Designer Profiles: Quaverly Men’s Ties | A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the final installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next week and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Ailish Green – Quaverly Men’s Ties

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Aay Kay Photography

Who are you & what kind of designer are you?  

I am Ailish Green, I make men’s ties and accessories, fully committed to sustainability in fashion and design.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What sparked your interest with fashion & accessories?

It is an area where men can put their own identity and flair on.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?  

I have a B A in Art and Design Textiles.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?   

The demand from friends and acquaintances!

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What is your aesthetic?

High quality produce and unique design.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

Inspiration is constant and always changing!

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?  

The power of self belief.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

Do I believe in what I am doing?

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Timothée Cognard Photography

How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

I assign time correctly to achieve a healthy balance.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What advice would you give to young designers?

Try to get experience in the business end of fashion.  

***

 Model Imagery|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

Featured Photography|Aay Kay|Timothée Cognard|

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Ailish will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

 

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Designer Profiles: Marie Goggins Millinery | A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the twelfth installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next week and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Marie Goggings – Marie Goggins Millinery

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Aay Kay Photography

Who are you & what kind of designer are you?

Based in Ballyglunin, Tuam, Co Galway, I design and made bespoke headwear in using a variety of techniques and textiles.

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Mick Russell Photography

What sparked your interest with millinery?

Always had an interest in fashion and design, and in particular millinery since  I saw Philip Tracy’s black ship headpiece a number of years ago.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?

Studied in Lina Stein’s International School of Millinery in Westport over the past few years, and also did a number of classes with internationally renowned milliners.

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Mick Russell Photography

What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

Friends and family gave me the confidence to make a career out of it.

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Aay Kay Photography

What is your aesthetic?

Primarily contemporary but this is evolving, and of course when working with a client, I aim to help them meet their style objectives.

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Mick Russell Photography

What inspired this collection?

This is my first collection and prices shown represent a number of styles and techniques. Dashes of colour fascinate me and are reflected in a number if my pieces.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

Expanded range of styles and techniques, and exploring my creative side.

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Mick Russell Photography

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

Allowing time for the business side as well as the design side.

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Aay Kay Photography

Describe your creative process.

When working with a client, I like to understand them and to ensure that the final headpiece really reflects them and their style.

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Mick Russell Photography

How do you get unstuck creatively?

Go outside for a quick walk or do some cooking.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

What style suits the person, how will they wear it, hair up or down, outfit colour,  shoes and bag, preference for headband or elastic etc.

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Mick Russell Photography

How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

Try to fix my working hours.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

How do you feel about the current state if the fashion industry?

There is a lot of fast fashion; I love the idea of people using local designers to get the outfit they want, properly fitted garments made to make everyone look fabulous.

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Mick Russell Photography

Where do you see your brand expanding to?

Expanding into different accessories and international markets.

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What advice would you give to young designers?

Don’t give up your dreams!

***

Model Imagery|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

All other imagery via Marie Goggins Millinery

Featured Photography|Aay Kay|Timothée Cognard|Mick Russell

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Marie will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

 

Designer Profiles: Ailish McElroy Millinery | A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the tenth installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next week and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Ailish McElroy – Ailish McElroy Millinery

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Aay Kay Photograhy

Who are you & what kind of designer are you?

I am Ailish McElroy and I am a Milliner based in Bodyke, Co. Clare.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What sparked your interest with millinery?

I was a Graphic Designer for many years so I always had an appreciation for colour, texture, shape and pattern in the composition of an image. I think what attracted me to Millinery was the chance to create away from the computer but to apply the same key elements in the creation of a finished headpiece using traditional hands on skills.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?

I have a Masters in Digital Media & Communications. At the beginning I was self taught until I reached a point where I wanted to progress my skills further. I then interned with Award Winning Milliner Margaret O’Connor in London. There is always so much to learn in Millinery and that fascinates me and challenges me in equal measure.

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Mick Russell Photography

What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

It wasn’t really a conscious decision, I was just constantly lost in the creative process. It seemed to evolve into a career as people began to inquire if they could commission headpieces from me. Suddenly I had deadlines to keep. I started prioritizing my work load and before I knew it I had to make a choice between my job as a Graphic Designer or to change careers and become a Milliner. I decided to take the leap and go for it.

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Mick Russell Photography

What is your aesthetic?

My pieces are feminine and beautifully embellished with a nod to vintage influences using luxurious materials, trims, feathers and beading.

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What inspired this collection?

A skirt I bought in a shop in Lithuania inspired this collection. Something about the bold primary colours and pattern in the skirt sparked so many images in my mind every time I looked at it. I wanted to reflect that celebration of colour in this collection. I am also drawn to religious iconography and Gothic imagery in particular is a source of fascination for me. It represents romance, mystery and dark femininity.

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Paul Cooley Photography

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

My skills have evolved through experience, practice and constant learning. However, my designs evolve to accentuate the best attributes of my wearer and their outfit. Experience in working with clients has enabled me to create a process that streamlines my work from initial design concept to the completion of a finished headpiece while trying to create a harmony between new emerging trends and the traditional styles.

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Paul Cooley Photography

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

You need to believe in yourself and aim to be pro-active and professional not only in the skill of Millinery but with your Brand. Prioritising my workload clarifies my mind and allows the creative process to flow. It is also a constant challenge!

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Paul Cooley Photography

Describe your creative process.

It begins with the outfit that makes its way into my workshop. I also take into account my client and what I think would suit them best. Then I begin to source my materials. Sometimes the nature of the materials will influence the design as they won’t always obey my demands! Then I begin to get lost in the process of creation, experimenting, accepting and rejecting ideas as I go along until I get the perfect symmetry.

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Paul Cooley Photography

How do you get unstuck creatively?

The first port of call is a cup of coffee just for a breather. I might also try to work on something else for a while, maybe just do some basic tasks or tidy my workshop. If that doesn’t work I try to get out of my workshop and go for a long walk or a run. Enjoying the nature around me calms my mind and I love taking photographs of what I see. It helps me to start thinking and working creatively again. I also enjoy looking at paintings and photography which can really spark my imagination. Also, sometimes things occur to me just be studying the materials that I am using for a particular headpiece and this might dictate the direction I take with a design.

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Paul Cooley Photography

What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

What will suit my client? What is the time frame? Do I have the materials required and if not, do I have time to order the materials?

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How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

It’s hard to find the right balance as I work from home and I have young children. My work is very unpredictable and my deadlines change constantly. My phone could ring at any moment with a customer looking for an appointment. I keep a detailed diary where I schedule appointments. I would be lost without my Big Black Book!

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How do you feel about the current state of the fashion industry?

We need to sit up and pay attention to the massively untapped potential of the Irish Fashion Industry and how lucrative it could be to our economy. I would like to see something akin to the British Fashion Council being set up here which would solely serve the industry by seeking out new emerging talent and supporting them.  There is so much more we could be doing in this country to celebrate and support our Irish Designers and helping to pave the way to a strong Irish fashion industry. Why is it our best designers have to go abroad to develop their careers? Ireland has lost out on laying claim to the rise of some great talents and we continue to lose many of our best design graduates to emigration.

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Where do you see your brand expanding to?

I will continue to expand on the foundation I have built over the last 3 years so that I can offer my customers more options and continue to provide excellent customer service. My dream would be to open a centre for designers in East Clare where we could work and sell our designs, however I think it’s important to build your brand one step at a time and to set realistic goals as expansion takes time, research and money.

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What advice would you give to young designers?

Turning your passion into a career requires motivation. Be pro-active and take a step every day that gets you nearer your goal. There will be tough days where you may not be able to design. Instead use those days wisely to do some marketing, photograph your work or do some networking. Value your work and learn to recognise an opportunity when it arises.

***

Images 2-5|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

All other imagery via Ailish McElroy

Featured Photography|Aay Kay|Timothée Cognard|Paul Cooley|Mick Russell

 

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Ailish will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

 

Designer Profiles: Dandydoll Fashion | A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the ninth installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next week and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Esther Chidi Ikegwuruka – Dandydoll Fashion

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Aay Kay Photography

What sparked your interest with fashion & millinery?

My fashion interest was sparked by my mum who was a fashion designer. I had the privilege of working and running errands for her as a young girl, from passing her the threads to taking down of her client’s measurements. I would make dresses with papers and head wraps to match. I became more interested after I came to Ireland years ago and couldn’t get anyone to make my outfits, so I decided to get myself a sewing machine to make most of my outfits till date. 

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Mick Russell Photography

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design? 

Being around my mum as a young girl really helped me learn the basics skills I need for today in fashion and designing. I never really studied fashion designing as a course. 

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Mick Russell Photography

What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

I’ve always been a fashion lover. I like to stand out in my designs. I get a lot of compliments on daily basis. I have a huge passion for fashion and I am really looking forward to carving a niche for myself in the fashion industry.

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What is your aesthetic?

I love elegance. I love print fabrics, feathers, trimmings and unusual laces. I source and wear a lot of them for weddings and classy events. The end result of mixing both fabrics make me want to do more.

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What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

My collections are created with my local materials and flowers. My hats are made out of different fabrics from my country and it can be worn in so many ways. I am fascinated at the moments with different designs especially from the just concluded Races in Galway and abroad. The designs are mind blowing and really inspiring.

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How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

As a young fashion designer, I practice on daily basis to develop myself. I push myself to try out new and different things, and I am looking forward to creating more classy pieces.

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Mick Russell Photography

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

To believe in myself and trust my intuition. Learn from others who are good in the field and never lose focus.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

Describe your creative process.

I create my pieces from what I have in mind and with a twist as I start to create. I love that my pieces that can be styled in different ways and worn several times.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

How do you get unstuck creatively?

I rarely do but I find I switch off, I go shopping and watch some movies, chat with my kids or with that one friend who cracks me up.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

I take a very good look at the fabric and design. What can I come up with? Will it compliment the body? Do I need to add any accessories to enhance the style? 

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Timothée Cognard Photography

How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

One is never organised when creating anything, especially with kids around; doing the laundry and running down to the shops for quick groceries. There has to be a balance.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

How do you feel about the current state if the fashion industry?

Just do your best to be the best you can. The industry is big enough for everyone.

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Where do you see your brand expanding to?

I am currently working from home. I hope to see my brand go globally.

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Aay Kay Photography

What advice would you give to young designers?

Believe you can and you will. Set a standard and be passionate.

***

Imagery|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

Featured Photography| Aay Kay|Timothée Cognard|Mick Russell

20689933_1961273224157573_7871427642380058474_o

Esther will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

Designer Profiles: Kizmet Clothing | A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the eighth installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next week and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Gayle Poppers – Kizmet Clothing

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Who are you & what kind of designer are you?

My name is Gayle Poppers, I’m 34 and a single mother of 2 young girls, trying to build my business and be a positive role model for them as they grow up. My label is called Kizmet Clothing; Kizmet means ‘ Destiny ‘ and when I started my label, it seemed so fitting with what I was starting to do. It felt like the right path, like it was my destiny to create something which would fulfill my creative  needs along with sharing with others my passion for clothing and style. I am, I suppose, not your ‘standard’ designer. I create from what I love to wear myself, my sketching skills are not the strongest and I tend to make out of a vision I have, and a lot of it is trial and error! My main aim with all the pieces I design is to be comfortable, yet to feel beautiful while wearing them. Clothes which are versatile, feminine, yet practical and comfortable!

