I guess a few of us have similar things on the brain lately. Check out Style Bubble’s post,
“We will all be famous one day…”, touching up on some of the points similar in vein to and elaborating upon the previous post of mine regarding style blogs/StyleDiary. (Not saying the two have influenced each other in any way (I don’t think Susie reads VC), which makes for a more interesting read, quite frankly.)
Adrian over at Fashion.Verbatim. occupies one of the few slots in my “read this first” folder in my feed reader. He mixes things up, with celebrity style bits/trash talk, really bizarre YouTube vids, trend recaps, random industry news, style advice, etc. And then there are his rants, which I categorize as “things that make me go ‘hrm…’” I don’t agree with him all the time, as I think some of his arguments are flawed or not completely formed, but for me, that’s not the point. Some bits make me think twice, sometimes his rants rattle around in my brain for a good long while. I always appreciate a good “mind-chew”. Not a rant, but check out his predictions for 2007 while you’re over there.
A friend emailed me this link today; Fashion met Tech and Tech decided that Fashion didn’t have enough rounded corners to play in the same Bubble.
Maybe it’s because I’m a blogging designer married to a card-carrying member of the geekerati, but you put Tech and Fashion in the same room and my brain won’t shut up.
The very idea of a fashion social networking engine like StyleDiary sparks a whole conversation about how the fashion industry has been affected by the internet and tech in general.
We have all observed the following:
1. The rise in interest in personal style over designer dictats, as shown in the popularity of blogs such as Facehunter, The Sartorialist, and Style Bubble. (C’mon, we all want to know what Susie’s going to wear next. Ironically, she first started off over at StyleDiary.)
2. How celebrities are losing their hold on their formerly-captive audience in regards to what to wear, as fashionistas (aka consumers) the world over are becoming increasingly cynical about professional stylists and paid endorsements. You can see blogs like Go Fug Yourself and Fashion.Verbatim. constantly talk trash about what idiot outfit a celebrity decided to leave their house in, as opposed to the idolatry of before. Fashionistas everywhere are sick of celebrities on magazine covers.
3. With eBay stores, Cafe Press, and other online shops, the speed of email, the rise in tech savvy even in our grandparents, and the growing library of online resources, it’s become increasingly easier to start new fashion companies. A new fashion line starts every time I open my feed reader, many because they can’t find anything in the market that is perfect for them, others because they think they can provide for a still underserved niche market, meaning there are more niche markets in fashion than Kate Moss has Vogue covers.
4. Everyone shopping vintage or scouring obscure online shops because they don’t want to wear what everyone else is wearing. How much did the fashion blogosphere crow over the Witherspoon/Dunst “vintage” Chanel red carpet debacle? This much.
Which will lead to:
1. Shifts in interest affecting how people spend their money, and ultimately how designers and fashion companies will have to change to cater to their markets’ new needs.
2. People’s spending patterns for clothes eventually bleeding into their methods on purchase decisions for other items and services.
3. Major changes in how the fashion industry conducts business because of a) tech speeding up communication via email, skype, IM, webcam, and cell phones b) the increase in competitors.
What’s my point? The world is moving more and more to individualism and we could never have done it without the internet.
Fashion has and will continue to impact Tech more than Tech thinks, and vice verse. Arrington missed the real story–
YouTube StyleDiary does have low quality images, but that’s not why users are going there.
I’ve been keeping myself busy the past month I’ve been unemployed–I got married, got sick, scoured the interweb for job postings, celebrated my birthday, my brother’s birthday, and my dad’s birthday, mourned the loss of a friend, updated my resume, and am currently performing head to toe cosmetic surgery on my portfolio. The liposuction is complete, the boob job is in process and new skin grafts will be acquired soon thereafter.
I’ve been blessed by the career services department at my alma mater digging around for me too. I also have a meeting with a headhunter on Tuesday. I’ve also been looking on my own. It’s been rough, since there aren’t a lot of jobs in San Francisco for designers.
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but the company I was working for is located very close to my house. I literally had a 6 minute commute. So of course, I pass the offices quite frequently during my day-to-day happenings. I always have mixed emotions passing by–sometimes sadness, sometimes anger, sometimes nostalgia for the good times, and always a feeling of “what ifs”. I don’t regret my decision to quit, but there are times when I think maybe I didn’t try hard enough, or maybe I should have done things a different way.
I was having a conversation with a friend who was going through a difficult break-up not so long ago. She told me that it was hitting her especially hard because this was the first time it was so harshly “non-amicable”. I mean, the girl is still best friends with her ex-husband and the last guy she dated before this particularly vicious ex is still part of her inner circle.
I understood exactly how she felt, but at the time couldn’t put my finger on why, since I have not had any horrendous break-ups in my relationships with guys. It has recently occurred to me that I could relate so well because I have had relationships with my jobs and this last job was the only one where things ended negatively.
There are several different types of people out there regarding their jobs. Some view it purely as a means to an end, a way to pay bills and the stuff they really care about like new skis and food for their kids. Some work jobs that they like, but leave their work at work, it doesn’t bleed into other parts of their lives. Some work jobs that are so all-encompassing that it plays big roles in their lives, becoming a major identifier in the person’s makeup.
I am a member of that last group. Fashion is a huge part of how I define myself. Check out my Amazon wishlist–it’s all designer bios, photographer anthologies, essays on critical theory on society and dress, guides on production and entrepeneurship for the fashion industry, and manuals on garment construction. I design stuff even when no one is paying me. I regularly have long conversations with M, my friend the burlesque dancer, about future performances and costumes. I write this damn blog and I also write for another industry blog! I love what I do and don’t care to explore other fields. I’d rather design for teeny-bopper hos that show as much skin as possible than work in another field.
