Fashion | Rag Sourcing

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Introduction to the new Rag Sourcing website

Welcome to Rag Sourcing! We are a privately owned fashion design, sourcing and manufacturing company and this is our new blog. Dedicated to all things fashion, we want it to be the go-to news site for fashion trends, business solutions and insider info on how we help get brands moving, putting gorgeous fashion first.

 

With years of industry experience, Rag Creative specialises in the whole fashion supply chain process. For those of you who have just discovered us, here’s a quick intro: we help start-up fashion brands right the way through to household names turn design and manufacturing visions into reality.

 

Have a look at our new, improved website www.rag-sourcing.com. We hope it’s easier to navigate and gets you all the information you need on our work to help your business grow.

 

If you encounter any issues or simply have some thoughts to share on how we could improve our user experience, then we’d love to hear from you. Post a comment below, call us or email to get in touch.

 

Loads more information on what we offer can be found throughout the site. As you navigate through the site, discover snapshots of the products we create, collections we’ve worked on, as well as our design & sourcing capabilities. Read our commitment to ethical trading and how we can help turn your ideas into fashion reality.

 

As if that’s not enough, why not subscribe to our free newsletter for regular updates on what we’re up to.

FDS News

FDS Logo

FDS Design Job Vacancy, We’re currently looking for a new apparel designer to join our team. More information and full job spec can be found on our website.

Judas Logo

Judas Sinned SS13 Collection has been delivered. Iconic graphics combined with oil dye techniques remain key to their ongoing success. www.judassinned.com

Savant Logo

Savant collection is in store now with a fresh design focus, with sublimation printing, a new product area in this seasons collection. www.blahblahblahclothing.co.uk

Pendleton Logo

Pendleton The new season order has been placed & in work, delivery is scheduled for AW’13 and the SS’14 collection design has now been finished. www.fashiondesignsolutions.com

Salt Logo

Salt of the Earth One of our clients is looking for UK & European sales agents & distributors. To enquire please contact us via our website. www.fashiondesignsolutions.com/contact-us

Lansdown Logo

Lansdown Design has just been completed for lansdown’s in season SS’13 collection and work is due to commence on AW’13 very shortly. www.lansdowncountry.co.uk

Son of Wild Logo

Son of wild From the owners of My Yard, Son of Wild is all set for launch this AW’13. We’re finalising the last few points of their production order as well as the development of their SS’14 range. www.sonofwild.com

 

Rag Sourcing Recent Success

With years of expertise behind us, Rag Sourcing just keeps on growing. We’ve been doing a lot of new things, we’ve welcomed in a lot of new clients and we’ve got fashion led information to share in spades.

 

Most importantly we want to say a big thank you to both our existing & new clients. We’ve had a great start to the first half of the year running with some exciting projects and new techniques.

 

Highlights

 

  • Over the past year our UK team has more than doubled in size, so much so we’re looking for a bigger UK base.
  • We appointed our own satellite office in Turkey. This is a proud moment for Rag Sourcing and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our team & our clients. Thank you to everyone involved.
  • We’ve expanded each and every department of the company. The design team keeps on growing and excelling in their work.
  • Our merchandise & OC team has doubled in size. And with the appointment of personnel in both the UK & Turkey you’ll find our directors, running back and forth more than ever before!

Have you seen our new website yet? www.fashiondesignsolutions.com So many changes mean we’ve given the Rag Sourcing site a major new overhaul.

 

Make sure you bookmark it for all the latest information on our work and services. Check out the new meet the team section on the improved site, discover who’s who and how we can help you further with your fashion business.

How to get the Perfect Fitting Jeans for your Shape

We got some advice from Fast Fashion News on the perfect pair of jeans. For many men, jeans are the most important part of your wardrobe. You wear these when you hit the town with friends. You wear these to work (sometimes, at least). You wear these when you are just hanging out around the house.

 

While jeans may not be the most expensive piece of clothing in your closet, there is no denying the fact that you get your use out of these, time and time again. With all this in mind, you know one thing to be true: your favourite pair of jeans is not going to last forever. When it comes time to make a purchase, you need to know what goes into doing so.

 

If you have ever shopped for jeans in the past, you know that finding the perfect fitting pair can be a challenge. No matter how hard you try, it seems like there is a roadblock around every corner. It is easy to believe that as long as you buy the right size that you will feel comfortable each time you put the jeans on. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There are many details to focus on along the way, ensuring that you are getting exactly what you need for your shape.

 

Price may always be a determining factor, but you don’t want to focus solely on the cost when making a buying decision. Here are several additional things you can do to ensure that you get the perfect fitting pair of jeans for your shape:

 

1. Classic fits are best for most men. In today’s day and age, there are more jean styles available than ever before. While you may be tempted to try out one of the new styles, most men find that this is nothing more than a waste of time and money. To protect against making a mistake, do yourself a favour and opt for a classic fit such as: straight, slim/straight, slim, relaxed, relaxed/straight, or standard. Sounds confusing, doesn’t it? There are many choices, but it doesn’t mean you have to be confused when making a decision.

In addition to getting the help of a sales associate, don’t shy away from trying on many different styles. This is often times the best way to find out what works best for your shape. Start with a straight leg or boot cut and go from there. Once you have tried on every pair imaginable, it will be easy to see which one fits you best.

 

2. Know your shape and purchase your jeans accordingly. For example, if you are on the heavy side you probably don’t want to opt for jeans that are too tight. This is going to show off your weight, not to mention the fact that you are not going to be very uncomfortable.On the other side of things, if you have skinnier legs, you can probably get away with a pair of straight leg, skinny jeans. If this is not your style, opt for something a bit baggier. Just make sure you don’t go too baggy, as this will not match your body shape.

 

3. Focus on three key areas. When shopping for jeans, you want to get something that looks and feels good in an overall sense. You can do this by focusing on three key areas: waist, legs, and crotch. In short, your goal is to ensure that the jeans are not too tight in any of these areas. Do you look good both from the front and back? Remember to check yourself in the mirror. This may sound like the “girly” thing to do, but guys need to realise the importance as well.

Also, never forget that jeans are likely to shrink over time, even if you never put them in the dryer. For this reason, you may want to purchase a pair that is slightly longer than what you need. Not only does this allow you to account for shrinkage, but if you need to make any alterations in the future you can do so.

Regardless of your shape, you know that jeans are a big part of your wardrobe. The more pairs you have the better. Sure, you may have your favourite but you want to know that you can pull out a good looking pair at any time.

When you let the three tips above act as your guide, you should be able to purchase the perfect fitting jeans for your shape. This is not something you want to rush, but instead spend as much time as necessary to make a purchase you are going to be happy with. This way, every time you put your jeans on you are comfortable and knowing that you look your best.

Tricks of the Trade to Disguise the Dreaded Beer Belly

If you are the type of guy who enjoys drinking a cold beer from time to time, you have to consider what this means to your belly. Is your beer belly growing by the day? Are you worried that this will continue to be a problem well into the future?

While there is nothing better than exercising to get the weight off, for the meantime you may be looking into ways to disguise this. After all, you don’t want people to see just how big your beer belly has become.

The first rule of thumb is simple: don’t take off your shirt. If you do this, all bets are off. At this point, it is not difficult for anybody to see that your belly has grown out of control.

 

Five Tricks of the Trade

 

Now that we have all the basics out of the way, including the fact that you should keep your shirt on at all times, let’s take a closer look at five tricks of the trade. By using one or more of the tips below, there is a good chance that you will be able to disguise your beer belly until you are able to get rid of it through exercise and a healthier diet:

 


1. Avoid tight clothing. Let’s face it: the tighter the shirt the more your beer belly is going to show. Why not opt for loose clothing to ensure that this never becomes a problem? This does not mean you have to by a shirt that is noticeably too big. What it does mean is that you should step up a size, just enough to ensure that your belly does not protrude through your shirt.

