Thursday, January 28, 2010

You wanted a sneak peek?

I was schlepping through the fashion district again to the trim companies this morning when I received an email from someone introducing their services.  What caught my eye was the first sentence that began, "I discovered you in Hudson's and..."

Huh?  Discovered?  In Hudson's?  Hudson's is a childrenswear trade magazine and I didn't know they were planning on including Bina Apparel in their "Industry News" section.  I had submitted some information for consideration but never heard back.  I was disappointed, to say the least.

So I ran to every fashion book/magazine shop that I knew of in the area but no luck.  So I went online, saw they have a download of the current Feb'10 issue.  I downloaded it AND THERE WE ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF PAGE 11!!!!!!!!!

So, here is the sneak peek I promised.  It's the illustration that accompanied the blurb. I know it may be hard to see the detail...but you get a bit of an idea.  Hope you're as excited as I am about this!!!  Yaaay, Hudson's!  Thank you!

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"Curiouser and curiouser!"

As I research through trend reports on fashion, colors, fabrics, retail, trims and a million other things I have found many things that inspire me. For this season it is definitely Alice in Wonderland. My most absolute favorite story of all time.

I LOVED to watch this cartoon growing up. All the details just fascinated me! The impeccably dressed rabbit. The mad hatter with his top hat and blazer. The deep and vibrant colors. The idea of things not being what they seem. Curiosity. Celebration of anything ("very merry un-birthday to me!") I love that.

This is my idea of childhood. A wonderful childhood!

Multi colored tweeds. Vintage inspired styles. Feminine dresses with large unexpected details. One of my favorite moments while creating this line is while fitting a couple of the dresses the fit model clapped her hands and said, "Oooooh! Pretty!" She ran her hands along the fabric and then she put her hands out to her sides and began to twirl. When she tried on a few of the coats she said, "SOFT!" as we put it on her. She was referring to the flannel lining. These moments make me smile.

If you have any pictures you'd like to send along to add to my growing wall of inspiration, please don't hesitate!!!

Fun Fact for the day: Would you like to know what the "10/6" on the card on the Mad Hatter's hat meant? Lewis Carrol said, "The Hatter used to carry about hats to sell: and even the one that he's got on his head is meant to be sold. You see it's got its price marked on it - a "10" and a "6" - that means "ten shillings and sixpence."

Friday, January 22, 2010

Good karma when you need it most

Don't you just love it when everything falls together nicely, as if you planned it that way? Karma, baby, karma.

The toddler and I arrived in front of our friend's apartment around 10:30pm and whaddya know there was a free parking spot sitting in front of the building! Anyone who has ever driven in the city understands my excitement.


I spent the first half of the day in the garment district. I love it there. I think I must have spent about 93.4% of the time that I lived in the city in that neighborhood. The energy is addictive. Just walking down the street you see so much going on. You look up into the windows and you see people hard at work doing all the millions of little things it takes to keep a line and company going. After work you mingle with others who are in the same industry and talk about the ups and downs of your work over a glass of wine or martini or a badly needed glass of water because you've been so busy all day you didn't get a chance to sit and drink any during the day.

I had a few appointments set up first thing the next morning to work with some trim vendors on applique design. The first place I went to ended up being a goldmine and I didn't need to go to any of the other appointments. I knew that this particular company had a large library from which to look through for inspiration and ideas and had planned it to be my first stop. The other 2 are much smaller companies at higher price points and were more of a backup plan just in case.

So I went to my favorite button shop Botani (on 36th b/w 7th and 8th) to work with my favorite button guy, Hector. Hector is awesome. He is patient and has a great eye for color and details. He also understands the limitations I have with childrens wear and the CPSIA requirements. In about 30 minutes we had defined all the buttons needed for the line. On top of the great customer service Botani is also very reasonably priced!

One word of advice for those of you who are going to be spending time in factories and such. Bring hand sanitizer. And a dust mask if you are so inclined. I know that the perception people have is that these places are glamorous offices with white walls where you are seated and given a cup of coffee while they cater to you.

Ahem. No. Not even close.

These places are filled with dust from the cutting and sewing and handling of fabrics and trims as well as the millions of containers that hold things. Many times you are directed to a rack or closet that holds their samples and you need to manually go through it. And remember that rents are high and space is at a premium so many places use as much space as they can. So, you may find yourself looking through a closet full of samples that is in the hallway and in front of the elevators. This is their "showroom". And every once in a while you may need to move out of the way for someone who needs to get by.

The toddler has asthma and I just happen to carry child-size masks in my bag (thank you, H1N1). She thinks they're cool looking because of the Disney characters on the front so she doesn't mind wearing them when I ask. Whew!

So, everything that I thought would take a minimum of 2 days to complete was done in 1 morning. What a great feeling that was. I should also add that my schedule is always at the mercy of my toddler's mood. So, I always have to plan extra time to figure in sleepiness, tantrums and such. :) I'm a momma and you gotta do what you gotta do!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Want to be in the know???

Here is an update on the website. It is in work and right now you can go to the page and sign up to be the FIRST to receive notice about the launch! No worries, it is my policy to not give out your information and I will not bombard your inbox.

So get over to and sign up!

On a side note, I was asked if there are any pictures of the line. Not yet! I will be posting some previews over the next couple of weeks. And when it's perfect, you'll know it. Oooooh, the suspense.

I have just arrived to NYC with toddler in tow. I have a few vendor appointments this morning to work on embroidery and applique designs and my best friend Heather will be on hand to help. More to come on this.

Let me tell you that there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING more valuable than friends and family who believe in you and are willing to take time to go to appointments to help collaborate. It helps that she is a very talented designer with many years experience!!! She has been a sounding board for many years. I'm very fortunate.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Here we go!

I finally did it! As some of you may (or may not) know, I have been working on a girl's clothing line for the past few months. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time and I've finally started making my dream a reality.

The name of the line is Bina Apparel and our first season is Fall/Winter 2010. WHICH MEANS that I will be showing and selling the line starting NEXT MONTH!!!!???!!!

My background in the apparel design and manufacturing is quite long (12 years!!) and my experience covers everything from concept to creation/production. I really do enjoy all parts of the process and I have been fortunate to have had wonderful mentors, teachers, coworkers and friends throughout the years show me the ropes. Without you I would not have had the confidence or the skills to finally do this.

But even with all this knowledge, training and experience I would be lying if I didn't tell you that I am nervous as heck...but oh SO excited.

I will be documenting the ups and downs of this new adventure in my life and share the journey of trying to successfully launch a new childrens wear line. I also hope that this blog will help other would-be entrepreneurs. Please follow my story and send me any questions or comments you may have. Oh, and encouragement! Please send this too!

So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. It's going to be a fun one!