Every successful fashion designer is aware of the exhausting amount of labour that goes into the creation of a fashion collection from beginning to end. Finding the appropriate manufacturer to bring those plans to life can be an even greater obstacle to overcome.
The greatest fashion manufacturers provide evidence of their skill on a constant basis. Many of the manufacturers who produce goods of the greatest quality, particularly those based in Italy, employ production methods that are developed from time-honored procedures that date back centuries and place an emphasis on the traditions of high-quality craftsmanship. The finest manufacturers have achieved global notoriety by virtue of their unwavering dedication to the achievement of the highest possible standards of craftsmanship in the products that they produce for well-known fashion labels such as Gucci and Versace. As a consequence of this, these highly coveted manufacturers selectively partner with fashion brands; almost all fashion brands are interested in working with them, but these select manufacturers only deal with a small number of fashion labels.
So, how do these highly regarded manufacturers choose the fashion houses that they collaborate with? There is a common misconception in the fashion business that renowned makers will only collaborate with well-known brand names. However, this is not always the case. When it comes to selecting their fashion partners, some of the most recognised manufacturers base their decision on the specific fashion items that a fashion brand intends to develop and sell. This is one of the most essential elements that they take into consideration. Because these renowned manufacturers have such a vast amount of experience in the fashion production industry, they are able to instantly recognise which fashion projects are more likely to run into problems during the manufacturing process. Because of their decades of experience in the fashion industry, the finest manufacturers are able to recognise specific warning signs in manufacturing that the majority of fashion designers miss.
As a result, fashion designers ought to take into consideration the following warning signs regarding production while creating their next fashion collection. If you design your collection with these manufacturing warning signs in mind and make adjustments as necessary, the most reputable clothing manufacturers will have a greater chance of considering your ideas for production.
1. Quick Fashion.
One of the most glaring warning signs of poor production quality, according to leading fashion manufacturers, is the presence of fast fashion products. Aside from the clear damage that fast fashion causes to the environment and its propensity towards the abuse of workers, quick fashion also lacks any kind of meaningful creative direction. As a direct consequence of this, the most highly recognised manufacturers purposefully shun the fast fashion industry because it provides no opportunity for them to showcase their craftsmanship. Production of the highest possible quality is of the utmost importance to these well-known manufacturers, and they are not willing to put their reputations on the line for financial gain. They place a premium on having a distinct and original idea of what luxury fashion should be above all else. According to Luisa, an Italian artisan who sells her wares on MakersValley, designers really want to have “clear concepts and focus.” Luisa, who has previous experience working with designers such as Diane Von Furstenburg, echoes the strong sentiment that prevails among high-quality manufacturers: clear, creative direction means producing fashion collections with real craftsmanship. This is in contrast to fast fashion, which only focuses on rapid production and rapid turnover for the purpose of making a profit.
2. Items Made of Leather (Particularly Shoes)
When it comes to fashion, leather goods, and especially leather footwear, the main manufacturers throughout the world frequently see red flags raised. The false belief that a higher-priced leather shoe requires less upkeep over time is at the root of many of the challenges that are inherent in the production of leather shoes. However, when asked to define “easy maintenance,” manufacturers of leather shoes frequently disagree with one another. The Blake stitch, used by shoemakers in Italy, involves sewing the upper of the shoe directly to the sole of the shoe. This results in a shoe that is more flexible than other types of shoes. The Blake stitch is commonly associated with Italian manufacture, and as a result, the fashion industry deems its style to reflect a more European and lightweight aesthetic than the styles produced by other shoe stitching processes. The origin of this particular style of stitching can be traced back to the beginning of the industrial revolution, when an American named Lyman Reed-Blake invented a machine in 1856 that was designed specifically for sewing shoe soles to the vamp (also known as the upper) of a shoe. The Blake stitch, which is performed on a Langhorn sewing machine, enables manufacturers to connect all of the layers without making use of welts. This is accomplished by stitching through the outsole, the insole, and the bottom of the shaft of the shoe. The Blake stitch is revered by shoemakers in Italy due to the fact that it emphasises a style that is not only lightweight but also elegant and sleek. According to Gabi Levi, the founder of the industry-leading shoe brand Eve & Kane, “the shoemakers in Italy, the craftspeople, are highly traditional.” “They’ve been manufacturing shoes the same way for centuries,” says Levi.
