It’s approaching showtime for iNDiViDUALS. What are they inspired by, what problems are they facing and what should you know if you want to be a part of the brand’s future? AMFI.nl caught up with the super busy Paula, Laura and Gabriëlle to lift the lid on this season’s journey.
Hi girls! Let’s start off with the inspiration for S/S 17.
When we were orientating ourselves for this generation, we were struck by the overexposure going on in society. Social media and many other platforms have given everyone the opportunity to scream out their opinions. It’s too loud. It’s too much. We want to react to this, showing that you can make an impact without the need for aggression.
What experience did you gain working with students from the three departments?
To work in a team in general has many great aspects, it helped us to refine our vision. You can’t do whatever you want, our decisions have to be democratic for the company. You also learn to become a lot more flexible, you cannot rely on your first choice being the final choice. It’s just not going to happen that way.
Specific to the three departments; it was really important to learn to trust each other’s competences. It was one of the hardest parts in the beginning because we were unsure what each department actually does, but it is one of the most important experiences gained in the whole process.
What are the most challenging aspects to being a part of iNDiViDUALS?
Communication. It seems like such a small thing. It’s so important, even trying to make a simple decision, in the beginning we would have endless discussions but we all noticed that just wasn’t a practical use of our time so we had to learn to rely on each other’s expertise. We are always reflecting on our decision-making process, how can our next step forward be better, more encompassing of the concept and group vision.
If we would pick another challenging thing, it would be striving to be sustainable. The branding team created a corporate identity for future generations which would mean we wouldn’t waste so much paper, but for a small company it’s really difficult to implement sustainability everywhere. The boundaries of time, money and minimum quantities determines how sustainable we can be with our collection.
For each department, what are some of the most rewarding aspects of the specialisation?
Paula, F&D: For us designers, it’s to see the whole collection coming together. With the sales collection, we sent our designs off to our production facilities abroad and it’s surreal to see them coming back fully made and fitting well! They’re going to be hanging in shops next season and hopefully, there will be people buying them. It’s an intense feeling to describe!
Gabriëlle, F&B: In the branding department, it’s so exciting to see things happening in real life, from the concept to the final show. One of the most amazing things to me in particular, was to see the designers and managers take our concept and apply it to shapes, dimensions and words, with a coherent vision. It’s incredible to see it grow, and to make it real.
Laura, F&M: I’m a bit more practical. If we send out tech packs to production, and everything happens without major problems, that is already a huge relief! Every time we get something back, managers need to check for problems, check for improvements and drive the process forward. Only at the show will I be able to relax!
Do you think iNDiViDUALS is a true representation of current fashion climate?
Despite the fact we work on a highly professional level, we are a part of the HvA and this comes with pros and cons. It’s good practice to work with a real budget but there are also restrictions. But we all agree that it’s the perfect environment to put into practice your internship skills from the previous semesters, or to learn invaluable skills that can be transferred when you intern for a company.
Do you have any advice for the next Generation of iNDiViDUALS?
Be experimental. You are a student brand so you can do really exciting things. For instance, we are going to try something which hasn’t been attempted in The Netherlands just yet, so keep a lookout.
Be ready to learn. A lot. You will be exposed to way more than you can imagine. You get huge insights from the teachers and coaches, but the knowledge shared between departments and team members is particularly special.
Interview by Orla Tiffney, second-year International Fashion & Branding student.