‘Fabricly’: A Young Designer’s Wet Dream

Last week Fabricly invited me to chat with their Creative Director, Alice Barlow, about their tightly curated and innovative web brand. In a nutshell Fabricly is a talented, emerging designer’s, wet dream: the designer designs and Fabricly does the rest- the production, the marketing, the PR.  They do any and everything, beyond the actual clothing design, to move clothes from concept to sold item. Fabricly also aims to create items that are wearable and affordable.

The concept behind Fabricly is similar to Etsy .  Unlike Etsy, however, Fabricly is not simply a sales engine but also a guiding force behind product production. Aiming to remove daunting road blocks for someone new to the industry, Fabricly allows designers to focus on what they’re good at – designing. As a frustrated designer it is refreshing to know that there exists a place that will do the “dirty work”-  the work that independent designers often get bogged down by and often ultimately discouraged completely.   Often there is little desire and limited resources to handle these particular issues.  Not to mention the fact that the creative design mind does not always go hand in hand with great business saavy or production smarts. Plus there’s just not enough time in the day.

               Eve Gravel- Gabrielle Tank




Otis & Maclain- Open Back Tank

Alice Barlow is like a young designer’s champion, guardian angel, and savior. She’s a feisty, energetic, and passion filled young Australian who is inspired to do something to help frustrated young designers with little or no resources to bring their original concepts to sellable fruition. My kind of woman. With 10 years of solid fashion industry experience, Ms. Barlow earned her fashion chops not in class but at what she called “The School of Fred Segel”, going straight from high school into the buying department of an industry giant.

                       Alice as Alice Barlow

                     Me as Alice Barlow

Fabricly is currently introducing a new designer to their site at the break neck speed of one a month.  Items are moving so fast that it has been hard to keep them in stock. Ms. Barlow hopes that this model will be a way to keep new designers' names pumping into the industry. Additionally, Fabricly sells lines by foreign designers who are already established outside of the US but who might not have the exposure here yet that they deserve, such as ‘Ay Not Dead’, a line founded in 2003 by brothers in Argentina that mixes art & rock n’roll to create wearable basics with an edge. Basically Fabricly is the light in an often dark and unfair industry. I hope this spirit is infectious.

*Currently purchases can be made through the Fabricly website and, in the Spring of 2012, wholesale through the showroom BOND . Ms. Barlow says that they are also working making items available through other apparel sites such as Shopbop.