 

2. Wear dark colours. Did you know that dark colours have a slimming effect? For this reason alone, you should consider adding a variety of dark coloured shirts to your wardrobe. Some of the best colours to consider include black, charcoal, grey, and navy blue. For many years, this one trick has been helping heavier guys hide their stomach. Women use this trick as well, and that alone should be enough for you to realise that it is beneficial.

 

Note: just because you are wearing dark colours does not mean you should revert back to smaller, tighter shirts.

 

3. Tailor your suit. As tempting as it may be to throw on your old suit or buy one off the rack, you want to avoid this if you are attempting to disguise a beer belly. Instead, you should find an experienced tailor in your local area. Tell this person what you are trying to accomplish, and let him or her tailor your suit to make you look your best. Don’t be embarrassed, as this is something that many guys do. You want to look your best when you put on a suit, and one of the best ways of doing so is through a visit with a qualified tailor.

 

4. Tuck in your shirt. It is easy to believe that leaving your shirt untucked is the best way to hide a beer belly, but nothing could be further from the truth. When you do this, your entire look is going to appear messy. Is that what you want? When you choose the right size shirt, you can easily tuck it in to ensure that you look “put together.” Furthermore, you never have to worry about your beer belly looking like it is going to pop out.

 

5. Wear a jacket. This is one of the best ways to disguise a beer belly, however, it is something that many men overlook time and time again. When you wear a stylish jacket you are adding another layer on top of your belly. You can throw this on over a button down or T-shirt, ensuring that you look good while keeping your belly in check.

 

Tip: if you are going to wear a jacket, make sure it matches everything else, including your shirt and your pants. The last thing you want to do is kill your sense of style.

 

Many men have a bear belly and believe that there is nothing they can do to hide it from others. While you may not be able to get rid of this excess fat in a hurry, there are things you can do to disguise it. The five tricks of the trade detailed above are a great place to start. If you implement just one of these tips, you will find yourself not only hiding your belly but also looking better along the way. By combining a couple of these tips, you may soon realise that your problem is gone for good. In fact, this may work out so well for you that you forget your diet and exercise, knowing that you can always hide your belly!

Shirt Suppliers and Fabrics: An In-depth Look

If you are in the business of selling shirts, you know that a shirt is only as good as it feels. That’s why choosing the proper shirt fabric is so important. After all, a shirt that is uncomfortable to wear is going to make the person that dons it feel fairly miserable. And if a customer is not happy, they will most likely not patronize your business. As such, it is important that you not only get a bead on what fabrics are used by shirt suppliers, but you use that information to determine what fabrics may be right for your clientele.

 

Fabrics at a Glance

 

Diving into the world of fabrics to see what may work best for you and your business is not as easy as it may look. It is a world that goes well beyond the realm of cotton, denim, polyester, and the other fabrics that your average person knows about. To be sure, shirt suppliers have a host of materials at their disposal, including several that don’t readily come to mind. However, getting to know as much information as possible about as many fabrics as you can is crucial to your business’ success, since clothing stores rarely live on denim or cotton alone.

 

Some of these fabrics include:

 

• Broadcloth – This is a tightly woven fabric that is marked by a simple over-under weave as well as a slight shininess. These qualities combine to make a very dressy shirt. The fabric also tends to be thinner and lighter, which makes it an ideal fabric for summertime. White broadcloth fabrics have been shown to be a little transparent, which makes wearing an undershirt in conjunction with shirts made from such cloth to be pretty essential.
• Flannel – This seasonal fabric was highly trendy during the grunge movement in the early ‘90s, and has been shown to be making a comeback in some fashion circles. The fabric’s calling card is its thickness, as they are typically made in thicker weaves, thus making them ideal for the chillier weather in the fall and winter.
• Melange – This particular fabric is known for being very thin yet very soft, smooth, and luxurious. They achieve this reputation because of a special type of construction; one where each of the yarns that are used in the fabric is a combination of fibers which are not-dyed and dyed. These colored fibers are then woven together to create a look that looks slightly yet deliberately inconsistent, which in turn gives the fabric a completely organic quality.
• Oxford Cloth – This casual fabric is made with a symmetrical basket weave that is looser in comparison to some other weaves. It is not to be confused with the more formal Pinpoint Oxford, which can feature a tighter weave and a lighter thread. The heavy, rougher texture and durable nature of the threads themselves has made this particular fabric popular for sports use.
• Egyptian Cotton – Simply stated, this fabric is made from a particular type of cotton that is culled from the plant known as Gossypium Barbadense. This particular cotton can differentiate itself from other cottons because it contains longer staples, which in turn can enable it to be threaded into finer, stronger threads. It typically features thread counts of anywhere between 80 and 100; this thread count allows it to differentiate itself from another fabric known as sea island, which is made from the same cotton plant but has a higher thread count.
• Royal Oxford – As the name implies, this particular fabric is one of the dressier fabrics that shirt suppliers will feature. The reason it has the reputation as being dressy is due to its sheen and texture, as both of those particular aspects are highly visible in nature. This particular fabric should not be confused with oxford cloth or pinpoint oxford; despite the similar names, they are completely different.
• Twill – This fabric is marked by its distinctive diagonal lines or texture; this shape allows the fabric itself to exhibit a shiny quality. It is weaved extremely tight, and can therefore come in extremely high thread counts – so much so, the fabric can sometimes be mistaken for silk. Another important quality to note about twill is that it is relatively easy to iron and has a tendency to be resistant to wrinkles.
• Dobby – The thickness and weight of this fabric can be very similar to broadcloth, and its thickness or the way that it is weaved can almost make it appear as if it is twill. This fabric falls somewhere in between the two fields. This particular fabric tends to feature stripes, although it can be a solid color.

 

Other Things to Note About Fabric

 

Once you have gotten a basic grasp on the various types of fabrics that exist out on the market, there are still a couple of items that you need to be aware of before contacting the right shirt suppliers.

The first of these terms is thread count. Specifically, this term defines the thickness of the size of the yarn that is being used to make the shirt. The rule of thumb here is that the higher the thread count number, the higher quality the fabric – and ultimately the shirt – will be.

 

The second of these terms is ply. In essence, ply is defined by how many yarns are twisted together in order to make a single thread. The typical shirt will be designed to be either single ply, meaning that one thread was woven into the fabric, or two ply, meaning that two yarns are twisted together in order to make a single thread which is then woven into the fabric.

 

Getting familiar with these terms as well as the fabrics that are talked about in conjunction with these terms is essential if you want to maximize the overall quality of the clothing that you want to sell. If you don’t, you greatly increase the risk of obtaining a vastly inferior product, which could ultimately have a negative impact on your business and your bottom line.

10 Do’s & Don’ts To Piecing Together A Quality Fashion Portfolio

A fashion portfolio is mandatory for success in the fashion industry. It doesn’t matter whether you are applying to fashion school, trying to get a job at a fashion firm of even making an attempt to get onto a fashion reality show. Without a portfolio to showcase your skills and talent, you aren’t going anywhere!

 

Just for clarification, we want to remind you that a portfolio is nothing more than a visual resume. It’s your way of showing to employers and others what you are capable of producing. However, piecing together a good portfolio requires a lot more than just throwing all your work together.

Fashion Portfolio Do’s

Here we are going to look at things you absolutely should (dare we say: MUST) do to ensure your fashion portfolio stands out from the crowd.

