Launching a Fashion Line: Sample Production Process

Asher Marie fashionThe Her Heel Flops team wishes you a very belated Happy New Year and would like to explain the delays between posts. As revealed last fall, I’m starting a fashion line and subsequently, have been in the thick of scheduling photo shoots, planning a launch party (March 13th!), and finalizing all the last details for the Asher Marie Collection.

If launching a fashion line wasn’t exciting enough, we thought you may be interested in the nuts-and-bolts process should you be interested in following our fashionable footsteps.

Asher Marie Fashion

One of our pieces from Asher Marie’s inaugural collection. Read on to learn how it came to be.

How does a fashion line start? Beyond the initial creativity and sketches and years of perfectly organized card-catalogued tear sheets and mood boards, the sample production process is your big first move. It involves several steps. Do you find yourself doodling dress designs and outfits when waiting on hold? Do you have every fashion app on your phone? Did you follow #NYFW? Then the first step is right up your fashion runway:

  1. Sketch and concept. Gather your fashion sketches in one place. You may have dozens of ideas. For your inaugural line, choose 6-10 concepts or sketches. Consult with an established designer or stylist to get a real-world perspective.
  2. Tech designers. Technical designers in the fashion industry will take your sketches and translate them into workable designs to help create patterns. Tech designers work down to the finest details: The size and placement of enclosures, patterns of embellishments, and more. Manufacturing fashion is not possible without the proper design.
  3. Pattern maker. Now your proper designs make their way to patterns. Patterns are one dimensional cut outs of your concepts.
  4. Cut pattern. The patterns are then cut. Contemporary pattern cutting is highly accurate. If you have a great tech designer, today’s digital technologies let your designs come to life exactly how you envisioned them.
  5. Sew samples. Samples are then constructed from the pattern.
  6. Fitting. Then it is time to hire models and schedule the first fitting. The Asher Marie team worked remotely via videoconferencing from Los Angeles. It’s important to involve as many people as possible in the fitting experience to be sure all-important modifications and fit notes are conveyed. For example, the designer may be able to articulate their vision for the garment while the technical designer may work with the sample maker to ensure technical accuracy during the fitting. (Of course, be ready for technical difficulties. I managed to keep a virtual fitting going when one of our team member’s Skype connection cut out by using my smartphone and tapping them in through a regular call.)
  7. Repeat. Fashion is a tremendously collaborative experience and requires great patience. Sometimes the technical, pattern, sample and fitting process occurs two or three times before an actual garment is produced the way it was initially envisioned.
Asher Marie Collection

Another one of Asher Marie’s samples…You’ll have to wait to see the finished product!

More news soon about our upcoming photo shoot and very exciting launch party!

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