Posted on November 27 2015
My Premier Collection is all about determination. As I have mentioned before, my heart has been set on manufacturing locally. As a professor at Houston Community College in the Center of Excellence for Consumer Arts and Sciences, a.k.a. Fashion Design, I’ve seen each semester the incredible design and merchandising talent in Houston. Unfortunately the apparel industry has lagged behind the need for viable opportunities for students to not only grow their talents, but also to branch out into their own expressions of entrepreneurial spirit. The ability to secure funding, design support services or manufacturing have been far out of the reach of those with a dream of launching an independent label in the South, much less Texas. But this is changing, and changing rapidly (I hope).
So in June of this year I set out to create wearable, classically cut garments that would make any woman feel beautiful, make any Texan feel proud and make it possible for me and my students to realize our dreams and practice our skills. That meant reaching out to wonderful colleagues in the greater metro area and also in New Orleans, Louisiana. It has also meant stepping out of my comfort zone and approaching anyone and everyone who might steer me in the right direction of finding a grader or production facility. It meant better understanding the existing environment in Houston and working to build a sustainable vision of fashion enterprise within the confines of a local “design, sample and manufacture for you” ethos. And oddly enough, though difficult at times, there has been a lot of interest and support.
In short, I’m here and the collection, a capsule collection, is ready to sell. A wonderful feeling because it was only started six months ago. Along the way, I’ve met a lot of great budding artisans that are ready to show this city that they are creative, innovative and determined. I’ve also realized that the resources are here but just not aware of the demand for work in apparel – but no less willing to help and grow. And I’ve also realized that this is a great place to find myself at this point.
The pieces in this run are simple in nature, albeit textured because I love that. The seams are few because with each seam comes a monetary commitment - and to better understand that impact I kept a keen eye on creating garments that would augment any wardrobe but not break the bank without being constructed in distant lands. The colors are basic because I wanted to also provide a starting point for building a unique look. And finally, the construction was kept simple, classic and lightweight to meet the needs of our tropical environment.
This is my first manufactured foray locally and I hope to expand on it. This is a joint venture, if you will, between my new customers and the vision of a thriving, cost conscious garment district with designers that understand our growing need for local expression, reasonable price points and clothes that not only fit but span seasons.
I look forward to evolving the collection by adding more creativity with my new partners in production. We will increase design lines while hopefully keep costs down. And with your support, we will continue to proudly expand our local fashion industry.
Have a great weekend.