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What sparked your interest with fashion?

I have always loved clothes! From as far back as I remember I was very particular in the clothes I would wear, yet I never really ‘followed trends’ as such. I would always take elements of current trends and make them work for me in a different way. My grandmother and my mother both worked making costumes in theatre, and growing up, my mum always had a sewing machine which she often used to make us clothes, and I started sewing doll clothes when I was 8 or 9. When I was a teen then I used to make myself handbags and various other things, I always wanted to make and wear my own clothes, it just took me a while to get there!17424632_1689995131293530_2756245327211719652_n

 Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?

When I was 20 I studied Fashion Design in Galway and later then I studied Fashion Business in Melbourne, Australia. The design course was pretty basic, so although I did learn a lot there, most of my recent work is self taught with some guidance along the way.

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Mick Russell Photography

What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

The fashion industry for me was a difficult one to crack, and  I chopped and changed various jobs over the years, trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. When I had my youngest was a year old, I started to feel like I really needed to focus on something again, something for myself but also something that would allow me to be at home with my kids and work around their needs as best I could. I started Kizmet on a whim to be honest, loving that I could be creative and work for myself, but not fully knowing where it would go. I think it is only in the last year that I have really started to take it all more serious, working with others and listening to the feedback I have gotten for my work, I started to think that maybe this could be something great! I still feel I am at the beginning of it all, learning as I go, but it is definitely my career now, and I am so passionate about making it work, I can’t imagine doing anything else!

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Mick Russell Photography

 What is your aesthetic?

Feminine flowing lines, simple yet beautiful. 

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Mick Russell Photography

What inspired this collection?

My A/W collection is more chic than previous work. I am inspired by strong women, women who make stuff happen for themselves, and I wanted to create something wearable which represents this, in my eyes anyway! I do really love the current trend of voluptuous sleeves and wanted to have an element of that in my line also.

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Aay Kay Photography

 How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

When I first started, there was a lot of hit-and-miss pieces. I would have made without much extended focus on the finish product. I would have worked with off cuts and remnants, so one off pieces, never to be made again! Whereas now, I make things more in collaboration with each other, making a collection of pieces which compliment one another.

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Kizmet Clothing

 What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

There’s always more to learn!

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Kizmet Clothing

 Describe your creative process.

I just start. Usually with a piece of fabric which I love, and an internal vision of something I would like to create. I drape and fold and try on myself, until it eventually works! I’m usually in my studio after the kids are in bed, watching Netflix as I sew, that’s my happy place!

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Kizmet Clothing

 How do you get unstuck creatively?

I usually would take a break, away from my studio for a few days, so I can come back to it with fresh eyes when I’m ready. Sometimes I will look at magazines or Pinterest for inspiration, or will just mess around with making something silly, or something for my kids, just to take the pressure off making something really good!

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Mick Russell Photography

 What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

Mostly, will this work? Who would wear this? Will anyone wear this other then me!? Is it something that represents me as a designer?

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Mick Russell Photography

 How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

Ha! I am still trying to figure out this balance. Ill let you know!

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Mick Russell Photography

 How do you feel about the current state if the fashion industry?

I feel a lot of it is regurgitated fashion, in slightly different and often bizarre forms! It must be difficult I would think, if you are one of the top leading fashion designers to come up with new concepts, as its all been done before. Every year we see a different era of fashion styles coming back onto the catwalk, in varying ways. This season I am most taken with the extravagant sleeves and 70’s style. It is hard to keep up with fashion these days, as it is such a fast paced industry. But I also feel that these days, anything goes, people are free to wear anything or any style they feel without prejudice, which is really nice, in my opinion, as it allows freedom of creative expression.

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 Where do you see your brand expanding to?

I would love to start to expand my market to Europe, and start to outsource construction so I can focus more on the design aspect of things. Ideally I would start to work with a team who could collaborate with me and really build on the brand of my label.

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PurpleBlues Photography

 What advice would you give to young designers?

Ummmm….. I still could do with some advice myself haha! I think what I would advise though, is that there are more ways then one to create your designs. As I mentioned before, I have had to work around the fact that I’m not a great sketcher, but I have found my way through that. You don’t have to always follow the rules of fashion design, and no one person is able to do EVERYTHING, find your strengths and the rest will follow!

***

Images 4-5|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

Featured Photography|Aay Kay|Mick Russell|PurpleBlues Photography

All other imagery via Gayle Poppers

***

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Gayle will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

 

Designer Profiles: CKB Millinery | A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the seventh installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next week and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Claire Kelly Badger – CKB Millinery

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What sparked your interest with millinery?

I have always had an obsession with hats.  Since I was a young child, my grandmother had a fabulous collection of formal hats hidden in a wardrobe that came out at special occasions.  I used to try them on all the time along with her big coats and I think my obsession started from there!  

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Timothée Cognard

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?

I have a Degree in Business in Human Resource Management.  I started out doing a beginners Millinery course in Galway a few years back as a hobby, then proceeded to do one-to-one lessons with Lina Stein, an International award winning Milliner based in Westport.  I have continued to do courses with Lina over the years, there is still so much to learn, I am only tipping the iceberg.

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What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

As previously mentioned, I am only a part-time Milliner.   I work full time in my career in HR.  Millinery is like a release for me, somewhere to go to relax and get lost in the world of creativity.  

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What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

I love whatever is in fashion, I love to shop and key an eye on what is trending – I love colour, jewels, lace and anything sparkly so if I can incorporate any of the into my collections I am happy.  For the Autumn Winter, I love to keep hats simple but sophisticated, very demure.  

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How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

Continuous learning online and in millinery classes has definitely brought my hats to a new level in recent times.

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What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

Plan plan plan! Don’t leave deadlines until the last minute and always have your brand looking professional – first impressions are key.

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Describe your creative process.

When I get in the zone, I cannot get my pieces done quick enough.   I have ideas in my head and I’m afraid If I don’t get the work done immediately, I will lose the creative flow.

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How do you get unstuck creatively?

Get out and explore, go for walks, shop.  I find that sometimes you could might see an object, it could be absolutely anything from a tree to an ornament and you will want to recreate it with material to add to a design for a hat.

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What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

What mood am I in today?  I think my mood determines the type of creation I start.  If I am not in the right form to work on my hats, I will leave it until I am or I will sit looking at a piece of material for hours and I won’t get anywhere.

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How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

It can be difficult and times like summer are extremely busy.  I work full time and my job is quite busy so it can be difficult at times to prioritise.  But the key is to plan and not to take on too much.  I only take on what I can handle, while still maintaining a work life balance.

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Where do you see your brand expanding to?

Who knows!  I never expected to set up my own business a few years ago.  I only started in millinery for the love of making things and the desire to create my own hats.  This evolved overnight for me, so who knows what will happen in another few years.  

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What advice would you give to young designers?

If you love something enough, stick with it.  Opportunities will come to you, just go with them.

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***

Image 2|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

Featured Photography|Timothée Cognard

All other imagery via Claire Kelly Badger

***

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Claire will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

 

Designer Profiles: Cozy Handmade Designs | A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the sixth installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next few weeks and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Ann Petrov – Cozy Handmade Designs

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Aay Kay Photography

Who are you & what kind of designer are you?

My name is Ann and I am knitwear designer, but I don’t only do knitwear, I also sew, work with patchwork and interiors.

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Timothée Cognard

What sparked your interest with fashion?

About seven years ago, I was depressed and uninspired around me. I bought myself a sewing machine and knitting needles, and I basically knitted myself out of my depression. I started with kids clothing and patchwork blankets, and then started to make clothes for myself and for my kids who by that time where on the plan.

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Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?

I am thought by my grandmother the most. I think she was the one who thought us the craft. Then in Estonia, where I am from, you would have handcraft/sewing classes mandatory until you finish secondary school. I studied Interior designs and currently debating to take online course in Fashion.

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What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

CHD was Karma Crafts before, I made baby clothes and sold them online or made to order. When I finished my interior designer I really wanted to add home decorating line to my kids clothing. 2016 I decided to stay home with my kids and that was the moment when I decided to take little more fashion approach and add extra line to my collection.

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What is your aesthetic?

I guess it’s more to this romantic spirited feel. I use lot of vintage inspired patterns in my designs and try to use quite muted colours. And add splash of colour to it with flowers or beads. My designs are definitely rather feminine.

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What inspired this collection?

City Royals is inspired of Vintage shawls and autumn weather. I love using knitted lace. I also like to bring this old shabby style to modern young people, make it to theirs to wear. This collection has an extension with knit/crochet clothing line, what is currently on the making but won’t be ready for the show just yet.

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Mick Russell Photography

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

I guess its slow and steady, there is up’s and there is downs. I learn with each project and design I make. My wool quality and source has gone better in past seven years. Funny note, as I have told my partner that I will more likely give up on him than on CHD! Of course if it is life and death situation…well I still might keep few needles and wool!

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What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

 Plan, study and delegate. I plan my day everyday, I plan my marketing plan and my blogging plan. I also have learned that I don’t have to know everything nor should I do everything. But I need to have great knowledge so I could hire right people to do certain services for me, so I could keep my passion live.

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Describe your creative process.

My creative process starts from the wool or material, crazy patterns or book. Sometimes its enough to see something in tv. I am very “close” to my phone and its always full of ideas. There are times I have been watching something in Netflix, seen something fabulous and then googled same moment in my phone to see can I find image of it.

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How do you get unstuck creatively?

I just leave everything, take it back to my studio and take couple of days off, to play with kids, read, bath, go shopping.

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What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

Who is going to wear it? Would I wear it? And can I visualize it how it will be when its done.

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How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

Like I said I plan my day, so it usually plans around on how much should I get done and three other tasks. If I don’t get it as I planned, then its not a big deal, tomorrow is another day. Kids have taken over my summer, so I am actually excited to get back in school routine.

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How do you feel about the current state if the fashion industry?

I don’t really follow fashion. I obviously do now, as I create my collection. But I more look into colour trends rather than style trends. There is so much fast fashion what has low quality made into high quantity. Having a daughter who is more ‘Tom’ than ‘Princess’ has also shown me how gender orientated the current fashion can be.

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Where do you see your brand expanding to?

I would really like to finish this one piece off women’s clothing collection and have it steady coming out each year. I don’t necessarily want to expand too big but have this steady collection available.

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What advice would you give to young designers?

Take business studies on the side of your designer studies. There is so many passionate young designers out there, who will start and fail as they have no idea how to get to next level. And also YOU ARE NEVER TOO OLD TO START!

***

Model Imagery|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

Featured Photography| Aay Kay|Timothée Cognard|Mick Russell|

All other imagery via Ann Petrov & @cozy_handmade_designs

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Ann will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

Designer Profiles: Sylph Designs | A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the fifth installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next few weeks and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Kaisa Holsting – Sylph Designs

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Who are you & what kind of designer are you?

I’m Kaisa, 31 years old, a turquoise-haired freelance graphic designer / rocker chick by day, loads of other things during the rest of the time. I’m originally from Estonia, recently moved to Ireland. In terms of fashion design I do jewellery design mostly; my specialty is either beaded multi-practical and functional pieces (things you could wear as 2in1 pieces) or pixelart creations (e.g. pixel-jewelry) made out of fused beads. The latter is quite unknown in most parts of the world, especially in the grown-up department!

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What sparked your interest with jewellery?

