Tag Archives: Fashion Designer

Fashion Designer, Irina Gustavsson talks to Future Notion about her tattoos and fashion views.

Berlin-based Irina Gustavsson of irinalaaja is one Fashion Designer who we think will clearly go the distance…

Displaying the ingredients needed for serious Fashion chops – a need to put utmost energy into her work, trying against all odds and she even has a tattoo of a sewing machine! Chekkit…

Ultimate Fashion branding - Irina Gustavsson tattoos a sewing machine on her arm.
Ultimate Fashion branding – Irina Gustavsson tattoos a sewing machine on her arm.

Her label, irinalaaja is a journey in the making and a story of the trump card nature has over nurture.

Irina’s parents are both artists and her mother used to sew her clothes when she was a child. Even then, she would display a sharp sense of what she wanted by crying whenever a detail didn’t look right. This frustration of a wee child led to her making, or rather, remaking, her own clothes as she grew older. At the age of 17, after many fashion design disasters, she began studying the craft.

Although her taste in fashion might veer on the course of avant garde and her inspirations tipping on the scale of melancholic, she doesn’t see herself as such. Instead, she views her work as a kind of therapy that helps her overcome negative emotions that might have been borne through hard times, preferring to visualise beauty in the destroyed, weird and rough as opposed to a manufactured, sculpted perfection. Very much like her inexplicable inclination towards the number 7 and machines (that explains the sewing machine tattoo)

Intrigued? Experience the fashion of irinalaaja yourself today and be sucked into her esoteric world where seahorses rule, and straightjackets are cool..


Hi Fashion, Meet your Sister, Hard Work…

The Fashion Business is a deceptively breezy one. It appears glamorous, heck, FASHION IS glamorous – look it up in any Dictionary and I guarantee you’d find a picture of Kate Moss striking a pose-just kidding!  But the truth of the matter is that it takes hard work, an astute business mind, an unerring taste level and a passion for Fashion so deep that it your pockets aren’t just empty but burningly so.

So, you’re a Fashion Designer who really wants your Fashion Business to succeed – please know that building a sustainable company in the often finicky world of Fashion, Fun and Frivolity is not, well, frivolous nor always fun…BUT! it can be done, many have done it, and you can too! 🙂

The first and most important point is to get your pricing correct. Yes, it is easy to just say I want to sell a dress for $800 because that is the way it should be, but will it alienate your customer? Does it reflect accurately the quality of the work. MOST IMPORTANTLY, do you make a profit? If your piece requires hand sewn beads and torched lace, then chances are, $800 is your cost price and you can spend the next few months starving. So, get pricing right okay? VERRRRY important. You DO want to live to see the next collection. (It might be wise to also start getting some consumer confidence and eyeballs on your brand by selling at FUTURE NOTION (just sayin’) )

Once you nail that down, it is time to get some customers and buyers – a.k.a the bread and butter of your business. Fashion buyers are not an easy lot to please, and many of them have a very precise vision of what they’d want their store to look like, so be patient and polite as traipsing from one buying meeting to another is super stressful!

So, but you know, once you got that done, you are a bona fide Fashion Designer. It IS gratifying, that’s for sure…and don’t worry, humble pie is something many have eaten – just think of it as an appetizer to the juicy steak of success that is coming soon.

Rebecca Minkoff, we all know is a super successful Accessories Designer who has had a long and illustrious career, but read on for what it took for her to get to where she is today. (the take we get from it is that, well, credit card debt ain’t thatUNcommon in the pursuit of a career as a Designer and as an Entrepreneur – perhaps we should cover Entrepreneurs and Designers who have gotten themselves into some kind of Debt before Distinction.)

So now that you know a little more on how business is conducted in the Fashion World, jump at it & drink tons of Champagne while you’re at it okay?