Hi all! As most of you may already know, I’ve shut down my company. To those of you who didn’t know, it may seem abrupt, but I assure you that it was a careful decision made over a long consideration period. I feel great! I’m on to my next adventure! Still designing clothes, of course. It seems I just don’t love anything nearly as much as designing clothes.
To help me get started in my venture, I created a survey to ask women of all sizes about clothes. Fit, wants, needs, all kinds of stuff. If I had it my way, the survey would be 30 questions long and none of you would get answering-questions-fatigue.
Here is the link to the survey. It’s only 10 quick questions. You can elaborate as much as you want, or be as succinct as you want.
I have a loose framework of what I want my next company to be, but your answers will help me address some real concerns women have regarding their wardrobes.
Please help! Please share! Everywhere! I promise your answers will only be read by those in the ZHI office. Thanks in advance!
As some of you may know, my brand’s motto is “future heirlooms”; as such, I am really looking forward to reading the above book. I have some thoughts on this topic already, but am eager to read what I hope to be well-researched, articulate explanations to my questions. Here’s some more info about this book.
I’m in the studio. I’m really happy these days, designing, making patterns, making muslins, having fittings, making new things for my stores (the brick and mortar space in Sausalito and zoehong.etsy.com), working on a very cool eveningwear collaboration.
I am not out and about these days. I’m not showing, I’m not shooting (much), I’m not schmoozing, I’m not partying. You can generally measure how much I’ve sequestered myself in the studio by how much I’ve let my eyebrows grow out. (I’m about to borrow the Mr.’s beard trimmer.)
I’m not teaching this summer, but it looks like they’ll ask me back for the fall. I miss teaching.
I’m enjoying not hearing myself talk. I’m enjoying some quality time with the Mr. and getting sleep and taking walks around the lake and watching Korean dramas online. But mostly, I’m working on all of my favorite things. I’ll see y’all soon(ish).
My God, I’m sick of these contests. I can’t remember the last time I received a facebook invite that was an invite to a real physical event that was sent to me as a person, not as a number on a spam list. It’s all VOTE FOR ME! VOTE FOR ME! CLICK THESE LINKS!
And I don’t even blame the people asking for votes. Who doesn’t want to get ahead/win/be noticed? I blame these damn contests. I’m no social media pro but there has got to be a better way to attract attention to your company than turning people into shilling, begging spammers, annoying the shit out of all their friends and acquaintances.
I did one of these contests once and I even annoyed the crap out of myself and I was so relieved when it was over!
I occasionally vote in these contests, but I definitely only vote when I really think the entry/contestant is awesome. These contests are so stupid anyway, being more popularity contests than talent/ability contests which doubly reinforces the idea that it’s not what you know but who you know and how many people you know that matters to succeed.
in no particularly order:
zombies (including anything involving raising the dead from the grave, including certain fashion labels *cough*Halston*cough* *cough*Vionnet*cough*)
bacon (It tastes good. It is not manna from the heavens.)
cupcakes (They usually taste good. Get over it.)
kittens (I mean, they have to be extraextraextraordinarily cute, not just run-of-the-mill cute.)
oversharing (Tell me all your juicy sex stories. I don’t care what you ate for breakfast, when you last took a crap, what your mother’s cousin’s fiancee’s babydaddy’s brother did for Festivus. I don’t consider myself a secretive person, but I feel like the CIA sometimes.)***
***It is slightly inaccurate to list this as this, unlike other list items, was never something I was into, so therefore I’m not over it as much as I just always disliked it.)
People bemoan there’s nothing new* in fashion anymore. But there are more designers than ever. Everyone and their mother’s cousin’s babysitter’s great aunt’s pet dog is a “designer” now. There should be more new things to wear than ever.
Maybe there’s nothing new in fashion because people don’t wear anything new. When was the last time you bought something really different to wear? Not just tried it on for laughs at the store but bought it and wore it?
Designers love to make some weird stuff. You know what they also love? Selling stuff, so they can afford another season, another month’s rent, another meal. So they make stuff that sells. You know what sells? Simple, shapeless knits and jeans for day. Some little black dress for night. A long column with some sort of embellishment for big events.
There is a small percentage of people out there who wear the different stuff, the new stuff, the weird stuff, but not enough to encourage designers that it’s worth their investment to make more new stuff. And designers make clothes to be worn. The difference between a dress and a sculpture is a dress is made to be worn.
You want new stuff? It’s very simple supply-and-demand. Wear different stuff. That’s the only encouragement designers want or need to make more new stuff, think more deeply about their work, push themselves creatively. Who’s going to put in the effort if you’re just going to wear the shift dress anyway?
*I mean good new. Not all new is good. See jeggings, backtacular gluteal cleft shields, and Uggs.
I don’t know if I ever told you guys but I’m the fashion events coordinator for an art and design non-profit called F3 at the Cotton Mill. I run Design Bazaar and co-produce the fashion show. Blah blah blah, watch the vid, if a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth at least 10,000.
I have a friend. His speaking voice is subtle, his karaoke voice is powerful, his writing voice is what I call ‘wise snark’.
He proposed an idea, an offer. It was not completely in line with what I do, but it was still related and it sounded interesting and I knew I’d be working with a good person so I chewed on the idea. I did the dishes and chewed. I thought about all my fingers in all these pies and chewed. And then as politely as I was able, I declined, I was afraid of spreading myself too thin.
He wrote me this email:
“…the notion of preserving creative “thickness” is one of those things successful people do. See, they like to focus/conserve their energies whenever possible. The ones who spread themselves thin are generally self-promoting hustlers, says me.”
His words have been rattling around in my brain for the past couple of weeks. His words have become my new motto. Preserve Your Thickness.
Ambitious people like myself are never satisfied with what they’ve achieved. In their efforts to do/know/be out there/accomplish more, they try to do/know/accomplish everything and be everywhere, taking on any tangentially related project. In corporate-speak, I guess they would call this “diluting the brand.”
I’m not preaching, consider this more a confession. And I am fully aware that this is a very nice “problem” to have, to have enough opportunities from which to pick and choose. I am focusing on picking projects that are about Zoe the designer who also really likes to draw, and not Zoe the jack of all trades, master of none.
It’s 11pm and I’m fielding emails regarding 5 different events spanning 2 months, 2 delicious new projects, and designing yet another competition gown. With each email, “preserve your thickness” rattles in my head again.