Keep It Updated

Your portfolio is a like you — it changes as time progresses. Likewise, your portfolio should be well maintained and up-to-date. Any time you produce outstanding work, take the time to add it (and add it properly) to your portfolio. Also, make sure your portfolio is set up in reverse chronological order. Your most recent works should be up front, while your works from the past should be pushed to the back.

Set Up A Digital Portfolio

In this day and age, it’s fundamental that you maintain both a traditional portfolio and a digital portfolio. Imagine that you are at a portfolio show, but some of the potential employers who stop by just don’t have the time to review your entire presentation at the moment. All you would have to do is hand them a business card that contains a link to your online portfolio.

Keep Your Portfolio Simple

Try to keep your portfolio as simple as possible, and limit the number of pages. If you have too much work that you want to share, consider creating a mini portfolio to supplement your main portfolio. Also make sure to rely on a fairly simple but eye-catching fashion portfolio cover. Take a look at the books on fashion that you own, do any of them have a flashy cover? Probably not!

Add Sketches

Despite common belief, your portfolio should, in fact, contain sketch work. Sketching is a highly desired skill in the fashion industry. Your sketches can tell a lot about not only your creative process, but your problem-solving capabilities as well. Plus, sketch work can serve as a decent filler in case you’re relatively new to fashion and don’t have that many pieces to share with prospective employers.

Include Mood/Trend Boards

Make sure you include mood/trend boards that support the overall feel you are trying to create for your portfolio. Again, such additions help display how you think, how you collate research, and how you reach a final product. They also display your comprehension of such fashion basics like texture, colours, fabrics and trends. If you must choose between sketches and boards, go with boards!

Fashion Portfolio Don’ts

Here we are going to look at things that can ruin your portfolio.

 

Sloppy Presentation

 

There is no easier way to completely destroy the worth of your portfolio than by being sloppy. Your portfolio should be absolutely pristine in its presentation. It is meant to showcase your personality, your creativity and your professionalism, so it should be obvious why it would be a major turn-off if you turned in something that looked like a 12-year-old could have bundled together.

 

Too Much Content

 

Your portfolio should not be an archive of all your work. It should only contain the best of the best. Furthermore, it should focus on those areas of fashion in which you excel the most. The general consensus is that someone who acts like a jack-of-all-trades is usually a master of none. And when it comes to fashion, it is much better to be masterful at a few select things than to be just amateur at everything.

 

Avoid A Static Portfolio

 

A portfolio need not be static, and it is perfectly fine (and, in fact, recommended) if you adjust your portfolio for specific scenarios and job opportunities. If you are applying for a position within a fashion company that deals exclusively with menswear, for instance, then it would make perfect sense to remove all non-menswear pieces from your portfolio and replace them with better fitting examples of your work.

 

Don’t Overdo It

 

The most a fashion portfolio should contain is around twenty-five pieces, and that’s only if you have a decade or two of experience working as a fashion designer. If you are just starting out (such as if you just graduated college), then your portfolio should be limited to around ten pieces. Just remember that it’s not about the quantity of pieces you include, but rather the quality!

 

Make Excuses

 

It’s very possible and likely that you will make mistakes your first or second time around. Whatever you do, don’t make excuses when confronted or criticized by an employer: be upfront and accept responsibility. Employers understand that you’re young and just starting out. With that said, it’s important to be humble and accepting of any and all criticism you receive, because arrogance will not get you very far.

 

Piecing Together A Great Fashion Portfolio

 

Piecing together a quality portfolio doesn’t have to be hard, so long as you work hard at what you do. Just be sure to use common sense. Also, take the time to ensure your portfolio is polished. It’s okay if you make a mistake your first time around, but truthfully it’s always better to take the time beforehand to be flawless in your execution. Believe us when we say that prospective employers will appreciate it!

Find the Perfect Little Black Dress for any Budget

Every woman knows one thing to be true: they need a little black dress that they can wear at any time. If you have one of these in your closet that you are comfortable with, you can breathe a sigh of relief. On the other hand, if you don’t have the perfect option it may be time to set your sights on making a purchase in the near future.

It is one thing to say you are going to find the perfect little black dress, but another thing entirely to make a purchase that you are going to be comfortable with, both in terms of your style and your budget.

 

It is a myth that you have to spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars for a dress that looks and feels good. While some are sure to set you back a thousand dollars or more, you do not have to set your budget this high. In other words, you can find the perfect dress regardless of your budget.

 

Five Tips for Success

 

If you understand the importance of having a little black dress in your wardrobe, you will realise that there is no better time than now to make a purchase. Here are five tips that will allow you to buy this garment, regardless of how much money is in your budget:

 

1. Consider a variety of dress manufacturers. Although you may have your eye on one designer or another, there is nothing wrong with opening your mind and considering a variety of others. Remember, the more dresses you try on the better chance there is that you are going to find the one that is right for you. It does not cost any money to research a number of manufacturers and designers with the hopes of finding the one that is perfect for you. Who knows, you may come across one that you were not previously aware of.

 

Note: some designers are cheaper than others. Find those that price their dresses within your budget. This will save you a lot of time during the search process.

 

2. Shop online. One of the best ways to save money on a little black dress is to shop online. While there are benefits of buying at a local store, such as the ability to first try on the dress, you may find that you are paying more money. Shopping online does not always save you cash, but it can definitely put you in position to do so. On top of this, you are going to open yourself up to a world of opportunity. The selection online is much greater than any one store, since you can jump around from one website to the next within a matter of seconds.

 

3. Search the sales rack. Most stores that sell these dresses are aware that some people are on a budget. For this reason, they often times move some of their inventory to the sales rack. Don’t shy away from these sections of the store because you think something is wrong with the dresses. Instead, realise that you are able to shop these racks as a means of saving money on your purchase.

 

4. Know your shape. It doesn’t matter how much money you have or where you shop, if you don’t know what you are looking for in terms of shape and size you are going to come up short in the long run. Every woman has a unique shape. Which type of dress works best for you? Once you pinpoint your shape and have an idea of what you are looking for, you can narrow down your options with hopes of making an informed and confident decision in the near future.

 

5. Know what type of style you are looking for. It is easy to believe that every little black dress is the same, but the only thing that is identical is the colour. As you begin to look around, you will find that there are many different styles to choose from. How long do you want your dress to be? Are you looking for one with straps or no straps? Are you interested in one with a V-neck design? These are the types of questions that can help you find a dress that suits your style.

 

You want to do more than find a little black dress that fits you well. You want to find one that also matches your budget. With the five tips above, you should be able to shop around until you find the one that fits you best without breaking the bank. When this happens, you will have a smile on your face as you make a purchase and think about the first time you get to show off your new dress.

Fashion Design Solution’s Blog Post Round-Up

This week Fashion Design Solutions takes a look at the ethics of the overseas garment factory, why we believe Turkey is the best value for money when it comes to garment production, how to find a quality clothing manufacturer, as well as tips and tricks for getting your t-shirt design noticed by High Street shoppers. See below for an overview of our five most recent posts, and click the links to visit each article.



Easy Ways to Attract Immediate Attention to Your T-Shirt Design – The classic t-shirt has been a widely owned staple of nearly all closets since its creation in the early 1900s. With t-shirts encompassing everything from cheap underwear to high end name brands, how do you get your design and style noticed? We have a few ways that will get your Ts immediate notice.


What to Look Out for When Looking For a Clothing Factory – Finding a high quality manufacturer for your fashion line is perhaps the single most important decision you will make in the entire production process. A high quality line made from quality materials and sturdy stitching will sell your brand for you, while low quality garments that fall apart after the first wash will ruin your entire business model. Here we delve into what makes a good manufacturer, and what doesn’t.


