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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Are you a successful business that has lost faith in your pattern library?

Are you a successful business that has lost faith in your pattern library?

Posted by on Jul 3, 2015 in Established Designers, Industry Know How | 0 comments

You are not alone.I often talk on this blog about issues that start-ups encounter. Mainly because they are many and varied and a new issue arises each week. Today I would like to talk to you about another key group of customers that often call us in absolute panic and with an urgent, very problem. Quite often this customer has been in business for 5-10 yrs. They have built a business on a great idea, sales have grown at a steady rate but they have now reached a sustainable level which is great but this now exposes some major pattern making issues that have compounded from cheap start-up costs and a culmination of different pattern makers, specification sheets and off shore patterns. Customers have started complaining and sales are lost sending the business backwards quickly. Whilst the above paragraph seems scary to many of us, it is nothing in comparison to the huge collection of patterns that need changing and the unknown costs to do so. How much will this cost to correct ALL these patterns? Where do you start? Is this going to break your business more than a few unhappy customers?Well it does not have to be as big a job as it may seem, in fact it is a chance to take on a new level of professionalism and gain a whole new customer base. On the plus side, you know how to sell, you have a name people know, and if you have caught it early the damage will not be too great.I love working with these customers but it is clear to me there is a smart way of going about it and an expensive way of going about it. There may be some pattern makers who start at pattern 1 and move through the range 1 pattern at a time racking up a huge bill at the end.At Sample Room we take a more holistic approach. We meet for an in-depth consultation where we overview the whole range, talk about what is working and the company goals. So often what is discovered is through the growth of the company the owner admits that there have been some decisions made that now don’t make a lot of sense. Once we have overviewed the whole situation it is possible that you have 4 core styles and once these styles are corrected and approved you can develop 16 styles off these in line with your current patterns. With computer pattern making it is easy. You will have a clearer approach and much smaller bill than expected.So if you have found your business in this predicament and you would like to know more, give us a call on 03 9041 3488 to arrange a consultation.We also conduct meetings on skype so if you are interstate or overseas you can still talk to someone who can help.Remember the...

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