Friday, 12 November 2010

Georgia Hardinge for Victoria's Secret Fashion Show 2010

The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show has became one of the must see shows in the fashion world and we are often left wondering who is behind each of the speculator outfits...

...well wonder no more! Georgia Hardinge's latest creations strutted their way down the catwalk last night to great review as she establishes a name in the US market. The talented Ones To Watch designer kept this one under wraps but it was worth the wait. Enjoy! 

Kenny Wang

William Tempest Wins WGSN Global Fashion Awards 2010

VFS Merit Award winner William Tempest has just won the Emerging Brand or Retailer award at the first WGSN Global Fashion Award, which was announced at a ceremony in New York's Waldorf Astoria at 10th November.

Congratulations William!

Kenny Wang

Thursday, 11 November 2010

VFS Mentoring Event Review: Tips on Production for Designers

For those of you who missed Tuesday’s mentoring class discussing the topic of ‘Production’, do not fear, you have not missed out! Summarised below are the key points, questions & answers raised and discussed on the night…

First though, let me introduce our guests’ speakers:

Anna Brett: Managing Director of Image Studio Production.
A high end manufacturing studio specialising in patterns, toiles, samples and production with no minimum orders. Clients have included Peter Pilotto, William Tempest, Vivienne Westwood and Marios Schwab.

Judith Tolley: Manager at the Centre for Fashion Enterprise.
Supports the very best in emerging fashion talent by helping them build successful fashion companies. These have included Hannah Marshall, Mary Katrantzou, Heikki Salonen, Louise Gray and Tim Soar.

Victoria Hubert-Butler: Studio Director at PPQ.
A fashion label based in London. Synonymous with ‘luxe pop-chic’, their collections are often influenced and inspired by music.

So designers, many of you are probably at the stage now where you have been creating your samples and small orders in house, but what I’m sure you are all wondering now is how do you get from that to mass-producing your collection for sales…

When is the right time to begin to out sourcing?
It’s usually an organic process that begins gradually. When stress from timings and mass work starts to kick in and you begin thinking to your self “I can’t do this on my own anymore,” that’s when you need to seek outside help. However, what stage in your career you start to think this is completely up to the individual designer: Some people deal with stress and pressure better than others.

How do you I go about finding the right factory for me?
There is a range of websites for manufacturers; you can find them by using even the most basic web search engines such as Google and 
If you are in the early stages of launching your label and have been working at another design house then it is a good idea to ask them ‘what factory do you use?’ and get the appropriate contact details.
The website by Fashion Alliance ( is a fantastic way to discover UK based factories, fabric suppliers, trimmings merchants and service suppliers with its ‘High-end Supply Chain Database.’ By clicking on the tab that reads ‘Click Here To Find A Manufacturer,’ the search results can be separated into different categories, creating a clear and easy way to find the perfect manufacturer for your specialism.

If I am to contact a factory/manufacturer what questions should I be asking?
-     Who else do you work with? (However, beware that some factories will not disclose this information for confidentiality reasons.)
-     How long have you been working with particular clients? (If a factory has had a fast turn over of clients then be wary as it may mean that they don’t build and maintain professional relationships; something which is extremely important in the industry)
-     What do you specifically do? (Some factories specialise in particular areas and may even offer additional services which you haven’t already considered such as pattern evaluations and grading)
-     Where are you based? (As a new designer, we strongly advice that you keep your production within the UK for at least your first couple of seasons)
-     How long would you take to deliver my brief? (Remember timing is everything!)
-     Can I come in to meet you/ visit the factory? (It is essential that you visit the factory to check out the working environment and standard of their machinery/ equipment)
-     What do you charge? (You should ask for a couple of quotes from a couple of different factories. Remember that some charge a fixed price whilst others work on an hourly rate. Hourly rates generally apply to sampling and range from £16 - £25 ph.)

Please note if you are to contact a factory, keep it professional! If you are to write/email make sure you
include your company details such as studio address, registered company number, logo and web address
(if you have one.)

What questions do I expect them to ask me?
-        What’s your background/experience?
-        What are you trying to achieve?
-        Have you got fabrics and patterns ready?
-        When are you planning to start production?

