93 episodes

Tired of clothes that don't fit from a fashion industry that doesn’t care? If you’ve set out to do better with your brand, How Fitting® is the podcast for you. Hear how relatable fashion design entrepreneurs fit their customer, lifestyle, and values, meet factories, and learn practical tips from experts so you can create a perfect fit in your fashion business. Hosted by freelance women’s apparel patternmaker Alison Hoenes.

How Fitting Alison Hoenes | women's apparel patternmaker

    • Arts
    • 4.8 • 5 Ratings

Tired of clothes that don't fit from a fashion industry that doesn’t care? If you’ve set out to do better with your brand, How Fitting® is the podcast for you. Hear how relatable fashion design entrepreneurs fit their customer, lifestyle, and values, meet factories, and learn practical tips from experts so you can create a perfect fit in your fashion business. Hosted by freelance women’s apparel patternmaker Alison Hoenes.

    Reaching Profitability In Fashion Business with Laura Briggs of The Shortlist

    Reaching Profitability In Fashion Business with Laura Briggs of The Shortlist

    In episode 92, The Shortlist founder Laura Briggs gives us a detailed look at how her fun and cheeky petite-only brand has reached profitability. From pricing and production to business operations, Laura describes the growing pains she’s gone through and the huge milestones she’s reached as she’s scaled her 3-year-old business.



    Laura was also my guest two years ago on How Fitting episode 37 where she talked about how she first started The Shortlist and what her first year of entrepreneurship looked like.



    The Shortlist is a premium, limited edition petite fashion brand.





    In this episode, you’ll learn:




    Why Laura moved production from the UK to Poland



    How many collections The Shortlist released before it became profitable



    What the turning point was for profitability



    What Laura is changing since realizing The Shortlist customer base is wider than she originally thought



    The balance between innovative designs and familiar basics



    How The Shortlist has built exceptional loyalty and repeat business from its customers



    Laura’s genius system for celebrating how far the business has come at each step



    The rollercoaster of launch day and what Laura is doing to minimize the challenges



    How Laura balances sharing her personal entrepreneur story and The Shortlist brand voice in her marketing and copywriting



    Laura’s plan for scaling The Shortlist this year



    How Laura’s long-term goal for The Shortlist drives her decisions now




    People and resources mentioned in this episode:




    The Shortlist website



    The Shortlist Instagram



    The Shortlist LinkedIn




    Do you want fashion business tips and resources like this sent straight to your inbox? Sign up for the How Fitting newsletter to receive new podcast episodes plus daily content on creating fashion that fits your customer, lifestyle, and values.

    • 50 min
    Taking The Stage Boldly For Inclusive, Slow Fashion with Suzanne Vinnik of By Vinnik

    Taking The Stage Boldly For Inclusive, Slow Fashion with Suzanne Vinnik of By Vinnik

    In episode 91, hear how former opera singer Suzanne Vinnik designs bold, inclusive fashions that make women “feel seen” and encourage them to take up space for who they are. Knowing first hand what it is like to be exploited working in the arts, Suzanne runs her business differently. Her secret to success both on and off the stage is prioritizing community and personal relationships and paying everyone she works with living wages.



    Suzanne Vinnik, a distinguished figure in both classical music and the fashion world, boasts a richly diverse career path. Originally traveling the world as an opera singer, Suzanne performed at renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and notable opera houses across Europe, Russia, Norway and the United States. As a leading soprano, some of her favorite operas included "Manon Lescaut," Nedda in "Pagliacci," Mimi and Musetta"La bohème," and Violetta "La traviata," captivating audiences with her emotive performances.



    Parallel to her operatic endeavors, Suzanne embarked on entrepreneurial ventures, founding Shoperatic, a pioneering social media network and marketplace tailored for women in classical music. This platform served as a hub for artists to connect, collaborate, and showcase their talents, solidifying Suzanne's reputation as an innovator within the industry. Users could buy, rent, sell and promote their outside skills. 



    Driven by her passion for fashion and a commitment to inclusivity, Suzanne transitioned seamlessly into the realm of design, launching "byVINNIK," a luxury womenswear brand celebrated for its size-inclusive ethos and ethically manufactured garments. Based in the heart of Los Angeles, Suzanne's designs have graced the frames of Classical Music luminaries, Broadway stars, and prominent figures in television and film. 



    The impact of Suzanne's creations extends beyond the realm of entertainment, with her designs featured prominently on platforms like Disney+, Netflix, and HBOMax's acclaimed series "The White Lotus," on Jennifer Coolidge earning recognition with an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Contemporary Costumes. Her work frequently adorns red carpets, editorial spreads, and stages worldwide, embodying a fusion of sophistication, elegance, and inclusivity.



    Suzanne holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Texas Christian University, supplemented by studies at prestigious institutions such as Mannes College of Music and Otis College of Design. She further honed her craft at the Opera Studio of Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, mentored by the late Renata Scotto, and as an Administration Fellow at The Dallas Opera's Hart Institute for Women Conductors.



