Fashion School Series Part 1: Rejection

They say that hindsight is 20/20. Sometimes looking back on past events you can pin-point and exact decision or moment that your entire life changed or shifted.

The first time I realized this was when I was 21, looking back on my college experience. Like every fashion design student my dream was to go to the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. If you went to FIT you were going to make it- that was the mutual understanding: you would be among the elite fashion designers in the world. When the rejection letter came in the mail and it hit me like a brick to the face! My dreams had just been crushed! Then another rejection letter came, and then another! No one wanted me! I felt hopeless and utter shock! How was I going to pursue my dream of becoming a plus size fashion designer if no one would give me the chance?

I applied not only to FIT, (Fashion Institute of Technology) but also to Parsons: The New School of Design: Tim Gunn’s school. (Now Project Runway at the time had only aired its 1st season back in 06 or 07′- and did not have the following it has today- and I was only 16 and could not apply!) When that second, third and forth rejection letters barreled through my door, I couldn’t believe it! So upset at myself. I was convinced that all of my self taught efforts had been for nothing! I should have been so proud of myself; I learned so much on my own, even made my own prom gowns without any formal training and here I was being told I wasn’t good enough.

Not going to college was not an option- I wanted that college experience and I wanted to learn what I knew others could teach me about my craft. I mean I could always just transfer right? Begrudgingly I also submitted an application to a local private college (my mothers alma mater) Mount Ida College in Newton MA.  And don’t you know I was accepted! Now I wasn’t thrilled to receive the acceptance- but I was relieved that at least I could go somewhere. I just wanted someone to give me a chance.

I just have a stick it out a year- I don’t have to stay, I told myself. The school was smaller, and local (only 40 minutes from my home town). If I just stayed a year, I could reapply and transfer to my dream school- FIT. To my surprise, I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would. My freshman class of designers had 35 students (this was a huge number of designers!) It was eye opening that some of the students I met had never sewed before in their lives! I thought- how could you want to be a fashion designer and have never sewed before? Well I guess you have to start sometime! Other classmates I met, even went to a high school that offered fashion design! Now I was impressed- I only wished I would have had that available to me!

Now I couldn’t decide if I was ahead or behind? I was so confused. The whole point of going to college was to be taught. I left my interview at FIT (I knew I blew it the moment I walked out of that door) feeling totally disheartened and frustrated. All of the other applicants I spoke too seemed to be almost twice my age, and have degrees in other subjects. Should I have been this accomplished before even applying? I didn’t get it.

The discovery that changed everything was that my current local small college offered a double major program. This was a new opportunity that might not be available to me elsewhere. I was already enrolled at the college, on my way to one degree, but why not go for two? Many students who graduate with a fashion design degree walk across that stage thinking that they are the next Valentino or Dior, and often that isn’t the case; not by a long shot. Fashion Design students (regardless of which college) tend to get slammed back into reality of the real world of fashion; interning, production, management, international business, marketing etc. Its much more then I think most bargain for.

This double major for me was a game changer. What if I could get a degree in not only fashion design, but fashion merchandising and marketing? I could learn not only how to make clothing, but how to sell it to! This lit my fire! My goal was always to make a living doing what I love, and this opportunity was another way to get there. And if I decided to continue onto graduate school, my merchandising degree would open that door, should I ever choose to walk through it.

My life changed the moment I decided I would stay at Mount Ida and work to receive two degrees in four years! Yes that’s right, 2 degrees in 4 years. I made a plan, and with some luck and careful consideration, executed it. Now I was one of Mount Ida’s first ever double majors to graduate in the history of the college (graduating mind you, with over 230 credits ((the average major is about 125)) and I might add, with a 3.9 GPA (Suck it doubters!)

The double major was a huge factor but it wasn’t everything. I had truly found an amazing support system. I was far enough away from home that I felt I had true independence, but close enough that I was only a short car ride away.  The longer I stuck with fashion design, the fewer and fewer designers remained. Remember that I told you we started with 35? Well out of those 35, we graduated only 8! EIGHT! Including me! Fashion is one of those majors with huge drop out rates; once students realize the long studio classes and work involved after hours, it becomes too demanding and too much.

