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  • Meet The Maker: FashioNXT's UpNXT's Designer Corazon; Merging Fashion with Purpose

    Welcome to this week's Meet-the-Maker feature, where we take you behind the scenes of the renowned FashioNXT fashion week held in Portland, Oregon. 2023 marks its 10th anniversary so be sure to check out the schedule and how to get tickets. Meet Corazon, Founder and Designer of Corazon Co. This week's Meet-the-Maker features Corazon who was one of the UpNXT emerging designers who was chosen to compete at the last year's FashioNXT fashion week. At the event, Inside Fashion Design's Founder Britta Cabanos got a sneak peek of the collection backstage at FashioNXT. The FTGF collection hit the runway, and we were excited to see what's in store for us backstage! Corazon is one of Portland, Oregon's rising stars in the fashion industry. She is known for her top-to-bottom garments with unique designs using sustainable materials. Her streetwear brand, Corazon Co., is all about creating stylish and eco-friendly fashion. A Quick Look at the FTGF Collection The FTGF Collection, "Fashion That Gives a F*ck™" is about merging fashion with a purpose. It features a complete range of hats, hoodie tops, windbreakers, shorts, totes, backpacks, and shoes. The pieces are designed to be versatile and comfortable, focusing on sustainability- wearability, and functionality. Backstage at FashioNXT 2022 On the Runway at FashioNXT 2022 Sustainability and Ethical Practices at Corazon Co. At Corazon Co, sustainability and ethical practices are at the forefront of everything they do. Corazon believes that fashion should be a force for good, and she is committed to reducing waste using eco-friendly materials. Corazon Co's commitment to sustainability is evident in every aspect of the business, from the materials used to the production process. By prioritizing sustainability and ethical practices, Corazon Co. stands up for best practices when creating each piece in the collection. They have partnered with a reliable network of sustainable suppliers, that have in-house experts who craft every handmade product. They use a made-to-order business model that allows them to operate in a safe ethical manner that has minimal environmental impact. Corazon Values "All products are handmade to order and crafted with high-quality, ethically sourced materials. My preferred suppliers provide ECO PASSPORT by OEKO-TEX© certified ink and STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX© certified material as well as certifications from SGS Printing, and FSC packaging made from 100% recycled materials." Corazon Learn more about FashioNXT here: Interested in showing on the runway? Put in your application here. Are you an emerging designer planning to launch your collection? Check out FashioNXTs emerging designer accelerator where you get industry mentors and professionals to make it all happen! Learn more here Thanks for checking out our maker's stories- Do you know a maker to be featured? Let us know! Know someone who would like this article? Please share! Want to find a supportive fashion design community? We invite you to join us! Visit: to see what we are all about!

  • What is Conscious Clothing? Behind-the-Scenes At FashioNXT with Koryphae

    ifd was behind the scenes at FashioNXT's 2023 Ready-to-Wear runway event and got to chat with the designers backstage. In this behind-the-scenes, at FashioNXT we chat with the Designer of Koryphae; Daniela Caine. Behind the Scenes at FashioNXT with Koryphae Looks from the Koryphae Collection at FashioNXT As consumers become increasingly aware of the impact of fast fashion on the environment and human rights, the need for sustainable and ethical clothing has become more important than ever. That's why we at Inside Fashion Design are excited to feature Daniela Caine in our Meet the Makers series. Daniela is the Founder, and Designer of Koryphae, a sustainable clothing brand produced with humane working conditions. Discovering the Intersection of Science, Spirituality, and Fashion At the intersection of science, spirituality, and fashion lies Koryphae's high-vibrational clothing for gracious women. Daniela's designs are based on a scientific research study that explores how clothing can affect our energy and well-being. By incorporating sustainable materials and ethical production practices, Daniela has created a line of clothing that not only looks good but also feels good. Ethical Production and Artisan Communities in India Koryphae's capsule is made from linen, a sustainable and eco-friendly fabric. What sets Koryphae apart is that the linen is made on hand looms in artisan communities in India, where the entire family is involved in the creation process. This means that each piece is made with care and attention to detail, using traditional techniques that have been passed down through generations. The production process also provides economic opportunities for these communities, helping to preserve their cultural heritage. Empowering Women & Artisans across the Globe. In addition to linen, Daniela introduced hand-loomed denim, also made in India, to her line. This commitment to sustainable and ethical production practices is at the core of Koryphae's mission to create clothing that is not only beautiful but also has a positive impact on the world. And that's not all! Daniela also is an ifd Coach & workshop leader. She led us through an online workshop discussing the 4 Life Cycles of a Garment and Their Effects on People & Planet: A Lesson In Conscious Fashion. Watch the replay and learn what you can consider bringing consciousness into your design or consumer habits. A free downloadable PDF is also available to keep as a handy reference and reminder In conclusion, we at Inside Fashion Design believe that sustainable and ethical clothing is the way of the future. By supporting brands like Koryphae, we can make a positive impact on the environment and on the lives of those who produce our clothing. We hope you enjoyed behind-the-scenes with Daniela Caine and that it inspires you to make more conscious choices in your fashion purchases. Did you know we have a Youtube channel? We call it ifd TV! Check it out- we are continually adding our Meet-The-Makers features, free online learning, and recordings of our events. Visit to see what's in store for you Thanks for checking out our maker's stories- Do you know a maker to be featured? Let us know! Know someone who would like this article? Please share! Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date, and more connections and opportunities, check out our online community ifd Connect. A free platform with design tools, resources, and a network of conscious fashion design pros & enthusiasts! This post may contain affiliate links. I’m careful to link to products and retailers that I use myself and recommend. Money earned keeps Inside Fashion Design running and allows me to do what I love for a living and keep providing valuable content for you. Thank you for your support.

  • The 4 Life Cycles of a Garment and Their Effects on People & Planet: A Lesson In Conscious Fashion

    In Conscious Fashion Design There are four distinct life cycles of a garment to consider: Textile Production Garment Manufacturing Customer care Landfill Each has effects on the environment and humanity. So how can we as designers and industry professionals incorporate more informed and conscious decisions at each touch point within the lifecycle of a garment to create Conscious fashion? View our online workshop, "Bringing Consciousness into Fashion" led by Daniela Caine, Designer & industry pro. She walks us through the lifecycles of a garment, and how to look at the big picture. This is essential to gain an understanding of the process and the effects it has on people and the planet. Looking at the lifecycle in its entirety, she will share practical ways to increase your ability to help steer the industry into more conscious patterns. Workshop Take-Aways: Understand the bigger picture based on current industry and consumption statistics. Learn to design with the end In mind Understand the impact of each garment life cycle Empower the ability to make wholistic design choices Take a peek at the replay of this class and check out our listing of other online learning opportunities to gain knowledge of Conscious and Ethical fashion. Become part of the conversation & connect with us directly through our online live sessions and Community Conversations. Meet our industry pros, ask questions, and level up your knowledge and connections to make an impact on the work you do. Included in this workshop is a takeaway PDF document. Daniela Caine is a designer, breathwork facilitator, and core energy coach with a mission to increase consciousness and empower women and artisans across the globe. She's a veteran of the global apparel industry having worked for such brands as Nike, Adidas, and Pendleton and she's the founder of Koryphae - a high vibrational clothing line for conscious women where she collaborates with global artisans, makers, and ethical production houses. She believes that what we wear is not just a reflection of who we are, it's an extension of our energy field. As such it is in our best interest to wear Love not suffering. This workshop is FREE for IFD Connect members. To learn more about membership and benefits, visit us here Visit Koryphae

  • What are Your Guiding Forces for Design Excellence?

