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Establish Relationships

Lesson 33 from: Fashion Design: Start to Finish

Jay Calderin

Establish Relationships

Lesson 33 from: Fashion Design: Start to Finish

Jay Calderin

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Lesson Info

33. Establish Relationships

Next Lesson: Be Ready for Change


Class Trailer

Fashion Design Inspiration: Where to Begin


Intro to Fashion Design Inspiration: Where to Begin


Why Create a Moodboard?


Student Mood Boards


Fashion Inspiration Resources


Learn from the Masters of Fashion


Explore New Fashion Frontiers


Why Narrow Your Focus?


Find a Fashion Specialty


Craft a Collection


Learn to Edit


Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew


Intro to Making Fashion: Draw, Draft and Sew


Why Start with a Sketch?


Drawing: Draw Your Muse


Drawing: Sketch a Figure and Define a Silhouette


Drawing: Render Color


Drawing: Add Texture, Patterns, and Details


Pattern Draping: Working with Muslin


Pattern Draping: Drape a Basic Form


Pattern Draping: Drape Folds


Pattern Draping: Experiment with Style Lines


Pattern Flat: Create and True a Pattern


Draping and Patterning Recap


Constructing Clothes: Put it Together


Constructing Clothes: Make it Special and Finish Well


Fashion Marketing and Branding


Intro to Fashion Marketing and Branding


Explore Your Audience


Display, Data and Design


Share Your Work


Find Your Following


Inform Your Brand


Build Your Business Model


Why Tell Your Fashion Story?


Establish Relationships


Be Ready for Change


Produce a Fashion Show


Intro to Produce a Fashion Show


The Fashion Show: Why? When? How?


Pre-Show: Develop a Fashion Show Concept


Pre-Show: Build a Team


Pre-Show: Create a Timeline and Checklist


Day of Show: Backstage Strategy


Show: Working with Front of House


Show: Scheduling Run of Show


Show: Breaking Down the Event


Post-Show: Increasing Your Audience


Post-Show: PR for Fashion Shows


Post-Show: Dealing with Downtime


Fashion Design: Start to Finish - Wrap Up


Lesson Info

Establish Relationships

We talked about why tell your fashion story and you know where to pull from and now we're going to talk about establishing the relationships because I think we forget a lot about this in terms of very realistic things the first one first two points I have on here are the customer is always right and then the customer is not always right and we have to figure out what that means in terms of our you know how we interact with customers and it doesn't mean we're going to be rude to a customer we don't think they're right but it's going to be about being honest you know and actually approaching in away that you're actually again with storytelling sharing that no that's not the way I do it that's not the way I would approach that problem and that's okay like I think you need to give yourself permission to say that sounds wonderful but that's not what we do here you know it's like and and I think if you can anticipate some of those issues it's even a great thing to have suggestions that you c...

