While the fashion industry tries to figure out how to customer-connect in a timely manner, pioneering designers are playing with new selling platforms. Former Feral Childe co-designer and co-owner Moriah Carlson, says after 22 collections over the course of 13 years for Feral Childe, she was one of those designers ready to explore a new retail model.
Enter Bespokery, a platform that connects women who love fashion with people who love to sew and who Carlson just partnered with as their Fashion Director. Though taking a break from designing was painful for Carlson, when Bespokery asked her to be lead designer, she sprang into action.
“Now I get to speak directly to the people I want to speak to and it’s very exciting,” says Carlson, adding the freedom leaving Feral Childe now allows her to bypass boutique buyers tastes and to reach directly to customers who know her for a certain pattern or cut.
Carlson’s first Bespokery collection (and the first collection for Bespokery in general) is called “Paradise : : Lost,” a capsule collection inspired by unexplored places.
“Imagine a place untouched by humans. A natural environment never seen by people, never trampled upon, never bent to our comforts. It exists independent of us. We wish we could be there and not be there. Being there ruins it too quickly,” says Carlson.
The plan for designer collections after Carlson’s 9 piece launch is to have other designers curate and create lines for Bespokery then pair them with heirloom fabrics and finishes. Bespokery actually curates artisanal, ecologically sound fabrics, enabling access to beautiful fabrics many designers don’t usually have the buying power to purchase.
Those same artisans can become sewists and sell their wares on the Bespokery platform.
“Bespokery is perfect for the young coming up in the industry,” says Carlson. “It’s a platform where you could launch a line without going into full production.”
According to Bespokery, when buying clothing on their site, customers have two options: ‘Buy the Kit’ or ‘Make it For Me.’ If you are one of the 4 million Americans who sew once a week, then making the Paradise : :Lost collection is something you can do yourself. For a fraction of the cost of pre-fabricated high fashion, you can wear the Meaningful Jumper, Captains Culotte or any of the other styles Bespokery offers. Simply purchase the kit and Bespokery sends you everything you need to create it (everything other than scissors and a sewing machine).
If you are not a sewist (Bespokery prefers ‘sewist’ – it spells more pleasantly that ‘sewer’), simply choose the ‘Make it For Me’ option. Bespokery will assign one of the sewists in their network to sew your garment. If you are easily fit off the rack, choose one of the standard sizes. If you are uniquely shaped, choose ‘bespoke.’ Bespokery will arrange to have your measurements taken and create a custom-fit garment from a member of their sewist community.
“If you can sew straight, you can make these clothes,” says Carlson “but of course, if you don’t feel like it, we are more than happy to make them for you.”