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!

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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.

 

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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: 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.

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. 

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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.