Tuesday, July 29, 2014

FiSF Diary - Who is Evgenia?

First things first: If you follow my adventures on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, you may have noticed a not-so-subtle change in my moniker. It's true - Honey Cooler Handmade is in the process of becoming Evgenia Lingerie. Eugenia is my middle name (and my grandmother's name) - Evgenia (pronounced ehv-'gen-ya) is a common Eastern European pronunciation. My parents were both born to Ukrainian immigrants and this new name is personal to me for that reason. And let's be honest: lingerie itself is deeply personal - I wanted to put more of myself into my brand, and that's what this leap is all about. Evgenia at once embodies my own familial history as well as nostalgia for times gone by, all with an elevated, feminine twist. And lest there be any doubt, my lingerie will still be sewn from incredibly beautiful silk and French lace, still painstakingly crafted, still versatile, feminine and vintage-inspired. Very little will change in terms of the lingerie itself - this is simply a new adventure for my brand. I hope you enjoy this new direction!


Back to the Incubator… The last month has been a busy one - but really, what month hasn't been since I started at the Fashion Incubator? My shoot went magnificently and the lookbook layout is in progress. It should be done sometime in the next few weeks. My younger sister Kate is working on my marketing collateral, a generous offer that I couldn't turn down. Her Pennsylvania-based design team is working with some pretty incredible clients, so I'm in very good company and delighted that they took me on.


In the past few weeks, I've had a packed calendar. My fashion show at Supperclub with Hunny Bunny Burlesque went amazingly. Never before have I been so privileged as to have some of SF's most gorgeous burlesque performers strut their stuff in my lingerie. Friends and followers came out to support me and the final photos are lovely beyond belief. I also worked on a benefit for Fight2Breathe with former FiSF Designer in Residence Michelle Byrnes. We threw a fashion show with Redford and The Social Beauty Company all to benefit Caleigh Haber, a young woman with cystic fibrosis. I also sold my wares at Chillin' Productions last weekend, and just this past Sunday I showed three looks from Spring/Summer 2015 at Fashion on the Square.



The other Designers in Residence are preparing for their shoots and getting samples squared away at the moment. The workroom looks just like an episode of Project Runway right now as we're all in crunch mode.

Right now, my focus is getting my ducks in a row for my launch. My collection is done and my manufacturer is working on round after round of samples - if you've ever seen my lingerie in person, you know my lacework is pretty exacting. I want to make sure that any outside sewers pay just as much attention to detail as I do, so I've been driving back and forth to the factory to touch base until everything is just as I want it. I've also been working on marketing with the help of FiSF alum Jake Wall of The Artful Gentleman. From product names and descriptions to pitching, we're tackling all the important parts of marketing a fashion business. Every step has been an enlightening challenge, and every step brings me closer to my goal of having a fully realized brand.


This week, I'm getting my production patterns together and doing my technical illustrations, all parts of the production side of fashion design. A typical day involves a lot of time in my office working on my media, marketing and business plans, but as the lookbook launch gets closer, preparing for production is weighing heavy on my mind and I find myself back in the workroom.

There's always tons to do while at the Incubator, but I've been grateful for every facet and so excited to see how Spring/Summer 2015 pans out!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fashion on the Square This Sunday!

If you've been following me on social media, you may already know that I'm in the process of changing my business name from Honey Cooler Handmade to Evgenia. It's a big change and I'll go more into depth about it in my next FiSF Diary post, but for the time being the best way to see this new iteration of my lingerie line up close and personal is to come to Fashion on the Square this Sunday.


This is the first time I've ever been invited to show at this prestigious SF event and I'll be debuting three S/S 2015 looks at the 7pm runway show, looks that very few people have gotten to see yet. Please join me and the other talented designers privileged enough to show that evening!

Purchase tickets here. Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Fight2Breathe Benefit at Redford - Photography by George Liao

This past Sunday was Sunday Side Up, a brunch event with Redford, The Social Beauty Company, Michelle Byrnes and Motown Mondays, all to benefit Fight2Breathe. It was a magnificent day, all for an excellent cause!

Caleigh Haber of Fight2Breathe is battling cystic fibrosis and documents her struggles and triumphs on her website and social media - she's not only a fighter, but a sweet, beautiful woman and we were all so delighted to help out her cause. Her site is in place to help offset the cost of the double lung transplant she's waiting for.

