Meet Meir Yamin
Meir Yamin, fashion designer of Donatella Dresses launched his line of sexy upscale dresses and clothing in spring/summer 2011, showcasing his collection of attainable luxury that displayed his flare for rich detail and embellishments with unique and electrifying pieces. With his designs, Yamin created glamorous and sophisticated looks, incorporating vibrant colors, exuding a woman’s sex appeal from the “hott” beaches of Miami. His looks and style of clothing is something that can be seen straight out from the Kardashian’s, with the intention of bringing out the celebrity persona in everyone.
We are fortunate enough to have Yamin share with Indie Source and our network of emerging industry professionals how he was able to create and produce such beautiful designs and take it to the marketplace; from starting a sample to going into production and finding the right clientele for his garments of clothing. In addition, Yamin provides us insight on his decision to go 100% US Made & some of the benefits and challenges he has had along the way in selecting this pathway for his brand.
Developing a Clothing Line Q&A
Yamin, in establishing a creative idea for a design, how challenging was it to implement an initial sample of your design and what were some of the first steps you took to have your vision come to life?
Any first collection is a bit exciting and confusing at the same time. The process brings up a lot of practical questions, such as: What inspires me and how to translate it to fabric choices and from there to the actual design. The first steps were to collect the right ideas and find the right fabrics and trims to make the collection come to life.
In finding a good pattern maker and seamstress, what advice can you render to select an ideal candidate and professional who could assist in creating your samples?
The pattern maker should be able to find mistake that I didn’t take underconsideration while designing. The idea is to create designs that will look right and at the same time not to delay the production. Some designs were found time-consuming and in production they just delayed everything and we were behind on orders. If the pattern maker and the seamstress were able to recognize that in the sampling stage, we could have saved a lot of time and probably money too.
When choosing various textiles and fabrics along with different textures to incorporate with your design, how challenging is it to balance price points to reduce costs, but not compromise the integrity of your designs?
That’s one of the biggest issues in production. Sometimes I can find a fabric or accessory that I would like to have in the collection, but the price of it is too high to stay in our line price point. There are two choices: 1. To give up on the design; or 2. To make this design a limited edition with a small quantity.
I understand with the Donatella brand that everything is made and manufactured in the US. Though, honorable, how are you able to compete with other brands that decide to go abroad to reduce manufacturing costs and are able to produce garments of clothing similar to the Donatella brand, and can sell them for a half of the price of your clothing?
We deal with this issue all year long. We actually have other companies from around the world that come to our booths in trade shows and just take a catalog and 6 months after we see our designs in a cheaper version. Clients care for price and quality— We don’t compromise with our quality and I think that is what plays a big role in the progression of our brand with Donatella. Beside that, some countries that import our goods buy from us because our goods are made in USA and not China or India. It is important for us to support the American economy and it’s important for us to create more jobs in America. I just wish that the government could help us a bit with this initiative.
Can you please share with our network of industry professionals, what key tips to consider when deciding to stay within the US for production, what are the benefits and challenges to manufacturing within the United States?
Some clients like to buy American made. Made in USA means quality and above all “Made in the right conditions” – which means, everybody received the financial compensation that they deserved , no one is being used and we work by the law and labor standards. I feel this is important for some clients to ensure that they are not supporting any forms of labor and manufacturing abuse including child slavery.
Please tell us a few key concepts a new designer should consider and evaluate in the whole development process during the design phase of creating a more high-end clothing line of merchandise?
Always care for high quality and don’t compromise the sewing process. Always buy fabrics from a reliable supplier that can remake/reorder the same types of fabrics if needed for your designs. Do not overprice your items, while maintaining your quality standards and finding that balance.
Can you please provide our network of emerging industry professionals effective marketing techniques and strategies you’ve used to test your designs, and get feedback from your target clientele before going into production with your designs?
For us it’s a little different. We own retail stores, so we test designs in our stores before adding them to the final collection. Other designers make a group of samples for feedback while showing and selling the current collection. They ask their clients for their opinion on the new samples and this way they direct & promote their upcoming collection.
How do you, as a fashion designer, get motivation and inspiration for your designs and keep it fresh and new from each season to the next while maintaining the continuity of your brand?
Every season there is something else that inspires me; however, there is a concept that I have to work under, so I don’t go out of the frame of our line concept. A metaphor is like telling a few different chefs to make a dish with strawberries. The dishes will all be different, but the concept will be the strawberries. The same with my collection of clothing; they all have the “Bling” concept, but many designs can go under that category.
What advice can you share with designers, who are starting to enter the fashion industry, that would be beneficial on how to get their designs the proper copyright and licensing for their designs, once they are ready to go into the production phase?
My suggestion would be to first decide on what designs will be included in the next collection. After checking in the collection, determine what designs are originals and are important to be copyrighted, then contact a lawyer or a company that specializes in that matter.
What are some time-saving tips you can provide during the design element to assist with stressful deadlines of staying on top of your production for all your orders etc.?
Simply, not to work with too many fabrics or too many trims.
If you could provide one piece of invaluable advice to new designers that will help them during the initial design stages of developing their clothing line that you would have done from the get-go, if only you knew what you knew now, what would it be?
Besides talent, it requires the right funding. Never start a collection using all your money. There will always be some extra expense on something you didn’t consider.
Lastly, what is your definition of good design in the marketplace and how does that translate into the celebrity persona for the everyday consumer? To add further, we were told by one of your sales reps from Magic Marketweek Feb 2014 that your clothing has been featured in some of the reality shows such as Housewives of Beverly Hills, please share with our network of followers how this came about for your brand, and let us say congratulations for such an opportunity!
Thank you! Well… It’s always nice to see my designs on TV, especially on the right celebrity. This helps in marketing and it sure does create a buzz. In the Housewives case… we never sent them anything, they just purchased my dresses in stores in their area. This season my dresses were purchased to be on one of the starts of the show “Married to Medicine.” It’s always exciting!
On behalf of Indie Source, we would like to thank you for sharing some invaluable information based on your personal journey of developing your brand of Donatella Dresses, with our network of industry professionals. We know they will find your insight of valuable advice useful and beneficial. Thank you for helping us pay it forward and educate those who are starting out in the industry, by sharing your area of expertise in the initial design phase of production. We feel that our network of up-and-coming industry professionals will find potential solutions based on your experiences within the professional world of fashion. But, most of all, thank you for sharing with us how you were able to get your unique and luxurious designs to jump of the paper, get a sample made, and test the marketplace to take it to your niche clientele of higher-end consumers. Donatella definitely is a brand that caters to consumers, who exudes and creates a celebrity lifestyle & persona for themselves.
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