2021: Year in Review

I don’t know about you, but for me 2021 was one of the busiest years yet. As I’m sitting here full of gingerbread cookies and Korean BBQ, under a blanket, and in the glow of the lingering Christmas lights, I’m reflecting on what filled my workdays in 2021. I’m celebrating the milestones reached, analyzing what worked and what didn’t, and pondering the lessons I learned along the way. Join me for a two-part Alison Hoenes Design 2021 year in review.

2021 Client Brands and Projects

This year I had the privilege of working with 15 different womenswear brands on 75 styles. Some of the brands launched their first collection this year, while others topped charts and made mainstream headlines. Some of these brands are led by industry veterans, while many are founded by industry newbies who have the business background and saw a clothing need they wanted to solve. No matter their size or experience, what they all have in common is that they make women’s clothes to fit their specific customer’s lifestyle, body, and values.

2021 Work
15 womenswear brands
75 styles patterned
92 fit samples sewn
34 tech packs completed

They are brands that make clothes for petite women, plus-size women, nursing women, women working from home, women working at the office, women on the go, women enjoying their leisure time, women who want comfort, women who want style, women who want to be and feel confident in their own bodies, women who want their clothes to echo the same values they live by. What I love about the patterns I worked on is that they aren’t just a number; they are creatively designed, carefully developed, and considerately manufactured to bring joy, beauty, and function to those that wear them. 

93% of the brands I worked with this year are founded and run by women.

The styles aren’t just designed for women, though, they are designed BY women. 93% of the brands I worked with this year are founded and run by women. These women came to run fashion businesses from a wide range of backgrounds and experience. These founders are racially and culturally diverse. Even though I focus solely on women’s apparel, the diversity of people that I get to work with and specificity of each brand’s niche brings such fun variety to what I do. Fit is specific and unique and so is your vision as a fashion business owner and designer.

2021 Resources

Although I took a break from creating content for a few months while I juggled a move, FGI Saint Louis 85th Anniversary Symposium planning, and some big client projects, I was able to hit publish on 23 How Fitting podcast episodes with amazing fashion business owners, 17 blog posts about all things running a fashion business, and 14 group coaching calls in the Fashion Entrepreneur Patternmaking Workroom where we talked about patternmaking, grading, and more.

2021 Resources
23 How Fitting Podcast episodes
17 blog posts published
14 group coaching calls in the Fashion Entrepreneur Patternmaking Workroom

Most of the resources I publish (blog and podcast), I put out for free. No matter where you are in your fashion business, you can grow your knowledge, learn from others’ mistakes and successes, and gain confidence to move ahead in your brand.

I’m so thankful to be able to do this as my job and work with such amazing brands and designers! You all inspire me with your creativity and energy. I’m honored to be a part of bringing your designs to reality. Happy New Year and cheers to 2022 and fashion that truly fits your lifestyle, body, and values.

– Alison Hoenes

P.S. I’d love to know: What is the most helpful thing you learned in 2021 and what would you like to see from me in 2022? Comment below and let me know!

This is a 2-part post. See the second part about the business side in review here.

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