Cherie Bixler, with a fashion-filled heart and an entrepreneurial spirit, took her 25 years of experience in the fashion industry and turned it into her own successful, award-winning shop. Cherie Bixler Patternmaking and Consulting shop focuses on producing patterns from original sketches, photographs, rub-offs or spec sheets, on cutting and sewing garments and consults with new and intermediate-level people looking to get into the industry.
As it turns out Cherie has just the teensiest bit glamorous life; She has been featured in various fashion press publications and was previously named Industry Innovator by Style Industries. She has helped several clients and designers win fashion shows and movies costume gigs. Her client list includes the likes of: Demi Moore, Lauren Hill, Outkast, Sak's Fifth Avenue, Ralph Lauren, Armani Exchange, Sean John, Oscar de la Hoya, Avirex, MACY’S, Victoria’s Secret, LEVI'S Jeans, Liz Clairbone, and more. Oh and she has traveled to Malaysia, Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Egypt, Africa and Italy for her work.
If this wasn't enough, she is also a published author with her book a “Guide to Starting a Fashion Company”, a book that gives valuable tips and information based on her decades of experience in the industry.
It was no surprise that she jumped at the chance to offer advice to our readers via an interview with Fashion-Schools.org:
What inspired you to get into the fashion industry?
I was interested in fashion at the age of 6. I would look at the fashions in the Sear's catalog for hours and then watch my mother sew my wardrobe since we could save money by making clothing. Everything about the process was exciting.
What type of education did it take to get you where you are today?
I have an associates of arts degree in fashion design from Bauder Fashion College, which i think closed in the early 90's.
How has your career path progressed over the years?
I started out as an assistant designer. I quickly found out that being a designer is a lot of drama and you constantly had to fight to keep your job as it was the coveted position. I decided that I enjoyed being a pattern maker because there was more stability and i could escape the politics since few people wanted any part of such a demanding job. Over the years I really came to enjoy it and opened my own pattern making and consulting service.
What is your favorite part of working in the fashion business?
I love to see the sketch come to life as an actual garment. I love the look on a clients face when they see their garments for the first time.
What advice would you give to aspiring fashionistas?
If this is just a fly by night whim this is not the business to get into. You have to love this industry as it is very detailed process.
What schools does your company generally recruit new hires from?
FIT in NYC.
Do you think there is an overall increasing or decreasing need for people in the fashion industry?
At this time most employers are not as likely to hire and if they do they do not offer top salaries.
What do you foresee for the future of fashion?
It will always be here but you have to be ready for change.
What designer(s) or brand(s) influenced you the most as an artist?
I love anything vintage. I love antiques, historical homes, nature and animals.
Which skills do you consider to be most critical for a career in fashion?
In any career you need to be a team player. Look for solutions instead of creating drama. Expect to work hard to get ahead. If you combine some of those qualities with creativity you will go far.
What do you think the future of fashion holds?
I think it has a great future for those who are creative and work hard.
Check out more interviews at The Fashion-Schools.org Interview Series.