We believe January is one of the best months of the year. This is the month you are focussed, determined and motivated to achieve your professional and personal aspirations. To set yourself up for a successful year it is important to harness this fresh energy and make the most of it. So if starting a fashion label has been your dream, here is our 10 point checklist for you to work through in the coming months. We see hundreds of new fashion labels launch every year by people from all different walks of life and professional experience – so it certainly is possible! Here is what you need to do: 1. Identify your passion We have seen that people who have the most success with their fashion label comes they are truly passionate about what their label represents/provides. If you are a little bit hazy on the “why” behind your concept then we would recommend diving deeper into this until you find a concept that you are passionate and excited about. Your passion will then shine through everything you do and keep you motivated when things become challenging. 2. Budget This is a difficult one to piece together as there are so many variables, in fact people often call us wanting to know how much it will cost. The answer to that is a 5 hour conversation to point you in the right direction. In fact we have been asked this question so much that late last year we launched a fantastic ½ workshop on the real costs of starting a fashion label including offshore v onshore manufacturing costs to give you a real picture before you get started. We have another of these coming up soon so please let us know if you are interested and we can let you know when the next one is on at email@example.com. So where to start? Start researching and complying a list of projected expenses, ideally find someone who has launched a fashion label before and discuss the list with them for some real life input. Your budget is not a set and forget document, as you go through each step of the process keep updating this so you always know where you stand. 3. Education No matter whether you have had some experience in and around the industry, or have studied fashion at Tafe, if you haven’t launched a fashion label before then there is certainly more to learn! You are starting a whole new business after all, and although you may have had a taste of certain aspects before, it still may not prepare you for the complexities of actually launching a fashion business. Business aspects aside, you will need to understand minute details about what it is you are wanting to create. From stitch types, buttonhole types, variations in fit, sizing, fabric and the list goes on. Keep...Read More
Planning the first photoshoot for your new label? Here are our do’s and don’ts to ensure every shoot is a success!
You’ve spent months upon months pouring blood, sweat and tears into creating the perfect garment for your collection, and soon it will be time to release your product to market! Even though your garment might look a million bucks to hold in your hands, it is imperative that the rest of the world fully understands the look and feel of your brand. Investing in a professional, sleek and captivating photoshoot is just one of the ways to get you there. Read below for our list of helpful pointers when sourcing talent, photographers and locations to ensure that every shoot is a success. Firstly, before any photoshoot you need to have established a strong vision of your brand identity. If you’re at this stage, read an earlier blog of our’s for pointers here. So much subtle information can be derived from the photography that surrounds your brand. Whether through print media, or online across store website or social media, customers can gauge the quality of your product, price point and suitability just off one photo. So let’s make every image count! The subject of your photos is completely up to you. Sourcing a model for a product photoshoot can often be an effective choice. There are a plethora of agencies available to you by simply jumping on the internet, but make sure you do your research! We highly recommend reviewing social media pages and websites for any feedback before selecting an agency. This goes for the selection process for photographers as well. Make sure they specialise in fashion and portraiture too. There is a huge difference between a portrait and landscape photographer! Ensure you are selecting a model that represents the look and feel of your brand. They will be comfortable and practiced in delivering the right look you are searching for. Before booking your model, discuss the possibility of a fitting trial prior to committing to anything. If they are able to come in, meet in person and have a trial, this is another step in ensuring you have made the right choice for your brand. Details, details, details! It is so easy to be swept away in the excitement of your product, but always remember to pay attention to the finer details; outfit choices, styling, props and location. These are further points that need to be ironed out when creating your mood/ vision board. Your photographer, makeup and hair stylists also need to understand your vision prior to the shoot. Do not expect anyone else to understand your brand without clear direction. When you book your photographer, have a clear understanding of their fee structure and what your booking entails. Will you receive all photos taken? Or will you only receive the ones that have been edited? Contracts and filing of all correspondence is recommended to ensure all parties are on the same page prior to the day...Read More
