Meet Elan Savir, founder and designer for the high quality womenswear brand, Elan clothing. With flattering silhouettes and a touch of international flair, the brand continues to blow out of Glik’s stores and online. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Elan about everything from his humble beginning to how the brand has evolved and where the future will take the unstoppable design team.
Can you tell our readers how your brand began?
I began designing and manufacturing clothing when I was 20. I had worked a number of retail jobs and although I had no prior experience designing, I knew that I had an eye for fashion. At age 21, I truly embarked on my quest to become a designer and start my own clothing company. After borrowing money from my parents, I made 150 dresses, loaded them up in my Trans Am, and being trying to sell my apparel door to door. I immersed myself in the industry and began networking with more established wholesalers in the area. In the beginning, the focus was on resort wear for men, women, and children. Today, the brand has grown and solely focuses on womenswear. With the growth of the brand, the design process has evolved into a group effort. Working together with a team has allowed Elan clothing to generate fresh ideas regarding designs and keeping up with current trends.
You mentioned being a self taught designer, how did you learn tricks of the trade?
I learned as I went. I learned it was okay to make mistakes, but not to make the same ones twice. I realized that sometimes you have to fake it until you make it and that others in the industry will start acknowledging you once you actually begin to get your work out there.
How do you stay on top of current and upcoming trends?
We look at magazines and draw inspiration from certain companies that inspire us. A lot of our designs are also influenced by our travels to Europe where we visit high-end stores. Elan clothing is not aspiring to be a trendsetter in the industry, but to design clothing that women will be attracted to for every day wear. We want to make casual, comfortable, and chic clothing that women can wear to run their every day errands, but that they can also wear to a nice dinner. I try to let go of any personal biases when it comes to trends and ask for group opinions to keep everything fresh.
What is the most rewarding part about being a designer?
The most rewarding part is seeing people wear your clothing. It feels great to see women wearing our clothing and loving it. Having that support from your consumers and getting their feedback is always important. I also love to see how stores merchandise our product.
What is the most challenging?
I have found that the most challenging part of being a designer is to find ways to keep outdoing yourself from season to season. As a designer, you have to constantly find ways to make your products better than they have been before.
If you’re in a creative rut, what is the best way to drag yourself out?
Sometimes it is good not to try and force yourself to come up with ideas. You have to change your environment to change your state of mind. I often times will leave my office when I feel stuck and I’ve found that changing your environment will do a lot for your creative mindset.
How would you describe your style aesthetic?
My style aesthetic is casual but dressy. I like to describe it as “casual chic.” I like to create looks that are not form fitting, but more loose and flowy. My designs are feminine and have a bohemian vibe.
Can you please describe your design process from mood boards to choosing fabrics to production?
We start by going to fabric suppliers and seeing what is new. Sometimes we will buy samples of what we like and begin to create mood boards based from that. If we find a fabric that we like, sometimes we will produce many items from the same fabric.
If you could choose any celebrity to be a spokesperson for your brand, who would it be and why?
Nichole Richie. She is stylish and has the image of a woman that represents our ideal customer.
Where do you see Elan Clothing in 5/10 years?
In 5 or 10 years, we would like to become a more focused brand that has a larger presence in major department stores. We are working on building brand recognition and are striving to improve our social media presence for Elan clothing.
Making in the fashion industry is no easy feat. What is the best advice you could give to an aspiring designer?
My best advice is to put yourself in the proximity of those who are doing what you want to do. Get a job as an intern and surround yourself with people who have valuable experience. Money doesn’t matter as much as the experience that you will gain. Be the best version of yourself and grow as a person. Be part of the world. Don’t sit around and wait for something to happen. It is important to work and find your value. Sometimes, you have to start small and work to grow your company.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share?
It is not impossible to succeed with building your own business! You have to be passionate and believe in yourself first. If you are interested in fashion, there are a number of jobs in the industry that you could do if you position yourself in the right place and work hard.