A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Maker's Row and doing a Facebook Live interview with Tanya Menendez, one of their founders. It was my first Facebook Live interview (gah!) and it was so much fun. If you don't know what Maker's Row is, come out from under that rock. It's a revolutionary approach to garment manufacturing. Maker's Row has an online database of American factories and suppliers that are meticulously catalogued. If you're a garment designer, you need these guys. If you're a fashion enthusiast, this will tickle your fancy for sure. Click here to read about my interview on their blog and see snippets of me trying to string words into sentences.
The Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator is located in Brooklyn, NY. They have been making samples for Tabii Just for about a year. I work directly with Tara, who coordinates production. She then works with a small team of sewers, cutters and more to do sample work and small batch production. Roberto made my last sample. Here is some more info about him. I chose the BF+DA because of their commitment to ethical garment production. I look for clean working conditions, a roomy atmosphere where staff can comfortably get around, clear exits and a general ease of work. I also look at how the production coordinator speaks to the people who work there and her expectations for them. My measure is always if...
I took Adam to Trinidad for Carnival and we took a much-needed break from New York. I put my away message on and readied my hips for some winin'. It was well worth it. One of my Trini friends, Imran, helped me design a neck piece and cape for my costume which really made me a feel a bit like Superwoman. There is no amount of words that can explain the feeling of dancing to soca in the streets in one of my custom designs with my best friends and the hubby. It was well worth leaving New York's frigid temps. I would advise you to put this one on your bucket list and start planning a year out.
I'm a bit of a social media nut so anything current grabs my attention. That doesn't mean that I don't value the old and treasured, though. We took a vaca to Tobago and happened upon a little shop at the side of the street selling antiques. I spied this old sewing machine and it immediately took me back to my aunts' old sewing machines in Trinidad. They used to work so well and I admired the steady purring of the machine, as it magically bonded fabric together. It was such an exciting, unknown world to me as a child but even back then, I knew I wanted to create for the rest of my life.
I wish I could spend most of my life shopping for fabric and playing with swatches. There is something about connecting to the starting point of a garment that really gets me going. I can imagine the fabric is so many different ways. Because I strive for zero waste, I try to conceptualize the garment on paper before draping to minimize mistakes. It's inevitable, though, for something to go awry but I enjoy the process either way.