verbal croquis

podcast, not mine

Posted in links by verbalcroquis on February 22, 2009

Wanna hear a bunch of trend forecasters get really defensive about what they do for a living?

Click on “Podcast Three – Jan 09 Trend Master Class.” An hour and 15 minutes long, it’s quite an interesting panel. The array of different accents are also fun to listen to, but I’m random like that. The other two are quite interesting as well and I’m looking forward to more. You can also download the podcasts off iTunes. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Why Goal Setting Can Lead To Disaster

Posted in links by verbalcroquis on February 19, 2009

Check out this Forbes article. It’s all about disastrous results of goals set for goal-setting’s sake. An excerpt:

“… goal setting had negative and sometimes disastrous consequences for a company. Indeed, executives and business experts in those cases frequently failed to realize the prominent role that overly ambitious targets played in causing the eventual problem. One famous case … is the storied 2002 collapse of the energy-trading giant Enron. They cite literature noting that the once high-flying Houston-based firm used goals and an incentive system for its salesmen that was based solely on the volume of revenue that they generated–and not whether the actual trades were sound or profitable–which became a key factor in Enron’s implosion.”


Ok, so it’s not exactly 2 snaps in a circle in defense of my no-plan plan, but you get the general idea. Recession = reminder to not always stick to the same old same old. Now is a really great time to analyze what you’re doing and why you’re doing them, what’s going wrong, and become more self-aware of your attributes and shortcomings. Anyway, something to chew on.

otis in wwd

Posted in links by verbalcroquis on March 6, 2008

Hey! WWD did a little article on L.A. fashion schools and featured my alma mater, Otis. I’ve always said Otis is a great school that never got the press it deserved.

Otis is a four-year art and design college with four campuses based around Los Angeles. Fashion design students attend classes in a wing of the California Market Center in downtown Los Angles, where they have access to hundreds of apparel and accessories showrooms and a multitude of textile and trim companies. Students at Otis are known for their highly creative fashion sense, and tend to view fashion as more of an art than merchandise.

One of Otis’ strengths is its Professional Designer Mentorship Program, where designers such as John Varvatos, Francisco Costa, Vera Wang, Bob Mackie, Diane von Furstenberg, Trina Turk and BCBG’s creative director, Lubov Azria, volunteer to provide mentorship and direction from sketching and fabric draping to production of the final garment. The best work by student designers is presented on the runway at Otis’ annual scholarship fund-raising gala, held the first Saturday of May.

Current majors include architecture, communication arts, digital media, fashion design, fine arts, interactive product design and toy design.

Number of students: 1,100, with 200 in the fashion design program.

Tuition: Cost for 2007-08 is $37,000 a year, with room and board available at an additional $9,000 a year.

Notable grads: Tom Ford, Cynthia Vincent, Rick Owens and Eduardo Lucero.

And me! I’m going to be one of the “notable grads”, dammit.

techphobic fashionistas

Posted in links by verbalcroquis on February 26, 2008

It’s a fact that garmentos using email is a recent thing.  There are still many garmentos who don’t have websites and such.  But this article quotes many big time designers who make it sound like surfing the internet is antithetical to creativity and original ideas.  They sound so defensive, so adamant, like it’s a point of pride to not know how to turn on a computer, like people will think they copied other designers’ ideas if they know what right-clicking is.

*insert me rolling eyes here*

Okay, can we say “paranoid”?

and the award goes to…

Posted in links by verbalcroquis on February 8, 2008

Kathleen of Fashion-Incubator for Best Condensed Design 101 Lecture.  Seriously, this was the best post I’ve read in a long time.  When I say “Design 101”, I don’t mean she’s saying what she likes and what she doesn’t.  She critiques the sketches in terms of what can be a physical possibility.

I wish I had written it, and no, I’m not kissing Kathleen’s ass.  (Old school VC readers know I don’t praise anyone unless I really mean it.)  Wannabe designers should read this post before anything else.

happy 2008!

