New Launch – Urban Gilt

www.urbangilt.com

Fashion in the fast lane!   Fabulous.  Lisa and Hadrian knew exactly the look they wanted to achieve when they came to see me about their new collection and it was a pleasure helping them to get there.  For me, the reward is seeing the successful launch. This is a very successful launch.  It’s sexy, sophisticated and affordable.  For young women who find themselves living in the fast lane, this is the look to go for! Urban Gilt – for the ‘go’ girl!

 

 

“From the moment we met Katy, we knew we’d found our girl. After searching high & low for the right factory who ‘got us’ & our vision, we were running out of steam & Katy thankfully sailed in to save us. Throughout the whole process she was there supporting us & offering invaluable guidance & contacts which we’ll now continue to work with to scale our business. From fabric sourcing advice, to educating us on the design process, to Ana creating amazing patterns – to incredible London manufacturing, ensuring we received the collection on time & to just general patience & kindness with us as we perfected the collection. Katy was professional & fun to be around throughout. We really enjoyed our meetings with her & have made a friend for life 🙂

Thank you so much for everything Katy, we really couldn’t have done it without you!”

Lisa & Hadrian

 

Who Makes Your Clothes?

More and more startups are choosing sustainable options.  Many of my new clients opt for natural organic fibres ranging from organic cotton, hemp, pineapple, seaweed etc. Please note that these natural fabrics aren’t necessarily ‘sustainable’. Do your research.

Sustainable startups must also consider the human factor.  It’s pointless producing a fabulous collection using planet friendly eco fibres and dyes and then not bothering to find out if the mill that has created the fabric is good to its workers and the factories who produce the clothes are paying a fair wage and offering good working conditions. This is a priority for Fashionworks London and that’s why everything we produce is firmly rooted in fairness in the UK.

Many people are now turning their backs on cheap ‘fast fashion’, preferring to choose clothes that will last for many years.  This is also a great way to become sustainable, even if the fabric isn’t made from organic fibres.  At least create clothes that will last and endure the test of time.  ‘Made in the UK’ or ‘Made in London’ carries value and your consumer will trust that your fabrics and your quality will stand the test of time – just like our Rolls Royces!

When a big brand name such as H&M claim to make 100% sustainable garments by 2030, it’s time to take note!

It’s time to bring sustainability to the centre of all decision making, whether that’s by using eco friendly fabrics, sourcing fabrics closer to home to reduce the carbon footprint or making sure that whoever makes the garments is happy, working in a well run factory that looks after it’s employees and pays them a fair wage.

Fashionworks London produces garments for startups only in ethically run factories.  We don’t mass produce and don’t advise our startups to be lured into mass production either.  All of the craftspeople who comprise the Fashionworks London team are paid fairly and squarely and they are rewarded for doing a great job for you, our valued clients.

Anyone who comes to my consultations and says they want to create a label ‘on a par’ with ‘Mango’ is not a client we would take on.  Mango is a mass producer, using factories who use workers as slaves in often difficult conditions, to produce clothing at high street prices.  Likewise Topshop.  ‘Sir’ Philip Green gets the majority of his clothes made in factories in developing countries by migrant workers who have to sweat it out 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for a very small pay packet.  That’s how he became a billionaire… by exploiting people. I won’t go into great details here but I saw how his clothes are produced first hand when I worked out in Mauritius.  No thanks! We care about human beings.

 

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How to Become a Successful Online Fashion Entrepreneur.

Soul Seeker

Soul Seeker Official Launch SS19. 

2018 has been a great year for Fashionworks London.  We’ve helped many startups this year from swimwear to streetwear to red carpet gowns. I can tell immediately who has the potential to become successful.  They have passion and great determination.  Having a great idea and having great design ideas  is only part of the equation.  All pieces of the puzzle must fit and the desire for independence, to ‘be your own boss’ requires not only hard work but sacrifice and indestructible self-belief. Starting an online fashion label, manufacturing your own designs requires discipline and dedication and quite a lot of funding.

My clients also require a conscience.  I say that because we only help startups who want to tap into the quality resources we have available in the UK.  All of them desire to launch an ethical brand, whether that is through sustainable manufacturing, organic fabrics or simply the insistence that all garment workers are paid a good wage.  All of the garment workers who create for our clients are paid very well.  They work hard and produce top quality craftsmanship and that is rewarded accordingly. I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Their customers expect no less either.

