Helping You Get Ahead in Fashion by Sew Heidi public
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The fashion industry is brutally competitive...and we're all trying to get ahead. The problem is that everyone's so tight lipped with their strategies and resources. The Successful Fashion Designer is an "all secrets revealed" show by industry expert designer and educator Sew Heidi to help you gain the confidence, skills and insights to make it in a cutthroat market. The show covers topics such as breaking into the industry, getting promotions and raises, launching your own label and becomin ...
 
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This is my second interview with Noémie Jouas, a young designer who started creating bespoke dresses from her college housing in small-town Scotland. Since I spoke to her last, she’s had her first runway show, adapted to the pandemic, and gotten her work featured by both Teen Vogue and Vogue. For links to Noemie and her original interview, head ov…
 
Learn new strategies for finding freelance fashion design clients, and charging a retainer for consistent income! Sophia is a full-time fashion freelancer who moved from NYC to Texas and grew her freelance business--during Covid! If you’ve been struggling to find clients for your freelance fashion business, this episode is a must listen. For the co…
 
Canadian designer Alexandra Suhner Isenberg studied fashion in Toronto, London, and Paris. She’s worked for brands including Burberry, freelanced, and taught fashion. But when an antique men’s chemise became her favorite thing to sleep in, Alexandra was inspired to start her brand, The Sleep Shirt. Listen for her fascinating story and how she built…
 
Karen LePage is a freelance patternmaker and grader who specializes in size inclusivity and sustainability. She’s also a fit consultant, a sewing and fit teacher, an author, and a mom. Karen broke into the industry without going to fashion school, and she has built a thriving freelance business doing meaningful projects for clients she loves. In th…
 
Atlas Menswear founder Aaron Woolf has been athletic his whole life. Although this father of 4 has been an entrepreneur in other industries since 2014, he never thought he’d get into fashion. But he was fed up with dress shirts that didn’t fit his muscular build. And when he started talking to other men at the gym about the issue, Aaron discovered …
 
Shilo Byrd has been in the industry for a decade and a half, and she knows her stuff. She’s a freelance luxury pattern maker, product developer, supply chain & production consultant, and a contributor at Vogue Business. In this episode of the SFD Podcast, Shilo chats about everything from understanding fit and the best way to learn new skills, to n…
 
Alex is a self-taught freelance technical designer living in Ottawa, Ontario. He didn’t go to fashion school, and he never held a job in the industry. Yet he’s working with small fashion brands, helping them get their ideas into production alongside his full-time job. In this episode, he shares how he managed to carve a spot for himself as a fashio…
 
Have you ever found yourself sitting at your day job, feeling like something is missing? Have you always been full of ideas, daydreaming about a more creative life? My guest on this episode, Tara, pursued an accounting career for stability. But she could never shake the creative ideas that came to her, tempting her to explore something new. When on…
 
Since it's Thanksgiving week here in the US, I'm sharing one of my favorite episodes from this past year. It's my interview with Erika Neumayer of Rare Dirndl. She's build a successful brand with a tiny niche, and she shares tons of actionable tips on how she did it. For the full show notes and links, head over to Successful Fashion Designer.…
 
Oni Auer is a design director and fashion career mentor in NYC. She got started in fashion by scoring a position with BCBG when she was a mere 18 years old. She had an associates degree, but no industry connections or advantages to help her get ahead. Since then she has worked with a huge variety of companies including Bebe and UnderArmour. In the …
 
Juan Pablo Martínez is a Colombian designer who has worked in sustainability for more than ten years, and in the fashion industry for more than two decades. One of the first sustainable designers in Latin America, he has also designed for Christian Lacroix, owned a successful boutique, shown his designs at a New York fashion show, and now he works …
 
*Note: This episode has a slight tic on the guest’s audio that we were unable to repair. But the interview is way too good not to share, so thank you for understanding!* Freelancing is a hot topic in the fashion industry right now. With almost everyone working from home, more and more companies have realized that remote work and flexible schedules …
 
Anna Triantafellou designs fantasy couture dresses for girls, and her business is now so successful that she supports her family of 3 on only her income. If you’re thinking this kind of success is only possible for lucky people with trust funds, you’ll definitely want to hear Anna’s story. Coming from a traumatic childhood in her native Russia, Ann…
 
When you think about starting your own clothing line, you probably imagine garments you designed completely from scratch gracing a magazine page or floating down a runway. But starting a fashion brand takes years and a major investment of cash. If what you really want is to get something of your own design out into the world, there are ways to get …
 
Understanding trends and the direction the market is going to go is vital for anyone working in fashion. Print and textile designers need to understand what consumers are going to be looking for next. Thea Perez founded Polychrome.Design to provide prints as true digital working tools for fashion designers. Along the way, she has honed a process fo…
 