8 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Turkish Clothing Manufacturer for Your Business – With clothing factories located all over the world, from China and Bangladesh to Italy and Turkey, how do you know where you will get the most for your money? Fashion Design Solutions utilises manufacturers in Turkey for all of our brands, and here’s why we think Turkey would be the right location for you.


The Ethics of the Garment Factory: A Primer – if the idea of using a clothing manufacturer outside of the UK conjures up images of the dreaded sweat shop, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, international clothing manufacturers have been plagued by misconceptions of the international garment worker, and in this article we cover not only how much of the world is implementing ethical trade practices, but also establishing worker rights and legal benefits.


Fundamental Traits Needed to Excel As a Menswear Fashion Designer – Do you have what it takes to design fashionable menswear? In this article we provide a brief overview of the skills needed to succeed in this niche of the fashion industry.

A Denim Suppliers Guide To Denim Fabrics & Denim Washing

As you are probably aware, the world of denim is teeming with a near endless assortment of different dyes, weaves and fabrics. ‘Weaving’ your way through this mess can be quite confusing, especially if it’s your first time around dealing with denim suppliers. Today we want to simplify the adventure for you by first addressing what denim is and then talking about the different types of denim. Ready? Let’s go!

 

What Is Denim?

 

The word denim derives from the French phrase “serge de Nîmes.” It refers to a cotton textile that relies on a twill weave with diagonal ribbing to achieve those wonderful pairs of denim jeans we all wear. The amazing thing about denim is that it’s available in so many different styles. Denim can basically be used to match any form of attire.

 

The most original denim was made from 100% cotton serge and referred to as cotton serge denim. These days, denim is available in an abundance of different materials and blends from a variety of denim suppliers. The four most common ones that we want to cover today are listed below:

  • Dry/Raw Denim
  • Selvage Denim
  • Stretch Denim
  • Ramie Denim
  • Poly Denim

What Is Denim Washing?

 

Before we even start talking about the various types of denim, we need to understand what is meant by ‘denim washing’. When people talk bout ‘denim washing,’ they refer to the ‘washing’ techniques used to modify denim before the denim product or products are put to sale and distributed to consumers.

 

Denim is “washed” or “processed” to achieve a special effect, such as fading. The usual goal is to make the denim product look aged and worn. However, there are advanced wash techniques (such as acid washing, stone washing, sand washing, sand blasting) that create contrast, selective fading, etc. Why do people like denim looking like this? You’d have to ask a psychologist. All we know is that such worn-out-looking denim sells like hotcakes!

 

What Is Dry/Raw Denim?

 

Dry or raw denim is denim that has not been washed. It is 100% raw and thus does not contain any special effects like fading. This gives it a very raw, vintage look that’s rugged and sexy. Unfortunately, dry/raw denim comes with a few notable drawbacks.

 

1. It’s very stiff compared to washed denim. This means you must wear it a number of times before you feel anywhere close to comfortable in it.

 

2. It’s not ideal to wash raw denim in a washer/dryer. This fades the denim. The better option is to wear it as much as possible and then dry clean it when necessary.

 

3. It’s a real pain to maintain. To own raw denim, you need to be willing to maintain it religiously! Otherwise, why even waste extra money on it?

 

So why do people buy raw denim? They like its authenticity. The thing about raw denim is that isn’t completely unaffected when you receive it. As a result, every mark, line and tear it accumulates in its lifespan comes from your daily life and activities. Simply put, raw denim tells a story!

 

What Is Selvage Denim?

 

Selvage denim is a special, luxury-grade form of denim that relies on a tighter weave. Back in the day, all denim was selvage. Clothes makers used traditional shuttle looms to construct densely woven denim fabric in long, narrow strips that contained selvage edges. These edges were required so that the strips could be turned into trousers.

 

Things changed in the mid 1900s when clothing manufacturers started using projectile looms to keep up with increasing demand. These looms let manufacturers use wider materials, thus taking away the need for a selvage edge.

 

What makes selvage denim so pricey is the fact that it’s so durable and crisp and classy. Plus, making selvage denim is harder than making non-selvage denim.

 

What Is Stretch Denim?

 

Back in 1959, a chemist named Joseph Shivers invented what we now know as spandex. It’s a synthetic fibre that possesses incredible elasticity. Now imagine what happened when, two decades later, fashionistas decided to combine spandex with denim? Stretch denim was invented!

 

Stretch denim differs from other forms of denim because it conforms to the body’s shape. Most denim items needed to be broken in before they fit perfectly. This isn’t the case with stretch denim.

 

Unfortunately, because of the stretch factor, stretch denim tends to be less durable. Over time, the elastic fibres break down, thus causing the denim item to lease its stretchiness. Stretch denim products also fray much easier than regular denim garments.

 

What Is Ramie Denim?

 

Ramie denim is an especially unique form of denim only dealt with by a select few denim suppliers. It is simply standard denim mixed with the fibre crop Boehmeria nivea, or ramie. This crop is added to denim because of its numerous advantages:

  • It’s naturally resistant to bacteria and mildew.
  • It’s very absorbent and thus comfortable to wear.
  • It’s resistant to stains.
  • It’s not damaged by mild acids.
  • It dyes very, very easily.
  • It can withstand high-temperature laundry.
  • It doesn’t shrink in size.
  • It can be bleached.

By combing ramie with denim, denim suppliers are able to make their denim garments more resistant to bacteria, mildew, stains and more. They are in effect able to improve it just by making a simple change to their garments’ construction.

 

What Is Poly Denim?

 

Poly denim refers to the mixture of denim with polyester, the latter of which is a manufactured fibre that’s extraordinary strong. It’s also resistant to mildew, shrinkage, stretching, chemicals, wrinkles and even abrasions. Plus, it washes and dries much more easily. These factors make poly denim very useful for when constructing work clothes. The drawback is that polyester makes denim garments less breathable.

 

What Are Denim Suppliers To Do With All This Info?

 

This is a lot of information to cover, but it should just be a starting point. If you are serious about denim fashion, it would be prudent for you to continue learning as much as possible. Speak with denim producers. Examine some denim gear. Become an expert on denim!

The Art of Finding the Right Clothing Manufacturers

We’re all undoubtedly familiar with the phrase “clothes make the man.” But what about the people that make the clothes? If you are a business owner that is looking to sell clothes to the masses, finding clothing manufacturers that you can trust from a business and a quality perspective is an essential part of finding success within the industry. Of course, if you don’t have a whole lot of experience, this could be easier said than done. As anyone in the industry can tell you, the world of clothing manufacturers can be a rather unscrupulous place, as it is rife with various businesses cobbling together poorly constructed goods as well as scammers looking to rip people off. It may be enough to intimidate the newbie into thinking twice about opening up a shop that sells clothes.

 

However, finding the right clothing manufacturer is not all doom and gloom. The road to finding a good, trustworthy company that will provide you with quality clothing – and ultimately, a rock steady business relationship between you and your customers – is a path that can easily be walked upon. It just takes an adherence to a few basic rules.

 

Steps to Take When Finding a Clothing Manufacturer

 

The first step that you must take is something that, in a way, occurs before you even begin to sift through clothing manufacturers to find the items that fit your needs. Everything you do must be done with a great measure of diligence, which is brought about putting together a specific strategy and sticking to it from start to finish. Keep in mind that the clothes that you purchase from a clothing manufacturer are going to affect your business and its profitability in the long run. Not having a well thought out battle plan at the ready – or even worse, wavering from that plan once you get the ball rolling on things – could have a profoundly negative impact on the bottom line of your business.

