The Fashion Scholarship Fund's 2018 Design & Product Development Objective
One way to make brick and mortar retail more relevant to today’s customers is through curated experiences. The objective was to design a curated fashion collection for display at a chosen retailer around a central theme relevant to the retailer’s target customer.
- Conduct research on the leading fashion retailers which use curated collections to draw customers into their physical stores. Share a brief comparison of the various retailers you researched.
- Identify one fashion retailer you believe would benefit from adding a curated collection to their assortment, as well as the target customer you are going to design for. Explain your choice.
- Explain the story behind your curated collection and why it will work at the retailer of your choice.
- Create an inspiration board for your new line and describe you design process.
- Create a materials story (fabric, fiber, alloy etc.) including selection of 3 colors and 3 prints.
- Illustrate 6-8 looks for your proposed product offering and create front and back sketches for three of the looks.
- Describe how you would merchandise the collection within the physical store you have selected.
- How would you communicate the story behind the collection?
For my curated collection, I chose to design a collection for Alice + Olivia as an ecotour campaign entitled “Journey to Renewal.” My inspiration came from WGSN’s A/W 18/19 HumaNature forecast trend to reconnect with folk tradition and nature, which gives rise to “Embroidered Tradition, The Shaman, Military Explorer, and Nomadic Traveler.” My collection complements A+O’s aesthetics of embroidery, woven/knit sweaters, military details, and fur. It also harmonizes with A+O’s emphasis on travel in its social media, its website, and styles.
Millennials travel to explore and learn about the natural wonders of the world and threats to its existence. They aspire to practice conservation. The tree, an essential and powerful element of our ecosystem, inspires the patterns and the autumn leaves palate of the collection. In the most elaborate version of this motif, abstract embroidered Oak trees in metallic gold express their value atop a print in crepe de chine silk for a gown, a scarf, and a sweater motif. The tree’s printed windswept falling leaves appear like confetti in a celebration of nature. Tree bark inspires a second print on a casual top, Shaman-style sweater with wool nubs, and a speckled wool tweed version on a pant. A third print uses an abstract geometric fir tree motif resembling nature’s camouflage, featured on cargo pants, in a smaller version on the green blouse, and in a mini motif knit into the sweater and skirt set.
My collection facilitates interchanging and layering of garments to craft as many unique looks as possible for this Instagram generation, which does not want to repeat a look. For ease in travel, the Military Explorer style offered functionality and streamlined silhouettes to enable layering and to take less space in the suitcase. I added military-inspired gold trims to enhance the black leather jacket, tan pants, green crepe de chine blouse, and the black denim skirt pockets. The trim evolved into its most formal state on the gown, featuring a black leather ruffle, inset with the metallic gold fir tree geometric, which further marries the prints and materials used. The military style harmonizes with Shaman embroidery and stitchwork. For when women would rather not carry a handbag, most pieces have pockets, including the leggings, which have gold zipper-pockets big enough for a hotel keycard. The mid-length skirts function well for business and visits to places of worship and other conservative sites. I sourced eco-friendly textiles for my jackets and coats. The leather is sourced from Italy, where I also found eco-friendly destinations.