The Perfect Fitting Session

The Perfect Fitting Session

A good fit is obviously a result of a good pattern, but you will be surprised to learn how much impact your fitting sessions can have on how quick you will get there and how good and consistent your fit will be.

Not to mention how much money it will save you!

I have been part of hundreds of fitting sessions during my career and I'm always surprised to see how quick a fitting session can go wrong.

RN number, What s It? And Do I Need It?

RN number, What s It? And Do I Need It?

You have probably noticed it on some garments that you bought.

It i a number, usually somewhere on the care labels, most likely with the letters RN# before it. As in the picture below.

An RN number or registered identification number is a number issued by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), upon request, to a business residing in the U.S. and engaged in the manufacture, importing, distribution, or sale of textile, wool, or fur products.  

How to Calculate Fabric Shrinkage

How to Calculate Fabric Shrinkage

One of the development issues that we get asked about a lot is fabric shrinkage.

Here is some info about the subject.

When should I do a shrink test?

I would recommend to do a shrink test to every fabric that you are looking to use.

Offshore or Domestic Apparel Manufacturing?

Offshore or Domestic Apparel Manufacturing?

Deciding whether to produce your fashion product offshore or domestically goes beyond the reasons of cost and number of units you will need to produce.

As a matter of fact it's a decision that will impact how your business is set up and operates to best fit that scenario, re; what kind of people/services you should hire and even the details of your designs.
 

What Scenario Should You Cost Your Fashion Product For?

What Scenario Should You Cost Your Fashion Product For?

As a start-up fashion brand, costing your product for the first time is one of the most challenging parts of your fashion business.

When you source a factory you will have their costs for making both a small run of your product (i.e. 50 units) and a bigger run (i.e. 200+ units). For many designers, the first season is experimental and you might not know exactly how many orders you will get. So the big question is: Should you price your product based on the cost of a small run or the cost of a big run? 

How Long Does it Take to Launch a Fashion Brand?

How Long Does it Take to Launch a Fashion Brand?

Last week we looked into answering the big question of How Much Does it Cost to Start A fashion Brand, this week we’ll tackle the question of How Long Does it Take to Launch A Fashion Brand?

Similar to cost, the time question does not have only one answer and the answer depends on different aspects of your brand, such as your product, your target customer/ market, your commitment and availability (time and money), your business concept, business strategy and more.

4 Tips for Getting The Best Results From Your Pattern Maker

4 Tips for Getting The Best Results From Your Pattern Maker

Today’s post offers 4 tips to help you get the best results out of your pattern maker.

Knowing what to provide and how to direct your pattern maker is crucial to how well can they execute your vision. Whether you are a veteran or new to the industry the following should make your pattern maker job easier and will make you look like a pro not to mention save you time and money:

When Should You Grade Your Apparel Pattern?

When Should You Grade Your Apparel Pattern?

One of the most common mistakes we see with young designers is grading a pattern too early in the development process.

At what stage of the process should you grade your apparel pattern?

First, let’s explain what grading is:

Grading is the stage of sizing an apparel pattern up or down to create the patterns for the other sizes of that garment.

4 Things That Any Fashion Brand Can Do To Be More Sustainable.

4 Things That Any Fashion Brand Can Do To Be More Sustainable.

Sustainability - The ability to continue a defined behavior indefinitely. 

In the fashion industry we are constantly producing more and more goods. We use tons of natural resources, produce garments all over the world and all the while we are trying to keep up with ever changing trends and timely demands of the fashion industry. What is that impact? Most of the pollution in the garment industry comes from textiles. Water usage, finishing agents, and dyes. 20% of the worlds water pollution is due to the garment industry. How does it affect the community that work and live around these factories? As designers and consumers we have the responsibility to ask ourselves these questions and the ability to make change. 

How do you as a designer build a company with all of these things in mind and as a small brand be a part of this change?

Behind the Brand – The Story of PaperGirl

PaperGirl is a  brightly illustrated and inspiring made in NY childrenswear line that our company manged the development and production for this past year before launching their first collection in April 2015! 

The stunning original artwork that make up each print on the garments, coordinates with a booklet (also designed and written by the designer) stored inside the garment’s pocket to inspire its little wearers to dream as individuals. Here we meet the designer behind the imaginative brand to hear her unique story:

Time Time Time...

You have a great concept, you have the backing and the drive, but all of these things can’t make a line successful if it doesn't ship on time.

One of the biggest pitfalls for designers is staying on schedule and making their deliveries on time. It’s a struggle to design, produce, ship and sell on time, especially for designers who are learning how the fashion calendar works.  The industry has standard dates that are predetermined for designers to follow as guidelines:

-          Fabric shows – when the season’s fabrics become available

-          Sales shows – when the current season collection is presented to stores

-          Store delivery dates – when stores accept orders 

Designers who end up with late product either do not stick to their calendars or are setting their calendars up incorrectly. 

