For fashion designers and other professionals in the industry, home office and private studios are not always a financially available idea -- or even a personal choice. With the rise of co-working communities, it's great to see innovative hubs like Lab Fashion - a fashion co-working in São Paulo, Brazil. Complete with classes and talks in fashion, events' infrastructure, and photography studios, Lab Fashion provides a complete solution for independent fashion professionals since 2015.
Digifair talked to Diogo Hayashi, the original founder of Lab Fashion, and the newest partner, Bethina Oger Garcia, to know more about the concept and values of this innovative fashion community. Check it out below!
[Digifair] How did Lab Fashion change after Bethina Oger Garcia joined?
[Lab Fashion] We focus more on fashion as a whole, raised the number of rooms in the space, and we reach out to the educational part because she is a creative and inventive teacher. Today we have more of our own courses happening in space.
Pictures of the Vera Wang Room. Furniture can be rearranged so fashion designers or other professionals are more comfortable.
[D] What areas are available on Lab Fashion?
[LF] Today we have five private rooms, a mini atelier to share, a hall for events such as book launches and collection previews, and a photo studio. We also have classes that happen simultaneously with the co-working area so students to have this coexistence with professionals from different areas.
[D] Who is Lab Fashion's current audience?
[LF] Fashion students, professionals looking for a place to start their business, professionals who need a space ready for them to take their courses. We also have people who are already in the area but are tired to be alone in their homes or offices.
[D] Is there a process for selecting professionals or a waiting list?
[LF] There is a waiting list for the private rooms because at the moment we only have one vacancy that has not yet been filled for refurbishment reasons. We have a list of the rooms that are already rented but still have people interested in them. And we do not have any selection process -- we just try to keep the niche in fashion and the like, so it is very difficult for a professional from another area, for example, a physician, to look for a room with us.
[D] How do you think Lab Fashion is a solution for your target audience?
[LF] We offer rooms ready with complete infrastructure so that the person needs only to come. to work. We also offer the complete infrastructure to use the space for events: the space will be ready when they arrive to use it. We offer courses that are really needed for fashion students looking for a new job or even their first job because we put market experience on the courses.
Details of the photo studios available at Lab Fashion, which can be rented by the hour or by the day.
[D] What courses are offered at Lab Fashion?
[LF] Female entrepreneurship, creativity, and innovation, art direction; make-up; internship course for beginners in fashion.
[D] How can a collective workspace help networking?
[LF] Today, networking happens more in a coffee break or during lunch. Everyone meets in the kitchen to share a moment. Networking helps a lot in the growth of a business because there are many different people with similar or complete business [at Lab Fashion].
[D] How do you see Digifair working with your audience?
[LF] Because we have an entirely fashion-oriented audience, I believe this partnership will be of great value to our clients and followers because most of them are fashion designers or students.
[D] What do you like about the creative economy?
[LF] We like the need for the collaborative because a creative economy does not exist without the union of many to create something. Fashion co-working is very cool because of the incredible partnerships and new business ideas that came about after the union of ideas.
[D] How can the creative economy revolutionize the fashion market?
[LF] First I think it can start with a change of mind. For the creative economy to work, it needs to be done together, in a team, and where everyone grows and not just one person. For creativity to occur many heads need to get together to do something really new.
On the left, the main room, used for conferences or classes and highly adaptable to whatever your needs are. On the right, details of the private Chanel room, named after the famous fashion designer.
[D] Are there any expansion plans in São Paulo or Brazil?
[LF] For now we have expansion plans just for São Paulo, but our 5-year goal is to grow enough to start expanding out of São Paulo.
All images are courtesy of Lab Fashion.