IFG Weekly Blog: 006 Persevere
Welcome back to our weekly IFG blog. We just completed our first official photo shoot from our upcoming F/W winter collection. We had a wonderful cast and crew for the shoot and it was an absolute privilege working with these individuals. There was a ton of work put in to make this shoot happen and I wanted to share with you what that journey looked like from manufacturing the samples to shooting on location. Lastly we’ll take a look at my beats of the week and the latest video game releases.
It is the end of October 2017. My F/W line that I had intended to release in September is still nowhere to be seen. I lack the funding to mass-produce the pieces despite my number crunching diligence and that feeling of despair is sinking in. These moments and feelings of hopelessness are where we have to make a choice. We have the choice to accept the gloomy fate brought upon us, or we have the power to carry on and change our future. I chose to continue my mission to change my future. I am blessed enough to have a roof over my head and a job that allows me to eat and create art reflective of my favorite electronic cultures. I have an opportunity now that I may never have later in my life. I could not live a true life knowing I passed on this opportunity so even though its tough now I still have more to give before this opportunity is over.
All of my garment samples were as complete as they were going to be for this season. Grading, dyeing, and printing and embroidery were still to be completed for my final samples, but I knew winter is coming and I needed to keep moving. My good friend and Apple store colleague Chris Koeppen had been wondering when we were to shoot the photos for my new items as I was frequently pushing back my estimated dates for photo shoots. I decided if wanted to begin selling items before the New Year this shoot had to happen as soon as possible. Knowing I still had to produce size small pieces for our female model I believed two weeks would be enough time to sew garments, dye, and embroider and print. I confirmed the date November 9th with photographer Chris Koeppen and Taylor Miller who I have shot with in the past, and I reached out to an acquaintance of whom I met while selling IFG at an Upgrade event, Nakisa Motamedi, to be our female model. With the two weeks lead time I knew I had to be diligent in getting all of the pieces prepared.
I began working with my sewing contractors facility and brought my pieces and patterns for them to begin the grading and sewing and I paid them upfront with a deposit. I told him I wanted the pieces by Thursday (the Thursday before the shoot) in which he agreed he could get one of each style completed by Thursday in the size small at the very least. Sounds good. From the beginning of the week to Thursday I checked in with phone calls and text messages to ensure my pieces were being completed in size small. My contractor assured me my pieces would be completed. Thursday comes and my contractor informs me the grading is taking longer for the size smalls, so Saturday at the latest. Saturday now comes and my contractor informs me only half of the samples are done. The sinking feeling sets in again as my window of opportunity are again closing. I call my sample pattern maker Lily and explain the situation. After listening to my complaints she assures me, “let me know if he messes up again and we will figure it out.” These are the people who I work with personally and cherish dearly. My contractor assures me Tuesday he will have all of the samples finished and sends me a picture of the completed pieces. I take a breathe of relief at the site of the garments knowing I will have a few days to get printing and embroidery done. Size small hoodies at this point were out of the question, as they just take too long to make with how many pieces are needed. While waiting for the tops to be sewn I worked with my original pattern maker Rudy to have a pair of Gunslinger pants made for Nakisa. After receiving her measurements and sending them to Rudy we decided we would alter our past female model Amy’s pattern to meet Nakisa’s measurements. That would be too easy though. Rudy informs me we do not have Amy’s pattern on file so we will have to start from scratch. It’s the Saturday before the shoot and we need to get our new model in for a fitting asap. Thankfully we were able to get Nakisa in for a fitting Monday and Rudy would finish her pants the following day. Although after meeting with Nakisa I realize she is actually an extra small size shirt. I figured so what a small will be baggy on her no big deal. At this point I am confident I will have all of the pieces by Tuesday two days before the shoot. I look forward to picking up my items Tuesday. However it would not be so.
Tuesday I go in to the contractor’s facility to pick up the pieces and to my dismay and utter horror all of the pieces are size MEDIUM. They did not complete the grading and only went off of the pattern I had given them. After speaking with the owner for 15 minutes as calm and collectively as I irately could, and being assured they would be done tomorrow, I cut my fabric from my rolls and begin going through my options. I have to call Lily now and ask her to save me. After letting her know what had happened she gives me the contact of her colleague who can hopefully complete the grading for the size small with enough time for Lily to sew the pieces that night so I can have them printed and embroidered by Wednesday and completed by Thursday morning. I speak to the gentleman and meet up with him shortly thereafter and he agrees make the graded patterns that night so Lily can sew. The only upside to those samples not being done was the sizing! I now had the opportunity to get make the samples in the right size extra small. After getting the grading measurements to our new pattern grader I began writing last week’s blog and waited for the patterns to be graded. As soon as I had the patterns ready I flew (figuratively) over to Lily’s and I began cutting the patterns for Lily to use for sewing.
