Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
I have to credit the insights of the team at Avery Dennison - they were essential in giving me a foundation to get started. I monitor athletic brands and specifically keep an eye on featured designer collaborations, including the partnership with Mary Katrantzou and adidas to create innovative clothes and shoes in the designer's iconic prints. These designers create something different, with a twist on athletic products, that no one ever thought of before.
With the changing environment of fashion, how have you seen the performance industry evolve?
Today, the consumer forces the evolution. With performance, the product has to perform, and the evolution is definitely driven by competition. For instance, running shoes are being pushed to be lightweight with more ventilation, so we are constantly pushing our Component Weave to be more ventilated, stronger, lighter, and do more for our running clients. However, with our soccer (football) clients, the shoes have to be durable and protective, so it’s a completely different kind of evolution. From an aesthetic standpoint, whatever looks crazy, new and over-the-top is where the industry is going.
What design challenges, if any, are you facing?
The speed of the market is fast. Our forward-thinking clients are looking to Component Weave as the next big thing. We have to ride the wave and keep an eye on the next one at the same time. Component Weave must constantly evolve to stay in this game.
What has been most exciting about working with RBIS?
It’s like having the keys to the candy factory. I’m able to truly push the limits of fabric and techniques. It’s not my job anymore to figure out what the design is and that’s very freeing as a materials developer. The ability to develop your own materials and bend them to the will of your design is the essence of product creation. One of the coolest things about working with RBIS, the Innovation Team and this fabrication for footwear is that woven fabrics, footwear and tech are a preordained combination. There's just a unique energy you get working with this stuff. Woven footwear has been around for thousands of years - its legacy in history is motivating and inspirational.
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