Designers with eyes on clients

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A NEW fashion boutique in Braddon is taking customer interaction to a new level, inviting shoppers to step into the designers’ studio from the store itself.

Launched last month, Assemblage Project features two labels by local designers and CIT graduates; 4 minutes 33 (by Gemma Jameson and Francesca Altenburg) and Karen Lee, by Karen Lee.

The three designers, who own and run the store, have included an open studio behind the fitting rooms where customers can watch the designers in action, chat one-on-one with them about their creations and request different fabrics, sizes and colours for garments.

Karen says the concept behind Assemblage was not just for customers to have in-store designers, but for the designers to have access to customers.

“As a designer, you often only get to see your designs on catwalk models, but we wanted to see our clothes on our customers first hand…to see them take ownership of the garments and the different ways they decide to wear them, as they are very versatile,” Karen says.

“The beauty of this is people are able to say if they want to, ‘oh I love this, can we try it in a different colour?’ For the first time they can see how we create it, so it really is a personalised service.”

And customer requests are already coming through thick and fast, says Gemma.

“We had a woman who bought a dress to go to a wedding and wanted a jacket to go with the dress, so I am making that for her using the same material at an extra cost and she should get it within the week,” she says.

“I think having a studio here helps people get to know the story behind the product, where it was made, how it was made, and the process involved.”

Assemblage Project, Unit 3a, 25 Lonsdale Street, Braddon

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