Small Business For Dresses

By | May 10, 2023
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Small Business For Dresses – With decades of experience creating big name fashion brands, in the early 50s, Justine Tabak decided to open her own eponymous label. Having worked for some of the most famous British fashion companies, including Boden, LK Bennett, Jigsaw and M&S, he was very tired of the ‘sameness’ of the high street. “Everything started to look the same, and it was difficult for me to find clothes that combined my love of the past with the present,” she says. ‘I also became disillusioned with the high volume, organized, ‘bargain shopping’ traditional fashion retailing practices and wanted to see a slower and more efficient way.’ In 2016, Justine decided to take the plunge and build her own. owning a small business.

Started at her kitchen table, which was mostly for her circle of friends, Justine Tabak’s vintage inspired dresses have become a cult favorite. There is an emphasis on simple silhouettes, layers (but not too much) and floral fabrics. Easy-to-wear (and separate) dresses are often inspired by vintage finds reimagined today, natural fabrics, including Irish linen, Liberty Tana Lawn and Nottingham lace shoes. To keep waste to a minimum, the lines are produced in batches based on demand, and sold in bulk. “Making everything in Britain brings me face-to-face with designers, fabric makers, designers and artisans who create their own art,” she says. ‘After years of working with so many producers in remote locations, it’s great to be able to take care of myself.’

Small Business For Dresses

Small Business For Dresses

Dressing up runs in Justine’s family. His grandfather, an Austrian refugee, was a tailor in East London; the family moved to Manchester to escape the Blitz. Her mother made all the clothes for Justine and her two sisters. With an interest in fashion from a young age,  ‘I was a child who was always creative, making my own clothes, making my school clothes;’ Justine studied Fashion & Textiles at Leicester Polytechnic, followed by a Masters at Royal London’s College of Art. After graduating, he got his first job at Fendi in Rome and spent four years designing Italian fashion.

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Now both 58, Justine and I first met during her Boden days and have followed her career path ever since. It was about time we spoke again – and it’s good to be reunited. Here we talk about his style, fitness and how he manages his amazing business.

What inspired you to leave working for big fashion brands to start your own label?

I always wanted to start my own name but never felt the time was right, especially when my children were young. I was a single mom for most of my 30s and 40s and didn’t want the insecurity of running my own business. My children encouraged me to do my own thing when they were young, so at the age of 50 I finally decided to give it up! I’m very grateful they did, because I’m enjoying the new community of fashion friends living and working with the community of local designers. I had traveled the world for years during my career, something that didn’t always fit in with family life and didn’t feel right in an age of environmental awareness, so I wanted to have my own ‘Made in UK’ brand. his heart

At first, I created a mood-board of the clothes I like personally; simple clothes, vintage-made-modern, beautiful and practical – always with a pocket! The first collection included jackets, trousers, tops and skirts, but it was the soft, layered duroy dress that captured the imagination of press and consumers alike. Six years ago, Petticoat Lane’s dress was a cutting-edge, romantic-edged look – and to this day, this dress is a favorite in the collection.

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Tell us what inspires and influences your designs, and what is important to you when creating your collection?

I have always been a hunter of vintage clothes and have a loft full of second hand clothes to look at. I can look at a style, detail or print and get a new look from these influences. I am not always aware of some of my influences. For example, I love Liberty prints but it didn’t occur to me why, until I opened my late father’s closet a few years ago and counted over 20 Liberty shirts he had collected over time! My mother and father were both musicians and they instilled in me a love of applied art; my mother would bring me from Manchester to London to visit the V&A  and new boutiques in the 70s, she took me to Biba and Laura Ashley.

When designing, I don’t just want to create a beautiful design, simplicity and functionality are just as important. There are many iterations of romantic clothing, but I like to think that mine is hardworking, made in strong natural fabrics in styles that will last for years. I am not a slave to style and I hope to create pieces that will truly stand the test of time.

Small Business For Dresses

The slow fashion movement is very important after decades of visible use. I feel passionately that we all want to buy less and love our clothes more, we have always had a tendency to throw away the art of making clothes. It takes a long time to get rid of old fashions but for the sake of the world, the fashion wheel needs to change. Slow fashion means that you are not a slave to fast movements, it considers the work that goes into each piece and therefore means that we spend less and teach others to make better choices. On a lighter note, I like the new crop of slow fashion designers who create their own stories and looks within their collections, with personality and creativity in between.

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I have a studio in London Fields, Hackney. The commute takes 45 minutes, which is time for creative thinking and fun. Running a small business means doing a lot 24/7 and each day can include design decisions, product development, visiting fabric and garment manufacturers, photography, social media, accounting and customer service. I grew from a one woman band to a small but beautiful group of children. Together with the JT team, we work with dedicated staff for prototyping, photography and production. I never consider a job as a designer more important than the input skills that make the magic happen.

Stop! I think it’s often finding a happy customer that makes for a memorable design. That’s the beauty of social media when you see customers enjoying their shopping and living in their comfort zone. One of my favorites is a suit made of fluorescent check seersucker that accidentally came off during the first take. She took a ‘water spirit’ and part of her sales went to charities, so she became a beauty. Some clothes are sure to feel-good pieces of linen, linen is a versatile and durable fabric and we make our linen check in a beautiful family factory in Ireland.

We are working closely with the season so we are currently choosing corduroy colors for fall and creating a new fall/tart class. At the same time, we are preparing the production of our collection next month. We are fortunate to produce locally because we are able to gradually increase production, throughout the year.

Finally, how can you measure your status? Does it feature many colors and prints like your collections? And do you have any tips for staying fit?

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Of course I spend a lot of time in my clothes. I never intended to make the collection too colorful but naturally it’s prints and patterns that I’m drawn to. If I go to a vintage textile show, I have a scarf! It may come as a surprise but I don’t have a lot of clothes, I tend to wear things over the years. I found my style and I’m very comfortable in my own skin. I usually wear it with trainers or boots, it’s a way that I think usually creates a modern look. If I’m not dressed all day, I wear regular jeans (Levi’s straight leg jeans) and a blue shirt or Petit Bateau white t.shirt…yes, I can do minimalism too! A few key pieces are always better than a lot of options.

At the end of the day, other styles are wearing clothes you don’t wear…feeling free to express your personality in your clothes that are always in style.

Shop Justine Tabak here – She’s Not My Age readers are offered 15% off through the rest of July (use code TNMA15 at checkout). The offer lasts until the end of July and can be used on all products, including any sale.

Small Business For Dresses

With decades of experience creating big name fashion brands, in the early 50s, Justine Tabak decided to open her own eponymous label. It has worked for other people

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