Fashion design is not like Project Runway, you don’t just get some money, go to Mood Fabrics, and whip up a nice dress in an hour. Its measurements, and fit, and mathematics, and entire world of fabrications and technology, etc. I could go on for hours! It takes hours upon hours of hard work, endless sleepless nights, seam rippers and yards upon yards of fabric, and dedication. And sometimes, you have to just make it again. It really is blood, sweat and tears; but those who persevere and have the tenacity to endure, will succeed.

I didn’t know it at the time, but it would be during my time at Mount Ida I would meet a professor who would become the gateway to my now full time job in fashion. If I had changed schools, I life would have ended up drastically different. I wouldn’t have the day job I have now, working in men’s big and tall fashion in international business, global sourcing and product development. And for sure I would not have two degrees like I do now. I wouldn’t have met the same people, networked and push my career forward in its current direction.

I also might not have had the confidence to do what I love, despite the world telling me that I wasn’t good enough. In the word’s of Jim Carey- during a graduation speech he gave..” the eyes are not only viewers, but they are projectors, and the title of that story is, I’ll never be enough”. The world will always be telling you why you can’t do, what you can’t have etc. You have to decide to not give a shit and do it anyway. Go ahead and doubt me, you just make me want it that much more.  And again in the word’s of Jim Cary.. “You can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love”.

I am not a believer in fate, only in choice; cause and effect. But sometimes what looks like a set back or a major disappointment is really one door closing and another opening. Its hard to see at the time in this moment, but trust in yourself and in the process. You will get where you need to be, it just might not have been the way you intended; and that’s OK. My first life lesson: Success is not a straight road.

Thanks so much for reading! Did you have a college experience that way similar? Did you overcome people telling you no? I would love to see you comment!

Want to check out what I am doing now? Sign up for my bi monthly newsletter and get all the details and updates! Sign up here! www.rose-riot.com

-A

 

The Business of Fashion: Visiting NYC!

No rest for the weary! Fashion is non stop- a 24/7, 365 job!- Which makes me love it and some times not love it! So I took a “vacation” day from my 9-5 and took the Amtrak train to NYC on the hunt for fabulous fabrics and to meet up with some fashion friends!

My train left at 6:25am.. which was a bit earlier then I am use to. I did not over sleep this time, I did in fact make the train with plenty of time to spare. However, being January I did slip on the ice that  I apparently parked on top of, and barely didn’t hurt myself. This is my life! Its the first time in a while I was able to see the sunrise. I took a selfie and the sun was shining at just the right angle. It was a cool picture.

Me sunshine
Amtrak From Boston to NYC

I visited the DG Expo and Première Vision in NYC! Whenever I travel to NYC it always feels like coming back- almost as if I never left. Boston is my home, but New York is my city. I got amped up listening to Taylor Swifts “Welcome to New York“- don’t judge me! I might LOVE rock and roll, but Tswift has a special place in my heart!

My first stop- Starbucks. Because duh!. 6:25am train doesn’t require coffee because you sleep most of the time. However, I had arrived and now was the time to put my game face on. Luckily right next to the Pennsylvania hotel is a Starbucks, so I didn’t have to go very far! I went right into the DG Expo.

What I love about the DG Expo is that it is set up with new and small designers/brands in mind. Most of the minimums are low, there is fabric, trims, and even a few USA factories. There are also a bunch of useful resources! One of my favorites is the Fashion Law Studio based out of NY and run by Katharyn and Nima. What is great about them is they knew their craft!- Both Fashion and Law, and they make it really easy to understand. Sometimes I know all the legal mumbo jumble can give me a headache! But they work with new designers and make it easy to understand. They say if you can make a dress, then you can understand fashion law. I highly suggest checking them out!

Another part of the Expo I really enjoy is the fabric shopping! There is every fabric you could think of and then some! I love seeing all the new prints and fabrics available. One of my favorite parts is seeing the new trims! Buttons, and zippers, and more!

Fabrics at DG

Then I met up with a friend of mine that I met in college. She is kicking ass and taking names in NYC! I am so proud of her! She is designing full time for a juniors company! I love meeting up in NYC and talking about our college days, sewing for hours on end in our studio! It was a great time! I miss college sometimes. If my college had a reunion I will go. I graduated with only 7 other people in my Fashion Design class! (Because its not as easy as TV shows like Project Runway make it out to be!) It felt like we were in college again, at the end of the day, when we swung by a Fabric shop and took home at least 100 swatches! I just love fabrics; seeing them, feeling them, your mind just starts to go crazy with ideas!