Photographer George Liao graciously documented the day in photographs, capturing the behind-the-scenes action as Social Beauty Company made our models runway ready, and the runway shows themselves. Check them out and visit Fight2Breathe to do your part to help Caleigh Haber!












Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Cure for the Common Brunch

We all know that San Franciscans love their brunch. Make this Sunday's midday meal extra special and join Redford, The Social Beauty Company, Michelle Byrnes and yours truly for a truly unique brunch experience this Sunday July 13th.


Not only will Redford be debuting an exciting new brunch series, but you'll see enticing runway shows featuring Michelle Byrnes swimwear and Honey Cooler Handmade lingerie. Grab a cocktail and rock out to some amazing DJs - better still, it's all for a good cause! By joining us, you'll be supporting Caleigh of Fight2Breathe as she battles cystic fibrosis and waits for a double lung transplant.

I'm so excited to participate in this event and I hope to see you there. For more information, visit the Sunday Side Up Facebook event page. To make a brunch reservation, please email lora@redfordsf.com.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Three 'Grams: Secret Glimpses

I can hardly believe how quickly my first lookbook shoot of my residency at FiSF has come and gone. One of my biggest fears with a three-month collection development build-up is that the end product won't be what was dreamed, imagined or expected. I can safely say, however, that photographer Kelly Puleio knocked it out of the park. She's already given me a sneak peek at the final shots and days later I can't stop looking at them. These photos, my dears, are the real deal. That said, they're not ready for sharing yet. Spring/Summer lookbooks generally launch in August or September, so for now you'll have to be content with a few snippets of the new collection, taken right from my Instagram feed, along with a shot from last week's much-anticipated fashion show at Supperclub SF. Enjoy!



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

FiSF Diary - All the Little Pieces

Even though I'm on-schedule with my collection (finished all my samples, thank you very much!), it's hard to sit back to admire one's handiwork when there's so much going on all at once. Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. My collection is done, I'm headlining a fashion show at Supperclub tonight and my lookbook shoot is this Friday. But a finished collection is only a tiny fraction of the work in running a fashion business as any designer will quickly tell you.


In apparel design, the percentage of design to non-design work that comes up time and time again is about 10 to 90. So when you consider that the creative side is what most apparel designers prefer to do, 90% of the time spent on the nitty gritty of a small business seems like an awful lot of not-so-fun. That said to even have a shot to survive in a highly competitive industry, none of those tasks can be ignored. Even though I'm hardly what I would call business-minded, in that aforementioned not-so-fun, there are pretty awesome things. Like seeing your website or branding come to life, or making an unexpected online sale. Each little piece of the business is part of something at once immeasurably complicated and immeasurably awesome.


I have tunnel vision this week since my shoot is on Friday - it's all I can think about at the moment! Photographer Kelly Puleio is the brains behind the project and I'm really excited to work with her. Fittings with my model went so incredibly well - I can't express how illuminating it is to see a completed collection on a human and not a dress form! With photo shoots, there are so many minor things to consider, more little pieces that can make or break a project. My internal checklist goes on and on: get shoes, steam lingerie, choose jewelry, bring extra nail polish, locate props, stockings or no stockings?, grab a palette from Elizabeth Street Cosmetics for the makeup artist, update Pinterest inspiration board, decide on flowers with John James Designs, etc etc. Lingerie walks a fine line when it comes to styling which is definitely on my mind right now - there IS a such thing as too sexy and since lingerie is implicitly so, the model has to be made up just right. Too much and you enter vamp territory. I love to over-style, so I'm grateful to have Kelly on board. She's very much about measured styling and classic simplicity and she'll have no qualms editing my sometimes over-the-top sensibility.

I can't wait to share completed shots! For now, I'm looking forward to Friday and will be ready to kick back with a big glass of wine once it's all done.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Burlesque and Lingerie - Honey Cooler Handmade at Supperclub

Burlesque and lingerie make an obvious pair! Join Honey Cooler Handmade and Hunny Bunny Burlesque for a night of silk and lace, and a bunch of shimmying and shaking at Supperclub SF.


Red Hots in Bed with Supperclub is extra special this month. Red Hots Burlesque performs at 8pm, followed by a fashion show of Honey Cooler Handmade lingerie presented by Hunny Bunny Burlesque with music by DJ Jocelyn.

RSVP here!