YouSeven ET01_ And Further Essentials Preview
A week post-ET01 launch, I thought I'd share some of my insights into the process, and thoughts on the future...
Making the first items for this collection was a straight-forward, but time-consuming process. To create the ET01_ tee, I first drafted a pattern and stitched up a very first crude prototype way back in January 2017, with a design I planned in 2016 (The 1st prototype can be seen in the original Essentials preview). Having already sourced a nice Bamboo Viscose fabric in Soho, the next step was to then refine the design and pattern before working on any scaled production.
To do this I scheduled 2 meetings with local sample studios, the first I met with were rude and dismissive of my inexperience stating that everything was wrong and would need to be started from scratch (whilst I never expected my crude work to be perfect, it was tough to hear, but ultimately made things a lot easier meeting with the 2nd studio). The tone of the 2nd studio was a complete 180, they were nice, positive, and very optimistic. As well as close to my flat in East London. Having then settled on the sample studio to use, it was time to get the pattern and 1st sample made. I provided them with the design, fabric, and measurements and left them to it. Two weeks later, I had the 1st sample for the Essential Tee (ET01).
The sample was great, it fit how I wanted in the body, but I knew it wasn't perfect yet. Since designing the tee, my preference for longer-length clothing has faded - the drapeyness' of the fabric only emphasised what was supposed to be a subtle extended length. Also as a skinny-built guy, I knew that the sleeves would present an issue when searching for the perfect fit, I'd normally get around this by cuffing the sleeves a few times, but decided to think of how I could tackle the issue within the cut. The best fitting tee I own is from Rick Owens' DRKSHDW label, the sleeves are fitted, but the armholes are very high so decided it's not something I would want to replicate. The solution I came up with was to create a slanted opening for the sleeves, reducing the excess fabric on the outside edge and creating a more neater fit that could hopefully work for everyone. I do still roll the sleeves when I where it, but that's just preference. For Sample_02 I implemented the length & sleeve changes, but still hadn't gotten it perfect yet, I opted for one more change to the sleeves before having the final pattern graded, and ordering the 1st very limited batch.
YouSeven Essentials Collection "Vanilla" Further Preview
Looking to the future, I think a lot about what I want this brand to become... I want it to grow, and to make the items I would want for people like me but at the same time, I don't aim for profit goals or desire mainstream success. Sales may be currently slow and my influence & reach small, but I still plan to continue creating this collection as I can, moving to a more sustainable Made To Order model, working on each item like an Art project within itself, regardless of costs or sales.
And of course, still making everything available for those who wish to own it for themselves...