Chinese New Year at Freedom Rains

By Sarah Campli

As a company that works with developers overseas, we were greatly impacted by the Lunar New Year. Because the companies we work with in China (yes, even contemporary brands like ZAC Zac Posen produce in China) and other parts of the world close around this time of year, we had quite a bit of down time in our office in New York. Being an outerwear company, you’re only really active during one season, which is Fall/Winter, although we do a very small collection of jackets in the Spring. The bulk of the collection is completed in the Fall, which is by far the busiest time of the year, and then the rest of the year is spent making sure production is properly carried out and collaborating with the sales team.

Anyway, during this down time we picked up the pieces from all chaos that goes on during the fall. Our office, which is small to begin with, gets really cluttered. We’re constantly being sent fabric and leather samples from mills and tanneries all over the world that want us to buy from them. They have a tendency to pile up since we never know what fabrics we may need in the future. In your dorm or apartment you may have what I like to call “the chair” – you know, the one chair that you just throw everything on top of when you’re not ready to deal with it. In our office “the chair” is an old Fedex box that’s been buried under fabric headers probably long before I got there. It took all of our efforts trying to go through it all.

We spend half the day sorting through all the headers, deciding what we should keep and what we needed to part with. Basically, we all sat on the floor of our showroom sorting through things and laughing about all the outrageously scary fabrics we hope no one would ever use. Going through our fabric collection even helped us start pulling things we might use for Spring. We’re thinking about carrying over an idea we used for our fall collection: bonding lace to nylon for a feminine but sporty touch. Furthermore, I got to take a home a bag of leather skins, which I was really grateful for. I’m excited to use them in future class and personal projects. It’s moments like these that I’m reminded that the fashion industry is a lot more human that it’s often portrayed in the media. Sometimes we’re more “Hoarders Buried Alive” than “The Devil Wears Prada.”
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