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”.

Trend Board Tuesday… The Softer Side of Color

At Design Works International we love creating trend boards that inspire us in the studio. Since the “softer side of color” is so pretty we love mixing these updated pastels with tones of grays and taupe. Our prints are a bit spontaneous mixing dots, stripes and simple graphics.

copyright©2014 Design Works International

copyright©2014 Design Works International

Trend Board Tuesday – Urban Collective

At Design Works International we love creating trend boards that inspire us in our everyday designing in the studio. Urban Collective showcases a unique and sustainable lifestyle with detail in woven and textured fabrics. Colors are earth-toned with pops of mid-tone accents.

urban

 

 

Fusion of Fashion and Home – Bill Evans

Often at Design Works International we talk about “The Fusion of Fashion and Home”. Recently, at The High Point Furniture Market, I had the pleasure of interviewing a colleague of mine, a gentleman who is somewhat of a Renaissance Man; Mr. Bill Evans of Charlotte, North Carolina. Currently Bill is designing fashion pieces from home furnishing fabrics. He admires these types of fabrics and loves the vintage sensibility he can bring to fashion. His many “One Of’s” fashion pieces, including vintage tweed jackets with button details can be acquired through him in Charlotte.

He began his career at The Bell Telephone Company after he studied at Wake Forest University on a Football Scholarship. After 4 years at Bell, he realized that his passion was design and started to design furniture case goods for Kewaunee in North Carolina. His passion for design grew and Bill turned to the automobile industry and he worked for Jaguar for many years before finally committing to fashion design full time. He too is a true believer in “The Fusion of Fashion and Home” philosophy.

Connect with Mr. Evans on FACEBOOK

MrEvansCollage

Photos by Nancy Fire

Fusion Friday – Cork

Cork is quite possibly one of the better materials for any type of creating; fashion and home included. Oak trees that grow in the western Mediterranean form thick, rugged and corky bark. Over time, this park can develop a considerable thickness and can be harvested every 10-12 years as cork. The harvesting of the cork does not harm the tree, and the a new layer of cork regrows, making it a renewable resource.cork

Fashion as Inspiration as seen at FrontDoor.com

As seen at

pp-hgtv-front-door-logo

Nancy Fire of Design Works International attended Maison Objet and Paris Design Week and snapped this candid photo of a stylish yet relaxed pair.

“Our friend Nancy Fire, founder of Design Works International, takes inspiration from every part of life and integrates those experiences into her work. Whether it is the creamy foam of a cappuccino with its brown crust or the blush of a young woman’s cheek, Fire is a collector of details. This approach creates designs that are unique and completely original for each client.

Fire recently attended Maison Objet and Paris Design Week and snapped some candid photos of locals lounging around in the Marais area of Paris. This inspired us to seek design inspiration in the everyday things – people and their fashions.”

to read more, go to frontdoor.com

#TBT Throwback Thursday!

NOT!

Throwback Thursday… happening in Amsterdam; vintage inspired furniture and accessories.

TBT

photos by Nancy Fire

#tbt #throwbackthursday

Fusion Geos

Go Bold or Go Home!

The Fusion of Fashion & Home with Bold Geos

fusion-geo-blog