    "Here's how I see it. These aren't your typical 'Design Principles', but nevertheless guiding forces to design excellence, whether you know it or not". Lee Calderon Greetings, Fashion Fans! In this exciting blog post, we have the pleasure of featuring the extraordinary Lee Calderon, a Creative Director, Art Director, Designer, and Illustrator extraordinaire and his thoughts on design excellence Lee's work is a captivating blend of vibrancy and energy that instantly uplifts the spirits. Just a glimpse through his website is enough to put anyone in a good mood! I deeply connect with Lee's unique style, as it resonates with my past swimwear designs. Many of the successful prints share similarities with his work, featuring dynamic movement, vibrant colors, and striking graphic motifs. That's why I'm incredibly eager to delve into Lee's creative process, explore what inspires him, and gain insights into his unique perspective on design principles. Join me as we embark on a fascinating journey with Lee Calderon in discovering "The OTHER Design Principles." Welcome to the world of drama, layers, intent, vibe, and finding the "God" in your design! 'The OTHER Design Principles'. By Lee: DRAMA: Creating moments for the right moment LAYERS: One thing leads to another INTENT: Kiss me like you mean it VIBE: Make me feel something GOD: What's the 'God' in your design? Lee says: There’s nothing I love more than bringing places, spaces, products, and brands to life with my bold, vibrant, layered art. My art is design-driven with the intent to bring joy and a sense of style to a surface or space, celebrating a particular world. Whether the focus is on creating abstract designs or engaging narrative landscapes, my work typically consists of modern shapes, movement, striking colors, layers, symbols, patterns, and unbridled joy — all brought together to bring visual drama to surfaces, tell a story or enhance an experience with design. Artwork from Lee Calderon Over the years, I have worked as a Creative Director, Art Director, Designer, Illustrator, and, even briefly, as an Architect — gaining well-rounded experience and insight regarding concepts, brand narratives, art direction, spaces, built environments, products, print and digital considerations in various market segments. I studied architecture, graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cal Poly Pomona in California. Inevitably, my innate curiosity led me to the world of art and design, where I graduated from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA. Looking back, my work is a testament to how I see the world and my passion for integrating art, design, and the human experience. I guess you can say that I’ve always been a bit of a daydreaming visual guy. In fact, I recall growing up constantly hearing my mother snap her fingers in front of my face and say, ‘You’re on the moon again.’ Drawing from my love and background in art, design, and architecture, I enjoy setting a vision and creating art for: Placemaking Projects Public Art Mixed-use Developments Retail Spaces Restaurants Hospitality + Resorts Higher Education Science + Technology Market Healthcare Facilities Corporate Spaces Branded Environments Brands Textile Designs Window Displays Products Packaging Art Licensing Artwork applications by Lee Calderon To meet and chat with Lee, attend our free Community Conversation on June 8th, 10:00 AM PDT. Free and open to all. Learn about Design Excellence and using the "other" design principles in your work How do you stay relevant in today's apparel industry? Whether an early-stage workers or a seasoned pro, we all need tools to stay relevant in this fast-paced industry. Join IFD Connect to gain access to community support and resources to bring you up to speed, and brush up on your skills and knowledge so that you be relevant in today's fashion world Like this article? Please share. Know someone who loves fashion and would enjoy connecting? Please invite them! Thanks for reading today! We appreciate you!

  • Creating Beauty From Waste with Parisian Designer Moïra Cristescu Paris.

