The launch is finally live and coming into its last few days. It took a lot out of us to get to this point yet it was all worth it. And probably not in the way you’re thinking. The release was so limited that we were never going to become overnight millionaires!
Alex and I started back in October 2018 with the inkling of an idea that we wanted to collaborate on a product line in some way. Alex sourced and ordered the hand-beaded/embroidered bags from an artisan she’d discovered in India and it was then up to me to design and make jewellery prototypes that our customers would love.
And that’s where I got a bit stuck. You see, I’m a sucker for colour and pattern and every single kimono I had in stock just wasn’t right. And then I went to the Boroichi in January and found ‘the one’. There she was hanging on a rack looking a little unloved and in mostly great condition. I knew immediately what she would become when I breathed new life into her forgotten fabric.
So the collection was ready and could now picture the type of shoot we wanted. After many Pinterest boards focusing on the look and feel of the shoot, wardrobe and even poses, we were ready to approach our models. There was also a process behind this. We first wanted to make sure that the models were women we knew. Real people, with real bodies and real lives and all very different from each other.
We wanted to enjoy ourselves on the day and show our customers that our products work equally well in formal or casual situations, for any body type, hair colour, skin tone or age. No discrimination.
We didn’t let the fact that we had had no experience of running a photo shoot stop us. No, it wasn’t perfect (we forgot to pack a hairbrush for the location shoot and it was a bit windy and dry - hello static!). We weren’t sure of how much to direct the shoot as we were worried that we would step on our photographer’s toes. I now realise that having a camera directly linked to a laptop is essential for the creative director to see what the camera sees. It so hard standing at an angle (out of shot) to know what you’re getting. But it still turned out fine.
We went into the shoot to learn a new skill not to make sales. It worked out that this was cheaper and more effective than any course could ever have been. A course would have been helpful to set the steps in place, but it wouldn’t have helped us to remember to pack a hairbrush.
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Victoria Close from Bikudesigns talks kimono, business, Japanese design, life in Tokyo and all things lovely.