I've considered posting on this issue before, and I've had conversations with several Portland designers about it already. Perhaps I hesitated to publish anything because it seems like it should go without saying that if you're making and selling clothing under your own name that you would want to put the best materials into it. But, well, here's what happened:

Yesterday I busted out a piece that I'd had made to measure from a Portland designer who shall remain nameless. I love the piece, and I bought it because it's a great design—BUT, it has a zipper running all the way up the back, and it's not a YKK, which as far as I can tell if it's not a YKK, it's shit. True to form, as I sat—in public—at a café yesterday, the zipper split, leaving me with the entire back of my outfit hanging open, looking like a jackass. The only thing saving me from indecent exposure was the American Apparel bodysuit I was wearing underneath. I'm going to try to have the zipper replaced, because I really do love the piece, but I'm just putting it out there as a reminder: YKK, all the way.

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(photo via Pattern Solutions)