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002: Designing Fashion – What its like to design for J. Crew, GAP, and more with Annie Bloj [NSB Podcast]

fashion designing inspiration | fashion design ideas | fashion designer interview | fashion designer aesthetic| Never Skip Brunch Podcast by Cara Newhart | #style #podcast

Episode 002

I n this episode, I sit down with Annie Bloj to talk all things fashion design. We get some insider insight into how trends are set, the full process of designing a piece from sketch to rack, and what a regular day-to-day for a fashion designer looks like.

Annie shares her story and how she got started as a designer and talks about what it was like to learn how to design for a brand and ultimately, the consumer. She shares some of the non-glamorous parts of working in fashion and gives us an amazing overview of what it takes to build out a line for fashion label.

Annie has designed for Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, J. Crew, GAP, Aeropostale, New York & Company, and the Venus Williams & Sarah Jessica Parker lines just to name a few. After over 15 years in the industry, she's moved here to Denver from NYC and currently publishes a curated events calendar for all things art, culture, food, and more.

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Connect with Annie: Website / Instagram


Cara:                                          00:00
You're listing to the Never Skip Brunch podcast, episode number two.


Announcer:                      00:14          

Never Skip Brunch is a life and style dossier inspired by a casual chic style with pops of color. It's a space for women to become fearless with their style and create a beautifully lived in life. Cara Newhart brings you wellness, beauty, fashion, and lifestyle tips and tricks with amazingly brilliant guests dedicated to helping you build a beautifully lived in life. Southern raised and living in Denver. Cara Newhart is the creator of never skipped Brunch as an influencer, Cara has worked with brands like h and m, Kendra Scott, Alba Botanica Express, L'Occitane, charming Charlie, Thrillist, and hair story. She's Tequila loving, color and prints obsessed and passionate about helping others build a lived in life they love pop some champagne and join us. Here's your host, Cara Newhart.


Cara:                           01:10         

In this episode, I sit down with Annie to talk all things, fashion design. We get some insider insight into how the trends are set, the full process of designing a piece from sketch to rack, and what a regular day to day for a fashion designer looks like. Any shares her story and how she got started as a designer and talks about what it was like to learn how to design for a brand and ultimately the consumer. She shares some of the non glamorous parts of working in fashion and gives us an amazing overview of what it takes to build out a line for a fashion label. Any has designed for Abercrombie and Fitch, American Eagle, J, Crew, GAP, Aeropostale, and the Venus Williams and Sarah Jessica Parker. Lines just to name a few. After over 15 years in the industry, she's moved here to Denver from New York City and currently publishes a curated events calendar for all things, art, culture, food, fashion, and more.


Cara:                           02:14       

Hi Annie. Thank you so much for joining me today. So just to get started, can you share a little bit about your story and maybe when you first realized you wanted to pursue, um, a career as a fashion designer?


Annie:                      02:29      

Sure, sure. Gosh, I think ever since I was like four years old, I've wanted to be a fashion designer. I literally used to like sit in the corner and draw as long as I can remember and I would go to the library to read Vogue when I was little because my parents wouldn't buy me because it was two risqué and I think they thought it was pretty probably inappropriate for like an eight year old, but ever since I can remember I always wanted to do fashion design and was always fascinated by sort of like the glamour of it I guess. Um, and I would draw clothes for my barbies.

Annie:                      03:10   

My mom would let me make little outfits for them, I was never very good at sewing. I was always definitely more of like the creative drawing side of it. Um, so when I was in high school and everybody was like saying, you know, I want to do this in my life, I want to go to this school or whatever it was and I was like, I definitely want to go into fashion design. And I remember just thinking like, what business does this like young girl from Virginia have to get into fashion? Like it just seems so distant and far away. Like some sort of like a pipe dream that I just kept going at it and I kept just really feeling like that was what I wanted to do. So was working at nine west selling shoes, which I thought was so glamorous. And um, I started applying for schools and my parents maybe apply to six different colleges, backups for my backups, for my backups, but most of them were in New York where I was just like, well that's where I've got to go.

Annie:                                       04:18          

So, um, I applied to FIT and Parsons and Pratt and I ended up getting into all of them and I just couldn't really decide which one, which one I wanted to go to. So we went up to New York for a visit, like a college visit and Parsons invites perspective students to come see their senior year of fashion shows. Sort of like the rehearsal version of it. Because the evening one is like a $500 a plate. I'm sort of benefit with like black tie and this whole thing. And so we got to go see their run through and we happen to be in the state. We're staying at the hotel where the benefit was being held, so my mom and I snuck down to go check it out, the big gala at night and I just remember being like, oh my God, like this is, I'm here, this is happening.

