Honing Inspiration & Defining Your Customer; what does it mean and where do we start?!

Honing Inspiration & Defining Your Customer; what does it mean and where do we start?!

Posted by on Nov 5, 2018 in Emerging Designers, Established Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Industry Know How, Industry Trends, Manufacturer, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

From paper to production, there are SO many factors to consider in bringing a design to life. But after meticulously stewing over fabrics and hemlines for months on end, who is going to be wearing your garments?! And what needs do they have? As part of our Fashion Label Launch Pad program, our group of mentees hold a monthly phone call to discuss queries and roadblocks as they work towards launching their first fashion labels. During our call this month we chatted all things sourcing inspiration and how to tailor your brand to suit the people purchasing your product. With what can be such a tricky task, here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind for the designer carving out the personality of their brand. INSPIRATION As a creative, inspiration is all around us. Everywhere we look there is a new idea waiting to be thought up, designed and created into something wonderful. In the beginning stages of design, observing the spaces around us and collating stimulus for later reference can be invaluable. But inspiration can be unpredictable and we might not always be prepared for when our light-bulb moments hit. So, below are a few tools we love that you can use to immediately house your sources of inspiration when they come to mind. All of which are easily-accessible apps you can instantly download to your phone! These will also become valuable platforms you can use to assist in determining your customer.Trello Whether you have a more left-leaning analytic brain or a visual mind, Trello acts as a project management application where you can jot down those fleeting thoughts in list form. It’s super easy to categorise with labels, throw in screenshots and cue in whoever you want to check over your ideas. Check out how it works here > https://trello.com/tourPinterest You may have used Pinterest already, but what a great tool for the visual mind it is! Here you can create mood boards, collate photos and combine an endless amount of stimulus that might take your fancy. The perfect tool to assist you to formulate the overall feel of your collection. Check it out here > https://business.pinterest.com/en/how-pinterest-works DEFINING YOUR CUSTOMER In using these platforms you’re off to an excellent start. Now it might be a little easier to visualise an overview of what you want your label to represent – encompassing mood and overall feel. You may have numerous categories and ideas representing different ends of the spectrum and this is great!However, in determining who you’re creating for and who will be purchasing your product, we have to get down to the nitty gritty and be specific. Ideally, we want to create 2-3 profiles or ‘personas’ to match the looks sitting at opposite ends of the spectrum. Eg. If customer A loves to wear rich, colourful prints and customer B wears monochromatic tones and tailored fits;...

Read More

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...

Read More

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...

Read More

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