So many people have asked what I have been up to since designing for DIYStyle and McCall Pattern Company. There is a long answer and a short answer.
Short answer–I started Allyce King Swim, a swimwear line designed especially for pageant competitors (think Miss USA, Miss America, etc.) and have been busy promoting, selling, producing in the USA (yay!!) and everything that goes with starting a new fashion line.
Long answer–in starting my line right after graduating from Stephens College with a degree in Fashion Design and Product Development, I have traveled a long, hard, fun and interesting road to get where I am right now as a fashion designer. And I have met some of the most talented and successful people along the way. With that said, I am going to tell my story………..the road to Allyce King Swim or Allyce in Pageantland as this post and others will be titled!
Atlanta Apparel Mart view from inside Glass Elevator
I am going to jump in at the middle of the story, but with Atlanta Market just wrapping up I could not resist to let you in on one of my MAJOR leaps of faith and one every designer dreams of–taking their line to market. Atlanta Apparel Mart is the location for a huge Prom and Pageant market that takes place each year in August, and I was so excited to present the Allyce King Swim line to prospective boutique owners in attendance that carry pageant competition gowns, swimsuits, cocktail dresses and more. I design swimsuits that make a pageant competitor look their very best–with strategic cuts, interesting fabrics and just the right touch of glitz. Actually my debut line is called “Sparkle”.
Me with my Allyce King Swim Girls-Sydnee and Lacie!
There is a ton of prep work that goes into being ready for market with a line, and mine was no exception. Fortunately I have had several girls wear my Allyce King Swim suits on stage and girls were already winning in my suits! On both the local, state and national levels, showing them off all really nicely. Pretty much like a movie star wearing a red carpet gown at the Oscars. It promotes the gown designer….same here….winning pageant competitors showcase my brand and make Allyce King Swim look fantastic. So the rest was a lot of organization, line sheets, order forms, sales, pre-sales, promotion, emails and more emails, and getting a showroom set up for the very first time.
Allyce King Swim is on the Floor!
Outside the Allyce King Swim Showroom with Lacie!
We arrived at the Atlanta Apparel Mart and were in complete awe. Actually I cried as I was handed the keys to my showroom and opened it for the very first time (yes, I was overwhelmed-joy? terror? how did I get here?!). Fast forward to three days later, with several new stores interested in carrying the line, as well as a few of my current stores there too, market was over as quickly as it had started! It was a complete whirlwind, including my first ever market runway fashion show. All in all it made for a really exciting and rewarding experience. The perfect mix of brand exposure and selling opportunity. Yes, Atlanta Prom and Pageant Market was a success for Allyce King Swim. Whew!!
Sydnee and Lacie my Allyce King Swim Girls, The view from the Top, and Sydnee in the AKS Official Model Robe!
Backstage at the Atlanta Apparel Mart Fashion Show
Allyce at Apparel Mart Fashion Show
My words to young designers: Do not go to market to sell your line until you are really ready. Buyers are in a super time crunch at market and you have to be able to command their attention and then follow through. SO much needs to be in place. Thank goodness for all my training at Stephens as well as everything I have learned along the way (I will be sharing some of that in additional Allyce in Pageantland posts).
Yes, I have been VERY busy as a designer, but here’s the BEST part! I am coming full circle back to DIYStyle! With all of our experience in sewing knit fabrics, active and swimwear, as well as designing, now it’s time for me to share some of this on DIYStyle with the help of Cindy Cummins (my Mom and my biggest supporter-usually behind the scenes at DIYStyle, you will get to see more of her!). What a fun way for us to work together to show YOU how to create and design with REAL pro’s (we have some Industry Icon surprise guests)-with REAL info and REAL instruction. We can’t wait to dig in and reboot DIYStyle. So follow my posts and watch as we expand DIYStyle. Stay tuned to hear the rest of the story. It’s going to be a blast filling you all in!
Allyce in Pageantland xoxo