Our IndieViews blog series introduces you to the talented and passionate members of the Indie Source team.
In our interview with Lana Gurevich, we got to know a designer at the top of her field who absolutely loves working at Indie Source and is committed to helping designers realize their dreams. As part of our in-house product development team, Lana plays a key role in turning designers’ ideas into reality.
What is your role at Indie Source?
My title is First Through Production Pattern-maker. I make the first pattern which is the first sample that goes on the salesman’s rack, which is the first representation of the line. I carry that garment through all the way to production until it goes to the manufacturer.
I’m responsible for all the documentation and making the fitting adjustments, all the way until the garment is released into manufacturing. I oversee the fit process and pattern process from the very beginning to the very end.
What brought you to Indie Source?
Lucky coincidence. I had a massive fire at my studio and I had to move my studio into my home. My friend recommended that I come to Indie Source. I did a couple projects at here, and they loved what I did. The rest is history.
How did you choose this career?
It’s a calling. I wanted to be a fashion designer forever. But my life took an unexpected turn and I moved from fashion design into technical design. I always loved making clothes. I was twelve years old and started to make clothes because my parents wouldn’t give me money for nice clothes. They would give me money for fabric, though. So I would buy fabric and start making clothes. I also have tons or education to back it all up. I’ve been doing this for almost 30 years.
What’s the range of clients and fashion markets you’ve worked with?
Imagine the biggest mall in America. If you look at who’s in the mall – Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, Guess – at some point in my life I’ve done something for every one of those stores. I’ve spent tons of time in private label, which is very technical. I’ve worked with women’s, men’s, contemporary, juniors’, kids’ – all of it.
That’s why I can do it here. The clothes are so different. Every client has different ideas, it’s not like working with just one designer. So having that experience definitely helps.
What advice would you give an aspiring fashion designer?
If they have an idea for a fashion line, they should ask for professional help. Otherwise, it can go very wrong, very fast. People who come here get total professional help. Spend money on doing things right instead of experimenting.
What is your favorite thing about working at Indie Source?
Client interaction is the best part of my job. When you work with a regular fashion company, you don’t really see your customers. You work for some hypothetical client who comes into the store. Here, people come in with their ideas, their passions, their burning desires. We’re the people who make it all come true. My favorite part is when clients come in for a fitting, and by the end of the fitting they’re jumping up and down. They’re super happy, and everything looks good and fits and works. It blows my mind every time. I love working with clients. It’s absolutely hands down my favorite part of the job.
(Lana could not stop at just one thing … )
Something needs to be said about our personal relationships here at Indie Source. There’s sort of a love fest going on here. We all genuinely like, admire, and respect each other. We love working together. We can work all day without even talking to each other, but somehow the energy’s just working. The team produces really amazing stuff. This is a huge part of the secret sauce. This company is flying up, it’s taking off, it’s already super-successful.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
The most challenging and most exciting thing at the same time is you have to shift gears every second. One second I’m working on a men’s line, the next second I’m working on a kids’ line, and next I’m working on lingerie. Jumping from one project to another is the most complicated part. It’s working for all markets at the same time.
What’s your favorite Indie Source story?
We had a launch party and we were taking pictures by the Indie Source wall. After taking pictures, we had a group hug. And the group hug ended up being a ten minute hug, and we were all holding hands and telling each other how much we loved working together.
I’ve never had such an experience with any other company in my life. That hit me, personally. This is exactly the kind of energy you want to get out of work. We all work super-long hours. But it’s so nice to genuinely like who you’re spending your time with. People feel so much better when they’re encouraged and cheered. Indie Source is definitely that kind of place.
How is Indie Source different from fashion companies you’ve been involved with in the past?
Almost everything. It’s a very different paradigm. It’s a different way of working. Anybody can come in with an idea for a fashion line, and we’re going to make it happen. Anyone can exercise their creativity and get their line produced by the best in the business.
When you work with a specific designer, you work with one person or team of people, and one body type. Here we do it all. It ranges from children through lingerie, inventions that people create, specialty items, and really brilliant ideas people have.