How I Design

September 30, 2013 3 min read

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

If you've read my bio, you will know that I didn't go to Fashion Design school. I believe education is a head start but passion and persistence are differentiators. I often get asked questions on my design process, so I wanted to share it with every one so you can learn a bit more about Encircled and how and why we do what we do!

One of the Q's I get asked often is, how do you come up with ideas for designs?

Great question!

I follow a fairly unorthodox design process. Most fashion designers are already presenting collections for Spring 2015, and designing for Fall 2015. I'm designing for Fall 2014. Yup. I'm a full year, maybe year and a half behind. 

How can you design on such short timelines?

Well, majority of fashion designers sell through wholesale. The buying process, as well the production lead time needed to support that channel drives the timelines. Also, most fashion designers have 12-15+ piece collections. Since Encircled is sold mostly through our website, it allows us much more flexibility. Additionally, we produce in Canada, so our lead times become much shorter on production. We don't have to wait for our garments to arrive in a container from Asia. We pick up our garments about 30 minutes North East of Toronto!

How do you come up with design ideas?

I come up with ideas based on purpose. The Chrysalis Cardi is a perfect example of a garment born out of need. I LOVE versatile items. Even if a piece of clothing can do two things really well, to me it feels so valuable. Nothing is better than getting massive value from your clothing, right? I don't follow trends, I don't attend colour seminars or trend forecasting events. I design from pure gut feel. Classic lines, timeless colours and versatile designs.

What is your next piece?

I've been working on our versatile t-shirt (name TBD) for the past few months. You will be able to wear the t-shirt over 6 different ways. It takes time to develop new designs as our sampling process is extremely long. When challenging the constraints of a typical garment, many iterations are needed. For example, the first sample was way too big and the sleeves were off. Second sample, the sleeves were better but the drape was off. Perfecting a design takes time. I'd rather take the time to make the best garment I can possibly design than rush to market with something substandard. 

What else is coming up?

We've had some asks for a petite version of the Chrysalis Cardi and we're definitely looking into it. The challenge of being a small fashion start up is always capital. This is an extremely capital intense business and we want to grow slowly but sustainably. Failure rates of fashion design start ups are well over 60%. This means 60% of businesses will not be operating in 2 years. Wow. We don't want to be that business so we design carefully, mindfully and with purpose.

I appreciate you reading up on our design process, and hope that you stay in touch with us through Facebook, and email.

With gratitude,

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

Chief Fashionpreneur, encircled

Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

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