Imagine Vince Camuto

I redesigned the footwear line and collaborated with Marketing and Art departments to redesign the brand identity for Imagine Vince Camuto.

Service:
Product Design | Footwear Design | Brand Identity
Industry:
Fashion

Problem

After the Imagine Vince Camuto line of footwear underwent several iterations that catered to the needs of differing wholesale accounts, the brand was left with an incohesive identity. The task was to redesign the footwear line in a way that was more representative of the internal company direction and aligned with my own personal aesthetic as the designer.

Solution

Redesign the Imagine footwear line by bringing more of my personal influence to the aesthetic of the brand, while also staying true to the essence of the Vince Camuto core brand and consumer.

To inspire the direction of the design, I decided upon a muse that embodied the essence of the brand. I then coordinated with copywriting to communicate this persona via key words and phrases that represented who the brand was inspired by and with whom the brand should resonate.

Concept Sketches

In order to start ideating, I began with creating quick thumbnail sketches. These thumbnails helped to generate concepts for silhouettes, heel shapes, and toe shapes.

While thumbnailing, I pulled together the sketches that have similar characteristics, so that I could create stories with a binding theme. This process is similar to creating an affinity map- I examined a large of amount of ideas, then grouped them together by what they have in common.

Brand Positioning

I formulated a brand positioning matrix to gain a better understanding of who the competitors are and where we see ourselves positioned within the market. Use of the matrix helped to indicate where we can fill a void in the footwear market.

Sketch Review

I transformed my thumbnail sketches into large sketches of a cohesive set of styles that would move forward to be presented to the internal team. These large sketches served as the high fidelity sketches during sketch review. Pencil sketches were either inked with marker or rendered via cad illustration to show greater detail that better translated the design for the viewer.

During sketch review, I met with our company executives, sales, and merchandising to present my sketches and acquire feedback. Specific styles were either kept, cut, or modified based on feedback derived from these meetings. Number of styles and silhouette types were taken into consideration in order to adhere to the line plan and create a holistic product offering. After sketch review, I regrouped and iterated on the designs that needed changes based on the feedback received.

Color Palette and Materials

Concurrently, I decided on final color palette and materializations based on trend research and personal preference.

Tech Packs

I coordinated with product development to execute tech packs for every style in order to give in-depth directions to our overseas developers. Footwear developers are highly specialized technicians who execute and communicate design requests to the factories and suppliers on behalf of the designer. The first several rounds of prototypes were created in available materials, then final samples were made in actual materials and colorways.

Prototyping

Multiple rounds of prototypes were manufactured to test the designs. The developer sent photos of each style, and I reviewed and corrected the characteristics of each prototype. I checked lines, proportions, and components via photos of the shoes on the model's foot. While the developer was checking fit on their end, the model gave real-time feedback on the fit of each shoe. The developer and I worked together to examine and correct any issues that might be leading to discomfort for the model. We then moved on to create a final prototype. After a proto meeting with senior management and towards the end of the prototyping process, I traveled overseas to work directly with the developers and fit models in-office to make any final adjustments before market samples are made.

Final Samples

Once I approved the final prototype, the developer has the factories execute the final samples that will be displayed in our showroom for wholesalers to view during market.

Post-market, I used Photoshop and Illustrator to render any new color or material requests outside of the samples that were made, to help wholesale accounts visualize the rematerialized style.

During shoe base meeting, I then worked with the developer and model to fit all styles that would go into production one last time. This final round of corrections set the basis for all production to follow.

Outcomes

The Imagine brand relaunched in Spring 2020, a time when the footwear industry took a heavy hit from the effects of the pandemic. To save on costs, several footwear lines were cut, and Imagine line was one of the casualties.

Since then, I've had the opportunity to help other established brands and startups launch their own footwear lines. Relying on the same process to inform and execute the design, I merge the cross-functional expertise I've gained in footwear design with the skillset that I've acquired in UX design, in order to make a meaningful contribution to the digital space.

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