    Republished June 1, 2023 Designer Moïra Cristescu came up in great fashion houses like Proenza Schouler and Narciso Rodriguez in New York, Kenzo and Jean Charles de Castelbajac in Paris, and George Wu in Australia. When she joined Karl Lagerfeld on his namesake brand, she worked closely with him for a decade on the first line and VIP dressing. Following her passion for upcycling, these days Cristescu focuses on creating beauty from waste with sustainable made-to-measure looks with her namesake brand Moïra Cristescu Paris. Creating beauty from waste, Cristescu sees herself as part of the solution, not the problem, in an excess-driven industry that significantly contributes to waste and pollution. We spoke with Cristescu about her fashion experience, her custom designs, and her take on what the fashion industry might look like after COVID-19. You went to college at Central Saint Martins in London. What drew you there? Quite simply, Central Saint Martins was the dream! Alexander Mc Queen, Stella McCartney (the first designer to push for sustainability) and, recently at the time, Christopher Kane graduated from it. Being part of it meant a real possibility to make it in this industry. I loved the spirit of St. Martins. All tutors were successful professionals outside the school, which was very helpful and inspiring. For instance, my main tutor was the wonderful artist Howard Tangye. I appreciated that the school was trusting us: we were working very independently after we got the brief of a project. Design-wise we were guided throughout each project by catching-up meetings with tutors. We also could get technical advice anytime from experienced pattern-cutters working in the studio. Which made our creative process very efficient. And the final crit was in front of the whole class which was excellent training for future work presentations. Don’t get me wrong, it was hard! The rhythm was intensive, but we got to do a bit of everything: focusing alternately on shape, print, illustration, color, tailoring… The balance of the program was just perfect for me to thrive. Photos by Mathilde Calhiol What are some highlights from your studies? My main highlight would be the Press show, which is a catwalk show organized to broadcast only a small selection of students from all the different pathways to the press. I was in the Womenswear pathway, but you also have Print, Knitwear, Menswear, Marketing… For any student, being chosen to participate is a consecration and a chance to get noticed, either to integrate a Fashion house or to start your brand. My final collection relied on deception: the outfits created the impression that the body was in a different position than the model was. It was crazy and amazing to create without boundaries, far from all the commercial constraints we would experience in our careers. I loved the final year, despite the stress! Especially when we were in the draping stage: all students worked in the same room, sharing pattern-cutting tables and building all of our final collections side by side. We constantly gave one another advice and reassurance, we were working super hard but with a healthy emulation, pushing everybody to the best they could achieve. What are your words of advice for aspiring designers? “You have to be truly committed. These are very demanding jobs, long hours, and even when you are not working, you kind of are visiting exhibitions, sketching ideas, noticing details on people’s clothing… but if it is your vocation, then really go for it, it is such a rewarding job! What was your work experience like before your time at Karl Lagerfeld? I was interested in getting different insights, so I integrated a few Fashion houses: Kenzo, Narciso Rodriguez, Karl Lagerfeld, Proenza Schouler, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, and George Wu. I have found a lot of kindness from amazing people. I have perfected technical skills from incredible “premières mains” (highly skilled seamstresses), heads of ateliers, and even an artistic director who enjoyed sharing their expertise. I have been entrusted with key projects while still junior which made me grow. I have met so many talents and it was a privilege to work beside them. I enjoyed challenges, like the first time I designed a dress for the Met Ball. Excitement, bliss, stress… all mixed! The pressure is high dressing celebrities, but that feeling when you see them wearing your work is indescribable. I don’t think I will ever get tired of it. I also experienced hardships: shipping delays right before an event, artistic differences, fitting problems… But you learn so much more from them! Difficulties test your creativity, your resilience, and your ability to bounce back. And sometimes your limits, which can be a good thing, as it is crucial to be respected. I’ve had the best and the worst, but I don’t regret any, they all made me the person, professionally and personally, that I am now. What was it like working with Karl Lagerfeld? I worked directly with Karl Lagerfeld for the better part of a decade, it was an incredible opportunity. He was very kind and funny, I know this is not the first impression which comes to mind with his strict look, but it is true! He was constantly making jokes and puns, he always had a nice word for everybody, including interns. His Fashion house had a very family-like atmosphere, with most people working there for a long time, some for several decades. People were very faithful to him. He was also demanding but it challenged me and trained me to be inventive, efficient, and precise. What I appreciated the most was his down-to-earthness. We would do everything in our power to meet his vision but if something was not possible, he would understand it. I think his trust in his team brought out the best in all of us. What drives the theme of each season/collection? Karl Lagerfeld’s culture seemed endless and he was constantly bringing us books from his impressive collection, beautiful original clothing from the twenties, or even objects. You wouldn’t believe the crazy jewels we would lend us! Inspiration would also come from the spirit of the moment, the recent exhibitions we had seen as a team, or shows and films that had inspired us independently and would come together to build a theme. What is your design process like? My label is based on the principle of upcycling and reusing discarded materials, in my case mainly from fashion houses’ stocks. My customer and I choose a material, often an embroidery sample, and I start from there. I adjust a mannequin to my customer’s measurements and I drape directly on it to build a unique piece. I adapt the design to the materials I have: for the Hydaspe dress, for example, I had decided on the length I wanted for the dress but the zipper I was using was too long, so I added a collar to match it. It is a different approach, as I don’t draw a sketch and then choose the materials, but start from the materials to elaborate the design. In a slow fashion spirit, I create new pieces regularly, to integrate two ongoing lines, instead of accumulating 2 to 4 successive collections a year. They are systematically shot to integrate my lookbook and provide more ideas to my customers. My design is strongly inspired by the imagery of Greek mythology, its representation in painting, sculpture, and literature is just an endless source of amazement. But this background is always mixed with contemporary inspirations: current exhibitions, street artists, theater plays, films, and music I am listening to. The fact that I have always been fascinated by the destinies of powerful goddesses and strong-minded nymphs, is quite fitting as I aspire to bring forward the strength in women, I wish that putting on my creations gives them a feeling of confidence, I want them to feel like empowered amazons. Most of my designs are named after strong mythological figures. What are your specific responsibilities? I am working on the whole process: research, sourcing, design, sewing, and illustrating. The moment when a pile of lifeless left-over materials starts being sculpted into a piece is very rewarding, creating beauty from waste. But what I prefer is when artists wear my designs on stage. Seeing my outfits brought to life, empowering the artist, is the best feeling I know. What advice would you give a younger professional in the workforce? To land a job, it takes talent, hard work, timing, network, and a bit of luck! And of course perseverance… Being versatile (as comfortable with sketching, draping, sewing, and Adobe software…) is always a plus, and so is speaking more than one language. To design high-end products, you must always keep yourself updated and develop an eye for details: regularly visit luxury boutiques, and check the finishing. Does sustainability have a role in your work? I continuously tried to push for more sustainability while working in Fashion houses, especially in sourcing, as fabric production is a massive cause of pollution. The use of paper is terrifying too, pages are printed by the package, almost always one-sided. Most designers launching their label in the past years do consider ecology, and I have the feeling most students graduating now also, with many fashion courses adding this issue to their program. This concern from the brands then extends to their partners: more and more fabric mills are producing from recycled fibers or doing organic cotton, and fabric fairs like Premiere Vision or Milano Unica have started to communicate sustainability by promoting them. Fabric mills really work on their traceability, when less than ten years ago, it was secretive. More and more professionals in our industry are taking action and I have high hopes for a substantial change in this department. We all have our responsibility in this – both fashion professionals and customers – and need to keep pushing for more sustainability! How do you think COVID-19 will impact the future of design? The COVID crisis questions our production modes. Fashion is a powerful industry in France, but what good does it do if it can’t even produce enough masks for the population? Most fashion companies produce overseas, even luxury ones which benefit from the image of the “savoir-faire français.” I now hope they will bring back some production home. Also, boutiques are currently sitting on a massive stock since all shops have been closed for almost two months. They will probably never be able to sell it because the consumers’ budgets will also suffer. I think this crisis will spotlight the excesses of our industry and hopefully will lead to a more sensible system. We want to congratulate Moira for being selected as a finalist in the Monte-Carlo Fashion Week Sustainability contest. Here she is explaining her process (in French!) To learn more or to contact Moira, visit her website at: Central St. Martins College Moira, thank you for sharing your career journey and inspiring sustainability in high fashion, and thank you to our readers for stopping by today!! Stay Safe, Be well, and Keep on Keeping on! To learn more about the Inside Fashion Design Community, visit www.insider.insidefashiondesign.comFree and open to all who are interested in the Sustainable, Ethical Fashion Industry

  • What Are the Main Elements and Principles in Sucessfull Fashion Designs?

