Local Fashion Designer Bob Martin Gets Swiss Notice
Fashion Article Posted June 24, 2009

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Bob Martin's plan was to start small but think big.

Now the local fashion designer has partnered and contracted with Bernina, a Swiss sewing machine manufacturer, to be a featured designer on its newly revamped Web site.

"It's really interesting how just in the past six months things have taken off. When you get a company such as Bernina by your side, all of a sudden other companies kind of stand up and take notice," Martin said.

Bernina Marketing Manager Alice Voss called Martin "the trigger for creative spark of young designers today."

After studying fashion in London and teaching part-time, Martin created an instructional DVD series "How To Fashion Design" with the goal of encouraging the next generation of sewers.

"Shows like Project Runway bring excitement to making clothes. I've heard a lot of people say they'd like to design their own clothing," Martin said.

When his DVDs were filmed, he wanted new and up-to-date equipment that would be easy for new sewers to use, so he turned to Bernina. Curtis Diller, owner of Stitch N Time of Greencastle, lent him a Bernina sewing machine for the project.

Martin contacted the company in search of a retail sponsorship, and to his surprise, they noticed his product and asked him to contribute to their new Web site (http://www.sewingrepublic.com), set to launch next month. The site is geared toward getting the younger market interested in sewing.

Martin will also be featured at the company's dealer convention in San Francisco.

His DVD series is sold online (How to Fashion Design) and locally at Stitch N Time, but he is in discussion with a number of national retailers. He hopes the new partnership will be a catalyst for future business opportunities.

"At the moment I'm looking for people who want to have their product retailed in their store. And now that I'm involved with Bernina, now they want to make the phone calls and discuss about possible contracts," he said. "It's been really good and really exciting what the future's going to hold. It's something I never really expected this quickly in the game, but it's worked out well."

Martin said he was always fascinated with design in general. He built homes before he left to study fashion in London, where graduated valedictorian of his class among some talented classmates that included Christian Siriano, winner of the reality show "Project Runway."

By MARCUS RAUHUT Staff writer publicopiniononline.com/ci_12604973

Learn more about Bob Martin.

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