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Topic: An honest question about race  (Read 3716 times)
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ladymare
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« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2005 03:56:38 PM »

Quote
by "body type" I wasn't referring to net weight, but weight distribution. IE, is the person an "apple shape", "pear shape", etc

very well said! while i'm not terribly overweight, I'm 5'8 and wear a 14. I'm busty and thick. I don't want to be stick thin and i HATE going into stores where an XL is an XS somewhere else. I wish stores would all get together and set standards for sizing but this is a whole different issue.

Perhaps paving the way for other stores to follow if yours is a big hit will help others out. as for race though, I think my generation ( end of teens early early 20's) is pretty much over that. I would pray anyways.
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TheSupy
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« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2005 04:28:41 PM »

Being a pic editor, photographer, and blah at my work, I have to model a lot of things.

Now here's some things I've noticed.

When you model something, it's almost better to use a model figurine. The come in white and black and gray and stuff and you get a more uniform look for each picture. If you're modeling with people, it's distracting when images don't look about the same. Here you have a busty fair skinned girl. Next to her is a tan heavyset lady who is wayyyy older. And to your far right, there's a fiery red head, when the rest of them are all brunettes!

Keep it simple. Crop heads if they're distracting... Keep poses similar. And if it's not too out of your league and you plan to model many more clothes ahead, consider buying a figure so each outfit is modeled out the same.

Place a long mirror behind the camera so you can somewhat see what you'll look like in the photo for less of a headache.

Best luck in your business. And sorry for my randomness. I hope you understand what I'm saying.
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cyclamen
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2005 05:00:18 PM »

I am mixed race/primarily Asian and if I came across your site I would probably be like, about damn time someone featured someone who looks sorta like me!

Hahahaha.  My sentiments exactly.

I think you know what, you're the artist, you are modeling these things on yourself or your friends, just like, for instance, they do at supermaggie.  Supermaggie appears to be 'white' (but what do we know, and anyhow race is a social construct) and I don't think they're too worried that all us half-asian kids are going to click away.  So I really hope that you won't worry about it either.  Whiteness in america is constructed as the default, the norm, so that we pay more attention to perceived race, sometimes forgetting that actually everyone looks different from each other, no matter what 'race' they are.  Someone else mentioned body shape and that's a good point - but at the same time, I definitely understand the limitations of garment construction when really all you have is your own body for draping..

Anyhow we're all well trained little consumers - its the fantasy of the picture, not whether the picture really resembles us, more times than not, that makes the sale.

Anyhow, good luck with your website!
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amie
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« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2005 05:02:52 PM »

I've seen some cool ones made from paper mache.  I like that idea.
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smoon26
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2005 06:37:53 PM »

not really about race, but I'm not always excited by seeing clothes on models.  Um, I don't want to offend anyone, but sometimes on handmade sites, it seems like when it's all one person modeling clothes, its like someones just selling their OWN stuff.  Like stuff they made for themselves, but are now selling it instead.   Not all sites, but some--more so if they only sell a few items.  And to see it all on one person, it can seem like its designed for one size (or person), also, and subconsciously, it makes me look past it like its not meant for me.

Thats not really coming out in words what I mean...I just sometimes I feel like its not made for me if its all one person.  Ugh, cant get it into words.  Its kind of the same feeling I get from stores that are actually houses converted to stores.  I have this mild aversion to them, because I always feel like "do I knock, or just go on in."  logically, I know to just go on in, but theres this fear of walking in and someone saying "what the hell are you doing?  This is my home!"  I know its totally not the same thing, but I get the same feeling about some sites that sell handmade clothes showing them on models.

Guess all I should say is:

I would get a mannequin if I were you.  Especially if you are concerned about it at all.  Just a bust...like you'd see if you scout out ebay and look at clothes listings.  Not full on mannequins, but like armless, headless, legless busts that can hold either a shirt, or a skirt/pant.  Something similar would be the ducktape busts that you can find on here.  Even if you find a mannequin that you can edit out in photoshop...so that the piece has shape, but you don't see it "on" anything.

anyway, hope my nonsensical ramblings made just a tiny bit of sense for you.  Smiley
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Keridiana
« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2005 07:03:28 PM »

I agree with most of the posts- the sites I like best are ones where the models are not models, but instead, the folks who made the goods! If i were you, I might mention that you, the creator, are the one in the pics. That makes it seem even more DIY and homespun, which I always like. Goodluck!!



And

not really about race, but I'm not always excited by seeing clothes on models.  Um, I don't want to offend anyone, but sometimes on handmade sites, it seems like when it's all one person modeling clothes, its like someones just selling their OWN stuff.  Like stuff they made for themselves, but are now selling it instead.   Not all sites, but some--more so if they only sell a few items.  And to see it all on one person, it can seem like its designed for one size (or person), also, and subconsciously, it makes me look past it like its not meant for me.

