Ahh, the design process. The holy grail of all fashion labels.
As someone who did not come from a design background, in fact, I came from the complete opposite end, graduating with a Psychology degree, I found this entire process both ecstatic and daunting.
In this series, I’m going to take you through Soy & Spice Lingerie’s design process from a non-designer perspective, document this journey from my point of view and hopefully shine some light and provide you with some resources to start creating your own collections, especially for those like me, that are not designers.
I started this whole process off with wanting to tackle this with only my bare hands. I was set to learn the trade myself from scratch and design my very first collection.
I studied Psychology at university, so by no means, have I ever considered myself a designer, but I’ve always loved art. I remember in kindy, I used to draw all kinds of pictures for my mum and I absolutely loved it. I find it very therapeutic and I definitely think that the right side of my brain is much bigger than my left haha.
As all great visual learners do these days, one of the very first things that I did was to hop onto YouTube and see what I could find there. I stumbled across a channel by Zoe Hong and instantly fell in love. Not only were her videos super engaging, I loved her sense of humour. I began her 21 part series on the design process and god, did it blow my mind.
Although her videos weren’t tailored specifically towards the lingerie design process, I learnt about how mood boards worked, how to take inspirations from things outside of fashion and incorporate them into pieces of your collection. I learnt about the different types of fabrics, colour combinations, textures, how different shapes and proportions worked and at the end of it all, I was like YES I’m so ready to do this!
I then went to our local Spotlight and brought all these drawing supplies and was so keen to start. I started to create my first ever mood board on Pinterest but halfway through, I realised I didn’t actually know why I was pinning things. I was simply going through the website and pinning images I thought looked nice (which now I know is half correct but I needed to understand why I was doing it). I’ve always been the type of person who needs to know the meaning behind each action, otherwise, I find it pointless.
At this point, I simply told myself to fuck it and proceeded onto sketching and as you can see, I failed miserably. It was then that it dawned on me if I were to get any of my ideas out onto paper and into the hands of manufacturers, I needed some help. I felt like an engineer learning to operate as a doctor for the first time. It was damn hard.
Created: June 2020
During this time, I had heard of these companies that help startups to design and sample their products, so I decided to reach out to a few and came across the Melbourne Fashion Labs. I’ve always followed my gut so, after speaking to Amanda, I was set on working with them to create our own collection.
Throughout the half a year or so leading up to this milestone, we were testing the market and demand out by ordering existing products from Alibaba and seeing how the market reacted to our concept and whether there was an unmet need. Although I had never designed anything before, after spending 10 years in the entrepreneurial space, I knew the importance of rapid experimentation, running lean and creating a minimal viable product before developing the actual product. So, to me, there was no reason for us to invest all these resources and time developing a line of products if there was no need.
After spending almost a year researching and testing, I knew then and there that we were onto something huge. So, I went ahead and made the first deposit and Amanda sent through very detailed instruction on the steps in creating not one, but four mood boards and most importantly, reasons behind why we needed a garment board, a lifestyle board, a colour & fabric board and packaging board.
Over the next few articles, I will walk you through what each of these boards consist of and show you some snippets of how we came about Soy & Spice Lingerie's own collection.
Note From The Author:
Hey! This article is really about the steps and thought process I took to start our design process. I wanted to show those of you who might not come from a design background and are interested in starting your own line that it is possible. As long as you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, nothing can stop you from achieving it.
If you are on the same boat as me, make sure to check out the Melbourne Fashion Labs and reach out to them. I am honestly so stoked to have found them and I know you will be too.