I just wanted to give you all an update and let you know that I have not forgotten about you!!
I want to share the realities of being a fashion designer and starting your own line with practically no money. This is long but I am giving you ALL of the gory details of what I've been up to since you funded my Kickstarter.
First off I must tell you keeping up with the fashion calender and the fashion industry is grueling, I haven't stopped working for even a moment. This year has flown by at an incredible speed. It is a total whirlwind that keeps me chasing my own tail, trying to keep up with everything. There are so many highs and lows. But I wouldn't want to be doing anything else.
So, on the Sir New York front. First up was making samples for the SS12 collection. After designing, choosing fabrics, making patterns, cutting out samples and sewing them up, Mike Prevette shot the collection with Jeffery Gaunt as the model. We designed a poster layout look book, made lines sheets (these contain technical flats done in illustrator and pricing for all garments). Then took the collection to the menswear trade show Project NY. We we opened up some new accounts and got some really great press.
I am happy to report that the SS12 collection will be in the 5 stores International Playground, www.idontlikemondays.us, Owen NYC (a new store opening up in the meatpacking dist. they are blogging the whole process), TAGG a super cute store in Hell's Kitchen and Gotstyle (voted #1 menswear store in Toronto).
Gotstyle wants all of our sheer tank tops for Toronto Gay Pride (love that)!
We then had a fashion show for Mercedes Benz fashion week last Sept. right after Project. Our first runway show!! It was very exciting and overwhelming. Oh, and at Project I made a great connection with the Adidas SLVR team who sponsored my show and provided shoes for all of the models.
My brother Arnt and sister Melody came down from Vermont to help me with set up the fashion show and dress the models. (my sisters favorite new job. My brother stayed with me for a while, to design & work on my website, and to help with production.
Right after the show we got to work on Fall 11 Production. We bough fabric (all sourced here in NYC) cut out all the pieces out then brought them to my sample maker, Frankie to complete the orders. Since it is only in 2 stores we didn't make the minimums you need to work with a factory.
We also filmed a short movie to highlight the brand. Hot Models and beautiful cinematography by Ramon Goni, "Dark Angels" produced by Jack Connolly was featured on thefashionisto.com (WATCH MOVIE HERE)
On the back of that began research, development, design, pattern making and producing samples for the Fall/Winter '12 collection. Once again, trying to figure out how I was going to pay for it all.
I still work at Joe in the w.village continually trying to hone my barista skills. Joe is amazing, and keeps me sane. That and sales from the Fall 11 collection just barely got me through. In all honesty there were rough times when I thought I might not be able to continue SNY. But love and support of the amazing people in my life got me through.
OCT. to JAN. 3 months to do a Fall/Winter collection, that is bigger and more complicated due to the outerwear and knitwear components. I worked with my friend Michel, who's family lives in Peru to develop and have the samples of my knit sweaters and joggers and leg wear designs made in Alpaca in Peru. They are beautiful and feel amazing!!
Last month I finished Fall/Winter 12, I put on my salesman hat and took it to Project NY, (watch this film to see the trade show in action). We got some press, a few solid orders, and a great response to the collection that takes inspiration from Horse Racing Jockeys, and Hockey uniforms. Sparkles, Tuxedo Joggers and Emerald green make their way into Sir New York this season.
I have to tell you we were finishing the samples up to the very moment of set up. I was unable to shoot the look book because the clothes just weren't ready. But we were there!!!
A look book is very important marketing tool because it shows the styling, the fit and buyers can take it with them to remind them to place an order or to share with their senior buyers etc... Good news is we are shooting next week.
I have also been given the tremendous opportunity and sponsored to go to PROJECT LAS VEGAS!! Feb.14-16th. It is a huge, very important trade show with more west coast and international exposure.
I have done a budget and figured out that if SNY can just get 2 or 3 more solid accounts it will finally be paying for itself. Doesn't sound like much, but in the first few years of business this is actually a huge accomplishment. So We are heading to VEGAS!!!, gambling on the bet that Sir New York will be picked up by a few more stores and make a few more amazing connections that will finally set Sir New York up as a solid growing business and a HOT new menswear brand to WATCH OUT FOR!!!
I know that I still owe some of you, your rewards and that is on my list for this spring.
Thank you so much for all of your support and patience. It's a tremendous amount of work, with so many different components, some that I have only touched on in this post, to get this off the ground. My friends will tell you, they never see me anymore. I am focused and working hard!!! Next up for Sir New York is to build a team and a strong loyal following. Get your hands on some of our limited edition SNY clothing, we only produce a small number of garments so show your continued support and wear Sir New York!!
If you haven't "liked" us on Facebook please do. It's the best way to keep up with SNY as if happens, and not have to read these long updates. Also, Please pass it along to all of your friends to help increase brand awareness.
Oh one last thing that I forgot to mention, Sir New York was nominated for the Fashion Group International "Rising Star Award". It is a huge honor just to even be nominated!!! We didn't win, the menswear award was given to Simon Spurr. But to even be nominated next to these greats is mind blowing!!!
THANK YOU... THANK YOU .... THANK YOU And if you made it through this whole post - you are a champion!!!
Warm wishes back to all of you for this coming year.
2012 is going to be AMAZING!
Auston Bjorkman Designer/Founder Sir New York
"Dark Angels" - a Sir New York short action adventure fashion film featuring the Fall Winter 2012 Collection.