    Design Principles; What exactly are they and how do we use them to bring our ideas to life? In every design endeavor, whether it's fashion, graphic design, architecture, or product design, certain principles serve as the backbone of a successful creation. These principles, such as proportion, balance, emphasis, unity, contrast, rhythm, harmony, scale, functionality, and individuality, guide designers in crafting captivating and harmonious compositions. They form the essential toolkit that ensures a visually pleasing and effective design, regardless of the medium or purpose. Today we will cover 2 sets of Design Principles, the foundational, and specific to principles of fashion design In addition to the below, Artist Lee Calderons the "OTHER Design Principles" are being discussed during our next Community Conversation, Thursday, June 8th, at 10:00 AM PDT. Free and open to all. Create a profile with the link below and RSVP to the EVENT to attend. DRAMA: Creating moments for the right moment LAYERS: One thing leads to another INTENT: Kiss me like you mean it VIBE: Make me feel something GOD: What's the 'God' in your design?.... Can't wait to hear what Lee's thoughts on this are!! First, to learn more about principles of design, let's explore Foundational Principles of Design that transcend boundaries and unlock the potential for extraordinary design in any field. It is important to understand this concept and will help you think and view objects in a new way. 1o Foundational Principles of Design 1. Proportion: Proportion refers to the relationship between different elements in a design. It involves balancing the size, scale, and placement of various components, such as garments, accessories, and patterns, to create a visually appealing and harmonious look. 2. Balance: Balance is about distributing visual weight evenly within a design. A designer can achieve this through symmetrical or asymmetrical arrangements of elements. Balancing different colors, textures, and shapes helps create a sense of harmony and stability in fashion design. 3. Emphasis: Emphasis highlights a focal point or a specific area of interest in a design. It can be achieved through bold colors, unique patterns, or eye-catching details. Emphasis draws attention and adds visual appeal to the overall composition. 4. Unity: Unity refers to the coherence and consistency within a design. It creates a sense of harmony and visual connection between elements, such as color schemes, patterns, and fabric choices. Unity helps to establish a cohesive and well-integrated look. 5. Contrast: Contrast involves juxtaposing different elements to create visual interest and impact. This can be achieved through contrasting colors, textures, or shapes. Contrast adds dynamism and depth to a fashion design, making it visually compelling. 6. Rhythm: Rhythm refers to the repetition or variation of elements to create a sense of movement and flow. Achieve this by repeating patterns, shapes, or motifs. Rhythm adds a dynamic quality to fashion designs, guiding the viewer's eye across the composition. 7. Harmony: Harmony involves combining different elements in a way that is pleasing to the eye. It encompasses the overall aesthetic coherence and balance of a design. Harmonious fashion designs often feature complementary colors, complementary or coordinating patterns, and cohesive styling. 8. Scale: Scale deals with the relative size and proportion of different elements in a design. It involves selecting appropriate sizes and proportions for garments, accessories, and other design elements to ensure they are visually balanced and proportionate to the overall composition. 9. Functionality: Functionality focuses on the practical aspects of fashion design. It involves considering a garment's intended use and purpose, ensuring it provides comfort, ease of movement, and proper functionality while maintaining a stylish aesthetic. 10. Individuality: Individuality emphasizes expressing personal style and uniqueness in fashion design. It encourages designers to create distinct and original designs that reflect their creative vision and cater to the wearer's individuality. 6 Principles of Design For Successful Fashion Designs So What are Design Principles specifically for Fashion Design? Fashion design is a dynamic world where the elements of design serve as the foundation for creating stunning garments. Historically designers skillfully utilize these elements to craft their designs and bring them to life. Behind every successful fashion piece & collection lies a strong foundation built upon these main principles of design. From proportion and balance to emphasis and unity, these principles guide designers in creating visually striking and harmonious compositions. Let's explore each design element and how they come alive in fashion. 1. Line: Lines in fashion design define a garment's overall structure and silhouette. They guide the eye and create visual pathways, whether through the clean lines of a tailored suit or the flowing lines of a maxi dress. Lines can be evident in seam placements, trims, fabric patterns, and prints. 2. Space: Space in fashion design refers to how the fabric interacts with the body and occupies physical space. It involves strategically placing and arranging design elements to create a balanced and visually pleasing composition. From a voluminous ball gown to a sleek, minimalist ensemble, space impacts a design's overall look and feel. 3. Shape: Shapes are the building blocks of fashion design, defining the contours and silhouettes of garments. Shapes are crucial in creating unique and recognizable structures, whether fitted sheath dresses, A-line skirts, or boxy oversized jackets. They can be emphasized through pattern cutting, draping techniques, or choosing fabrics. 4. Form: Form brings depth and dimension to fashion design, transforming two-dimensional fabrics into three-dimensional pieces. It involves the construction techniques used to shape garments, such as pleating, gathering, or boning. Form adds structure, volume, and movement, creating visually captivating designs. 5. Texture: Texture in fashion design adds tactile and visual interest to garments. It can be achieved by choosing fabrics such as soft velvet, textured lace, or embellished surfaces. Texture creates depth and richness, enhancing the overall sensory experience and adding a unique touch to the design. 6. Color: Color is a vibrant language in fashion design, evoking emotions and setting the mood. Color choices play a significant role in expressing the aesthetic and message of a garment. From bold, attention-grabbing hues to subtle, understated tones, color creates impact, enhancing the visual appeal and telling a story through the design. By harnessing the power of these elements, fashion designers weave together their creative vision, crafting visually beautiful and wearable garments of art. Understanding how lines, space, shape, form, texture, and color interact allows designers to bring their unique ideas to life and create unforgettable fashion moments. Remember, these principles are not strict rules but guidelines that can be applied and interpreted in various ways to create innovative and compelling fashion designs. How will you apply these to your next creation? At a minimum, these principles are a good reference point to have in your "Design Tool Box" for reviewing your work. If something is off or just isn't working right, look back and these and notice where you could make some adjustments to achieve these. To learn more about Irish Designer Helen Cody, visit here To learn more about Parisian Designer Moira Christescu visit here Click here for a downloadable PDF to keep handy I hope you found this article helpful! Do you have your own Design Principles and how do you incorporate them into your work? Let us know in the comments! Like this article? Please share! We appreciate you as we continue to evolve and provide value with our content and community! Looking for a place to connect with other like-minded industry humans? Check out our free online community- open and welcome to all! Need help with your Design work? Shoot me a note! Call/Text: 971-533-6269 With much Love & Appreciation. Peace, Love & Happy Conscious Creating! Britta Cabanos, Founder Inside Fashion Design