All of my clients have other demanding careers.  I admire them for their hard work.  Their professions are often stressful and they work long hours.  Yet, they have still found time at the weekends and some evenings to devote themselves to their new projects.  Granted, they need me to project manage their startups but I still need them to make final decisions.  I’m always amazed at how quick they learn the ropes with my guidance and are confident enough to navigate their way around the fashion industry, after only a few months.

craftsmanship

When we’ve made the toiles, I call a fit meeting at my office and my clients see, for the first time, their ideas brought to life.  They’re overwhelmed.  They laugh and they cry.  It’s a great moment for us.  We’ve made them happy! We take this time to check the fit and make sure that the silhouettes have been interpreted according to the designers initial sketches.  All amendments are carried out before we begin sampling.  To save time and money, we aim to get it right first time and most often we do!  That’s what my professional and dedicated team can achieve… time and time again.

toiles

I like collections to have a signature print.  Whether that’s an all over print or a placement print, it adds something to a new collection.  We have the best printer in the UK to make our client’s prints.  We know they’ll deliver.

prints

I have good contacts with fabric mills all over the world.  I’ve carefully selected the best mills for quality fabrics at good prices and who carry stock and low minimums – this is crucial for a startup. You need to build a good relationship with your suppliers and I give all my clients those invaluable contacts.

Finally the day arrives when your samples are ready – fresh from the studio!  All beautifully sewn and pressed, waiting for those fabulous models to show them off for you and for our amazing photographer, Rinaldo, to give you the images to show off to the world.  Your creations!  Aaah!  I love this moment.

alice victoria resortwear for the site

Don’t dream about becoming a fashion entrepreneur – make it a reality with our help!

Check out our Google reviews and know you’ll be in good hands!

 

 

 

 

Start Your Own Fashion Label.

TRESS CLOTHING best

Tress Clothing available at Wolf & Badger.

The high street is no longer the place where people go to buy clothes.  Many of the well known high street stores are closing their doors.  It’s all happening online!  The secret of successful online sales is simple.  Create a user friendly website and offer the very best customer service.  The clothes have to be photographed beautifully to reflect the brand and who the customer is.

You need to do your homework to find a niche for yourself.

If you dream of starting your own fashion label in the UK, you have to think quality and great fabrics, good designs and a well researched target market.  Who are you dressing?  Find that gap in the market and go for it.  There are many gaps to be filled.

My clients have all found a market with their collections.  The successful ones know who they are dressing.  They create brand loyalty by paying attention to the cut, the fit and the fabric.  As a start up you have to be realistic and create a collection that people will want to wear.  Wearable clothes that reflect quality and craftsmanship will sell, whoever your customer is.  He or she will want to be comfortable, will demand quality fabrics and finishing.  Made in the UK carries value.  It’s a sign of quality.  Think of those British heritage brands – Burberry, Barbour, Paul Smith… hang on to their coat tails and be very ‘British’.  Fly the flag of quality and expression.  We are a nation of highly creative people.  Milk that reputation.  Don’t try and copy the Italians or the Americans.  Sell them your unique ‘Britishness’, whether that’s classic or quirky.  The Japanese and the Americans love our Britishness, so sell it to them!   Because people worldwide believe that ‘British’ equals quality.  We’re the Rolls Royces and the Jaguars of the world!  We’ve got class and quality in bucketfuls!

I love Ivory Apparel.  Our young client Christopher epitomises his brand.  He dresses head to toe in vintage, including the haircut and looks amazing.  He’s like Jude Law! He’s selling his own brand of ‘Britishness’ back to the Americans and they love him! He’s found a niche market.

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Royal Soul who launched this week have taken Rococo prints and fused them with edgy streetwear – quirky Britishness, just what the Japanese love about us.

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Adelina Casini has taken inspiration from the glamour pusses of the Fifties and created a beautiful cotton collection of summer dresses  and separates.  She’s made them her own… vintage inspired but very ‘now’.

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Will Solomon hand painted the leather that has been sewn together to make his unique collection of the softest leather jackets for men and girls.  He’s on a roll at Harvey Nichols!

Tress clothing has gone down the minimalist route, creating pieces that are classic, well cut and beautifully coordinated to form a capsule collection that can be worn at work or in the bar. Pieces to be confident in.

TRESS CLOTHING best

Alice Victoria created fabulous swimwear and resortwear for young girls who like to dress up on the beach and the beach bar…. all beautifully matched for a perfect holiday wardrobe.

starting a fashion business

 

If you want to start a fashion label, come and see me for a consultation.  I help many startups start and become successful.  That’s what I’m very good at.  I don’t just advise you, I tell you where to buy your fabrics, help you to create the perfect line up and I tell you exactly what I think about your ideas and your designs.  I make sure you don’t waste money.  My team create your patterns and your samples and find you the best factory at the best prices for small run production.  I help you from concept to creation…. by your side all the way.  By the time you launch your label, you’ll be confident and you’ll be on your way to success and I’ll have done my job well!

