Mentee’s Launch: Love Linen

Mentee’s Launch: Love Linen

Posted by on Feb 4, 2019 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Follow the Label, Mentee | 0 comments

Our Mentee: Helen Atcheson, owner of Love LinenRecent graduate of Sample Room’s Fashion Label Launch Pad Program, Helen Atcheson has launched an ethically accredited and sustainable womenswear label, Love Linen! Inspired by the Australian climate, in particular the tropics of Broome, Helen’s collection seeks to capture a true quality, luxury and style designed to last a lifetime.What is your collection about? Love Linen is a high quality collection of womenswear born from a passion for sustainable and locally produced clothing. Linen is the ultimate ‘resort wear’ textile, and our goal is to create a luxurious range of consciously manufactured clothing.Who is it for? It’s not just for the everyday woman. She loves quality over quantity, she appreciates classic styles, she does her part for a sustainable future, she shops local… and she loves linen!  What did you do for a career before you started your label? I have a background in hospitality, administration and HR. I also have a strong artistic side, of which I have only just been able to put into practice through launching my own label.What is the biggest thing you learnt whilst working through the development process? I learnt the importance of choosing fabric to suit your design. Fabric, fabric, fabric is the key! I think it is important to realise that you will learn something new at each and every stage of development. You are forever learning and editing your ideas. Learning how to communicate your designs is also extremely important.What would you do differently if you did it all over again? I would have definitely simplified some of my designs for my first launch before moving to more involved patterns. The relationship with your pattern maker is so important! However, I am so happy with my first range and I can only look forward to the growth from here.   How can people buy your product? Love Linen is available online across Australia and New Zealand. We will be participating at local pop-up shops and markets this year in Broome and are working on securing some select wholesale outlets in Broome and around Australia. You can keep up to date with all Love Linen news via our social platforms listed.What is some advice you would give someone else looking to start a label? It will not be easy. If you are not comfortable spending at least $30 – $60K before you make a sale then walk away now. If you still have this niggle that won’t go away of something that is your passion and you know it will work – trust. Trust yourself because you can do it, you just can’t do it alone. You will need help, you will need education and you will need support. At the very least the Launch Pad Program is a fantastic beginning. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for a resource such as this out...

Read More

Market Research 101

Market Research 101

Posted by on Jan 9, 2019 in Emerging Designers, Fashion, Industry Know How, Marketing, Mentee | 0 comments

When launching a new label into the current landscape of the fashion industry, you can never do too much research! Knowledge is power, and a thorough understanding of where your brand sits alongside your competitors is something that will help in shaping the personality of your brand.Each month our Fashion Label Launch Pad students participate in a hosted group call to discuss queries and questions they are experiencing in the journey of starting up new fashion labels. Last month we discussed what to consider when carrying out market research and how to implement your findings to better your label as a whole. Here are our top considerations!SWOT AnalysisAnalysing your business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats is the first step in helping to determine where your label fits against your competitors in the marketplace you are appealing to, plus the wider fashion marketplace at large.What are your strengths? Is it the team you have behind you? Or is it the technology you have at your fingertips to create your unique garments? What is going to give your business a leg up in this industry and how do you stand out from the crowd?Your weaknesses can be evaluated alongside unexpected threats. Knowing your label’s disadvantages early on will help in staying well prepared for anything that comes your way, therefore being able to problem solve quickly and effectively.Business Plan/ MarketingWhat do you want the next 3-5 years of your business to look like? In the early stages of your label never underestimate the power of goal setting. Set your goals high and don’t stop until you get there!Think of your budget. What costs are going to be involved? How much and how frequently? What about unexpected costs, how are you placed to deal with them?Know your expenses vs your income and use your market research to help in formulating your tailored business plan.Important Considerations and ToolsWhat is the size of the marketplace/ or segment of the marketplace you want to operate in? What are the current trends? Does this segment need another label and how can you position yours to succeed?What is the price point for your product? How does this fit into your desired marketplace?What other labels are selling similar garments at similar price points? You can observe their social activity, marketing and publicity campaigns to help give some direction on how to conduct your own marketing of your label.Useful toolsEcommerce platformsFashion/ trade magazinesPrint and online industry mediaDiscussions with other like minded brands and labels in your marketplaceUse of focus groupsContact Sample Room today to see how we can guide you in formulating your tailored business plan and assist in the success of your new fashion...

Read More

Sustainable Fashion in The Circular Economy

Sustainable Fashion in The Circular Economy

Posted by on Dec 10, 2018 in Emerging Designers, Established Designers, Fashion, Fashion Design, Industry Know How, Industry Trends, Sample Room Solutions | 0 comments

 In the production of clothing, there is a multitude of stages that can prove highly damaging to our natural resources. Stages of manufacturing that the everyday consumer might be oblivious to. But, the plain and simple red blouse you see sitting on a rack in a store tells a detailed story between its fibres; from its repetitive washing and rinsing to the treatment of harsh chemicals and blending of plastics. Currently, Australians are the second largest consumers of textiles, buying on average almost 27 kilograms of new clothing each year (ABC Radio Melbourne, 2017). Whilst, it is projected that between 2015 and 2050, over 22 million tonnes of microfibre will be dumped into the ocean. (Ellen Macarthur Foundation, 2017).This, alongside today’s rapidly-changing and unpredictable climate, shows being green and making conscious, sustainable choices about the garments we buy and wear has never been more important. However, in order to facilitate change, we need to adapt our chain of consumerism, placing a demand on bettering the standard that our products adhere to. We love fashion and we want to continue wearing and producing beautiful, luxurious clothing, but how do we help in working towards a greener industry? The Circular Economy – what is it?The way in which we consume can be described as linear. We seem to take, create and then dispose. Think of a flower. It is organically produced, growing from the ground, eaten by bugs and animals requiring the nutrients, and then naturally decomposes; ready for the cycle to begin again. Our world is created around a cyclic system, however, in the process of creating man-made products, our natural evolution has inadvertently taken a backseat, sadly leaving our natural resources to suffer. Adapting The Circular Economy would challenge the way in which we use our products and the way mass-companies choose to produce. Here, once a product has reached the end of its lifespan, it would be returned to the manufacturer, recycled and 100% of its materials would go back into creating its newest version.MUD Jeans is a European label that has been implementing such a replenishment cycle since 2013. See how they implement the circular system!Circular Design- In the circular economy, products are designed to be reused easily.  That’s why we don’t use leather labels, but printed ones instead.Produce- We don’t use conventional cotton. Our mills are BCI and GOTS certified.Recycle- Worn out jeans are shredded, cut into pieces and blended with virgin cotton This is how a new denim yarn is born.Lease or Buy- Lease our jeans or just buy them directly online or in one of the stores.Upcycle- Returned jeans are upcycled and sold as unique vintage pairs.Use & Return-  Take them wherever you go, but send them back at the end of use.Is clothing rental the way of the future?                                   Leasing clothing has proven to be a new and innovative business model that keeps...

Read More

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