Fabric swatching is part of my development process. Sometimes the fabrics tell you what they want to be, and other times you are finding a fabric to fit already preconceived design.

I am currently working on a new jacket line specifically made and fit for the plus size woman. Check out my progress here and get in the know! www.rose-riot.com I am very excited because I found lots of fabric options for the new line! I can’t wait until the swatches come in the mail! Check out some of my other pictures from NYC here!

Then I went over to Pier 94 to Première Vision.  They had global manufacturers, leather, fabrics and accessories from all over the world. I am pretty such France was represented- as all I could here was French! And maybe a bit of Italian.

PV1

The trends were fun to see, and all the new fabrics and especially the prints! A fashion designer at the trade show is like a kid in a candy shop! I want it ALL! And as a business person my budget quietly reminds me, I am here to order swatches to start.. and then we will see. Another favorite part of attending these Expos and trade shows is meeting new people. I even met another plus size fashion designer! How cool is that? Its VERY cool, because true plus size fashion designers are far and few between, and we need to stick together!

After a quick trip to the fabric store, I was on my way back to Penn station! Time flies when your fabric sourcing! It will be another 6 months before the trade shows pop up again! But not to fret- there is still Tex World, and City Source coming up in the next few days!

NYC night.jpg

That’s the life of a fashion designer for ya! And then it was home to bed, ready to get back to my 9-5 this morning. It was a struggle, but I did it. You push through. You make it work because it means something to you, because you don’t have a choice. Your success or failure begins and ends with you. So I got my ass out of bed this morning.. dragging my feet, and went to my bread and butter job. I am not going to lie, the trade shows are the fun part, the exciting traveling, meeting new people, seeing new fabrics. But these are the things I look forward too, because all of a sudden, I was boarding the train.

Life happens to fast- don’t forget to enjoy it!

 

Stay classy and sassy!

-A

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

Fashion Friday!

HI again and welcome back!

This week I am beginning a series called “Fashion Friday’s” where I will be posting images of my outfit of the week! Friday is obviously the best day of the week- every other week its pay day! Who doesn’t love getting paid? I know I do!

Every Friday I will choose the best outfit I wore that week, and tell you all about it! Because let’s face it, I know I don’t have it all together every day of the week. I do try, but its just not my reality.

This outfit was actually made by me!- Amanda Koker! Yay! That’s my favorite part of being a fashion designer, its finally being able to make clothing in my size. During college all the samples that I made were usually between a size 4-8. Which was fine, I didn’t mind because I was learning, and I needed to start somewhere. But now that I have these skills, I want to be able to apply them to myself and to others!

me2

When I saw this fabric, I just fell in love! This fabric came out of NYC and it is the softest fabric in the world. Its Viscose Jersey and it drapes incredibly well. I had first made this garment for Boston Fashion Week! Its technically from the new Spring 2016 Line! I will be posting a video from that fashion show soon! Stay tuned for that post! I went ahead and made this version as I realized that not all women feel comfortable in a bodycon (hip hugging) dress.

Body Con dresses do look good on a lot of different women- below is a picture of my fabulous model Nina rocking it at the Boston Ice Loft! The Ice Loft was such a cool place to hold a fashion show and photoshoot! (More pictures to come from that! Stay Tuned!)

Photo: Dan Minicucci
Photo: Dan Minicucci

 

Both dresses are now available for sale! Check it out here! I also have a 25% off coupon going on right now! Use code: HOLIDAY25 at check out!

I must say this is one of my favorite dresses! It was so comfortable to wear all day, and it never clung. Its really gratifying to finally be able to wear the clothing I design. Fashion is for everyone, and now I finally feel more apart of it! Yay! Wishing you a very happy Fashion Friday!

Have a great weekend!

-Amanda

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

 

#AskLaneBryant- Valid Points Among the Bullshit..

Sometimes I find myself glued into social media, following twitter conversations or getting transfixed into my Facebook feed. I bet this happens to you too? I sit online and all of a sudden 2 hours have gone by and all I have done is read Facebook posts. Something about the internet just sucks you right in!

Well yesterday I stumbled upon #AskLaneBryant on Twitter, while updating my profile: Follow me here! It had not yet begun, it was to be a conversation between the public and Lane Bryant’s CMO. But it was evident that the conversation had already turned before it had begun! I understand we all want our voices to be heard, and as someone who works in the industry its always an interesting experience when receiving feedback or criticism. There are always “take aways”, things to learn from and to think about. However it quickly became a bitch fest.