For me, it started off out of necessity. I couldn’t find from the jewellery stores the kind of stuff that would’ve gone well together with my own unique style and taste and therefore figured that I’d need to create it myself. That’s where it all got started.

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Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?

I’ve never studied fashion design, so I’d have to say that I’m self-taught. Nowadays it’s so easy to find tutorials on the internet to try out and modify once you get skilled enough. Just takes a bit of patience and practice!

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via Silver Wolfie

 

What made you take your talent more seriously and want to make a career out of it?

Once I had started creating jewellery for myself and made it a “hip” new thing to wear out and about my friends and strangers started asking about those. So soon enough I felt like I had tapped into something that wasn’t there yet and that gave me the confidence that there are more people out there that are a bit more colourful, unconventional and like quirky jewellery, rather than the classical. Before I knew it my head was spinning with new ideas that I wanted to try out and the brand Sylph Designs was born.

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via Penelope Russak

What is your aesthetic?

I love bold, confident, colourful jewellery. Being a quirky and unconventional woman myself I love to surround myself with geekery and colours. However, I want to emphasize that being whimsy doesn’t mean that you have to look like a fool. I rather like to mix and match jewellery and show to others that it’s OK to be different, to be true to yourself and to not be afraid of a little whimsy and colour every now and then. After all, we all have a little kid hidden inside of ourselves as well.

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What inspired this collection? What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

Looking at it from a distance, it sure looks like I was inspired by the kid’s cartoon “Frozen”. Coming from a country (Estonia) where snow is definitely not a rare thing to see and the pure fields of ice and cold weather is a completely normal part of winter. I think that’s where the inspiration came from as well. I love geekery, pixelart, retro computer games, but I also love beautiful colour combinations, different shades of blues and whites and also the contradictions that go together with it. Life isn’t 50 shades of grey (though wouldn’t most women love that as well!); to me it’s rather a beautiful mix of bright and bold colours. Mix classical with retro, smooth lines with pixelated creations and you’ll get where I’m coming from.

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How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

To be honest I think I’ve stayed true to myself since the beginning. Even though Sylph Designs began as a brand that did mostly pixel-jewellery, it’s now moved onto the wonderful world of beadweaving and beaded jewellery. I love trying out different things. And I do realize as well that looking from outside in it might occasionally even feel like I’m one big contradiction but why would anyone bind themselves into a box. If you can, always draw lines also outside of the box – colour outside of the lines! Life is more fun like that!

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What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

There are two things that I greatly value: Firstly, always stay true to who you are. I feel that I’m the core of my business, the main character in the designs and I believe that the only way to gain more audience is to be who you are. Be yourself! And secondly, branding is everything. Having a background in graphic design has helped me a lot to build up a branding around my different ventures in the jewellery business as well. Pixel-jewelry and beaded jewellery have different feels to them, therefore the brands are a bit different as well. Pixel-jewelry has a bit of a geeky flare, pixelart and computer games being a huge inspiration and beaded jewellery pieces are more classic. There is though one big thing that connects them both: COLOUR!

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Describe your creative process.

My pixel-jewellery is hugely inspired by old computer games and the book that I wrote a year ago, “Bead it. Iron it. Love it.” – released in UK, USA, Estonia, Sweden, Poland and some other countries. That’s the place where I live out my kid-like fantasies. Once I’ve got an idea what I wish to create, I sketch the ideas down, fiddle around in my computer trying to nail down the pattern and then create it. My beaded jewellery is more about what kind of materials I feel like using. Each type of bead has different possibilities. Twin-beads do one thing, seed beads help you create another kind of thing and mixing them all together to create beautiful beaded ball beads is a third kind of use case. For those, I really do my research and then tweak the designs until I’m happy with it.

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How do you get unstuck creatively?

Ah, that’s a big thing for all creatives I guess. I’ve tried out a lot of different things over the years. Being a bit of an impatient soul that loves doing a bit of this and that and then some I usually just switch out every now and then the activities that I’m doing. If I feel like drawing, I draw, if I feel like beading, I bead, if I feel like doing pixelart, I do pixelart. In addition to the jewellery business I always have the option to do music, sing, create some digital art, some traditional art, draw, write poems and journal. I guess keeping a daily journal is the core of it all. That’s what helps me from getting stuck, getting thoughts on paper and to keep moving. Changing hair colour every now and then also doesn’t harm!

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via Penelope Russak

 

What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

I usually don’t ask anything, I dive in right away overly enthusiastic. Ok, in all fairness, if there’s one thing to ask then this is it: do I have the materials that I need to bring my ideas to life? That’s all!

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How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

That’s a tough one. I think there’s a weird madness to all of this creativity. I try not to plan too much, clean up too much, organize too much, work too much, but a simple daily/weekly to-do list helps to keep things moving. But you know what they say, life is what happens when you’re busy making plans. So I’ve learned to not be too harsh on myself if I can’t make everything happen in time, I prioritize creativity over planning and staying organized because when you lose creativity and get stuck in the “I have to do this” thing, then you’re screwed. It’s hard coming back from being burnt out.

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How do you feel about the current state if the fashion industry?

It feels a bit like people are moving towards extremes, like the world, in general. It’s either too over the top, too over-priced for the value you get or you end up wearing garments or jewellery that’s cheap and poorly made. I wish there were more appreciation towards custom-made jewellery and clothes and that people wouldn’t take these crafts just for granted. You can’t compare a handcrafted item with something you buy from the mall. Not if it’s made with lots of love and care.

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Where do you see your brand expanding to?

I think for me it’s honestly just moving towards the same direction I always have been. Just doing what I love and staying true to that. As long as there are enough crazy gals out there like me there will be a market for that as well. I’m not trying to make mainstream stuff, so let’s not even try pretending that this is what will happen in the end. I’ll continue adding variety, come up with new quirky patterns and continue to hope that the women around me find more courage in themselves to stay true to their unique style and be bold enough to wear more colour.

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What advice would you give to young designers?

Stay true to yourself and do whatever your heart wants to do with the utmost passion and conviction. Don’t let others tell you what you can do or who you should be. It’s hard, trust me, I know but if you’re being YOU, then nobody can take anything away from you. And please-please-please, don’t settle or start following the mainstream flow. You’ll do better staying in your own quirky lane. And who cares if it’s the right or the left lane or the bus lane instead.

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***

All other imagery via Kaisa Holsting

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Kaisa will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

Designer Profiles: RE ason | A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the fourth installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next few weeks and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Maeve Ayo – RE ason

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Aay Kay Photography

What sparked your interest with fashion?

I think as a child I loved to make things, anything, and I loved colours. I made clothes from my early teens out of anything I could find.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design? 

I thought I could get away with teaching myself but my technical inability frustrated me and I ran out of steam. I did a short sewing machinist course, worked in a number of clothing factories and eventually met a wonderful dressmaker who knew so much about design and quality and materials. It was with her I learned a lot about making and finishing. I also studied fine art which somehow added to my view of things!

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it? 

Initially I gave up working in fashion, but after returning to college where I studied art I developed a love of photography. I suppose it was just another form of my love of the visual and colour. I was busy for a number of years with small children and looking for a way to work from home when I realised clothing is a more practical form of creating than photography or art.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What is your aesthetic? 

I love colour, layers and transparencies, simple shapes and mixing unusual fabrics or unexpected colours.

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Maeve Ayo Photography

What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work? 

I am fascinated by nature.  I am inspired by the outdoors and the cycles of nature, the colours and details of plants and flowers and water, even the atmosphere. I still take a lot of photos and I use them in my fabrics directly by printing them.

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Maeve Ayo Photography

How has your work evolved since you began your own label? 

I would think I am getting bolder and less precious with my ideas.

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Maeve Ayo Photography

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company? 

Marketing is such a big deal in trying to sell anything and its important to have good support especially among other creative people.

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Maeve Ayo Photography

Describe your creative process. 

I tend to have too many ideas and its best for me to materialise as much as I can and usually I will see a common thread develop and this will be my focus.  I usually find, buy or print fabric and don’t know what to do with it and it sits around until one day I know exactly where it fits.

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Maeve Ayo Photography

What obstacles do you find when trying to work?

Negative emotions, tiredness and if I don’t walk away from something that is not working.

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Maeve Ayo Photography

What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

How will I pull all the different ideas I have into a coherent set of designs.

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Maeve Ayo Photogprahy

How do you stay organised when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities? 

I haven’t really sorted this out yet. I tend to work in time blocks. With focus I can work quite fast so its about setting aside a week or two and immersing myself. I have had to learn to be more efficient in everything  I do.

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Maeve Ayo Photography

How do you feel about the current state if the fashion industry? 

I would love to see more localised creators and markets with a public understanding of the value and worth of handmade and locally inspired garments.

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Maeve Ayo Photography

Where do you see your brand expanding to? 

I would like establish a steady market within Ireland and also to develop a successful online market.

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Maeve Ayo Photography

What advice would you give to young designers?

Always keep pushing your self for better work and better finish and listen to criticism for you own growth.. Not easy. Try to find the balance between listening to the market but really developing your individual aesthetic and style.

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Maeve Ayo Photography

***

Images 2-4|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

Images 5-8,13-14|Styling, Hair & MUA by Katherina at Candy Hair & Vintage, Galway

All other imagery via Maeve Ayo

Featured Photography|Aay Kay|Timothée Cognard|Maeve Ayo

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Maeve will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

 

Designer Profiles: Emerald & Wax | AW’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the third installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next few weeks and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Virtue Shine – Emerald & Wax

 

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Aay Kay Photography

What sparked your interest with fashion?

My interest in design and fashion was sparked when I was a child in Accra, watching in amazement every day all of the amazing designs that women made from wax prints. I knew immediately that this was something I wanted to be involved in when I was older. Also my grandmother and my mother both were wax print fabric traders so I guess designing with African wax print fabric is in my blood.

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Mick Russell Photography

Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?

I am self-taught. I also had the privilege to work with a few designers in New York.

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Mick Russell Photography

What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

I had come to the cross roads of whether to go back to work or continue stay home with my young children. I decided to stay at home, work for myself and raise my children at the same time combining both passions. It was also very nice that my customers were asking to see what more I can design using African wax prints aside from skirts and accessories. I wanted to show them what else I could design and give them what they wanted.

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Mick Russell Photography

What is your aesthetic?

I love very bold bright colors, clean architectural lines and African wax prints are far from that, so I love merging the two things together. It’s always like curating an art exhibit and seeing results always gives me so much pleasure and joy.

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Mick Russell Photography

What inspired this collection? What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

My collection is inspired by Japanese culture, their food and clothing, especially the kimono and how versatile it can be worn. I am fascinated at the moment with designers like Cristobal Balenciaga, Geoffrey Beene, André Courreges, to name a few, and how they made simple designs such elegant classics. I love simple, elegant and clean lines so I look up to their style for inspiration.

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Mick Russell Photography

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

As I was self-taught I was limited by what I could make but overtime since my skills improved and I have challenged myself to try out more complicated designs. I am constantly learning what my strengths and weaknesses in designing and executing a garment are. I never decide that I can’t make anything – I’m constantly pushing and challenging myself.

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Mick Russell Photography

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

To never lose my passion for creativity because it’s what drives me to stay up at all hours of the night without sleep sometimes and to wake up in the wee hours of the morning with nothing on my mind but what my next design is going to be.

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Mick Russell Photography

Describe your creative process.

