Friday, July 31, 2009

Will the fashion industry ever embrace technology?

I love technology, ways to make work faster, more efficient and accurate. Yesterday I attended a seminar from a company named Tukatech. They specialize in various products all aimed at making the design, production and retail process more streamlined and integrated. But there is so much resistance in the fashion industry to move forward with technology. Companies will claim they simply don't have the money to afford the equipment and software and Designers and Patternamakers will claim that designing and pattern making by hand is an art, and it is. I won't argue with that but who says you can't create art in the computer? And putting art aside, when you work for a company sometimes it's about the bottom line, making a profit. So why so much resistance from fashion when all other industries have already move on and arrived at the future?

Their presentation was great. They offer a similar program to what is already out there for tech pack management and pattern making but where they really stand out is with their 3D software. They have created a way to scan fabric and demo how a pattern will fit before it is actually sewn by a sample maker, there by eliminating any extra steps in the fitting process. The program is called e-fit Simulator. You can scan in your model and do a virtual fitting session, see how the fabric drapes and how the pattern fits before you ever have to sew it.

Even better still is the future of web-retail. Although they don't have customers yet for this technology it is amazing to see just how far they can go. They are working on a way that customers can go to their favorite retail store and scan their own body. Your body would be uploaded to system and when you are home you can shop virtually, try on clothes and create your "closet". Try on new items with others that you have already purchased and so on... I'd like to see this made available asap. I just love it.

I'm glad I was able to attend this presentation and stay on top of the latest that is available in the fashion world. Very dope!


Men's Fall'09 Trends

Ok so finally yesterday my husband and I went to Bergdorf and Bloomingdales to check out what Designers are offering men for Fall '09. I wanted to go to Barney's Co-op as well but my time was limited. Anyway I was disappointed that the offering for men is so small. These stores have so little space dedicated to menswear that sometimes it seems like it's all the same. I wanted to find more variety and interesting things. The obvious was all the purple out there. Armani, Ralph Lauren and Loro Pinana among others are doing purple. I think this is the 2nd year already that purple is still a trend and I'm ready to move on from it. Maybe it's because I already knew a year from know that Designers would be doing it based from the color forecasting sessions I'd attend but yea, I'm ready to move on from Purple. Also I liked the Ralph Lauren Collection. Similar to the women's collection in color, a lot of khaki and black but this time for men it was all about the the motorcycle rider ( I bet there's a cooler term I'm supposed to use for them). But it was cool because it was different from everything else out there, edgy. You know, they did the padding and stuff, even the pants were cool. The Loro Piana Collection in Bergdorf was beautiful as always but I couldn't photograph it. I had to sneak around taking pictures and they caught me, so I had to stop, lol. Oh well. Check out the website to see all pictures related and feel free to comment.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Today I updated my website with pictures taken from my little Trip to Bloomingdales. All I did was take pictures of things I liked or found interesting. Once I put it on my website I realized just how important that was. Going out, checking out what's in stores, staying in the loop of Fashion until I find a job. And at the same time it eliminates the awkwardness of when I'm at an interview and I'm asked "Sooo, what have you been doing during the past couple of months?". The obvious answer would be "looking for a job dummy" but at least now I can say "well I'm still staying on top of the latest trends by checking out the stores and the Designers, updating my website with my designs and Illustrations" etc...

So the plan is to go either tomorrow or Thursday and do 'Part Deux' of my shopping trip. This time for Men. This will be an on-going thing every season for both Men and Women. And of course I know this is something every Designer must do regardless but people really do take for granted how hard it is to raise small children. I've got two small girls under the age of 3 where most people in the Fashion Industry are single or don't have kids. It's a different lifestyle. They get to go out for drinks or to the gym or whatever. When the clock strikes 5 or 6 at the latest you bet I have to rush home from work cause the babysitter needs to leave.

I'm constantly pushing myself to do things and stay busy aside from the work of raising my girls. During the last three days I've been challenging myself to try and run/jog/walk in the morning. Of course this means I have to do it with the girls. Get up early, change them, feed, then I get ready, set up the stroller and off I go with two girls, 1 stroller and away we go!

Tomorrow will be another day. I'll do my best to stay focused and motivated. I truly believe that when you look good you feel good. Feeling good can come in different forms, can be clothing that makes you feel good or your health. If you're feeling sad, get your hair done, make-up, nails, brows and feel the difference! It's easy to fall in a rut when everyday is the same, monotony isn't good. There's a saying, let's see if I get it right, "If you do everything the same every time, the result will always be the same" something like that. I think it's true, so I strive for change when I don't like the results I'm getting.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Reversible Jacket

This is a reversible Jacket. I see this in a techy fabric, really modern. Reversible from Navy to Pink with Shawl Collar and leather ties at the waist. I've done reversible jackets and coats before and I think they're fun. So here it is :-)
I know I'd wear it.

Need Motivation and Focus

This might be a long goes!
It's been a while since I've written anything or even updated my website with new stuff. Basically the way it goes is that if you see me disappear for a few days or week or two it means I'm lacking motivation for a number of reasons. Could be that I'm frustrated with my job search because it's now been 7 months of unemployment and finding a job is the solution to all my dreams and aspirations. It could be that I am am upset about not losing the baby weight. I've had two kids and I'm not one of the lucky few that just lose it naturally, I have to work hard at it everyday, give up food that I love and try to get myself to the gym 1-2 a week. Though it's not enough it's all the time I have available to workout because of child care issues. Or Maybe I'm unmotivated because all I want to do is launch my line, have my money, set-up the tech packs, send it to a factory, source the fabric and just GO! GET IT DONE, RUN WITH IT!