Annie:                                       05:15                      

Like there's Donna Karen and Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein and Isaac Mizrahi. And I'm like, I'm in the same room with these people. And I just remember being like, okay, I have to do this. I have to go to Parsons. And um, yeah, a couple months later my parents dropped me off in the corner in New York City, 18 year old with a cell phone. And


Cara:                                  05:34 

Oh my goodness,


Anine:                             05:36          

it was literally crying. Like the tears were dripping off my Chin and my mom and dad were like, this is what you wanted, this is what you've all things on. And I was like, oh, I have to do in. That was that I stuck with it. And four years later I graduated for the hardest years of my life for sure. So much for me.


Cara:                                 05:56                  

Then after you did your schooling, um, how did you first get started in fashion design? Like your first internship or...?


Annie:                                       06:04

Yeah, so I did a couple random internships, um, parsons was tough in many ways, but one of them was our classes are one class was from 9:00 in the morning to 4:00, so you'd be in, you'd be in like pattern drafting and that would be tremendous for it and then you'd have to take your electives at night. So basically I was in school from 9:00 in the morning often until like eight or nine at night because I would have to take my electives in the evening because you couldn't take them during the day. And what was the. Also the challenging part was every class was sort of piggybacked on the other class. So what you were sketching in illustrator, illustration class, you were then drafting a pattern and pattern drafting class. Your  draping class and then you were scared. You were drawing it on a model for model drawing class.

Annie:                                       06:55            

So you couldn't even miss one class or your whole. Everything would sort of fall apart. So it was either, it was sort of like sink or swim, you either you either did it or you didn't. So it didn't leave a lot of time for internships. Unfortunately. I had a couple of internships in Virginia in the summer with a couple of retailers, but they weren't really what I was into. I Internet like a Golf Golf Apparel Company for a bit and those were all great. But I can't say that I learned a ton from them except for just like seeing sort of like the corporate environment and how, how that related to the creative world of fashion that I was learning about. So when I graduated, um, you know, I think there's this idea that like you're gonna go work for Donna Karen are going to go work for Alexander Wang and you know, you're gonna be at the fashion shows or whatever.

Annie:                                       07:52          

But what I found back then, I don't know if it's true now, but with those higher level designers, those sort of more niche designers, they were paying like $20,000 for opening salary and back in 2000. That was not enough to pay the rent. I'm not now for sure, but I knew that I wanted to. I was tired of being really broke in New York and I was tired of and I knew I needed to pay my student loans and everything like that. So I ended up taking a job at Abercrombie and Fitch back when it was like hugely popular and controversial at the same time, but that was, ended up being in Ohio in Columbus, Ohio, which oddly enough is like a super hot bed for retail design. There's limited out there. There's Victoria's secret, has some offices out there. There's a lot of fashion in Columbus, Ohio


Cara:                                          08:48      

I never would have guessed that


Annie:                                       08:49     

Right. It's so strange and actually end up being like the most perfect spot for me. I felt I didn't really get the college experience at all. My Dad used to say that I went to, into like a full time job at college. Um, but you know, I was eating all these cool people that were coming in from all over the world. They recruited all over Europe from European schools too. So it was the sort of the college that I didn't get to have and we were making, we are making a good wage so that we can live off of. So um, I started there and through meeting people at Abercrombie and really making some lifelong friendships there, I sort of came back to New York and started working my way through New York. Oh. And I met my husband at Abercrombie, so I'd been to New York together.

Annie:                                       09:39          

So it was, that was the perfect experience. It wasn't something that I thought that I was going to do or was going to be like the trajectory for my career, but it actually worked out perfectly in the long run.


Cara:                                          09:52    

Yeah. So then just to give everyone an idea, can you summarize some of the other spots you've been in your career? Some of the other places you've worked?


Annie:                      10:01    

Yeah, so from Abercrombie American Eagle, which at the time they arrival. So I actually, like they, when I told them that I was leaving Abercrombie, they literally walked me out the door and we're like, okay, goodbye. As if I was going to steal some secret under the system that then we went to. I went from American Eagle and then I went to aeropostale. Aeropostale had just launched a new brand called [inaudible] and it was more of like a surf brand.