    Beyond her artistic pursuits, Suzanne is a passionate advocate for entrepreneurship, ethical manufacturing practices, and classical music education. Her expertise as a textile connoisseur, style forecaster, and classical music aficionado has positioned her as a sought-after keynote speaker at conferences, and universities, and as an expert for popular TV Shows like Today Show and Access Hollywood. Through her inspiring journey from opera singer to fashion designer, Suzanne empowers women of all backgrounds to embrace their confidence and individuality, embodying the transformative power of artistic expression.





    In this episode, you’ll learn:




    Why Suzanne left a worldwide career in opera to start a fashion brand



    The transformative power of owning your boldness and dressing accordingly



    How Suzanne created a loyal community before she even started her brand



    How the personal relationships she’s built with her clients influences her design decisions



    Why ethical production and paying fair wages are so important to Suzanne



    The people on Suzanne’s team and what they each do in the business



    How By Vinnik’s production model has changed and why



    How Suzanne prioritizes her day to not burn out even though she’s “bad at boundaries”



    What

    • 56 min
    Prioritizing Customer Research and Values To Shape A Modest Activewear Brand with Aja Cohen of Transcendent Active

    Prioritizing Customer Research and Values To Shape A Modest Activewear Brand with Aja Cohen of Transcendent Active

    In episode 90, hear how Aja Cohen left her big corporate fashion career for a lifestyle - and fashion business - that put relationships and her values first. Transcendent Active is helping women embrace who they are and move confidently toward their goals. Her modest activewear designs aren’t just covering, but also comfortable, sustainable, and functional and are worn by more than just the modest community.



    After designing fast fashion for over a decade, Aja Cohen launched an activewear brand for the woman she believed was not being spoken to in the marketplace - the modest woman.  At the time, she struggled to find modest activewear pieces that weren’t made of heavy, non-breathable fabrics or couldn’t wick sweat away properly. More importantly, she couldn't find brands that matched her strong ethical values of sustainability and locally made.  She knew there had to be a better option for women who wanted to workout, do good for Mother Earth, and honor their religious values.  Transcendent Active was born at the height of the Covid pandemic and combines eco-conscious fashion with strong ethical values.  Made in America from recycled plastic water bottles, the brand is committed to providing women of all faiths and sizes with high-quality, sustainable activewear. The signature All Day Active collection includes skirts, exercise dresses, quarter-sleeve tops, leggings, and bike shorts. Transcendent Active believes every woman deserves clothing that supports her lifestyle and faith while fostering confidence and style through movement.





    In this episode, you’ll learn:




    The positives and negatives of Aja’s corporate career in activewear design



    Why knowing your customer is so important



    How Aja has built a healthy business without selling on Amazon or manufacturing overseas



    Why the pandemic was actually a great time to start a business for Aja



    How Aja cultivates real connections and relationships with the people she works with



    How Aja decides her priorities and delegates the work to get it done



    How Aja approaches the difficult decisions of hiring and firing



    How customer research has shaped Transcendent Active’s collection



    Transcendent Active’s sustainability efforts



    How to stay focused on your values




    People and resources mentioned in this episode:




    Transcendent Active website



    Transcendent Active Instagram



    Transcendent Active Facebook



    Transcendent Active LinkedIn



    Transcendent Active TikTok




    Do you want fashion business tips and resources like this sent straight to your inbox? Sign up to the How Fitting newsletter to receive new podcast episodes plus daily content on creating fashion that fits your customer, lifestyle, and values.

    • 51 min
    Resortwear That Benefits The Natural World with Janet St Cyr & Diana Kerins of Bambina Swim

    Resortwear That Benefits The Natural World with Janet St Cyr & Diana Kerins of Bambina Swim

    In episode 89, hear how Janet St Cyr & Diana Kerins have created a swim and resort brand inspired by nature and travel. Learn what this mother-daughter partnership did to land a dream collaboration with a luxury resort and how they are growing their business slowly and steadily.



    Bambina is a women’s swim and resortwear brand owned and operated by mother-daughter duo Janet St Cyr and Diana Kerins. Their creations blend bold, vibrant aesthetics with unparalleled comfort to ignite confidence and happiness in those who wear them.



    They’re committed to keeping production right here in the USA and their collections are sewn at a women-owned factory in the heart of New York City’s garment district.  From how they source materials to how they manufacture and package their products, they’re always learning and seeking out the most Earth-friendly ways to bring their collections to you. 



    Bambina’s new resortwear launch for Summer ‘24 - The  Cardamom Collection, includes a beachwear robe and sarong featuring a custom print inspired by the endangered species of the Cardamom Rainforest in Cambodia. A percentage of proceeds from every sale will go towards The Wildlife Alliance to protect these beautiful and vulnerable creatures.