  • The Life & Design Journey of Irish Couture Designer Helen Cody

    Reposted June 1, 2023 Dear Friends, we are thrilled to feature our Designer Spotlight Irish Couture Designer Helen Cody. Helen is a proud Irish woman and an even more proud cancer survivor. While going through treatment, she reached out to ARC Cancer Support Center, which gave her the coping skills to get through the very emotional, physical, and mental challenges she faced. Below, learn about why she became an ambassador for ARC Cancer Support Center, her involvement in their annual fashion show, and how she is filled with gratitude! From Helen: Did you know that March is by far the most popular time of year for proposals and engagements? Whether you are just engaged or simply doing your research my studio is the perfect place to find your dream dress. As everything is made in my Harold Cross studio the lead times are shorter. We like to collaborate with every bride to make sure all her wedding dress dreams come true 👰🏼we are taking appointments now for our 2020 brides DM for appointments or email . I was considering this dress from my collection for my own wedding last year ❤️ "My cancer diagnosis affected every aspect of my life. My work, my physicality, my home life, my plans. First, there was debilitating fear, the word Cancer is such a frightening word. One I didn't think I would come back from. Then there was the enormity of the surgery. Losing my breasts affected the core of my femininity. Losing my hair became a much bigger loss than I had mentally prepared myself for. Ironically I coped much better with the physical changes than the mental and emotional ones. The biggest loss was any sense of control, I had to let go, fall into the system, and trust that it would fix me and bring me back to normality. I had been aware of ARC''s existence for many years but became particularly aware of their work through the annual ARC fashion show, in which I have taken part, along with many other Irish fashion designers. During my chemotherapy, I became so unwell in every sense. I was so weak from the drugs that I went to my Oncologist after the 4th round and told her I simply couldn't go on. I wanted to quit, not something I do easily. She immediately suggested counseling at ARC for both myself and my husband. I don't know why I hadn't thought of it myself, maybe because I thought that was for other people, preferring to cope privately, but miserably failing. Through several sessions I was given the tools to cope, to separate myself from what the drugs were doing, and to rationalize that this wasn't me, but the drugs affecting me. My husband also got counseling, finding a place where he could express himself openly and feel very safe in doing so. I also found reflexology very calming and helpful. I decided during my treatment that I couldn't go through what I'd been through, experiencing so much love, care, and kindness from so many people, without finding a way to say thank you. The enormous gratitude I feel for the ARC team for the help they gave me at a time when I've never felt more vulnerable, made me want to support them, and in so doing, know that I would be helping others going through cancer. I am very proud to be a brand ambassador for ARC." (from the ARC Cancer Support Center website) Helen Cody, Photo from ARC Cancer Support Center Helen's experience in the world of fashion spans almost 3 decades. Graduating in fashion and textiles from NCAD and then moving to Paris to work for French Vogue and Azzedine Alaia, she developed her skills as a leading stylist for fashion magazines, music videos, TV Commercials, and Celebrities." (ARC Cancer Support Center website) We spoke with Couture Dress Designer Helen Cody about her journey to the top of the design world, and the pivots and challenges she faced along the way. Read on for her words of advice to young designers, as well as her unique career experience! After studying fashion and textiles in Ireland, Cody initially worked as a stylist for celebrities, fashion magazines, music videos, and commercials. Her work took her to London, Paris and New York before she returned home. Now she works in her Dublin studio, specializing in unique or limited edition pieces that often take months to create and use the finest silks, organzas, cashmere and lace. You studied at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD) in Dublin. Tell us about your studies there and how your education prepared you for the industry. I was so naive entering NCAD. I had always been good at art and home economics in school, but nothing prepared me for the incredibly competitive and overwhelming environment of Ireland National College. There was a rumor going around that there was a clerical error student in 1st year and I spent the entire first year thinking that it was me! College was a bubble and didn’t prepare me in any structured way for industry, but what it did do was stretch my mind to creative possibilities. The Fashion Department was a very competitive environment—with the likes of Philip Treacy and Darryl K in my class we were always vying off each other and constantly raising the bar. I look back now and really value my time in NCAD. What was your design career path after graduation? I left college determined to make it as a stylist: a career path very unfamiliar to most back in the late 80s. I was lucky enough to win a scholarship to French Vogue in Paris straight out of college and so landed in the middle of the fashion capital of the world at 21. It was an incredible introduction to how things should be done. While in Paris, I also interned with Azzedine Alaia, an experience I will never forget. At French Vogue, I was a styling assistant in the fashion editorial dept. In Azzedine’s, I sat with Olivier Picasso (yes, his grandson) doing everything from picking up pins to drilling holes in tiny shells for hours so that they could be beaded into his twine-like knits. I returned to Ireland and developed my career as one of the leading stylists for fashion, commercial, and editorial shoots, building up a strong portfolio which after 8 years got me an agent in New York, Bryan Bantry. I spent 2 years living in NYC while all the time creating my own work and selling it in the Union Square Craft Market. Ireland called again and I came home in 2000 and set up my own label. It went from strength to strength, winning me various awards and ultimately creating a diffusion line that sold 40 stores in its 4th season. Tragedy overtook when my baby son died, and couldn’t continue. Eventually, I retreated back into the anonymous world of tv commercial styling. The draw to create and honor my son was such that in 2006 I launched my couture line in his honor, I have been working as a couturier ever since. Helen Cody It’s so impactful to know you work in honor of your son. You most recently were challenged with breast cancer. How did your health and recovery affect your work? My diagnosis of bilateral breast cancer in January 2018 was, as you can imagine, life-crushing. As I caught up with the devastating news which seemed to get worse as the weeks passed, I employed several people and also had a shop in the center of Dublin. Due to the nature of my work and how personal it is, I had no choice but to close my shop, but, determined to keep the studio going, I managed to juggle treatment and appointments on the good days. I never stopped working. I’m so grateful to my staff for keeping me going in very uncertain times and to my clients who came and supported me knowing I was unwell. Did working as a stylist better help you prepare to have your own line and business? My formative years were styling. I’ve worked with so many international brands from The Foo Fighters to Harvey Keitel, Eric Cantona, The Corrs, The Cranberries, Anton Corbijn, Perry Ogden, and the then President Mary McAleese. You have worked in London, Paris, and New York — How was your experience working internationally? Do you have favorite city, other than home? My biggest love is Paris, even though New York inspired me most creatively. The experience of how structured it is in THE GRID in New York Magazines was such an eye-opener. I had experienced such creative freedom in Dublin and I was introduced to so much commercial structure in NY. Vogue in Paris was all about the best, OF EVERYTHING! Do you have any words of advice for someone wanting to work abroad? I tell all my interns that it's vital to get proper international industry training if they want to survive. That, and persisting and never giving up. In 2015 you were selected for the Critical Portfolio Project as the first fashion designer to be included. You were also named Kerry Fashion Week & IMAGE Magazine’s Irish Fashion Designer of the Year. How did those honors and others affect you? I’m privileged that I’ve won many awards over the years, but although they are nice ego-boosting things at the time, I’m only ever as good as my next idea. Everything I have done in my career has come from passion, and a drive to do better. I’ve never had a commercial plan but I have always been driven by the next creative idea and goal. The critical selection was quite an honor as I’m the only fashion designer to make the cut — something I’m very proud of. What were some of the challenges of launching your own collection? What kind of support did you have? Sadly in Ireland, there is no indigenous manufacturing or HELP for small independents. It was and is a struggle to keep standards high, and function in the very niche market that is bespoke clothing. There is no fashion week in Ireland, so I stage my own shows when I can. Can you tell us about your design process? The market in Ireland for high-end couture is very limited, so I’m constantly having to find ways to promote my business, market my brand, and stay visible and relevant. I find inspiration from everything , there is no one source for me, my mother’s attic as a child was a treasure trove of vintage clothes that I would play dress up in, and I think that’s been a constant inspiration. That and art: Brocante’s in France and my library of vintage and historic fashion refs. Do you travel to events, trade shows, and fabric shows- how do you research and find new ideas, textiles, etc? Do you shop locally for fabrics or import from around Europe? All my fabrics are imported from France and Italy. Ribbons come from Japan and buttons from a favorite supplier in Spain and even zips are from Germany. I travel twice yearly to Premier Vision in Paris, the biggest trade fair in Europe, for fabric and trim purchases. What is the most exciting thing that has happened to you as a designer? It’s going to sound like a cliché, but the thing that makes me happiest is the transformative effect of creating something so perfect and beautiful for my clients, be they private or celebrities. I’ve done the Oscars 4 times, the Cannes film festival, the Tony awards, the world premiere of Bond in London, and endless movie premieres. It’s a joy to see the public’s reaction to a star in my creations. If you could give advice to an aspiring designer—or your younger self—what would you say? Travel, travel, travel. And never give up searching for what makes your heart sing. Thank you, Helen, for your time and for sharing your inspiring story! See more of Helen’s work, including studio and works-in-progress, on her Instagram, @helencodydublin. To learn more about ARC Cancer Support Center, visit:

