Industry Insider: How the clothing gets to you pt 2

Sealing the deal.

Traditionally buyers representing stores of targeted market set up appointments to visit the designer/manufacturers showroom. The samples that were constructed in pt 1 are now brought into a showroom where everything is hung up neatly or spread across the wall for a picture perfect presentation. The salespeople and sometimes designers explain their concepts and try to sell the products to buyers. Buyers place orders based on their customer needs, forecasting and financial expectations. Depending on the success of the collection and /or the buyers budget orders may be placed for many styles or only one.

When the orders are confirmed the fitting process begins. Sometimes the designing company has the right to approve the fit of the garment. Another common scenario, especially in the case of large retailers, they will require the designing company (vendor) to submit samples to be fit by technicians at their location for standardization and quality control purposes. For the discussion purposes I will only detail the vendor fit process.

A professional fit model is called in to try on a number or garments which orders have been placed for.  Persons present at the fitting can vary, but mostly it is the designer, the patternmaker, the technical designer, and production manager.  Each style is evaluated for fit, functionality and styling. Detailed notes are taken and afterwards passed to the patternmaker.

The patternmaker applies the necessary changes to the pattern and the garment is re-cut and re-sewn. The fit model is once again called in and the same evaluation takes place. Depending on the level of perfection involved this process can repeat numerous times. I would estimate that on average a garment is fit 2-3 times before getting the final fit approval, but this can vary widely.

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