Posted in links by verbalcroquis on January 3, 2008

Here we are, 2008.  Year of the Rat coming up, if I’m not mistaken.  Easing back into the old routine.  Until I get the energy to blog properly, read this hilarious post.

read this now

Posted in links by verbalcroquis on October 12, 2007

Because it’s awesome. Balls out honest take on avant-garde fashion. I think it’s pretty funny, because most of it’s true.

costco, the “anti-wal-mart”

Posted in DE stuff,links by verbalcroquis on July 12, 2007

Not fashion related, but business related. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it, but of the members of my extended family older than me, all but 3 cousins either own or have owned their own business(es) with various levels of success. I’d say business is in my blood.  It certainly was the most frequent topic of conversation at home.  Location, parking, finding a decent general manager, escrow, liquor licenses, taxes, etc.  Anyway, I found this article really interesting and thought I’d share.

there’s more to green than money

Posted in advice,DE stuff,links by verbalcroquis on June 19, 2007

I want to talk about ways to reduce waste in a typical fashion design office/studio. I have some ideas, but I would love this to jumpstart a discussion to brainstorm even more ideas.

Product Development:
–here’s the most green thing a designer can do: make quality items. pick solid materials. perfect your patterns. sew them right.* make things people will buy and wear and keep and wear again and again instead of tossing them into landfills because it was cheap swill that didn’t last two parties.

–fitting notes can be input directly into your spec file on a laptop or a computer in the same room as the fitting instead of printing out multiple copies of multiple page spec packs (this is also a huge timesaver).

–keep scraps from samples for embellishment sew-outs (for example, if you continue to embroider on denim as part of your line’s signature, you can take large** denim scraps to your embroiderer and ask them to use them for your sew-outs).

–consider a password-protected internal blog (instead of xeroxing ten copies of that really cool movie set) to share ideas and images with coworkers.

–leftover scraps (fabrics, random buttons, trims you’ll never use, leftover discontinued items you can’t source anymore) can go to places like Scrap SF, or directly donated to camps and schools for arts and crafts classes (you can check for possible tax breaks on this).

–fabric scraps can be used as rags for cleaning the studio and office (velvet wipes dust beautifully–I used to dust with old Crown Royal bags when my dad owned a bar)

–scraps can also be wrapped around handles of metal tools for easier use.

Sales & Marketing:
–scraps can be used for swatchcards/books if you’re running the same fabric the next season (usually basics like white cotton jersey), or cut your swatches from the scraps off your sample cuts.

–people are lazy and will recycle more if it’s convenient. keep recycling bins near the important spots like near the printer, the copy machine, etc.

–the obvious: recycled paper goods, soy-based ink, using both sides of the paper, turn things off when not using them for a while.

electronic faxing

staple-less staplers

–refillable pens

–all internal communication done via email or IM. then you can verify that yes, they got the memo, without giving them three copies.

green electronic waste management for old monitors, printers, cartridges, etc.

–consider donating your old, but still working cell phone to a worthy cause.

–I know a large insurance company that keeps all their records as PDF files. They’re backed up on an external server and automatically deleted as a file dates past seven years.

–use recycled/reused cardboard as packing material instead of styrofoam peanuts.

–you can also use plastic air packs (about the size of a small foot), made of recycled and recyclable plastic, and people can reuse them over and over again until they get punctured (they’re fairly durable).

–stock your kitchen for real dishes and flatware for your employees instead of using disposables.

–use low-emission solutions, solvents, cleaners, etc.

–buy quality goods, so you’re not replacing your “bargain” over and over again

read this

and this

So, what ideas do you have?

*I’m not talking about couture techniques or even necessarily heirloom-worthy. Just well made things that last a good while. And apparently Kathleen demands pockets in her pants and quite frankly, so do I.

**large as in big enough for the embroidery machine to be able to hold onto the fabric–check with your embellisher

sometimes you need a good laugh

Posted in links by verbalcroquis on April 2, 2007
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