I think of a particular era and what fun, sleek and chic clothing women were wearing then and then I simplify the ones that I love and add my own twist and transform it into a look that I already in mind.

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Mick Russell Photography

How do you get unstuck creatively?

Normally I will close my studio door for a few days, read online blogs and magazines but lately I watch a classic films for creative inspiration since I get a lot of inspiration from very well dressed women in classic black and white movies.

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Mick Russell Photography

What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

Will I wear what I am  about to design? How will it sit on the body? Does the combination of the colors I have chosen work well together? Will the woman I am designing with in mind feel comfortable and be wowed?

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Mick Russell Photography

How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

For me personally I thrive under chaos and since I have a large young family there’s never time to properly organize or for balancing so I do everything at the same time. Most days, I am cooking, doing laundry, tiding up and working in my studio simultaneously. But I work very late into the night when they are asleep in bed as well.

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Mick Russell Photography

How do you feel about the current state if the fashion industry?

The fashion industry has definitely gotten bigger and there has been a huge  influx of independent designers. However, along with that is a lot of fast fashion and not necessarily good or wearable fashion. I would like to see the slow fashion revolution going further.

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Mick Russell Photography

Where do you see your brand expanding to?

I will like to see my line globally in small design shops that sell quality wearable stuff on a small scale.

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Mick Russell Photography

 

What advice would you give to young designers?

Dream big and never give up if you are passionate about what you are doing.

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Mick Russell Photography

***

Images 2&3|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

Images 4-15|Model: Andzelika Baciulyte|Rachel Mulcahy MUA

Featured Photography|Aay Kay|Mick Russell|

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Virtue will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

Designer Profiles: Crevation Designs | AW’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the second installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next few weeks and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

Majella Lennon Dalton – Crevation Designs

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Image via Facebook

What sparked your interest with millinery?

I have always had a passion for art and fashion but ended up choosing a career in engineering. As an engineer I always had a flair for the aesthetics in design and got to work with designers in Paris, colour consultants in London and many suppliers of unusual finishes , materials and coatings. I absolutely love working with different materials textures and colours.

When the company I worked for closed shop in Ireland and moved back to the US I had 3 kids under two and decided to stay at home with them. This is when I got to indulge my creative side. I started painting and spent some time in GMIT studying Fine art and Design. For something different I tried millinery and became obsessed.

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?

I started in GMIT (Beginners and Advanced)  but have since done courses with the amazing Lina Stein and Carole Maher from Australia.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

Two things I suppose, firstly my obsession for design and secondly people were asking me to make pieces for them.

What is your aesthetic?

I personally like a very classic look but I love to use unusual materials in new and innovative ways. A lot of my clients want a custom piece to work with a particular outfit for a wedding or the races so I like to design taking all variables into account: the person (personality, hair colour, height,  skin tone etc); the outfit (colours, textures style); the occasion. 

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What inspired this collection?

This collection was inspired by by research into thermoplastics and the new possibilities it brings. I use this material to bring drama and structure to my designs.

The large cream headpiece is inspired by the ‘Children of Lir’. a story from Irish Folklore. The cream structures when placed together create a winglike effect.

The large Black and White piece reflects the  “Yin /Yang” symbol which is carried through in the Black and Silver thermoplastics.

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

I think in the beginning I was like a kid in a toy shop, all over the place and trying everything. I now have developed the process and I suppose have found my own style. I certainly focus on ergonomics in my designs and have learned better how to interpret what each individual customer requires. This only happens with lots of practice.

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Mick Russell Photography

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

I think the best lesson is to trust your intuition, do your own thing and innovate where possible.

Describe your creative process.

The creative process for custom designs is very different from designs where I just get to indulge my creative side and go wild with colours and materials.

In custom designs I look at the person, the outfit , the occasion, the textures, colours etc then develop a design to suit but I always take into account the ergonomics, the balance and re-usability of the design. So many people tell me they have hats that have only been worn once and never see the light of day. I try to design pieces that can be worn lots of times. I advise clients on how to use them by working with different accessories.

My own personal creative process is usually sparked by a new fabric or an innovative new material. I will usually spend hours just testing the capabilities of the new material and trialing new ways to use it before eventually putting a design together. Believe me you do not want to see the state of the workshop on those days.

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Via Majella Lennon

How do you get unstuck creatively?

I find it very difficult to switch off  but I find it best to get out into nature, go for a run of a walk, or do an exercise class.

What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

I love a good design brief. I love to set aims objectives etc and manage a project.

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Via Majella Lennon

How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

I don’t think I do stay organised. There is always a little chaos ((or sometimes a lot). I am learning to live with that and so are my family.

Where do you see your brand expanding to?

I am currently stocked in Harper and Style Kloset and the Fancy Nest here in Galway. I want to build my brand at a pace I am comfortable…keep watching!

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Via Majella Lennon

What advice would you give to young designers?

Nothing happens quickly, take your time, stay true to yourself and it will work!

***

Images 2&3|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

Featured Photography|Timothée Cognard|Mick Russell|

All other imagery via Majella Lennon

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Majella will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

Designer Profile: She Vibes | AW’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network, we would like you all to get to know our designers a little better. This is the first installment in a series of blog posts relating to the designers who will be taking part in the upcoming A/W’17 Showcase in Tribeton on September 9th. Keep an eye out on the blog and on our social media channels over the next few weeks and get to know our designers before the Big Day.

She Vibes – Karolina Sexton 

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Aay Kay Photography

What sparked your interest with jewellery?

I suppose every woman likes jewellery, but I don’t really like pearls, gold, stones and sparkly crystals. I like being unique and I always enjoyed  making my look a bit different from what you can see on the streets.  I wanted to wear something easy to put on, big but light and most of all something eye catching and very colourful. Inspired by African style jewellery I decided to start making yarn wrapped necklaces – and that’s how it all started.

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Aay Kay Photography

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?

I never studied any fashion design. I am a preschool and primary teacher with an artistic soul and a passion for handmade art.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What made you take your talent more seriously and want make a career out of it?

I am not sure If I am at this stage when I think about it as a chance for a career. I still think about what I am doing as my passion, my hobby. It’s a bit like therapy, a nice break from every day life, the kids, the work, the house duties etc. Every time I see people liking my jewellery and they are willing to buy it, I take it as a compliment. This is what makes me feel unique: people’s interest, nice words and real contact with them.

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What is your aesthetic?

I like colours. I think wearing something colourful makes life more happy, especially in Ireland where we have to deal with so many rainy and dull days – I like to brighten them up with a bit more colour. I am inspired by African style jewellery. I like to play with colours but also with different fabrics, trimmings, beads, feathers and anything what can be wrapped around strips of fabric.

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Mick Russell Photography

What inspired this collection or what are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

When I was creating this collection I was definitely using more feathers than before. I carefully selected them while I was visiting my country during the summer holidays. I love attaching them to my necklaces . Some of them are long, some are short. Fluffy, delicate, exclusive almost. In this collection I wanted to show that my necklaces can be used as a costume jewellery as well as part of the casual look. They can be use as a part of theatre costume as they are big and very eye catching.

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Mick Russell Photography

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

I am definitely more brave by using more and more different types of ”decorations”. I started using only yarns and playing mostly with the colours. Now I am focused on making more interesting necklaces when every rope has a different texture , feeling etc.

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Mick Russell Photography

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

I don’t know how to answer this question… We are learning every day and all our lives. I am not that far with my company to be able to do that kind of evaluation yet!

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Mick Russell Photography

Describe your creative process.

It’s simpler than you think. It all comes from the need of taking break from reality! Then I look at the yarns…I think what colours I would like to mix. I decide what kind of trimmings, or beads , fabrics or maybe feathers I can attach to make it look interesting and off I go with the creative process!

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Timothée Cognard Photography

How do you get unstuck creatively?

If I feel tired from making necklaces and have no idea for the next project I usually switch to my other craft – needle felting. I make figurines, ornaments etc. After 1 or 2 felt items I can go back to my jewellery designs. It always works!

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Timothée Cognard Photography

What questions do you ask yourself before you begin any design project?

How do I want it to look on my neck? Do I want it very bright or maybe quiet this time?  Do I want it to be casual or more costume jewellery?

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Purple Blues Photography

How do you stay organized when trying to design and create while balancing family or other work related responsibilities?

Ha! Nobody said I am organized! Artistic people are usually not! I work when I can…when my kids are busy playing, between washing and feeding them. I work when they are finally asleep. I suppose it is still some kind of organization but far away from the dream!

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Manon Gustave Photography

How do you feel about the current state if the fashion industry?

To be honest with you….I don’t know. I do what I love, I sell it and it makes my happy. But I am outside of the fashion industry. I don’t follow the trends, I don’t read or watch any programs about it. I wear what I like, I do what I love…I feel free.

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Manon Gustave Photography

Where do you see your brand expanding to?

As far as I see 98% of my designs are selling to the United States (mostly New York) so I’d say that is my main market. Funky people over there!

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Manon Gustave Photography

What advice would you give to young designers?

As a designer I feel young myself so I am open for advice from designers who actually matter in the fashion industry. My time for giving advice might come but I am definitely not at this stage just yet!

***

Images 2-9|Rós Model Management|The Face Hairdressing|Colette Manning Lacey MUA

Image 10-11|Sinead Lee Hair Design|Grainne Coughlan Pro MUA

Featured Photography| Aay Kay|Timothée Cognard|Mick Russell|Purple Blues|Manon Gustave

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Karolina will be taking part in the GDN A/W Showcase on September 9th in Tribeton. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

Smile for the Cameras! | GDN A/W’17 Showcase

Here at the Galway Designer’s Network we are in full swing preparing for our upcoming Autumn/Winter Showcase and the countdown is on as we creep towards September 9th.

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As any avid reader of this blog will know, the Galway Designers Network is a group that has been established to promote independent creativity and design. The Network was started because we felt that local designers in Galway and the surrounding areas were being overlooked in fashion shows and events due to the vast number of boutiques. We wanted to create a space for local designers to showcase their work and have a chance to gain exposure. The Autumn/Winter Showcase intends to do just that.

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GDN Founders, Ann Petrov & Gayle Ita

A selection of this season’s designers gathered together early on Sunday morning in the Showcase venue, Tribeton, for a promotional shoot.  Many of the images taken at the event will be used in the winder media as well as here on the blog and across our other social media channels as we approach the Big Day. The Galway Designers Network’s very own Aay Kay was on hand to capture some behind the scenes magic and as you will be able to see from the images that follow, Tribeton‘s stunningly ornate architecture will provide the most beautiful backdrop to this season’s event.

Want to know who the faces behind these collections are? Then come along to our Showcase on September 9th and stay up to date with our social media channels for more information about the talented people behind the designs.

As we have previously stated, this season’s venue is Tribeton, located on Merchants Road right here in Galway. There will be 3 individual showcases throughout the day:

Jewellery Design at 2pm

Millinery at 4pm

Clothing Design at 6pm.

Tickets for individual shows are priced at €15, or grab yourself a bundle ticket for €35 and spend the day in Tribeton, where you can enjoy 20% off all food all day or shop the Pop Up Market featuring all of the designers collections.  Your ticket will entitle you to a glass of prosecco, a goodie bag specific to the show and a front row seat.  If you want to get your hands on a ticket, go online via eventbrite.ie or head directly to Tribeton. There will also be a limited amount of standing tickets available for each show, but you must register your interest via eventbrite.ie prior to September 9th.