Annie:                    10:29       

So I worked there and because I kind of wanted to work with a smaller team and get a sense of what it was like to start something from scratch. And then from Jimmy Aziz I went to a very short lived company called Steven Barriers was probably nobody remembers, but working there I got the experience of working with celebrities and that was right when the sort of celebrity fashion lines were becoming really popular. So, um, through that job I worked with, I helped with. I worked on the Sarah Jessica Parker line. So I worked with her, the Amanda Bynes Line, which man she has dropped off the face of the planet, but we got her at a good moment. And I was the lead designer for the Venus Williams line, which was totally different for me because I hadn't done athletic wear at all. But it was cool to work on all of those lines.

Annie:                                       11:21             

They were really different and it was really interesting to sort of get a glimpse on, like the sort of the celebrity fashion culture and all the trials and tribulations that go along with that. And I would design Venus's outfits that she wore in the tournaments. And then we also designed the line that we're supposed to sell in the store. So Steven various didn't last very long. Um, I left there and I went to j crew, which I still am, like I don't even understand happened. Like I felt like my career was over when I was at cu and barriers because it was such a bad day, like closed really quickly. It was sort of a nightmare. And then I went to, like my dream job at J Crew and I was just like, I cannot believe they hired me. So like I feel like a liability that I had the craziest interview of my life at J. Crew

Annie:                                       12:15     

with Nikki Drexler at j. crew you had to interview with every single person, um, that would be above you essentially. So I interviewed with um, my, my boss and I interviewed with Jenna Lyons and I interviewed with Tom and I interviewed the final interview is with Nikki Drexler and it's a very long story that look could tell another time, but I basically challenged somebody to an arm wrestling match in the middle of my interview and I was like, I left. And I was like, oh my God, I cannot believe I did that. Like, what was I thinking? He thought like I like barged in on another interview and he asked me like if I was, if I knew that I was interviewing for the same position as this other girl, what would I do? And I said I'd give, I'd like would wrestle, like arm wrestle her for because she put her arm on the table than it looked like she, I don't know, I was a mess and I left and I was like, oh my, Oh my God, what did I do? I just ruined everything.

Annie:                      13:20        

And it turns out like we, he walked, he put his arm around me and walked out and was like, that's, you know, I like quick thinking and I liked that you thought on your toes and you know, welcome to the team. And I got home and I was like, oh my God on it. So it was crazy. And then I went fromj crew to New York and company. I had a couple of friends that were working there and they felt like they were really starting something new there. So I was there for a little bit. And then the last job I had in New York was at the GAP. I was designing baby gap for girls. I was the head of the baby gap team for girls and it was the cutest thing could come. Oh my God, everything's so tiny and the prints are so cute and it's really hard to mess it up.

Annie:                     14:06          

So that was a lot of fun. And then we moved to Colorado. So I like to say I worked my way around a mall . Basically.


Cara:                        14:15     

You totally did theres such a range there. So I feel like a lot of people who don't work in fashion or just kind of like used to shopping the new seasons or snagging a great piece from a sale, but we don't really like think about or realize all this stuff that goes into creating the pieces. So can you give us some insight into the whole process?


Annie:                      14:38           

Sure, of course. So, um, I think one of the things that we definitely start with is sort of looking at trends in digesting all the trends and how, what that means to you as a brand there. There's a couple of really good trend forecasting services based in Europe and New York that most of the companies I worked with a used, one of them was trends and trend union was sort of like this big overarching trend conference that happened I think like twice annually or something like that.

Annie:                       15:10        

But she would sort of give an insight onto the general feeling of the world basically like economically safety-wise colors. And it would be things that would be interpreted. I mean there are car manufacturers in this same room, all that kind of stuff. So I think what's interesting is if your listeners or whoever tunes in notices, sometimes you walk through the mall or you walk through boutiques or something like that and all the trends sort of look the same or the colors will all look the same and it's because a lot of the times most brands go to these trends unions, these training meetings or trend services and they're saying like aqua is going to be huge next year or Aqua is going to be huge for years from now. And this is sort of tension between the industry and these trends services because if you don't have aqua you don't want to look like you're out of step with everybody else.