It has been five long years. PATTERNROOM.COM has been a dream of mine for a long time now. And there is a good reason why nobody has ever launched anything like Pattern Room before. Simply – it was hard. By no means have we been on an easy or smooth sailing road to lead us to launch Pattern Room today. I have lost count of how many servers we have moved to and then needed to upgrade once again, let alone website platforms that just couldn’t handle the mass that is Pattern Room. BUT we are there. PATTERNROOM.COM is live, housing 10,000’s of commercial-use-ready clothing patterns that myself and my team have individually designed, tested and perfected ensuring they fit a western size. We couldn’t be more proud of this feat. I really look forward to being able to facilitate new and established fashion labels to develop their range at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. For some, this will change their business model completely. For others, it will mean they can actually follow their dreams and launch a fashion label that they thought they were unable to fund. PATTERNROOM.COM is allowing me to also feed an inner passion to do something that matters. Something that has a positive effect on the environment, protecting this planet we all live on. I know first hand how much fabric is wasted in creating toiles and samples for custom developed patterns. From the fabric used in the garment to the offcuts. It adds up. So thanks to PATTERNROOM.COM one pattern can be sampled and perfected and then used multiple times without the need to be resampled. Furthermore – garments created from our patterns will actually fit a western sized figure. Meaning, clothes are far less likely to be purchased and then discarded due to a bad fit. And labels are more likely to sell their full production, again decreasing what ends up in the landfill. The ethical clothing movement has grown considerably over the last couple of years. And as our patterns are created by our ethically accredited fashion development house, Sample Room, labels using Pattern Room patterns have the opportunity to obtain their accreditation. So what is PATTTERNROOM.COM really all about? Here’s the rundown: An online catalogue housing 10,000’s of clothing patterns Downloadable and available in DXF, AI and PDF 0-2 weeks lead time Paper and card patterns available Sample making available We have tried and tested the patterns for Western fit One question I have been asked is whether there is an issue of other labels having the same pattern. Think about it this way; we have over 10,000 variations of a t-shirt pattern. So not taking into consideration your fabric and design choices, it is VERY unlikely you will be able to identify another company using the same pattern as you. So whether you are...Read More
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...Read More
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,...Read More
Photo: Actual Toile Fitting in Sample Room There are many tricks of the trade within any industry. Certainly, within the fashion industry, one such trick is a toile. But what is it, exactly? A toile is a word, derived from the French language, which describes a mock-up of your design. It is an early version of a garment, made of a cheaper, but similar fabric, to test and perfect the design. You can see how important this is to the industry, and also you, as the designer. It is in this toile that a designer can see if the garment is going to sing or sink. It is a necessary step and will assist in avoiding wasting money on sampling that will otherwise fail. I like to call it a quick and dirty version of your design. When it comes to a toile, it is essential to use a fabric that is similar to the one you will use for your garments. If your design is made from a heavy and stiff fabric, then find something cheap and similar to this. If you’re going for a drapey, slinky and lightweight feel, then yes, do the same: find something close to this, but much cheaper and use for your toile. In addition to being a similar weight and feel to your actual fabric, the fabric for a toile should be light in colour, so that you can use tailor’s chalk to mark out where changes need to be made. Here is where you get to test the design lines, and the fit of the garment. You can make markings on the toile and see if a lower V neckline will suit better than the round neck that you initially sketched. The toile will guide you to add darts, or lengthen the hemline, or if cap sleeves will fit better than a three-quarter sleeve. The toile is your important chance to play with your design. Once you’ve made the changes to the toile, then translate them back to your pattern. If you’ve had to cinch in areas on the toile where there was too much fabric, or if you’ve had to loosen where the toile showed pulling and stretching, translate these into your pattern. You might even choose to make a second toile if you’ve made a lot of changes. We prefer to start with a toile. There is nothing worse than making a garment up with topstitching, pockets, overlocking and lining only to find out the shape is not right. It really is a waste of money. A toile costs approx half the cost of a sample if not less. Therefore this is valuable money wasted. I much prefer that we get the shape, length and placement of key measurements right first before creating the final garment. Another option is the make the toile in the final sample fabric but only make...Read More