I rarely talk about the design products I use, but this past month I found one worth sharing. Whether you’re a designer starting out or one who’s established and looking to polish your game, check out Parsons School of Design Online Fashion Certificate Program. It’s ideal for my non-traditional designer clients who don’t necessarily have four years to go back to school, but need an understanding of how the overall industry has changed. It would also be helpful if you are just starting out in the industry, such as a design student or brand owner trying to get your first internship or job. The program is a five-part module system that breaks down the steps a designer needs to take to produce a body of work. It talks a lot about the system of design and the elements that go into being a successful designer. The best parts for me were when instructors talked about their backgrounds and shared personal experiences. These personal notes are why I watch online courses instead of just reading books to stay current-in-the-industry. And an unexpected benefit is seeing people’s joy in the craft. I love watching people smile.
The program is affordable at either $549 total or monthly payments of $59/month. When you complete the course, you walk away with a certificate from one of the top fashion schools in the world.
To get your copy follow the link here: http://enroll-teenvogue.parsons.edu/online-fashion-courses/.
I’m going to go ahead and work through the course with my intern. You guys are welcome to grab a behind-the-scenes peek as we post our progress online. The five modules are:
Next week, class #1: Visual Style.
We have exciting news to announce for January: a new website!
Thanks to our client growth over the past five years, we’ve become suppliers to successful brand owners. Many of you who began as small designers have grown, and your success has given us a chance to develop and expand. For example, just recently we doubled our shop space (more on that next week). A lot of you have reached a point where you no longer have time to run around sourcing fabric or buttons, not to mention sit behind a sewing machine. You’re tied up with heavy brand and marketing commitments. Or kids. Or a life. Hey, we all like lives. We would like to respect that and make life easier for you.
As a result of this growth, we’re streamlining our website and making big improvements. As always, our goal is to make our customers smile by producing simple, beautiful, easy to use clothing made in the USA. Here’s a quick look at what to expect:
SIMPLIFIED PRICING: One of the big standouts from clients was a request to further simplify our pricing. We’ll be moving to an all-in-one format.
EASY REORDERING: Brand owners will be able to select from a drop-down menu for fabric and labor. Instant pricing will enable you to pay up front to get it in-house quickly.
EXTENSIVE PATTERN LIBRARY: I’m really excited to finally break open the design library I’ve inherited from the masters I’ve worked with. They’ve given so much to me over the years, and I’m excited to bring this resource to you. You’re going to love the fresh lines and new shapes.
DEALS: We will continue to add to our selection with monthly specials, keeping our inventory fresh and current.
We love figuring out what other new toys you guys would like. Shoot us a line if there’s something you’d like for us to add.
The new website should be live January 1. We will continue to offer custom work for theater, teaching, and film to our textile arts clients. I know you guys prefer on-site hourly billing, and we will continue to honor that for you. This is about serving our customers here.
Thanks for joining us on this journey--we look forward to serving you with better tools to deliver great results in 2017!
Hey guys, it appears we are sold out for factory space until January, so Nash is waitlisting brands right now. While we are busy sewing and cutting, we decided to talk about some technical parts of the business to help friends grow their business. Today, paid catalog modeling jobs. Professional catalogs are a designer’s lifeblood, and for models, they provide a great way to earn extra cash. You don't need to be perfect, just well-cared for. Prices generally range from $100-300 for a 4-hour or less shoot to $1,000/day for larger sets. This is a great way to legally make a good chunk of cash in a few hours of work. Breaking in generally gets down to signed representation and model speed.
The signed representation part is what everyone talks about. Models are often booked in groups instead of individually, so it's easier and safer often to join a group for photo shoots. From personal experience of living with several models in college and hearing their wins and horror stories, I’ve observed that many models consider the female run or husband/wife team better than male run ones. When a woman is in control of all or part of the company, the PAY and treatment are often better. There are exceptions to this rule of thumb, but it seems to be something people talk about in my travels. There are two to three firms in the area, but Raleigh is a bus, train, & plane hub, so it's easy to reach larger agencies by travel. Ford in NYC is the gold standard, but there are many others. Excellent local photographers can put together a series of headshots for you at $50-200 to help you land that first gig. Locally, Chris Florio springs to mind.
Which gets to the other harder part of the equation. A lot of what makes the big bucks for models is not just looking pretty (to be frank, pretty doesn't mean a lot to photographers as they know tons of tricks to make you look pretty), but being able to work quickly. People remember you if you can quickly strike profitable poses in succession that clients will LIKE. Most photographers ideally want to photograph an entire collection in a day or weekend. Their equipment is expensive and technical. They have expectations on the number of items they need to shoot each day, generally 50+ and sometimes upwards to 200, depending on the client. In addition to the time you are there, they will have to set up, break down, and edit the photos afterwards in the studio.
