Spring in NYC

The calendar says spring, and it looks like old man winter has finally packed his bags (fingers crossed). Luckily the annual Macy’s Flower Show is on and we can walk the two blocks to be inspired by the color and the beauty.

flowershow

 

Happy Popcorn Day!

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Did you know that Popcorn was first domesticated in Mexico 9,000 years ago from a wild grass and is one of the oldest forms of corn?

Holcomb & Hoke popcorn machine exteriorEver wonder why we eat popcorn at the movies? Well, during the Great Depression, a trip to the theatre was one of the few entertainment options people could afford. Theaters did not sell snacks at the time and as a bag of popcorn kernels would sell for about $10, lasting years, they could sell to the people at 10 cents a bag and make ahefty profit. The lure of the aroma made it easy to sell. The machines to make popcorn are quite portable so industrious vendors would set up right outside and sell to the patrons going into the theater.

Soon theater owners saw the opportunity and began leasing space inside to the vendors and the movie theater snack bar was born. Eventually the middle men were cut out and selling snacks in the theater actually saved many movie houses.

Popcorn is ubiquitous now. Having been a part of every decade of our culture. How great is the MTV Movie Awards trophy that is a bucket of popcorn. We LOVE Jeremy Scott’s “Fast Food Fashion” for Moschino and the “Food Fight” Collection for Cybex.

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Fusion of Fashion & Home – Marsala

Sephora has just added some beautiful products in Marsala for their Color of the Year program.

SEPHORA-Pantone-Universe-Marsala

At Design Works International we have long believed in the concept of Fusion of Fashion & Home as it relates to design and color. Pattern, color, aesthetic overlap into every industry. The designer that designs specifically for fashion or home is not as common as in the past. Now as all industries provide consumers with products that allow them to link all aspects of their life. Evidence is the new Sephora line and the Fusion of Fashion & Home Marsala below.

marsala

Tweet Seat!

In celebration of the 13th Annual National Bird Day! Custom fabric we printed to repurpose a chair which now sits in our studio. Hopefully the beauty of birds will inspire you to great things this year.  Click the image to find out more about National Bird Day.

Tweet-Seat

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

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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

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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”.

Cyber Monday 2014

Cyber Monday was created in 2005 to persuade people to shop on-line and for the past 14 years, on-line sales have grown considerably; so much so that the 2014 projected on-line sales could bypass in-store purchases for the first time in history!
 
Cyber Monday has become an international marketing term used by online retailers in Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Uganda, Japan, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom by on-line retailers and are generally offered by smaller retailers that cannot complete with the big brick-and-mortar retailers.
 
According to WWWMetrics in “The Growth of Shopping Online” online shopping is only going to become more popular as time goes by and purchasers worldwide become more comfortable with security and the on-time delivery of their purchases. On-line shopping is one area of merchandising that continues to have a positive outlook far into the future.
How are you going to shop this Holiday season?
photo by Nancy Fire

photo by Nancy Fire

A Glimmer of “Book Hope”

Book Culture, an independent bookstore in New York City, announced its plan to open a third location at 450 Columbus Ave. They hope to connect with the neighborhood and drum up excitement to meet its yearly sales goal. Chris Doeblin, the owner of Book Culture, has invited Upper West Siders to “Post It” graffiti so they can write their feelings about having a neighborhood bookstore. They’re trying to get the  community involved and committed to support this independent bookstore!

BookCulture