Its always been interesting to me how bold people are when they have a screen to hide behind. Yes I know what your thinking? Aren’t I the same since this is a blog post? Sure you could say that, but I for one voice the same opinions, in person, to “your” face as much as I would write a blog post about my opinion. But your here reading it so I assume you are interested in an educated opinion.

I admit I did read through a lot of the tweets and some had valid points.

From “Ready to Stares” Alysse Dalessandro- who “Broke the Internet” with her recent release of a red dress that was not clinched at the waist line- a public show of rebellion that plus size women can wear what they want, and reminding us that an hour glass is not the only shape out there. Rock on girl!

askLB

Alysse called for campaigns with 22+ size models. I am all for this. The issue seems to be complex, as there seems to be a call from the consumer for more diversity in model selection- and some retailers seem to be making an effort. I myself (size 26/28) model the clothing in my shop, because I also feel and want to show multiple representations of what my clothing will look like. I understand that clothing always looks good on size 16, who is 5′ 10″, however I am 5; 5″ and usually a size 26.

Its nice to see what the clothing will actually look like on my body type as well. I think more women will benefit and relate. However, in Alysse’s case, when she herself modeled her red dress, that was not synched at the waist line, the internet exploded.  You can’t have it both ways. You either want to see people, models, designers of multiples sizes or you don’t. Its frustrating as a designer and a brand because there is this mixed message of- I want it, but I don’t. Decide People. For me, I am going to keep rocking my size 26 ass on my website (here!) Take it or leave it.

askLB1

Another interesting point of why LB doesn’t carry sizes above 26 in their stores. I do think that they offer up to size 28 online, and in some stores. What most people don’t realize is not all stores are equal. Stores are “graded” based on traffic, physical size and location. Based on this grade, determines the products they receive or don’t receive, this includes the sizes offered as well. A larger store- like the one in Braintree MA, I consider to be an “A” or “B” store, as it has a very large amount of square footage and seems to carry the most local assortment and variety of sizes. However, if I compare that to the Lane Bryant in Walpole Ma, there is a huge difference. Walpole has maybe 1/3 of the retail space, and much less of an assortment and size range. Don’t get me wrong, they carry all the sizes, but they will distribute the sizes in much smaller quantities, thus making getting a larger size more difficult, because there might only be 1 available in that location.

Now I want you to know that I never have worked for Lane Bryant in any capacity, however I do have a corporate day job at a plus size retailer, and I imagine the basics of retail are the same. So to L J Laubenheimer’s point- there just might not be those sizes, or many of those sizes available in local locations. Could this be fixed? Yes- but from a retail perspective it will depend also on the shopping patterns of that location. If certain sizes aren’t selling- or go on clearance, they most likely will not buy so many in the future. I didn’t say that they should buy this way- but it is business. Personally I had an experience at my day job where a store manager asked a executive at corporate for more product in their location. And what was awesome, was corporate listened, and shipped more product to that location. This gives me hope that things can change, and the retailers are listening.

askLB3The wonder Curves and Chaos- who I had the pleasure of meeting in NYC last year- also calls for more diversity. I also think this is a valid point. She points out not just size, but shape and ethnicity. I agree- I think the diversity is better then it has been in the past, but I would love to see models with apple shapes, models who are petite, etc. I personally would love to see a model who Is my size 26 as well. I think its smart because it helps the consumer relate and see what the brands clothing looks like on multiple body shapes. Don’t get me wrong, not everyone can be represented all at the same time from one brand. But that’s the beauty of fashion- its not one brands job to satisfy everyone. If it were, there would only be one brand. The point is to give consumers choices and options.

askLB4On a personal note- that’s me- Rose Riot– on twitter asking about smaller brand collaborations. Now don’t get me wrong, I am all for seeing Project Runways Christian Siriano produce a collection for Lane Bryant because he is crazy talented and I fell in love with his designs watching him on TV. However, brands like Lane Bryant have more power then I think they realize. As a start-up/small brand, its very difficult to get In front of consumers and a collaboration with a major game changer like Lane Bryant could be beneficial not only for a smaller brand but for the consumer. I see a lot of women commenting on wanting to see different styles at Lane Bryant. Whether its different fabrics, prints, etc. Style is taste is different for everyone and you can’t expect 1 retailer to please everyone, but a small brand collaboration would be one way to offer more variety and help catapult the next big plus size fashion designer/brand. I wouldn’t mind if Rose Riot was Lane Bryant’s guinea pig.

