If you are a Fashion Designer whose current design skills don’t match up with trending styles, you are not alone. You are about to read the story of a 30-year-old Lagos designer, who due to her poor design interpretation skills, nearly lost all her customers, and how she quickly used one powerful technique to discover her creative genius!
About 65 per cent of Nigerian designers never passed through an actual fashion school. Many learned from home, (perherps their mom is a tailor), as an apprentice in a tailor’s shop, or mostly self taught.
And after the training, they start to offer design services, working from home, or getting a shop.
Our case study for today is one of these 65 per cent. And we’ll name her Shade.
Shade has been designing for time now, long enough to realise that she had one major challenge – inability to interpret the complex trending styles her clients bring to her.
Sure, she could confidently make some basic aso ebi styles her clients bring to her, but those other styles that have orishirishi details, she just couldn’t understand how to make those styles!
One day, she received a very big order. A gospel artist wanted to make a set of clothes she wanted to use to shoot her newest release. Someone had recommended Shade to her, and she trusted she could deliver on this job.
Design specifications were discussed, fabrics, trims and notions were discussed, money exchanged hands, and work began.
Shade could not make many of the styles on the list, so she started with the ones she could make very well, and resolved to ask for help from other colleagues on how to make the rest.
And so Shade worked and laboured, and produced the outfits… To the best of her abilities.
It was shipped to another state, and after shipping, Shade anxiously awaited feedback from her client about the clothes that were sent.
ALSO READ: What I ordered Vs what I got
She didn’t receive any calls, she called the courier company to ask if the clothes have been delivered, they said, it had been delivered.
And so with her heart quaking with trepidation, Shade finally called her client
Shade: Hello Ma’am, May I ask if you have received your clothes?
Madam: These clothes you sent, are they mine? I doubt it, because I just placed them outside the door, because they cannot be mine. Please send my own clothes.
Shade: Ma, those are your clothes please, are there any issues?
Madam: (Laughs) I’ll give you till tomorrow to send my real clothes, otherwise, you will hear from me. *ends call*
Shade went into panic mode, she had sent the clothes herself, what did this woman mean, she tried to call her back to ask what exactly the problem was – NO response
But deep down Shade knew what had happened.
After a while, Shade put the incident from her mind as she got busy with other clients clothes, but from time to time she she would experience a nagging sense of fear.
The next morning, as she got to work, she saw a crowd in front of her shop, a police truck was also parked.
She was confused, As she approached, an officer asked:
Officer: Are you the Shade Williams, the owner of this shop?
Shade: “Yes sir,” she answered.
Officer: You are under arrest for deliberately taking money and not delivering the proper dresses, you have the right to remain silence… (you know the rest)
Two miserable nights in the cell, and a full refund of the money for the dresses later, (the dresses were sent back to her), Shade was heartbroken, angry and confused. She could not open her shop for weeks, she was afraid to take on new orders, her confidence level had dropped so greatly.
After about a month, she started to get herself back and after much reflection, she was finally ready to take the guess work out her design game. She was determined never to go through that kind of ordeal again
She started doing research on how to improve her design skills and came across one powerful technique – it’s called Pattern Making.
If you have never heard of Pattern Making, it is an age-old method that foreigners use to make clothes, it’s method is so precise, and though technical, it is an important skill to have as a Fashion Designer.
Pattern Making is basically drawing out the blueprint of a design on paper first, and uses the client’s measurements. They are plotted on a piece of paper to create the body shape. Then the pattern can be manipulated by cutting the paper apart and taping it back together to add design details such as pleats, gathers or darts.
This helps the designer to achieve a better fit, interprete styles better, and though, it’s a little more time consuming, it’s totally worth the effort in the long run, as opposed to the constant anxiety attacks that come with doing trial and error with clients clothes
Shade took up interest in this technique, took a basic class in it, learned all she could about this technique and her design skills dramatically upgraded, Now, she enjoys a solid relationship with her clients, and can confidently charge them well for her services.
Are you currently having this same issues that shade once had? Do you want to learn this powerful technique so that you can confidently produce designs your clients desires?
Will you like to learn six powerful techniques that will instantly upgrade your design skills in one hour or less?
Then I have something that will interest you
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Agboola kofoworola is a Fashion designer, coach and consultant and can be reached on email@example.com