mapping a collection
This week, you will learn what it entails putting together a full collection. Art referencing, Pantone selection, garment styles, gain knowledge of fabric/ print selection, building an campaign, and understanding / constructing a proper press release.
Includes: Letures| Podcast| Video| Downloads
[DAY 1:mapping a collection]
you’re doing amazing sweetie!
We are half- way through this six week course! and girl you are killing it! you’ve learned a better understanding of just how powerful your thoughts are, and last week- began answering all those tough questions about your ideal customer. This week its all about mapping a collection. Are you ready?!
[lecture:mapping a collection]
When I first began making dresses I had no idea what I was doing, everything especially at the beginning was trial and error. No one taught me the importance of mood boards, and how I can use it to build my brand’s identity hell no one taught me that I can use the world around me as inspiration to make a collection. Thinking back, when I made a piece I was influenced by the documentaries I was watching or my frequent fabric trips to New York. Little did I know at the time that the fancy way to describe what I was doing was considered “Art referencing”- creating pieces based on the visual art world around me.
When you think of the term visual art- you may automatically think of a museum or fancy art gallery, but visual art is all around you sweetie. The visual arts are art forms that you can see with your naked eye! so that oddly shaped building you drive past every now and again, or that classic movie that you can watch on repeat, or even that ceramic fixture or painting you bought to “decorate” your room, or home is all visual arts, and they influence how you feel, and what you create. Drawings, sculpture, printmaking, design, and photography all fall under visual arts.
My actions were the same as any other designer, but I didn’t know the fancy terminology of my actions until I moved up to New York in 2015, before I get into that- let me give you the backstory that led to that venture.
As I’ve explained in the previous chapter, I was working full-time at the executive airport. That job was filled with restrictions I couldn’t even be on my phone- and I had the worst shift ever from 2pm-10pm. Once I clocked out I would literally work on my brand until the sun came up girl, I was so determined to take the one thing that was holding me back, and let it fuel my future! In 2014, I was able to quit that job, because my brand was booomin’ … now even though my brand was boomin’ my personal life was struggling girl. I mean I lost friends, my family moved back to New York (I was in Florida), and I also lost a relationship with a guy I thought I was going to marry. #costofsuccess. Before my boyfriend at the time and I broke up we were living together, and splitting the cost of expenses. So, when we broke up, a bitch was shook! I had no place in Florida to relocate to… all of my extra money was wrapped up into my business so I couldn’t afford to break my boujee ass lease. Luckily my ex, had some type of integrity and continued to cover his end of the bargain until the lease was actually up. So girl, the upside of this situation was that I had 11 months in a bomb ass floor to ceiling glass apartment which became my full-time studio all in the same year of quitting. Looking back lol that was all the universe just removing distractions out of my life. And whoah chile, I’m so grateful…that same year… Christina Milian was on the red carpet of the American Music Awards, wearing a one of a kind CheyenneKimora gown. (which till this day- I’ve seen replicated in every clothing store across America).
From 2015-2016 I lived in New York for an entire year and let me tell you that was the year of growth! Funny enough, looking back when I first moved to New York- I felt like I just came home from war, I was thrilled to be around my family, love, and god- home cooked meals! it was all great-but I got way to comfortable- my business was on auto pilot; my sales weren’t hitting how they use to- and for some odd reason I lacked motivation- because at the time I was blaming my business for my struggling personal life.
But girl, let me tell you not making money is one hell of a thing- you will get all levels of creative to make a buck- I call it survival mode. I could not stop thinking of the repercussions of my actions, and how I needed to put things back in drive. When I tell you, a bitch woke up!
I remember like it was yesterday, it was the middle of the night, everyone was sleeping and I started seeing the glass as half full. I wrote down all the pros of my then current situation- I didn’t have to rent, no utility bills, and I’m in the fashion capital. Instantly, gratitude stepped in and I realized that this was my opportunity to grow. Who cares if my sales weren’t hitting, if they were they would have kept me bounded inside the house constructing old designs in a new city. I remember asking myself how can I get more experience to further my brand? And it hit me… look for internships! And that was literally the gate way to level me up a notch.
During that year I worked a total of three internships, one during NYFW with design house Baja East which gave me up close and in-depth experience on the production side of fashion. I interned for Capsule trade show, which gave me insight on how to properly present my brand visually and how to appeal to buyers. But, I acquired the most knowledge about the overall presentation of a collection through my experience working with the publication NYLON magazine.
It was important for me to get that internship at NYLON for multiple reasons- mainly because I knew most of the other interns were in school for fashion and here I was already a fashion designer. I Knew if they would somehow see my work that I could further my goals with my brand but also I knew this internship would give me insight on exactly what these publications look for when it comes to highlighting new fashion talent. So, what other way to get the tea?!
Girl listen!!! they definitely gave me the tea! NYLON was a great experience! I got to see high end designer pieces everyday – I’m talking about unmatched quality! a better understanding of campaigns, from concept to execution, and most importantly story telling through visual representation- which this chapter is all about. Through that internship it made me understand the school book terms of a lot of my actions as a designer. I went from not knowing what inspired my designs or how to put together a collection to literally studying designer collections and season trends.
