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

Throwback Thursday – The HGTV Conference Room

As seen at I Heart HGTV on January 7th, 2014 

The HGTV Magazine staff started out the New Year with a refreshed, refurnished, and revamped conference room! All thanks to our friends at HGTV HOME!

The redo experts took our boring office space, and transformed it into a stylish, colorful, and cozy spot for meetings, brainstorming, and okay, a little partying! Check out our before and after pictures below. Plus find details on specific paint colors, fabric patterns, and more HGTV HOME furniture and products used in the makeover.

Left to Right. Nancy Fire, HGTV HOME Design Director, Sara Peterson, Editor in Chief HGTV Magazine, Carol Crawford, Director of Marketing, Consumer products at HGTV HOME

Left to Right. Nancy Fire, HGTV HOME Design Director, Sara Peterson, Editor in Chief HGTV Magazine, Carol Crawford, Director of Marketing, Consumer products at HGTV HOME

HGTVConfRm

  • Chairs: HGTV HOME Furniture Collection Dining Chair (2572 and 2572-02A) in Smoke (HG73, fabric and 9, color) with nailhead trim Dining Table:
  • HGTV HOME Caravan Rectangular Dining Table in Two-Tone (4386) Credenza:
  • HGTV HOME Caravan Entertainment Credenza in Midnight (9486) Rug: HGTV HOME Flooring by Shaw Nirvana in Gray (00500) Tray Tables:
  • HGTV HOME Design Studio at Bassett Style Boost Tray Table (6HG7-K604) in Green Pillow Fabrics:
  • All HGTV HOME fabrics are available at Jo-Ann fabric stores or joann.com. Like a Diamond in Fog (window seat), Round Trip in Lagoon, Souvenir Scroll in Lagoon and Fog, and Chevron Chic in Harvest Paint Colors:
  • HGTV HOME by Sherwin-Williams in Cooled Blue (SW 6759) on the walls, and Sealskin (SW 7675) underneath the window seat.

new-before-after-conference

Small Holdings

This past weekend I happened to stumble upon what I call “A Treasure Chest of Goodies” at the Small Holdings Farm in Aquebogue, NY. For all us designers out there, it is getting harder and harder to find great antiques and “barn finds” that are affordable and allow us the opportunity to be used for our DIY projects.

The Small Holdings Farm is home to a large barn filled with many trinkets, furniture and rustic finds outside on the perimeter of the property. If you like to repaint, reclaim or just repurpose, I would highly suggest paying the Small Holdings Farm a visit!

They specialize in farmhouse decor, painted furniture, country cottage, industrial, reclaimed and renamed items. It is truly one of North Fork’s best kept secrets on Long Island NY. They are located in Aquebogue at 965 Main Street and their number is 631-722-3342. Winter hours are Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.    -Enjoy Treasure Hunting!

SmallHoldings

photos by Nancy Fire

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

High Point Furniture Market – Bits and Pieces

So much to see…so little time to blog….so we decided to show “bits and pieces” from our favorites in this post

Beautiful Wooden Headboard and detailed bedding with texture from Studio A, quilting as well as braiding detail.

Updated Outdoor furniture by Janus et Gie gone right with substrate mixing and woven fabric detail.

studioA


Talk about “Going Green” this collection of lighting by Wish Designs LLC, is all organic even down to the felt fabric wrapping each lighting base.
wish

Arterios, known mostly for their amazing and creative lighting also has “pretty amazing” decorative accessories and occasional furniture.
Look at the detail on this beautiful mixed substrate chest…those hingers and nail heads are perfect!
arteros

 Surya seems to be the “Go To” showroom where buyers and designers love to hang out and shop their many updated and trend right products…

did I mention their mash potato bar that happens during market as well?!

The image below showcases Surya’s handy work featuring appliqué, embroidery as well as printed surfaces

Their showroom is a fantastic loft filled with the latest greats in color, fabric and style…

showcasing, rugs, pillows, throws, wall decor, accent furniture lighting and their newest addition bedding!

Surya

all photos by Nancy Fire

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