3
May
2016
1

Samples: Fitting – Part 1

A photo posted by @hindijain on

Needs to be two inches longer.

#FittingSamples

JANAKPURI, DELHI One of the issues with designing in India is finding a fit model that works for fits internationally. Pradeep is a perfect size small fit for India, but size small translates differently in different markets. We need to create that perfect #worldcitizen fit. Today was spent trying to find that right balance of a little give here and there for different body types.

What I learned: 

  1. Because fit is not universal, the solution to creating a versatile fit is to use fabrics with a little stretch to them.
  2. Stretch doesn’t always mean adding in synthetics.  To maintain the integrity of the fabric, the weave can be loosened to allow for flexibility.

16
Jan
2016
2
Sticky Post

Sourcing Fabric – Part 2

This is good, but not what I was looking for.  It needs to be softer; special.

JANAKPURI, DELHI Today was spent reviewing fabrics the factory sourced based on the requirements I set in our previous meeting.  I was looking for a very specific type of slub cotton until Rajesh introduced me to PIMA COTTON.  He told me it was the finest quality cotton in the world. The threads come from Peru and are woven in India.  As soon as I touched it I knew it had to be a part of the collection.  To differentiate my styles from one another I decided to use different qualities for the different silhouettes.

What I learned: 

  1. Using different qualities for different silhouettes is costly and complicated. 
  2. Dying fabric changes everything about it.  After color dying, the white vs. the black fabric looked and felt completely different (to a trained eye).

A photo posted by @hindijain on

14
Jan
2016
2
Sticky Post

Sourcing Fabric – Part 1

A photo posted by @hindijain on

I’m looking for the most luxurious cotton India has to offer; the best.

#wordscollectionbyhindijain

JANAKPURI, DELHI – Today I met with a factory recommended by a family member.  The meeting was intense.  I was looking for %100 Organic Cotton and was beyond disappointed to hear that it’s not available “Made in India”.  Rajesh, (the factory owner) assured me that anyone claiming to sell me organic fabric in India was selling a lie because in order for fabric to be considered “Organic”, it needs to follow compliance regulations from start to finish throughout the production process. By definition organic cotton has to be grown from non-genetically modified plants (without the use of any synthetic agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers or pesticides) but beyond that the production and handling processes also need to be compliant with requirements enforced by the National Organic Program (NOP), from the USDA, in order to be considered organic in the U.S.  When he told me that organic fields need to go through a cleansing period of three years it started to sink in, I wasn’t getting high quality organic cotton from India this year.

I brought in examples of the types of fabrics I was looking for. Rajesh told me these fabrics were really expensive and recommended less expensive fabrics with a similar look but lower grade quality. I told Rajesh that I wanted the best and people would recognize the difference… delivering actually high quality product would separate me from the competition.

What I learned: 

  1. According to my sources, truly high quality organic cotton is not currently available “Made in India”.
  2. Because of the rise of fast fashion, the mentality in the industry is to deliver the cheapest products with the best “looking” quality.  As a buyer, ask questions around why the fabrics being recommended are superior to others on the market.
  3. It’s instinctual for salespeople to sell you what they have on hand. Be really specific about what you want otherwise you’ll likely get talked into something else that just happens to be available and becomes a quick sale.
26
Nov
2014
1
Sticky Post

dangers of being female

Being ambitious doesn’t mean i’m willing to sacrifice my integrity to get ahead.

Two days after I quit my job at BCBG MaxAzria, a friend of mine was extremely interested and eager to help.  We were in the same friends circle, but I never got to know him well before now.  To my surprise, he worked for one of the top three fashion recruiting agencies in the US and insisted I come to the office straight away so he could help me get a job.  This was only 2 days after I impulsively quit, so the panic hadn’t set in just yet, but it felt great to know I had friends who wanted to see me succeed.

Later that week, a group of us went out… he got really drunk and put his hand up my dress at the bar.  I was alarmed and then appalled.  The only words I could manage to get out at that moment were, “what are you doing!”.  He arrogantly replied, “if you want a job, you gotta do what you gotta do”.  I mostly certainly do not and did not.  I demanded an apology, which I did not get until much later.

It scared me to think that this was someone who I had interacted with many times before, but when he thought he had authority over me, he could force himself upon me.  This incident was one of many, but I have never and never will sacrifice my integrity to get ahead and nor should any other women.

24
Nov
2014
1
Sticky Post

I QUIT!

November 24, 2014 was the day I quit my job at BCBG MazAzria. I am writing this post several months later. Quitting my job was the best decision I ever made. I thought about leaving for a very long time, but the fear of the unknown held me back. What if I left and failed? The security of having a label to attach myself to gave me confidence. I reacted to events that took place in the office that week and impulsively asked if I could speak with my boss for 2 minutes. She said she was available that moment; I said, “this isn’t working for me, I’m giving my two weeks notice.” We spoke further, no hard feelings. We had a good personal relationship. I learned a tremendous amount from my experience working for there. It was like going to grad school, accelerated learning would be an understatement. I worked directly for the owner of the company, and reported into a director. Let me tell you, the devil wears BCBG, forget Prada. That being said, I respect how passionate she is about running her business. I get it.

My mom was an art professor turned clothing boutique owner and my father was a serial entrepreneur; growing up with parents who strayed from the typical career paths of their generation, I never felt like I needed to follow a stereotypical career path. It was quite the opposite; seeing the inside life of an entrepreneur taught me just how hard it is to run your own business – work never stops. As a result I was drawn to corporate careers that were more structured and promised a steady income. Over time, through my experiences working for private labels and corporate fashion legends like Ralph Lauren and BCBG MaxAzria, I learned that the more you grow within those institutions, the more it becomes like you’re running your own business within their business. When you reach a certain level of success, the hours are the same in both worlds but the pressure is different. In the corporate world, the pressure comes from constantly proving your worth in your position; as an entrepreneur, the bottom line is up to you and the ceiling is how hard you’re willing to push yourself. To be successful in both worlds you need to constantly continue to be an innovative problem solver.

There’s no right answer when it comes to taking the plunge into starting your own business. If you have a vision and it feels right, you only have one life to live. If it was a mistake and you try and fail, you’ll come back stronger from everything you learned along the way. If it’s a success, dreams came true.

My advice to anyone thinking about quitting a job without any sort of action plan:

  1. Get your family on board. Let them know so you have their support. The world is not a good friend to the unemployed.
  2. Make a schedule, make lots of plans. If you’re used to a 9-5 (let’s face it no one works 9-5, it’s really 8-7), chances are most of your friends work that schedule and you will start to feel very alone. Use this time to find your passion in life and work on making it a reality.
  3. Eat healthy. You’re going to want to eat cheap because you’ll start to feel guilty about spending without any potential earnings in the near future. That works against you in every way.
  4. Nobody can or will save you but yourself. You will need to learn how to be there for yourself. It’s lonely and things will only get harder with time. Believe in your decision and everything that lead you to it. This is your opportunity to pursue your passion.
  5. Always be making progress. Keep track of the things you do everyday.
  6. Time is precious, don’t waste it. There are two ways to waste your time:
    1. Worrying about future failure
    2. Allowing yourself too much leisure time because there isn’t a schedule.