On July 10 last year, as I anxiously opened my computer in my bedroom, it was then that I jumped out of my bed and ran downstairs to my family to announce that I have been blessed with an opportunity to grow as a budding designer. I was presented with a chance to take part in the Hot Young Designers (HYD) Marketing Company’s advocacy.
The campaign is a brainchild of Ginger Arboleda and Sharon Teng whose belief in the Filipino design community led them to yearly put together fresh, young, and talented Filipino designers, equip them with the necessary business skills, and present them with an opportunity to start their own collections, which they called “Fashion Face Off.”
As an aspiring designer, I have pursued a degree in fashion at the Asian Institute of Fashion. Still, I felt the need to push myself even further. Fashion Face Off came at the right time; I knew I had to embrace experiencing fashion differently.
The generosity of HYD has opened my eyes to what it’s like to run a fashion house, or even just a microcosm of it. With a set budget and deadlines, it set the training ground for a fashion designer about to start her business. I didn’t want to touch the money that was presented to me to create my first collection but I knew I had to begin somewhere. The challenge was to design clothes that would cater to the ready-to-wear market. I remember scrambling on organizing my receipts while trying to remember how much of each material I consumed. Even if I’m a closet math lover, having to constrict designs as an artist because of a working budget was the biggest lesson HYD taught me.
The whole experience ends this June, and I find myself looking back at my journey and gaining a lot of insights about fashion as a creative pursuit and as a business. I’ve even come up with Marauder rules for budding entrepreneurial artists.
Marauder Rule One: Have a clear vision of what you want to create. Imagine the collection and feel it in all ways possible. Draw it, make a playlist for it, have a scent for it. Whatever it is, it just has to give you goosebumps! The greatest vision comes from a limitless imagination!
Marauder Rule Two: Do everything to make that vision materialize. In creating one’s collection, there’s a sense of adventure in acquiring materials and working hand in hand with the production team. The thrill in seeing one’s vision slowly coming alive will surely keep you going.
Marauder Rule Three: Set a budget and keep all receipts, lists organized. What worked well for me was my little business bag. It had my special budget wallet where “cash out = receipt in”. I also kept a little notebook where I listed what transpires when I have my “Must-Spend-Days.” It helped account for my expenses properly.
Marauder Rule Four: Trust in your limitless imagination and only spend if you feel like there will be value in spending. Always go back to your vision and get creative. In the first place, no money was spent in creating that vision.
Marauder Rule Five: Be kind and loving to everyone. From the blind beggar on the street, Ate who sews your clothes, to whoever your client may be. The biggest blessings come in when there’s a constant flow of positivity. You will always get what you put in. From my experience as an entrepreneurial artist, I simply just love in every way possible.
Your support for HYD along with my fellow designers Klart Lim, Renan Pacson, Marc Blanco and Bailey Agustin Dava would gratefully be appreciated! Check us out at http://hotyoungdesigners.com.