How you organize your time before and in between these industry dates will make or break 

5 Points to Best Communicate Your Designs to a Sewing Contractor

As a designer, it is very important your collection is well executed for a show, presentation and market week, as well as the selling floor. And to have a well-made collection, or just a single garment, it starts after your designs are finalized and it’s ready for construction.

Most fashion houses already have their team of sewers who understands the design concept and know how each garment should be constructed, with some instructions given. However, majority of young designers don’t have the same resources. When they find a sewer or factory to sew their garments, young designers would think that this person would understand their design because of years of experience the sewer has under their belt. This is actually a BIG misconception. If no instructions given, the sewer can have a garment finished in a way that you originally did not want. This mistake would cost time and money.

When you give a new design to a sewer/factory, you should think ahead about the steps they 

How to Translate Inspiration Into Designs

Inspiration - the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.

As creative people we are constantly stimulated by various (and sometimes random) things around us: visuals, sounds, text, smells, memories, feelings etc. Translating all of that into unique and wearable designs is where the magic/creative part happens!

When beginning to design a collection it’s natural to start fantasizing about your favorite designs, spilling sketch after sketch over each page. But good design is not born in a vacuum. The key to creating a memorable collection is to build a story from which you can then draw inspiration from to enhance your designs.

Simply picking and choosing elements that you like will leave the customer confused and will not 

3 Reasons Why You Need A Tech Pack

When developing a product or collection from scratch it’s easy to start designing and planning without first considering the importance of how you’ll communicate your designs to the team that will help bring your vision to life.  A tech pack is the fashion industry’s universal form that explains all the details and specs for each garment. Before getting too far into the design process, consider these three important reasons how a tech pack will help your business:

  1. Personal organization: Having a tech pack is almost like having a visual checklist for each style. In one compact place you can fill in all details relating to a garment until it is ready for

The Importance of Using a Professional Fit Model!

“How much does a fit model cost? Is that for one hour only? I really can’t afford that. Can we just fit on me? I can use my friend, he/she is the right size…”

This is a common response from emerging designers when discussing the fittings.

The main misconception about fit models is due to the fact that they are called models. Therefore, it’s important to understand the differences between a runway model (which is what we normally associate models with) and a fit model.

Here is a brief explanation to better understand the difference between a fit model and runway model’s job descriptions:

5 Points to Consider Before Starting a Handbag Line

Are you looking to start a handbag line?

We recently partnered with Tara Sauvage, a handbag expert with over 15 years expertise in handbags and leather goods. Together we will offer help with every stage of the process: from consulting to design, sourcing, development and production with both domestic and overseas manufactures.

Below are Tara’s top 5 points you must consider before starting a handbag line: 

  1. Price Point Will Determine Feasibility.   

    It is important to figure out your retail price point before starting a collection, as this will determine the materials you can use.  Many new aspiring handbag designers want to make a luxury leather bag collection that retails for under $100. 

How to Choose Your Product’s Size Range. Numeric Sizes vs Letter Sizes

Choosing an appropriate size range for your apparel products will usually have more impact on your branding than what you might think, especially if FIT is high on your list of priorities for brand identity. The available sizes you decide to offer can send a message to whom you see as your target customer and what market you are going after. 

When it comes to apparel there are two standard size ranges:

The Most Important Step to Get the Best Results From Your Production

This week I read a very informative article on manufacturing and production and it made me think: “What is the single most important step to get the best results from your production? “

I once had a teacher who said that if we simply do our homework and study, the test will be a breeze! And he was right, it worked for me. The same concept easily translates to fashion production.

DESIGN WITH PRODUCTION IN MIND! I know how boring and limiting this part sounds for a creative person like you, but following this motto is the single, most important step to turn your creativity and talent into a BUSINESS! If you plan your production process while you design your product and think ahead about each step, re: the logistics, the cost, the timeline, etc. your production will be easy and will have no tricky questions or surprises.

To help you with that, here are 3 tips you should follow when designing your next season: 

Do I Need a UPC Bar-code?

Do I Need a UPC Bar-code?

Today I wanted to answer a reader's question. Its a question that we frequently get from designers so I figured you will all benefit.
Q. What’s the skinny on bar codes/upc codes. Do I need to buy these for my hang tags?
A. To answer the question I’d like to first explain what a UPC code is and why it is used.
A UPC, Universal Product Code, is a bar code that encodes product information (company, product style, size, color, etc.) in a visual pattern that can be read electronically. For example, major department stores who have an electronic point of sale system at the checkout use UPCs to keep track of their stock, sales, and to reorder products by scanning the bar-code.

Top Five Points to Consider When Sourcing Fabrics

Top Five Points to Consider When Sourcing Fabrics

On July 22-23 the PREMIERE VISION NY & INDIGO fabric shows will take place here in New York. If you are planning to attend the show, here below are 5 fabric sourcing tips you should consider.

Choosing fabrics for your designs will have an impact not only on your garments but on your business in general. Things like minimums, freight, continuity and availability of fabrics, prices (off course), etc. can affect your cash flow, cost, prices and more and should all be seriously considered before committing to fabrics.