How to use my Free Resources to look like a Fashion Pro - even if you're lazy
Free stuff: a beginners best friend.
Or is it?
Even with books we paid for, it's simply too easy to leave them on the bookshelf to have that feeling of having the resources you need right there - you know, just in case.
Yes, designers are kind of hoarders and we do we need to feed our brains with the beautiful things that make our hearts all warm and fuzzy. Nobody creates anything in a vacuum.
But knowing when to stop binge researching and start acting is what separates the Forever Newbies from the pros. The Fashionistas and brand hoes from the creators.
Sounds like a lot of work, but it doesn't have to be.
Cheap and cheerful meets lazy
Newbie Fashion designer mistake #1: we throw money at the next shiny thing because we think that's where the good stuff is.
Newbie Fashion designer mistake #2: we don't know how to use the resources in our hands.
Newbie Fashion designer mistake #3: we overcomplicate our work, we get in our own way and quickly lose steam.
Great way to stay stuck.
As someone who's been in the vicious cycle of wasting time and money on stuff that wasn't going to give me the best results, I have way too much compassion to let you go through the same.
But there's no point if you don't know how to use them.
I know I've made Newbie mistake #3 and made my ebooks kind of a drag to read, so this time I'm going to make things painfully easy for all of us - with bonus pictures from my dear friend's portfolio, after one of his internships in a famous high-end brand.
Use the Model template to make tons of quick but stylish sketches
There's a certain Moleskine style notebook that comes with dotted silhouettes of a model doing the catwalk.
It costs some €20+, the paper inside is thick, the cover is beautiful. And it sucks.
Those dotted silhouettes are tiny - so you won’t be able to draw many details, there’s no room to write notes around them, and they have no face = you're not designing for a person.
Here's how to be smart, pro and lazy about Design Development:
Do as many quick sketches and variations on a design as possible, in the smallest time possible. Think 10 quick sketches or 40 variations on the same item in one hour.
This will help you visualise loads of ideas before deciding on a final design, and if you draw something kinda crappy, just scratch it and move on.
Don’t spend lots of time adding colour, shading, wrinkles and folds on something you're sending to the manufacturer.
Your tutor at Fashion school or your client (if you're a freelance Fashion designer) loves that artistic touch, but the manufacturer will get confused: did you add wrinkles because you want a special type of fabric? Does the shading represent stone washing? Why are the edges wobbly?
Use pictures to skip the technical work
You put all your ideas on paper, got the bad ideas out of the way and now you're ready to start making.
Don't put your collection on hold because you're stressing over a tech pack that looks like this:
This one has a total of 28 pages, no coloured sketches, and the larger sketches are only on the final 3 pages - this is not Fashion Design, this is Merchandising.
If the factory you contacted is being too precious and saying they can only work with this format, they're not the factory for you, dear emerging designer and new entrepreneur.
You don't have a history just yet to define quality standards, size chart standards, refer to Style VX873298GIHBDC standard.
Again I may be at fault here, since I to tried to overdeliver and explain everything in the smallest detail on the ebook. A much simpler way to start discussing a new development with a manufacturer is this:
Send a picture with notes. That's it.
The one on the right was developed in-house by a team of designer, interns, pattern cutters and sample makers at a famous brand that shows their collections in Paris Fashion Week twice a year, but you can be smart and use the same way of working for your own clothing line and…ta-da!
Now you look like a seasoned Fashion Designer!
If you're not reinventing the wheel or making a t-shirt for astronauts, this is a very fast and effective way to show the manufacturer what you want to make.
To make it look more official, you can place the pictures on the Tech Pack template and still skip most of the Illustrator work:
You can send these pictures, notes plus the actual piece and they'll starting working right away
they might still have questions and prefer to work with a proper Tech Pack.
That's why you need to act fast on your communication, as well.
Send shorter emails
The manufacturer doesn't care about your dreams, they just want to know if you're bringing in good business.
If you send a really long email telling about your concept, how your brand is going to grow 1000000% in the next 2 years, how experienced you are in all other areas of your life and now you're excited to start this new chapter…with one lousy picture you mooched from Gucci or Nike, they can instantly tell you're a newbie.
Nothing wrong with being new on the scene, but this combo of rambly email + picture from Gucci screams: I don't know what I'm doing and have really high standards I don't know how to explain, so I'll yell at y’all if anything doesn't go my way.
They need to know:
What you want to make;
What's your final order quantity for mass production;
Do you have a sample already? Or at least similar piece that they can copy?
Be nice, introduce yourself and state your business, but be brief.
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