Reclaiming Fashion Designing

Getting back to my fashion and design roots is such an exciting time in my life. I feel energized, curious, hopeful. Conversely, I feel dread, panic, confusion. I am overwhelmed. It seems there’s a lot to do and nothing to do all at once. Both are true, there’s a lot to do but not that much that it should overwhelm me, not if I take it step by step –which is the only way to eat an elephant, one bite at a time.

I am about to reclaim my passion for fashion in totally different circumstances, at a totally different time from when I previously indulged in it. How do I proceed? What processes do I put in place? Do I do it the same way? Should I make the same things? Should I go a different way? How do I leverage the new marketplace with all its benefits and added value? How do I add my own value to the volatile conversation in the fashion industry?

I believe in bringing value, though that might not be obvious as I started my blog and channels without a clear purpose in mind. Actually that’s inaccurate, I started out with fashion in mind then lost sight of it as I quietly observed the fashion graveyard littered with fast fashion and horror stories of garment workers’ working conditions bordering on slavery. Everything seemed in shambles so I bulked at the thought of re-entering an industry in a state of disrepute. I took a year to process this reality, all the while considering alternative engagement, even carving out a brand new career in aviation airline industry, flying for a living.

Re-entering this industry when fashion is so vilified is a challenge in and of itself, let alone all other decisions I have to make. Other practical considerations involve deciding what our mission will be, our corporate social responsibility, what Grey Dynasty will design, what demography to serve, what market to target, what clothing to design, what sizes to cater to, what fabrics to use and how we will source them, and so on and so forth.

I’ve been thinking about this for months now, which culminated in a consulting session with a brilliant luxury fashion brand consultant a while back, followed by a second one a few months later. I worked on a few mood boards to help me get a general direction before getting down to specifics.

Mood boarding aside, I’ve had such a hard time picking an item or even just a general direction. Yet this part has to come from me –nobody can give it to me and it be mine. It has to be truly mine. I wonder if I should get into wedding gowns right away, or if I need to ease back into this over time. Maybe interiors is what I should start with… There was a suggestion to do corporate wear as it has a healthy unaddressed customer base; I don’t feel certain that is the direction I’d want to go entirely.

What other clothing items could I zero in on, is a question I ask myself day after day as I wait for ideas to marinate in my head and for one to emerge as a strong frontrunner. Maybe I ought to be more deliberate about it. I remember this one class in my MBA where I learnt that strategy will always emerge and define your item/product/journey, so I might as well be proactive and determine it myself instead of letting it define me. Be patient with me; I am diligently working on this part. Cheers, Grey xoxo

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