Design Splat | Interviews with Awesome Designers and Creatives

POSITIVE VIBES – FASHION DESIGNER/FASHION BRAND

Posted December 13th by Design Splat in Fashion, Fashion Brand, Fashion Designers, Fashion Label

Today we have Positive Vibes Designerwear being featured on Design Splat. The range is aimed at male and females aged 18-35 and people who thrive on new experiences, embraces different cultures & lifestyles. Enjoy!

Interview

Tell us a bit about what you do and your brand:

I am a freelance fashion designer, specialising in the design & construction of limited edition, directional clothing.

In addition to Ready-to-Wear collections, private commissions are also undertaken.  The Made-to-measure/order service is particularly popular with both private & corporate clients.

Where did the idea for Positive Vibes come from?

Without meaning to sound like I’m merely quoting a cliché, I knew from a relatively young age that I wanted to be a fashion designer.

If there was a special occasion (ie: wedding) to attend, I would often create an ambitious design in my mind, transfer this to paper in the form of a drawing/sketch, which would then be left to my fabulous mother to interpret and create!  To this day, I don’t think either of us quite knows how she managed to create some of the designs I created in my mind!  However, her dressmaking skills have evidently gradually inspired my creativity in the recent years of my career and it’s rewarding to now return the favour and create exquisite creations for her!

My ambition was never to work for a famous designer/design house/label.  Instead, I always had the desire to build and grow my own reputable brand and this remains my ambition for Positive Vibes.

Where did the name Positive Vibes come from?

I decided on the business name  “Positive Vibes” at quite an early stage of my career.

It summarises perfectly the overall outlook I attempt to emulate and encourage in life.

In addition, I wanted to create a clothing range that encourages the wearer to have the confidence to embrace their individuality and personal style in an inspirational manner.

What type of clothing?

I design a wide range of garments within themed capsule collections.   Designs ranging from cutting edge clubwear through to delicate vintage-inspired daywear have featured in recent collections.

Generally speaking, PV garments are intended for occasional/special occasion use.

There is seldom the intention to create an “average” or “basic”  item.  Each design has a subtle or exaggerated PV twist that is intended to subsequently make the wearer feel special also.  I enjoy experimenting with/manipulating fabrics to inspire my designs

Positive Vibes is not necessarily targeted at the mainstream “trend/fashion followers”. It is created by/for free-spirited individuals with a creative and confident aura.

Who is your target audience?

Generally speaking, Men and Women aged 18-35.

However, I have a genuine reluctance to “pigeon-hole” people based on age, etc.

Therefore, the designs reflect an attempt to appeal to different personalities within this age bracket.  My business module also allows the scope to develop beyond this specified age range.  I have so many different creative ideas in my head, that it is the perfect opportunity to translate these to suit different characters, ages and lifestyles.

The ideal “PV customer” thrives on new experiences, embraces different cultures & lifestyles and actively seeks exhilarating life experiences/activities.

Music, theatre/The Arts play a big part in their lifestyle and their independent & free-spirited nature is expressed in their clothing.

Do you have your clothes in any stores yet?

Currently, the majority of PV sales are direct sales or via the Positive Vibes (Designerwear) website.

I am currently in negotiations with an increasing number of carefully selected retail outlets and online boutiques within the UK, with a view to supply them with limited edition garments/collections.

Regular stockists will be soon updated on the Positive Vibes website.  In the meantime, customers can contact PV directly to be informed of current stockists/availability in their area.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

That’s a difficult question to answer!  I’ve experienced so many changes/new directions in regard to my career development in the last number of years that it’s difficult to know what to expect!

My main ambition is for Positive Vibes label to become renowned as a label that offers creative, inspirational, high quality clothing.

Steadily increasing the number of established, regular stockists is an important aspect at this stage.

Although I appreciate and understand the importance of forward planning, I strongly believe in remaining open-minded to (sometimes unexpected) opportunities that may arise along the way.  These can often lead to new & exciting avenues/directions that may not have been previously considered.

Anything big planned for your collection of clothes? Anything else being added?

The official re-launch of the PV label is due to take place later this year.  Seasonal main-line collections will also start being introduced from Autumn/Winter 2010 to allow consumers the opportunity to start building on key items for their PV wardrobe.

Current projects include production of a small range of home accessories & artwork, in an attempt to further reflect the associated lifestyle.  PV is not just a designer label, but also a promotion of a lifestyle… A lifestyle that is reflected by the wearer/owner expressing their uniqueness in a confident and inspirational manner.

Other developments in the pipeline include boutique/retail areas within (slightly unconventional) venues including hairdressing salons and other outlets – (press report with full details due to released soon).

I am also gradually becoming more involved in theatrical work/costumes etc, as this allows me to develop my creativity in another direction.

How do you rate yourself as a fashion designer?

I rate myself as a versatile and highly creative designer!   I say this partly tongue-in-cheek, because I believe if I don’t acknowledge my strengths as a Fashion Designer, then I shouldn’t be in the industry.