 

Of course, there are a few key elements that must be in play regardless of what strategy you decide to deploy. For example, you need to clearly define who your clientele is going to be, and how the clothes that you purchase from a clothing manufacturer are going to reach out to that clientele. If you own a little boutique store on the coast and are surrounded by surfers and beach-going families, you are probably not going to be all that successful selling flannels and work boots. Conversely, you aren’t going to sell a whole lot of beachwear all year round if you live in a mountainous range or if you live in a place that has definitive seasons.

 

Another important task is to get yourself completely assured of the clothing manufacturer’s reputation. This is a critical step for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it would behoove you to make sure that the company that you are working with is not in the habit of acting unscrupulous or shady. Secondly, working with a clothing manufacturer that has a poor reputation may make some of your more industry-savvy customers a little gun shy in doing business with you. Both reasons could end up making your business less profitable.

 

In order to ensure that you are working with a clothing manufacturer is on the up and up, you need to do a little more than just check their website. The company page is undoubtedly going to tell you what they want you to know, so you need to do a little digging. This can be accomplished by performing the following tasks:

  • Check what other people are saying – There are plenty of other websites that are out there that will go beyond what the manufacturers’ website is saying. Because of this, you should go elsewhere online and check various reviews that may have been written about the company and its standards and practices.
  • Follow up on website accolades – If the company has testimonies listed somewhere on their site, follow up with the people and companies that gave such web-based praise and dive a little deeper into what those words actually mean.
  • Pay a visit to the factory where the goods are being made – If at all possible, you should try and visit the factory where the clothes are being made. Getting a distinctive visual as to how the clothes are constructed will go a long way into helping you decide how ethical and forthright the company truly is on a business level and on an employer level.

 

Other Important Tips

 

Another thing that you may want to consider as you try to find a clothing manufacturer that works for you is to find a few local companies that you may be able to feature in your store. Keeping things local is a big selling point in plenty of other business ventures, so it stands to reason that a similar motif would play very well in the world of clothing design. A local manufacturer may have a solid pulse on the likes and dislikes of your potential clientele even before you stock their stores with their wares, so featuring them in your store could enable you to reach out to your surrounding area in a more personalized manner; something that may not be as readily possible if you look beyond local borders.

 

But perhaps the biggest thing you can do on your quest to finding the right clothing manufacturer for your store is to reside yourself to the fact that it won’t be easy. Yes, you could strike gold immediately and find the perfect manufacturer, but these types of scenarios are few and far between. The actual work involved is uncomplicated on the surface, but the likely probability of you needing to research several companies in order to find just the right one is a process that can be time-consuming. However, if you manage to remain patient throughout the process, you will most likely find the clothing manufacturer that speaks to the soul of your business, and ultimately, your customers.

The Range Plan: How Clothes Designers Plan Their Fashion Lines

What is fashion? More than just what people wear, fashion is the art of creating clothing and “looks” which reflect the society and culture of a certain place and time. It’s partially influenced by fashion designers, of course, but it’s also partially influenced by society as a whole.

 

Think back to a time when men always wore suits and hats. Now, remember the time when tie-dye ruled the land? Or, even further back, think of a time when men wore white wigs and powered their faces. Some of it might seem weird now, and some of it not, but it all meant something unique to the culture of its time.

Fashion Designers and Their “Superpowers”

 

Fashion designers, in a very real way, decide what’s cool. They have their pulse on what’s hot, what’s not, and what the next big thing is going to be. The trick is to see where styles are going, and then produce clothing which reflects those styles.

 

How does someone do this? Well, it’s a little bit of a science and a little bit of an art. Styles do return in fashion, to a certain extent. While certainly there’s nothing strange about seeing someone wearing a tie dye shirt, it would perhaps take a real fashion-forward person to don the powdered wig and face powder before hitting the town to run a few errands. So while you can look to fashion’s history and learn about its future, there’s also a real art to knowing what people will consider cool.

 

House of Ideas

 

A fashion house is the term used for a company which produces multiple different clothing lines and accessories. They are often named after the primary designer and founder, such as Tommy Hilfiger, Armani and Christian Dior. Often, as these houses grow in size, the lead designer will employ more and more designers, who work under the lead’s approval.

 

Each designer will produce clothing which is only considered new for only a short period of time. This doesn’t mean “new” in the sense the clothing will fall apart quickly, but “new” in the sense of fashion as an art form which is considered always in motion. This is why fashion lines are based around seasons, and each major designer typically has at least a winter line and a summer line each year.

 

Here’s an interesting side note: The idea of modern fashion, as something created by specialized clothes designers, began in 1858 with a man named Charles Frederick Worth. He not only designed and created clothing, he was the first person to put his name on a label sewn into the clothing. It’s this idea of a brand which has continued on to this day.

 

Many Different Styles, for Many Different Audiences

 

Have you ever seen a fashion show from a big-name designer? Even if you’re into fashion, you’ve probably looked at some of the outfits and wondered who possibly wears these outfits, and where? Well, there’s actually more going on than you may think.

How Shirt Manufacturers Collar the Men’s Clothing Market

The collar can arguably be the most important part of a dress shirt. Even if the shirt that you are wearing is freshly pressed and free from the scourge of wrinkles, if you have a collar that is bent, crumpled, or just simply won’t stay in place, you’re entire outfit can be ruined. At least, it can certainly feel that way if you’re the one that is wearing the shirt.

 

This is the reason that any shirt manufacturers that care about the quality of their product will use an extra measure of care in order to make sure that the collar looks as every bit as good as the rest of the shirt. In a way, it sets the tone for the look, style, and sophistication of the person that wears the fabric.

 


Types of Collars

 

There is no “one size fits all” type of method when it comes to collar production. Indeed, shirt manufacturers can deploy a host of different techniques and design styles in order to make a person’s collar look perfect.

 

Spread Collar

 

Perhaps the most well recognized collar is the spread collar. The classic collar design features points that are angular as they come down over the top of the shirt, but they do not flair outward nor do they point directly downward. It is arguably the most versatile of all collars, as it tends to look stylish with a suit and tie and it also looks right at home with a more casual, at-home look.

There are different variations to this particular collar that different shirt manufacturers utilize in order to create a unique look. These variations include:

  • Tall-Spread Collar – This variation adds a couple of inches in height to the collar to make it stand out a little more prominently when a person is wearing a suit or a sport coat. It also works well with a variety of tie knots and sizes.
  • Semi-Spread Collar – This variation features a wider collar blade, which gives it an even more casual appearance than a typical spread collar. That being said, it is still versatile enough to appear dressy, and can still act as an ideal compliment to a tie or a jacket.

Eton Collar

 

Another popular collar type is known as an Eton collar, also known as a club collar. This collar, which originated around the early part of the 20th century, has long been considered a classic mainstay in men’s fashion. It is short and tight, and features slightly rounded edges, thus giving it a softer appearance. While its size makes it a perfect option for a business casual look, its compact size and tight underlining allows it to sit perfectly under a coat with a necktie.

 

Point Collar

 

A point collar, on the other hand, does not contain the rounded edges of an Eton collar. As the name suggests, it features edges that are sharp and angular, giving the shirt a more geometric shape that fits right into streamlined clothing styles. Like the spread collar, a point collar can be designed to be various sizes in height, with each height carrying a different connotation in formality and style. As such, it is not uncommon to see a point collar on more casual button down shirts, such as ones that feature plaid patterns or prints.

 

Cutaway Collar

 

One of the shortest collars that shirt manufacturers use is a cutaway collar. Typically, this particular collar is distinguished by being slightly flared and small to the point where it is barely there. This design choice is intriguing because it gives the shirts that feature the collar a distinctively old-time dashing quality to it without feeling like it stuck in the past. This quality allows it to deftly straddle the line in between vintage traditional style and modern sensibilities, arguably better than any other collar can. It looks just as slick with a bowtie as it does without any neckwear.

