Today i have a brilliant interview with Anna a 23 year old graduate and the owner of Billy Dude which she has just recently launched. The brand Billydude is a vintage inspired clothing brand. Anna has always had a soft spot for anything vintage, Anna also has always been an interested in sewing and with help from her mum have been sewing her whole life. Billydudeclothing are also going to be selling on vintage selling platform that is opening soon - Dressboom
what got you interested in design where did it begin?
I have always been an interested in sewing and with help from my mum have been sewing my whole life. I also have always had a love for vintage fashion. I decided that with my love for design, fashion and sewing that studying fashion at university was next step. That was where I learnt to make my own patterns meaning that I could transform a drawing or design into a garment. As at university I made the transition from sewing for fun to sewing to a professional level which elevated the quality and creativity of my garments.
was it difficult to start your shop ?
It was relatively easy to set up both my etsy and folksy shops. I think the hard work comes once you have set up your shop and you are trying to get your work seen on the Internet as its such a big marketplace and as a small business it is difficult to get seen through search engines such as google. Although making sure your titles/tags are the best they can and networking goes someway in getting you seen. I also try to be proactive in getting my work out there by going to vintage fairs throughout suffolk and norfolk and handing out flyer's for my online shops.
I am going be at the following fairs in the near future;
Northgate High school craft and gift fair (ipswich, suffolk) - 18th October 10-4
Farlingaye high school craft fair (woodbridge, suffolk) - 25th October 10-4
Secret vintage fair - details to be announced.
do you have any advice for anyone thinking ongoing into the same field of work?
It takes a lot of hard work and you have to be prepared for that. You have to be able to take criticism from your peers, tutors and the public as what you see as the best design you have ever done they might see as something that their gran would wear. I usually design a select amount of garments and then take it to a focus group and ask for opinions on everything from fabric choice to whether it is something they would buy.
did you go to school to learn to design? if not why?
I studied fashion at the University of Lincoln, where I improved upon the skills I already had established through home sewing and high school textiles classes.
During my time at university I also completed a placement in the industry, exhibited at graduate fashion week and gained experience of fashion shows as I volunteered to be a dresser at our in-house fashion shows at the university.
After finishing university, I have been doing freelance work for other newly established companies, I have made on-off made to measure garments as well as small production runs of garments.
what inspires your work?
I find inspiration from a variety of sources, as my clothing label is inspired by vintage fashion I look at the past for inspiration, I often take inspiration from Hollywood movies, vintage hairstyles, pictures from the era. I also quite often look at vintage paper patterns as I have quite the collection!
I also look at current trends both from the catwalk and the high-street, and incorporate one or two trends into my collections. I am also often inspired by fabrics and will design around fabrics that I have bought.
how long does the whole design process take?
It depends on the kind of garments I am creating and how complex the patterns and sewing of them are. I do try to design the garment on paper first, but once you get to pattern making and sampling of the actual garments, the garments do sometimes evolve into something else entirely and most of the time for the better!