For a number of months, I have been part of the Global JUST Designs team, working on new products for the 2016 collection. When I design for a company, my first step is always thinking of the person who will wear the final product. I have to put myself into someone else’s shoes, understanding their needs and taste in clothing. Luckily with Global JUST Designs, this comes very naturally because I have a lot in common with their client group.
People who buy from Global JUST Designs are young or young-minded travelers who value ethically made clothing that has a story behind it, and creates social change. Lately, I have been really interested in modern nomads and tribes of our time, as well as colorful festival outfits and indigenous dress. I did some research on those topics and created a mood board for myself to stay mindful of the atmosphere and energy I want to inspire in our clothing.
The first step in planning our 2016 collection was to have a meeting with Jessi, the founder of Global JUST Designs and nonprofit partner, JUSTA Collective, to ask which products clients like the most and the new products these clients still had a need for. With my vision board in mind, I then started sketching different variations of the designs. During this part of the creative process, I try not to limit myself by solely thinking of the final product. Rather, I allow the ideas to flow freely in my head and draw down any and every inspiration that comes to me. I then had another meeting with Jessi and Flora, the head of the women’s textile cooperative we work with to up-cycle our designs. We went through the technical details of each design and order the samples.
This is also when we decide which indigenous textiles will be incorporated into each design. Flora has a breadth of knowledge about the textiles each village has to offer, and where to get the extra fabrics to compliment the traditional textiles for each piece. At this point clarity in communication are very important. We collaborated with Flora and her cooperative to ensure our visions of the final product align to produce something that is unforgettable for our customers.
Receiving the samples, for me, is the most exciting part! I love seeing my sketches come to life. Usually, following the initial samples, there will be some tweaks. With the samples, I went back to my vision board and asked, “How will a person feel in this? How will they carry themselves? How will they move, or dance, or interact with others while wearing this?” After these last considerations and improvements, the clothes go into production… and finally, reach the hands of our JUSTA & Global JUST Designs family! That’s another exciting moment when I get to hear and receive direct feedback for my work, so please feel free to tell us what you like about our products, what you would change and what you would like to see from us in the future!