Sunday, 13 November 2016

The December 2016 Collection Was Suppose To Consist Of 6 Designs, But We Are Only Going To Release 2 Of Them. Here's Why.

A few weeks after the launch of Seni by Fit Rebel in August 2016, I headed back to the art studio to work on new designs for the upcoming December 2016 collection. I was chatting with a friend over the phone and she commented, "You're with your artists, working on new designs? Oh Nadia, your job is so much fun!".

I remember thinking to myself... if only you knew.

As the title of this post suggest, I had the intention of releasing 6 new designs in December. However, life is such that it messes with your best laid plans & not everything will turn out how you would have liked. So we'll just need to go with the flow and make the best of every situation in order to maintain our sanity (not as if I have much of it left. Lol!). Just kidding! Or maybe not...

Below are the 6 designs that were created over a period of 2 months by two of my best batik artists. Out of the 6 designs, 4 were accepted. 2 were rejected. Here are the ones that made the cut.

This Edgy Peacock design in an inspiration from it's original, the 'Bonnie' print. The Bonnie print was soooooooooooooooooooooooo popular that I was asked to recreate this design, but in different colors.

Ask and you shall receive. Me thinks that this actually looks better than the original. This is fierce! Bad ass!

This Fighting Fish design was something that the artist and I brainstormed together. I wanted something beautiful & graceful, yet powerful. After weeks of throwing ideas back and forth, we came up with this concept. Three weeks later, this artwork was created.  

The vertical lines incorporated into this design was done on purpose & meant to create a more flattering look. The prototypes leggings are already out and they look fantastic.

Butterflies are pretty and I knew that I wanted butterfly inspired designs at some point. Nuff said. 

Here's a cute behind-the-scenes photo of Mr Lazim, hand painting the butterflies:

Below are the 2 designs that didn't make the cut. Once you see them, the reason why becomes obvious (why they were rejected).

Here's the first one...

Like, omg. The brief to the artist was to create a whimsical, dandelion inspired design. And this is what he came up with. *Face palm* It's not entirely horrible, but not exactly what I had in mind...

Here's the second (rejected) design:

I gotta admit. This is a bit better. But compared to the designs from the previous collection, this is nowhere near as cool as my existing designs. 

Then someone said something which made me completely rule out this design entirely.

"You can position this as Harley Quinn inspired pants & launch this over Halloween".

And I was like... No.. just no. I'll leave the Marvel inspired apparel to Black Milk and concentrate on producing gorgeous & inspiring leggings featuring hand painted works of art. 

The 4 approved designs were then forwarded to my manufacturer who created the mock ups as follows:

A few days later, these prototype leggings arrived at my doorstep. The Edgy Peacock and the Fighting Fish are GORGEOUSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. So proud of them. I am arranging for them to be photographed in the studio and will reveal the images when they are ready. Friends who have already seen them are already drooling and pre-orders are already piling up. Good stuff.

The butterfly leggings were a disappointment, though. Here are the images:

I know what you're thinking. They are not bad, Nadia.

Problem is, 'not bad' isn't good enough for me anymore. All my designs have the WOW factor & customers really have a hard time choosing their favorite design because they were all amazing. And that is the standard that I have set for Fit Rebel & something that I want to maintain and surpass over time.

Something that I've learnt this year is that when love, care and attention to detail has been put into something, it shows in the final results. People will notice these things and it does matter. And personally, I will feel a bigger sense of pride and satisfaction in knowing that I have created something amazing. Not something that was 'not bad'.

So that is why, I will only be releasing 2 out of the 6 designs in December. Sorry for any disappointment caused, but it's only gonna be the best from me to you.

Thanks for reading, folks. X

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

A Rock Band Is Inspiring Me To Be The Best Version Of Myself

Fun fact: As of late, indie rock band, The Strokes has been a major influence in my life.

They make REALLY GOOD music.

Apart from making really good music, the 'WHY' they do what they do resonated so well with me.

I've been watching their interviews and reading material about them. Below are some insights that I would like to share about The Strokes and frontman, Julian Casablancas.

Insight #1: On what inspires The Strokes

"It’s that feeling when you hear your favourite song. That feeling, whether you’re in a car, at a party or alone at home or in bed and you hear this song and it just hits you so strong – that’s what we aim for"
- Julian Casablancas, Lead Singer & Songwriter:

Insight #2: On the process of song writing

"Writing is a mysterious thing and always has been. I think you just kinda have to throw yourself into it constantly. An ocean of mediocrity with moments of something special"
- Julian Casablancas

Insight #3: On Perfectionism

"I thought I was a perfectionist until I met Julian," says Voidz bass player Jake Bercovici. "I think we spent 20 days looking for one keyboard tone."
- Taken from an article from the Rolling Stones magazine

Insight #4: On writing the lyrics for 'Instant Crush', a single off Daft Punk album, Random Access Memories which won a Grammy for Album of the Year in 2014

"I wrote down specific lyrics. It didn't work. It was somehow - flat. And so we did the opposite and made stuff up. And whatever that sounded good, kinda became lyrics. And that actually, weirdly, gave that more feeling"
- Julian Casablancas

So how does all this relate to me?

#1: I'm inspired by the fact that these boys aim to evoke powerful emotions within their listeners through their music.

This is exactly what I wish to achieve through #SENIbyfitrebel as well.

I want to spread happiness.

Come on, it's impossible to NOT feel happy when you are wearing cheerful yellow leggings with dragonflies on them! Really!

Also, the main purpose, which has been the driving force for me to produce this line of leggings is to create leggings so beautiful to encourage women to work out more often. This has already been covered by the media quite extensively. For those who are not familiar, you can read an article that was published by The Star here:

 #2: An ocean of mediocrity with moments of something special.

My takeaway from this is that we all need to throw ourselves into our craft and work hard without expecting brilliant results in the beginning. It will come eventually.

#3: On Perfectionism.

I always thought that perfectionism was over-rated. That 'good enough' was ok.
That was until I heard The Strokes debut album "Is This It".

It's perfect. Julian Casablancas' tendencies for perfection (to the point where he and his band mates spent 20 days looking for one keyboard tone) was probably the reason behind why that album was so good and went on to become a commercial success, eventually earning a spot in the Rolling Stone's "Top 100 Debut Albums of all time" list.

In an interview, Chris Martin from Coldplay describes that album as follows, "It is perfect and so well put together, it’s wonderful".

Music by The Strokes is so good that I listen to it everyday.

Similarly, this has inspired me to consciously start thinking about how I can make my leggings better and better to the point where women absolutely love them, and want to wear them every day, just like how I listen to The Strokes every day.

To sum it all up, my opinion on perfectionism has changed completely. It is worth the effort to create something that is perfect, or as close to perfect as it can ever get, because things like these WILL go noticed.

#4: Sometimes the straight way may not necessarily be the best way.
This also resonated with me. I suppose it is the meaning that I derived from what he said.
That life works in mysterious ways.
That the solution which may not make any sense, is the one that creates magic :)

I'll stop here before I get accused of sounding too much like a teenage groupie... or maybe it's already too late for that! LOL.

In anycase, do allow yourself a moment to observe one of my personal favorite songs from The Strokes (and the video is really fun to watch too!) and hopefully all of you will have a better idea and understanding of my current musical obsession.

I am slowly but surely striving for perfection in everything I do.
When products and service keep getting better and better, we have The Strokes to thank you for.

Thanks for reading, ya'll.