Fashionworks London is the place to start!  I never finish a job until you’re 100% happy!  That’s my promise. Happy clients equal great Google reviews! 😉 Check them out!

Adelina Casini – New Launch

ADELINA SS18 FINALShoot_Look_15_002It’s here and it’s fabulous!  The new Adelina Casini collection.  Fashionworks London have enjoyed working on this collection for the lovely owner Sara, who has made her vision a reality this year.

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ADELINA CASINI is a vintage-inspired womenswear label that incorporates feminine silhouettes of the 1950’s with luxurious natural fabrics. The collections focus on colour and beautiful tailoring and is designed to flatter women who crave tasteful, refined clothing. The colours are clean whites, soft rose and muted greys. The brand draws inspiration from vintage Italian glamour, beautifully portrayed through the feminine silhouettes of the pieces. ADELINA CASINI is built with luxury in mind using the finest fabrics, perfect for sun-drenched destinations and Mediterranean coastlines.
“I have always loved the fashion of the 1950’s and have been drawn to the glamour and sophisticated femininity of that era. It was important that I made a collection that embodied the spirit of vintage style. It was from my own desire to wear pieces that had classic silhouettes without compromising on quality that Adelina
Casini was created.” – Sara Scarlett, Founder.
The ADELINA CASINI collection is available to buy here:

http://www.adelina-casini.com

ADELINA SS18 FINALShoot_Look_14_015

 

Fashionworks London – where startups start!  If you have an idea and want to become a fashion entrepreneur, book an in-depth consultation with Katy Cordina:

info@fashionworkslondon.com

 

Dame Vivienne’s Playing Cards… A Strategy to Save the World!

I’ve been following Dame Vivienne on Instagram lately as she produces her set of playing cards.  She created the set as a ‘strategy to save the world’.  ‘Collect the cards, connect the cards’.  Her new collection has a theme of war running through it.  Her strategy is that when you connect the cards you create peace.

Fashion designers past and present have used fashion as a way of expressing their anger with politicians and current affairs.

In a short video she’s posted on her Instagram, Dame Vivienne is opposing consumption. Titled ‘Queen of Clubs’, she acts out being a blow up doll, shouting “Blow me up!” as she gets up from her lying down position. She claims that these blow up dolls are made to create a need that nobody needs….. Consumption.  “The only people that need to blow up people are the 1% who run the rotten financial system ‘rot dollar’ which causes consumption, waste and war”.

blow me up

She does have a point.  However, fashion is ‘consumption’ and it does create pollution and waste and it also creates a slave labour force in developing countries, without which, people would not be able to go to Primark and load up with brown bags full of the fruits of the slave’s labour. That’s my cause!  I’m strongly opposed to slave labour so that the likes of ‘Sir’ Philip Green can live it up in Monaco.  Fair pay for all in fashion!!

Dame Vivienne’s playing cards represent war and the general theme is greed and the 1% who own most of the wealth in the world. Her VWSS18 collection is about war. Rather gloomy stuff.  I understand her need to be heard.  Like the revolutionaries before her, she’s using her name and her influence to highlight the atrocities created by war and the people responsible. If we turn a blind eye and don’t do our bit, then we’re all responsible. We often feel powerless to do anything.  She is showing us that we can all play our part.

dame viv

She claims that her SS18 collection is the ‘last party on earth’ and tells everyone to dress up for it. I hope it’s not….

 

 

dame vive

 

The drawing she’s holding up here has been printed on a tshirt and she’s selling it.  So, if you want to spread the word and support the cause, please buy the tshirt.

Dam Viv

I am, doing my bit to support her and her anti war campaign.  Thank you Dame Vivienne for caring!  You are a great lady and it’s wonderful to see you using your creativity in this way.

If you’d like to see and hear more on the playing cards, you can go to the Instagram ‘ViviennePlayingCards’.

 

 

 

The £30 Dress – At What Cost?

topshop

Fashionworks London helps startups start.  We make patterns, prototypes and samples to enable you to start a fashion business.  I personally mentor and consult young people at my office in Moorgate, to make sure they have the right formula and to guide them with choice of fabrics from reputable mills, prints, finishing and lots more besides.

I don’t take on new clients without a prior consultation and I charge for this. Why? Because many young people starting out need expert guidance and hand holding.  They may have great ideas, funding and have carried out a lot of research.  But most of them have no industry experience.

Paying for my consultation should be the first port of call.

