Behind The Scenes at Stella HQ July 16, 2018 – Posted in: Interview, Stella News
We get asked a lot of questions about our brand Stella: “Where is it designed?”, “Who designs it?”, “How is it created?” and so on. So we thought we would take you behind the scenes of our head office and show you some of what happens in a day at Stella HQ and how your garment has been created.
Our head office is located in Australia, in Port Melbourne to be exact. It is also home to our “sister” brand Estelle. We have a small team who work from our Melbourne office as well as ambassadors that represent us in various department stores and our flagship store in South Melbourne. We also have our own office in Nanjing, China that work with us to produce our clothing. We receive deliveries from them at least twice a week of samples as well as fabrics and trims for approval. (it’s always exciting to see what is in the box!)
Our design team work hard keeping up with trends across the globe. We do this by looking online – everything from Instagram, Pinterest, catwalk shows to overseas websites as well as visiting stores and shopping centers to see what people are wearing and buying. We also travel to fabric markets and fairs to see the latest trends in fabric and print.
We then use this information to create monthly ranges. Our design team work together to sketch the garments, create the print artworks and get the samples made to show our buyers.
Our first samples are mostly made in our Port Melbourne office. Our design team hands their sketch, fabric and notes to our pattern makers who create a pattern which is used to cut the fabric.
We have a machinist, Wendy who has been working with the company for over 18 years! She cuts out and makes our beautiful first samples which are used to sell the range to buyers from department stores and boutiques.
Once our designs have been sold our office arranges the mills to dye fabric swatches according to our colour requests and print strike offs onto the correct fabric. These are sent to us to approve. We have to make sure that all the fabrics and trims are the same colour (it’s harder than it sounds!) and that it is the perfect shade.
We also have fittings every week on a live model with our design and pattern making team. We see a style 2 to 3 times before it is produced to be sure we are happy with the design and fit of the garment.
Once we are happy with the final fit we send a size spec (measurements) and final pattern with notes to our China office who then arrange for the bulk garments to be made.
When they are ready, we see one more sample and then they are shipped to Australia to our warehouse who then send them to the stores. And finally they arrive in store ready for you to shop!
The process is fast and continuous as we have deliveries every week but our team put a lot of love and time into every style. We hope you enjoyed our tour of the office and process in creating Stella! You can see more behind the scenes on our Instagram @stellaclothingau