Dear reader, if you are a devoted follower of my Marginalia posts, you will recall that one of my summer projects was designing a line of clothing for Print All Over Me (PAOM), a slow-fashion company based out of Brooklyn. This process entailed creating the imagery that would be printed onto the fabric that would be cut and sewn by PAOM. I also selected the silhouettes; think of my role as the creative director and textile pattern designer while PAOM does production, distribution, and markets my work on their channels.
I hadn’t followed up much on that project in the blog because for a while there, things were a little touch and go. One of the hard parts about being a creative while also pursuing money making endeavors is managing yourself from start to finish. It’s one thing to design patterns to be printed on fabric; it’s quite another to see the process through to actual sales.
But now that it’s the end of the semester I’m happy to report that the collaboration came to fruition. On top of that, I was able to put into practice a number of skills I learned in the MAM program, as well as incorporating it into one of my current class, New Media Strategies–a class devoted entirely to digital marketing. We were divided into groups on the first week to work on a project for the entirety of the semester. My group chose to focus on my work, which included this collaboration with PAOM. In the end, there was equally as much work to be done with unrolling a digital marketing campaign as there was with designing the clothes themselves.
The work entailed:
- A photoshoot to model the clothes.
- Designing a look book of the clothes as marketing collateral.
- Securing a launch event with a collaboration with This Free Life at one of their events at the Moxy Hotel Chicago.
- Determining price points for the clothing and estimating sales needed for break-even (this is where our accounting class from last year really came in handy).
- Unrolling an online campaign advertising both the line and the launch event.
- Redesigning my website and setting up the online store functionality so folks could buy product directly from me.
Most of those six steps could be broken down into a ton of little granular parts and bits, so I’m really rolling it all into one giant ball here, but I hope that gives you the idea of the work that went into it. And New Media Strategies helped me focus on exactly what pieces I needed to pull together to advertise on social media and to ensure that I got my name out there as much as possible with the line. Specifically, our class’s presentation on Instagram was helpful in determining the best times of day to post and the best way to go about advertising the line. (And an extra fun fact is that this group gave their entire presentation on Instagram itself, and you can follow our class at this account).
The greatest benefit of the program to me in this whole endeavor is that my classes gave me enough of the practice to put this project into full swing with a confidence I didn’t have before starting at Columbia last year. It made the PAOM collaboration a great success, but also considering my artistic practice and business from the MAM lens, it has helped expand my view on what I can achieve in ways I didn’t have before. I’ll see you all in the new year, and for now I’ll leave you with the eye candy of my clothing line, which you can purchase here.