Before I take on a new designer, I ask a very simple question.  What are your retail price points?  The answer to this question answers most of my other questions. If an aspiring fashion entrepreneur has done their homework, they will know that producing in the UK isn’t cheap and you cannot sell a dress for “£20-£30” and make any profit.  In fact you’d be subsidising every dress you sold.  Let me explain.  We don’t use slave labour in the UK.  I’ll do a few sums to explain.  Our sample machinists earn £15 per hour.  Some earn £20-£25 per hour. A good pattern cutter earns the same.  A reasonably complicated dress pattern will take about 7-8 hours to create and the same dress, fully lined will take the fabric cutter and sample machinist the same to cut and sew.  Add on your fabric costs, your haberdashery, any fabric finishes, embroidery, pleating, logos etc.  Any good at maths? These are ballpark figures.  It’s usually quite a bit more.

If your business plan is well researched you will know that to produce a collection in the UK will be high end and high quality and that every dress you sell online will have a price point of around “£350-£500” as a rough guide.  Your fabrics will be good quality and sourced from reputable mills, whether silk, cotton or polyester.

You cannot produce garments in the UK and compete with high street prices!

Please don’t contact me if you haven’t done your research.  Let me explain why it’s possible to buy a dress in a high street store for between “£30-£100” (and let’s leave Primark out of the equation for now).

The high street stores produce tens of thousands of one design. That means tens of thousands of metres of fabric too.  Cheap fabric.  Much cheaper because they’re able to buy tens of thousands of metres. So even if the mill is only making 20 pence per metre, he can still make a profit due to the large volumes.  It’s easy money.  It doesn’t take much more effort to produce tens of thousands of metres than it does to produce a few hundred metres.  These factories are highly automated and they have state of the art looms, cutting machines, dyeing facilities, embroidery machines etc.  You cannot buy this same fabric at these low prices.  They won’t sell you 10 metres.  It’s not worth their while.  So you have to select from a mill that carries stock and who will sell you 10 metres – at a premium. Very often the factory that sews also produces the fabric.

The company I worked for in Mauritius has factories that produce the fabric and factories that produce the garments.  They don’t even spin the yarn until the orders come through.  They are fully automated and the process takes weeks from start to finished garment.  It’s fascinating to see inside these huge factories – if a little noisy! They are geared up to produce huge volumes for Top Shop, Next, Miss Selfridge, Dorothy Perkins, Sainsbury’s TU, Florence and Fred and many more high street names.

They also, sadly, use slave labour from developing countries.  This is how you can buy a dress in the high street for “£20-£30”.  At what cost?  Labour is sourced from Sri Lanka, China, India and they’re shipped out on 3 year contracts, put into large dormitories, fenced in within the factory boundaries, barbed wired and have to work 6 days a week for a minimum of 12 hours per day.  30% of their pay is withheld until they finish the 3 years.  They do this because they have no choice.  They do this to send all their pay home to feed their families.

People like ‘Sir’ Philip Green get rich from the exploitation of human labour like this.  I used to train designers and pattern cutters in these factories.  I’ve seen it with my own eyes.  I was well paid and given a house by the beach and a nice car.  However, every day when I went to the factory to do my job, it pained me to know that my fellow workers were being treated so badly….. so that people in the UK could buy a cheap dress for £20. There was an organisation called ‘No Sweat’ and when I returned to the UK, I joined up.  Whatever I could do to highlight this appalling use of human labour I would do.

Fashionworks London would never exploit human labour in order to give you cheaper prices.  We pay all our people above average wages and we treat everyone with respect.  Every garment we produce for our clients is made by happy people.  Isn’t that good to know?

Startups seem to think that just because they’re starting up and not yet known, they have to keep their prices low.  They’re afraid to charge what the garment is really worth.  Even they have been brainwashed into thinking that if they charge the correct price, they won’t sell.  This is not true at all.  If your designs are good and your collection is amazing and you’ve found a niche and a following, your clothes will sell.

Social media has opened up endless possibilities for aspiring fashion entrepreneurs.  But you have to do it right… right from the start.

My consultations are a very small price to pay for a lot of invaluable advice and expertise.  I’ll know if you’re serious and I’ll know if your collection has a chance of success.. how?  Because you’ll take that first step and book a consultation with me.

To end my rant, I’ll say this.  More and more consumers are looking for sustainable and ethically produced collections.  They don’t want to wear cheap clothes produced by slave labour these days – they couldn’t bear to feel that ‘sweat shop’ on their backs.  Me neither!

Made in the UK – is the way to go.  Let’s create value and end exploitation together!topshop