“ASK Fashion”, was created by Amanda Koker, a Boston based designer. The label officially released in 2014 and debuted with their AW14 collection “playful elegance” at Fuller Figure Fashion Week in New York. The Ask range is available in sizes 14 – 26 however they hope to expand their range in the future. Amanda believes in comfort and has incorporated breathable fabrics and movable silhouettes in a collection perfect for the curvy women.
So Amanda its so lovely to talk to you, tell me a little about yourself?
AK- I am 24 years old, from Stoughton, Massachusetts. I recently graduated from Mount Ida College in Newton, MA.
I have a double major degree in Fashion Design and Fashion Merchandising and Marketing. I love to be creative, I work hard and am trying to chase my dreams.
Why did you first move into fashion?
AK- My parents tell me that they knew I would one day be a fashion designer, the day I redesigned the clothing for my “Barbie”. Unfortunately I permanently glued the new clothes to her- but to me it was a vast improvement. Seeing this spark of interest, my parents sent me to an arts camp called Med-O-Lark, in Maine- and my grandmother bought me my first sewing machine when I was 13.
What do you like about having your own fashion label?
AK- One of the most rewarding parts of having my own label is the ability to express my individual point of view and taste. It’s exciting because I get to share a piece of myself with my customers.
Is this your main job or do you work in other areas?
AK- Right now I work full time, in order to support and self fund my fashion label. My bread and butter job- if you will is working in sourcing and product development for another company.
I just love your new SS15 collection its so pretty, where do you draw your inspiration from for your collections?
AK- Inspiration can come from anywhere or anything. It can be a movie, a feeling, or an image. Usually it’s a puzzle, and it comes from multiple sources, that I piece together to create something unique.
How do you choose your fabrics and colors for your collection ?
AK- For fabric it’s hard to describe- it’s like inspiration in way. When I see it, I just know right away whether its right or not.
For colors I look into trend forecasting services, and mash that together with my inspiration. Picking and choosing what I feel will be right for my customer and for my vision.
What fabrics/colors /styles do you think we’ll see in 2015?
AK- I am thinking jackets for fall 15’- deep saturated colors. I don’t want to give too much away- I guess you will have to stay tuned to find out.
How do you go from seeing a drawn design to creating the actual pattern?
AK- My design process begins usually with a sketch. I like to make the initial sample, as it is part of how my design develops. I pattern my designs, and make the first sample. Once they are to my specification I hand it off to a sample maker to perfect and get ready for production.
Life cycle – How long does it take from design, to pattern cutting, to the final creation of the garment?
AK-The entire process takes 9 months to a year, as I start designing for the next collection, right after the previous collections showcases.
From design to full production, it takes about a year- as the designing takes place 6 months before it is showcased in a fashion show, and production happens another 4-5 months after that. It’s a lengthy process.
So tell me why did you decide to include plus size in your range?
AK- We are a plus size fashion brand- that is what we do; our DNA.
Do you offer a bespoke service for bigger sizes?
AK- For particular styles, this might be a possibility- but for the time being we are focused on our standard sizes.
Is it difficult to increase the sizing’s on your patterns ie from a size 12 to a size 22 if you had a request in and whats involved?.
AK- It really depends- most of the time we would create a different pattern. For sizes 4-12 is one pattern, then 14-26 is another.
The patterns change as the body changes. A lot of adjustments are involved, along with a keen set of pattern drafting skills.
Do you have garments in your collection that suit particular body shapes ie apple, hourglass, pear?
AK- Our collections cater to all different body types- as no one plus size woman is the same. We pride ourselves on being able to offer something from the collection that will suit her body shape.
Why do you think its important to dress to your body shape ?
AK- It is important not only to offer diverse silhouettes and shapes for our collections, but it is just as important to offer different body shapes when we present our collections at fashion shows. Its very important to us, because we want our customers to s say “hey If that looks good on her it will look good on me!”.
We want to show a very realistic set of ideals- and that there is no one perfect shape- we are all perfect in different ways and and we want to offer variety to our customers.
When you have a garment that truly fits and feels good, your confidence grows- and that is what we want. We want our customers to feel beautiful in their own skin- exactly as they are today.
What would you dress me in?
AK- I would dress you in something that you would rock out in! , a piece that fits your needs and is our aesthetic.
What do you have in your designer tool kit?
AK- I always carry a sketch book with me, and a note pad. I am constantly on the move, and always thinking about the next thing.
When the moment of inspiration comes to me, I want to be ready and jot down whatever vision or idea I have in that moment.
Tell me about your achievements (ie media coverage , prominent catwalk shows, celebrities in your garments)?
AK- My achievements this year would be opening the business- ASK FASHION LLC. Prominent fashion shows include; Full Figured Fashion Week, held this past June in NYC, and Style Week North East, held in RI, this past August.
I would love for a celebrity to wear my garments! If Melissa McCarthy wanted a special evening gown by ASK FASHION I would certainly make her one!
What’s your fiercest piece in your collection?
AK- The fiercest piece in my most recent spring 15’ collection was a black and white rose jumpsuit. The crowd gave us a standing ovation for this finale piece/
What style advice can you give to our readers from the current AW14 and SS15 trends?
AK- I think style is personal- and I would advise dressing in what makes you feel good.
If that’s a jumpsuit, or crop top- go for it. It’s all about personal taste. I think trends are fun, but not every trend is meant for everyone. It’s about picking what appeals to you and running with it.
Take chances, and always try it on- give something a chance you might not consider- you might be surprised.
How do you feel you have developed since you released your first collection back in 2013?
AK- I feel we have come very far- We officially launched ASK FASHION LLC as a business in 2014 and we showed, not one, but two plus size capsule collections this year. We have hit the ground running with our plus business and are ready to go!
Why have you moved from using slimmer models to curvy plus models in your latest collection?
AK- My first collections in college were done using standards. But now that I have graduated and decided to start my own company, and produce my plus size fashion label.
Who would you love to dress and why?
AK- I would love to dress a plus size celebrity- and have them wear a garment of mine on the red carpet, Mellissa McCarthy comes to mind..
How do you feel that you could help to improve body confidence?
AK- We feel that every person deserves to feel beautiful and comfortable in their own skin. We as a society have been so brainwashed to this ideal of perfection- which is unhealthy and drives people crazy.
Our brand and our company is about being proud of who you are and embracing how beautiful we all are as individuals.
If there was one snappy catch phrase for your collection – what would it be?
AK- ASK and you shall receive..
Where can we buy your collections from?
AK- We are currently working with multiple retailers and boutiques at the moment, stay tuned. We also launched our Ecommerce store in Jan 2015 – link below :0) !
Whats next for ASK fashion?
AK- We have lots of exciting things coming up in 2015! Stay tuned!
Summary: – Thanks Amanda – I’d describe ASK fashion as fierce trendy flattering clothing for the plus sized women – check more out of the collection via the sites below.
ASK FASHION SOCIAL MEDIA
Follow us on twitter at @ASKFASHION, instragram @askfashion90
Web – http://askfashion.co/
Shop – https://www.etsy.com/shop/ASKFashionLLC
Copyright Jane Britton 2015 – http://janiebritton.skyeladder.net/wordpress/ and http://skyeladder.net/