an pass people onto because some of that macy's gimbel's miracle on thirty fourth street thing where you know you're willing to say I'm going to send a customer over to someone else because then you're building great relationships in your industry too but really trying to think of when the customer is right when you go oh okay, that little ah ha moment that you khun take something in and where you can can say no we need to you know, kind of give you a different direction or redirect what you're what you're thinking about because I think because of customer service culture we all been oriented the customer's always right the customer you want you want them to be right most of the time you want to make it an experience where it's seamless and they you know, everything they want is taking care of but the reality of life and or the resource is you have or the skill level that you have you have to be able to say when they're not the next one is what they don't know they needed this is a great thing a good example is, you know, apple like in terms of the products that air that air developed that we didn't know we not needed and now we can't live without so in fashion that is a big, big deal because trends are always telling us that, you know, they're saying, oh no, this season everything you ever owned is out of style, so you're saying, you know, okay, what is what is the it item? I have to have the bag or the it shoes, so I think here you want to ask yourself, what can you offer along those lines like you know, is there ah genre of costume that no one is making because maybe it's not as popular and it could be you introducing something because you haven't interested they can take it in a great direction it could be about that that customer like when you went shopping for bridesmaids dresses it could be a customer that's on ly exposed to a certain kind of certain realm of bridesmaids dresses and yeah, they might scoff initially but if you could turn that that experience into the why it's so amazing and how you're going to feed me if you can transform it because this is so special and as a designer if you're creating that that's a very useful tool so you got to remember that you got almost meet people that where they are and then either work with him there or take him on a journey so it's all different strategies and you decide based on you know how you want to work you know you mentioned earlier about you know, the local aspect of you being based here in seattle that's a big key because that's a big key because uh if you don't like to travel let's say I'm not like you don't but if you don't that's a that's a big deal you know that sort of saying at what level will I say yes to travelling? You know where will that become doble and that helps you make a lot of decisions. Um, so another thing we talked about is sort of anticipating problems. We talked about it in the construction aspect of it, you know, like figuring out like let's, say or doing a little extra fabric in case something goes wrong but there are a lot of other instances where you have to ask yourself, what is the worst thing someone can say about what I do, right? We cover that a little bit with cause playwright, but it could be about the quality of the work it could be about the aesthetic, you know, it's not their cup of tea. What is the absolute worst thing? And you need to be ready on anticipate that and you not always are. Sometimes you get it kind of like, you know, hit hit by unexpectedly by something, but you want for the most part to anticipate. Well, what could people say? I know the rest of the industry where do I stand? And this kind of speaks again to where you want to be and knowing where you want to be at any given time. S o and that's, you know, spin doctor stuff where you say, how do I turn that negative into a positive and then getting down to really authentic relationships like are their customers you already have that are really that you feel a real connection with and exploring why is that you know, are we from the same place or we're the same age do we have the same interest? I was just an example with with uh a designer who who travels a lot for finding fabrics right around the world and her blogger has nothing to do with her fashion design but it's as part of her identity is a fashion designer where her block is all about food because she travels all around the world so wherever she has dinner or breakfast and she's found this new great thing or she finds a recipe or you know it's just something that's what she's sharing so the bond there between her audience and her is beyond just the clothing it's about the fact that they share more interest okay, so let's let's turn all these on on you guys since you guys weren't officially in the hot seat but let's call it the hot sofa so uh so I'm curious can we first day again has them in trolls I know where you are I'm kenzi I do a lot of styling and um recently have beginning more into doing like street wearing like daily close, but before that the first like fashion designing experience I had was towards fine art photo shoots and just a little more out there things maybe that you wouldn't be alone walking down the street with um yeah and so I'm just trying to kind of like, milled them together now all right, so I'm patty and ice I haven't established business doing bridal and formal wear working specifically with brides of all ages and mothers of all ages ok? And I'm really interested in recently in the exposure I've had through classes do things like zero waste oh yes fashion and repurpose ing fabric so that's another thing I tried to bring to this business but it's I'm finding it hard to sort of square the two up I would say especially because I mean just kind of riff on that for a second the whole idea of you working in the speciality of special occasion where ah lot of times you don't associate that with zero waste so our repurpose ng so I think building a story that we talked about in the earlier segment about, you know, building that story you really want to do that homework about you know, and I would almost do it separately like really get yourself committed to what do you feel about you know, the whole repurpose ing or zero ways and then talk about what the qualities and experiences are that you want to create with the special occasion where see where they meet see where they contrast and play those things up, you know, play up where you know, it is almost anticipating that question of the negatives, like, really repurposed wedding dress, you know, it's, like, but you can talk about the investment of the memories of where that fabric came from, you know, or the history of it was passed down and all these different kinds of things, so just kind of extending that the story telling you want to make sure and create that story because that's a very cool story and it's unusual story it's not a common thing, and that could be a great selling point, so, um, all right, so let's, let's talk a little bit about, uh, you have an established business fatty. So when has been the customer been right in a way that surprise you like you're going? O okay, I'm going to shift my direction to serve that customer, so the first thing that's very important is to listen, listen to them and not just listen, but repeat back to them what they say so you can clarify that you understand what they're saying because what they're saying may not be corrector accurate, but they need to feel