askLB2It was nice to see that Lane Bryant stayed classy in their response. Not for nothing, and I think people forget this while on the internet- there are people behind the screen. You are talking to people- whether is Lane Bryant or whoever, I think it might be nice to be kinder to each-other. Its easy to be an asshole over the internet or spew uninformed and uneducated opinion.. but remember your talking to a human being. Its one thing to voice your opinion but its certainly another to be nasty about it.

Lane Bryant, and all retailers- don’t own you anything. They aim to please and want you to feel valued and loved, as we should be, however they can’t be everything to everyone. If you don’t like it- go somewhere else. That’s the best part of freedom of choice. There are more choices then ever- there is no excuse. Do your homework and support the brands you care about and give you what you need.

Want to know what I am up to? A New Plus Size Jacket Line that will be ethically made in the USA.. Launching Fall 2016! Sign up and stay tuned!

That’s all for now. Stay Classy.

-Amanda

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

Jackets Jackets and More Jackets!

Hello Again!

I want to start out by saying I just LOVE the fall. It is by far, my favorite season of the entire year! Here in New England, I love seeing all the trees lose their leaves, and the leaves changing colors! Highway driving becomes pretty pleasant!

I must admit that I have an outwear problem; meaning I cannot get enough jackets and coats! I just love them! They are my favorite fashion item! And fall is the perfect time to start taking out those wonderful jackets!

One of my favorite jackets I had made when I first graduated from college- pictured below. And it is one of the best jackets that I have ever made. It got me thinking- I wish I had one in MY size! In college they teach you the how-to’s of fashion design and pattern drafting and draping, and typically you build your skills based on using a “standard” model size- usually sizes 2-6. Well I don’t know about you, but I have never been and never will be a size 6!

Black and White Leather Jacket

This is my constant frustration with the fashion industry. I feel like, even though the plus size fashion community has only continued to grow there is still so much more room for improvement.

So that is where I am going to begin. I will make this jacket in MY size, and rock the hell out of it. I am tired of being an after thought for major retailers, especially when it comes to outerwear. I still find myself thinking- I wish that was in MY size. Well No more of that nonsense! This time next year I am launching a full fledged outwear plus size fashion line.

I would love to know your struggles with finding the right jacket for you! What is your biggest complaint? I hate when I find jackets I love that don’t fit right, AND don’t have pockets! I mean really? What person who wears a jacket doesn’t want pockets! It seems crazy to me!

I want to feel funky, and fabulous too! I feel like we are lucky enough to get a rack or two, yet our more slender counterpart gets 20! Its craziness to me. I found myself looking for a new fall/winter coat to wear to my day job, something warm, well fitting and functional that had my kick ass style- and I came home empty handed. There is nothing more annoying then not being able to find what I am looking for! Its getting cold out, and I need a jacket! And I imagine all of my fabulous plus size friends out there need one too!

Keep your eyes pealed for my new jacket line next fall (2016!). It time that I take this problem head on and design the jackets that I have always dreamt of! After all I want a kick ass jacket too! I deserve to feel strong, fabulous (and warm!) and so do you! I can’t wait to show you want I am currently working on and developing!

I would love to hear your feedback! What are the top 3 things you look when shopping for a jacket/coat/outerwear. Please give me a comment below and I might just send you a coupon code for my Etsy Shop! (Shop Here!)

If you LOVE this jacket as much as I do- leave your email in a comment, and get on the mailing list- be the FIRST to know when this jacket will be available for Pre-Order! Woo! Or Sign Up for my mailing list here!  www.rose-riot.com

Thanks for reading!- Stay fabulous!-

-A

© Copyright Rose Riot 2016

 

The 1st Annual Boston Curvy Fashion Week 2015!

Woo! Welcome back to the fabulous blog of me and my ventures with ASK Fashion!

This past weekend was the very 1st annual Boston Curvy Fashion Week! Woo! I was sooo excited that my own home town had finally jumped onto the plus size fashion scene.