Annie:                      16:08       

But at the same time if you do do it then you sort of end up looking like everybody else. So I think it's sort of shifting because a lot of brands are trying to address sort of the uniqueness of the culture right now. There's so many. Everyone wants to look different in personal. And I think that's why a lot of brands are starting to try to be more individual. But to get back to your question, we would digest the trends, come up with a color palette, come up with fabrics that we would want for each season, and then we would sketch into that. So some companies I've worked for, they've had trend to departments where they'll set the trends for the next year, like somebody huge, like the gap. They want all the stores to sort of look the same. So it gap adult section looks as, sort of has the same influence as the kids section and so they have a huge team that works on that.

Annie:                         17:04      

Other teams do it by themselves and so you would sketch into all that and think about the colors that have been decided on and the fabrics that you picked. And then you just sort of get into all the nitty gritty that it takes to make it happen. So you have to present your line to the merchandising team and those are the people that basically decide whether or not they're going to buy into what you're trying to sell. So you have a sketch review with them. You explain your concepts, your ideas. Hopefully if you've got a good relationship with the merchandising team, as long as you've covered what they've asked for in terms of sort of like the basic necessities that they have to have to sell, they'll give you a little leeway on the more fashion forward ideas, the things that you're like, we really think cool.

Annie:                           17:53  

And they're like, we have never sold one. And you're like, well, maybe this year is the year. Maybe other times it was bad. So I'm having a good relationship with that team really makes a big difference because hopefully you can make some compromises and then you take whatever you've landed for your sketches and your line and you go over to the tech team. So the tech team in a larger company is basically what you would think of as like the most competent, uh, amazing sort of seamstresses and tailors that can take a flat sketch and create the actual garment. So you'll say like I want, I liked how this shirt fit from last season, but I want to do more of a drop shoulder and I want to have it like flatly bigger. So you can take it in because that's where I'm seeing the trend going and they will take all the information and all the sketches and all the notes that you've worked on together and send out a tech what's called a tech pack to your vendor, whether it's overseas or a more in the states or whatever and that, that all that information is given to them and they said they can make a sample so you can come back and fit it with your tech team to get the fit right.

Annie:                                       19:12     

Um, so after that you work on your trim sheets that also in the tech pack and that shows all of the trends, all those threads, the buttons, everything that you would need to create this garment. Um, that all goes into that tech pack. And I think what a lot of people may take for granted or not understand is that every single thing that goes into a garment has someone has to set, has made that decision. So the color of the button, the size of the button, the thickness of the button, the color of the threads, even like the most basic t shirt, doesn't matter if it's at a target or if it's a Barney's or Saks fifth avenue. Somebody has sat and made that decision and that's one of the things that I think is really interesting still about it is that it still is really personal is mass market as some things can be something as somebody made that decision and you know, part of the push and pull between what you wanted as a designer and what you want it to have made is that like I used to be in meetings at the gap and we'd be fighting over two cents a button and it was like really guys like two cents.

Annie:                                       20:24        

Like come on 2 cents? If you're a small designer per button is really nothing but 2 cents when they're making like a million of these is a lot of money. So you sort of have to figure out what's important to you and what can what's important to the overall feeling of the garment. And what you're trying to express and how do you keep that? How do you stick with that from beginning to end? Um, and then there's just like a ton of meetings about all kinds of stuff, budget, timing, any things that, anything that comes up with the vendor and they're like, we can't get this fabric or this print isn't working. You have to teach the print. It's just, it's an ongoing process literally from thought to when it gets into the store. Like we always used to say that whatever made it into the store was too late to change.


Cara:                             21:20   

As a consumer you're just like, oh, well this is a cute shirt, fits really well and it just kind of lost on us all the detail and work that really goes into creating every single.


Annie:                         21:31    

Yeah, yeah. A million hands went into making that garment. Whether you can come out of their price point, it's pretty remarkable that even know that it even happened sometimes.


Cara:                                          21:44      

So as a designer, I know you probably have your own kind of perspectives or own styles you like, but what was the process for you in terms of like learning to design for the brand and kind of stay true to the brand and then ultimately like designing the piece for the consumer? Well, I think one of the best things about going to parsons is that they sort of taught us that design is a way to solve a problem, right? So good design solves a problem and so a person's.


Annie:                                       22:17      

He would give us design problems to solve through fashion. So it was, I mean, I can't think of one off the top of my head, but in a way it sort of prepared you for working for a larger company or a small company. But basically to be like, um, so I, when I was at j crew it was like, okay, well we've got like four really beautiful jackets. We need a really a casual jacket that's lightweight that you can wear in the spring and the fall. Um, and go design a bunch. So like go design a bunch and you have to think about the customer in who that is and what they're doing and what their lifestyle is very different from like the American Eagle customer who's probably in college and doesn't have a lot of money or in high school and is funding their babysitting money or the money that my parents gave them for an allowance.

