"Good design has nothing to do with opinion and 'taste'. From a manufacturer's perspective, a good designs is a design that sells profitably....you need to create emotional distance from your idea of good taste on everyone else, because many people have lousy taste and will never change." The Entrepreneur's Guide to Sewn Product Manufacturing, Kathleen Fasanella
The past week has been spent mainly sketching and thinking up new designs for the next collection. i'm working on Spring Summer 2011 now - can you believe it? Ever since switching to marketing one season ahead, the entire work calendar has been pushed forward as well. I'm still trying to adjust. In fact I had to skip SS10 to catch up.
I need to get everything for SS11 ready by September, which means from now till then I'll be busy doing everything from conceptualization, design, sampling, photo shoots to preparing collateral e.g. catalogs, buyer's packs etc. All this on top of the day to day i.e. processing orders & deliveries.
I struggled a little initially trying to figure out the broad concept/direction for the new collection. I'm constantly trying to second-guess - hmmm, I think customers/buyers won't like such a style - as I'm sketching. It really kills the process because the design gets dumped before it even has time to evolve. Like, I want to try something I think is cool and different but then I end up trashing it because I don't think it'll have enough commercial appeal. Nursing wear is tricky in particular - you can't really be terribly adventurous because the typical customer is usually pretty conscious of their weight/appearance at that point and the styles can't be too radical.
Anyway, I've come to a stage where I'm happy with the direction I'm going from a design angle, and also think the styles will be marketable. The stuff needs to sell for the business to survive, but I don't really want to churn out the same old styles either. It's a critical balance, and not easy to arrive at.
The statement at the beginning is oh so true and something I tell myself to remember.