***

The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can support your local fashion industry and keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

Trend Watch: Pantone Greenery

Greenery is the Pantone Colour of the Year 2017. 

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http://www.pantone.com

What is the PANTONE Color of the Year?

‘A symbolic color selection; a color snapshot of what we see taking place in our global culture that serves as an expression of a mood and an attitude.’

– Pantone Colour Institute

The PCI describe Greenery as a colour symbolic of new beginnings, representing the newness that Springtime brings. Emblematic of revival, restoration and renewal it captures the imagination leaving us all visualising lush green fields and flourishing trees. A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings.

The reason for Greenery being dubbed the Colour of the Year for 2017? Greenery is representative of nature, something which many of us have become far removed from due to the hectic nature of modern life. How often do any of have to time to literally take a minute and admire the beauty of the world around us?

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www.pantone.com

Greenery is described as a trans-seasonal shade, enabling you to wear it now in the midst of summer sunshine, or in the Autumnal winds of October, or in the dewy light of February. Greenery is one of the most versatile shades in anyone’s wardrobe – it can be paired with neutral creams and camels, bright vivacious shades of pink or blue, rich deep reds and purples, pastel and metallic tones.

Luckily for all you , in today’s post I have created a selection of some of the best Greenery inspired pieces available right now to help you keep on top of your style game.

Interested in keeping up to date with trends like the Pantone Colour of the Year? Check out two previous blog posts about the key trends for Spring/Summer 2017 and the latest trends straight from the Resort Runways.

The Pantone Colour Institute is just one of many fashion forecasting sites that designers can look to when thinking about their newest collections. To discover more about the importance of fashion forecasting  read this post to understand the impact it can have on a designer.

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The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

Trending Now | Resort 2018

Resort Collections have become some of the most highly anticipated fashion showcases in recent years.

The resort collection came from the pre-season lines of ready-to-wear that a brand produced for their customers who would vacation during the autumn and winter months in hotter climates when all that was available in stores was the previous wintry A/W collections.  The modern manifestation of the resort collection is aimed at customers who have bought their new A/W wardrobe and want to start buying pieces for their holidays, usually arriving in stores in November/December or February.

Resort collections not only provide some of the most beautiful fashion shows but some of the pieces can spend the longest amount of time in store. A designer has to ensure that their Resort Collection is universal and can be a one stop shop for their customers. Resort Collections nowadays will often see typically summery pieces side by side with some of the heaviest jackets, coats and boots, so it all has to mesh together and create an alluring aesthetic to attract customers, no matter what season they are buying for.

Below showcases some of the best of the trends from Resort 2018, from prints to specific colours to an exciting accessory. Keep reading for a little look at some of the easiest trends to follow to keep up to date with the latest Resort 2018 trends.

Trend 1 | Tropical Prints

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Pringle of Scotland
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Etro
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Erdem

Trend 2 | Stripes

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Alice + Olivia
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Tibi
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Robert Rodriguez

Trend 3 | Plaid

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Oscar de la Renta
07-plaid
3.1 Philip Lim
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Alberta Ferretti

Trend 4 | Lime Green

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Delpozo
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Adam Lippes
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Ellery

Trend 5 | White

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Christian Dior
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Michael Kors
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Jonathon Simkhai

Trend 6 | Flares

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Khaite
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Beaufille
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Adeam

Trend 7 | Statement Socks

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Thom Browne
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Gucci
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Valentino

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The Galway Designers Network  is a group of talented designers looking to create exciting clothing and accessories to ensure you can keep up to date with the latest fashion looks and we are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

Fashion Forecasting: How it works and is it really important?

Do you ever wonder how fashion trends are decided? Who it is that wakes up one morning and tells the world that velvet is in or that we should all be wearing feminist tshirts? Decisions like these are made by a small cohort of people in the industry called fashion forecasters. 

Fashion forecasting is a relatively new discipline in the fashion industry but has become one of the most critical weapons in a brand or retailer’s arsenal. WGSN and Pantone are two of the biggest and most influential fashion companies in the world, but not many people will understand their importance. 

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via WeConnectFashion.comWeConnectFashion.com

Accurate analysis of consumer trends is vital in informing brand direction and development, in the creation of relevant products and services and ultimately in ensuring their success in a crowded marketplace, given the constantly evolving marketing and targeting techniques.

The world has moved forward from the traditional, static means of identifying consumers by demographic, geography, age etc. Fashion forecasting identifies consumers by trying to understand how and why they buy, making assertions based on their moods, beliefs and the occasion.

Fashion forecasters try to identify looks/styles that they think are prophetic, capture the mood and represent the current zeitgeist. By identifying these looks early on, it allows designers and manufacturers to go into production to meet customer demand with most textile manufacturers will begin working at least eighteen months ahead of a season.  

In order to pinpoint a trend, a forecaster must immerse themselves in as many aspects of culture as possible with the purpose of gathering and absorbing vast amounts of information to collate it into a coherent and viable story.  A forecaster has to take an interest in all aspects of culture from the creative arts, media and travel to underground subculture movements and developments in science and technology.

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via Pantone.com

Fashion forecasters will try to predict colour, pattern/print, shape and silhouette based on their findings. It is a constant flurry of trying to gather images and collect as many ideas as possible. This enables a forecaster to easily spot a connection amongst all the fashion noise. However, sometimes, there can be one thing that is so powerful and enigmatic that it triggers an immediate reaction from the industry. These findings when combined with statistical market research and observation of socio-economic shifts give an insight into what the next emerging trend may be and show the direction and potential reaction of consumer culture.

There are two methods of fashion forecasting: short and long term. Short term forecasting is used to predict trends based on current events. It predicts colour and fabric by considering fashion events, sport, science, technology etc. Long term forecasting utilises methods of predicting trends based on economical, political and market growth point of view.  

To understand the difference between short term and long term forecasting it is important to understand the different factors to be considered by forecasters. There are certain trends that are ubiquitous through the internet, social media and magazines that have come from catwalk collections. These images are used to predict the next one or two cycles in the fashion year. However, sometimes, there are major changes in the industry which will have lasting effects. Another factor that must be considered by forecasters is the importance of certain perennial elements in the industry e.g. military, 1920’s glamour or 1990’s minimalism and how these trends will never fully leave future fashion cycles.

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via Else-Corp

The fashion industry is changing in ways like never before and with the rapidly changing pace of the fashion cycle, the demand placed on fashion forecasters has increased. Fashion showcases are being streamed live and retailers are obsessed with shortening the turnaround from the catwalk showcase of a collection to its availability in-store. This has changed the forecasting industry from a niche sector publishing literary reports every six months to a massive online service which is constantly creating new material. This shift towards immediacy has led to the industry often being seen as reactive rather than innovative. Many forecasting agencies will often pull from the same pool of information which inevitably leads to an overburdened and stale high street where fast-fashion dominates and short-term micro-trends have become the calling cards of the industry.

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via Kirra Magazine

The opportunities the internet has created for the fashion industry has also made its impact on fashion forecasting. Social media is a vital platform forecasters utilise to both showcase their findings as well as keep their fingers on the pulse of the consumer market. Fashion blogging is reshaping the means by which forecasters conduct their research as bloggers become a more common source of inspiration for the public than any other part of popular culture. This has even had an effect of the employment opportunities within the forecasting sector as certain retailers see bloggers and social influencers as being more connected their demographic, pushing out the more established forecasting agencies. This has created friction in the industry as agencies try to keep their subscriptions up and remain seen as leaders in the sector, leading to them constantly aiming to raise their profile and accessibility.

These changes in the fashion industry have required fashion forecasters to make use of a more bespoke approach to catering for their clients’ needs. Carefully considered guidance is necessary for longevity in the current state of the industry with retailers being offered tailored advice to navigate forthcoming trends in order to successfully match their customers’ needs. Not only does this offer designers like us here at the Galway Designers Network an opportunity to successfully compete in the marketplace but also combat the identikit culture pervading the industry.

Despite the vast changes the fashion industry has seen since the start of this decade, if fashion forecasters can maintain their role as an inspirational resource for those  who wish to be innovative and creative, the role of fashion forecasting will always remain a critical aspect of the fashion industry.

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If you are a young designer looking to make your mark in the retail sector and start your own fashion business, check out the following blog post for a strategy in negotiating the various challenges of going from a hobby-designer to a successful fashion business. It might also be a good idea to read this post about how to identify your target customer or this post about the various challenges and opportunities for designers in the modern retail environment. Check out last week’s post all about tips for marketing your fashion business!

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The Galway Designers Network are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

 

Sell, Sell, Sell | How to Market Your Brand

Young designers need to understand what they are and why they are starting their own businesses. If they do it, it is because they really believe that they have something to say that cannot be said in the context of Paul Smith or Oscar de la Renta or Dior.

Vanessa Friedman, Fashion Director, The New York Times.

In the How to Start a Fashion Business blog post, I mentioned a tip regarding the importance of creating your brand identity through marketing and advertising. I will include the exact extract below but click here for a link to the full blog post. 

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There is no point in having a company if no one knows about it. Right from the beginning you should establish your brand identity, by which I mean how you want the public to perceive your business. This refers to the consumers perceptions about the product, the quality and the advantages your brand has over its competitors.

A strategised marketing and communications plan are key to building your brand. Understand your market share, your target audience and how you are going to approach your customers. While social media is critically important to tapping into the current fashion audience, there is a lot more to it than setting up an Instagram page. You need to create a disciplined approach to tackling your consumers and peaking their interests in an super-saturated market.

It is also important to see PR companies and the rest of the media as powerful aides in your broader marketing plan. Hiring a PR agent or company is probably one of the best steps you will ever take in taking your business to the next level, but you should only try to bring your work to the attention of a wider audience if your business can sustain it.

For this week’s blog post, I thought it would be ideal to elaborate on the importance of marketing for the success of your fashion brand and offer a few helpful tips and tricks. Hopefully, you will learn something new or can adapt some of the techniques to suit your business. 

Starting a business, particularly in the fashion industry can feel a little overwhelming. With so many brands out there all vying for coverage, your efforts to get your brand noticed can feel a little futile, almost as if you are just one of many, spreading your message, hoping it catches someone’s attention. However, you should never let the saturation of the marketplace deter you from giving it your best effort.

Once you have a solid foundation for your business – by which I mean you have a comprehensive understanding of your brand identity, including your distinct design voice and aesthetic, values, beliefs and an understanding of your customer (click here to read last week’s blog post for some helpful tips on how to identify and target your perfect customer) – it is time to use all of this information to create a marketing plan.  

Some of the simplest tips for marketing your business are to post regularly on social media, having a blog, running competitions, joining different online or offline communities and going to events. However, sometimes you might find you have attempted all of these things and they seem to have no impact. That is hopefully where these few tips will come in and help you to market your business. 

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Tip 1: Directly Ask People to Share 

This may seem slightly intimidating, or even a little desperate, but it is probably the most effective marketing technique. If you are lucky enough to have a customer base already, contact them and ask them to share your brand with a friend, or tag it on social media. There have been numerous times where I have been scrolling through Instagram, saw an outfit I liked and tapped the picture to check the credits only to discover that the one thing I was interested in wasn’t tagged. If you don’t have customers yet, ask people in your circle or even other members of our own Galway Designers Network.  Make a list of names and send a short email telling them about your latest work or newest pieces, how much you would appreciate a little support and add the direct links to your various profiles and social media pages. It will not appear pushy so long as you phrase everything in a polite manner, and the majority of people are happy to support brands they admire, believe in and have good experiences with. 

