April 12 2009 – Jen D'Angelo
Last year Nooworks brought a new member into our little family, Candace Hynson. She is inspiring, adorable and we love having her. This fall season we took her through her first fashion production schedule so I asked her to share this experience and this is what she wrote.
Check it out!
I love fashion. I call myself a fashion nerd. I get excited when I get my months edition of vogue in the mail. I can go on for hours talking about textiles, and I am sucker for anything Marc Jacobs. So naturally, I decided to work for the fabulous retailer Barneys New York, of course. And 2 years after I graduated from school, with a degree in fashion design I found myself happily selling fabulous bags, and amazing sunglasses to the fashionably inclined of San Francisco.
So one day while bouncing around giddly at work, Jennifer D’Angelo (Nooworks) came in, and we started chatting about her fabulous sunglasses that she was releasing for her line nooworks. We exchanged info and shortly after that I started helping her out.
I didn’t know what to expect at all, I thought the merchandise was cute, but how did a fashion company work from the inside out? Its rare to find a company that has everything locally manufactured, and where the owner of the company has so much involvement in every step of the way. I had done several internships in the past, and I found that the design is really a small part of the process. What happens once you have an idea for a fabulous plaid dress? What about zippers? What seam allowance do they have on them? How are patterns made, and how are they sized? I had a basic idea of all of this but I was really lucky in getting to see the entire process with Nooworks. It started with design, and pattern making, which is quite a process. It takes some time to get something ready for production, that is making one dress in several different sizes, adding linings, and zippers etc. One you get that finished, then the factory comes in. So many companies have their products outsourced, and made somewhere very far from where the company is based. It’s great that Nooworks has things manufactured in Northern California. It is more hands on, and more controlled. Instead of having to work out issues over the phone, or even worse over email, Jen and I could take trips to the factory to see how things where going, or if there were issues we could talk and work through them.
Then comes samples. I have always loved samples. This idea/ sketch you have in your mind comes out beautifully sewn and finished, and ready for retailers to order it, you can touch, and see the finished product. Its nice to see all the items in a collection come together for the first time. You work on a collection, and you start to focus on it piece by piece, and by the time you reach the end of it, its hard to remember what the whole cohesive collection looked like. For me it came full circle when I got to attend a photo shoot, for Nooworks fall collection (so exciting!) I got to see all the looks together, the entire color palette, and the models in the clothing, and it hits home and ties it all together! A couple weeks after that I got to see a shiny, glossy look book, that was the photographs I had seen taken, and that was even more exciting!
A couple weeks after that “the goods” come from the factory and off to stores they go. Its exciting to know that they are going to be in stores, and to see the response they get from customers and retailers! One of the highlights I had from working on the fall collection was going to a party at Still Life boutique for a party for the fall collection. Every piece from tee shirts, to jackets where available for sale, in a store front! It was exciting to see the dresses that I worked on available for sale, and having people try them on, and give feedback. I truly got to see it come full circle.
We are currently working on the Spring 2008 collection, which has been fun, because I feel like I have been in a constant state of summer all winter long, from looking at surfing books from the 60’s and sketching summery dresses and tanks. Winter is flying by and I am looking forward to the warm weather, and the spring summer samples!