iFashion Member Blogs

The bloggers are members of the iFashion community who write about their views and experiences. The views and opinions expressed in this section are strictly those of the authors and do not reflect those of iFashion or their affiliates. Any blog posts that are slanderous, advertise a company/business or are unfitting for the blog format (e.g. they are questions that should be posted on the forum) will be deleted.
Mar 30

What does it mean to be a designer!!!

Smiley Posted by: Smiley | Comment (0)
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What does it mean to be a designer!!!

Does it mean seeing this through a diffrent eye?

Does it mean that trusting youre hands could make or brake your life?

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Mar 27

The Fashion Industry Supply Chain: Sourcing Suppliers

AmandaLeighOC Posted by: AmandaLeighOC | Comment (2)
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If you're interested in realising a design idea, you're going to have to get your head around the fashion industry supply chain. Design is one piece in a (very) long and complex chain and each step brings with it its own challenges. In fact, if you're  producing a product, you're no longer a designer, you're a manufacturer - even if you're outsourcing every task within the chain.

Whom to outsource to appears to be a particular challenge. Where does one find the fabric or the leather? Who can make the fabulous shoes you know will be a major hit? Judging by the posts on this forum and others, suppliers are a particular challenge for the small designer/manufacturer.  We have to meet minimums to get good prices/quality for fabric and for production. This is not a uniquely South African problem. I've read posts from designers who struggle in the U.S, Canada, London. Even in Paris where fashion is in the blood (or the water?) complaints are similar.

In this regard I've decided to research the supply chain - not as I would like it to be but as it is. I think I need to know who does what at what price. Because, it may end up costing me more to go small, compromising quality and ending up with a product I cannot sell. Maybe. 

Yesterday I picked up my copy of the Pursuit SA FASHION INDUSTRY INDEX 2009. It is not in stores yet (April 6 I believe, I got it hot off the press!) but I got a copy from their offices in Cape Town. Its R75 and its  a book of phone numbers for suppliers in every aspect of this industry. From Industry Associations to Embroidery Services - its all there. Go to www.pursuit.co.za for contact details. They will be able to tell you where the index will be available when it is distributed to stores.

 I haven't started phoning anyone yet - I'm still fine-tuning my sourcing strategy (I'm appreciating the value of preparation) and  I will certainly be posting about my experiences.

I do think that businesses who are professional (at least relative to their competitors) will be listing in this index. And if  you're looking to put out a professional product, you need to be working with professionals. That's not to say that the informal supplier market has no value. There are skills out there that are not placed in the formal business environment — particularly with the job losses that have taken place in our industry over recent years. But informal can only be a short-term solution for a start-up and it will have its own challenges.

Since I'm just at the beginning, I don't who I'm going to be using yet. But when I eventually engage with a supplier, whomever that may be, I'm going to do it knowing that it was the best alternative available to me.

Information is power (after all). 









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Mar 25

Starting a new label: from Z-A (and back again)

AmandaLeighOC Posted by: AmandaLeighOC | Comment (0)
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Developing a fashion label is not about starting at one point and ending at another.  It seems simple enough when you've got a design concept: just source the fabrics, take it to market (show samples), start production, and withdraw the money from bank account.  Of course, I didn't think it would be that easy - but I also wasn't prepared for the circuitous nature of it.

I've decided that it is better to think about my business like a strategic chess game. You can start with a pawn, but after a couple of turns it can't move any further - without getting into trouble -  so you have to focus on something else in your game plan and then come back to it when you've made progress and it’s to your advantage.

I've wanted to finalise the brand name for sometime now - I felt I couldn't move forward with the product design without having crystallised the brand concept. Fair enough. So I focused on this and came up with something I really liked. And then yesterday (at the prospect of spending a few thousand Rand on trademarks) I had a serious case of doubt. It didn't seem quite right. Then it seemed perfect. Then it was all wrong again.

This morning I realised my problem: I didn't have enough information about my supply chain to make a good call on the viability of my pricing points. If I can't make what I want at the price at which my target is going to bite, I don't have a viable business. And if my target market changes to accommodate what I can produce, my brand will need to too. I was right to have doubts and I'm glad I didn't just 'go with my gut and pick one' because I think that's what we do sometimes when we don't have enough information.