Mat Booth started his fashion career with a product design degree, some knowledge of sports, and a lot of passion. More than 15 years later, he’s a successful freelancer and has his own brand of men’s luggage and accessories. And he does it without living in a fashion hub. Hear Mat’s story of how he got into the industry, his shift into freelancing…
 
Not all successful fashion designers go to fashion school. Lila Stewart used to do marketing in the music industry, and her husband Jeremy was a political consultant. But when they decided they wanted to start a business with philanthropy at its heart, they found themselves entering the fashion industry with zero experience. In this episode of the …
 
Like many people working in the industry, Emilee Goff always knew she wanted to go into fashion. But when she managed to score an internship with Scott Sports right after she finished high school, Emilee’s career trajectory changed in ways she never imagined. In this episode of the SFD podcast, she shares what she’s learned along the way. For the c…
 
Selena Leong has worked her way up from production associate, to product development, to technical design, to apparel design. Along the way she’s worked with brands on both coasts including Aeropostale, Forever 21, and even Ralph Lauren. And she did it all without ever going to fashion school. For the complete show notes, including links to the res…
 
If you want to see your garments and accessories in the hands of more than just a few customers, you need to understand how to get your fashion designs into production. On this episode of the Successful Fashion Designer podcast, patternmaker and designer Xochil Herrera Scheer of The Chicago Patternmaker draws on over a decade of experience to share…
 
Note: This episode was recorded several months ago, before the influx of major current events took over our collective awareness. While we know how seriously these issues are affecting the fashion industry and our individual listeners, we hope that you enjoy this break for a bit of normalcy. From internship to senior designer by the time she was 27…
 
Do you really need a contract as a freelance fashion designer? What should your contract include? On this episode of the SFD Podcast, you’ll hear from small business attorney Andrea Sager on contracts, design ownership, payment disputes, and the best ways to protect yourself and your assets as a freelance fashion designer. For the complete show not…
 
Noemie Jouas is a self-taught designer who runs a bespoke dress brand that keeps her steadily busy with several clients a month. She describes her business as “a dream come true!” The incredible part? She’s still in college! Learn how she got started, where she finds her clients, and the one thing she says has made everything she’s accomplished pos…
 
Note: This episode was recorded a few months ago, before the world got turned upside down. While we don't discuss how Covid-19 is affecting the industry, we hope you enjoy taking a break from the constant coverage for some fashion and normalcy. Understanding trends is so important when you work in fashion. If you want your designs to stand out and …
 
Note: This episode was recorded several months ago, before the Covid-19 pandemic took over all of our lives. While we know your world may be turned upside down right now, we hope you’ll enjoy a break from the 24/7 coverage of current events for a little bit of fashion talk and simple normalcy! In this episode of the Successful Fashion Designer Podc…
 
Freelance pattern maker and product development specialist Alison Hoenes left her full-time job after just 3½ years in the industry to pursue a freelance career. Since then, she has perfected her niche, gone from zero customers to a steady clientele, and she now makes more than her full-time job working just 40 mostly-remote hours per week! Want to…
 
How do you prevent your fashion designs from being stolen and safeguard your brand? And as a business owner, how do you legally protect yourself and your assets? On this episode of the SFD Podcast, you’ll hear from fashion industry attorney Andrea Sager on copyrights, trademarks, and other ways to be smart and protect your fashion designs, business…
 
When you’re launching a label, there are so many options and details that it can overwhelm even the most savvy designer. One of the questions you may be asking is, “Should I sell my fashion brand wholesale or direct-to-consumer?” On this episode of the Successful Fashion Designer podcast, you’ll hear from Ellie Mae Waters, founder and creative dire…
 
In this special episode, Heidi chats with her husband Marc about her journey in fashion. Heidi talks about the one thing that has contributed to her success more than anything else, and how you can do the same for yourself! In this episode, Heidi and Marc talk about: How the history of the SFD podcast mirror’s Heidi’s overall journey in fashion; Ho…
 
Steve Villanueva is an entrepreneur with a history of success in multiple industries. And, like at least 40% of men, he’s also less than 5 foot 9 inches tall. Frustrated with clothes that just weren’t made to fit short men, Steve set out to find a better way to design clothing for this underserved market. The things he discovered in his research an…
 
Michele Mavi is a recruiter and Strengths Coach who’s worked with fashion job seekers for over 15 years. On this episode of the SFD podcast, she shares what she’s learned about landing the best fashion job for YOUR unique set of skills and strengths. In the interview (which you’ll love), you’ll learn: Why understanding your strengths is so importan…
 
Guests on the SFD podcast tend to fall into one of three categories: They’re employed by a company in the industry, they work as a fashion freelancer, or they’ve launched their own brand. In this episode, you’ll hear from someone who has done all three! If you’re wondering how to become a remote fashion freelancer, this episode is for you. In the i…
 