 

Those that want a little more length to this particular style of collar could deploy a deep cutaway collar instead. In essence, this particular collar is larger than the traditional cutaway and also has a more pronounced spread. This added length and width may make it a little more receptive to fuller tie knots, but can still look just as sleek and rakish as a traditional cutaway without the presence of neckwear. This particular looks especially sleek if you are one that is into wearing a shirt that features a contrasting white collar.

 

Button-down Collar

 

Another popular modern collar is the button-down collar. This particular collar is distinguished by the presence of button holes at their end points, which allows it to be properly fastened to the body of the shirt. It is the most high-maintenance of all the collars that are used by shirt manufactures – after all, there is an extra step involved in making the collar look proper if you are wearing it with a tie – but the presence of the buttons makes any shirt that features them look sleek and professional. The person that wears s a shirt with a button-down collar will look like he means business when he wears it with a tie. However, if he wears it out sans neckwear, he will send a message that says that he not only works hard, but he plays hard, too. The attitude that this type of collar cultivates makes it the ultimate collar to wear for that company trip when business invariably mixes with pleasure.

 

Bringing it All Together

 

Even though there are plenty of different collars that shirt manufacturers can use in creating a button down shirt, the one common bond that ties them all together is the fact that each collar plays a role in helping the wearer create a definitive sense of style. Even though a collar makes for a small portion of the overall shirt, its size, style, and framing capabilities can set the tone for not only the rest of the shirt, but the rest of the outfit, as well. As such, selecting a collar is something that should not be something that is taken for granted.

Gauging a Crucial Tool in the World of Knitwear Designers

Knit gauge is arguably the most important tool of the trade in the world of knitwear designers. In essence, knit gauge will let you know what stitches per inch are in a garment – an important measurement to note, since there is no one universal stitch size that can be used. There are several reasons why this number could vary from fabric to fabric, including:

  • Needle size
  • Yarn
  • Stitch pattern
  • Individual knitter

It is important that you determine exactly what your knit gauge is before you undergo the process of assembling a garment. Even if your stitch is off by the slightest, it can spell disaster for your finished product.

 


Types of Knit Gauges Used

 

Because knit gauge is not a one size fits all type of operation, there are several different gauges that knitwear designers can deploy in order to get the proper stitching, based on both the type of garment being stitched and the knitwear designers’ own style.

Some of the more common gauges that are utilized factor in the thickness or layer of a folded material, otherwise known as ply. This thickness is measured by how many yarns are twisted together in order to make a singular thread. In the United States, these measurements are listed as 2-ply, 3-ply, and 4-ply. In other countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, you may see 5-ply, 8-ply, 10-ply, or even 12-ply gauges.

There are a host of subcategories that derive from these particular measurements. The thinnest threads in these particular subcategories are known as fingering, whereas the thickest threads are known as bulky. The categories that are found in between this range include sock, sport, light worsted, worsted, and chunky. Not surprisingly, the thicker threads are utilized to make thicker products, up to and including sweaters or rugs.

 

The Importance of Swatches

 

As most knitwear designers will tell you, a critical part of the knit gauge process is to create a swatch. A swatch will put the proper knitting metrics into your grasp, giving you a small sample size as to how a fabric will look given the parameters that you decide to utilize while creating a knitted piece. These parameters will thusly eliminate any and all guesswork that you may have before you start putting your piece together.

Creating a swatch is essential if you are going to be putting together something that has exact measurements. If you are designing something that can be viewed as haphazard in nature, such as a baby blanket or a scarf, then creating a swatch is not as critical to the production of such items. However, if you are knitting something that is designed to fit an individual, then creating a swatch is a must. While there is a prevailing thought in some circles that a person can go on feel while putting together a piece of clothing and therefore forego the swatch process, it is inadvisable to do so because a person’s knitting tension has a tendency to change over a period of time based on how they knit or even what their mood may be.

 

Calculating the Knit Gauge Swatch

 

Knitting a gauge swatch requires that you use a little math as well as a little knitting skill. The first thing that you need to do is to figure out what will be at least six inches of stitches with whatever yarn or thread you choose to use and cast on that many stitches. That being said, you should be cognizant of the fact that the longer you make the swatch, the more accurate your measurement will end up being. Once you have figured out the length of your swatch, you should then knit a few rows in a garter stitch. As you do this, you should keep about an inch’s worth of stitches at the edge of the garter stitch. If your gauge does not give you a definitive pattern stitch, you should work in a stockinette stitch for a few inches. If you do have a pattern stitch, you must continue knitting your swatch in this particular pattern.

Once you have put together a few rows of knitting, you can then measure your work and approximate how close you are to your desired accuracy. This is where the math comes in, as you should measure four inches worth of your swatch, count the stitches in the swatch – including half-stitches – and then divide the number by four. This is the number of stitches per inch. If you wind up with a fraction, that is perfectly fine.

If you determine that you have more stitches per inch than your pattern needs, you have made a stitch pattern that is too small. In this case, you would need to use a larger needle. Conversely, if you have fewer stitches per inch than your pattern needs, you have made a pattern that is too large. In this case, you would need to use a smaller needle. Typically, if your variance is around an inch per stitch or less, you would just need to worry about swapping out your needle. However, if the variance you create is greater than one inch per stitch or more, you may need to take a look at utilizing a different yarn or thread. Keep in mind that not every thread will work for every design, so don’t try and force a thread to create a piece of clothing that will not work.

Even though you should always make a swatch for a fabric that is going to be worn by someone, most knitwear designers are able to develop a sense of what may or may not work over time before they create the swatch. That being said, the only way to develop this type of sensibility is through the process of trial and error. However, if you wish to strive for perfection in the design of your clothing, then developing this sensibility is worth the time and the effort.

Essential Things To Keep In Mind When Starting Your Own Fashion Brand

These days, literally anybody can design his or her own shirt using the myriad of tools available on the Internet. However, designing a shirt or two is completely different from starting a full-fledged fashion brand. A brand represents a line of clothes that all revolve around a single cohesive idea (known as the brand).

 

Furthermore, a brand represents a business, and it takes an incredible amount of planning and work to make a business successful. The truth, in fact, is that building a successful fashion brand is more dependent on business acumen than it is on the designs themselves.

 

Ponder Your Long-Term Goals

 

When you are selling items haphazardly as a hobby, you’re not really concerned about goals, you’re just happy to make a sale. When starting a fashion brand, however, you must set genuine goals. For instance: suppose you are starting a fashion brand that deals with men’s t-shirts. How many t-shirts do you realistically want to try to sell during your first year?

 

This matters because it helps when it comes to figuring out what to do next. Suffice it to say, you’re going to have to work much harder to sell 10,000 t-shirts during your first year than you would have to work if you just want to sell 1,000 t-shirts. Plus, goals are the cornerstone of any quality business plan!

 

Keep Production In Mind

 

If you are starting a brand, you need to start thinking about production during your design process. What materials does your design require? What sorts of vendors would be able to replicate the design? Are you comfortable outsourcing the design to a manufacturer in another country?

 

Pay special consideration to whether or not you envision scaling your design, i.e., producing thousands of copies of the article of clothing you are creating. This is important because large-scale production is more labour intensive, meaning it’s going to cost you a lot more.

 

These things matter because money matters. Remember that the ultimate goal of a business is to turn a profit. And the simple fact is that unless you are able to turn a profit, your brand will simply not be successful.