I have arranged an appointment/meeting with a factory – what should I prepare?
The 4 main things to remember (which can be applied to ANY meeting) are…
-        Politeness
-        Organisation
-        Punctuality
-        Clarity
-        Reliability

You should bring with you:  paper work (which should be clear and organised), samples (at least 2 or 3), pattern pieces (which need to be exact and graded unless the factory is offering you a pattern alternation/evaluation service. It is also recommended that you get your master pattern technically graded at a Graders) and fabric swatches.

Should I take my production over seas or keep it in the UK?
Like we mentioned before, we advise new designers NOT to take their production over seas until they have experience of working, liaising and negotiating with different manufacturers. However, this doesn’t necessarily apply to all specialist areas. For example, if you are a footwear designer, a decision to take your production to Italy could be a positive move; it may not work out any cheaper (in fact, it could be more expensive) but Italy is highly skilled and traditionally renowned for it’s high quality footwear and leather wear.

Should I ask the factory to create a prototype sample before full production?
Even if you have created all your samples in house it is a good idea (in fact most manufacturers will insist) that the factory also makes up a prototype sample of at least one or two pieces from your collection. We recommend that you sample one simple piece and one complex/ technically difficult piece first to test the full range of the factories skills.
For subsequent seasons, we recommend that designers still sample in house so they are familiar with the construction process.
Note: Within your budget you should cost for two samples (of key styles) so you have one to send out to PR/ press and another one that can be kept in a good condition in house for possible buyers/stockists to view.

How do I calculate pricing?
Remember to allow for every single cost; everything from the fabric, down to the thread! As well as additional components such as zips, buttons and poppers, don’t forget to include your in-house machinists’/ your time (you should give your self a wage!)
[Please note: Further information on pricing will be covered in the VFS mentoring talk on sales and finance in a few weeks time.]

Is it standard procedure to have a contract in place?
In theory a contract is a good idea, but in practise it can be difficult: there’s always a lot of unforeseen complications, which may not be the responsibility of either party. However if you do chose to set up a contract, keep it simple and just state the basic terms and conditions concerning delivery, pricing and completion/deadlines. If you choose not to have a contract in place then make sure you get written confirmation of all agreed and the negotiated price before full production begins.

What about deposits?
As a designer, you should be receiving a deposit from the buyer once their order has been placed and before production begins. This is usually 30% - 50% of the final order cost; any less can be risky. Be honest and upfront with your stockist and explain that you can’t process their order until you have a received a deposit from them.
In return, manufacturers will expect a deposit (again 30% - 50%) from you when you reach full production stage. However, prototyping/ sampling rarely require a deposit, as these are much smaller jobs.
Please note: None of your completed garments will be released from the factory until they have received FULL payment from you.

Who is responsible for quality control?
This is primarily your responsibility, and shouldn’t be left until the end. Quality control checks should be carried out before production has even begun; for example, testing all your components work (such as zips) as you can’t rely on the factory to do this through out.
You or your team should also be visiting the factory through out the production process to quality check. It is advised that you take along your prototype sample for comparison. It is also your responsibility to set terms & conditions of what you will tolerate regarding any differences between the prototype sample and final produced piece; for example, you may state that seams can be 0.5 cm out in comparison, but no more…
Please note, once your final pieces have been signed out and placed in the hands of your stockist, it is now up to you to agree with that particular store the terms and conditions regarding recalls/returns of faulty items. If you have a particular delicate garment it is recommended that you attach special “careful: delicate item” or “handle with care” tags to ensure no blame is passed to you if a customer returns a faulty item to the store.

What about delivery?
Again it depends on what you agree with the manufacturer but it is generally the designer’s responsibility and so should be included within your costing. However delivery from you to your stockist is usually up to them to arrange and pay for.

Don't forget to sign up for the next VFS Mentoring Class, held at The Hospital Club in Covent Garden. Keep checking the Fashion Scout blog for further details.