  • 4 Key Questions to Ask to Ensure Positive User Experiences for your Consumer

    Article Contributed By Todd Harple Looking to create experiences for your consumer or brand? Todd Harple is a natural teacher and mentor, for over twenty years Todd has led product and research development efforts at the cutting-edge interface between people, technology, and business, leading the establishment of services and experiences that shape how we use technology today. Today he shares his words of wisdom about creating experiences: In designing “experiences” for people as well as for other types of services, there are four key questions: 1. Who is my audience? 2. What is the experience I wish to enable? 3. How will I enable it? 4. How will I know if I have achieved my goals or how will I measure success? For the first question, it may seem obvious for whom you are designing and I’m sure that you could easily provide a response off the top of your head that is an approximation. But by asking this question, I mean to really understand as best as possible from a holistic perspective who these people are, privileging THEIR perspective: Who are they? Where do they come from? What is their world experience? What does daily life look like from where they live? What do they need and/or value? These are critical components of designing experiences. If we take the perspective that we are aiming to design to meet the explicit needs and/or values of our target audience, we have a better chance of succeeding in developing solutions that will work in their world. Next, you need to build a clear perspective or vision of the experience you are aiming to enable— What might it look or feel like? Can you make a low-fidelity prototype? Can you act it out? This is absolutely critical to beginning to frame up the structure of services, technologies, and interactions that may be involved. Sometimes answering this question can prove quite challenging. If you cannot envision the end solution, your chances of success I believe are much lower. Finally, the third step builds off of the second. Once you’ve clearly outlined how that experience might look in the best-case scenario, you need to break down that experience into individual components to understand the business, technology, and user needs at fundamental levels. In particular, the global nature of the UN’s work makes it necessary to carefully consider not just the technical requirements, but also the social, political, and economic impacts of, for instance, selecting one platform over another as a simple example or selecting one or another technology hardware provider. How will it be seen by your participants? How will it be seen by the rest of the world? Some recommended reading from Todd: 3 books to read for your audience: Basic Design: Don Norman’s The Design of Everyday Things – A very good, basic primer about how we experience and interact with our physical surroundings and how design can make or break an interaction. As an anthropologist, I wasn’t exposed to this until much later on in my career and it left a strong impression on me in regards to making my social and cognitive insights more tangible and useful. Norman had a later book called Emotional Design, but I still think The Design of Everyday Things is a solid, must-read foundation. Dev Patnaik’s Wired to Care – Provides an easy-to-read introduction to how empathy is central to who we are as human beings and can be leveraged in the service of good design. He uses examples of “empathic design” to illustrate success stories. I think some of these lessons are particularly relevant to those involved in learning, training, and other knowledge-sharing/knowledge-exchange environments. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch – This is an incredibly moving book (and indeed you can watch a video of the actual lecture on YouTube) by a professor of Human-Computer Interaction and Design at Carnegie Mellon University. But this book is not so much about his work in Computer Science, but about the importance of overcoming obstacles, enabling dreams, and living life to its fullest. It's very inspirational and from time to time I return to it to re-frame what I am doing and prioritize in both work and life. 3 must-read articles 1. One of my favorite articles is ‘The Hidden Biases in Big Data’ by an acquaintance at Microsoft Research, Kate Crawford. She points out how data as a derivative of human constructs and algorithms is indeed not scientific fact but subject to interpretation ( ) 2. Another article that I think readers will find useful and interesting is ‘From Knowledgeable to Knowledge-able: Learning in New Media Environments by my friend and colleague Mike Wesch, an Anthropology professor at Kansas State University In this article, Mike astutely assesses the challenges that educators of all sorts face in a new era of knowledge exchange and management. 3. There was a great collection of articles in the Summer 2009 edition of MIT’s Sloan Management Review (Volume 50 No. 4) dedicated to Design Thinking. While the design world may well be presently preoccupied with emotional design and big data, the articles in this review are an excellent introduction to ways to infuse design and design thinking into your everyday work practice from management to representing data. ( In particular, I recommend the articles by Norman, Tufte, and the interview with Nancy Duarte and Gary Reynolds. 3 websites: 1. -This places much of the known world of literature at your fingertips. I start almost every endeavor here–don’t reinvent the wheel, build upon the knowledge of others! 2. – This is a novel and engaging approach to learning featuring one of my favorite vlogs (video bloggers) John Green. Learn about topics like history and chemistry in 10-15 minute chunks formatted in an engaging manner! 3. –Quirky and funny and full of facts you may never have known that you wanted to know! Another exa mple of how knowledge exchange and learning can be fun and engaging! Bio: Todd Harple, Ph.D. transforms insight into action. An innovation catalyst, strategist and cross-functional team leader, he develops new technologies, services, and concepts from insight into market-leading ideas, intellectual property, and products. From high tech to sports, fashion, healthcare, and community development, Todd is a proven resourceful thinker and empathic, flexible problem solver with an eye toward business outcomes. With a reputation for results, Todd advises senior leaders in established organizations as well as startups on research and innovation initiatives. A natural teacher and mentor, for over twenty years Todd has led product and research development efforts at the cutting-edge interface between people, technology, and business, leading the establishment of services and experiences that shape how we use technology today. From IP content on the TV (his research enabled Intel’s first System-on-Chip design win in a Set Top Box in 2007) to the advent of smartphones, and wearables to today’s data economy, augmented reality and AI – his work has been both global and prescient across technology, fashion, fitness, sports, and retail and showcased at global events including the Olympic Games, New York Fashion Week and the Consumer Electronics Show. Todd’s work has also been featured in leading business, technology, and design media including BBC, VentureBeat, Mashable, Business of Fashion, Engadget, Digital Trends, and Refinery 29. He has given talks, presentations, keynotes, and webinars at fashion, technology, design, and sporting industry events around the globe including in London, New York City, Paris, Stockholm, Milan, Lausanne, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. How do you create "experiences" for your consumer? Let us know in the comments! Check out a past Design Week Portland event featuring Fashion Tech Powerhouses; Crossing the Boundaries of Fashion & Technology In this event, IFD brings together industry leaders in Fashion & Tech. Asher Levine, Billie Whitehouse, Francis Bitonti & Jim Chi chat with Dr. Todd Harple, Director of Experience & Innovation, Olympic Technology Group at Intel Looking for a place to call your community? Check out our ifd Connect Community; here you can join other like-minded creatives striving to connect, support, and make a positive impact. Like this article? Please Share. Want to stay in the know? Subscribe to our newsletter to stay connected and up-to-date on all our latest insights & inspiration! We appreciate you! This post may contain affiliate links. I’m careful to link to products and retailers that I use myself and recommend. Money earned keeps Inside Fashion Design running and allows me to do what I love for a living and keep providing valuable content for you. Thank you for your support.

  • Looking to Improve Your Mental Health? 4 Little-Known Methods for Self-Care

    Contributing Author: Tina Martin, It’s a well-established fact that self-care offers some very amazing health benefits—not just the physical, mind you, but for mental health, as well. For many people, the latter may even be more compelling. Self-care is, in fact, a wonderful way to manage stress, as well as reduce anxiety and depression. It’s even known to boost self-esteem and confidence—on top of keeping your body looking and feeling its best, at that. Of course, the formula for self-care is quite well-known and simple, as well. Maintaining a nutritious diet, for instance, is a huge part of it, as is consistent physical activity. Healthy practices like meditation and yoga are also widely acknowledged as wonderful self-care tools. However, these are not the be-all and end-all of self-care. There are, in fact, some less acknowledged yet no less beneficial methods, which can also be valuable additions to your self-care toolkit. Check out the following tips below Get more sleep No doubt, getting sufficient sleep is a crucial part of self-care. Sad to say, it’s all too common for people to juggle too much in this day and age, and sleep often ends up taking the backseat. However, adequate sleep is actually a lot more necessary than most people realize. Sufficient sleep can help you keep off weight, as well as ward off health issues like high blood pressure and diabetes (to name a few). Most importantly, a good night’s sleep improves one’s focus and memory and reduces irritability, fatigue, depression, and stress. Improve your sleep habits by ensuring you're as comfortable as possible. You can start by purchasing a new mattress if your current model is over 10 years old. A humidifier can eliminate dry air which can cause discomfort and irritation. And don’t neglect sleepwear. A new pair of pajamas or a soft and comfortable nightgown can do wonders for improving your sleep. Relieving tension at home by decluttering and organizing can also boost sleep quality. Visit the dentist Now, this may come as a real surprise, but there’s a direct correlation between the health of your mouth and your mental health. As a matter of fact, poor oral hygiene is quite common in the mentally ill. Moreover, tooth decay and gum disease are linked to depression, while muscle tension in the jaw can lead to stress. Needless to say, a visit to your dentist is a very significant aspect of self-care that you shouldn’t overlook. Ignoring this, on the other hand, could very well contribute to anxiety, depression, and other mental issues. Look for confidence-boosters Yes, beauty is only skin deep, but who doesn’t want to look and feel their best? Taking care of our appearance makes a big difference in how we feel about ourselves, and as a form of self-care, it goes a long way toward enhancing mental health. From a hot seasonal trend to a stylish pair of shoes, adding a new piece to your wardrobe can quickly uplift your self-esteem. The same holds true for a makeover or a haircut. A few snips, a new color, and a change in eye makeup might be all it takes. Or perhaps crooked teeth are the root of lackluster self-confidence. Well, this can be addressed too! Just say “no.” Lastly, probably a very understated self-care tool is the word “no”—something that people definitely need to say more often. Just consider how many times you’ve said “yes” to going out, extra work, doing people favors, etc.—only to find yourself not entirely feeling good about it and, by extension, unknowingly adding to your stress and feelings of discontent. Of course, saying “no” is, more often than not, easier said than done. However, you can, in fact, be true to yourself and stay polite while you’re at it—essentially, giving yourself the self-care you need without harming your relationships. A lot of the aspects of self-care are straightforward. But the fact is, to really get the holistic benefits of self-care, you need to make sure that you’re also paying attention to the aspects of your life that you barely notice, too. A happy mind makes for a happy body, after all (and vice versa), so work on ticking all the boxes to achieve overall wellness. Thank you Tina for contributing this article! "Tina Martin stays busy as a life coach and works hard to help herself and her clients achieve a healthy work-life balance. She started as a side project to reach as many people as possible and encourage them to put their dreams first. She is also working on her first book, Ideaspired: Put Your Ideas, Your Inspiration, and Yourself First to Make Your Dreams Come True."

