Q&A With UpNXT Emerging Designers Winner Andrea M Beaulieu
UpNXT is a fashion accelerator that FashioNXT created to launch emerging designers to the next step of their professional career. UpNXT aims to build a platform through supporting the designers with industry specialist, media resources, and business opportunities, and a cash prize. This year the program selected five talented designers to participate for a chance in reigning the title as 2016 UpNXT winner. Each designer was judged by a high profile panel on collection quality, aesthetic creativity/originality, and overall cohesiveness. They also evaluated the marketing and business skills based on the website, lookbook, and social media strategy. After reviewing the talented and strenuous work this year’s competition contestant Andrea Jenkins, from MOORE Custom Goods, was selected as 2016 UpNXT Winner. FashioNXT is looking forward to being part of sharing Andrea Beaulieu’s story through a wind of questions. We get exposure from Andrea about the journey through UpNXT, her next plans, and her ideas for the next visions…
FashioNXT: What aspects of UpNXT did you like the most?
Andrea B: UPNXT is a wonderful opportunity to meet other talented emerging designers in a friendly but competitive environment. The workshops provided the contestants with access to prominent figures within the local fashion scene, allowing for candid conversations and valuable information to be shared.
FashioNXT: How would you describe your audience?
Andrea B: The most common word used to describe my brand is “wearable”… people of all ages, sizes, etc. can wear MOORE to feel comfortable and edgy.
FashioNXT: What would you say helped you the most to transform into the UpNXT Winner
Andrea B: I really wanted to be a sponge through the process, absorbing all the information we were being given and putting it to use every chance I got. Making an impactful collection is always a goal, so despite this being a competition, I wanted to stay true to my design aesthetic. The details are the wow factor that I enjoy executing on a daily basis so I am thankful they resonated with the judges and the crowd.
FashioNXT: As part of the prize you are awarded a show for 2017 FashioNXT, have there been sketches of new ideas and patterns in the making for next year’s show?
Andrea B:I have not begun FW17/18 yet, as I am still finishing up SS17… but it will surely be dynamic.
FashioNXT: If the opportunity appeared, which celebrity would you pick to dress?
Andrea B: I’d love to dress RiRi and Drake in a Werk remix video.
FashioNXT: How would you describe your typical designs for a client?
Andrea B: MOORE is a street fashion brand with a focus on quality and attention to detail as well as sustainability through the use of unisex vegan fabrications and local production. The designs are fresh and wearable with a hyper neutral color palate that easily integrate into your current wardrobe.
FashioNXT: How were the UpNXT facilitated mentorships, classes, and business meetings helpful for you?
Andrea B: I appreciated the openness of each speaker and their willingness to take questions of all calibers, making for a friendly and beneficial experience. It was awesome to hear from 3 wildly successful women in our industry. In our PR workshop, Marjorie completely understood that as new designers we do everything ourselves, so she got very detailed about what editors are looking for in reading through press releases. Brittany was very helpful in discussing goals with our social media platforms and how to maximize our presence, catering to each designers needs. Eden also knows the challenges of wearing many hats in the beginning of your independent design career, so her knowledge of wardrobe and sets, project management, and must-haves for shooting your look book is invaluable.
FashioNXT: What would you say has been most useful from these tools given during UpNXT?
Andrea B: After meeting with Sean from FabFad at FashioNXT, I went to LA to visit their production facility, view their samples and discuss pricing on several different kinds of jobs. I am looking forward to partnering with them on custom fabric printing, since they have the most competitive pricing in the market, no minimums and very fast turn around.
FashioNXT: Are there any new goals that you are imaging in your career after being a 2016 UpNXT Winner?
Andrea B: I am always trying to take things to the next level, to grow and lift up those around me. I’m looking at wholesale accounts to expand my reach outside of the Portland market. I am looking for new interns to grow in the business of fashion. I am researching larger spaces to expand the production part of my business. So many things!
FashioNXT: Would you like to share anything else that you want readers to know about you?
Andrea B: I am so thankful and humbled to be supported by so many people in this incredible community. It is such an exciting time to be in fashion in Portland… there isn’t any other place i’d rather be.
Shop Moore Custom Goods at: 1720 NW Lovejoy Street #115 Portland, Oregon
Or online at: http://www.wearmoore.com/
Applications for the 2017 UpNXT emerging designer accelerator are available now; it is a great opportunity for brand exposure and growing your business. Apply here if you’re interested: