Q&A with Manufacture New York’s Margaret May
Manufacture New York is a fashion incubator and factory hybrid dedicated to providing independent designers resources, skills and space. Their headquarters includes a fully-equipped sampling room, manufacturing facilities, classroom space, conference room, fabric storage and computer lab complete with the industry’s latest software for design and production. It’s an amazing resource for designers here in New York City made even better by the facility’s creative team.
One of those talented individuals is Margaret May, Manufacture New York’s Production Manager and Lead Pattern Maker. We visited Margeret earlier this month at to learn more about how she helps and works with brands like the Giving Bride to bring their collections to life with this intimate Q&A:
Q&A with Manufacture New York’s Margaret May
“Our mission is to reawaken & rebuild America’s fashion industry, to foster the next wave of businesses, & create a transparent, sustainable supply chain.”
Margaret, could you tell us a little bit about how you and Maggie at the Giving Bride started working together? Did you reach out to her or did she find you?
Maggie reached out to us a little over two years ago. She was looking to move her development and production to a new facility and was on the lookout. She first took a Tech Pack Bootcamp where we teach designers how to make tech packs, spec garments, and about garment construction and then came back to work with us on her SS16 Collection.
Could you explain your role there at Manufacture New York? How and in what capacity do you work with the Giving Bride?
I am the Head Pattern maker and Production Manager at Manufacture NY. I work with designers on realizing their collections from sketches, images, or drapes they provide. I sit down and talk through each design with the designer and together we establish the correct fit they are looking for and make sure I understand all the details they want. Once I get the first pattern down we have a muslin fitting, which is a rough first draft so we can make sure the fit is as close to great as possible before moving into the first sample. We have two excellent in house sample makers that work next to us so if there are any questions they can immediately get figured out. We also do small to large run production which I oversee. For production we use work with different manufacturers around the city based on quality, price point, and fabrication.
We have worked with the Giving Bride so far on two collections (SS16, FW16) and have done one run of production for her and are gearing up for a second round of production for her SS16 Line that she debuted last fall.
Could you walk us through how you helped Maggie put together her latest collection?
When Maggie came to us with her latest collection she knew that she wanted to get started early, since she had previously run into some time crunches with development and production. We started working on her FW16 Collection last December. She knew that she wanted to use several styles that we had previously sampled for her, and change up some styles that were big sellers for her in previous collections to keep some continuity with her line. She had some ideas that she wanted to try but wasn’t sure that the fabrics would work for them, for instance her new luxurious silk pant, so we worked out the pattern and made it happen. We had her fit model Erica come in several times so we could make sure the fit was perfect on her new development. When we moved into sampling we realized there were a couple of styles that needed slight re-working, and were able to get her to come and have those resolved quickly.
Feature: “Ethical manufacturing is also one of the core values of our brand,” says Maggie Gillette. Discover how the Giving Bride’s bridal lingerie collection comes together with the help of Manufacture New York in our special feature on the Giving Bride Quality.
Once that step of the process is complete, how do you, Manufacture New York and Maggie work together to create the collection? Are there any other team members involved and if so, what are their roles?
Once we finish the development for the new collection we discuss what sizes Maggie wants to move forward with for each style. Some styles are one size fits all, some are two sizes, and some are 3 or 4 sizes. Once we decide on the sizing we send all patterns to Create-A-Marker, who we use for all of our marking and grading. Fabric and trims are ordered also so we can move into production as soon as we get the finished markers. Manufacture NY oversees production for the designers we do development for using different manufacturers around the Garment District and all over NYC. For the Giving Bride we have been using Casa De Moda NYC, the first garment manufacturer to move into our flagship location in Sunset Park. By co-locating different manufacturing/production houses in our space it makes developing and producing a collection easier than ever, a one stop shop.
Learn more about Manufacture New York
850 Third Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11232
(Between 30th & 31st Street)