Behind the Scenes: Concept to Creation of New Designs

Today, I'm going to take you on the prototyping journey and show you the ALMOST perfect prototype of one of our NEW Fall 2020 items.  From concept to creation, here's how we do it!

 

It starts with an idea, from you (obviously)

The ideas come from you, the customers. The things you mention on social media, via reviews, in conversation, and directly by email. That's where we start to develop ideas and prioritize what we should focus on. We do this on a continual basis.
 
Then we brainstorm; how the garment might fit into the collection,  what need it fills, what inspires us about the garment. We research what is already out there and how hernest will do it differently.
 
We mock-up different variations and think through all the details; cut, stitch details, features, finishes. 

Then we develop our tech pack

Tech pack is short for a technical package, and it is exactly what it sounds like. A detailed overview of a garment that we use to help our incredibly talented seamstresses take our concepts and turn them into reality. 

The first prototype serves as the starting off point

 Getting the first prototype back from our sewers is a little bit like Christmas. Sometimes it is so exciting, while other times it's a complete disaster... like what were we thinking; disaster. One look and you just know it is a dud or just doesn't work! 
 
Then there are some that you just fall in love with immediately.
 
This initial prototype is NEVER perfect.  We tweak, pinch, update, and change or approve the stitching. Then we make another prototype. By this time we're pretty invested in the process and it's taken anywhere from 4-8 months of time. 
 
The process is a mix of on-body try-on, phone conversations, in-person meetings and sometimes FT... to make sure the finer details are understood. 

By the time we receive our second prototype we're ready to start to wear test.

Unless something has gone completely awry our second prototype is pretty close to perfect. We still make minor adjustments for final production ( we have to admit here that many of our styles when we first started required at least 6 prototypes - jumpsuits and underwear and not very straightforward!!).  
This second prototype is usually the one we use for wear testing and is the starting off point for grading. I do the wear testing and this is exactly as it sounds, wearing and washing on repeat. Some items we make multiples of and give them to independent wear testers for feedback. We do this for completely new styles or when we want to add new sizes. We're already pretty sure of the fabric quality because before we even get to this stage our fabrics have already been independently tested in Switzerland. 

 

While I'm wear testing, the final decisions are made about colors, quantities, and grading. We are lucky to work with amazing facilities that help us with the process- all within 100km of each other.  

 

And now for the SNEAK PEEK

 This fall we'll be adding a sweatshirt (name TBD) in our midweight fabric to complement our most popular garment - the midweight jogger (which of course is also coming back with some updates).   

 We're making this elevated sweatshirt first and foremost because you've asked for it, and because we feel we can deliver something exceptional. It's all in the details. The drape, the stitching details (this is not your average sweatshirt), the fit, and the incredible fabric. I want to call it "the little black dress of sweatshirts" - the sweatshirt you feel your best in because it just fits so well, is so soft and comfortable (but not hot!) and is ready to take to the couch, out for brunch, on your travels, or back to the office. We're so excited for you to see it in real life!

 

 

All in all it takes from 8-18 months to bring garments to market for us.

We've deliberated a lot about the small details, stitches, lengths etc. We've tested and tweaked. It is our way of ensuring our products have a purpose, fit well, and will stay relevant. By describing the process of garment creation I hope to bring you closer to the garments you own, or might purchase in the future.

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