 

Tip 2: Ensure Your Presence at All Events

…even if you are not physically there.

How can you manage this? Well there are a couple of options available. One way many of the larger designers and brands do it is through the use of ambassadors. While this can take some time, finding a customer who knows your brand as well as you do and who is happy to publicly represent you will be an invaluable resource. If you have someone you think fits the bill, organise an event that your ambassador can host to present them to the world as your new Brand Ambassador, perhaps a lifestyle event or a personal styling session. That way, you have someone who can host events for you in areas where you or your team cannot be or even have them simply attend events in your stead. 

Another option could be to try and gain sponsorship. This does not have to cost a fortune; make use of interesting events or clubs in your locality where you could offer merchandise, goodies or services, or even some financial support. By conducting some succinct research, you can gain an understand of the interests your customer base has and use this information to create an effective   sponsorship marketing plan that will not cost the world.

 

Tip 3: Share your Expertise 

We’re all experts in something. As a designer, you will  have extensive knowledge about textiles, pattern drafting, construction, sustainability practices, even topics like the tools required for starting a business, what its like to be a designer in a small town etc. Take your experiences and channel them why writing about them. Be yourself, open and honest, and share everything you can. Find the best place to share your work, either in a magazine, newspaper or on a blog. By doing so, you will broaden your audience and cast your sales net even wider, thus attracting more sales. 

 

Tip 4: Social Media Conversations

Social Media is one the most critical marketing tools for the current retail sector. As a designer, it is important to have an online presence where you can engage with customers. Make sure your have a Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram and Snapchat and use them to interact with customers, bloggers and journalists in your area. By doing so, you will open your brand up to a world wide audience and help to strengthen it. 

  • FacebookIt is important to post regularly, with relevant updates. You can also try to engage with your customers by posting poles or doing live Facebook videos showing you at work while taking questions from your followers. Facebook is one of the best channels for audience interaction and questions, but it will inevitably be the first place they go to complain, so keep an eye on all customer interaction. 
  • Twitter: Much like Facebook, you should try to tweet regularly, ensuring your tweets are relevant and consistent with your brand. You could tweet about your latest design, a new fabric or pattern, your current line, some of the best sellers etc. Also, promote your other social media platforms as well as your sales channels. Another tip is to be seen to be tweeting with reaction to different collections during fashion week/cruise collections or other fashion business news to showcase your awareness of current developments.  Keep the tone personal, approachable and interactive – get talking to people! 
  • Instagram: Use Instagram to showcase your work by post images of each of your pieces. Show them individually and styled with different outfits to give your followers inspiration. If you see a piece from a high end designer similar to a design of yours, share that, with the relevant link to your item showing your customers how to get the look for less. Instagram is fast becoming the most relevant social media platform for fashion and offers a wonderful place to engage with other designers, customers or bloggers and journalists in your area. Instastories also offers you the chance to post daily updates and short videos of you at work as a designer or even offer sneak peeks of upcoming pieces. One of the best features of Instastories is the ability to tag where you are, adding to the Instastory of the locality, particularly helpful if you decide to upload a video of an event or showcase you are taking part it. 
  • Snapchat: Although, Instastories has somewhat over taken Snapchat in recent months, having a Snapchat account can prove to be a critical social media tool in terms of engaging with followers and potential customers. Snapchat is a quick, hassle free means of taking customer questions and interacting with your audience. It is also a great tool if you want your personality as the designer to become part of your brand identity, as many people will feel like they can get to know you through the videos or images you post. Again, much like Instastories, you can post daily updates and short videos of you at work, offer sneak peeks of upcoming pieces, or tag where you are, adding to the Snapchat story for the local area. 

By using social media, you can expand your audience and forge better relationships with the followers you have. Tools like Facebook Live/Instagram Live are great means of having long, engaging conversations with potential customers, rather than sporadic chat in a comments section.

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People love what others are passionate about, and if your fashion line is your passion, then there is someone out there just waiting to discover it. How do they do that? Through your effective and efficient marketing strategy.

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If you are a young designer looking to make your mark in the retail sector and start your own fashion business, check out the following blog post for a strategy in negotiating the various challenges of going from a hobby-designer to a successful fashion business. It might also be a good idea to read last week’s blog post about how to identify your target customer or this post about the various challenges and opportunities for designers in the modern retail environment.

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The Galway Designers Network are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

Target Audience | Identifying Your Customer

Who is your customer?

This is the number one question for any designer who hopes to take their work and turn it into a successful business. By understanding who your target audience is you can execute your product design and marketing messaging with precision and a definitive strategy enabling you to make strong business decisions and generate sales for growth. Essentially, the more specific you are about who your ideal customer is, the easier it will be to attract them.

Customer Profile

The key to customer acquisition is finding your niche.

In order to identify your ideal customer you need to be exactingly specific, focusing on explicit attributes and using this information to create your best client. Once you have become established, you may choose to expand your brand and attract a wider consumer base, the in the initial stages, it is critical to remain focused.

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Initially, as a designer you should identify the following factors:

Demographics: age; gender; income; profession etc.

Psychographics: values; attitudes; belief systems etc.

Lifestyle: geographic location; leisure activities; travel etc.

Buying Habits: brand loyalty; price awareness; paying attention to the other brands they buy from

However, the most critical element is to define the specific needs of your ideal customer.

Does your client want to wear a dress to a wedding that they know no one else will have? Are they a mum of three who needs comfortable, easy to wash clothing? Are they a wealthy business woman who needs office wear that she can carry through to social events in the evening time?

What do they need and why are you the best option for them?

A successful business relies on one factor – a customer base who are willing to part with they money for your product because it meets their need, it really is as simple as that. By understanding why your customer is buying from you, it will make it much easier for you to give them the clothing or accessories they want.

How to Identify Your Customer

Some designers see themselves as their ideal customer, inspired by a desire to satisfy their own needs. If this is true for your brand, it will be to identify the specifics about your customer.

However, if this is not the case for your business, you will need to carry out some customer research. It is critically important that you do not try create a customer profile based on assumptions or guesswork because you will inevitably end up wrong about some aspect, no matter how easy you think it will be to build your customer profile.

Talk to your current customers or people you would consider to be your ideal customer. Find out the information regarding the attributes listed above as well as information regarding their needs. Spend time in your competitors stores, watching how the customer shops, the other bags they carry, how much they spend etc. Approach people as they shop and explain who you are and what you are trying to do. Research brands like yourself online to get a grasp of their customer base and then use this knowledge to inform your own. Start up designers sometimes prefer to do this themselves or you have the choice of hiring a company to do the research for you, the choice is really up to you based on what your budget can allow.

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The fashion retail industry is an over saturated market place as it stands right now, with only more and more brands emerging every week. It is a highly competitive arena and without a loyal customer base, your business will flounder. An attempt to appeal to everyone will leave you constantly chasing your tail as you try to attract sales.

By defining your ideal customer, you can provide focus for your business, enabling your merchandise, branding, marketing and message to be consistent and which will target a customer who is somewhere out there, waiting and willing to hear what you have to say.

If you are a young designer looking to make your mark in the retail sector and start your own fashion business, check out the following blog post for a strategy in negotiating the various challenges of going from a hobby-designer to a successful fashion business.

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The Galway Designers Network are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs and Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the Galway Designers Studio House Facebook Page  to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

Hey Designers!

We want to invite you all to come along to our June Meet-up on Friday 23rd, in the Workbench Bank of Ireland.

This is an opportunity for us to catch up with what everyone is doing at the moment, meet new faces, have a chat, and tell you about news from our end!

Topics which will be covered:
– Details on the upcoming September Fashion Show
– News on our membership offer
– Update on the Studio House progress
– A meet & greet of each of us, with everyone getting a chance to introduce themselves and tell about their design business
– Sounding board for any issues as a designer which you would like to address in a future workshop/talk

There will be nibbles and drinks, and we will have quite a structured meeting in order to get everything covered..

If you want to attend, please email us @galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com or Message us on Facebook and we will send you more info.

We need to know definite numbers, so please be sure to confirm your place!

Looking forward to seeing and meeting you all!

Gayle & Ann xxx

Challenges & Opportunities | The Future of Fashion Retail

Fashion retail is a multi billion euro industry with women’s clothing accounting for over fifty percent of total revenue. Once upon a time, fashion was strictly a seasonal business with most sales made in the run up to holidays or the start of school terms. Now the fashion retailing has become an year long booming industry with a constant and unyielding consumer turnover.

Now fashion retail is at a cross roads, facing certain challenges as well as many opportunities as it tries to negotiate the modern age. This week’s blog post will offer a brief look at some of these challenges and opportunities in the hope that we as members of the Galway Designers Network will be able adapt as we operate within the industry. 

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Challenges

1. Data Protection

The biggest challenge facing the retail sector today is protecting point of sale and customer data from security breaches. As stores interact with their customers online, data is being acquired by stores to ensure they meet their target market’s needs. This included vital personal information which must remain secure from hacking. In addition to this, retailers face the dilemma regarding the ethical consequences of selling this data to third parties for monetary gain.

2. Customer Acquisition

Retailers are struggling to continually drive traffic to their stores and keep returning customers. Now virtually all growth in consumer spending is being captured by e-commerce via online sales. Retailers need to stand out from not only their competitors but also from the online versions of their stores so as to ensure the store’s function in customer acquisition and retainment is relevant and successful.

3. Evolving Customer Profile

The contemporary consumer is highly informed, enabled by new technologies to access unprecedented amounts of information such as pricing, product reviews, newest trends etc. This means that retailers are finding it difficult to acquire loyalty or new customers altogether. Consumers expectations are higher than ever before; they want the best of everything – high quality merchandise, 100% availability, next-day delivery, free returns, excellent customer service – and they expect the best of everything.

Added to this, consumer class structure is evolving constantly as even the most affluent consumers find it strange to pay full price for most things, while lower and middle class consumers will push themselves into debt to afford faux luxury goods and services. This results in a difficult balancing act for retailers to stimulate purchases without being aggressive on price or delivering exceptional value. 

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Opportunities 

1. Omnichannel System

The omnichannel system offers several opportunities for retailers. It gives customers the chance to experience effortlessness in their shopping experience and enables them to be in constant contact with a company through multiple avenues at the same time: by visiting the brick and mortar store, going online via the website or  the app. They can research products and compare prices, which will ensure a company has to stay competitive to stay relevant. By completing purchases online and paying for in-store purchases via click-and-collect services, companies can also draw online consumers into their stores. An omnichannel system also gives retailers the flexibility to make near-real-time decisions to reroute products and streamline transportation to get the right products to the right locations at the right time, ensuring customer satisfaction.

2. Market Segmentation

Market segmentation enables retailers to identify the specific needs and wants of customer groups and using these insights to provide products and services which meet customer needs. Retailers can use market segmentation to ensure they do not find themselves facing a downturn in sales by creating and exploiting opportunities directed at the top and bottom consumer classes. The current rising income inequality gap has resulted in an ‘hourglass’ economy, which has placed a lot of pressure on the middle classes and an intriguing opportunity for retailers to attract the attention of the upper and lower income groups.  

