The Initial Design Meeting

Posted by on Oct 27, 2017 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Industry Know How, Manufacturer, Mentee, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

When you first start your label it is a really exciting time. You have every right to feel proud and eager. But, you may also feel apprehension too. This is normal. You will have a lot of questions; this is normal too.One of the most common questions we hear from start-ups is ‘What do I bring to my design meeting?’ and ‘How do I explain what I want?’ Well, at Sample Room, we can help answer these questions no matter who you work with, as well as alleviate any concerns you may have.The initial design meeting is the most important stage in development. It is not something to be rushed and there is a certain process that is needed to get all your ideas out of your head and mouth in a way that explains it to a pattern maker to create your vision. It is your chance to unload everything to us.Your worries, your ideas, everything. This meeting is about anything you choose; it’s all about you, your designs and dreams, your budget, and your questions. It’s a good idea in the weeks and days leading up to the meeting to jot down some of the issues you’d like to go over. Write down all your questions, note the choices of fabrics that you’re thinking of using for your garments, bring in garments to show fit, make or fabric, bring in swatches, and tear out pics from magazines. You can use this meeting to simply have a chat with us; to bring forth the ideas that are presently buried within. We understand that ideas have to germinate in your brain; equally, we understand that an idea will stay as just that until you talk it over with someone.The best advice we can give you, however, in preparing for the design meeting, is to make sure you know your customer. This is so important, we can’t stress it enough. You need to have researched every aspect about your customer, you need to have invested time and energy into them. If you’re about to launch a label, you have to know that person is out there to buy it. It’s no use creating cycle wear for women who wear Size 16 and over if you’ve not done the research to show that such a product will sell. Likewise, if you are designing quality work-wear for the professional woman, make sure you understand everything about her. What is her age bracket? What is her salary range? Is she a working mum, or is she child-free? What movies does she like to watch? What are her hobbies?Does she do yoga, or is she a marathon runner? Know the other brands that your customer purchases. Have a clear picture in mind, so that you are well-placed to succeed in launching. Reach out to your customer, get their feedback, and make conversations and connections.Why...

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Fabric and Printing

Posted by on Jul 21, 2017 in Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Industry Know How, Lifestyle, Manufacturer, Sample Room Solutions |

 Photo: Sample Room’s WorkroomAs an emerging designer, how do you know what to do to achieve the look and finish for your designs? And if you want prints or logos on the fabric, whether small or all over, which is the best way to go ahead with that? Is it easiest to purchase the type of fabric you’re after with the prints already on them? But what about your logo? How does that get printed? What if the print is a specific design in itself – which is the best way to have it printed?So many questions! So many possibilities! It can be more than enough to discourage a start-up!I am hoping that the information below will help guide you, at least with a few things to think about, although I am aware that it might confuse you more. When we work with a client, we can help guide them and answer all the questions that arise. It may be just a few key questions that narrow down the choices to the one that suits your design, brand and label.Most often, we’ve found that the answer to these questions lies with the individual designer, you may have the vision but just don’t know what it is called and how to go about the process to get the result you are looking for. It really will be dependent on how much money is at your disposal.If you are looking at adding prints to your designs, there are quite a few choices and different reasons for each choice.The type of fabric, the final use of the garment, the finish you are looking to achieve and the quantity of garments you would like to make, all have an input into the final decision you will make.For example, if the stretch of the fabric is important to the design such as sportswear then the print finish will have an effect on the stretch of the garment. Choose the wrong print and you will find the print will restrict the fit and pull, resulting in a poor finish.However, there are some rules when it comes to printing. Let’s take a quick look at some of those options.Yardage Printing This type of printing is all over the fabric and is best suited if you are designing a garment that has an even all-over design. If you are looking to design your own print or have a surface print designer to design one for you then be mindful to choose a 2 way print (can have 2 panels cut in different directions that look the same) over a 1 way print as this will give you better fabric usage, reducing your garment costs. Often a yardage print is the right choice but depending on how you print it, you might be up with a large initial outlay depending on the number of colours, the detail of...

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Did you attend the International Sourcing Fair?

Did you attend the International Sourcing Fair?

Posted by on Nov 26, 2015 in Industry Know How, Manufacturer, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

Last week I headed to the International Sourcing Fair in Melbourne. It was my first time attending in Melbourne. The expo is always on at a particularly busy time of year so I have not managed to make it there previously.There are 2 reasons I visited:Firstly, I wanted to meet with some of the manufacturers to find out about the product they produce, the quantities and processes they follow.I am not opposed to offshore production at all; however, I do believe there is a stepping stone to developing a range overseas. Get your systems down pat locally first before heading overseas is the secret to success. My concern with the majority of clients I see who wish to manufacture overseas is that they believe it is easier and cheaper than local production even for small numbers.I hate to be the one to break it to you, but if you manufacture overseas you still need to be the driver of the project, the expert in your product, the process and the quality controller at each stage of the project.Please do not think it is as easy as sending a sketch or a garment and expecting 1000 perfect garments to arrive on your doorstep in 3 months without a hitch.In fact we are working with more and more larger businesses who are looking to develop their whole range onshore with us and then send final patterns to their factory. Often we start with 3 or 4 styles one year, the designer loves how easy and quick the process has been and the following season we work on the complete range.I hear the frustration in designers all the time, from people sick of late deliveries and poor quality fit to frustrations in communicating designs. Some designers are so frustrated they feel that they can not put their name to the product that does not fit right or look as they intended.The second reason I visited was to see how we can support these factories. On a recent trip to the Canton Fair it was overwhelmingly obvious that manufacturers realise that developing prototypes is not their strong point.  The sampling process alone can cripple the production process and eat away at all their profit.Not having local knowledge of fit and customer leaves these factories with little direction in what the customer needs.There is an easier way; understanding the development process and the checks and balances is something we specialise in. Combining onshore support with offshore production is definitely something worth considering if you are finding the production process too hard.Feel free to give us a call if you would like to know more on 03 9041 3488 or fill in our contact form and we will get back to...

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