Friday 8rd March 2017
Interview with Shyam limbachia
Head designer at Raw indigo LTD.
1. Tell me about yourself, say your journey as a fashion designer, your education, your previous work experiences etc.
I studied graphic design at Salford University . I tried getting into the design industry but found it hard as everyone kept asking for experience. So i did some freelance work. Luckily i was approached by a small preston based company where i designed the product. Designed their packaging also. Then I joined ETO. It will be 10 years since i will be designing fashion.
2. According to you, what qualities are needed to become a successful fashion designer.
The main quality is that you have got to be different. If you will be the same like everyone else out there then you will not achieve anything. You must have a different edge to get somewhere.
3. What are your inspirations to create a design.
It could be anything, literally anything. Like you could be watching TV, and you might see something that you think might look good on this or that. You can also look at big designers out there to get your inspiration but it could be anything for inspirations.
4. Do you keep your customers in mind.
Yes we do. Like i work on 2 labels mainly. One label might cater to a certain target audience and another label caters to a different target audience, You definitely have to keep that in mind.
5. Do you have a defined customer profile.
We do, but it changes from time to time. Like our brand ENZO, we mainly do denim and some T-shirts. And that is targeted more towards the younger market. Its like a loud jeans with lots of prints and pockets on. ETO was similar before but we have changed it now. Its gone slightly smarter. So the age range could be set 16 to 35 but Enzo is a lot younger . like there was a big market for large printed T-shirt, we used to do that to.
6. What season are you working on now.
A/W17/18 is at sampling stage. Includes jeans, t-shirts, jackets and knitwear. Most brands don’t do orders for a season ahead anymore. Its more of in-season nowadays. Just the high end brands do forward order. We are more of an in-season brand.
7. What timescales you follow from idea to finished product.
Depends on which country you work with as well. Like our jersey wear is from turkey. Their lead time is 6 weeks from day you place the order. China is 2-3
8. How you work with buyers, merchandisers and fabric technologists.
Because we are a small company, we don’t have a buying side. With merchandisers I sit to see how quickly we can get samples in, how quickly we can make changes and see if we can get any earlier to improve sales.
9. How are fit sessions like with the buyer.
Very important. A little change to a garment could make a big difference in terms of fit etc. For the first initial sample, we tell the supplier what fits we want. When it comes in there could be and issue which we then change accordingly.
10. Say something about spec sheets.
We have our spec sheets that we send for each design for different specs. And then we have to grade it through so it is right for each fit.
11. How do you research your future trends and product ideas for new season. Do you go on shopping trips with buyers or say draw inspiration from previous sales etc.
We don’t look at WGSN. Thats more for like the high street. We look at higher end brands for inspiration. Go to shows for examples in Berlin and go shopping trips. Also if there was like a best seller from last season then we draw inspiration from there. Make slight changes to it or we might use the same product but change the colour.
12. Feedback from suppliers over technical issues like trimming or new button style or if you make any more changes mid-way etc.
Sometimes, the samples could be perfect but bulk production supplier might face an issue so we look into it there and then.
13. How do you plan your diary
Everyday is different. 1 day I come in and would have planned to work on a certain garment or certain brand, but may end up resolving some issue. Next day i may go shopping or may attend an exhibition or fashion show may be in turkey and so on. But its exciting and good experience.
14. How do you keep track of innovations in fibres and fabrics.
The shopping trips helps to see whats out there in the market and see what the competitor are doing. We also do a lot of internet based research in the office. Plus trade shows.
15. What trend forecasting agencies you use.
We don’t use any.