like they're being heard terribly important, and then if they're not right, there's a way of sort of ms sort of directing by showing them with visuals, well, if you wear your hair down this is what you look like if we pull it up, take a step back and look at yourself again sometimes I have them turn away from there and then turn back again and they see all of a sudden they've grown four inches and lost fifteen pounds and what woman doesn't want to do that? So they look at that and they may decide to where they're her down even though with it they create a different delusional different look but at least that you've shown them that there is a different way to look and a different way to look at themselves. So that's been one a place where I've seen a lot of just by sort of directing them I put my hands on people a lot I actually move people around physically because I think it's important that they that you get a rapport going and of course I wouldn't do that if somebody was fairly saying don't touch me but but there's a way in which you can establish a kind of intimacy because this is one on one a very intimate business and it's critical that that that that trust in embassy start and then you continue it through the process I think e I mean this is you're talking from a place of experience and I think you're totally on the mark one of the things you mentioned the very start of you know, repeating back what they say a lot of times if they're not necessarily uh creative in this way you know, in this art form articulating what they want is not always accurate so I think the act of repeating is not only reinforcing what they're saying but it also gives you an opportunity go is that really what you meant? Do you maybe mean this so giving them the vocabulary giving them the visuals to maybe say, oh no, no you're right that's not what I meant because remember, not everyone has your experience and your vocabulary to describe and articulate every little aspect of it so you want to empower them with that because we can't assume that sprinkle and what about you? Because he sort of have you had any experience this without where you were trying to work with someone and, uh actually let's talk about the flipside when do you think you've had to kind of redirect someone? Um I've had it well, this kind of like goes in and out of both those questions I think the most I've encountered it is definitely when making things for like photography shoots on dh and I think it also comes full circle to like me not being a photographer and it's the same thing like they don't know the fashion aspect I don't know it's much about like the camera work and all that and some I sometimes like things can get lost in translation on camera or what is more important, teo the photographer may be different from what's important to me is someone who's getting the garment shot so there's and I don't really know howto always determined like who's, right or wrong in those situations because I think sometimes there could be different goals that we're something but you know, if if it is important to me a lot of times like it's a collaborations that working on so it's nice to get quality images back of the things that I've been making, andi, I think with some people more than others I've had to like delicately staring them in the right direction like we you know, make sure that this is showing these like the strong features of this, like the train or whatever that's going on on this counter, and sometimes it could be a matter of not saying let's, not do that, but let's do this too, and see which one we like better and maybe, you know, maybe for your purposes that's going to go in your purse folio and this version I like also because I can use it for this, so I think knowing what the end purpose of it isyou know whether it be the garment or a photo shoot and saying, well, we're if we're collaborating then you know let's kind of make sure we have options and alternatives it speaks to also the whole collection theory we talked about earlier um we're in uh in when we're making clothes and putting together these garments you want to give people choices that are based on the same idea so you know that the neckline in the front might not be everybody's cup of tea but you could still work with that v neckline but maybe in the back or maybe as a cut out at the hem so it's a slip and it's triangle shaped coming out of there so you have your aesthetic going and you're getting what you want but then you're also giving people choices and that goes for every aspect of it not just the clothes themselves good so just I'm just thea other too that we talked about what they don't know they want teo what they uh I didn't know that they wanted I think that is something that we all kind of would spend a whole lot of more time on so I want to encourage everyone to think about how they might innovate you know what could be a part of your process that's new and fresh and and then the spin the same thing I think it takes a little time to be objective and almost uh anticipate criticism and what might be things that that you want to prepare for but but this last one I'm I'm very curious because you both worked with lots of different people if you can think of one authentic relationship you have with a client, what do you think it's based on like, if you can think whatever you think of someone who you go, I have a real connection with them, they're a loyal customer, and I enjoy every time they come and say they need something and why anybody? Um yeah, I don't I think this goes back and forth, like whether you're working with a client or a photographer or whatever. Um, but I think definitely having some sort of like, personal relationship, not that that needs to be, you know, deeper the best friend, but I think definitely like it's always easier to work with people that you're really comfortable with and vice versa like, you know, being on the customer end of, like, buying a garment like it's definitely makes a world of difference and and feeling that you could be openly honest, like, you know, if you don't know what you want or if you maybe you're going towards one direction and then change your mind when you see it, you're like, oh, never mind I think I think it goes a long way and just being able to get something that works for everyone so, I mean, the one buzz word I heard in there was honesty like that you can feel that freedom to be honest with with your client. And what about you, pat? Anybody and stick out? They go loved working with that person. You know, I really, really enjoy my clock. My customers, my clients, they they are people, you know, if they come to me and they come back to me, I know that they trust me, and I feel privileged to be able to work with people around their very special occasion. And I want to honor that privilege by doing the absolute best job I can for them. And I think they understand that. I mean, maybe it sounds a little cheesy, but really, okay, they get that I think, the thing I mean, if you were to pull out the why it almost seems like that sense of they're inviting you into their special dae so that's, you know, that's, what connects you that's, what you feel like, you're sharing ah, very special point in their lives. And you're like, you say you have the privilege of enhancing that through your work. So I think that's hugely valuable, because that's, like you said, a very intimate, a very special experience, so great