The Boston Curvy Fashion Week- was actually a weekend- and took place over 4 days; Thursday through Sunday. The first event was the Media and Press event that was held at UFORGE Gallery in Boston. It’s a small gallery that has local art work. It took me a few minutes to find it, and then find walking distance parking. Luckily I found a spot I could park where I didn’t have to pay. It was a beautiful night that night; not that I ended up walking far. (Basically through a Dunkin Donuts parking lot)

The event took place for a few hours that night. The team introduced themselves and gave an over view of the run of events that weekend. They even called on me to give a little speech about ASK Fashion; which was cool but totally unexpected. We mingled and had light snacks- they even had a Instagram board to take large selfies in. It was cool. See my picture below.

What is cool about these kind of events, is even though they are on the smaller attendance side- the people who you get to talk to are sometimes people you have been following for a while on the internet. Which is cool- I like being able to meet someone I have been following online for a long period of time. I’m like- OH OK now I know who you are! Which I like; sometimes we get caught up in this digital age that we forget the joys of actually spending time with people: in person, and not via computer screen.

The next day- Friday- was the Curvy Night Experience Party. This event had vendors- which you could see and do some shopping and have fun! This was at the Boston Common Hotel and Conference Center- right next to the Back Bay Train Station (Near Copley). This made my commute easy- AND the parking garage was literally right next to the hotel- and I mean like 20 steps from garage to hotel. I was glad I found that out the first next- as I was schlepping all of my vendor table set up with me that night. If I was only attending the event I probably would have taken the train- but I was a vendor and I did a runway show on Saturday- so taking my car to carry all of the garments, combat boots etc seemed like the best option.

The Curvy Night Experience went well! What I love about vendor events too is being able to display all of my garments for people to touch and see. Sometimes it’s about the feel of the fabric, and the look of when you try it on. It’s so hard to shop online it’s much easier to see for yourself what fabric feels like, how it drapes, what color it really is- first, before purchasing. Coming to the ASK Fashion Pop-Up shop is for sure the best way to try on all of my current fashion line.

However I do have an easy return policy; for those who can’t travel and need to purchase online! Don’t worry! I aim to please! But I do understand the need to shop in person as well. See below some of my garments I had for sale on my clothing rack. All are available here! If you read this far- use code BCFWeek15 for 15% off your purchase! Woo! Coupons! Who doesn’t love a coupon!

Speaking of- if your missed Boston Fashion Week and will be in the Baltimore MD area this coming weekend (July 31st-August 2nd) I will be at Curves Rock Weekend!! I will have another Pop-Up shop! Come on by and see me! I love taking pictures and getting feedback and talking to you! That again is one of the best parts of the events; is talking to people and really getting to know you! I love to hear your stories, opinions, shopping woes and hopes! It really helps me out; not only as a designer but as another plus size consumer. See below for the Curves Rock Flyer! Come by and see my table!

I even decided to get in front of the camera myself, and take photos of me (size 26) in my own line! I think more retailers need to shop more “Real” women in their clothing. The wonderful models who are 5’ 10” and a size 14/16 are fabulous- but sometimes it doesn’t help me out- a size 26 and 5’ 5” woman. I am all about real representation! If you’re in the Boston Area and would like to model for ASK Fashion- please send me an e-mail! I am ALWAYS looking for new models! Email me at askfashion90@gmail.com

The vendor event went well. I closed up shop a few minutes ahead of schedule; I was starving, and I had to get ready for the runway show Saturday morning! I did have the pleasure of meeting Dressing Room 8’s Natasha Nurse; who I got a bite to eat after the event Friday night! I love talking to people! I really do- I am a chatter box, I think sometimes I can’t stop talking!

Anyway- Saturday was the Curves are Coming Runway Show! This was held again at the Boston Common Hotel and Conference Center. Really easy to get to. All the models showed up ahead of time- getting their hair and make-up done. I brought all 11 pairs of combat boots! A few of my models brought their own kick ass combat boots- which went perfect with the collection! I re-showcased my fall/winter collection that was previously shown at Style Week North East. This collection was a darker color pallet, all about British Punk Rock and a Kick Ass attitude. The collection was entitled “We are Taking Over”; plus size fashion is here and we are taking over the industry. We are kicking ass and taking names and we are here to stay.