I’ve pretty much come full-circle with learning to recognise/appreciate my skills, as I have often been told in the past that I am too modest regarding my design ability.  Hence my “therapy”(!) for tackling this, is to try to approach such questions with the suitable level of confidence and honesty.  Nothing beats seeing your designs unexpectedly on a person in an unexpected place and the wearer displaying it with the manner in which it was created/intended.  Consumer feedback/sales is also by far one of the most vital ways to truly monitor my design skills.

I would like to consider one of my best strengths is my thirst/desire to constantly learn and develop new skills, as this can only further inspire my creativity, in my opinion.

In your eyes what makes a good fashion designer?

In my opinion, a good fashion designer benefits from a number of skills, not just the obvious ones.  Design skills, knowing and understanding how fabrics’ work/fall, business and personal skills are all very important.  It is imperative to think 3-dimensionally, not just creating design sketches that look great on paper.

A constant willingness to use a wide variety of sources is something I strongly recommend/practice effectively.  I have a constant thirst to grasp new information, knowledge and skills and develop them in an attempt to further enhance and inspire my work.

I think it’s important to never become too complacent.  I am lucky that my freelance status allows me the opportunity to interact with students of varying ages (Visiting lecturer/teaching/workshop opportunities at colleges/schools etc), and it’s great to witness the enthusiasm of students that are new to “the fashion world”.  Sometimes I think it’s useful for all designers (whichever stage of their career) to almost try to re-programme themselves in an attempt to approach ideas with an open mind and “new/fresh eyes”, so they don’t get too repetitive with their work.

Likewise, some of the adult (senior citizen) learners I’ve worked with/taught have inspired me with their knowledge of traditional techniques/methods.

Do you think the Fashion industry is difficult to break into?

I consider the fashion industry to be very difficult to break into, but feel that when you get your first opportunity, it tends to snowball from there.  The most memorable quote I remember when starting in the industry was “It takes 25 years to become an overnight success within Fashion”!  This saying always makes me smile, as it took a while to fully appreciate/understand the meaning of this!

What do you think it takes to become successful in the design industry?

I think you sometimes have to measure success within the fashion industry on a personal level.

One person’s ambition may be to have a shop stocked with their own label.  Another person’s may be to have a famous celebrity wear their design.

I am incredibly ambitious, and fortunate enough to have already achieved some of my original targets.  However, lifestyle changes mean that your views and outlook adapt accordingly, so the focus can shift and surprise even yourself.

Determination and strength of character are very important traits to maintain within the design industry.

What to you is the most important aspect of creating a garment, the planning, design or implementation and why?

All of these aspects are so important…Planning certainly plays a large part for me.   The design undoubtedly has to work well practically as well as visually.

To follow and understand the design process fully, it’s ideal to develop pattern cutting skills, fabric manipulation etc

What drives you/give you the ‘go’ to keep at it and do everything?

My motivation is always my genuine love of creativity, in whichever form I am working on at the time.  My determination to succeed in this industry is also my driving force, but I always consider that I will continue to do this as long as I love and enjoy what I am doing – I certainly can’t imagine that changing in a hurry!

Does fame attract you?

I can honestly say it doesn’t.

In the early days of my business venture (first time around), I’ve witnessed how others can become embroiled in the “champagne” lifestyle and lose their focus.

I’m at a fortunate stage in my personal/business life whereby fame is not the attraction.

Where does your inspiration come from for your designs?

I find inspiration in a wide range of random sources!  Previous inspiration includes artists’ (techniques), exotic countries visited, natural sources (ie: tree/bark)….Yet sometimes merely a chance fold/placement of a fabric can influence a whole collection.  I often see a tiny element that inspires my designs in an unpredictable way.

Where can we buy your clothes?

Positive Vibes (Designerwear) can currently be purchased exclusively via the Positive Vibes website and/or via direct sales/enquiries.  Potential customers can contact us to receive information of current stockists in their area, as it tends to fluctuate on a monthly basis

Three words to describe yourself?

Creative.

Determined.

Ambitious.

Hobbies and other interests?

Admittedly, fashion and running a small business takes up the majority of my time!

If/when I have the spare time, I enjoy the following – Exotic hols for R& R & inspiration! Music (live/intimate gigs), Eating out, Body Combat, occasionally going to the gym (although the last 2 don’t happen as often as I’d like them to – usually just before going on holidays!)

Favourite Fashion Designer?

Thierry Mugler – for the creativity displayed in spectacular designs/creations produced, but also for the achievement of creating a brand that covers a range of products that fully compliment the garments designed and promote a significant style…

Issey Miyake, for the manipulation and cut of fabrics.

Tools of the trade?

Sewing machine, Overlocker, Laptop, Sketchbook/Notepad, Pattern Cutting equipment, Tailors Dummy, Tracing wheel (again, used for Pattern cutting/drafting), Pins, Tape measure, invisible thread for hand-finishing/hemming… and the list goes on!

Any Tips or advice to share with aspiring designers?

Stay focused on your dreams/objectives.  However, remain open to new ideas and consider opportunities that may not always seem obvious choices, as these can assist your career/development in surprisingly unexpected ways.

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Links of websites:

http://www.positivevibesdesignerwear.com

Email:

positivevibesdesignerwear@googlemail.com

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Some images of the Positive Vibes Collection:


You can also buy original art work from Positive Vibes:


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