Annie:                                       23:09       

Whereas J Crew that customers probably more independent and has a job and wants to buy things that maybe might could be more of an investment and not something that would just get tossed. So what I like, what I like about working for other companies aside from my own self is designed through solving a problem basically. And it definitely makes you step out of your comfort zone. There have been times where I had a design stuff that I was like, Oh God, this is so ugly. Like I would never wear this. And then you have to be like, oh wait, this. I'm not designing for myself. Like I'm designing for a customer and each different job, each different store that I've worked for. Like they definitely, you know, we're in the mall, there was a certain price point, but there is definitely a different customer between them and a lot there would be to do a lot of focus groups and things like that for like if you were a return customer or a loyal customer you would bring you in and ask you some questions to, to start to get a sense of what you're into, what you didn't like, what you did, like, what your shopping experience was like.

Annie:                                24:16                      

So a lot of grants put a lot of effort into understanding who their customers are because it's constantly changing depending on what's in store or the marketing that they're trying to pitch and all different kinds of things. So definitely understand the customer and trying to tailor what you're designing for them was one of the biggest challenges because not everyone wants to dress like me, you know? So you started had to step out of your comfort zone, but in a way you had parsons sort of prepared me for that, which was good. You have to put your ego aside to sometimes. And because you're presenting to like be presenting to hundreds of people and you have to like sell it as if you really feel passionate about it even though you may not and you're kind of to be like, this is good in the most amazing sweater of all time, blah blah blah. And you're like, oh, I wouldn't wear it but someone will and I wouldn't. I'm not buying it. But at the same time when you're designing things that like I was a shopper at Abercrombie at the time, I was a shopper at j dot crew at the time and I, by in time your stuff actually makes it to this door.

Annie:                                       25:24         

You've been designing it and working on it for sometimes over a year. So usually don't even buy your product anyways because you're so tired of looking at it and you just know what it was supposed to be and how it all. Like. I can't even like most of the designers that I know and work with and are really best friends with. Like we're pretty boring uniform because you're just looking at color and pattern all day. And the last thing you want to think about this dressing yourself. So I think this like those fashion movies that you see and stuff like that. If you look at the people in the background at like vogue, everyone's wearing like sneakers and trousers and tee shirts like no one looks. It looks like Anna Wintour.


Cara:                           26:09      

We Kinda, we kind of dove into like the big picture. But can you like give us a peek into what your day to day as a designer looked like every day? I know each day is different and depends on the. Depends on where you are in the design season.


Annie:                      26:26    

Sometimes during meetings all day, going through every single detail on a garment with your merchandising and your tech team to make sure everyone's on board and everything's okay. But generally speaking I want to sound like swishing with my coffee and I sketch and I look at vogue but really like you sit down, it's probably just like most jobs, like go through your emails. You have a couple of meetings on the schedule. You bounced around to the different departments and see how they're doing. You have a ton of fittings probably lined up in some time. I mean when we, I was working with in women's, we would have like a fit model sometimes that was onsite all the time. So if we needed to throw something on to fit it really quickly, it was easily. Other Times they would have a book for a very specific amount of time. So you kind of had to like get in and get out at the gap. When I was fitting on kids, we would have like, um, like dummies, like mannequins you can fit on, but then every once in a while we'd have to get live, live real kids in to see if they could get it over their head, you know, like, is this possible? So lots of things. Sometimes you'll be, there's some companies have a color labs where they do all the fabrics. So say, uh, I don't know, the gap has picked a lavender across all the entire line. Well every single vendor in every single fabrication has to match the same color so that the color is the same across the entire store.

