Brand Introduction- Made In Preston
Made In Preston is a newly launched clothing company for the full bust woman (stay tuned for bras!). The company is the conception of Nikki Hesford, the woman behind Miss Fit UK and The Big Bra Bar. You may have seen Nikki on Dragon’s Den in the fall of 2012. Fort US readers, think Shark Tank. On the MIP blog brand founder and Managing Director Nikki states, “Made In Preston is a fashion brand like no other; resonating Northern sincerity, glamorous charm and feminist attitude, girls all over the world will be wishing they had big bangers to buy our bras and clothing!”
There is a key difference in MIP, one that I find to be very appealing. If you check out the about page you’ll see that the MIP name comes from the fact that “everything is designed, sampled, graded, produced and packaged here at our factory in Preston by our Prestonian (and one Lancastrian!) work-force.” Now, I’m not in the UK, but I buy regularly from retailers that are in the UK. I absolutely love buying from a retailer/designer/company that supports the community it is based in. Some may think that it’s contrary to buy from a company that is outside my community or country, but that is not the point to me. Locally based or foreign, community based retailers help the economy of their community.
Community economics aside, there is more benefit for the buyer. The dress that maybe out of stock can make a quick turn around with a local factory. There is no wait time for a shipment or waiting for a bulk purchase. Then there are design considerations. Before their launch MIP reached out through their Facebook page for women willing to test their product and provide feedback. Nikki provided some insight to this through email. “It is a learning curve for us though and the beauty of MIP is that because we design, sample, manufacture everything all under our own roof, if we find ways to improve a style in terms of fit, we can do that very easily. For us, amending the pattern is just a case of going upstairs, getting it out of a cabinet and altering it!” Pretty amazing right? By providing feedback you can help the design team learn what is a feature or improvement that is needed in every size or maybe an individual fit concern. For example, if ten women across several sizes say that a sleeve is too tight the pattern and subsequent garments can be changed to reflect that need.
Of course with all of this comes design problems and struggles. The current size range is 6-16 with three bust size accommodations (Fit, Foxy, & Fab). That is a total of 18 different sizes meant to cover a range of 48 bra sizes (26DD-36HH). You also have styles like the bralets that have underwire, which are sized in a range. For example, the 8 Fab bralet has a 28H/30GG underwire. But an 8 Fab may be worn by a woman who needs anything from a 26 band to a 34 (really the sizing possibilities are endless). Talk about some design complexities! So there will be women that may not find the perfect fit in a particular style, just like a dress from Pepperberry or a top from Biu Biu. It’s not a flaw in any company, design, or individual’s body, it is just something that happens when you are designing a line and trying to fit as many shapes and sizes as possible. I have already learned that one particular design does not work on my body shape, but I know it will work on plenty of other women (more on that to come). I hope that the LBD design works for me, I’ve been eyeing it from the time I saw it on the website.
Made In Preston currently has dresses with a price range of £35-45 ($58-63 at current exchange rates) and tops with a range of £35-40 ($58-61 at current exchange), all with free UK postage ($7.50 for US delivery). Stay tuned for updates on MIP’s line of bras as matching bottoms. You can find MIP on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
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