Target Collaboration

It’s always stumped me when people ask “what is your target market” and not in a Duh– idonoo kind of way, but more like a “why are they asking me that?” 

As a creative I’ve noticed other brands look to me for design ideas. They find my work free whether it’s through the press or trend forecasters present my ideas packaged in a way that is palatable for brands like Bebe. Brands who don’t have a real person’s name. 

The truth is sometimes when I’m designing, I might think: this is for someone who (does blank) or this is for a person to wear to a specific themed event such as the Met Museum Costume Institute Gala. But I’m not like up in that persons business like “here’s their income and here’s their age and they currently do this for a living.” Probably that is to my detriment but so what! 

Why? I think it’s none of my business where their money comes from. Also it’s something else: people who fit into these boxes are dull to me. If the box exists, somebody already found it and filled it with junk fashion. The formula has already fizzled, if you will. If you ask me, that box is heading straight to a landfill. 

None of that has anything to do with the creative process. I’m over here making something beautiful and lasting with integrity, and I believe there are people who want that. They want to feel beautiful. Also they want to live uniquely and discover special things. For them dressing, and the acquisition of art or clothing, is an emotional process and they see how ethics come into play. 

 An artist may think of who is interested in their work, but once it becomes only about the buyer, the work loses significance, and subsequently value. That’s why the clearly defined “target market” never worked for me. I don’t identify my clients this way. What happens as a result is a collaboration, with trust, empathy and respect to each involved. By wearing the clothing they express a message that is both mine and theirs. 


the personal fables

Deep thoughts

Raf Simons is more popular than ever after speaking out against the breakneck race to provide fashion to the masses, saying he would personally prefer more time to devote to the creative process. What the articles don’t mention is the working conditions sustaining fast fashion’s pace are worse than slavery with no regard to human life. That part was left out. Shame on everybody. 

While the debate continues on basic vs fashion … Know this: people might notice when you wear a fabulous dress twice, they notice that you are FABULOUS. People also notice when you wear plain clothes and what they notice is that you are BASIC. The choice is yours. 

People ask me if the work I do is made by hand or by machines. There are always hands and there are always machines and they work together. Just about everything we wear is touched by hands whether to cut the fabric or to run it through a serger. This is done by living people. Purely hand made or machine made is figmentitious. People come to me looking for absolutes and they ask yes or no questions that I can’t possibly answer politely. More out of ignorance than rudeness. 

The answer though, is that the works in my store are hand-finished. If you’re interested in collecting them or if it is for an article I can reveal the details of what goes into each dress, happily. But as a public service I’m not at liberty to discuss. 


Basic vs. Fashion

The climbing support for slow fashion recently is giving us hope; however, it’s not cohesive in its direction.

Some say, “Why shell out for a unique garment when it’s noticeable that you wear it again?” to them, I paraphrase David Byrne, “When you wear the same outfit, people recognize you.” And look at him now.

1983 --- David Byrne Wearing Big Suit --- Image by © Deborah Feingold/Corbis

1983 — David Byrne Wearing Big Suit — Image by © Deborah Feingold/Corbis

Which brings us to the basics.  They’re a great backdrop for jewelry, and a crisp white shirt definitely has its appeal, but it’s also dangerous.

watch fob necklace7-26-2010 6-29-54 PM

What happens when someone gestures wildly at your statement necklace, glass of Shiraz in hand?   Suddenly your investment piece becomes your favorite pajamas!


It depends on the individual, yet I recall my first job merchandising at Nordstrom where we separated the displays into “Basic,” and “Fashion.”  The two did not mix on the sales floor.  We proudly placed the Fashion items facing forward.  This was to draw the thrill seekers in hopes to enrapture them in the latest and greatest Ready to Wear had to offer. Further back in the store, we grudgingly put out the basic items, more or less out of obligation.