“Compared to New York, there’s a lot more fabric stores here,” says Christian the owner and designer of Christian J., a women’s clothing line based in Los Angeles.
We met up with the emerging designer on a recent sourcing trip to the Fashion District. She actually lives in Atlanta, but manufactures her line in the Los Angeles area and sources regularly from Fashion District vendors.
Christian J. offers flirty but tasteful party dresses. It was originally a passion project. Christian quit her day job as an accountant three years ago to work on the clothing line full time. She has been shopping in the district for years. A former New Yorker, she says she appreciates having everything she needs in one area.
“For the emerging designer, Los Angeles is definitely better,” she says. “The fabric is much more affordable which allows me to experiment with new prints and designs.”
For spring, Christian J. is planning to expand her line with a new collection, “Tees & Tulle”. As the name implies, Tees & Tulle will offer quality t-shirts and tulle skirts in fun, summer colors.
We got to tag along as she sourced tulle and silks and picked up some very valuable shopping tips along the way.
TIPS FOR BUYING FABRIC IN THE FASHION DISTRICT
1. Shop around and don’t be afraid to bargain. Many stores will carry similar items at a wide range of prices. Shopping around allows you to compare prices and make sure you’re getting the best deal.
2. Build relationships with suppliers. Your supplier is one of the most important contacts you’ll have as a designer and having a relationship with that person can make things like placing orders over the phone a lot easier.
3. Be aware of closeouts. Often times, vendors will have only one roll of a particular fabric. If you’re looking to do large quantities always ask if that particular print or color is a closeout.
4. Shoppers looking to buy in bulk might want to consider buying their fabrics from the fabric mills and importers at the California Market Center.
Shop the Christian J. collection online at www.iamchristianj.com. You can also find the collection on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Interested in visiting the Fashion District? You can download a map of the area here.