The top strata of consumers often account for a disproportionate amount of consumer expenditure and given they have the means to spend, it has resulted in more retailers coming out with faux luxury products or experiences and aiming them at this market. e.g. the personal shopping experience with complimentary champagne. On the other end of the consumer scale are the bottom strata consumers, who are more conscious about how and when they spend.

ZARA provide a perfect example of how they use market segmentation in their company to ensure strong sales in all three consumer strata. ZARA will often have a ‘studio’ or ‘premium’ collection, with a slightly higher price point and higher quality merchandise aimed at the top consumer class. Then for the squeezed middle classes, the ‘special’ prices section offers consumers a chance to purchase merchandise at a slightly discounted price point, and the stock available changes week to week as new stock drops. Finally for the bottom consumer class, ZARA’s biannual sale will enable consumers to become a ZARA customer through the heavily discounted seasonal merchandise.

3. Optimizing The Offline Sales Process

One of the biggest opportunities for growth in the retail sector is the proficiency of the offline sales experience. More customers are choosing to shop online, and while they may be loyal and recurring customers, they may never darken the door of the store front. The retail sector has the opportunity to convert more customers and increase sales by creating an efficient and inviting experience for customers in store. This can be achieved in several ways: the use of promotional events will drive incremental visits; click-and-collect/buy online and pick-up in store services must be executed flawlessly; a proficient, engaging and friendly staff dedicated to good customer service.

4. Inventory Management Processes

The retail sector now have the opportunity for to greatly improve and shorten inventory management processes thanks to developments in technology and the changing pace of the fashion cycle. Buying and selling seasons are no longer mutually exclusive and stock outs result in a loss of sales for retailers. Retailers have the opportunity now to choose the right inventory for their store/channel at the exact time it is required, not six months prior as was the tradition. This not only ensures the most up to date trends and styles are supplied by retailers, but also that stock replenishment can be accomplished efficiently. Now retailers must focus on flexibility and speed to market rather than cost cutting measures.

The future of fashion retailers is standing at a precipice, and how an individual retailer chooses to navigate the various challenges and opportunities will dictate the success of the industry as a whole. 

If you are a young designer looking to make your mark in the retail sector and start your own fashion business, check out last week’s blog post for a strategy in negotiating the various challenges of going from a hobby-designer to a successful fashion business. 

fashion

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The Galway Designers Network are looking to make our own mark in the fashion retail sector. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs, Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing and Virtue Shine of Emerald & Wax, but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the link to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved in the Network. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

The Only Way is Up | Starting a Fashion Business

In 2014, The British Fashion Council and London Business School collaborated on a report entitled Commercialising Creativity — Creating a Success Model for British Fashion Designers which aimed to investigate whether or not there was a distinctive formula to creating a successful fashion business.

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Defining Success

— There are three dimensions of success within the designer fashion sector:

1 Creative acclaim (how the designer’s creativity is perceived)

2 Communications perception (public profile and awareness)

3 Commercial acclaim (how much sales and profits the designer generates)

This is how the report defines success, and while your outlook on success could be very different to commercial viability, for the purpose of the report and this blog post, I will define success in a similar way to the authors.

This post will offer 6 Tips which are based on some of the most critical and interesting points of the report and try to give up and coming designers a blueprint for turning your hobby into a successful business.

The report has striven to identify the biggest challenges designers may face and the best means to approaching and eventually conquering them. The report is based on information collected from a varied and knowledgeable group of people.

Acknowledgements, Commercialising Creativity

Tip 1: Behave like a Business

The business and creative side of being a designer need to become interconnected so it is critically important that from the start you treat your craft as a business. This means that you as a designer should embody entrepreneurial spirit that will drive your business towards success.

What do I mean by entrepreneurial spirit? I mean having a clear vision for your company and drafting a business plan right from the start. You should have a desire to promote yourself as being reliable and credible, more than someone just tinkering away in there kitchen. There’s noting wrong with tinkering away in your kitchen, as long as you are working towards a establishing a solid business.

It might also be worth considering bringing on board a business partner, someone with tried and tested commercial and business skills, to help out, although it is of the utmost importance that you as the designer have an understanding of the basis of commerciality.

Tip 2: Recognise the Importance of Product Development

Once you have decided you want to turn your talent into a business, the tendency can be there to show off everything you can do and create lots of beautiful designs. However, if you look at any emerging designer who was fortunate enough to find commercial success and establish themselves in the industry, they all started small with one product line and then developed their brand from this jumping off point. This is an important step to take as it creates a concise image of your brand which needs to be consistently intrinsic in all of your future work to give your business brand recognition.

Linked to this is the process of setting the correct price point to ensure commercial success. Ensure that you price your work accordingly, taking into consideration the cost of materials, manufacturing, delivery, market value as well as your cut as the designer of the piece. Too often, emerging designers will forgo their dues and pay themselves little to nothing, which results in them losing out on the much needed revenue to invest in their business.

It is also important to try to gain feedback from people who understand the commercial success of a designer, which surprisingly are not the press. The fashion buyer is an emerging designer’s best friend. While it may be super exciting to have your work featured in a local magazine or showcase, the only thing that will sustain your business is sales, not column inches.

Tip 3: Create your Brand Identity through Marketing & Advertising

There is no point in having a company if no one knows about it. Right from the beginning you should establish your brand identity, by which I mean how you want the public to perceive your business. This refers to the consumers perceptions about the product, the quality and the advantages your brand has over its competitors.

Young designers need to understand what they are and why they are starting their own businesses. If they do it, it is because they really believe that they have something to say that cannot be said in the context of Paul Smith or Oscar de la Renta or Dior.

Vanessa Friedman, Fashion Director, The New York Times.

A strategised marketing and communications plan are key to building your brand. Understand your market share, your target audience and how you are going to approach your customers. While social media is critically important to tapping into the current fashion audience, there is a lot more to it than setting up an Instagram page. You need to create a disciplined approach to tackling your consumers and peaking their interests in an super-saturated market.

It is also important to see PR companies and the rest of the media as powerful aides in your broader marketing plan. Hiring a PR agent or company is probably one of the best steps you will ever take in taking your business to the next level, but you should only try to bring your work to the attention of a wider audience if your business can sustain it.

Tip 4:  Tackle the Challenges of Production

As a designer and head of your business, you need to have a comprehensive understanding of the manufacturing process so as to ensure that you can make realistic demands. Creating a sustainable relationship with a reliable manufacturer will be the key your success. You will be faced with the ethical dilemma of choosing to manufacture locally, which while good for your local economy and local fashion industry but can prove to be expensive, or to outsource production overseas where it is cheaper but perhaps more questionable.

As a new business you may struggle with production. You’ll be placing smaller orders, which ultimately leaves you in a poor position to bargain with manufacturers. Often, a manufacturer will ask you for a deposit before you are anywhere near to receiving payment from a retailer. While this can be a difficult pill to swallow in the early stages, it is essential to make this payment or any other promptly so that production is not delayed. If you rescind on your promises to get deliveries to retailers, it will damage your credibility.

Tip 5: Find the Key to Sales and Distribution

In order to be a successful designer of a successful company, you need to make sales. Lots of them. The direct financing of you own independent store is not the only option when it comes to making sales. If you do wish to open a flagship store, there are numerous investment options such as partnerships or joint ventures like our own Galway Designers Studio House, franchising or to approach established retailers.

When approaching an established retailer, you need to attract the attention of buyers. Approach buyers with an understanding of your Unique Selling Point, how your product fits with all of the other brands they buy, a set price point and a well structured business.

I think what could be improved is the designers’ sense of place. They need to know how they compare to the competition. Who is going to buy the product? Where you would like to be sold, realistically? Will it be the right price? These questions have to be answered before picking up a pen to design.

Anne Pitcher, Managing Director, Selfridges

Designers need to fully understand the contractual conditions of working with retailers, distributing companies and sales agents. When deciding to take your business this step further, you must fully appreciate the various different channels and options available to you and the effect each choice could have on the business.

If you choose to create an online business, it is important to consider all of the advantages, disadvantages, opportunities and peculiarities of this choice. Selling online is entirely different to selling in-store. With no tangible items for a customer to hold or try on, it can be incredibly difficult to make sales. As a general rule, more colorful or  printed products tend to be the best sellers, and any item that has an unusual shape or fit will be a tougher sell. However, having an online site will maximise your sales and increase your brand recognition.

Tip 6:  Understand the Importance of Funding and Financing

Money, money money.  At the very start, you will find your cash flow is going out a lot longer before it starts coming in. It is critically important therefore to know where your funding is coming from and keep your finances under control. In order to establish a successful fashion business, you need to appreciate the fact that the gap between funding your company and recovering revenue from the sales of your designs needs to be carefully managed with the utmost skill.

As a fashion business, you will need to be fully aware of the various funding options – loans, investors, grants etc – and and take into careful consideration what option is best to maximise your liquidity. Most businesses will bring an investor or two on board to gain some initial funding. If you choose to take a similar step you need to understand that you will lose some of the control over the business as you will have to meet their requirements and demands, so think very carefully and don’t undersell yourself and your share of the business.

The above tips offer just a brief snippet of what the full report explores. It has been written with the UK in mind, but all of the advice can be appropriated by anyone starting  a fashion business.

Read the full “Commercialising Creativity Report” here to read case studies and educate yourself fully on the factors that contribute to the success or failure of a designer’s fashion business.

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Supporting emerging designers in the fashion industry is of particular importance to us here at the Galway Designers Network. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by young designers, Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs, Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing and Virtue Shine of Emerald & Wax, but they need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the link to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved in the Network. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

 

Fashion: a Female Game?

Following from last week’s blog post an interesting thought struck me. While female empowerment is one of the biggest fashion trends for Summer 2017, why is it that female empowerment in the industry itself is such a rarity. Why is it a current trend rather than an eternal staple?

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Image via Dior

Currently, the majority of creative directors for luxury fashion brands are men. Why? Is it that men are more talented, more deserving? No.

Women are miles ahead of the game in other areas: two of the arguably most powerful figures in the industry are women: Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, and Linda Fargo, senior vice-president and women’s fashions director for Manhattan based department store Bergdorf Goodman.

However, in the design field, women are still trailing behind their male counterparts. Let’s take take the three biggest luxury fashion conglomerates: LVMH Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton, Kering and Richemont, and examine them. Out of over 15 fashion and leather good’s brands owned by LVMH, only 4 of them are led by women. They are Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior, Phoebe Philo at Céline, Carol Lim at Kenzo, a shared position with Humberto Leon, and Silvia Venturini Fendi who is the creative director for accessories & men’s for Fendi. Within Kering, there are only 2 women heading the 8 brands: Stella McCartney is the creative director for her own label and Sarah Burton helm’s Alexander McQueen. Finally, within Richemont, there is only Natacha Ramsay Levi, the creative director for Chloé.

Major fashion colleges such as Central Saint Martins and New York’s Fashion Institute boast a huge majority of female students who win exceptional placements and excellent graduate jobs. LVMH, Kering and Richemont all boast excellent relationships with leading business schools around the world. In terms of these fashion conglomerates, Delphine Arnault of LVMH is a lone she-wolf among male executives.

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Delphine Arnault, LVMH

While many of the world’s fashion houses were established by women many of them have since been taken over by men: Coco Chanel, Jeanne Lanvin, Madeleine Vionnet, Elsa Schiaparelli, Nina Ricci and Marie-Louise Carven.

