry Know How, Industry Trends, Lifestyle, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

The fashion industry has not always been known for its kindness to the environment. Furs, anyone? Dyes that are high in toxicity? Sweat shops? But in today’s world, you’ll hear the term sustainability in all areas, and the fashion industry is no exception. Customers are concerned, and rightly so, about the impact fashion has on the world around us. Customers are savvy, they’re aware of the landfill and contributions to this from old clothing, fabrics and materials.But what does sustainability look like in fashion? What does it mean exactly? Well, there is no one specific explanation, so let’s take a look at some of the terms it can refer to.Fabrics & Materials It can be as simple as the fabrics used in a garment. Organic cotton, naturally processed wools, and low-impact dyes, all contribute to the sustainability tag for your design. Natural fibres, organic production, recycled fibres and job lot end of run fabrics all relate to sustainability as they all have less of an impact on the environment.Slow-fashion This term is used to describe the care and time taken to ensure the longevity of the garment. This can be achieved by creating a timeless classic with natural and durable fabrics; it can be done by ensuring the materials used can be recycled. Your customer is more likely to hold onto the garment for more than one season if they feel an emotional connection to it. The way you can help to create this connection is to be transparent with your customer, by noting your production and manufacturing processes. If your customer can see the process behind the garment, then they will feel a greater link with you as its designer.Reuse This is similar to recycled and upcycled fabrics, as they, too, are being reused. But there are other ways that you can offer to reuse your garments, to increase your sustainability focus. You can, for example, create a buy-back option: when your customer has finished with the garment, you buy it back to create something new. Alternatively, you can offer a percentage off their next purchase if they donate the original garment once they’ve outgrown it. Or why not set up a forum where people can buy, sell and swap with other fans of your garments.Marketing The way you market yourself and your brand goes a long way in speaking of your efforts in the sustainable fashion. Make sure your labels are clear and your customer understands them as this is one of the ways the sustainable fashion message is passed along. As noted above, be transparent with your customer, give them a chance to get to know you, the designer, as well as your brand. At Sample Room, we believe that marketing yourself begins long before your begin your designs (read our blog post on Marketing here *insert hyperlink*) and creates the connection that you need with...

Read More

Which Social Media Platforms Should Your Business Use?

Which Social Media Platforms Should Your Business Use?

Posted by on Jul 26, 2017 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Industry Know How, Industry Trends, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

 Social media is prolific. It almost seems there are new sites, new platforms springing up nearly every week. There’s so much choice out there. How do you, as a fledgeling business, know which ones to use? Which ones generate the most traffic? Which sites should you set yourself up with?Here at Sample Room, we think, along with most things, that it comes down to your business, your brand and importantly, your customer. If you’ve done your research about your target market, then you know who your customer is. You know who you’re selling to. And that means, you know which social media sites are going to get you the most exposure that will benefit your brand. Ultimately, that will translate into more business dollars.But, let’s be honest, there are some sites that generate exposure more so than others. There are social media sites that are good for businesses and there are ones for, well…um…social linkages, to phrase it in the nicest possible way.So, firstly, let’s talk about Instagram. If you’ve got your brand ready to launch, if you’re looking to widen your exposure to your target market, then get yourself a business account on Instagram.There are many ways for you to increase your followers on Instagram.Be strategic about who you follow: make a list of the brands that identify with yours the most, including the reasons why, and follow them.Make interesting comments on those sites; comments of ‘geez, cool’ aren’t going to generate interest in your brand. Be thoughtful, interesting and funny in your comments. That is what will lead others to your site and they become your new followers.Look into ways to streamline your posts so that it’s more time effective. Let’s face it, nobody, except for teenagers avoiding homework, has time to endlessly skulk through Instagram to create posts and make thoughtful, engaging comments. Look into the various apps that can schedule posts. Canva helps you do all your posts and allows you to set up schedules for posts – and it’s free too! If you haven’t already heard of it or started using it, get onto it! Similarly, Schedugram is another useful tool for scheduling, posting, hashtags and all things related to Instagram. It’s not free – keep that mind.Hashtags! Not so long ago, most of the world assumed that hashtags were useless. Not so. Using the right hashtags can help you expose your brand. Have a clear strategy in place for your use of them. Do your research and discover which hashtags your followers are using most, and which ones are most active. Use them. You can also use those active hashtags to search for other posts that use those same hashtags.Once you’ve found some that you identify with and aligns nicely with your brand, then start commenting.Pinterest is another high traffic social media site that we suggest you think of for your brand exposure....

Read More

Start-up Fashion Designers – Why Isn’t Your Label Going Ahead?

Start-up Fashion Designers – Why Isn’t Your Label Going Ahead?

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Industry Know How, Industry Trends, Lifestyle, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

Why do so many new and emerging designers who have exceedingly good sketches and ideas for the latest shakeup within the industry fail?We think we might be onto the answer.At Sample Room, we have contact with many new start-ups and emerging designers. It’s part of our business to provide the education and assistance that newbies need to succeed in the industry. We’ve been involved and engrossed with all things fashion for decades so we’ve got some knowledge behind us.Sometimes the very keenness, the excitement and the utter doggedness of a new start-up can be what is standing in your way of success. For example, did you know that there is a certain language that is solely used within the industry, and if you’ve not been properly educated we can tell straight away, like click-of- the-fingers quick? You cannot fool your way into the industry. Sorry, we realise that seems a bit harsh, but it’s true. At Sample Room, we’ve blogged about this before; that the business owners and manufacturers will make up an excuse to avoid being stuck with a start-up, one who doesn’t know the language and terms that we use.A perfect example of this is a recent conversation I had with an enthusiastic start-up who did not have any experience. He believed that all he needed to do was to bring in sketches and we would provide a run of 100 garments, per size, without another question asked. As we chatted, he mentioned that he had spoken to another development house who had rebuffed him by saying it was not possible to do what he had asked. This, of course, prompted me to respond by enquiring what exactly he had asked her; he proceeded to say, ‘I want to take old ripped jeans and put a fabric colour behind it.’ This then opened a list of questions from me to clarify what he meant.Do you mean a contrast fabric?Or is it denim that you will then garment-dye?Will you need a stone wash or enzyme wash?Or will you leave the garment unwashed?Or is it the topstitch colour that is differentWill you require it to be the same softness as the rest of the garment?What is the reason for doing this? Durability?His reply? ‘I don’t know what any of those words mean.’This is the irony of a conversation about education. There are thousands of questions and literally thousands of options. It is impossible to work with a start-up unless they have some education or you will have two very frustrated and unhappy people.Businesses within the fashion industry work to very tight schedules and we simply can’t afford the time to spend going over explanations and education, explaining terms and concepts that every designer, who’s been properly educated within and of the industry should know. If you’re here at Sample Room and, as a start-up, ask a question about grading...

Read More