The SVP of design, armed with a gallon of coffee, meets with a recently hired designer. It goes something like this:
He places the coffee in front of him, warming his hands around it, and begins, “Excellent. Good. So. I just wanted to synergize with you regarding the onboarding process. Wanna go through some checkpoints, get you started. We currently sit in that sweet spot between Bridge and Advanced Contemporary. Those are the guardrails. Now. Business is on fire. Fall is blowing out. What I’m needing from you are ideas and plenty of them.”
“Great, I’ve got that covered.” The designer whips out her folio of designs, clears her throat, takes charge. “Well, as the line is so new I thought we could capitalize–”
“Let me just stop you there. We are actually heading into our second season, third if you count Resort. Need you to consider the heritage behind the brand. ”
“Our DNA. The brand matrix. Your part in a very delicate ecosystem. For example, this…” He jabs a finger at one of her sketches. “…is sick. A no-brainer. Low hanging fruit. Could be a TP in the right color.”
“Olive Drab’s the new it color. Love?” He puts a big check mark next to the drawing.”Love!”
“I’m loving this jacket.” She holds up a sample she had expedited from the Hong Kong factory for the meeting.
“Kill it. It’s so LY.” The designer looks confused. “Last year.”
“But you weren’t around last year.”
“I’m going to need you to roll with the equation here. Kill it. Rapido.”
She hangs it back on the rack.
He holds up his hands, chuckling.”Alright alright, I’m a reasonable man. We’ll test it. But let’s be smart and remove a few variables.” He takes up a pair of scissors and cuts off the leather collar, then each of the ribbed cuffs, lops off the breast pockets. “No need for these. Functionality didn’t do so well for us in Fall, didn’t move the needle much.”
He snips off each of the six buttons and they go dancing across the floor. “Eliminate minutiae, put it in a pop color, e voilà!”
The designer doesn”t recognize the jacket. It’s a placeholder, a jacket-shaped gap in the room with air whistling through it.
“Then we BOGO it in multiple colors. My guess is it’ll fly out. Could be the new core item if it trends right.”
“Isn’t it a bit…well, dull?”
“Our customer is very clear about what she wants. Stores returned half the Fall collection. Can’t have that again. First season and we completely missed the mark. We’re classic, but with a twist, that’s us, sitting right on that desirable fence between Moderate and Missy. We need to be on the same page. Why’ve you put that dirty green there?
“That’s the Olive Drab you chose.”
“Kill it. We need a pop of color. What’s this, fuchsia? Love? Love. You might want to think of GWP options. They’ve been very successful. And a roadmap print. We need to go in several directions to reach our goal. Looks like you’ll be dining al desko tonight, taking one for the team. Wait, why are you pinning that there?
“It’s the fuchsia you asked for.”
“Don’t love it.” He snatches it from the board.
SVP: Senior Vice President
TP: Top Performer
BOGO: Buy One Get One Free
GWP: Gift With Purchase
For the rest, your guess is as good as mine. My novel, set in the international fashion industry is available. You can buy Silk for the Feed Dogs here