Over the next couple of weeks I want to really nail the fabric sourcing.  In my opinion this is the real connector between the creative vision and the tangible product and it imposes both creative- and financial constraints on the process. I did do quite a bit of research into fabric sourcing last year (including visiting two of the big European fabric shows), but my understanding of both the business and the industry has developed and I need to come back to it.  It is a big topic in SA (Angie’s article “South Africa’s Fabric Future” is a must read), and a global problem for small design start-ups.

I can’t wait to get stuck in it!

Amanda-Leigh

A great resource on product development and the fashion supply chain which I came across today is  “The Cutting Edge Apparel Business Guide” published by Cornell University at http://ecommons2.library.cornell.edu/web_archive/instruct1.cit.cornell.edu/courses/cuttingedge/index2.html

Next Post: The Fashion Industry Supply Chain: Sourcing Suppliers

 http://www.ifashion.co.za/index.php?option=com_myblog&show=The-Fashion-Industry-Supply-Chain-Sourcing-Suppliers-.html&Itemid=75

Mar 25

Starting a new fashion label (and blog): in 2009!

AmandaLeighOC Posted by: AmandaLeighOC | Comment (1)
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Starting a new fashion label (and blog): in 2009!

Having spent so much time reading (and learning from) blogs written about starting a new label, I thought I'd add to the blog universe. The thing is that most of what I read is international, mainly U.S, and that has some great insights. But, its so much harder to find out what is happening in SA and how to go about getting something off the ground. 

 iFashion is playing a fantastic role in hosting and developing this kind of hub. We need to leverage off one another because otherwise we're  reinventing the wheel. So my goal with this blog is to give everyone insight into the issues that I'm facing AND, how I'm trying to resolve them. If I can help anyone avoid the 'going round in circles' syndrome I'll consider it a job well-done.

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Mar 20

Starting a label

Nandi Posted by: Nandi | Comment (2)
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hi guys and gals

Big fans of fashion now  starting a fashion label but need designers to help with the concept. I would like to hold workshop to brief everyone on the concept, the brand, ambitions for the label etc.... So please if anyone's interested contact me,  I would love to hear from you. I am based in Cape Town but anyone is welcomed, fashion students, freelancers, creatives

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Mar 16

'Recessionista' hits SA advertising lexicon

Angie Posted by: Angie | Comment (0)
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recessionista-childhood_small "The latest VW Citi Golf campaign introduces us to the concept of the Recessionista: a fashion-forward individual who looks good despite “these tough economic times.”

 

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Mar 13

14 Rare Color Photos during the Great Depression

Angie Posted by: Angie | Comment (0)
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Even today, many documentary photographers will tell you they are influenced by the works of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and 40s. Under the direction of Roy Emerson Stryker, the FSA sent photographers to document the plight of the rural farmer during the Great Depression and the progress of New Deal programs. When the U.S. entered World War II, the photography program continued under the Office of War Information (OWI).

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Mar 13

The Winner of the Search for the Levi's Photographer

Angie Posted by: Angie | Comment (0)
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Levi Strauss South Africa is thrilled to announce that a winner has been chosen from the entries received for the Search for the Levi’s® Photographer. Capetonian Romi Stern’s colourful yet subdued treatment was chosen for its inspired and confident portrayal of the Levi’s® brand.

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Mar 02

meet me

lindipixie Posted by: lindipixie | Comment (0)
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As my first log on the i-fashoin site I'd like to introduce myself. I am a young  creature with all intentions of dominating in fields of creative and passion driven force.

 I know many have tried and succeeded in their own stride but every individual has a diffrent swagger which will leave a trully unique mark on any territory you claim to conquer.

 

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Mar 02

ethnic aesthetics

rethabiletsupa Posted by: rethabiletsupa | Comment (1)
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The appropriation of ethnic aesthetics is the outcome of postmodernism and postcollonialism, whereby people were given a chance to express themselves. During collonialism people lived their lives, were made to think and act according to the dictatorship of their "opressor." And in relation to this modernism had a set of rules, was structured and going against them was not acceptable. Postmodernism on the other hand brought about the exchange of cultural aesthetics and with post collonialism people began to find themselves. Those who strongly believed in modernism critisesed postmodernism calling it appauling and its art, a disgrace.

Now... As we all know, the Europeans were technologically advanced then in comparison to the Ethnic groups that were opressed, including South Africa.

What concerns me is that, even after we have come to find ourselves, the Ethnic countries still are at a disadvantage in relation to the fashion industry. And yes... Many Ethnic Haute Couture designers have come to be renown for their work and in South Africa we have some of those.

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