There are exceptions that prove the rule. We have the likes of Miuccia Prada, Rei Kawakubo, Tory Burch, Angela Missoni, Donatella Versace, and Consuelo Castiglioni, all of whom either achieved their success by inheriting a family business or by starting their own.

It is a thought that leaves us with many questions. Perhaps it is that female designers are seen as less pioneering or innovative than their male counterparts? Is it that idea that women are incapable of balancing family and work life? Are women more interested in the glamorous side of the industry rather than the business? Is it sexism and male privilege?

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Image via NY Times

The appointments of Maria Grazia Chiuri for Christian Dior, Natacha Ramsay Levi at Chloé, Claire Waight Keller at Givenchy and Bouchra Jarrar for Lanvin show that the tide is turning, but is it soon enough?

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Supporting women in the fashion industry is of particular importance to us here at the Galway Designers Network. Our current project the Galway Designers Studio House has been established by three women, Ann Petrov of Cozy Handmade Designs, Gayle Poppers of Kizmet Clothing and Virtue Shine of Emerald & Wax, but these women need your help to make their dream a reality. Follow the link to read all about the project and how you can take part.

The Galway Designers Network are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved in the Network. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

Summer Lovin’: Trend Watch

Struggling to find your Summer Style? Check out some of the key trends for the coming months and reinvigorate your wardrobe.

We may be halfway’s through the month of May already but there are so many more weeks of Spring Summer Wear to come. Here in Galway, we have been particularly lucky with the weather of late and all the bright sunshine has us looking forward to the what will hopefully be a beautiful summer. This week’s post will offer a concise round up of four of the stand out Summer’17 fashion trends to give you all some fun styling and design inspiration to enjoy over the next few months

Girl Power

There has been a turn in the tide recently in the fashion industry as four female designers have recently taken over the role of director for some of the most well established European fashion houses. With the appointments of Maria Grazia Chiuri at Dior, Clare Waight Keller for Givenchy, Natacha Ramsay-Levi at Chloé and Bouchra Jarrar for Lanvin, feminism has been one of the key themes this season.  SS’17 is all about empowering women and celebrating femininity with our fashion choices. Maria Grazia Chiuri started the trend when she showcased slogan t-shirts with ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ emblazoned across the front in her first collection for Dior and designers like Isabel Marant and Stella McCartney have also been taking part in this new feminist trend. The High Street have been quick to follow with Topshop doing some of their own versions here and here. The slogan t-shirt is one of the easiest trends to try this season, adding a new contemporary vibe to even the most basic of ensembles.

Pretty in Pink

Pink, pink, pink everywhere! If the summer of 2017 is going to go down in fashion industry for any single trend, it will be for the colour pink (and possibly the bell sleeve). From powder pink to fuschia, if you want to wear one colour that will signify that you know about trends, then wear pink. All shades were seen everywhere during fashion month on the catwalks of design heavyweights like Céline, Balenciaga, Vetements and Valentino.  Every brand are doing their bit to ensure they are a port of call for the Millenium Pink Brigade, with brands like ASOS, ZARA, Topshop, Dunnes Stores, COS and & Other Stories all embracing the pink trend. For those of you who really want to kick it up a notch, team your pink pieces with vibrant red shades to ensure you look chic and on trend for spring summer.

Asymmetry

The asymmetrical hemline is a key silhouette for Summer 2017. As one of the most innovative design motifs seen on the catwalks this season asymmetry highlights and elongates the body, showcasing the fluidity of fabrics to their fullest extent. The trend started on the catwalks at Proenza Schouler, Monse, Magda Butrym and Isabel Marant, and has made its way into the high street retailers like ASOS and ZARA as well as brands like our own Kizmet Clothing. The trend is super easy to wear and offers an exciting chance to refresh your wardrobe.

 Hyper Florals & Eccentric Prints

While floral is a print that returns every season, this Summer the ever present motif has had a whole new revamp, bursting onto the fashion scene in bright acidic colours. Linked to this trend is the eccentric, vibrant coloured print trend which has been dominating the season so far. High end designers like Chloé, Balenciaga, Dries Van Noten and Dolce & Gabbana have showcased beautiful pieces with immense vibrancy, exotic blooms and unusual colour combinations. Our own Emerald & Wax is known for her daring prints and her work sits perfectly alongside her designer counterparts as well as high street brands like ZARA, Glamorous, River Island, Warehouse and Oasis. The key to wearing this trend in the best way is to ensure that the positioning of the print is of a flattering shape for your body. Mix these bold prints with other prints like stripes or gingham to ensure you are really upping your style game.

With Autumn fast approaching, take the opportunity to make the most of your Summer wardrobe and experiment with new trends, silhouettes and styles, because before you know it, we will all be wrapped up in parkas, camel coats and black ankle boots, trudging through the Irish winter.

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P.S.

Have you heard about what’s on the cards for Summer here with the Galway Designers Network, May GatheringGalway Designers Studio House? Follow the links to read all about our current projects and how you can take part.

We are always looking for new and exciting designers or anyone who feels they would love to be involved in the Network. Get in touch by commenting below, via Facebook @galwaydesignersnetwork, via Instagram @galway_designersnetwork or email galwayfashionshowcase@gmail.com.

We the People: How we are changing the Fashion Industry

The fashion industry has undergone some pretty significant changes over the course of the new millennium.

Trends are dictated less and less by one It-Girl/Celebrity or one designer showing in Paris/London/New York/Milan and there is a surplus of disposable income like never before.  As a result of this new found financial freedom, fashion is starting to become dictated by us, the People, as we have more money to spend on the clothes we want. We as consumers and fashion lovers have drastically changed the ways designers, creative directors and buyers have had to approach their jobs.

This week’s blog post is going to explore three new developments in the current fashion landscape which have been directly influenced by us and how we are approaching fashion in a modern world.

Ethical Fashion

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via Pinterest

 

Sustainability is trendy

One of the biggest developments in fashion in recent years is the move towards socially just, organic or fair-trade fashion. The cosmopolitan middle class of the industrialised nations in the Western World are more aware than ever, thanks to the widespread availability of news and media, how immoral some clothing production and manufacturing methods have become. No longer ignorant to the damage fast fashion has caused, designers and buyers are increasingly looking for goodly alternatives to satisfy the now savvy consumer.  

The LOHAS Market

Consumers are now looking for fashionable clothing which has been manufactured under environmentally friendly and socially just conditions. Designers and buyers have to make smart decisions in order to meet the high standards of this new target market, an educated middle to upper class grouping known as LOHAS, which stands for lifestyle of health and sustainability. These people want to buy clothing that is socially conscious but without any concession on style. Nowadays, ethical fashions are compatible with the desire for mass consumption, given they are no longer inferior to the mass produced competition.

Fashion with Social Criteria

Designers and buyers have to look out for materials which have been grown or processed organically without the use of chemicals, pesticides or pollutants, and without the wasteful use of natural resources like water. They have to ensure that they are liaising with suppliers who are ensuring an infallible application of social criteria in regards to working conditions whereby the staff receive reasonable wages and working hours, adequate health and safety protections as well as a ban on any child labour. The current move towards market globalisation along with technological advances have meant that production, networking, purchasing and shipping of clothing for the Western market have created numerous ethical black holes for consumers. We as consumers are aware more than ever before of the hazardous conditions in which some clothing is produced for the West, and the fashion industry have become acutely aware of the resulting backlash.

Gone are the days of fair-trade fashion being associated with hemp trousers – sustainability is chic, and the People have created a need to meet the growing gap in the market.

Changing Fashion Cycle

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via WT VOX

 

Now, now, NOW: A shift towards immediacy

Today, fashion shows are being streamed live and we, the consumer, have become obsessed with shortening the turnaround from catwalk to wardrobe. As a result, the fashion industry has had to change in ways like never before and the fashion cycle has had to evolve to keep up with consumer demand. Gone are the days of design houses showcasing looks in a catwalk presentation and the consumer having to wait six months for the new collection to drop. Designers like Burberry and Tommy Hilfiger have adopted a ‘See Now – Buy Now’ model with catwalk looks being readily available as soon as the clothing hits the runway. Consumers want to be as trendy and fashion forward as possible as soon as possible and this has created a whole new dynamic in the fashion industry. 

The rise of the Fashion Blogger 

Fashion blogging is reshaping the fashion cycle as the People have looked to bloggers more and more as a source of inspiration.  If a blogger has it, a designer, buyer or retailer knows the customer will want it sooner rather than later. No better way to have your item sell out than have it featured in a blogger’s Instagram. Consumers do not want to wait to have their favourite bloggers latest accessory, which has shifted the fashion cycle from a waiting game to a now is not soon enough space.

The idea of a fashion cycle is becoming more and more obsolete as we as consumers have decided to disregard its rules and we slowly move towards a constant and immediate fashion continuum.

Technology

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via Damsel in Dior

 

The Smartphone, the modern fashion magazine

Technological developments in recent years have had a dramatic effect on fashion. The advent of the smartphone and laptop have created new tools to harness our interests by enabling us to constantly keep up to date with fashion news through multiple media channels: online newspapers and magazines, fashion blogs, fashion related YouTube subscriptions and other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. We are living in a sea of continuous fashion feeds and designers have to create work that is not only trend driven but also conscious of the fashion culture within which they are being created and viewed to satisfy the interests of their consumer base. Designers are no longer creating clothing with a view to how it will look on a runway or in a printed magazine; now they have to create with a square Instagram frame or YouTube thumbnail in mind. 

Your Order is on its way: The Internet & Changing Shopping Habits

Technology has streamlined business interactions and impacted consumers shopping habits unlike nothing before. We are conducting transactions in a much more efficient manner than ever before. With a few simple clicks, we can have clothing at our front door in a matter of hours. The advent of e-commerce has meant that designers and retailers now not only have to stay connected to the people who walk in and out of their stores, but they also have to form a critical understanding of the customers who buy from their brand online. Our choice to consume much of our fashion content and conduct purchasing online has given designers and buyers the opportunity to form a comprehensive study of a detailed analysis of our buying habits in having access to our internet history. Technology has been able to capture consumer information which is critical for designers and buyers when making decisions about a future seasons’ range plan i.e. size, colour, silhouette, macro/micro-trends etc.

By understanding the influence technology has had on us as consumers, designers and buyers can assess market trends, enabling them to make smart decisions in the future.

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via 3Dfashionshow.org

 

The biggest change to have struck the fashion industry in recent times is the influential role our voice as consumers has begun to have. We are dictating the trends in deciding what we want to buy and while there are those still out there who will heed the advice of Anna Wintour and her ilk, more and more designers and buyers are coming directly to us, the People.

Upcoming Event | May Gathering

***UPDATE – May 22nd***

Unfortunately, with great regret, we have to cancel this weekends gathering. There was a double booking and mix up in the venue so sadly, we found out today it cannot go ahead this weekend. We are looking to still have the brunch on Sunday to meet and chat and see where we all are at!
Please let us know asap if you want to attend that so we can confirm booking.
We will rearrange another date for the gathering, and will be back in touch soon with further details.
Those of you who already booked, will be refunded.
Our sincere apologies, please pm if you have any issues or queries.
Gayle & Ann xxx

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The Galway Designers Network is happy to announce our next event: May Gathering.

This is a 3 day event taking place from Friday May 26th to Sunday May 28th. It will be aimed at helping current and prospective members of the Network in the art of building connections and learning more about how to start or grow your business.