As discussed in my previous post, I recently went to a fabric trade show to start sourcing for the second collection. It was very motivating and exciting to start developing new ideas, but felt slightly surreal to be planning the new season when the first one hadn’t even been launched yet!
The fashion calendar runs in cycles that are constantly overlapping. So far it has been comparatively straightforward working on one season, but from here on in I will constantly be working on two seasons at a time. Now I am completing the website development and pushing marketing and sales for the first collection, while starting sourcing and researching for the next. When I start designing the new collection I will also be doing production of the first, and this is how it will continue to evolve.
A lot of established brands create at least four collections a year, often with more than one line, so the overlapping only increases. When I worked at Temperley for example, there were four collections a year, both for mainline and the diffusion line, plus bridal, collaborations with other brands, and one off projects. So although there was a bigger team, everyone would be working across many collections and projects at any one time.
It makes for a very varied and interesting job, which I love, constantly jumping from one collection to another, then from one element of the business to the complete opposite. It keeps you on your toes and guarantees you won’t get bored! I was used to the seasonal calendar at Temperley and now I have to pave the way for the Mya Rose schedule.
Planning begins around the key events of the year. Most notably the global fashion weeks, which correspond with the stores buying periods. These are linked to the fashion week schedule, but are starting increasingly early and I’m finding I need to have my collection ready for buyers well ahead of the shows. There are also production considerations, such as, how long it will take to order fabrics, grade patterns, and for garments to reach the stores. And if you produce overseas some countries have particular holidays you need to build into your timeline, such as Chinese New Year when factories often close for several weeks.
Then you have to multiply this process by the number of seasons you create a year and work out how to fit them together. Being right at the start, creating the plans and the foundations of the business is a unique position to be in. Whether it’s establishing the brand aesthetic or developing the calendar, it feels good to be solidifying the business and turning my ambitions into reality.