Thankfully, speed modeling is also something you can learn to give yourself an edge for being remembered and requested. I stumbled across this gem of a youtube channel a while ago and thought I would share it for aspiring model friends. Katya Shaposhnikova has some of the best videos and explanations I've seen to date on how to model. If you have a couple of minutes and a bathroom mirror, I encourage you to watch her and learn a few tricks. Even if it's just to improve your Christmas cards. Happy modeling.
Hello all! Our new office hours are as follows:
Because we've had SO MANY ORDERS we've had to re-do our office hours. It's a great thing, but we've had to cut back on answering phones and email to work on fulfilling orders!
We're very proud to announce this new development, but sad we won't have as much time to talk with our awesome clients. We're kept busy letting our creations speak for themselves.
It is a pleasure to work with all of you!
Friday: October 21st 6-8 pm
Duke Arts Annex
404 Gattis Street
Durham, NC 27701
Hey all, we are guest lecturing this week on one of our favorite topics: costume design. We're setting up a two-hour design studio at Duke Friday for students who want to try their hand at designing their own garment. I have included a behind the scenes look at the old school patterns each student will get their own and sample garment we will be making. The Singapore Wrap Top is considered one of the 12 basic building blocks of the industry. Everyone gets to take home their own free garment they made in class to wear plus plenty of resources for later to get their start in the business.
Introduction to Costume Design In The Modern Era: So you want to work in film or theater? Take a 2-hour behind the scenes look at designing costumes for the industry with both traditional and modern methods. We will go over the 5 major responsibilities of a costume designer for designing/research, sketching, budgeting, sourcing/shopping, and alterations. Then talk about work that evolves over the length of a run. Students will spend the first hour practicing traditional craftsmanship techniques and the 2nd half trying out more modern software and tools used in the business including a 3D body scanning station with TC Technology. We hope you enjoy the guest lecture and learn something fun along the way. For further inquiries, contact: email@example.com.
First, we are closed for today, 10/10/16, due to intermittent power, no internet, and cleaning up of downed limbs near our property. The area around us also has had several downed trees, so we would prefer to keep everyone safe by not coming to the shop today.
Everything should be cleared up by tomorrow, but we're closing the shop today to be safe.
SECOND AND MORE FUN THING!
We're giving away a couple tickets to Raleigh Little Theater's showing of A Charlie Brown Christmas! Comment here or on our Facebook page to enter your chance to win!
I wish everyone luck with the cleaning up from the massive storm, and hope everyone is safe!
That being said.
My wife found me last night squeeing and jumping up and down over some recent news.
STAN LEE SIGNED SOMETHING THAT I MADE FOR NYCC!!!!1!!one!!!!
Photo credits: Miranda Crenshaw at NYCC October 2016
The long story is, I have a friend who is amazingly obsessed with Marvel characters, especially Bucky Barnes. She contracted Dara and I to make parts of two costumes for her. Dara was working on the blue jacket Bucky wears during his time as a Howling Commando. I was asked to make a passable Winter Soldier arm.
You'll see more about the blue coat next week.
After wearing the Winter Soldier arm through NYCC, Stan Lee's last visit out there, she was able to get it signed by him. I will be getting the full story after she's back from the convention, and will edit accordingly.
Sorry there won't be many more pictures of it being worn. Since it was signed, it is now a collector's item, and will live in a glass case. Which, I am TOTALLY OKAY WITH!
Hey guys, we’re already adding to our class schedule for next year. Thank you for all the offers already--we’re so flattered to be asked. Nash will be teaching his basic home sewing machine maintenance class for the Raleigh chapter of the American Sewing Guild. The lecture is free, but the guild does have an annual $50 membership fee, which in my opinion is well worth the price. There are 11 neighborhood groups in the Raleigh area, providing an excellent way for you to work on your craftsmanship and grow your sewing skills. This is one of my favorites, simply for the number of free fabric, patterns, good advice, and coupons I get every year. Did I mention we all have a fabric addiction in this house?
Nash will be bringing in several basic home sewing machine models he works with to demonstrate how to get the most out of your machine, both for sewing projects and to maximize the life of your equipment. He normally goes over basic feet, attachments, sewing tension, threads, and regular maintenance. You can also ask him specific questions at the end of class.
Please contact Dorothy Remy via e-mail to attend: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dara and Nash are two happily married craftspeople who love making practical beautiful things.
Prior to marriage, our blog was called Li Sashay.