Buttons pop, handles are dismembered, dresses and shirts split at the seams. Although those jeans may be a bit snug after that holiday diet, and by that I mean no diet, the quality of any garment or accessory should withstand a tiny extra pull or the everyday wear and tear, even with those holiday cookies.


Each and every design is conceived and born to be perfected-to be a true master piece. And in order to do so, every last stitch and thread should not only comprise a visually pleasing garment, but a garment that is equal in both style and quality, where the duration of the garment will outlast the duration of the trend.

To do so, the designer must step into the shoes of the consumer. Shop around, but let your focus not be on catching a bargain. Look into the past, not to revive an antiquated style, but to delve into colors and fabrics long forgotten. Although fashion and functionability often seem to be warring departments, think practically (in terms of the hard and fast hardware that is). And if you don't love it, don't settle.

From showrooms to fabric shops to your own closet you never know where your resource inspiration will come from. You may even feel so inclined as to go thrift shopping all across the city or window shopping marching down Fifth. On your escapade pay attention to detail, as each new discovery will spark the next destination on your scavenger hunt. Although your trail may take you in and out of no name shops and to destinations not yet on the map, your source must be a reputable one, one you can trust.


Before you thrust your fist in the air signaling a fashion victory, allow these short and sweet, but sharp and snappy mantras to resonate with you on your journey:

  1. Never sacrifice quality for style. Sure a certain turn lock may be eye catching or a certain pattern appealing. But if that lock is lose or that pattern easily worn, they’re going to end up in one place and that is not on the cover of any fashion magazine.

  2. If you really want it go after it. That pattern that’s so easily worn…you kind of love it and cannot bear to part with it. The solution: take that pattern with you as you scavenge other fabric shops, perhaps a bigger name like Mood right on 37th.

  3. Think beyond the intended use. If while perusing you come across unique nuts and bolts of garments, that your design may not call for or that may not be strong and bold enough to serve the intended purpose, perhaps you can incorporate it a bit differently. Turning a button or turn lock into a clasp-like device or even using a zipper in lieu of traditional seams. After all, this is the industry where you either stand out or get kicked out.

  4. Find your happy medium. If it’s priced too cheap, it likely will be of cheap quality. If it’s way overpriced, think if it’s worth driving up the price of your product. Ultimately, strive to find that happy medium, where the price is right and the style is to die for.

  5. If you don’t love it, don’t settle. How many times have you picked up that shirt in a store and thought, “this could be cute,” and bought it? How many times have you actually worn it? Exactly my point. If you don’t love it, don’t settle—that prince charming of leather is out there.

With your designs christened in killer quality, detailed your way in your style, the market will be calling your brand’s name—and for more than a one-time wear.


By Michelle Foti @bella_michellef