I’m finally figuring out why I’ve been so anxious lately. I’m skittish. Yes, I’ll probably find a new job. But what if this job treats me as badly or worse than the last one? What if I love it in the beginning and when the romancing period is over, it becomes sorely obvious that this one just won’t work for the long run? I feel like I need to find a job as soon as possible, but I’m not ready to “put myself out there” yet.
I know some of this sounds silly, but yet, here it is. This is how I’m feeling right now. Yes, this is temporary and yes, I’ll get over it eventually. There’s just this new layer of wariness sitting on my shoulders right now and I’m working very hard at not letting it become straight-up cynicism. Wish me luck.
Bacardi and Fashion Week Daily have teamed up together to sponsor a design competition for all fashion designers over the age of 25.
The contest calls for entrants, aged 25 and over, to send sketches of fashions for men or women, in yellow tones, of course, that convey the excitement and intensity of a fabulous night out on the town. A description of the creative concept, in 500 words or less, must accompany the design, including the types of fabrics required. Contestants can enter as many times as they wish, but each entry must be different. Sketches may be sent either by mail or via email as a jpeg attachment sized between 600×900 and 1200×1800 pixels. All entries must be received by 11:59 EST on January 27, 2007.
Five finalists will be chosen by a panel of four illustrious judges, which will include top fashion designers, fashion editors and/or industry leaders and influencers. The winners will be flown to New York for the live “Cut and Sew” component of the contest where they will bring their sketches to life and present them to the judges. One grand prize winner will receive $5000 in cash, a two-week internship with a fashion designer or fashion magazine and the opportunity for their design to be featured in BACARDI LIMON’s advertorial, scheduled to run in the prestigious Daily Mini. The winner will also receive a portfolio review and interview with 24Seven, one of the nation’s largest fashion resources.
Leslie Snyder, who is in charge of PR for this competition sent me an email with more information, so if you’re interested in entering, email me at verbalcroquis at gmail dot com and I’ll forward you her email.
(FYI, I will not be entering. I’m currently overwhelmed with other concerns.)
A friend passed away. Not a super close friend, but a friend nonetheless.
Still unemployed and not liking it. People keep telling me that not a lot of companies hire over the holiday season. Am preferring to think of it in those terms rather than thinking I’m an incompetent twit. Working on revamping my entire portfolio but thoughts wander to the memorial service tomorrow. Hard to get motivated. Have meeting with headhunter on Tuesday.
Blogging will be light for the rest of the month, probably.
Oy, I do not want to be sick like that ever again. So without further ado, here’s the Evans Group recap I promised you. Thanks for all the well wishes!
Meet Jennifer Evans. She could easily be confused as another Pretty Young Thing (blond, cute dress, nice smile, kicky boots) from L.A. until you find out what goes on in her big, very interesting brain. Take one part business background, add years as working in the business and production management end of fashion, fold in liberal amounts of non-profit work and you have yourself a smart, soft-spoken, humble woman who started Evans Group with the goal to provide much needed production facilities for smaller high-end design houses all the while maintaining an excellent working environment for her employees and giving back to the greater good through several different programs she runs through the company. (Whew! What a sentence.)
First of all, let’s get down to the nitty gritty, shall we?
1. When they say “small runs”, they really mean “small runs”. Like, they’ll do 10 pieces for you. Currently, they are putting a flexible cap at 400ish units per style.
2. Prices of course are negotiated depending on the style, but price breaks occur the more pieces you do. You can discuss with Jennifer for exact breaks.
3. Payment: 50% deposit up front, 50% COD. Why? She wants to ensure her workers get paid, plain and simple. Also, the 50% deposit guarantees your spot in the production line. Evans works under a first-come-first-serve basis, instead of shuffling her “smaller runs” to the backburner because a “more important client needs something asap”, which I have mad respect for. I’ve been the little guy who got shuffled–Evans’ way seems fair to me. You pay July 1st, the guy who pays July 2nd goes 2nd. I want to stress how important this is, because many companies’ ship dates occur within a few weeks of each other.
4. Turn around times: 3-6 weeks for samples, depending on the number of styles, and 4-6 weeks for production.
5. Many production facilities focus on a particular type of goods that they excel at. Certain factories do only leather, some do all heavy outerwear, there are silk-only sewing factories, etc. Jennifer tells me her factory can do pretty much anything. The reason? As more and more apparel manufacturers moved their production offshore, skillful hands all over L.A. were left out of work and Jennifer scooped them up for her own facilities. I am not 100% certain of their capacity to accomplish high quality levels in any and all fabrications–this is a very difficult task even for older, larger facilities. Something doesn’t quite add up in my head–most facilities have a specialty, even if they are capable of some other fabrications. At the same time, it is true that increased overseas production in such quantity is a fairly recent development. I’m sure more specific conversations and sampling with Jennifer would be necessary to determine how well Evans Group will work with your fabrications and construction needs.
My first impressions of Jennifer and Julia (Jennifer’s right hand woman) were that they were bright, capable, easy-going people. What do I like best about them? They don’t exude that “big pompous sales guy” attitude. They act like they want to do business with you, not in the eager-puppy way, but as opposed to those big dogs who are “doing you a favor” by doing business with you. (Yes, I’ve come across some jerks in production.)
Would I do business with them? I’d send them a couple of styles to start and see how things go, definitely. I never give anyone a full referral until I do business first-hand with them, therefore, all I will say is that I would encourage all you design entrepeneurs out there to contact them and see if they’re right for you. There are plans for a San Francisco office, so if you’re in the Bay Area, you should ask them about that too.
Still feeling cracked out. Chest congestion has moved to stomach flu. I love being sick.