My job KNITWEAR DESIGNER
Jean-Noel Bissessur, designer at The Design Factory, Première Vision Designs (5V22) and his pineapple from Mauritius, which inspired his latest collection.
WE AREN’T ARTISTS, THOUGH WE ALWAYS START BY DRAWING LINES THAT BECOME A DESIGN.
A design then becomes a knit pattern, for a specific market. Sometimes we don’t stop there; some clients ask us to produce too. I grew up near the workshop of my grandfather, a tailor, and I sewed my own clothes. Then I studied to be a designer at Nottingham Trent University. In 2001, I launched the company in Mauritius. The hardest part about this job is constantly making sure everything is right, from the first pencil stroke on through to the garment finishing. So that our ideas don’t get diluted along the way, so we can recognize our designs in the street! It’s a profession that is related to art, and so of course it’s fascinating. But it is primarily an industrial profession, subject to the same kind of pressure. It isn’t enough to have a good eye, you have to keep in mind your customers. You have to be able to repeat the same blue ten times in ten different ways: in 20 years, we went from two annual collections to ten! And you have to live through all the anguish of the final days of readying a collection, when you’ve almost run out of time and you’re starting to wonder if all will be ready on time…