The biggest take away I got from nylon was how important art referencing actually is in the world of fashion, designers use the world around them both past and present to build collections, and publications often use art references as a tool to build spreads. NYLON placed art into perspective for me, to the point that as soon as I moved back to Florida I decided to enroll back to the University of Central Florida and have been majoring in art history ever since.
Disclaimer: I don’t want you to feel obligated to exit out of this course and enlist into a college, to learn about art- this is literally why I created this course so you can save yourself some money but I highly advise if you are reading this to push your brand forward especially visually turn art into your second passion.
But, If you are interested, in gaining knowledge on attaining an internship you should check out my ebook/audiobook- how to get an internship in 18mins (here).
now don’t get me wrong…
I’ve always been into art for as long as I could remember. Growing up I lived in walking distance of the Brooklyn Museum, and would constantly visit. I don’t know what it is- maybe the dim lighting, or the silence. It was just always a place for me to be present. To stop. To observe. I would have never guessed that art would be so crucial in the world of fashion until I stepped into nylon.
so what exactly is art?
Art is honestly a form of communication, as it translates a message through visual representation. It’s an expression or application of human creative skills and imagination, and comes in so many forms such as: architecture, sculpture, painting, dance, photography and performance. Art can also evoke a feeling even through the unseen like music, and poetry
cup of tea
Please enter lesson 3: chat room, and tell us what is your favorite type of art?
i want you to feel this
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: 'It’s not where you take things from — it’s where you take them to.'" — Jim Jarmusch
It’s so important to engulf yourself in art because it is a means to tell your brand’s story. It’s a way to push conversation, and connect with the viewer. I’m going to demonstrate one of my favorite art pieces, it’s story, and brands that have used it as a reference in their campaign to sell their product. Ready to get my mind blown?
This tempra on canvas painting is derived from the renaissance era( year: 1484-86), by artist Sandro Botticelli. This classical painting is considered extremely elegant and highly favored amongst the wealthy people of Florence, Italy during this time period.
The theme of this painting ( Birth of Venus) was taken from the writings of the ancient poet, Homer. The story goes as followed: After Venus was born, she rode on a seashell and sea foam to the island of Cythera.
To the left of the painting, you can see Venus is guided to the island by way of the figure Zephyrus and the nymph Chloris blowing wind in her direction. This classical painting is considered extremely elegant and highly favored amongst the wealthy people of Florence, Italy during this time period.
Now let’s see how Adidas recently used this painting as a reference in their ‘Original is never finished’ campaign:
art’n you glad, I showed you this?!
Watch the whole thing and then please enterLesson 3.1 and tell me your thoughts, have you ever noticed famous paintings in ad campaigns? if so let us know, if not thats ok, tell us how mind- blown you are lol.
Now that we’ve examined how art can be used with a major brand like Adidas take a look at some designer pieces that were inspired by art:
No matter where you live, art exist and you can use it as a tool to help inspire your designs. If you are more like me and have visited your local museum countless times, here is a youtube channel that I visit frequently: SMARTHISTORY.
I love watching these videos because it brings me virtually closer to any famous art piece from around the world. The hosts literally stands in front a famous piece of art and analyze what they see, its meaning, and the history and story behind it. It’s so intriguing and makes me realize that there is so much in this world. Everytime I press play on a smart history video, it makes my wheels turn—and before you know it I’m bustong out the sketch pad!
[talking about sketch pad]
do you need to know how to draw to be a fashion designer?!
How shook would you be if I tell you I cannot draw to save my life?! Girl, well get ready to be shook! Because I seriously cannot draw! I know your next question is along the lines of well how the hell do you know how to sew- don’t worry boo let me put you up on game, on some books/ free apps that will get you on your way!
These books are literally two of the same, so you will only need to purchase one if you’re a more hands on person. They both run for about $15 on amazon, and are filled with templates for you to sketch your ideal outfits. Click on image to be directed to amazon.
app: [ Prêt-à-Template]
Through the app Prêt-à-Template (free) you can create your ideal designs through their virtual template. This is great if you have an iPad or iPhone.
Please enter 3.2 chat room and let us know which template is more your style. Are you traditional and will order the book, or do you see yourself getting digital, and downloading the free app?
day 2:[Garment] styles
Ooo this is honestly the fun part, you found your inspiration through art, you got your book or app that I put you on to, and now you are ready to figure out which silhouettes best convey your collections message.
Day 2, I figured I will create a visual representation of literally every different type of clothing shape, imaginable. I believe every piece of clothing shape has its own personality. a biker jacket- can represent a badass, while a wrap coat, gives off chic vibes, when it comes to your collection, consider the story you are trying to tell, and what shapes best support that.
i had no idea.
Ok so for this discussion, please enter chat room 3.3, I want you to pick three items that you’ve seen before but just never knew the proper names for them.
[day 3: Pantone selection]
Pantone is a standardized color matching system so to put that in plain English…Pantone’s are literally the dictionary of colors! Each color is numbered and are attached to a letter to describe its vibrancy.
