Share Your Work
Sharing your work, and we talked a little bit about customer profiles, so the demographics and the psychographics, the behavior, the age group, we talked about that in terms of focusing on a target audience. I usually recommend about a 10-year block, and body, Patty, you brought up the whole issue of your customer that's a major concern, so how are they gonna actually feel in your garments, because we kind of take it for granted, because we've designed something fabulous, but how does it actually feel? I mean, for a guy who's doing womenswear that's a major issue. I don't know how it feels, so I need to really collect information and ask. I remember when I was first designing as a teenager, my mom was the best sort of grounding force, because she would go, "That's nice." But, can she sit in that, is she gonna be out of breath because that looks so tight? You know, she'd really be grounding, so you want to get that kind of information. Gender, well we talked a little bit about this, in ...
terms of who's wearing what and how menswear might be influencing womenswear, and you know, where does this come into play in your equation? There's no right or wrong, but where does it come in for you? And then culture, I always give the example I am Hispanic, I'm Latino from Puerto Rico. I mean I was born in New York, but that's my heritage, and I remember when I was first learning fashion design, I would not design anything red, or any kind of flirty dress that's red because I was like, I do not want to be thought of and put in that box that I'm the Latin designer, who does little red party dresses, you know? Only because that was a stereotype I had in my own mind. Of course, you get older, and I've made some very beautiful red dresses over the years. But those cultural influences, you want to ask yourself, what's holding the customer back what's holding you back, because we have very preconceived notions of what is and isn't right. And a lot of the time times they're based on culture. And then core or couture, this is also very key because you want to ask yourself, when you're talking about connecting, is it about basics that you want to provide for that person, a real system, like we talked about with Donna Karan, you know having really practical items, even though they're beautiful, but they're easy to put together, so it represents that lifestyle, or is it that couture, where Haute couture kind of influenced work, or bespoke, where it's very, very special, very, maybe a little bit more on the theatrical side, and that experience is a whole different experience, because that person is gonna wait for their garments, they're gonna go in for fittings, they're gonna just... The process is gonna be as important as the final product, so you wanna ask yourself, where do you stand there, maybe some place in the middle. Alright, oh and this is great, another Karl quote, so, "One is never over-dressed or under-dressed with a Little Black Dress." Alright so these are questions I would challenge you to just write the questions down, so that you can spend time with them. How old is your target customer? We talked a little bit about that. Where does she live, okay, and not just the actual city, but is it north, is it east, is it west? You know, think about the climate, all those kinds of things. What does she do for work, because you need to ask yourself, her personal life and her work life, are they similar? Can she be dressed the same in both, or does she divide her life into professional and personal, and her wardrobes are totally different? You know, she may wear a suit all day, and all she wants to do at the end of the day is get into something bright, and colorful, and playful, or she may just be doing... That might be the baseline for her, for everything she wears. What kinds of vacations does she take? This is very important, because this is where people go to get away from their lives. You know, they say oh I'm gonna have a different life when I go to Barbados, or go skiing, so what is it that really speaks to them, in terms of their leisure time? And, this is a fun one, one music gets her moving? Because this is so personal and so powerful, and there are definitely a lot of crossover, where you can connect with someone around music. And for you, as a designer, just a little side tip, most designers will work in an environment that has music, and it's very specific to the mood they wanna be in. You know, whether they're being really hyper they'll have something intense, something gentler, you know, whatever it is that speaks to them, but then that can also translate into the experience that you create, which we'll talk about later, in terms of when they walk into the showroom, or when they're in your fashion show, how are you extending that experience of the music you love and that they might really respond to. And, would you say she's classic or avant garde? And that speaks to that last thing we just talked about. Are they core garments or is it couture, or bespoke?