• Ashley Raynor

NYFW - Behind the Scenes

I've never been to New York before, it's always been on my list but I've never quite gotten around to it. So when I received the email asking me if I wanted to show there, I couldn't say no!

The invite was for a collaborative 'Ones to Watch' show for emerging designers at New York Fashion Week and they had seen my graduate collection and instagram work and were really interested in offering me a spot there. The only problem was that I now had 6 weeks to double my collection from four pieces to eight.

Click Here to view all of the Behind the Scenes photos from NYFW

I designed the rest of my collection and immediately started. This was the first time I was working from home rather than my University, as I had just finished university the month before. Luckily, I have a fully equipped sewing studio at home for my freelance work. I didn't have a printing workshop though so I decided to make one! I bought screens, dyes, binders, everything I would need to hand print the rest of the collection from home.

This was my first time showing at a fashion week and I put so much emphasis into making it a real debut that I could be proud of, despite the limited time frame. I really wanted to highlight the sustainability aspect of my brand by putting an emphasis on the fabrics used. I used fabric made from tree bark, organic fabrics and recycled packaging to really reflect my brand values.

Once I'd flown out I had two days of fittings with the eight models, apart from university I had zero experience doing a fitting of this standard. I was also one of the only designers without assistants. The whole thing just seemed out of my league as I'm still to graduate, it just seemed really surreal to me.

I learnt so much from the other designers about which steps to take next and what could work best for my brand. I just really need to take the time now to produce a detailed business plan to work out whether I can make this work long term.

I also had press interviews and made a lot of contacts such as buyers, stockists, influencers and other designers to collaborate with. I'm so excited to sit and go through a business plan to take my brand to the next stage.