  • Meet The Makers Series: Sailing Towards SustainabilityThe Art of Dhow Sail Upcycling

    In today’s, Meet The Makers Series, Inside Fashion Design shares a story about The Swahili Tradition of Dhow Sailing and how a community upcycled the old sails into fashionable bags for designers such as Vivienne Westwood. From the Coast to the Artisan Workshop: The Journey of a Dhow Sail The Kenyan coast is known for its vibrant culture and traditions, and one of the most iconic symbols of this culture is the dhow. Used mainly by communities living along the coast, the dhow (pronounced daw) is a type of sailing vessel that has been used for centuries to transport goods and people across the Indian Ocean. "At Artisan Fashion, we have found a unique way to preserve this Swahili tradition and promote sustainability through dhow sail upcycling. Godfrey Wanjama, our sourcing manager, explains, "I love working with dhow sail bags because it keeps the Swahili tradition alive. It's a long journey. Have to take a train, a piki-piki, collect the dhow sails, then go back to the Artisan Fashion. It is special because we use lots of recycled materials. There is that integration of different people which brings communities together.” Artisan Fashion: Preserving Tradition and Promoting Sustainability The journey of a dhow sail from the coast to the Artisan workshop is a fascinating one. The sails are collected from the dhow owners, who are often fishermen and sailors themselves. These sails are then transported to the workshop, where they are cleaned, cut, and sewn into beautiful bags and accessories. Dhow Sail Upcycling: An Integration of People and Communities At Artisan Fashion, we believe in preserving tradition and promoting sustainability. By upcycling dhow sails and using recycled materials, we are reducing waste and creating unique, one-of-a-kind products that celebrate the rich culture of the Swahili coast. But Dhow Sail upcycling is not just about sustainability. It is also about integrating people and communities. By working with dhow owners and local artisans, we are creating opportunities for people to come together, share their skills and knowledge, and build a stronger, more connected community. From Vivienne Westwood's blog: MADE IN KENYA – THE JOURNEY CONTINUES. Read the full article here 11.03.2022 - WADMIN Each collection calls for diligence. An affinity towards the craft — but also to its people. In prolonging our engagement with local producers from marginalized Kenyan communities, our ‘Made in Kenya’ collections hold a significant place within the Westwood ethos. With the collaboration of the Ethical Fashion Initiative (EFI), methods of sustainable manufacturing have been used to not only create premium products but ensure dignified work for skilled women, men, and communities. “We are doing this for the love of humanity,” explains Vincent Oduor, Program Management Officer for Ethical Fashion Initiative. “Because every human deserves a better job, a better life, and enjoyment — to live as a human being.” Join the movement towards sustainable & ethical fashion by learning about artisan communities and makers around the world. IFD shares stories of Micro to SMEs so that we can support artisan makers and communities of people who are preserving tradition and promoting sustainability. Together, we can "sail" towards a better future. Thanks for checking out our maker's stories- Do you know a maker to be featured? Let us know! Know someone who would like this article? Please share! Subscribe to our newsletter to stay in the know and see all our featured makers, along with industry insights & inspirations! Check out our Free Fashion Industry Community Want to find a supportive fashion design community? We invite you to join us! Visit: to see what we are all about!

  • What is ‘ŪWILA? Using “Life Force” as Design Inspiration.

    Hello There!  Thanks for stopping in today- This was such a fun story to pull together-  What struck me most was learning about the meanings behind the designs, particularly Hawaiian prints, where the designers use Hawaiian folklore and tradition to create textile motifs. When there is a story & deeper meaning behind a design, it adds that much more value and interest.  Manaola, meaning Life Force, uses a lightning bolt symbol in the print.  We can all use some extra “life force” these days- and the Ūwila print offers protection to the wearer, the strength and raw power of nature, and provides the wearer a “safe journey”. What can you incorporate into your designs that add in your own “life force”?  How can these designers inspire us to think about nature, meaning, and a larger purpose as we develop products? In ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i, “manaola” means “life force.” The designer represents the ‘ūwila, or lightning bolt, as a physical representation of this life force, embodying the strength and raw power of nature. When printed in repetition, the ‘Ūwila print serves as a Hawaiian take on the houndstooth motif. Manaola created the ‘Ūwila design as a symbol of protection for the wearer. In Hawaiian folklore, the goddess Pele possessed a magic pāʻū ‘ūwila (lightning skirt), which could shield the wearer from dark or negative forces, and gave the skirt to his sister, Hi‘iakaikapoliopele, so that she might journey safely. The designer intended this print to provide the wearer with symbolic protection and the strength to face life’s challenges. From May is Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage Month! AAPI Heritage Month is a time to recognize the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States of America. Designers like Anna Sui, Vera Wang, Vivienne Tam, and Kimora Lee Simmons are just a few of the names who made their mark on fashion in the 1980s, 90s, and beyond. More recently designers like Phillip Lim, Derek Lam, and Alexander Wang have taken up the mantle. The impact of AAPI designers, buyers, entrepreneurs, photographers, models, and more on the fashion world is incredible and their impact continues to grow. Below are five a little less known AAPI designers and tastemakers we love. Check out their fashion and follow them online!  To get in the spirit, treat yourself to a fun Hawaiian print item or a sustainable bag, supporting these AAPI designers. Runway looks from AAPI designers Alexander McQueen, Derek Lam, Anna Sui, & Philip Lim ARI SOUTH Ariyaphon Southiphong, aka Ari South, gained national recognition with stints first while still known as Andy South on season 8 of Project Runway, then post-transition as Ari on seasons 3 and 6 of Project Runway All Stars. Right now you can shop three collections of the Honolulu, Hawaii-based Ari South brand featuring original prints, hand-picked fabrics, and our favorite, the Palaka Collection—Ari’s take on the palaka, a vintage checked block print shirt that’s a nod to Hawaii’s “Hawaiian Cowboy” plantation past. Ari has also created several collections of masks for the pandemic, including accessories like headbands for your mask! MANAOLA YAP Manaola Yap is another ultra-creative Hawaiian designer. In 2017 Manaola made history as the first Native Hawaiian fashion designer to present an entire runway line at New York Fashion Week. His designs are influenced by his experience coming up as a hula practitioner. His fashion is self-taught and he strives to express Hawaiian spirituality and the beauty of nature through his garments. “He waipuna, he wai e inu, he wai e mana, he wai e ola, E ola nō ea.” (Here is to the life-giving waters that feed and sustain us.) From V COTERIE Describing itself as “Art to Heal Our Healers,” the V Coterie brand is dedicated to creating stylish, forthright jewelry for the health professional. Founder Lynna (“Leena”) Van Merkey founded V Coterie while in dental school and her background informs her designs. A little bit classic, a little bit trendy, V Coterie’s pieces let healthcare workers express themselves through their style. The pandemic has blown V Coterie’s audience wide open though! You don’t need to be in healthcare to enjoy these designs; necklaces that say “essential” and “empathy” are a perfect fit for so many people these days. DREAMHAUS VINTAGE Instagram-only Dreamhaus Vintage is a Korean-American-owned (and woman-owned!) secondhand shop filled with dreamy goodies. While most of the feed is full of housewares, follow Dreamhaus for vintage purses and other accessories. MIK CARDNAS Designer Sandra C. Kim—flip that name around and you’ve got MIK CARDNAS—creates luxury handmade knit bags with intricate detail. Kim learned to knit and crochet at a young age, following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother. After attending Parsons and specializing in knitwear she went on to design for brands like Edun and Alice + Olivia. She creates a clean, purely yarn look that elevates the sophistication of knit bags. It’s luxury, handmade slow fashion, knit to order. Do you have a favorite Asian American Pacific Islander Designer? Let us know! Thanks to these designers for inspiring us and to you dear reader, for reading today!

