PROTO

The time has come to see your design come to life!  Yippeee!

A prototype, or, as we like to call it, a “proto”, is the point in the process when we really start to see how your product (that we have spent so much time designing, building and engineering), is going to perform on a human body.  During a proto review, we take the time to look at EVERYTHING; things like fit, construction, fabrication, trims, design details, seam finishing, and overall aesthetic.  It’s the first time we are seeing the garment in physical form so you can imagine that this is also a very tedious and time consuming part of the process (as are all aspects of the development and production cycle! Sigh…).

To be frank, this stage can be quite frustrating for a first-timer because a proto sample typically doesn’t look pretty or fit very well out right out of the gate. Remember our giving birth analogy from a few episodes ago? (Well, if you’ve ever seen a new born baby, you know what we’re talking about…lol!)  So set your expectations accordingly because it only goes up hill from here!

We still get excited over protos! Press play on Episode 12 to see why!

PATTERN MAKING

You often hear in the fashion industry that pattern making is a lost art, much like reading a map or spelling. (Seriously, right?) But the truth is that the pattern is the start of the real building phase and, much like an architect’s blueprint is to a home builder, a pattern maker’s blueprint is critical to achieving the proper fit of your garment. The pattern maker’s job is to convert a 2-D concept into a real-life 3-D garment. They do this by creating a pattern, or “blueprint”, using the information from your tech pack (i.e.: the bible). The sewer then uses this blueprint to cut & sew your garment. Hallelujah!

This week’s episode is a little longer than usual, but we hope it will answer all of your questions about pattern making. Scroll down to watch!

 

FACTORY ALLOCATION

Relationships … they are crucial to our well being as humans and they need to be nurtured.  It takes a lot of time and energy to get to a point where both parties in a relationship achieve a solid level of comfort and trust with each other.  Well, the same goes in business (#preach).

A good relationship with your supply chain will make all the difference to your product and, not to mention, your overall product development and production experience. You would never leave your child in the care of someone you didn’t fully trust, so imagine doing that with your business?!  A lot of consideration goes into the factory allocation process and we’ve spent 25 years cultivating relationships with partners all over the world so that you can feel at ease knowing your “kids” are being well taken care of.

Scroll down to learn more about the importance of factory relationships in this week’s episode!

TECHPACK

Question: How do you translate a 2-D design concept to a 3-D physical garment?

Answer: Have a kick-ass tech pack!

Without an iron clad tech pack, you’re going to have a really tough time navigating the murky waters of sample making and production with any factory you elect to do business with.  This “bible” of a document, if done correctly, will properly guide the patternmaker, factory, and sewer from A to Z with the least amount of drama.  (Can we get an Amen!!)  And believe us, there is a LOT of drama in this part of the process.  Just you wait!

But, we can mitigate that so called drama if you spend the time to build a proper tech pack. This is where we get to the number crunching and the technical nitty gritty. It may just look like a bunch of pretty sketches and charts of numbers to the untrained eye, but it is so much more than that … scroll down to learn why.

 

TRIM R&D

Trims … so small in size, yet so critical!  It’s really the trim that sets the tone on a finely tuned garment, however many designers like to leave trim sourcing and development until the very end of the production cycle and they wind up facing major fit and construction issues, and not to mention, delivery delays. Yikes!

Trims make your garment functional and help customers identify your brand, so you can see why these small components pack a big punch and should never be left to the last minute!

Scroll down to watch Episode 8 and see why size really does matter!

FABRIC R&D PART DEUX

We aren’t done with fabric just quite yet…

The fabric R&D phase is so important that we dedicated a second episode to it!  Scroll down to check out part 2.

 

FABRIC R&D

Fabric sourcing! It’s such an easy concept, so can it really be considered the most important part of building a garment?? I mean, just design a garment and choose a cool fabric to make it in right? Nope!! Choosing the right base cloth for a garment impacts everything from fit to cost to delivery, so, newsflash: Fabric R&D should never be taken lightly.

We’re not gonna lie to you: This process can be extremely tedious and frustrating and, oftentimes, is difficult for new brands to wrap their heads around from a technical perspective. But that’s why you’ve got us canvasing the fabric market for you (#punintended). It happens to be our favorite part of the production cycle, so scroll down to watch Episode 6 and find out why!

LINE REVIEW

Now we get to the fun part: Line Review! Once we have had the chance to sink our teeth into your brand, our designers put pen to paper, start sketching, and let all of their creative juices flow.

At this point in the process, you start to see your product coming together in 2D form: flat sketches, detailed finishes, color breakdowns and CADs. This all might sound like a foreign language to you, but we will be with you every step of the way and be your very own “Rosetta Stone” to help you translate…

Scroll down to watch episode 5!

DEEP DIVE

OK, so we’re not talking about diving blindly into the middle of the ocean! We’re referring to the initiation of the design process. What goes into a design deep dive?

This critical research phase allows our designer to get an in-depth look into the specific market for which they are designing and ensures that they are assembling a collection that is both appealing and on-trend.

The retail market acts much like a baby. (Wahhh!) It always knows what it wants and it won’t be satisfied until it gets it. We don’t really know what it wants until we take the time to properly sink our teeth into it, or, as we say, dive into it… Check out episode 4 to learn more!

THE JUMPOFF

Ok, so you’ve done a DNA test and you know who you are and what void you’re looking to fill out there in the market. At this point, you have at least some level of a brand identity and market research under your belt, and you’re actually ready to have an intelligent conversation about it. Congratulations! You’ve taken the first steps toward making your dream a reality and you did it … You have conceived! Now you’re probably wondering, what’s next? Well, once all of your I’s are dotted and all of your T’s are crossed, we schedule an in-person meeting to initiate the start of our working relationship. Welcome to F2F! Tune into Episode 3 and see what goes down in a “jump off”.