Wednesday, 2 September 2015
Well this week I want to just vent. I don’t know what fashion is like abroad but in my country it’s misunderstood. And not taken as a serious business or industry for that matter
So maybe I just give a few pointers
v I am not a tailor, yes I can stitch but am not a tailor, designers should know how to stitch anyways
v I am an artist, do not go downloading pictures off the internet and want me to duplicate it as is. If you like a certain style, that’s fine we can design a look that suits you but do not reduce me to a copycat. Respect the art, do you really think any tailor can do what I do?
v I love African print fabric, doesn’t mean I can’t sew other fabrics. Fabric is fabric to me I can try different types. And when I do make clothes out of plain fabrics yes I made them I didn’t buy them
v I don’t make everything. Just cause I make clothes doesn’t mean I make bags, shoes etc. I do design some accessories and partner with people to make them, but I am no Jack-of-all-trades
v I cannot guarantee fabrics. Especially African print that changes every 2 weeks. Also with other fabrics, I will find it easily if its popular, if it isn’t chances are you’ll need to pay more to get it
v Just because the design is simple according to you, doesn’t necessarily mean it is. Design is not just about sewing. It’s about patterns and manipulating print and many other things. If it was that simple you’d be able to make it yourself
v Do not be last minute then blame me. Clothes are not an emergency. They should never be treated as such. They are an art that need time so they are finished well.
v Alterations are not the end of the world and doesn’t mean I cannot make clothes, they are part of design. Accept that they are there
v Pay the price. Abroad ready-made clothes cost more than custom made I don’t know why that’s the opposite in my country. People pay for the service. Having someone to measure you and make patterns and make an outfit fit your body isn’t simple, even if you think the design is simple
v For people abroad I make things and sell for business not for charity. No I am not supporting a women’s group or orphans, am trying to make a living. Period. If you do not want to purchase don’t. If you do, thank you for the business and do come again.
v Friends and relatives: thanks for all who give me business and support me but if you know you won’t please do not suggest you will. There is really no pressure
v As for those who would like to model for me in the friends and family category, chances are if you haven’t given me business before it’s not going to happen unless I really love your look
v For models, please do not ask me to get you into a fashion show, or if you can model for me. If I like your look believe me I will ask and at some point we will work together. It is not automatic. The only models I use when I have to pick from pre picked ones are for fashion shows, that are picked by the organizer
v Which brings me to fashion show organizers. No I don’t mind getting the information about your show. This does not mean I will participate. And be more formal, sending me inbox messages on Facebook or tagging me on your event just puts me off more than encourages me to participate.
v Also fashion show organizers, please consider that designers need to make money too. You can’t organize an event and not think of how it will benefit those participating. That’s selfish. And do I really need to beg for pictures? Sharing my work on Facebook to show how well your event turned out does not constitute giving me my pictures.
v Fashion bloggers: there is more to fashion than how to wear stuff, do your research and make your blogs more appealing. If your content is mainly international and not local, you are targeting the wrong audience and your blog isn’t helping people want to support local industry. Do more research there is more out there than you think
v Fashion Shop owners: Consider stocking local designer’s clothes. You can even pick the style you want in the shop that you are sure your clients will like. Our biggest hurdle is that we have high costs especially when we rent our own place. If your partner with us that eliminates that cost and helps us sell our clothes at reasonable prices for local people.
v Celebrities: as fellow artists we should support one another. Do not come to me saying you want an outfit and it will promote me when people see you wearing it. That does not pay my bills. Have a budget for your wardrobe is only fair. Either hire or buy
v Photographers: please come up with reasonable rates and packages for fashion design portfolios, if you charge me like a corporate client how will I make ends meet. I still have to cover other costs makeup, clothing even the models.
v Journalists: cut designers some slack and cover fashion in a way that would encourage more people to support the industry. The stories can’t always be so negative. No wonder parents think fashion is a waste of time
v Parents: support your children as they pursue their fashion career. It does take a while to figure out but it does pay off
v Banks: cut us some slack. If you supported us more with financing we would be at a better place
v Government: create systems that support the industry and create jobs. Fashion is an industry that can employ even people who have the most basic of education. It’s an industry worth supporting
v Fabric Vendors: come on people bring some diversity in fabrics. Just because it’s cheaper to share a container with fellow vendors from China doesn’t mean you all bring the same thing. The more unique the fabric the more customers you’ll get trust me.
v Fellow designers: Let’s work together to enable the industry to grow, we need each other. My advice for those who are starting out, it takes time to figure it all out, but continue to research, continue to experiment as you grow your skill and I urge you don’t go after fame it doesn’t translate to sales
That’s it, I just had to rant have had a hectic week and it’s not even over yet but I hope it’s helpful.
Either way am glad I do what I do. It cheers me up especially when it's on my own terms J