That’s truly how I feel. The standardized fashion industry can suck it. I have never been any less than a double digit my entire life, and though its now a little easier to find clothing- there is nothing really on the market that caters to me and what I want… AND that helps to support American Manufacturing. Fashion is a global business, but I feel it is vital and important to understand exactly where our clothing is coming from; who is making it, where is the fabric being woven, what the clothing history is. Being made in the USA is a very important and un-negotiable part of ASK Fashion. When you buy from ASK- you buy from me; a piece of my heart and soul that has been carefully cherished and nurtured from my head and heart through a transparent and sustainable supply chain. I don’t mean to sound preachy here- but it means a lot to me.

At the end of the day- you get what you pay for. ASK Fashion is an investment; it’s an acknowledgement that we need to help support American design and manufacturing, and that we are where our clothing comes from; and we look kick ass while we do it. It’s about investing in each other. ASK Fashion is quality garments made from the best fabrics. My clothing doesn’t cost $4, but it’s not going to fall apart the first time you wash it either. ASK is an investment- in our country and in ourselves (and in ME!) You won’t find anything else on the market like it. This is how I feel and what I and ASK Fashion stand for. Take it or leave it.

Sorry to get on a tangent- back to the showcase. I want to point out- this is solely from my (designer) perspective of the show, so I don’t have the full details of the events, as I was participating in the event, and not watching. The models did a good job kicking ass and taking names down the runway. My finale model Nina even strutted her stuff down the runway on the sprained ankle- now that’s dedication! Nina is a rockstar! We even had time to do impromptu photo shoots on the stairs, in the elevator and outside on their little patio.

The girls did great, and my song- “Prisoner of Society” by the Living Dead- I thought was appreciate, and it got everyone in the kick ass mood. It was very catchy. I am not going to lie- I totally listened to it on repeat on my drive home after the show. I just couldn’t get enough!

All in all the show went decently smoothly. There were a few acts in between each show case- (not sure what those were- as I was back stage getting my ladies ready).  For the first time putting on a series of events like this- I think they did a decent job. It’s a lot to take on, and its way more than it seems. I do think some improvements can be made- like more lighting on the runway- but again for the first run- it wasn’t bad at all.

Were you in the audience? I would love to know what you thought of the show? Did you attend any of the other events?

Leave a comment below- I would like to know what you think!

Thanks! Woo!-A

ASK Fashion Goes to Full Figured Fashion Week 2015!

I am SOO Excited to share with all of you that I will be heading back to NYC for Full Figured Fashion Week 2015! I am so VERY excited! This year is going to be better then ever! I have already made the hotel arrangements!

I cannot believe in only 46 days we will be back in NYC! Wow! Almost a year has gone by since we showcased last season in NYC with FFFweek.

I must say- I am VERY grateful to all the independent plus size design support that is out there! Especially thankful to Gwen Devoe- the master mind and kick ass creator behind FFFweek- for not only providing this amazing event, opportunity and audience, but for taking a chance on me and my small company.

Our Indie Designer showcase takes place on Friday June 19th in NYC. We will also have a vendor table at the Celebration of Women event- which also takes place in 6/19. Don’t miss out! We will have our entire Spring 15 line available for sale!

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I am so very excited to be returning to NYC this summer! Boston is my home, but NYC is my city! I just love going into the fashion district and feeling like I am home.

I just know the events that Gwen Devoe is going to have are going to be bigger and better than ever! I cannot wait.

The famous white boat cruise is probably one of my favorite events. Of course I will be sporting an ASK FASHION White Dress- soon to be available for sale! Stay tuned! Last summer I also wore my pink converses to this white cruise- my feet were in such bad shape that day. BUT it was funny, that Gwen had also worn her converses too! That made me feel better. (I wasn’t the only one, not wearing high heels)

My other favorite events are also the showcases of course! I just love seeing all the new fashion! Its so cool and interesting how each designer truly has their own voice- I love it! Everything is so different and that is what makes it so great!

I also LOVE all the models! The casting team does an amazing job choosing these girls! They are the best! They are truly professional and so easy to work with! It really makes my job easier as a designer- when I have the best team to work with, and I am so happy and grateful that I am provided with a truly kick ass team! Couldn’t ask for better!

Stay tuned for more! Only 46 days until FFFweek Begins! I hope to see you there! Have you ever been? What fashion shows have you attended and/or wanted to attend? What did you think? I would love to know!

-ASK!

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