Mini Excursion Belt Bag
As part of my role, I conducted competitive research, created initial concepts, developed sketches, prepared tech packs, provided sample comments, and executed design refinements throughout the entire design process.
Design Brief: The design ask was to create a versatile waist/crossbody bag that embodies the unique design language of Athleta's Excursion Collection.
Tech Pack Sample: Abridged tech pack page for the Excursion Mini Belt Bag.
Commercialized Product: The final product was produced in four colorways, distributed to all stores, and has been a top-selling item, driving sales within the overall bag assortment.
Courtside Racket Bag
As part of my role, I conducted competitive research, created initial concepts, developed sketches, physical prototypes, prepared tech packs, provided sample comments, and executed design refinements throughout the entire design process.
Design Brief: Our merchandising team requested that the design team propose a tennis racket bag for the master-multitasker customer, and we were given the freedom to choose which collection we wanted to align the item with. These first iterations focused on exploring the form of the tennis racket bag in different versions that aligned with Athleta's existing collections.
Prototyping: Starting with miniature models, I swiftly progressed towards fabricating full-scale prototypes, enabling me to efficiently troubleshoot utility functions despite the non-optimal timeline for technical sport bag design.
Prototyping: Creating rapid prototypes in-house enabled our team to make informed design decisions, develop the product efficiently, and reduce the need for factory samples. Moreover, it facilitated clearer communication of design intent and function to cross-functional team members at an earlier stage in the design process.
Tech Pack Sample: Abridged tech pack page for the Courtside Racket Bag.
Commercialized Product: The Courtside Racket Bag, which is the most technically advanced bag produced by the brand, is an online-only style and was commercialized in one colorway
Developing Design And Organization Best Practices
Below are self-assigned and self-led projects that contribute to the design team's workflow based on pain points observed in the seasonal design process.
Samples In Context
Digital Asset Library
Pain Point: The design team faced challenges due to the lack of a centralized location for storing digital brush, fill, trim and hardware assets, resulting in longer technical packing creation times and inconsistent CAD artwork.
Solution: I curated assets from existing tech packs, refined or recreated them as necessary, and established a comprehensive brush, fill, trim and hardware library for the design team, which was shared via Adobe Library.
Business Impact: The implementation of a drag-and-drop feature for 1:1 scale digital assets streamlined the tech pack creation process, resulting in consistent artwork and reduced editing time. As a result, team productivity increased and high-quality work was delivered more efficiently.
Clo 3D Exploration
Physical Trim, Hardware, And Material Library
Pain Point: The design team faced challenges due to the lack of a centralized location for storing physical assets, resulting in longer BOM packing time.
Solution: I created digital templates for binder covers and spines to ensure consistency and longevity of the system. By placing the binders in a centralized location and taking on the responsibility of maintaining and expanding our physical library, other team members could quickly access the necessary information, allowing for increased efficiency and effectiveness.
Business Impact: By centralizing information, we were able to significantly reduce the time it took to gather information for our technical designer. This, in turn, allowed the team to focus more on designing rather than spending time searching for information. The result was improved productivity and more efficient use of our time and resources.
Sample Room Organization
Pain Point: As the sample coordinator for the department, I struggled with spending an excessive amount of time tracking down product and reference samples due to the disorganized state of the sample room. This disorganization also impacted other team members, who were unable to find the samples they needed due to the lack of consistent logic.
Solution: I spoke to the team about the usage needs for the sample closet and created a sample storage system. I worked with facilities to obtain proper containers and fixtures for the room and also created templates to ensure consistency in labeling and organization.
Business Impact: Establishing a standard logic for storing and finding samples resulted in improved efficiency, enabling me to focus on other tasks and allowing other team members to easily find product and competitive samples for reference. This standardization also eliminated confusion and reduced the amount of time wasted searching for samples, benefiting not only the direct team but also the cross-functional team.
Pain Point: To address the issue of making a large number of corrections to tech packs after the first physical sample arrives, I suggest incorporating in-house prototyping into our design process. By doing so, we can catch and correct any issues early on and reduce the number of factory samples we need. As well as represent our design intentions to non-design team members earlier in the design season.
Solution: While physical prototyping was not originally planned for during the design season, I suggested to my manager that we integrate a more hands-on prototyping approach and offered to create mock-ups of bags for my designs. Additionally, I requested dedicated time during design blackout to develop prototypes.
Business Impact: By incorporating in-house physical prototyping into our design process, we were able to solve design and functionality problems earlier, resulting in fewer requests for factory samples. This also enabled us to communicate our design intentions to cross-functional team members earlier in the design season, leading to fewer style drops and more substantive conversations about the bag's functionality, rather than just its aesthetics. Overall, this approach helped us save time and improve the quality of our end product.
Wear Testing Samples In Use Case Context
Pain Point: The design team did not wear test factory samples in context, which led to designing for aesthetics rather than function and overlooking design pain points.
Solution: I began asking if I could wear test samples, recommending that our merchandisers wear test as well to gain a better understanding of the product and become more in tune with the design process.
Business Impact: By wear testing, we caught functionality mistakes sooner and gave members of the cross-functional team more context of what the design department was doing and why. I believe that providing our merchandisers with more face time with the products prior to adoption meetings led to more informed product adoptions in the line, reduced the amount of dropped development, and lead to overall better functionality in our products.
Clo 3D Exploration
Pain Point: While all the apparel teams began integrating 3D development with V-stitcher, the accessories department fell behind in 3D implementation as the application was not suitable for developing accessories.
Solution: After discussing the issue with my boss, I took the initiative to reach out to the 3D implementation team and volunteered to be the point person for the accessories team's 3D development, drawing on my previous experience in this area. I requested a license for CLO 3D and committed to self-learning the program, with the aim of gaining insights into how 3D development could better support our team's workflow.
Business Impact: Developing my own understanding of the program, I was able to offer my perspective on how 3D development could integrate into the current design process and run adjacent to the apparel team's migration to 3D CAD. Additionally, I was able to speak with other members of the design and cross-functional teams who were hesitant to integrate 3D and explain the benefits of implementing 3D CAD into our workflow.