Tag Archives: design careers

There’s No Business like Fash Business

Building a business from scratch is not easy. Building a Fashion Business, with its double whammy of competition and saturation is even more difficult. Building a Fashion EMPIRE…well, whooooo, well..but it can be done. Baby steps okay?

But as they say, those who can, Design, get a guest judge gig, get a tanan IPO, anda few Fashion week shows thrown. (feelin’ like an underachiever? who? ME? no, not really, okay a little.)

Being able to craft a collection and mould a piece of clothing, art or furniture out of a 2 dimensional piece of material is a talent, and one that should be celebrated. Everybody’s gotta start from somewhere, I mean, c’mon Rome wasn’t built in a day, yes?

Here are some basic things to do if the going gets tough! 

1. Work on outward facing situations first – if a seam needs to get fixed, fix it, if resolutions need to get adjusted, do it, if logos need to be re-worked, fire up photoshop or illustrator. These things tell people you are meticulous and care about your brand.

2. Get your Collections visible. Get your own online store, sell on (ahem, shamless plug) FUTURE NOTION, walk around stores in your neighborhood to ask about consignment opportunities. Get the word of your brand out there! Connect, connect, connect!

3. Get Social – Facebook, twitter, yes, there are many social media channels out there, and it will seem daunting. But instead of being overwhelmed, think of it as a glass full of opportunity and publicity channels for YOU!

4. Send a nicely crafted email out to friends and press. It’s free. again, IT’S FREE! Some free tools you might want to use are mailchimpconstant contact and vertical response.

5. Always respond to emails and Deliver top notch Customer Service. If you missed one or two, it’s okay. Just apologize profusely.

6. Remember that Fashion, like Real Estate, is CYCLICAL. Far better than WGSN and any other trend-spotting tools, is this infographic that might help you in your Merchandising next season.

Hipster Fashion Cycle - Merchandise Forecasting Remixed for being more on-trend
Hipster Fashion Cycle – Merchandise Forecasting Remixed for being more on-trend

What we would like to know is how are YOU doing? What are the challenges YOU are facing? Let us know in the comments if we can help you in any way!

When your Craft is Fashion Design, it is also your Voice.

Fashion Designer, Aries Sin.

 

Fashion Designer Aries Sin wears her own Double Breasted Onesie in Khaki.

We chat with one of FUTURE NOTION’s featured Fashion Designers, a wee 27 year old Hong Kong native, Aries Sin, to uncover how she uses her passion for Fashion Design to create social change in her home country. 

In the 1960’s – 90’s Hong Kong was the epicentre of garment production, and many had family members working in factories as production assistants and sewers. In 2005, the Multi Fibre Arrangement  – a short term measure introduced in 1974 to allow developed countries to gain a domestic advantage in garment production – was lifted and China asserted her dominance and multiplied its production for export many fold. Hong Kong saw a natural decline in garment manufacturing.

FN: So, tell us about your label, MODEMENT.

Aries: I started MODEMENT back in January 2010 after a year’s stint in a Leather Wear Company.

FN: Nature vs Nurture – did u have family in the design business or were you influenced by factors surrounding you growing up, for example mentors, creative energy of Hong Kong, creativity of friends etc

Aries: My family background is pretty average and my mother was the catalyst that sparked my interest in fashion. Ever since I was a child of 7, my mother who worked as an assistant in a garment factory always took me along and it was there that I watched and learnt garment construction, fabric and fabric textures. In my young eyes, fabric swatches were the basis of couture for my Barbie dolls! It was also during those years that my interest in deconstruction and pattern making were sparked.

So I would say it’s probably my childhood environment and my innate inclination towards design.

Additionally, Hong Kong is quite an interesting city. Although small, we are really cosmopolitan and media reach is so fast and deep, but at the same time, this metropolis also possesses a special character and cultural history that is established and entrenched. I never run out of inspiration and ideas here!

FN: Do you see (your label) MODEMENT as a voice or a statement of sorts – a response to the situational factors of hongkong, for example, the bustle of the city, constraints of living in a landlocked country – do you see your work as a response to that…is it only for one collection or is it a running theme in your career?

Yes, MODEMENT is the shadow of Hong Kong.

In our previous collections, we used our home as a reference for “The Place We Live” Collection & our food for “The Eggette We Eat” Collection as a running theme for each collection. We make use of different factors and ideas from our home-town and It is our secret wish that people would not only wear Hong Kong design, but feel our culture. This is our direction.

That’s also why we carry different messages from each collection as opposed to just designing what the market needs.

FN:Describe some ups and downs – what are some of the joys of being your own boss, creative director, one woman super power and what are some of the challenges? We can imagine rising costs would be one of it..

Aries: Being a one-woman show (& bank!) isn’t easy, especially since we don’t have any financial support. But being able to work in what I am passionate about is really such an amazing thing.

Yes,  rising costs are definitely a concern, and it’s a constant tight rope to strike a balanced relationship between technique, quality & costs.

Although the cost of labour is rising in Hong Kong, my team and I keep to our stance of using workers in Hong Kong as our manufacturers because of their professionalism and the respect they have for technique and fabric. You know, almost 90% of Hong Kong  factories had been moved to mainland China for production, and tons of skillful sewers are left behind.

There is a social enterprise that was set up to faciliate a collaboration between these sewers and up-and-coming designers, and we choose to work with them for our manufacturing to keep MODEMENT of a high quality and contribute to our society at the same time.

We are really proud of our concept and aim to keep it up!

We hope people from all around the world could experience Hong Kong’s fashion language and feel confident in wearing our designs.

You know, whenever we see people wearing MODEMENT, our hearts always feel such a rush of joy! It’s almost like the heart of a mother making clothes for her children, with love and care.

FN: So, if you weren’t a Fashion Designer, what would you rather be?

Aries: Probably a chef! I think cooking and fashion are both art forms and so creative. In fact, whenever I see a beautifully presented dish, I can feel the passion and creative energy from the chef!

FN: Thanks for your time, Aries and have a great day!

Aries: You too! 🙂

-end-

Click here to discover & shop Aries’ SS12 Collection at FUTURE NOTION!

*this article has been edited for grammer and length.

FUTURE NOTION – launch imminent.

future notion launch page

So the FUTURE NOTION launch is set for 23rd January 2012. Let the record show that it is with great trepidation that this is being committed in WRITING because, murphy’s law being murphy’s law is murphy’s law.

Do sign up for priority access okay? (being first is always fun 🙂

Amidst all the crazy, busy knots to unravel, marketing strategies to plan, technological riddles to solve, we saw some wonderful wonderful creative, inspiring talent that had us bouncing up and down at the edge of our seats.

The FUTURE NOTION road is starting very very soon , and it will be an exciting, exhilarating one – won’t you join us in discovering and implementing the value of Design in our every day lives?

Social + Design + Creativity = Sustainable, passionate businesses = Win!