Last weekend, Brynn along with her three interns endured the heat at the Wells Street Art Festival in Chicago. As a new design intern, it was very interesting to see the different reactions and body language from a diverse group of people at Wells Street. What intrigued me the most was seeing what exactly influences customers to purchase a handbag and the thought process that goes into taking the chance on an unknown brand.
It seemed that many would buy based on the touch and feel aspects of the leather. Others would see the many versatile ways the bags can be worn which would automatically be a selling point in their perspective. Others were drawn to the colors, as well as the vivid and fun colored lining found on the inside of the bags.
This was very interesting as a design intern, because it teaches me on the customer awareness of each an every aspect of a design. This also gave me a lot more hands on experience to see who exactly the target audience is rather than a regular conversation on the topic in the office.
We have many discussions on the inspiration and product lifecycle of a handbag, which starts with mood board. A mood board is basically a fancy designer term for an inspiration board. We scour the internet and magazines for color inspiration. We look for the colors and then find matching leather to the theme. But since you have to keep in mind the consumer, it can be difficult to narrow it down. Being at the event gave me a first hand experience into why and how the final decisions are made. Brynn says it’s important to create a collection of colors that will basically “sell themselves.”
As a designer you also have to always be expanding. For example, we had just decided to turn the Cher Wristlet into a crossbody bag (as seen on the above left). This customer automatically was drawn to the bag due to its versatility and unique color. She couldn’t even wait to wear it and proceeded to strut in her brand new bag the rest of the day !
Texture, color, design, features and convenience along with many other aspects go into the thought process of a designer when creating a piece. This also is going on inside the head of a consumer as well when purchasing. It’s interesting to see how two opposite ends of the fashion spectrum think very a like.
I gained a lot of customer knowledge as well as customer service skills working the Wells Street Art Festival and am eager to see what other festivals are to come!