From Sketch to Store

Ever wonder how product development really works? Read what Huaywasi Fashion Designer Lily Kinder has to say about the whole process - from idea to finished product!   

The first step in designing a new look for Huaywasi starts with a team meeting. Lara, the director of LLI, Shelby the director of Huaywasi, and I sat down to chat about what new products were needed for the new summer line. Once we decided on a maxi dress my head started to race with ideas!

Once I had a few ideas in mind, I got onto Pinterest to look at more visual inspiration. I then created a mood board with colors and images that captured the feeling of the new summer line. 

Next I got started on sketching! Once I had a few ideas that I loved, and one that I particularly favored, I sent the sketches off to Lara and Shelby to review. Luckily we all loved the same dress idea!  

Now it was time to meet with our seamstress Guillermina to discuss the details of making the dress. At first she seemed a bit apprehensive about my idea, but once I added some color to the sketch she fully understood my vision and said she could tackle my detailed design. 

The next step was my favorite! Guillermina and I needed to go to Garmarra, a massive market in the middle of Lima. Here you can buy pretty much anything you ever wanted, but the market specializes in everything clothing related. Sewing machines, mannequins, thread, buttons, fabrics, zippers, you name it, it's there! But first we had to get there, which was an adventure in itself. After three bus rides land a lot of waiting in traffic, we made it.

Our first stop was to the pattern making district. Here we order a pattern in two sizes, Guillermina would then adjust the pattern for the other sizes. Next we had to find the perfect color of fabric. This took a while. We probably visited 10 different shops before we found the perfect color in Peruvian made cotton. Lastly we picked up some thread to match and we were all set to start sewing!  

A few days later I went to visit Guillermina in her home, which also functions as her work space. But of course I couldn't just walk down the street to visit her, first I had to catch a combi - a glorified mini van that will fit 5 more people than you thought could ever be possible. The van wound me up the hills to Zone S. After climbing what felt like 10,000 stairs I made it to the top, and was rewarded with an amazing view of Huaycan below. After kisses, hugs, and some much needed water, we got to work!  

Guillermina already had the pattern pieces cut, we just needed to confirm the fit. Over my t-shirt we tried the top on and made the needed adjustments. Next we went through a pile of scrap fabric from past products. These scraps would make up the most beautiful part of the dress, the straps in the back. To our luck there was just enough fabric to make 10 unique dresses! Next Guillermina got to work sewing the rest of the dress together. 30 minutes later and after one more "fitting", we both decided that together we had created a beautiful handcrafted dress.  


Shop the Lily Dress Now! 

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