With all of these business changes, I also had a new list of demands and experieneces to handle…
A weekend at home sketching evolves into a versatile dress and separates line to pitch to our next customer. Getting youth involved, like my mini assistant, Grace, is also a fun part of my job.
• Understanding new apparel classifications collections—wovens, bottoms, girls, boys, jr’s, contemporary, mens
• Understanding more about the retail side of business
• Amassing market intelligence across the board from our jr., contemporary, missy, kid’s, men’s businesses to share with our retail partners
• Supporting fast track time & action production calendars to meet the needs of our retailers who were demanding faster fashion
• More aggressive strategies to re-engineer designs to maintain the look of a style but remove some of the costly details that could not meet targeted prices
• Organizing year round design time & action calendars for multiple teams designing collections due each month
• Pitching concepts to celebrities, agencies, and other apparel companies looking to develop brands or re-launch brands
• Setting up computer renderings of in-store floor layouts of product
• Sourcing China for more fabrics, yarns, trims to help my design team
• Setting up photo shoots and look-books for our company’s product.
• Creating lifestyle collections of product that encompass wovens, knits, sweaters, tops, bottoms
• Setting up our coms social media sitesBeing outside ofmy comfort zone soon became the norm and I actually learned to enjoy these challenges.
Once I learned how to break things down into manageable chunks, organize my design team in a way that better supported the project loads we had to manage, prepare for meetings accordingly and work with people who could help share their insight in some of the areas that I didn’t have full expertise in.
Spending the upfront time to plan and prepare was critical to many of the new situations I would find myself in. Rehearsing and having co-workers poke holes in my presentations was also a good way to build confidence in how to present.
Although my position is as a high level employee within my company and leader to my design team, I am always learning so much from people I come across every day in this business—whether they are young designers with lots of creativity and great ideas or industry veterans who have experienced so much.
That’s part of the process of being able to adapt so well—continuing to glean and learn from industry people.
The biggest challenges coming to us
As fashion moves forward, the biggest challenges coming to us in the apparel industry are from the on-line marketplace.
As we’ve seen the era of technology become the way of doing business, we need to better understand how to function in this fast paced-immediate gratification environment. It’s not going away so we cannot sit comfortably around and just wait for new opportunities to land in our laps.
We have to be a part of creating them, we have to love the challenge of the process, we have to be excited about the unknown—how we incorporate social media, bloggers, vloggers, fashion influencers and create shopping experiences for our customer—these are all questions that we look to answer in creative exciting ways.
These are just part of the next “constant of change” to come my way keeping my job exciting and “glamourous”!
Fun at New York Fashion Week---attending Jay Godfrey’s fashion show and getting ready for Vivianne Tam’s show.
About the author
Tina Trevino is the Senior Design Director of KBL Group Intl. Ltd. in NYC and manages their large creative design team and Director Community Relations for Latin Business Today. She shares all of her insight on upcoming fashion trends for the season with her team to start the collaborative design process. The company specializes in sweaters, knits and wovens. It provides product for ladies, men, contemporary, jr, and children. Tina specializes in coordinating directly with large US retailers to design exactly into their targeted customer needs. With many years under her belt in the industry, she has also gained the ability to go beyond the fashion component and help to work through sourcing, fitting, production and merchandising issues as well.