Saturday, 17 September 2011

Fashion Drawing for Manufacturing or Promotional Purposes

In Fashion Commercial Design we have spent a couple of sessions understanding the role of design in the wider fashion context . In the past, the design function was closely linked to UK manufacturing but sadly this is no longer the case. The design function is more often attached to retail function now with most strong brands employing in-house design teams.

Next week we begin drawing.

With widespread sub contracting overseas, designers are much more employable when they are able to provide design drawing suitable to end use.

This means that fashion drawing for manufacture has to be fit for purpose. At a glance, pattern cutters and technologists must be able to see how the garment can be manufactured. Buyers should see where the costs lie and how individual garments link together in capsule collections.
Read about it here.

Based on my own 15 years in this field designing with manufacturers and retailers all over the world and at all market levels, I would say that its a hard fact of life that if buyers and manufacturers can't work with your fashion illustrations in the way that they need to, then they will not only not buy from you but may never even find the time in their busy schedules to meet you again.

First impressions count, they all know each other and buyers are always 2 steps ahead of the designer. Buyers are under enormous pressure to have a high sell through rate with very few garments going 'on sale' at the end of the season. Therefore they often know what they need to buy before meeting you and will regularly want to amend style features and order that amended design 'exclusively' for their own label. They will add or subtract style features and suggest variances and then want it for the same price as the original design in small quantities.

Manufacturers are under enormous pressure to turn a 2d drawing into a 3d object that fits and drapes correctly whilst looking fantastic. They also have to make and cost to a specific price and deadline. The fashion drawings and clean, clear lines used are a type of instruction to make all of this happen without you being there to say, 'Make that a bit wider here or cut that neck another 2 cm deeper please.' You are on the other side of the world and will visit the factory when the initial prototypes are ready for inspection or they may send them to you for approval.

Fashion drawing for promotion is much freer, looser and imaginative and used by fashion marketers in promotional campaigns. It is all about creating a mood to tempt the customer to the collection in the first place. Read about it here

Designers Nexus will help enormously at the beginning until you build your skill base. As will reading and exploring all posts under Fashion Illustration on this blog. There are over 20 of them, please start looking.

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