A Florida Product Development Engine

Apparel 911 are technical design experts with 50 years of combined experience in the apparel industry who are eager take your ideas and make them production-ready. One of Apparel 911’s owners, Fabiana Foglia, discusses why she started her company and the evolution of apparel manufacturing in America.

At a glance:

I used to be a consultant for small local brands and noticed a dearth of experienced industry professionals who were willing to work with the type of brands that I was consulting with. My mentor, who has been immersed in the apparel industry for over 40 years in 3 different countries, encouraged me to fill that void.

Before I knew it, we were signing partnership documents, and purchasing software for digital patternmaking and plotting to start a new business. After setting up shop, I roped in one of my talented technical designer friends to complete our dream team and take our company to the next level. We have grown rapidly and it’s been rewarding to help small businesses grow.

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We are located in South Florida, which not many people know is an incubator for great brands; there are plenty headquartered here that have made it huge worldwide. South Florida has a history with the apparel industry that we are determined to revive. This is where we call home. And let’s be honest, can you really beat this weather?

The typical day in South Florida can’t start without a cortadito. I wake up at about 7:00 a.m., check emails and start mapping my day. Some days we are at the office all day, other days I’m at my clients’ studios or checking in with factories. As you already know, the fashion industry can be unpredictable, so I always have my superwoman outfit on to tackle whatever the day throws at us.

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At Apparel 911, we don’t favor any type of project. Our specialty is in problem solving. We’re currently helping develop a swimsuit line as well as a new plus-size line for women. Our mission is to help future fashion dynamos get on their feet and seize the stage. I advise my clients to never give up – building a business is exhausting at times but learning to take a step back, breathe, and think through each challenge is important.  

We have set out to prove that with organization, efficient processes, and the right team in place, it’s possible to meet deadlines with minimal stress and lost time. My mantra is to approach new problems with a smile. 

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To us, “Made in USA” represents quality, opportunity and growth. It means the ability to have greater control over how your product are made and more easily stray away from child labor and other types of exploitation. The movement is also creating opportunities for skilled laborers within our domestic economy. 

It’s an exciting time for apparel manufacturing in America. In the past, the industry operated by season. The rhythm of the industry was more predictable when my partner started in 1971. Now, consumers seek instant gratification. As a brand, you need to push out new styles on much shorter turnaround times. Online shopping is a huge game-changer because fashion startups with the right marketing tools are able to get their foot in the door faster as a result of it. In other words, the pace required to stay competitive has accelerated.


 Design your apparel line

Check out Apparel 911 here, and over 3000 other apparel factories on Maker’s Row. Or, try this free email class: makersrow.com/academy

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