Lily sewing our final samples
After 4 hours of cutting and sewing we finished our samples. Unreal. So relieved we got these samples sewn, but still furious of all of the wasted time. The next day I dropped off the samples to be printed and embroidered and made my way up to Glendale to pick up Nakisa’s pants.
Of course as I arrive to Rudy’s I find that he decided to change the style of the pocket enclosures to completely Velcro with no elastic. These did not look good nor were they what I had expected. Luckily, I knew this was a quick fix for Rudy and he made the adjustments on the spot. But were not out of the woods yet people! At 9pm one of our models had a work emergency and would not be able to shoot tomorrow. Again to my dismay I begin working on a solution. Everyone can shoot the following day Friday, except for myself. As reluctant as I was I had to let everyone complete the photo shoot without me. This was a lesson on letting go for the greater good, as I had to again trust others to do my work. I figured I am not going to be able to be everywhere all the time so I better start letting others do what they do best.
I picked up my completed items the next day with delight and excitement as all of the pieces looked great. Although I was very eager to shoot that Thursday having an extra day allowed me to spot check the location before the crew would get there tomorrow. We pressed everything that night and prepared for the shoot for the next day. My good friend and our in house marketing expert Dean came by to pick up the items to bring to tomorrow’s shoot and we went to the Noguchi Garden in Costa Mesa to check out the spot.
Noguchi Garden Costa Mesa, CA.
The Noguchi garden is beautiful and abstract. It was made to represent the different environments found throughout California. Isamu’s environmental art has a blade runner vibe to it with pyramids and stone structures placed around the garden.
Photographer Chris Koeppen and Model Nakisa Motamedi.
The shoot began at 2:45pm and Dean kept me updated throughout the process. Chris sent me an amazing shot of Nakisa and Taylor wearing our Infinite Sagas graphic T-shirt and a rush of excitement hit me, as I knew it was mission accomplished.
After and extremely stressful week I was rewarded with meeting up with the crew for the end of the shoot and got a sneak peak at some the shots, they all looked amazing. But it is on to the next shoot, as we still have to shoot Nakisa modeling our Hoodies. These pieces are being sewn as we speak and we should have them ready just in time for our shoot this coming Tuesday. Now that you have gotten a glimpse at some of the difficulties found throughout the manufacturing process we will take a quick look at this weeks happenings in digital pop culture. I have not had a chance to play any new games but let us take a look nonetheless.
This week Star Wars Battle Front 2 was released on next gen consoles and I am stoked to play it soon. Although I have heard the online multiplayer has a major downfall with players having to “pay to win.” I know I can get super competitive when playing video games so for me that is lame that you can pay to unlock the hero characters. This exploits a major problem with the game industry, as gamers are no longer forced to actually play the game to unlock all of the best features of the game. At the end of the day EA is running a business, but their business should be making the best game possible and they are doing a disservice to gamers by allowing players to cut corners. I am still excited to play it, but I hope the pay to win feature does not cause me to rage quit.
And now let me share with you my beats of the week. This week I listened to a couple new mixes as well as a new remix from No Mana. I discovered deep house artist THE CHEF from instagram and have been listening to his podcast THE CHEF MUSIC. This week I enjoyed the deeper beats of episode 27. This week’s episode featured a live set from Mira Joo. The ambient sounds made the beginning a light and aural experience. Very soothing sounds kept the four on the floor house beats moving. If you need something to relax and zone out to this is the mix for you.
No Mana released a new remix of Feed Me and Kill the Noise’s “Crazy Maybe”. The remix definitely is reminiscent of earlier 2000’s dance music. A euphoric female vocal lays the hook of the song and Jordan mixes his heavier signature sound in on the drop while the vocal loops and fades out. The track will have you nodding up and down on the dance floor. Give it a listen.
That is all I have time for as I always manage to take longer to write these then I intend too.
Special shout out to Lily, our expert sample maker for getting our pieces done on time. The Shirt Cannery team in Mission Viejo for getting our prints and embroidery done with haste, and Dean Dunstan, Chris Koeppen, Taylor Miller, and Nakisa Motamedi for making the best IFG shoot we have done yet!
See ya next week.
Seize the future,