For blog posts directly to your inbox, sign up for the Maker’s Row newsletter.
Hanger & Cloth started as a selfish project on my end. I wanted to create a pocket T-Shirt that fit my height and also was a little bit more tailored than what I could purchase in stores. The hard part was…well…everything. I had never worked in the apparel industry, never cut fabric, or even sewn a ripped pair of jeans. But I knew one thing, I wanted to design and create this pocket T-Shirt and nothing was going to stop me from accomplishing that!
Here is a breakdown of how our 8-piece Heritage Collection came to life at Hanger & Cloth.
Phase One: Research, meeting new people, and putting myself out there.
I did some research on the textile industry here in the United States. I figured if I was going to do this, I might be able to get things done faster if the whole process was done locally. After countless hours of research and frustration stemming from facts about clothes made overseas, it was imperative that everything be made in America as to bypass all the “sweat shop” controversies and general disgust I felt after watching documentaries based on the subject. I stumbled across Maker’s Row while doing my research and found a local manufacturing facility for small batch production here in Florida called Victory Stitch Manufacturing.
I got in contact with the owner, Nya Tanaka, and set up a meeting to show her what I had in mind for this T-Shirt.
Since the meeting was a week out, I had plenty of time to think and re-create this shirt I was so hard pressed to find anywhere.
Then I got to thinking If I have this perfect T-shirt, why not have a perfect pair of jeans and so on…why don’t I just create my own clothing company based here in the good old USA? Something, trendy, but timeless, and something made with pure quality in mind. I did research on the necessities everyone should have in their closets and came down to 8 basic items.
Phase Two: Design
The Design process took about 2 months for all of the pieces.
- A pocket T
- A sweater
- A denim jacket
- A pair of selvage jeans
For the women:
- A pocket T
- A sweater
- A tank top
- A unique draping trench coat we call the New-Man Trench
With both Sean Bilovecky (pattern maker) and Nya Tanaka being extremely talented and dedicated to the project, I was able to soon place an order for fabric pertaining to each piece, and eventually my clothes started to come to life.
Phase 3: Pattern Making
The patternmaking process took about 2 months to get the slopers made, which went straight to Nya and LC King for sample making (approximately another 2 months.)
Phase 4: Fabric Sourcing
Sourcing fabric was extremely important simply because we wanted to start this brand consciously using environmentally friendly fabrics such as organic cotton and bamboo, both of which are produced using little to no pesticides or toxic chemicals.
Phase 5: Sample Production
Nya was able to create all of the tops and basics, however, I needed to source a denim manufacturer that could stitch heavy pieces since I was going to be making a denim jacket and men’s salvage as well.
Utilizing Maker’s Row to search for that was extremely easy. LC King located in Bristol Tennessee was able to help us bring our idea from a pattern to sampling.
Phase 6: Filming and Photography
After all the samples were ready to go I reached out to a local photographer Miguel Emmanuelli to organize some photo shoots in preparation for a Kickstarter campaign we ultimately wanted to launch, helping to fund the rest of this project and get it off the ground.
After months of driving back and forth from Orlando to Jacksonville for multiple shoots and filming for our pitch video, we finally have a finished product that’s ready to go!
Slowly Hanger & Cloth has become my full-time project I’d like to make my full-time job. New patterns and new ideas will eventually be part of our seasonal collections. We are currently on Kickstarter to raise the funds in order to continue production and purchase larger orders.
Want to Know More About Production?
Enroll in Maker’s Row Academy for a 6-day e-course to help jumpstart your design process. In this introductory course, you’ll learn everything from setting brand goals, budgeting advice, and how to prepare for the factory sourcing process.
More on Idea to Production
- Idea to Production: Busty Bras
- Idea to Production: Handbags at Lauren Cecchi
- Idea to Production: Maker’s Row Banners
If you have an Idea to Production journey you would like to share with our community, please email email@example.com.