Annie:                                       28:02           

So that's a sweater, it could be jeans, it could be a shirt, they all have to match. So sometimes you're sitting in the color lab with a million different lights shining down and make sure that all the colors are matching. Sometimes you're doing comments on prints. Um, I mean it's just like, it's never ending. There's always something and a lot of it has to do a lot of. It's just emailing back and forth with vendors overseas or domestically and making sure that, you know, if they've got a question about the button you pick, did you want it in Tan or did you want to impress people because you didn't have the right information on the tech pack. You have to sort that out. So it's just mean it's pretty, it's actually pretty mundane during the day. It's not that much different than what I would imagine a lot of other jobs are.  A lot of emails, some fittings, meetings. Um, and some, you know, there's always some birthday cupcakes around that. You can dig into


Cara:                        29:05                 

Some office snacks 🙂


Annie:                      29:06      

I mean, there are some moments that you're like, I cannot believe this is my job. We would go. Every company I've worked with, we would go travel in Europe and go shopping. I mean, we'd go shopping in Europe for work that's kind of incredible. And you have, you know, some, some companies they would hire you at drivers so you could go from store to store and just blitz it. Um, some times you'd have to just slap all over town with your bags. But I mean, I remember my husband when we first started dating, I was like, I'm going to London. And he was like, what for? I was like to shop. He was like, this is your job. Like, this is what you do, this is crazy. I'm like, I don't know, but it's, it's good to get out. It's good to see things. It's good to see other, what other everyone's doing. And I mean this is obviously before instagram's, which makes everything a lot easier, but there's a lot of that, there is, there's some glamour sprinkled in too much,


Cara:                       30:04   

Yeah you know, people just kind of see the glamour and don't really realize. I mean really with any job, like all the not fun stuff. Like especially blogging. People think I'm like out here partying, posting on instagram because everyone only sees the fun stuff.


Annie:                      30:19    

Like here I am 20 emails in like the messy out here we are. So I have been blogging, I have so much respect for now that I'm doing what I'm doing it because you have to create content. Yeah. Just you have to create, create, create, create, create and have so much on the docket and be so self motivated. It's a totally different experience for sure. That totally is. But one that should be acted as well. I think people don't see how all the effort and the hard work that goes into it.


Cara:                           30:53    

Yeah. I always say it's like a lot of effort to make it look effortless. It is, it totally is.


Annie:                      30:59                      

It's, it's a lot. It's a lot of work.


Cara:                           31:03  

So kind of like along those lines, um, I think working in fashion often sounds super glamorous. We probably have like movies and media to blame for that. But what were some of the challenges are tough parts?


Annie:                      31:16   

Well, like I said, I think when you sketch it in line and you sort of presented to your team and you hope that everyone sort of buys into what you're selling or you're sort of have to create a case if you are trying to design something, it's a little bit different and obviously we're working in a year or even a year and a half out. So it may not be a trend that's super popular yet. So you started to have to like sell it and hope that someone will get on board with you. Dealing with production issues is really a pain I think. I don't think a lot of people understand like there's so much that goes into it and there are trends that are being sent from all over the world to your vendor. So if there was a monsoon or something like that, then you can't get whatever or you know, Chinese New Year every year sort of seems to get longer and longer and all those things really contribute to the brick, the precarious nature of actual fashion production. And like I said, it think it's sort of, you know, magic sometimes that it all comes together considering all the things that have to work to make it right. And then I think taking yourself up after failure is really hard.

Annie:                      32:30           

I think, like I said, when you sell that idea, if you sell that idea and everyone buys into it and then it tanks, you know, the sketch review, they're not, they're going to remember that and you have to push through that. And same with any creative endeavor, any business, like you just sort of have to pick yourself up and try, keep trying and keep going at it. Having your sales read in front of the entire office on every Monday morning and everyone looking at you and being like, wow, that puffer really did not sell at all. And you have to be like, yeah, okay, next we're already on the next thing. You can't change it. So I think that's hard and you know, making relationships within the industry I think is super important but also can be really tough. There's a lot of really opinionated people and um, I think making relationships is one of the biggest benefits of is my lifelong friends or friendly industry, but also, you know, you have your bad apples and you come across people and it's actually a pretty small industry and that can be tough.

Annie:                        33:40                

And then the grind of it, I think I was having some lunch with a friend this afternoon and I was like, she was asking me about the end and why I needed a break. And I was like, I cannot design another sexy puffer vests. Like I can't do it. I don't have it in me. I got nothing left and designing. I mean I think it was eight. Collections are, I mean they were starting to go to every three weeks designing that much product and designing that much, having that much creative energy and inspiration day after day after day is this is such a grind and it's. I have so much respect for people that really stick it out and then industry because it is it's exhaust, it's mentally exhausting and to have people critiquing you all the time. It was really hard and that's one of the things that person's really helped is that just getting used to being critiqued all the time because that's what happens. So those are a couple of them.


