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new york fashion study College of Design

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It's all in the details: TrimLab

Cassidy Wall

Walking into the TrimLab office, a glass doors welcomes us as the copper windows overlooked the Garment District. Bamboo-colored movable cabinets outlined the room and mounted TV’s ran slides of various pictures. Two men, Dave and Dave, greeted us with smiles as they set up more foldable chairs for our large group of twenty-seven.

            We sat down with no set expectations, as everything was closed and gave no sign of what the company did. Soon we dived into a conversation about what people don’t discuss: the nitty-gritty details. Zippers, bra cups, eye and hooks galore. These items only stand out to consumers when they need to be fixed. When was the last time you celebrated a dress for having a concealed zipper rather than the halter style? Or noticed how well the hook and eye helped your shirt stay together?

            One of the Dave’s had been in the business for quite sometime; his ancestor started it out of a moving cart. Passed down generation to generation, he was now carrying out the work of what his grandfather did, but just in a little different fashion. Both discussed how much the Garment district had changed. It went from a bustling area, seeing designers daily, to having everything become outsourced. The company itself has stayed small, with The two Daves, a social media Intern turned full-time employee, a marketing manager, and a few other workers actually sewing in the details.

            They opened the cabinets to show us different companies that they worked with over the years and companies they took on. Their main initiative was to take on small companies and help them with the details of their designs or focus of their business. They had taken on two women designers that were starting a women’s swimwear line. The two women were struggling to get their designs off the ground, but with the help of Trim Lab, they now sell in Sak’s and similar stores. Both of them also showed us to their back room, where employees were working on zippers and we saw their immense display of inventory.

            The two Daves told us about their successes but also did not leave out their failures. One product that did not work for them was bra cups- because getting the right fit is everything. They consistently had backlash about how it was not fitting right, so they would make another and get the same result. It was too customizable and a narrow sector to profit from.

            Leaving us with a bit of advice, they said to party like it’s 1999—or something like that. But specifically, they detailed how networking is the key to success within the fashion industry. You never know who you might be sitting next to at a dinner or standing next to at a party; those people could land you your next job. Sometimes, the little things count and for them, it’s all about the details.

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