 

Think About Marketplaces

 

There are two primary ways you can distribute your fashion brand products. The easier way is to take advantage of established digital marketplaces like eBay, Amazon and Etsy, not to mention real-world marketplaces like flea markets. The much more difficult (though also rewarding) option is to create your own marketplace.

 

Back in the day, creating your own marketplace meant setting up a traditional brick-and-mortal establishment. These days, all you need is the ability to build a website and perform what is known as search engine optimisation. Mind you, doing neither of these things is as easy as it sounds!

 

The benefit of an established marketplace is that such sites and venues already have traffic. If you build your own site, you will have to build traffic from scratch. You may also need to hire a Web designer, not to mention SEO specialists.

 

Do Not Forget Your Competition

 

Selling as a hobby differs from selling professionally in that you must take your competition into consideration. The success of your fashion brand, which we want note again is a business, is partially dependent on your ability to out-perform your competitors. Below is a list of some of the things you should keep in mind:

 

  • How do your competitors’ prices compare to your own prices?
  • What methods do your competitors use to market their wears?
  • Who are your competitors’ manufacturers?
  • Do your competitors’ outsource?
  • How long have your competitors been in the business?
  • Do your competitors operate blogs?
  • Are your competitors active on social networks?
  • How much traffic do your competitors’ websites receive?

Analysing your competition also gives you a chance to pick up ideas on how to jumpstart your own brand.

 

Understand Your Customers

 

You want to know who else is important? Your customers! A fashion brand must have a very specific target audience. Who are your clothes and items designed for? Who will be buying them? Why will they be buying them?

 

Understanding your customers does require a bit of insight into psychology. It’s for this reason that you might want to consider taking a few courses on marketing and psychology before you start a fashion brand. Trust us when we say that properly understanding your target market can make a huge difference!

 

Think About Social Media

 

Practically every business operates on the social network sphere these days. Social networking is a simple but effective way to build a reputation, drive traffic to your site and establish your fashion brand. Even lawyers now run their own Facebook pages!

 

Since you want to start a brand, social media should be one of the top concerns on your mind. You need to share so much with your potential customers — who you are, what your vision is, what you vision is, what you bring to the table, etc.

 

One thing to understand though is that capitalizing on social media requires more than just linking to your products. You need to build a personal connection with your customers.
Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Don’t be afraid to try new ideas.
  • Don’t repeat the same thing over and over again.
  • Do post news about your fashion brand.
  • Do engage with your fans.
  • Do give your fans sneak peeks on upcoming gear.
  • Do be yourself!!!

Pulling the Pieces Together

 

Before you start a fashion brand, take the time to do everything mentioned in this post. Consider your target audience. Analyse your competition. Think about marketplaces. Learn the production process. Piece together a business plan. Start setting up social media profiles, and so on.

While it’s tempting to just jump into the game, it’s much smarter and more prudent to plan what you can beforehand. It could very well make the difference in which you ultimately succeed or fail!

8 Key Steps To Becoming A Professional Fashion Designer

Does the thought of becoming a professional fashion designer excite you? Do you picture yourself at runway shows in New York and Paris? Do you love talking about all the latest fashion trends and ideas? Well, it sounds like you have a PASSION for fashion, which is a definite plus!

 

However, fashion design is no cakewalk! It’s a very competitive field that requires working hard, paying your dues and climbing the proverbial ladder. So where do you begin? Well, we’re here to help you figure this out!

 

Step 1: Learn the Basics

 

The first thing you need to do is start asking questions — lots of them! You need to learn everything you can about fashion and fashion designing. Below are some sample questions to get you started:

  • Why do people buy fashion apparel?
  • Where are the world’s leading fashion centers?
  • Who are the top people in the fashion industry?
  • What are the major categories of fashion?
  • What are the fashion seasons?
  • What all does a fashion designer do?

Obviously, you will have to do the hard work of answering these questions yourself. However, that’s part of what it takes to become a fashion designer — the willingness to conduct thorough research and learn everything there is to know about this career choice.

 

Step 2: Get An Education

 

Here’s a simple truth — it is fundamental that you receive formal education if you want a genuine career in fashion. The fashion world is highly competitive, so you need to be equipped with as many resources and tools as possible, and education happens to be the very best thing you can have going for you.

 

The most commonly pursued degree is one in art or design. Some aspiring designers combine this with either another degree or a minor in business, marketing, etc. The type of coursework you want to pursue is listed below:

  • Colours and textiles.
  • Sewing and tailoring.
  • Pattern making.
  • Fashion history.
  • Computer-aided design (CAD).
  • Economics, business, and marketing.

Step 3: Seek Out An Internship

 

An internship is absolutely pivotal for success. It is a fundamental stepping-stone that can greatly alter your long-term success in the field. For one, internships allow you to gain valuable real-life experience, as book knowledge can only take you so far! Internships also let you start building a reputation and portfolio. Plus, and more importantly, internships very often lead to full-time positions!

 

Suppose though that you land an internship that doesn’t lead to a job after you graduate. The internship would still be valuable. Why? During the internship, you’re likely to meet other potential employers — people who you could reach out to once you graduate!

 

Step 4: Build Your Portfolio

 

A portfolio is a must for anybody in any art-oriented career. As an aspiring fashion designer, you’ll need to have a decent portfolio by the time you graduate. The best way to do this is to approach every single schoolroom assignment you get as a real-life job. Put your best into every assignment, because the assignment itself (or what you produce) could very well be placed in your portfolio, assuming you do a good job.

 

Step 5: Get Your First Job

You finally graduated. Congratulations! Now it’s time to land your first job as a fashion designer. Hopefully, you’ll be able to jump from an internship directly into a job, but this isn’t always the case. Also keep in mind that you’re not going to start out with a top tier job. You’re going to be performing entry-level fashion design. It might be tedious and tiresome, but everybody must pay their dues!

 

Step 6: Learn the Business

 

The first few years on the job are very important: they provide you with the opportunity you need to learn the business. The thing to realize is that this requires doing more than just going to work everyday. You’re going to have to take the extra time to start reading fashion magazines, following fashion blogs and familiarizing yourself with what’s currently trending in the market.

 

You might also want to consider doing some independent work in your free time. You can contact local businesses. Or you can sell your fashion wear directly through the internet using websites like Etsy or even Amazon.

 

Step 7: Decide How To Proceed

 

Eventually, you’re going to have to make a big decision: do you want to keep working for companies and slowly but surely rise up the chain, or do you want to break away from this world and establish yourself as a full-fledged, self-employed professional fashion designer?

 

This is not a decision to be taken lightly, as going independent is not easy! In fact, it usually comes with an immediate pay cut. However, the potential — especially if you are a talented, hard-working person — is incredible. Imagine creating your own brand! Now imagine your brand of clothes one day being featured in clothing outlets across the country and world! All of this is possible, assuming you’re willing to work for it!

 

Step 8: Start Your Business

 

So we’re going to assume you chose to go the independent route. What happens now? It depends. You can start or continue selling products on the Internet, or you can start creating your own genuine business. We recommend going for the latter option, because it’s more sustainable, as well as more conductive to long-term success. To do this, you’ll need to do some of the following:

  • Develop a legitimate business plan.
  • Seek financing.
  • Get proper licenses.
  • Create a brand name.
  • Find wholesale fashion equipment suppliers.
  • Build relationships with manufacturers.

It’s not easy, and it will take time, but you can one day build yourself a thriving fashion business. The only question is this — are YOU up to the challenge?

What Makes A Good Womenswear Fashion Designer

Do you like womenswear? Do you enjoy browsing the mall for the latest outfits? Do you think about clothing non-stop? Excellent! However, liking clothes is just the first step to becoming a great womenswear fashion designer.