  • Can Swimwear Be Sustainable? YES! How Kōraru Swimwear Revolutionizing Swimwear

    Hello there, fellow swimwear enthusiasts! Summer is in sight, and whether you are ready or not, it's time to get out your swimsuit! If you haven't gotten a suit lately, you will be pleased to know that more sustainable options are available now and Koraru is such a brand that's standing up to make a positive impact in the world of swimwear. So Koraru Swimwear is making the list of IFD Favorite Finds! If you follow me, you know how much I love swimwear design and where I spent most of my career working. This brand has impressed me with its simple yet elegant styles and, most notably, its mission to use sustainable and eco-conscious materials—something not easily done with swimwear. While diving into their website, I found an article in the Koraru "journal" entitled: "How Modern Swimwear Yarns & Fabrics are Revolutionizing the Fashion Industry." If you are familiar with most swim and activewear fabrics, you know it needs stretch capabilities to offer proper fit and support, usually made of petroleum-based fiber. It's so great to see how Koraru is pushing the boundaries of swimwear by designing with sustainability at the core of its brand, making waves in the fashion industry, and setting a new standard for swimwear design. So, grab a refreshing drink, and let's dive into the world of Koraru, where fashion meets sustainability in the most stylish way possible! Check out some of their best sellers, offered in a beautiful array of colors and sizes. A Bestseller, the Chikyu belted one-piece suit by Koraru About Kōraru: Founded by Oana Romaneiro a Romanian model and designer. She was born on the coast of the Black Sea, in the city of Constanta, but spent most of her adult life throughout Asia, where she worked as a model, before settling in Japan. She now lives in Tokyo with her husband and son, from where she designs for Koraru. "I started the journey of creating Koraru a while after a vacation I took with my husband. It was our first time traveling to Maldives and I wanted to celebrate the occasion by buying a couple of new swimsuits. After one blissful week in arguably one of the most beautiful destinations I've ever been to, those swimsuits never looked, nor felt the same. They became saggy and deformed. I found it frustrating that as a customer, I paid for a premium product that didn't even last a week. And I realized that throughout my life, it has been a common theme with swimsuits that would look a different color at the end of summer than when they were purchased or became transparent when swimming. That prompted me to take a deep dive into the swimwear market, from luxury fabrics to ethical practices. I learned a lot about the difference that premium, technical fabrics make in terms of endurance. Fabrics that were once reserved for performance sports are now available for fashion swimwear. It was then I decided to take a chance and found Koraru, a brand that blends stylish minimalism with quality and sustainability, as an alternative to the status quo. The sustainability focus of the brand came from my experience in the fashion industry for 15 years. I have seen what toll poor quality garments and overconsumption take on our natural world. I believe a shift to slow fashion and more mindful consumption can help counter some of the negative impacts we have on the environment as fashion consumers. This, coupled with actively demanding from our leaders better environmental policies and regulations, is a start in the right direction. I hope Koraru and similar brands that were created from inception with sustainability as their foundation will show that, as consumers, we do care about the clothes we wear and what choosing those clothes means for the environment. And we choose to buy better." - Oana Romaneiro, (from A Koraru best seller the Zabel one piece Born in the sea, KŌRARU swimwear is made from ECONYL® FIBER, regenerated nylon from nylon waste such as fishing nets, fabric scraps, carpet flooring, and industrial plastic. Learn more about some of the materials being used in the collection: Learn more about sustainable materials in this Article: HOW MODERN SWIMWEAR YARNS & FABRICS ARE REVOLUTIONISING THE FASHION INDUSTRY (from SUSTAINABLE MODERN SWIMWEAR FABRICS One way fashion brands can improve sustainability is through their fabric choices. Nowadays, clothes can be made from all sorts of fabrics - and some are definitely better than others for the environment. Picking swimwear can already be a daunting task without having to consider the material it is made out of. Luckily, new fabrics are being developed that are ideal for swimwear. Here are a few sustainable fabrics that are good options: ☼ HEMP Hemp may seem like an unusual choice for swimwear, but it is a great natural alternative. When mixed with a little elastic, it can be made into a very comfortable swimsuit fabric that has good UV protection and does not shed any microplastic. Compared to cotton, another natural material, it uses 1/4 as much water yet yields 250% percent more fiber. This makes it a low-impact natural alternative for women who want a bathing suit for leisurely activities. ☼ RECYCLED POLYESTER Another synthetic option for eco-friendly brands is recycled polyester. Regular polyester has a huge carbon footprint and uses massive amounts of water, chemicals, and fossil fuels to make. Recycled polyester, however, is more environmentally friendly. It doesn’t use any new petroleum and generates 75% less CO2 emissions. Using recycled polyester allows you to have the same durability with a much lower impact on the environment. ☼ ECONYL® REGENERATED NYLON A synthetic material that has revolutionized the market is ECONYL® regenerated nylon. It is a recycled nylon fabric that can be used to make many different kinds of clothing items. As mentioned above, it is already a favorite of top brands like Prada who are using it for their Re-Nylon collection. It’s special because the process not only recycles but regenerates the nylon. This makes it as good as new and also infinitely recyclable. ECONYL® regenerated yarn is sourced primarily from waste destined for landfills. Old carpets, fishing nets, and manufacturing waste are all collected and converted into revolutionary material. Because it is made from recycled materials, every 10,000 tons of Econyl created saves 70,000 barrels of crude oil and 65,100 tons of CO2 emissions. Thanks for reading today and taking the time to learn more about sustainability in swimwear. Every step we take, no matter how big or small, is a step forward that ultimately adds up to great strides. Do you have a favorite sustainable swim brand or fabric you love? Let us know....we are always curious and open to learning more! Do you have a favorite sustainable swim brand or fabric you love? Has anyone tried Vitamin A or Maoiswim which seem to be all over social media? Let us know....we are always curious and open to learning more! Check back often for more favorite finds and features on Inside Fashion Design. This post may contain affiliate links. I’m careful to link to products and retailers that I use myself and recommend. Money earned keeps Inside Fashion Design running and allows me to do what I love for a living and keep providing valuable content for you. Thank you for your support.

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