Other fashion producers believe that the Italian Blake stitching only allows for two or three repairs, despite the fact that the majority of fashion experts agree that the phrase “Made in Italy” connotes high-quality leather shoes. It is true that the other kind of stitching, the English Goodyear stitch, adds more layers to build a more robust and water-resistant construction. However, because of all of these layers and the tough construction, this approach loses a substantial amount of its flexibility. When compared to the Blake stitch, the Goodyear stitch generates a heavier wear and a less trendy and elegant appearance overall. This is due to the fact that the Goodyear stitch has two extra stitches.
In addition to analysing the benefits and drawbacks of various leather stitching techniques, manufacturers all over the world are concerned about the lengths to which they must go in order to acquire high-quality leather. For instance, Italy is highly regarded in the fashion business, in especially for the ways in which it tans leather; as a consequence, Italy is one of the most successful leather producers in the world. The production of leather in this nation is renowned for its use of the vegetable tanning method, which involves the use of natural vegetable tannins (organic substances that can be found in tree bark, plants, and fruit). A master Italian tanner will change their blend according to the required finish, and they will frequently rely on manufacturing techniques that date back centuries in order to produce the highest quality Italian leather.
The manufacturers of Italian leather goods want to make certain that the fashion companies with which they work can effectively compete in the market for shoes and handbags, which is notoriously cut-throat. It is important for Italian manufacturers that a brand is able to successfully sell their leather goods and continue to keep the attention of consumers since sales immediately impact the manufacturing planning process. And because Italian production processes are so highly specialised, leather manufacturers need to have complete faith in the brand partnerships they have. This is because of the sheer amount of time that is required to produce Italian leather and the end fashion products that are made from it.
3. Outerwear Designs
The production of outerwear is unquestionably distinct from the production of more typical types of fashion clothes. Producing it oneself is a more cost-effective option than simply acquiring it in bulk, providing savings of up to 50 percent or more in comparison to the actual price. In addition, sewing outerwear is easier than sewing other conventional fashion items because the sewing patterns for outerwear require less tailoring than those for other types of clothing.
However, the most commonly utilised components in the fabrication of outerwear are known to cause production issues for the companies involved. For example, because to the fact that producers are able to weave nylon more tightly than other materials, it is nearly always utilised in the production of outerwear. In addition to this, Nylon is a fabric that is more resistant to water than others. Nylon, on the other hand, is more slippery than other textiles due to the fact that it is more water resistant, and it also unravels more frequently than other fabrics do. As a consequence of this, manufacturing issues arise for manufacturers, and as a result, manufacturers are required to add an additional stage to the production process in order to guarantee adequate quality control specifically for outerwear. This additional stage of production costs manufacturers more money and more time, and they simply do not see sufficient economic return with the production of outwear to warrant altering their manufacturing processes.
In addition to the difficulties associated with production created by nylon, fashion brands frequently desire to produce outerwear with a shiny appearance because of the more streamlined and trendy aesthetic it provides. However, in order for producers to achieve this glossy appearance, the outerwear must either be given a plastic coating or undergo a specialised finishing procedure. Studies have revealed that the shininess that is given to the cloth makes it more prone to mishaps. Despite the fact that this dazzling finish is currently fashionable, it poses problems for the consumer. Because the plastic coating or chemical finish makes the outerwear more slippery, it has the potential to induce the wearer to collide with barriers with more force in the event that they are injured as a result of falling. Because of the potential dangers that it poses in the event that skiers fall while wearing such clothing, some ski resorts actually restrict people from wearing ski gear that has finishes like this. Not to mention the fact that manufacturers are required to utilise specific chemicals in order to generate this shining finish on outerwear. As a result, it is possible that a more robust chemical safety strategy will be required in order to handle the manufacturing of outerwear.
In the end, fashion manufacturers should design their collections with these manufacturing red flags in mind. They should also thoroughly address manufacturer issues with their initial tech packs and the sourcing decisions they make. By designing their collections with an eye toward potential production problems, they are able to save money on additional production costs, steer clear of problems with quality control, and lay the groundwork for a fruitful partnership between the manufacturer and the brand that is intended to last.