It’s a tough life for us designers
Every season when we start designing the new collection we ask ourselves the same questions: What colors are in? What fabric trends should we follow? Are there any designers on the runway who inspire us? Only when we find the answers can we pick up our pencils and start sketching. However, the most important question we can ask ourselves is: What sold well for us during the previous season?
A few days ago both Kristina and I sketched some designs separately and when we compared them we found that one dress was identical in both her drawings and mine. Call it luck, call it coincidence or – call it logic. Both of us must have made a mental note of our famous ruched neck top from this winter which was loved and worn by almost all our loyal clients. If the top sold so well, why not make it into a dress? Logic- right?
A lot of designers tend not to run businesses so their focus will primarily remain on creating new designs from scratch, whereas in number 35 (which I think is multi talented), not only do we design the clothes but we also manufacture and sell them. In effect we are closer to the product than ever and we watch the designs carefully as to their success or failure.
For us, as a small business, it’s even more crucial to stay focused on our clients and their needs. Our customers are what keeps us going and if we can’t predict their tastes- well, let’s just say we’d never get very far with anything!
It’s also important to look at our special orders and see if there is a reoccurring style , color or fabric, in which case we can simply tweak it, make it into a stock order and watch as happy customers leave the showroom with a smile on their face and a number 35 bag in their hand.
What we must not do, however, is bring back old styles without modifying them at all. Some brands are known to cheat here. Since our client base is small but very loyal- our clients expect something new, fresh and innovative and it’s not only our job but also our passion to please them. I was once told you can fool one person one time but you cannot fool numerous people all the time. Those brands that do will eventually get caught. We, on the other hand, respect our clients, our clients’ time and our own integrity and this is what will see us through.
So, to sum up: designing does take work, analyzing and a bit of instinct. It revolves around your knowledge of your clients and your ability to predict their taste – all whilst keeping up with color, fabric and shape trends of course! PHEW!