Thats not really coming out in words what I mean...I just sometimes I feel like its not made for me if its all one person.  Ugh, cant get it into words.  Its kind of the same feeling I get from stores that are actually houses converted to stores.  I have this mild aversion to them, because I always feel like "do I knock, or just go on in."  logically, I know to just go on in, but theres this fear of walking in and someone saying "what the hell are you doing?  This is my home!"  I know its totally not the same thing, but I get the same feeling about some sites that sell handmade clothes showing them on models.

Guess all I should say is:

I would get a mannequin if I were you.  Especially if you are concerned about it at all.  Just a bust...like you'd see if you scout out ebay and look at clothes listings.  Not full on mannequins, but like armless, headless, legless busts that can hold either a shirt, or a skirt/pant.  Something similar would be the ducktape busts that you can find on here.  Even if you find a mannequin that you can edit out in photoshop...so that the piece has shape, but you don't see it "on" anything.

anyway, hope my nonsensical ramblings made just a tiny bit of sense for you. Smiley

It looks like Smoon prefers anonymity, distance, etc. (in which case, Smoon, maybe you like mass-produced over handmade, which is much more personal, and yes, there would be only be a few things?) and Youlittlerabbit, like me, prefers the personal touch. 

That's a completely random preference and I can't please everyone on this one!

PS Smoon26, "if you were me," you would like items modeled on real people. Wink
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happify
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2005 07:58:19 PM »

As another mixed race crafter, I would personally be more likely to buy if Asian or mixed race models were featured (even though most Americans can't tell I'm Asian or mixed race) AS LONG AS it didn't seem like the models were trying to sell their "exoticism."  So I'd have to disagree with the poster who suggested an "Asian" color scheme or such, because to me that would mean that the business was selling based on a certain othering of the models. 
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trufflegirl
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« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2005 08:12:13 PM »

What an interesting debate!

To answer the question you actually asked: of course I'd buy from a site that had models of different ethnic/racial background(s) than myself. I would venture to say that everyone else I know would too, especially those of my generation --- and more specifically, I think the type(s) of people who would be interested in DIY-type merchandise are especially likely to be open-minded about such issues.

But...

I would find it highly unfortunate if all the clothing you sold were size XS only. I'm 5'6", 145 lbs, and there's basically no chance that I'd ever be able to fit anything in that size. It's all well and good to say that the majority of models we see are skinny (they are!), but at the same time, I know that I can walk into most stores with skinny models and mannequins and still find a piece in a size 12, as well as a size 2. If you're ONLY going to sell size XS pieces, I think you'll probably find that a significant portion of your potential customers leave empty-handed --- and don't come back. (If all your knitting patterns are also size XS, and you have no way of working out how to adjust them for larger sizes, then what I've said about clothes counts for the patterns too. I'm not likely to buy a pattern that I have to completely rework, unless it's so incredible and unique that I absolutely must have it, and I can't find an alternative elsewhere.)

That said, I appreciate your position: you can only design items that you can test out on a body (your own or a friend's) and you don't have access to larger bodies for testing patterns on. You're in a bind!

I guess the only thing I can suggest, short of finding a dressmaker's form that you can adjust to various sizes, is that you downplay the importance of clothing and sized items in your business. Accessories are generally size-less, for example. (And even where I can find clothing in my size on-line, I usually won't purchase it because I can't try it on --- whereas I can buy accessories with confidence, knowing that I'm not risking a poor fit or anything.) If you really want to sell clothing, try making some skirts in other sizes: they're the easiest pieces to fit (only the waist measurement really matters!) and to scale up or down for different sizing. Shirts, pants, and dresses are much more tricky to fit, so they'd be harder to make in other sizes than your own.

Phew. This is getting awfully long-winded... Hope it helps!
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The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. --- Dorothy Parker
cyclamen
« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2005 08:16:46 PM »

As another mixed race crafter, I would personally be more likely to buy if Asian or mixed race models were featured (even though most Americans can't tell I'm Asian or mixed race) AS LONG AS it didn't seem like the models were trying to sell their "exoticism."  So I'd have to disagree with the poster who suggested an "Asian" color scheme or such, because to me that would mean that the business was selling based on a certain othering of the models. 

happify, I'm glad you mentioned this, because I wasn't quite sure how to articulate my discomfort with the idea of "generic exotic/asian theme" - and you did it so nicely.  That's all... Smiley
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Keridiana
« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2005 08:35:56 PM »

trufflegirl, what excellent notions!  I am definitely working on sizing my patterns to many sizes.  It's the prototypes that I doubt I will be making larger sizes of: I start with my size, work out the pattern, then vet it for larger sizes.   I am unlikely to make a prototype for the larger sizes unless I am very unsure of whether my vetting will work out.  What if I get stuck with it?! I'm definitely looking into accessories, too.

happify, I totally have a pet peeve about that myself.  I guess sometimes you don't really know whether they're exploiting some sort of Asian fetish, but sometimes, I def. get a vibe. 
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