On a scale of 0” to 5” how high do you score?

Uhhhhh … what?

This week’s episode addresses something that affects all of us…grading.  No…not the kind that your math teacher gives out, but the kind that determines what size garment will fit you.

A graderule is put together by the technical experts in a company and determines how your fit is going to be sized. This must be built around the type of product but also ultimately is determined by your target customer.  Are you going for the European slim and tailored fit or will you yield more to a relaxed American fit?

Once you have established your graderule, it is implemented in the marking and grading phase of production.  Your approved fit is handed off to the marking and grading team to be reduced and increased in all major POMs to get you your size XS, M, L and so on.

What’s more important than implementing a graderule? TESTING IT!  Ha…get it?

In a size set fitting you get to see how your garment fits on a small or large sized human form. Check out this week’s video to see how you can make the grade!


EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!!  This episode’s topic is on our friend, the oh-so elusive, Costing; what is it? Where does it live? Why does that brand sell the exact same product for double the price?  Why does it matter?  Ignoring this part of the process or leaving it for the very end is not advised (like many choose to do!). We actually like to start the discussion of costing from the very start.

When you build your biz plan, you should be taking into consideration where you want your brand to stand in the marketplace. You need to come armed and ready with this information, so we can then work back into a production strategy that works for you. Your market strategy determines pretty much every other aspect of your process: from where you source your fabric to where you produce your goods, to the type of materials you use, who your customer is, and where or how you distribute your product. As your business grows, we’ll be here to help with a few more tools of the trade.  Tune into this week’s episode to get a small look into our dear friend, Costing.


What does it take to finally be runway (or retail market) ready?

It not only takes blood, sweat, and tears but also requires photo ready pre-production salesman samples, or “SMS” in our native tongue!  With the help of pins, clips and tape during the photo shoot, the digitally altered appearance of samples can fool anyone into thinking that it is the final product, however, there is a lot more required during the SMS development cycle in order to make the garment truly production ready.  Planning and managing the development calendar are key factors to completing this process along with answering the questions beginning with how and when.

Every detail from the tech pack is brought to life and tested in a final SMS (the ones we can get done in time, anyways…).  SMS are aesthetically the closest you will have to a production ready garment and can safely be used for your website, look book, fashion show, press requests and retail market appointments.

It really is fun to see your collection come together at this stage!  Unfortunately though, there is still some more work to do before you are production ready 😉

Scroll down to learn the importance of salesmen samples in the pre-production process.