My Passion for Clothes
I started designing clothes when I was six years old. By six, I had already come to terms with the fact that everything I would ever wear would already have been worn and loved, by my two older sisters.
To make matters worse, my mother (don't ever underestimate the power of a woman with a sewing machine), liked to dress us all alike...only in different colors. Red, Yellow, and Blue...in sequence. Innately, at six, I must have known that this routine could scar someone for life; so I began to sew. The ruffles came off, the sleeves were cut, and my sisters' old dresses became new. My mother taught me how to sew very well, but it was my grandmother who taught me the excitement of detail and perfection with cloth. How good it feels to wear something special. "If your creation isn't perfect or if it doesn’t feel good, then rip it apart, or start over!" she said. No options. Nothing goes on a hanger that you do not love. It's that simple.
The sewing obsession continued through my teens, past the proms, the weddings, and the events; friends and family wearing all "handmade" creations. At nineteen, I moved to New York and became a fashion model (which didn't really work at all, financially). Everyone wanted to shoot my clothes though, so I was once again sewing every day, surviving on nothing but cloth. It became everything in my universe at the moment.
Years later, in San Francisco, I found myself without a husband, without a job, and running out of “settlement” fast.
When my ten year old son found me crying one night and asked what was wrong, I blurted out that without a college degree I would go nowhere! I have been educated to do nothing!"
"That's not true," he said with conviction, "You can do something better than anyone else in the whole world".
"And that would be?" I asked with confusion…
"YOU CAN SEW!", he said.
That night I had a vision in my dream…with nine designs.
So I started to bead, sew, and coordinate the nine pieces in my vision, not knowing what I would do when they were done. When each piece was perfect, I put on my favorite piece and went straight to Wilkes Bashford, an exclusive store in San Francisco, with the intention of making an appointment to see the buyer. Timing was perfect. Wilkes was hosting a contest the very next night to find a San Francisco designer. Who knew? All of the New York fashion editors were in town to judge. I was ready. I won. From there my career in fashion began again, and I found my way. My factory started in my bedroom, with simple home sewing machines and later turned into a "home factory" because we took over every square inch of my flat space with fabric and sewing machines; then to a "downtown real factory", and then to Korea, to finally manufacture in numbers.
Formal design education came very late for me when I met my previous partner, who had designed clothes for Versace, & Dolce Gabbana and written programs for one of the finest design schools in Milan. Max was my mentor & partner for 20 years.
Beautiful clothes, for me, were never about the stand-out design, though. They simply...fit. They have always been easy, beautifully made, inside and out, and in fabulous natural fiber fabrics. With these qualities, the clothes sold over and over. I found myself taking pictures of my clothes in windows of stores I could not begin to afford to shop in. Seeing people on the street, even in other countries, wearing my clothes, was a shock. Creating the next collection was always easy. It just had to feel good. This went on for a couple of decades; from sportswear to lingerie; in the finest stores in the world.
Then…in the mid 90’s, I had a horrific accident that paralyzed my right hand and arm for two years. Unable to quit, I thought that if I had a dress form that would match a real body, I could work much easier with less time. ‘Maybe even design with my left hand…Just some contoured pads that would make this dress form real, I thought.” But the fabulous contoured pads that I envisioned, did not exist; therefore, the creation of Fabulous Fit, and it’s Patent, I was right. It works. Fast and easy. Life changer for creativity!
Yes, I lost my fashion design business, which was my life….but entered into a brand new world. Awesome how that works.
The Fabulous Fit Fitting System may have started by accident, but it has certainly made my creativity easy... especially, when I don't have time. I love meeting you guys through Fabulous Fit, and helping my team walk you through the challenges. Business is now about consulting with designers; identifying their target market, creating the fit to match their vision, and working with all of you. I love most to work with everyone learning to design. I hope you'll join us in our FIT MADE EASY! community, with questions and fitting issues that I know we can help you with! And…if you wonder if you can do it, my answer is: ABSOLUTELY…YOU CAN!