Week 2: Illustrator and Sample Making

I’m back from vacation and hope everyone is enjoying a good start to the new year. Nick (my intern) and I are doing module two of the Parsons School of Design online course. The theme of this week is translating sketches into reality. We had to sketch stuff on our tablets in Illustrator and then follow-up with actual sewn samples.

I have to admit, a little research into pricing revealed the monthly plans for Illustrator vary a lot in price. Mine is $29.99, but there is a free 1-month subscription you can sign up for if you are just starting out, and student rates are available, so it might bear looking if you are short of funds. I actually prefer CorelDraw as I feel it has better drafting functions, but Illustrator is considered the industry standard. For physical samples, students were encouraged to visit their local fabric store to pick up supplies, but we just raided our fabric stash since we have a design studio at our fingertips. Several other designers I know who are taking the class with me ordered fabric online directly from Mood.

Nick and I had to make three accessories each as well as use Illustrator to sketch them. Nick’s menswear capsule collection was called “Leatherheads” and was sports themed. He salvaged football leather from a job last year and combined it  with denim and cowhide to create the retro look. We’re seeing a lot of this mixed media of denim and leather  in Japan and Europe right now. The end product was some cool leather bracelets, printed cotton shirts, and football-themed work-out bags. Conversely, I went futuristic for my collection, titled “Wind-up Geisha,” and created Sci-Fi techno silver hair pins, printed dolman tops, and silver linen and cotton denim handbags. We all know my love of futuristic Japanese anything. Nick’s leather bracelets have already been spoken for by a wholesale client, but the rest will be available in the online shop next week. We are waiting for it to stop raining to take some product shots.

Which brings me to the fun part today.Since starting this project, I’ve had several  friends tell me they want to do the class as a group with me, including one of my best friends. However, I’ve learned that one module a week is too fast since some of you are ordering fabric and having it shipped, which adds two weeks to your sample times.  Since the goal of these five posts is to inform friends and business associates about underlying industry trends, I’m happy to slow down. We’ll do one module a month instead of one a week to give people more time to source supplies. Hopefully you will get a chance to follow along, 


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