Sarah Barlow
Photography by Lucas Seidenfaden

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Louis Vuitton Exhibition in Paris

Fashion Scout was able to get a look at the Louis Vuitton Exhibit “Voyage en Capitale. Louis Vuitton & Paris”

The exhibit showcases the past present and future of Louis Vuitton and its sacred relationship to Paris. The Louis Vuitton empire all started when the man of curiosity, Louis Vuitton began designing and selling practical and fashionable trunks in their Paris house. The Japanese art inspired Louis Vuitton has contributed to a long history of travel and today is still well known for its luxurious designs in baggage and accessories. The exhibit displays Louis Vuitton’s most brilliant pieces from 1837 to the present. If you are in Paris be sure to check out the exhibit at the Musee Carnavalet, this once in a lifetime experience is only available until February 27th 2011.

Erin Ingleton

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

The Vauxhall Collective Exhibition

Jonathan Kelsey
Studio Glithero
Gareth Neal
Maurizio Anzeri
We were delighted to be invited to the Vauxhall Collective Retrospective 2008-2010 exhibition last week. 

For three years successful years, the Vauxhall Collective, set up by Vauxhall Motors as part of the ongoing commitment to championing style and design in the UK, has offered platform for the most promising creatives to develop their style and create unique projects across fine arts, photography, craft, design, fashion and film.

Keen fans of Jonathan Kelsey’s glamour driving set, the gold gloves and steering wheel cover are on our wish list, and would be the perfect accompaniment to our imminent Vauxhall car Test Drive next year. Gareth Neal's pop up urban picnic site also sparked interest, the ping pong set bought back childhood memories instantly. Studio Glithero’s ceramic surface classic “white on blue” jasperware style vases are simply beautiful. We also found Maurizio Anzeri’s synthetic hair printing very interesting; the idea of combining hair and old photos was so different.

It is so exciting to see Vauxhall’s strong interest in art and culture and the exhibition event drove home the support Vauxhall provide to innovative and creative talent across the design and fashion industries. 

Kenny Wang

Una Burke on Vogue

Una Burke's talent has not gone by unnoticed by Vogue Italia. Confirming her rising star status, Una is now featured on Vogue under their New Talent section.

To view Una's profile please visit Vogue

Amy Finch

Monday, 8 November 2010

Eudon Choi in Vogue December Issue

Hot off the news stands, our very own Merit Award star Eudon Choi is featured in the new Vogue December Issue.  Eudon made the gold leather parker especially for Vogue, which is modeled by the internationally renowned Sahsa Pivovarova. We are certainly adding this to our Christmas wish list!

Kenny Wang

VFS Mentoring Class is on tomorrow night!

Tomorrow (Tuesday 9th November) at 7-9 pm sees the launch of VFS's new series of Mentoring Evenings. These events are free to fashion and accessories designers and feature experts from across the industry who will share their knowledge and experiences on how to build successful fashion businesses.

Tomorrow's topic will be:

With designer orders placed and sales made, this event will explore the issues involved in taking designs to production. Covering all aspects of manufacturing, our panel of seasoned professionals will provide advice on sourcing the best manufacturer for your collection either locally or overseas, how to optimise relationships with production units, communicating with retailers, sampling, quality control and negotiating costing, payments and delivery.

Anna Brett: Image Studio Production, Managing Director
Image Studio Production is a high end manufacturing studio specialising in patterns, toiles, samples and production with no minimum orders. Winning the Topshop Award for Garment Product Innovation, Anna went onto work with the likes of Peter Pilotto, William Tempest, Vivienne Westwood and Marios Schwab. Image Studio Production also offers a make service for graduate collections.

Victoria Hubert-Butler: PPQ, Studio Director
PPQ is a fashion label based in London. Founded in 1992 by Amy Molyneux and Percy Parker, PPQ are synonymous with ‘luxe pop-chic’, their collections often influenced and inspired by music. In line with this, PPQ also operates the record label 1234 Records, responsible for acts including Whitey, The Bishops, The White Sport, Trafalgar, Objects and Cosmetique.

Judith Tolley: Centre for Fashion Enterprise, Manager
Centre for Fashion Enterprise, based at London College of Fashion, is a business development programme that works with early stage fashion companies in London. The aim of the Centre is to support the very best of this talent in helping them build successful fashion companies and have included Hannah Marshall, Mary Katrantzou, Heikki Salonen, Louise Gray and Tim Soar

Spaces are strictly limited so RSVP is essential, RSVP to
VENUE: The Hospital Club, 24 Endell Street, WC2H 9HQ
NEAREST TUBES: Covent Garden, Holborn, Tottenham Court Road