But I can't :-(. So what am I supposed to do? If you notice it's been a while since I have even posted any new designs. Doesn't mean I haven't been sketching in my book, just means I haven't been motivated enough to design it in Illustrator. The last two evenings, I've been watching "Black in America" on CNN. And it was great. It was inspirational and motivating. What sticks out on my mind the most at this moment was the part about Tyler Perry. Maybe his story was the one that relates to me the most. He spent a long time being homeless but he never gave up on his dream. He saved money and rented a theater, produced a play and it failed terribly. But he didn't give up. I think in order for me to succeed I have to be able to be persistent, go for it and be prepared to fail and get back up again, learning from mistakes. I always knew that's what it takes to make it but now I "see it" clearly. Before although I knew that's what it took I wasn't ready to tell myself, "hey maybe you'll fail and that's ok, try again". Now I am prepared and I understand. I am ready to do what is necessary, work hard and hopefully succeed. But if I do fail and I am prepared to put it all on the line and try again.

So I'm gonna get back to designing my line. I still believe in it and I think the designs are coming out great. One thing I need to work on is selling myself. I need to work on being able to meet someone, and tell them about myself and my line and why I think it's great. I'm not there yet.

This line will be a long work in progress. Losing my job has been such a set-back. I have to pay off some debt and take care of some personal needs. Ok the truth is that yes I have to pay down my debt but I need a vacation, it's been 2 1/2 years and I'm a little mentally exhausted. I figure if I'm gonna blog I might as well be honest otherwise what's the point, lol.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sewing Skills

Turns out that my sewing skills are not so rusty after all! I still have it, lol. I was able to work on the top of the lavender dress today and it went pretty well. Tomorrow I hope to work on the skirt and finish it off by Sunday. Everything takes twice as long when you have kids :-/.
The deal with the lavender dress is that I didn't plan it. All I did was go to the fabric store, and look randomly for fabric that inspired me. I went home and started playing with the fabric and molding it into something I like and that is how I came up with the design for the lavender dress. Because I didn't sketch it or plan for it in advance I've had to work a little backwards to finish it. What this all means to me is that I'll be able to accomplish quite a lot when my slopers are done. If this experience is going so well with a garment I didn't plan ahead for then making the samples from my line shouldn't really be a problem.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Making Samples

The last time I did any sort of pattern making was in 2001 my last year in college. So I decided that since I don't have a job and I do want to make samples of my designs I should start making my own patterns. I wish I had the money to go ahead and work with a factory and have wonderful older ladies with 20 years+ experience working on my designs but.......I don't. It went really well. I drafted the slopers for the front and back bodice and front and back skirt. I still need to draft slopers for a dress, sleeve and likewise for knits. I won't say that it was fun, but I will say that it felt good to draft again.

Overall I feel more connected to the world of fashion now than I ever did when I was working full time, strange but true. I guess it's because now I have time to enjoy it, time to check out the latest runway shows (online of course) and time to read the reviews, trends and check out stores. I definitely didn't have time for all this when I worked full time. Between meeting deadlines and rushing home before the babysitter had to leave I barely had time to take a deep breath and relax. Now I can, with the help of my mother that is lol...

So the plan now is to just make some of the samples myself. The down side is that they might not come out perfect...hey I make mistakes. I hate zippers and I go nuts when seams don't match. The up side is that I can save on money and get this line development thing started somehow. I hate it when people ask to see samples and I don't have any. What kind of a designer am I anyway? Anyway, I'm hoping to change all that now. I promise pictures will be added very soon. I'm anxious to make my sexy racer back dress (see it on my website

Friday, July 3, 2009

Friends and Family

I'm always amazed at how incredibly lucky I am to have such supportive family and friends. They are the the key to my success! I bet I could design a dress made of a garbage bag and they'd tell me it was the best dress they'd ever see. I'm I really that talented or just that lucky?

Last night I was up at 2:30 am feeding my 10 month old baby Zara. She fell asleep right after her feeding but I was left tossing and turning in bed. Still inspired by my day at Bloomingdales with by husband, I picked up my new sketch pad by my bedside and started sketching. I had such a rush of ideas I couldn't wait any longer.

I seriously need to give this all I got because I think I'll never live a happy life if I don't at least try. I can visualize a small design studio or store, even what the website can be like. I'm just ready to give this my 1000% to make it a success.

Today I'm calling the seamstress, hopefully she'll want to work with me and I'll head downtown to buy fabric and get her started making my samples asap.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What to name my line?

What do I call my line. This week I have seen two new businesses start up with great names that are simple and speak in very simple terms what the product is about.

Ok so what should be the name of my business? Well for starters the line if for me. It's a line that I'd wear to work, wear out at night to dinner or social gathering, corporate dinner etc...

Who am I, I'm a Modern Latina! I was born and raised here in NYC by my family who instilled in me first and formost my Dominican Culture. So the line is Modern but I'm also using bright and tropical colors in the line. Living in NYC it's so easy to get caught up in Black and Neutral colors that it's refreshing to see women wear clothes that are bright and make you feel happy.

Ok that's a start, Modern Latina....I'm not saying that's the name of the line but I need to elaborate and continue brainstorming along those lines.

New Ideas and Motivation

Today was a good day. I managed to get myself motivated and went to Bloomingdales to check out what's out there. I had a great time and I feel refreshed with new ideas. The plan now to is to call the sample maker I recently met and start making my samples. Tomorrow morning I'll call her to make sure we are all o.k to get started and from there I'll go buy fabric and hopefully meet with her asap.

Although I don't have the money yet to commit to working with a factory and making bulk production, I'm hoping that by developing these samples I can go back to the GIDC and get some feed back. Also I'd like to enter the Designer contest with Gen Art for emerging Designers. I need to get my line out there!

Ok, that's it for now. I'm about to sketch all my new ideas before they disappear, I'll post them tomorrow.