Hey guys it's Amber ❤️
I thought we should let you know about our amazing manufacturing team in Albania, because they are the guys who really bring my vision together. They are a close and well valued part of our team and we can't wait until we can start visiting them more often!
Ok so - Each garment usually goes through a rigorous design process with on average about three samples being made and changed before I finalise them. All part of the fun and why I love running House of Zana! The first samples always give me butterflies in my stomach, (not always because I like them)!
I currently have five amazing women who manufacture my garments, all of whom are incredible. I work closely with each and when we have lots to complete I often go in to help as much as possible, the raincoats take more work than you could imagine! It has been from spending so much time in their workshop that I have built up a special relationship with them all and it helps make the brand so much more important. We all support each other. It is fun watching our children play together whist we can plan the latest pattern or choice of button. I am happy knowing my designs are made by ladies with the same values as myself with a process I believe so strongly in, handmade. When I am in the U.K we stay in touch with Whatsapp and when I am in Albania I see the girls everyday. Albania will always be a place that means so much to me and it is important that my clothing is made there in the way that it is. I converse all the ideas in Albanian with the team and this has been one of the things I am most proud of during this process. It was a hard language to grasp but I wanted to get my ideas across without a translator. It also means my son and husband will find it harder to keep secrets from me in the future!
Out of the whole design, manufacturing process I must admit my favourite part is fabric buying. It is where I really find my passion. I always head out with a budget in mind that I always overspend as I am alive with ideas when I see new prints. I predominantly work with silky fabrics as I understand them and enjoy designing for the way it falls. I have recently began working with cotton too but only the highest quality, as with the silks. I am so selective when I buy and know exactly what is right for my designs. I get so excited each time I walk into the fabric market and see or feel the fabric that I know is the one. I think that is why I love the concept store so much too as now you guys get to have the same feeling!
I then take the fabric home and usually take a few days to get to know each print before planning out the design process. I like to take time to work out how much fabric will go into each design and give a little extra so each piece hangs with luxury on the body. Once I have an idea of how much fabric will go into each design I plan with my seamstress the samples and we go from there. As I usually choose fabrics with large, bold prints it is important we discuss together how each section will be cut so the print stays at the correct part of the garment. I have my staple collection of jackets, kimonos and maxi dresses all year round and design new pieces each season to add in. My ideas usually come from what is missing in my own wardrobe and what I would like to be able to pick out and wear.
I hope you love my style and any feedback is always appreciated!