In this special episode, check out Heidi’s interview on the Spirit of 608 podcast. The interview, which originally aired in March 2018, focuses on her work as a freelance fashion designer, and Heidi doles out tons of valuable freelancing advice for the fashion industry. She talks candidly about her fashion journey, sharing the highs, the lows, and …
 
Have you been dreaming of beginning a freelance career, but don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’ve been freelancing for a while, but you still have a ton of questions! Between pricing, juggling projects, finding clients and resources, and more, it can be overwhelming to navigate the fashion freelancing world alone. In this special AMA episode, …
 
(On this special episode, I get personal. If that's not your thing, no worries--it's back to fashion insider interviews on the very next episode!) I got bad news spring 2017 when I was 35. My husband and I were in line at the airport heading to Costa Rica when my phone rang. It was my doctor with test results, so I answered with "I’m heading on vac…
 
When you first decide to work in the fashion industry, going to fashion school can seem like the one thing you need to score your dream job. But as many fashion graduates discover, completing that degree is only one step in the complicated and sometimes frustrating process of breaking into the industry. In this interview, designer Kate Norkeliunas …
 
Is it possible to start a successful fashion brand when your niche is super small? Meet Erika Neumayer Ehrat of Rare Dirndl. Her full time job is designing and selling dirndls. Never found yourself desperately scouring the web for the perfect dirndl? We’re not surprised! It’s such a tiny niche market, it may not seem like a sustainable business mod…
 
Fashion is a tough scene. Even when you manage to break into the fashion industry, how do you get into your dream category? With so much competition for design jobs, it seems like luck can play the biggest factor in many designer’s careers. But what if you could make luck work for you? In this episode, we spoke to Allion Juhasz. Allison has spent t…
 
Sometimes it seems like there are as many ways to sell your fashion brand as there are types of fabric! But when you’re starting a fashion brand, should you sell your pieces on consignment? On this show, you’ll hear from Sam Murkoff. Sam’s brand, Manhattan Knights, was born when he started refashioning vintage tee shirts for himself and his friends…
 
Starting a fashion brand from scratch is a massive challenge. And when you don’t have big investors and influential connections, it can seem impossible. But these three young entrepreneurs found a way to beat the odds and make their brand a reality. Meet Salvatore Graci, Angelo Acquista, and Luca Graci, founders of luxury streetwear brand CSNV (Cas…
 
Whether you’re still in fashion school, or you’re looking toward your next opportunity, you’re probably wondering how to stand out in your fashion career. In such a competitive industry, it can feel like an uphill battle to even get noticed by fashion hiring managers among stiff competition. On this episode, we talk to London designer Barbara Hough…
 
It's a summer of your favorite episodes! This episode, which originally aired June 12, 2017, was nominated as one listeners loved! In this episode I’m chatting with Chris Kidd, founder of Style Careers, the largest fashion only job listing site. With inside access to fashion industry employers and exposure to job seekers at their career fairs, Chri…
 
It's a summer of your favorite episodes! This episode, which originally aired November 26, 2018, was nominated as one listeners loved! Being a lingerie designer is its own unique and interesting niche of working in the fashion industry. There are tons of different things you have to think about compared to designing, let’s say, shirts or jackets. B…
 
It's a summer of your favorite episodes! This episode, which originally aired January 7, 2019, was nominated as one listeners loved. There are a lot of different paths to becoming a freelance fashion designer. And Heather Royer took one I’d never heard of before. Instead of working directly with brands, she got her first freelance opportunity desig…
 
It's a summer of your favorite episodes! This episode, which originally aired May 28, 2018, was nominated as one listeners loved. The fashion job search process is not one to be taken lightly. Thankfully, my guest for this episode of The Successful Fashion Designer is Shellie Simpson, the Fashion Division Talent Director at Atrium Staffing. Shellie…
 
It's a summer of your favorite episodes! This episode, which originally aired June 26, 2017, was nominated as one listeners loved. Being a freelance textile designer can feel like a daunting process to tackle. It’s hard to figure out how to price your work and whether or not you should work with an agency or print house. Which is why I’m so excited…
 
It's a summer of your favorite episodes! This episode, which originally aired October 30, 2017, was nominated as one listeners loved. Attending a trade show is expensive, so before you go, make sure you’re fully prepared. Get industry expert advice from Trish of DG Expo to make the most of your textile trade show visits. Learn what mistakes you sho…
 
Working in the fashion industry can be brutal. The long days, late nights, and cutthroat competition can make balancing a fashion career and motherhood seem impossible. But the reality is that women everywhere are finding ways to make it work. While there’s no magic answer for every situation, there are many ways to balance a career in fashion with…
 
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