..." And then, since it’s a business, we have to be able to get back the initial investment, whether it’s ours or whether it’s the partner’s, in as short a time as possible. So I don’t like to use expensive materials. I take care to make costs reasonable. It’s very similar to the way I make clothes. I give myself limits, not only financial limits but I also limit my method of expression, and from within those limits I try to come up with something new and interesting.”
- Rei Kawakubo, Comme des Garcons
Re-thinking, re-designing, evolving and re-working...coming up on a year since we transformed the retail shop of Blackmail into Blackmail Boutique & Atelier. Since then, we have re-fashioned our workspace several times: making sure we have the room and temperament to calmly create and then, display my designs. Retail is difficult - no one goes into it to become rich, although many neophytes carry in that illusion which quickly evaporates. Buy low, sell high, turn over quickly and skim off a bit of the profit into savings while every other penny goes back into the business. And as much as I would like to paint the front of my shop in matte black, put up a doorbell and cloister myself inside, there is a NEW retail mindset beckoning that can be combined with a consciousness of collecting the non-disposable item...focusing on timeless as opposed to ephemeral.
The question is how to create the environment? I toy daily with that challenge and Evan helps me immensely to focus on what he sees as the obvious: display carefully and thoughtfully, less is more, a gallery/museum where clients can gaze and question.
So, we're starting now. Yesterday, the platforms were delivered. It's just the beginning of the "vitrines" - our displays that will speak. Yesterday, we put clothing on the dress forms and positioned them near the door. Yesterday, customers came in and touched them; literally, climbed onto the stages and pawed them. It seemed odd to me - not that my designs are so precious, but that people were that bold. I am trying to decide how to handle this, accept it. If they did it yesterday, it's sure to continue when the risers are painted and the displays are set. Should I appreciate this? Should I be offended? Is it raw? Is it real? Is it true?
It's just the beginning...