Class Materials

Bonus Materials

Mood Board Checklist
Styling and Fashion Show Gear Guide

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Body Measurements Chart
Care and Feeding of a Garment
Change Agents
Copy Rights and Copy Culture
Dissemination - FashionArt
Fashion Equations.pdf
Fashion Show Checklists
Question Charts
Specializations - The Players
Starter Questions Chart
Pattern Making Gear Guide
Sketching Gear Guide
Sewing Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews


Jay is a rare gem in the world of instructors. He has the perfect balance of information, examples, and hands on visuals. He included his students in the teaching process. They were not just the audience. Even the viewers were encouraged to participate! I loved his teaching style and enthusiasm as well as the content of information he shared with us. He covered a vast amount of information and led us at a pace that was very easy to follow. It reaffirmed my love of fashion as well as designing new ideas. This class was inspiring and motivating. If you are even the slightest bit curious about Fashion Design, constructing patterns, or even drawing models, this class is for you. It was all encompassing for an overview of Fashion Design from start to finish. Jay has an easygoing manner that you will want to watch him again and again. A great resource for your library. I can't wait to see him again in the Creative Live classroom!. Good luck to Jay and all his endeavors! Thank you Creative Live for providing yet another great learning opportunity for an international audience.

Michelle B

This is day one of Jays class and I am already hooked and purchased this class. Jay is an awesome instructor. He explains everything in easy to understand terms. He explained things that I have bought books to learn and didn't in one easy lesson. I recommend this class for anyone that has a interest in Fashion design or even learning to draw models for anything you need to sketch out. I hope Creative Live will bring Jay back for more classes. Jay is a instructor also worth having in your tool box of CL classes to refer back to for learning and inspiration! Thank You Jay for sharing your knowledge with us!!


I agree with everything that michelle-b said in her review of this class, and will add that I can tell that he is an instructor who not only knows his subject matter, but has excellent teaching skills. He is very engaged with his students, and focused on making sure that they get what he is telling/showing them. He also has the rare gift of distilling a complex subject down to its essence and teaching it in a simplified form that gives the student a good overview of the basics, and somehow also gives the student insight into more of the subject’s depth than he actually says in words. This broader understanding of the subject empowers the student to proceed on a much higher level than would be possible after taking any other course overview. Even more amazing is that the lessons covered in this way could be (and are) full courses in themselves elsewhere, but were merely segments of this two-day CL class. For this reason, if I ever got a chance to take one of Jay’s classes at the School of Fashion Design, I would take it in an instant. I too bought this class by the end of Day 1. For me, the segments on sketching and drafting alone were worth the $69, and the rest is bonus.

Student Work