Q: How did you come to be a part of the industry?
A: The fashion and apparel industry have always been a part of my life. As a young girl I was fascinated by the fashion world and hoped to someday work in the industry. When I was 23 this world became my profession: I learned of a job opportunity that would allow me to follow the fashion industry and travel the world, which is also a passion of mine. It was a dream come true to learn that I got the job after my first interview.
I really fell in love with the job. It offered me the unique vantage point from which to observe the creative process through the designer’s eyes, as well as allowing me to be an active part in making the design a reality. I consider that a great privilege.
Q: What are your plans for the future of Apparel Network?
A: Our plans for the future focus on two specifics areas but are part of one greater goal: expansion. We are currently reaching out to American streetwear brands in hopes of developing overseas partnerships. We’re also expanding our manufacturing sector by partnering with Italian factories. This enables us to supply our clients with the high quality craftsmanship that only Italian factories can guarantee, and offer a final product that is “Made in Italy”.
Q: Outsourcing agents and the role they play in the manufacturing process are often overlooked when talking about fashion. People only focus on the design and the finished product. Apparel Network takes care of a lot of production elements and can explain how this ultimately contributes to the success of a collection. It’s not just about inspired design and the finished garments.
A: The role of the agent is particularly important in garment manufacturing. Our long standing relationships with our factories in China enable us to provide our clients with trustworthy service: we can guarantee high quality products that are delivered on time while also being cost efficient. Our clients can also always depend on transparency and constant communication on our part.
Q: Based on your experience what is the aspect that designers focus on the most, and what do they tend to overlook?
A: I love working with designers, who are artistic/creative figures. Working with each designer is different and it’s important to understand the essence of what they want to communicate through their designs and their collections; even if what they want is nothing more than to convey a mood.
What designers generally tend to overlook the most is that original ideas can sometimes affect the manufacturing costs in a way that may make them impractical to bring to market. This is why it’s of fundamental importance to understand the needs of each of our clients — from an artistic standpoint as well as a more practical, economic one. It enables me to provide the necessary suggestions to achieve the desired final effect while keeping costs down.
Q: Apparel Network prides itself on the relationships it builds with clients. How do you establish a productive rapport with designers and how important is that to the success of the transaction and final product?
A: Building strong relationships is key to the determining the success of the final product. Constant communication and transparency are only two elements that go into building trust between Apparel Network and ours client. Developing a collection requires strong teamwork and mutual respect, so I would say that earning the respect and the trust of our clients is the secret to our success. We believe that success is mutual: when the designer succeeds, so do we.