Traveling Trends; A College Town Christmas

 

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Cornell Campus, Ithaca NY. Above the shore of Cayuga Lake. The first snowfall of the season

petrune

Great typography at Petrune

The mood was perfect; snow falling, cool crisp air and a town of “small shops” all ready for the quick approaching holiday season. Ithaca is truly a college town, located in central New York and home to Cornell University and Ithaca College. 28,000 students fill the city when college is in session. These students, as well as Ithaca’s local community, like to “shop small”; both in a place called The Commons as well as College Town.

 

The basic vibe of this college town is updated vintage with a modern twist. A great example is Petrune, a store which just opened its second location in Brooklyn on 223 Fifth Ave. Trending at Petrune are great mixes of clothing; “Classic Clothing from Every Decade” and very hip home accessories and vinyl records. The wall decor and typography are college town appropriate with sayings like “Boys Club, Bro Shop or vintage bowling alley graphics. In Ithaca, Petrune is located at 126 The Commons and their website is www.petrune.com

Vint

Awesome finds at The Vintage Industry

 

 

Another great find in Ithaca is The Vintage Industry located at 113 West State Street; buying and selling antiques and vintage items. Their vintage window display was so fab that anyone walking by had to check out what was inside. I spotted a Santa cookie jar and Mr. & Mrs. Claus salt and pepper set that were in pristine shape and so awesome and unique.

Olivia Royale

 

 

This is Olivia Royale, owner and designer of The Art & Found Shop located at 117 East State Street at The Commons is a fair trade, sustainable clothing indie brand store that designs many of their clothes right in the store.  When asked what was trending, she said “Our plaid free flannel cardigan is because it is a style that is cozy and comfy especially as it is wore as a wrap.”

 

 

 

 

 

Tell us about your Favorite College Town Christmas….Happy Holidays!

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.

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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

A Word of Advice

as seen at Surtex.com

NANCY FIRE, Design Works International, New York City:  
“The best advice I have ever been given was ‘to stay true to yourself’ and ‘believe in your talent.’
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That’s important advice because when you are in an industry that is ‘hyper creative’ you can really lose your sense of self.  If you lose these qualities, you lose your passion, and without passion, I feel that my day would be about just existing, not creating!”

Click here to read the full article

Happy Harvest… in all shapes and sizes!

Did you know that “Gourds” are part of the plant family called Cucurbitaceae. The term refers to a number of species and subspecies, many with hard shells and even some without!
The bottle gourd, one of the earliest known gourd species, dates back to 13,000 BC and has even been discovered in archaeological sites. It has served many purposes throughout history including tools, musical instruments and objects of art. Many artisans today use gourds as their artistic medium and carve and paint them. Some even use as them drums to make music and even bird houses!
We love that gourds come in all shapes and sizes as well as amazing colors and patterns… no two are alike which means they are truly “one of a kind”… like each designer and their designs.
So next time you look at these beautiful “sculptures from nature” we hope that you too can appreciate their uniqueness from a designers standpoint! Happy Thanksgiving!
photo by Nancy Fire

photo by Nancy Fire

Trend Board Tuesday – Landscape

At Design Works International we love creating trend boards that inspire us in the studio to create beautiful prints, patterns and trend lifestyle.

Landscape is a romantic watercolor story that is rich in technique and style. Tones of purples and blues are combined to create prints that are inspired by nature.

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copyright©2014 Design Works International