Then, there's also the debate of Fashion Week. There's half of the industry doing a “see now, buy now” structure, which is where you can immediately buy whatever is on offer on the runway. Then a lot of people are sticking to the old structure, which is, “See this. This is the season, what will be in stores in six months.” It feels like a weird and uncertain time. Because of those things, I think that the fashion industry's a little bit in the dark as to what's next, or what's best to do.
Green: How do you deal with that at SAUNDER?
Saunders: We're still presenting a collection in that seasonal way, and then having it available for purchase six months down the line. We're doing things in a more traditional way; however, I think one thing that we're planning on doing is implementing a pre-ordering system. So, even if a consumer doesn't get the immediate satisfaction of having the product when they first see it, they can still purchase it and wait a little bit before they actually get the item. I think it's probably easier for a lot of the bigger companies who can make all that stock all at once, rather than someone like me who's a smaller designer who really needs orders in place in order to go into production and manufacture. We're still trying to navigate that.
Green: What are some of the most rewarding parts of your job?
Saunders: I think what motivates me is the fact that I get to be creative on a daily basis, or the fact that I get to do something that I really love, which is create clothing. Like I said before, whether it is a time period or whatever my creative impulse is for that season's collection, I get to really focus on that. I'm just kind of obsessed with textiles, so the fact that I get to be around textiles all day is really great. Being able to focus on that, and delve into that kind of creative influence, and then translate that into something that is tangible, and that I can share with people, and that I can make available for other people to share in if they choose to is really amazing. It is definitely a challenging job and challenging industry, but the fact that that's what I get to do on a day-to-day basis is really wonderful. I'm just kind of obsessed with textiles, so the fact that I get to be around textiles all day is really great.
Green: How is your work tied to your identity? How would you describe your personal style versus your aspirations for SAUNDER?
Saunders: I think that definitely SAUNDER and my identity are interwoven. I think that my personal style definitely reflects in the clothing that I create. When I started the collection I had to really think about what the identity of the brand would be. The brand is very caught up within my identity, and the story of the label is my story, so just having to kind of break down what my identity was in order to be able to explain what my brand is was a weird task for me. It forced me into a situation of really examining what was unique about me, and unique about my story, and how that was translated into the creation of my brand. There's definitely a lot that my identity influences my job, and I guess my job also influences my identity.
This interview is a part of a series about the lives and experiences of members of the American workforce, which includes conversations with a fabric cutter, a retail sales associate, and a personal stylist.