Mentoring Cornell Students

by Nancy Fire

Nancy Fire. Founder and Creative Director at Design Works International

Nancy Fire. Founder and Creative Director at Design Works International

 

After 25 years as Founder and Creative Director at Design Works International, I love that I still get inspired by my colleagues as well as our clients. I’m excited now as I get to add students to my list of aspirational influences.

 

On Dec 2nd I was asked to review the final semester projects from the Fashion Management Class at Cornell because I started off the semester in late August talking to the students about industry and how macro trends in the world effect the fashion and home industry.

Tasha Lewis PHD

Tasha Lewis PHD

 

It all began last year when I was introduced to Tasha Lewis, PH.D. and Assistant Professor of the College of Human Ecology at Cornell in the Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design. Professor Lewis asked me if I would consider mentoring the class because of my experience in the design industry. I told her that it would be my honor to be inspired by young talent! The students work in teams of 4 or 6 and each student has a specific job to cover.

 

The class is divided into teams consisting of the following:

  • Merchandising Manager
  • Color, Print & Textile
  • Product Development and Design
  • Production & Sourcing
  • Buying, Planning and Distribution
  • Brand Marketing and Visualcornell

The Product Categories consist of:

  • Women’s Woven Blouses
  • Men’s Woven Bottoms
  • Women’s Woven Tops
  • Men’s Woven Tops
  • Women’s Knit Tops
  • Men’s Outerwear
  • Women’s Outerwear

Company Choices:

  • Forever 21
  • Gap
  • Nike
  • J. Crew
  • Victoria Secret

The magic of this project is that the students really need to think “outside of the box” and present an entire “Style Deck” consisting of the following:

Customer Profile

  • Concept Board Reflecting the “Four P’s” for their brand. (Place, Promotion, Product, and Price)
  • Competitor Analysis
  • SWOT Analysis-Strength Opportunities Weakness Threat
  • Color Story
  • Product Line Sheet
  • Environmental Score Sheet
  • GANTT Chart-Bar Charts
  • 6 Month Merchandise Plan
  • Cost Sheet
  • Pop-Up Concept
  • It was necessary for each team to incorporate home products into their product assortment because of the influence of LifeStyle Brands today.

During the entire class, 7 teams presented their aesthetic vision and in the end I was pretty impressed with the outcome.

cornell-08

I think for me as a person in industry what struck me was the thought process that each team was challenged to provide with all the details that really happen “in the real world”.

I like completion as a designer and director, and I felt that most of the teams projects were well thought out, some were more evolved than others. As a special bonus at the end, 2 young men who are NOT even fashion majors at Cornell, (one in the Hotel School and the other in the ILR), actually presented samples from a business that they started at the beginning of the semester designing shorts.

It was inspiring to see a group of their peers give them actual feedback on how to improve their product…talk about a “real life focus group”.

High Point Furniture Market – Berry Bliss

Hate to say we told you so but back on September 19th DESIGNWORKSSTYLE.COM spoke about Berry Bliss as a current trend in the market. That was from Nancy’s trip to Europe. We now have these photos from High Point to back up our blog post… Trending are berry tones in woven geometrics, prints and patterns as well as stripes and updated chevrons. These beautiful pics were taken at The Bassett Showroom IHFC, 12th floor and are the perfect mix of berry color combinations.

photos by Nancy Fire

High Point Furniture Market – Legacy Home

Nancy here, as promised still sharing from The High Point Furniture Market!!

Market might be over but the excitement is not…. Have to share “Legacy Home” because I was so impressed with their style, sense of color and fabric choices…a well merchandised and styled line of bedding, pillows, drapery and headboards. See for yourself as you view the following fab prints, patterns and weaves! Legacy Home Collections are available through-the-trade and their website is legacylinens.com

photos by Nancy Fire

photos by Nancy Fire

Quick Recap w/ Design Works

Catching up with Design Works International

Catching up with Design Works International

See our very own Nancy Fire, Design Director of HGTV HOME, sharing the story of the HGTV HOME Collection.

HGTVHomeVideo

Fusion: Silver

Fusion-Silver

Inspired by Paris

maison

NYFW 2013 – Collegiate Sport

Collegiate