    In this episode, you’ll learn:




    How nature, the environment, and travel inspire Bambina Swim collections



    What it is like working as a remote mother-daughter partnership



    Why Bambina business started out sporadic and what changed for Janet and Diana to take it more seriously



    What Janet and Diana look for and design in a quality garment



    Why Janet and Diana are intentionally growing the business slowly



    How Bambina gets its funding



    How Janet and Diana landed a collaboration with a luxury resort to stock their recent collection



    What Diana and Janet’s goals are for the future of Bambina




    People and resources mentioned in this episode:




    Get 10% off at bambinaswim.com with code: HOWFITTING



    Bambina Swim website



    Bambina Swim Instagram




    Do you want fashion business tips and resources like this sent straight to your inbox? Sign up to the How Fitting newsletter to receive new podcast episodes plus daily content on creating fashion that fits your customer, lifestyle, and values.

    • 54 min
    How To Source Fabrics As An Independent Designer with Jay Arbetman of The Sourcing District

    How To Source Fabrics As An Independent Designer with Jay Arbetman of The Sourcing District

    In episode 88, textile sourcing rep Jay Arbetman of The Sourcing District walks us through how to source wholesale fabric for your independent fashion brand - even in low quantities. Jay shares insights on fabric quality, sustainable fibers, and how to not spend months on your fabric search. With decades in the business, Jay knows what questions designers should ask and what has helped his longest-standing clients be so successful.



    Jay has been in the garment and textile business since he was a teen. He spent the 1980's in NYC selling to department stores and specialty stores throughout the country. When he stopped making apparel, he started selling buttons and zippers and eventually morphed into fabric. He now represents 10 suppliers and sells to indie designers throughout the country.





    In this episode, you’ll learn:




    Why fashion brands should never buy fabric at retail stores



    What makes the suppliers Jay represents ideal for independent designers



    What designers need to have prepared before talking to a sourcing rep



    How to source fabrics in-person, over the phone, and at trade shows



    How to not spend months on your fabric search



    The questions Jay wishes designers would ask



    Do you get what you pay for when it comes to fabric?



    The cost of made in the USA textiles



    What MOQs and timeline to expect for sampling and production



    What differentiates successful designers in the long run



    What is new in sustainable textiles 




    People and resources mentioned in this episode:




    The Sourcing District website



    Jay’s email



    The Sourcing District Instagram



    The Textile Show in Nashville April 3-4, 2024




    Do you want fashion business tips and resources like this sent straight to your inbox? Sign up to the How Fitting newsletter to receive new podcast episodes plus daily content on creating fashion that fits your customer, lifestyle, and values.

    • 54 min
    Making Fashion Fit Your Way with Rivky Itzkowitz of Impact Fashion

    Making Fashion Fit Your Way with Rivky Itzkowitz of Impact Fashion

    In episode 87, life-long lover of fashion and modest dresser, Rivky Itzkowitz, shares how she makes fashion work for her and other women like her through her brand Impact Fashion. Rivky seamlessly weaves her Orthodox Jewish values, skillful design and patternmaking, and fashion sense into each piece for sizes 2-28. 



    Rivky Itzkowitz is a fashion designer living in NYC. As a practicing Orthodox Jew, she was frustrated at not being able to find modest clothes that actually fit, so she set out to create her own. Her company, Impact Fashion, is among the only size-inclusive modest fashion lines on the market. Every style is fitted to perfection and is available in sizes 2-28 because there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be. She is also the host of the Be Impactful Podcast where she sits down with the women making a difference in their own corners of the world. You can find her @impact.fashion.nyc and see all of her designs on impactfashionnyc.com. Listen to the Be Impactful Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.





    In this episode, you’ll learn:




    How Rivky has always her love of fashion fit her personal values



    The real cost of offering inclusive sizes (hint: it’s not what you’d think)



    Why good design and good fit require caring for bodies of all shapes and sizes



    The insights Rivky gained from working as a seamstress doing alterations



    How Rivky chose her business name - and why the name is not actually that important



    The three values that Impact Fashion is built on



    How Rivky developed the inclusive size chart for Impact Fashion



    The reasons why Impact Fashion switched from being a wholesale line to selling only retail



    How Rivky structures her days to get everything done



    Why Rivky started her podcast, Be Impactful, and the results she’s seen after 200+ episodes




    People and resources mentioned in this episode:




    Impact Fashion website



    Be Impactful podcast



    Impact Fashion Instagram




    Do you want fashion business tips and resources like this sent straight to your inbox? Sign up for the How Fitting newsletter to receive new podcast episodes plus daily content on creating fashion that fits your customer, lifestyle, and values.

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

Amy Barnhart ,

Interesting and informative

Love this podcast! I enjoy learning about different aspects of the fashion industry that I’m not as familiar with through Alison and her guests. Alison and her guests are knowledgeable, relatable, and fun to listen to!

shopdaph ,

So informative and entertaining

Love the sincerity and transparency in this podcast. Great dive into the design background of brands and how their values drive their ultimate products.

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