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The Process

Sketching it out on Illustrator

Before we get into this let me just say that the process I use, although it works for me, may not work for everyone. This is how I was trained. Yes, trained. Like any other muscle or skill, you need practice and repetition to develop your style and increase your understanding.

“What inspires you?” Without a doubt the most common question I’ve been asked as a designer. The answer? It can be anything that sparks inspiration. A podcast, an ad, a movie, honestly anything. It’s not about being inspired to create, we’re creatives, we’ll create. It’s about focusing that creativity. Designing with intention something specific and cohesive.

I find the women in my life to be the most inspiring. As you can imagine I have a friend who is; an Artisan, Athlete, Drama, and Evolutionary. One of the easiest ways to articulate your inspiration is with a mood board. This is simply a board that depicts the mood you’re trying to achieve. Look at things like vibe, shape, colour, etc. My rule: when designing clothes there can be NO CLOTHING in your inspiration. You’ll end up designing those clothes by accident.

Original Sketch from the Athlete Capsule

The next step is sketching. A lot. For a capsule of twelve pieces, I can have as many as fifty sketches plus. I use illustrator, but sketching can be done by hand. It doesn’t even need to be a great artist sketch. Mind blown right? A sketch is simply a tool to be able to articulate to someone else, or you, what you want to do. I use a digital format because I need to be able to move around the pieces, change the length and colour. Ensuring that each piece works within the capsule.
One of the [many] sketches from the Athlete Capsule

Feedback! This is one thing you [sort of?] see in Project Runway? The judges giving feedback to the participants. Tbh, I don’t care if
Micheal Kors likes my work #sorrynotsorry. He’s not who I’m trying to serve! What I do care about is the feedback I get from my clients.

Every time someone mentions something about the design it gets noted. I hear that comment a lot and I’ll go back and adjust the design. Omitting the actual making of the garment, which is a whole other thing, that’s how I go about starting to design.

The whole process can take a few weeks to go from concept to finished product. To put it into perspective, Forever21 -BACK in the day, could do this process within a week. Boasting new styles hitting stores every week. Independent designers think through each piece before going through the effort of making it. We’re here to serve, so if we’re not serving why are we making?

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