The most commonly referenced colors are in the Pantone solids palette. The Pantone Solid palette consists of 1,114 colors, identified by three or four digit numbers, followed by a C, U, Or M suffix.. Originally designed for the graphics industry, the pantone solids palette is now used by a wide range of industries, and is the most commonly used palette. For example, Pantone 199 Red can be identified as Pantone 199C (C= Coated Paper), Pantone 199U (U= Uncoated Paper) or Pantone 199M (M=Matte Paper).
I understand that this can literally look like i’m speaking another language so I found a video to best explain Pantone, for your understanding. This is just to give you insight on the world of color- especially as it relates to your collection.
[day 4:print selection]
print it on!
It was imperative that I did a section on print selection, because not many people know that prints actually have names. Think about it- if you have a fabric pattern that you love and you go into a store to purchase more- how are you going to tell the clerk what print you are looking for?
Damask (DAM-usk): This elegant design gets its name from the city of Damascus, a major trading post along the Silk Road where fabric of this style was made and traded to the West. Damask fabrics feature patterns of flowers, fruit and other designs and are usually monochromatic.
Brocade: Woven by the Byzantines, brocades were an especially desirable fabric. From the 4th to the 6th centuries, production of silk was seemingly non-existent, as linen and wool were the predominant fabrics. ... The designs woven into brocade fabrics were often Persian in origin.
Matelassé (Mat-la-SAY): The word “matelassé” is a French term meaning quilted or padded. This makes sense, as a matelassé fabric is a design with a raised pattern that appears padded, quilted or embossed. While they appear padded, matelassé fabrics don’t actually contain any padding. Matelassés are typically solid colors and are great for pillows, bedding, and more
Paisley: The paisley motif resembles a droplet, teardrop or tadpole and is of Persian and Indian origin. The British were introduced to the paisley design in the 18th century when the British East India Company brought back shawls with the design. The pattern got its name from the town of Paisley, Scotland, where textiles with the design were produced. Paisley continues to be popular today in formal styles as well a playful bright colors, perfect for kids’ rooms.
Houndstooth: This classic check was first worn by shepherds in the Scottish lowlands. It is a two-tone pattern that combines dark and light yarns in uneven rows. The uneven pattern results in a design that looks similar to a dog’s tooth, hence the name houndstooth. Houndstooth is popular in jackets and clothing.
there are so many different types of prints, I can literally write an entire course on it!
day 5: fabric
For me, fabric is one of those things that I have to feel, and see its definitely a vibe. Some fabrics are matte, some are shiny… some fabrics are as smooth as a baby’s bottom while others are textured
For day 5, i’m going to hook you up girl- and put you on to a few of my favorite fabric stores of all time.
Of course I would recommend, taking a trip to New York to see these fabrics in person because New York is the fashion capital of the United States. Also, many high end design houses are based in New York- and often sell their left over high quality fabrics to many of the stores there- which then turn around and sell it you. Los Angeles also has a fashion district, which is great if you are looking for more active wear due to all the factories here. But hands down take a trip to New York you honestly won’t regret it.
day 6: building a campaign
ducks in a row
after all of your ducks are in a row, I want you consider the following factors on how to eloquently display your collection.
You’ve spent time building your pieces, and I want you to consider how they are photographed. If you’ve spent a pretty penny on fabric that you just couldn’t pass up. Consider things such as angles, close-ups shots, and lighting to best display your pieces.
If your materials play with light (crystals fabric/ metallics) a picture won’t do it any justice unless its under the perfect curated lighting. So consider, taking 15-30 second videos showing off your pieces.
The language of your message says everything about your collection. Make sure any wording, or typography used matches the vibe of your collection.
day 7: press release
fresh off the press!
Every time I release a product or collection from dresses to body highlighters I put out a press release! Press releases are a great way to let the media stay up to date with your brand. I’ve built my email list over the years but here are some quick tips to help you build yours.
Now I know I have to make this crystal clear. Press releases are not intended for you to send out to your customers or potential customers! they are a tool to attract media attention, and when I say media I mean publications… public relation companies… or hell maybe that one person you’ve been dying to wear your product. I know you are curious to know how I acquired the email address, which platform I use to send them out, and how often I send them out- which I will get into! but, before I do so- watch this press release video below!
Ok so this just requires time, and a shit ton of patience. I’ve acquired email address over the years plenty of ways. The most obvious way being through person to person interactions.The other by putting on my social media/ internet investigation hat. Its pretty clear that these days through social media- people advertise their email address as if it’s their personal phone number… you think they can help propel your brand forward? add them to your PR list.
how often is the question!
ok so this can be a little tricky! You don’t want to be annoying but you also don’t want to be forgotten either. So you have to find the perfect balance. Personally, I only send out press releases when something actually cool is happening with my brand to show my continuous progress (so every few weeks/ months) you don’t want to send it out daily, and you def don’t want your press release to be filled with boring news. so only send them out when something exciting is happening with your brand! besides you don’t want people to unsubscribe.
girl you on a roll!
ahhhhhh! i’m so hype for you! you’ve mastered the idea of art referencing, Pantone selection, garment styles, knowledge of fabric/ print selection, what to consider building an campaign, and understanding / constructing a proper press release! girl youuuuuuu did that!!!