Intimate Apparel Samples triples space in studio move
Intimate Apparel Samples, a technical design and development unit specialising in lingerie and swimwear based in west London, is expanding to a new studio three times the size of the existing space to meet growing demand.
The move will allow the team to increase production capacity, as well as offer more technical development and mentoring for lingerie and swimwear brands.
The new 1,300 sq ft studio is based at Oxgate House in Brent Cross, close to the previous location in Wembley Park.
Founder Maxine Wells offers one-to-one mentoring, building on more than a decade of experience working with brands in the industry. This is in addition to the existing offer of tech pack development, pattern cutting, sampling and toiles, grading and spec sheets through to production.
Alongside her current team of eight, she is passionate about supporting both new and established brands in the sector to grow and fulfil their potential.
She explains: “People come to us to make their ideas commercially viable and a lot of the work we do is about solving problems and finding solutions. It can be a personal journey for some people, such as one project we’re working on with a bra for post-surgery. We want to make the whole process feel supportive and comfortable.”
Maxine works with a lot of start-up brands and entrepreneurs who often don’t know a lot about the production and technical side of the industry.
“It can be intimidating to approach a manufacturer and people can feel a bit silly but for me, there are no daft questions,” she says. “I didn’t feel especially confident when I started my business at 22 so I know what it can feel like. When new start-ups come in I want them to know that everyone finds launching a new business hard and it always takes longer than you think.
“I want each client to feel appreciated from the beginning. It takes a lot of guts to start a brand. Small brands are what is keeping the creativity of our industry alive We’re not just making your products, we’re making your dreams.
“We have got clients who have been on quite a journey before they have found us and perhaps they have worked with manufacturers and had a bad experience like their pieces not working out how they expected or struggling with contact. I just want to treat people like people.”
Maxine believes that because of the proliferation of fast fashion, it can be easy to undervalue what it takes to make what we wear and all the processes that go into it.
“We are very thorough with the client in advance about exactly what is involved and it is about nurturing them every step of the way.”
The new space means the team can explore more mentoring, as well as hosting workshops, seminars and presentations.
“We can show our personality and that we are actually people working in this space,” she adds.
Intimate Apparel Samples is a UKFT member. Interested in UKFT membership? Find out more here.