 

For the purpose of this article, we’re going to assume you already possess the other needed traits (besides passion) like artistic talent and skills (sewing, fabrics, patterns) that you need to be a designer. Instead, we want to focus on those tangible things you can do starting from today to help propel your career as a womenswear fashion designer forward!

Stay Inspired

 

It’s true that some ideas spontaneously pop into our minds. However, the vast majority of ideas we come up with are inspired by other people’s work. It is for this reason that you should consider setting up an inspiration board.

 

Use this board to track everything that inspires you. If you see something inspirational in a fashion magazine, cut it out and put it on the board. If you read a blog post that inspires you, then print it out and post on the board. Get the idea?

 

The problem with inspirational ideas is that we often forget about them. That’s why it’s important to record them in some way. This will help keep the plethora of inspirational ideas perpetually swimming in your head. It’ll also serve as a great backup resource in case you yourself ever completely run out of ideas!

 

Buy A Mannequin

 

The fruits of fashion are designed to be worn. It makes sense therefore that you should test your ideas out on a model. However, this isn’t always an option. Just imagine that you get a sudden inspiration at 3 am in the morning. Who are you going to test your design out on?

 

If you have a mannequin handy, then you can just test your designs out on it! Plus, the beauty of mannequins is that you can obtain them in a variety of body types and sizes.

 

Keep Learning

 

It’s very likely that you have a degree in art and fashion. However, just because you have earned your degree doesn’t mean you have to stop learning. In fact, turning off the education faucet is the worst thing you can do. It’s a simple fact that continued education can make a huge difference in your career.

 

With that said, consider scheduling one to three courses into your schedule every year. Use these opportunities to not only re-establish essential fashion concepts (textures, colours, fabrics) and skills (sewing, drawing, merchandising), but to also derive new inspiration.

 

Also take time to learn the history of fashion. Take the time to buy and read books about art history. Understanding the historical concepts of fashion can help you better finetune your contemporary designs. While you’re at it, familiarise yourself with the fashion trends of other countries.

 

Never Stop Networking

 

Success in the fashion industry is highly dependent on your networking ability. Remember, it’s not just what you know, but who you know. Remember that fashion is a business, and like any other business, you must be an expert marketer to get your incredible womenswear designs out to market.

 

Here are some tips to help you with your networking goals:

 

Attend trade shows. These extravagant affairs offer you a terrific opportunity to meet countless new potential clients and partners. Yes, we realise that it’s expensive to leave your home and go attend such events, but it’s worth it, assuming you are serious about being a great womenswear fashion designer.

 

Talk to the right people. Take time before attending an event to conduct some research on the key people that’ll be attending. What are their names? What do they do? How long have they been in the industry? What company are they with? Then use this information to approach said people and start a conversation!

 

Keep in touch with people. Never lose touch with former clients and employers! Every single ‘bridge’ you build should be maintained. Trust us when we say that the worst thing you can do in fashion is start burning bridges. Maintain these relationships and keep them strong!

 

Dress to impress. Consider wearing some of your own designs when you attend trade shows and similar events. This provides you with such an easy and amazing opportunity to showcase your work to others in the fashion industry. It’s like turning yourself into a giant advertisement for your own brand.

 

Keep Growing

 

Last but not least, keep in mind that you’re not going to turn into a great fashion designer overnight. It can takes decades to achieve the notable status of fashion superstars like Betsey Johnson, Sandy Powell, Donatella Versace, Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs, to name a few. Start slow, work hard and you will eventually be successful. Just remember that the growing process should never end!

Fundamental Traits Needed To Excel As A Menswear Fashion Designer

Not everybody is meant to be a menswear fashion designer. It takes a very precise set of skills to excel in this very subjective field — one where there are no real set rules on what’s right or what’s wrong. The truth is that a large chunk of being a quality menswear fashion designer boils down to impeccable taste. However, other factors also play a role, as you will soon see.

 

Artistic Talent

 

Talent is defined as a natural inclination or special ability that permits you to perform an activity extraordinarily well. Since a career in fashion requires great taste, you need a whole lot of talent for the arts to succeed in it. How do you know if you have talent? Usually, you can tell, but below are some questions that might help you figure it out:

  • Can you easily match colours?
  • Can you detect the differences between very similar colours?
  • Do fashion styles evoke emotion in you?
  • Is it easy for you to piece together outfits?
  • an you imagine how something looks if you were to move or rearrange it?
  • Are you able to quickly compare objects, numbers, pictures and patterns?
  • Can you identify very subtle patterns?

If these things come easy to you, then you could very well possess a talent for art! However, talent is only one part of the picture.

 

Communicative Abilities

 

As a menswear fashion designer, you must be able to communicate well with others. You’ll need to be able to relate well enough with clients to determine their exact requirements and specifications. This means being able to pay attention, listen to others, comprehend points being made and act polite. Furthermore, fashion designing isn’t done alone. You must deal with advertising specialists, public relationships specialists and even other fashion designers.

 

Some of the specific abilities you need are listed below:

  • Explain your ideas in a clear way without using jargon.
  • Accept constructive criticism from others.
  • Work out any disputes that might pop up.
  • Keep clients calm. Sometimes, they worry.
  • Lead others if you have a team.

Education

 

Everyone must crawl before they can walk, and this just happens to also apply to menswear fashion designers. In particular, you need to be a successful fashion designer (to get in the door, actually), and you need to be educated. This may require a degree in fashion design, art, fashion merchandising, design, etc.

 

The second thing you absolutely need is internship experience. It’s much harder to get a full-time job in menswear fashion design if you don’t pursue internships during your time in school. These internships give you valuable real-life experience that employers greatly appreciate. They also make it much easier to find permanent employment after you graduate. In fact, most internships lead directly to full-time positions.

 

Skills, Skills, Skills

 

Skills are not the same thing as talent. Possessing talent makes learning skills easier, but you still have to do the hard work and LEARN the skills. What sort of skills do you need as a fashion designer?

  • How to sew, as well as draw.
  • How to create unique patterns.
  • How to develop basic shapes through patterns.
  • Understand the differences between fabrics.
  • Be aware of all current and PAST (ideally) fashion trends.
  • Experience with computer-aided design.
  • Knowledgeable about textiles.

Problem Solving

 

As a men’s fashion designer, you’re going to need to solve a lot of problems. Clients will come to you with a plethora of ideas that you will then need to implement. This requires more than just creativity. You need to be able to analyse ideas, think logically, draw conclusions, follow guidelines, develop new rules, concentrate on tasks and develop full-fledged solutions.

 

Business Acumen

 

Fashion is a lot more than just style and grace. It is a global business phenomenon driven by supply, demand, competition, etc. As a result, to be a quality designer, you must understand the mechanics behind the business world of fashion. Some of the precise skills you need are included below:

  • You need to know how to negotiate a contract.
  • You must be extremely organized.
  • You should understand the basics of economics.
  • You should be able to make educated forecasts pertaining to future fashion trends.
  • You need to understand basic marketing principles.
  • You need to be able to perform financial planning and analysis.

Realize upfront that your job will likely require more than just designing clothes. The fashion industry is highly competitive, so you will need to know how to market yourself, how to deal with merchandisers/buyers and how to establish a reputation.

 

Passion

 

Last but certainly not least, you need to be passionate about menswear fashion! How familiar are you with trends in this industry? You see, menswear fashion is about more than just going to the mall and opining about the latest men’s clothes. You need to be aware of top trends, of top fashion critics, of top fashion blogs and of course of top fashion magazines! You should in effect be living and breathing menswear fashion on a daily basis!