Cara:                            34:42    

I know it was going to say like being creative is hard enough, much less. Having someone like judge every idea that you can put up


Annie                      34:49  

And putting money behind it and expensing returned and all the effort that goes into making it and if it doesn't work, it's so sad and disappointing, but then at the same time that it moves so fast you you're already onto the next thing. But I would say I have a couple of suggestions for movies, for people to watch if they wanted to see how, what it was really like. So one of the first movies that was sort of like the gateway drug for me when I was in high school is called unzipped with Isaac Mizrahi and it's a documentary about him doing a collection. I think it gives a real honest insight into everything that goes into it and this sort of like the, I don't want to say bravery or courage because really you're not doing anything, you know, terrifying. But just sort of putting yourself out there and letting yourself get critiqued and all the effort that goes into it and sort of making sure everyone's on board. And that's an old one. I think it's on Netflix or Hulu or Amazon or whatever. But a more recent one is dior and I. and that's with Raf Simons when he took over the house of Dior and I think they gave him like something bizarre, insane, like eight weeks to create a couture collection. And I think that would gives a really good insight into coming onboard to team, working on relationships, you know, really challenging yourself creatively, but also understanding the limitations of what you have to work with. Like there's one point where he sees a painting and he wants to turn it into a pattern for a dress and they're trying to figure out how to be the pattern in the same way that he wants it to look.


Annie:                                       36:32    

And everyone's like, no, no, no, no, you can't do it. You can't do it, you can't do it. He's like, no, you're doing it. We're figuring this out. We're going to make it happen. And I think it's just a really good way of seeing sort of a snapshot of what goes into making, making a collection. I love movies like that. Yeah, they're definitely on my list now. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We, there are both a streamable, so check them out.


Cara:                                          36:58   

Well, I could pick your brain all day about the fashion industry, but can we touch on what you're up to now, especially for all of the listeners that are from Denver Colorado?


Annie                      37:11        

So we moved to the Denver area about five years ago and I realized that I'm in the fashion industry here is sort of tough, so I kind of wanted to do something different. So I started an events calendar, a ww dot Annie Bloj, b-l-oj-Dot-com and it's curated cultural calendar of different events going on around town in regards to um, fashion and culture and food and all kinds of stuff. And I just really started, wasn't really. There are lots of different signup list you can do, you can do the 50 to 80 list are the three or three lists or whatever. But I kind of wanted to gather it all together in one place. So that's what I've been working on. It's been really fun.


Cara:                                          37:55    

There's so much going on. So it's been wonderful. Especially I have so many friends that have recently moved here from such a melting pot. Yes. Like being able to get plugged into the culture.


Annie:                      38:09       

Like if you weren't following the instagram accounts or you didn't sign up for all the download lists and stuff like that, you've really. It was hard, a lot of information to manage, so it's been, and I've been doing some stuff with the scene pays on the site and it's sort of gives a snapshot of different events that I've been going to around town. I just posted some pictures from the, um, event last week and I've been doing some interviews with some entrepreneurs in town. It's fun. It gets me all kinds of new people all the time. Like you.


Cara:                                          38:41               

I love it. That's perfect. Yeah. Well I'll link to that in the show notes if you're from Denver, be sure to check it out because it's like an amazing resource. You don't have to put in really any effort to find cool things to do. Thanks. So yeah, Um, the website. Where else can people connect with you online?


Annie:                      39:00             

I mean instagram is anniebloj . So check me out there. I post things that are going on. Um, and I highlight some brands, some local brands that I like. Uh, it's just fun. It's just a fun place. Some are so fun here. It's my favorite season for sure, because you could actually do stuff versus just being an unparalleled, not like melt. I love it. Well, thank you again for your time and all this amazing insight. It was so fun to get a kind behind the scenes of the whole process. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited and I have and if your listeners have any questions for me about breaking into the fashion industry or whatever, we can get in touch dm me on instagram.


Cara:                                          39:53    

Yeah. Perfect


Announcer:                           40:04              

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fashion designing inspiration | fashion design ideas | fashion designer interview | fashion designer aesthetic | Never Skip Brunch Podcast by Cara Newhart | #style #podcast
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fashion designing inspiration | fashion design ideas | fashion designer interview | fashion designer aesthetic | Never Skip Brunch Podcast by Cara Newhart | #fashion #podcast

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I'm Cara, the designer & Chief Creative Enthusiast behind Never Skip Brunch. I'm a color & prints obsessed DIY queen who's here to help you create a beautifully lived-in life through home design advice and chic DIY tutorials

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