Style Variety: The Secret Project
How I'm creating a brand that promotes creativity and originality
Why have I always felt the pressure to try and fit in with the modern day social society? Following the latest fashion trends, knowing all the celebrity gossip, keeping up with those trap songs that everyone seems to love, and trying to speak the most frequently used slang words. I just can't do it. As a teenager or for someone in their early twenties, there will always be some sort of expectation on how you must know all about the latest music and fashion trends that everyone's talking about.
This standard "social society pressure" has been driving me crazy for too long, as I've always felt the need to do research on new music and celebrity talk so I can be part of a conversation or at least understand what people are saying. But spending heaps of money that I didn't have back in the day (four years ago) on clothes and trainers that I hated just so I can be trendy is the one social society pressure that gave me a lack of self confidence. Wearing the newest Adidas tracksuits, splashing out on popular Nike trainers, fitting into skinny jeans that didn't suit me, having my hair straightened all the time and wearing makeup so people can think that I'm pretty, it just wasn't me. It got to the point where I used to stare at myself in the mirror everyday wondering who I am as a person. Am I someone that follows the crowd and loses themselves whilst being a part of it, or someone that differentiates themselves from others because I wasn't made to be like everybody else?
Okay, I know what your thinking. What is Style Variety and how is this linked to the whole social society pressure?
Style Variety is a secret project that I've been working on for the past year and a half. It will be an e-commerce store selling crossbody bags where you can change the design at the front using a variety of shapes in multiple colours. The plan is to launch this new start-up in March 2022 as I'm just wrapping up the prototype phase whilst I await for the final samples to be delivered. It's all very exciting and will be something that no one expected me to do. Many close family and friends of mine will be wondering why I'm designing bags when I attend a culinary arts school. I simply never planned to start my own accessory business, but I felt as if I needed to address a problem that needed to be portrayed in a way where young women can express themselves without trying to fit in.
Let's go into further explanation.
What's the reasoning behind Style Variety
First of all let's start off with the brand name "Style Variety". It simply suggest style with a variety to choose from. One issue that I feel as if many young women pretend as if it's not a problem is the expenditure of buying many clothes and accessories. For some strange reason we feel ashamed to wear things twice because people have already seen it before. So we don't wear them again because we assume everyone we'll think that you don't have many clothing items to choose from. But isn't that the whole point of buying clothes and accessories, to wear them multiple times? That's why I came up with the concept of having only one bag where you can change the design easily using removable shapes with magnetic snaps, so users can have a new bag every time with only one bag to match with different outfits.
Hopefully that made sense.
However, the main reason behind the whole project is to make young women feel confident with who they really are and to not feel pressured to follow fashion trends. When coming up with the concept for this project, I knew I didn't want to sell bags that are not on the market just to make money. Being motivated every evening after work to execute the concept of the brand is to promote individuality and creativity for young women and girls so they don't feel the need to live up to modern day social society expectations. Making people feel comfortable with their sense of fashion, communicating to the target audience that it's ok to be different, and to show some pride for themselves are the ideas the lead me to creating a bag with a changeable design. The variety of shapes and colours to choose from is so people can have the freedom to create their very own unique style. The beauty of it is it's unlikely their going to have the exact same bag as someone else.
So how is this concept coming together?
Glad you're curious to know...
Answering emails to manufacturers and finding suppliers to make the shapes hasn't been the easy part of this whole project. But spending my evenings and early mornings creating and designing the bag with a notebook, a pair of scissors, a couple of word documents and the help of freelance designers has been absolutely amazing! There have been a lot of changes to the bag since creating the initial design over a year ago, but there has been plenty of excitement and pure joy when creating an innovative design for the bag and the brand itself.
All the words that will be associated with Style Variety which is known as the brand personality. This was decided during the early stages of the project.
Receiving a range of colour swatches from the manufacturers was an unreal moment. I couldn't believe I got to the stage where the bag was actually going to be made.
I received the first prototype of the bag last year August with only one of the shapes to check the measurements and quality of the silver hardware.
The first prototype wasn't perfect but I was still ecstatic on how I recieved my first ever sample of a Style Variety bag. I was having many doubts for the design of the bag days before I received the sample. Once I opened the mail box and saw the lake blue leather, I had a proud moment for myself that I've achieved something for once in my life. With just a little more work to be done and refining the design, I knew I was going to be onto a winner.
Finding a new designer and spending hours in the evening cutting, drawing and measuring shapes with a piece of paper so their the perfect size was very time consuming. I spent a lot of hours re-designing the shapes and making adjustments to the small details of the bag, but all this hard work and having to reduce my sleeping hours has all been worth it.
Since the beginning of this project, I've learned so much about e-commerce, branding, manufacturing, negotiating and learning how to take ownership of a business. But one important aspect that I've learnt throughout this entire process was understanding how happy and contempt I am whilst creating this brand.
Taking it back to the thought of the modern day social society pressure, these past few years I've always felt the need to demonstrate the issue of young women (and men too) trying so hard to fit in amongst popular social groups by dressing or behaving like others. It may seem unnecessary to think about such a small issue when there are other major problems in the world that needs to be addressed. But this so call peer-pressure is something that I need to get off my chest but I never knew a way on how to speak upon the issue besides from social media. By creating a brand that glorifies the thought of standing out amongst others has really become my no.1 passion that I would never get bored of. The past year I've spent majority of my days throughout the seasons thinking about the Style Variety concept. It's the idea where I'll be encouraging a fun, creative lifestyle to the target audience alongside selling accessories where users can have the freedom to create their own unique style. It will focus on individuality and making people feel confident to be outgoing and different which is something that I never had the confidence to do.
Once the final samples have been delivered, the next stage for me to do is the fundraising for mass production on Kickstarter! Wish me luck that this will all go well as making a Kickstarter campaign can be very challenging and risky if you don't do the campaign right the first time round.