There’s been… something… lingering in my mind for the last year and a half about Seamly.co.
It feels like I’m putting a puzzle together, and there’s that one damned piece of sky that I just can’t figure out. So I keep working on the rest of the picture, hoping it all comes together.
I’ve spent many Saturday afternoons with a notebook and coffee shop trying to get clear on one question:
WHERE IS THIS ALL GOING?
What can you always, always expect from Seamly.co? Design-wise, what’s our collective “point of view”?
I’ll admit —I’ve felt pretty limited in my designs thus far. Limited by the money needed to develop complex styles, and by the massive learning curve in manufacturing. The past year has been a big experiment in what’s possible. But with your crazy-amazing support, I’ve learned A LOT about my limits. And I’m ready to push them.
Last week, on a flight from New York to Denver, I had a moment of clarity about Seamly.co. It was after an hour-long interview at the Brooklyn Fashion + Design Accelerator, where I’m applying for fellowship. A panel of five industry leaders and peers offered questions and thoughts on my long-term vision.
It sparked a fierce clarity. On the flight, I designed six new pieces, and then thought, “Ohhhh, THIS is what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Versatility is what started my entire “career” in apparel four years ago. It’s still really important to me, but DAMN it is hard to pull off exceptionally. And the thing I want — more than anything — is to be making apparel that feels RIGHT for you. That is truly comfortable and functional, AND a staple in your wardrobe.
I haven’t always succeeded in that. A lot of our pieces work if you’re creative and like to play with your looks and try new things, but they’re not for the grab-and-go woman. They’re not going to last forever. They’re not always effortless.
But versatility and “effortless essentials” don’t have to be separate. By using more sophisticated (and sustainable) materials, upping the complexity of our designs, and getting your pointed feedback, I believe we can create versatile staples that are realistic for many women.
For example, my rough sketches from the plane:
The marriage of versatility + effortless essentials feels really right – it feels so insanely aligned with my values and your requests. It’s the “missing piece” in the brand.
Here’s what I know:
The basics will always be here.
Layering pieces like tanks, tees, cardigans – those aren’t going anywhere! We’ll continue to produce and offer them.
We’ll be spending a LOT more time on new designs.
It will take a more time to design and perfect styles like the ones I’ve sketched above — they’re more complex, use new fabrics, and require a lot of thought and detail. Taking time feels right to me. I want to test test test and get lots of feedback from you as we’re working on new ideas.
The goal for our new designs is VERSATILE, EFFORTLESS ESSENTIALS.
As I design, I’m asking myself, “Could I wear this every day for a season? Is it timeless? Does the versatility make perfect sense? Is it durable?”
New styles will be more tailored, more functional, and (accordingly) more expensive.
They’ll also last longer, have more practical uses, and be made with higher quality materials.
Like a vest / jacket you’ll keep for years. Or a pencil skirt that will be “in” no matter the trend in length.
Your feedback is essential.
I’m embarking on a design process that requires a lot of testing and feedback. Hopefully, we can get a group of core customers to test out designs and help really hone in on what makes a piece juuuuust right.
After one-and-a-half years in business, I’m feeling like you and me and what we’re creating are a little closer to alignment. I’m excited to feel firm about where we’re headed next.
And honestly, for the first time, it feels really right.
Thank you for giving me this past year of experimentation, support, suggestions, and love. You are the reason this all exists.