Fashion Design is a Team Effort | Ilse Metchek
I have been so frustrated. I’m an engineer by profession, mechanical engineer. I was not going to become a welder. Right. I was not going to become a metal workshop guy or a technician, but I had to learn all these trades because A) How do you design something that if you don’t even know what trades are required, how much time is required, what expertise are required to be able to design this and cost this product. Same thing as the designer. You can design it in such a way that nobody can produce it at that price or even if they produce it, nobody could sell it at that price. So you have to have a commercial understanding, A) How long should it take to make it? How are you going to fit it? What the cost can be? But if you don’t have those skills, how do you come up with that? From a sketch or looking at the fabric? So that answer to that, and this just begs the question and we’re talking about going back to the future again. A fitting. A designer, whether they fit it on themselves or a fit model or whoever is the prototype, that room should be filled with the production manager, the salesperson, and the boss, because a designer cannot be expected to answer those questions Agreed. of how long it will take, how much it will be. Therefore, it’s a community effort. We go back to the bench. If you don’t have people surrounding you with the what-if questions, you will make more mistakes than you will be successful. There will be more things wrong than will be right. You must, at the outset of product development have your team with you. You’ve designed it Okay. Now you see it in front of somebody and nobody’s going to say, “put an extra ruffle or another pocket on.” It’s your design, but the craft of apparel manufacturing is the pattern itself, producing it, pricing it, and selling it. And without that, I don’t care how good a designer you are you don’t have a business. Absolutely. Absolutely. Agreed. And it’s not a community of one. The key is to do anything, doesn’t matter which category in the fashion industry, if you don’t have the actual working knowledge of the skill that goes behind, it’s better to be out of that field. Or hire somebody who does. Yes. It really is a skilled industry. As you say, it’s the artisans and craft people who make the garments. It’s not something even that t-shirts, that so-called t-shirt requires skills and art Exactly. to fit the right people. Exactly.