Product Development

Course Description

This course is an introduction to the study of product development from concept to consumer. Students learn how research is conducted in the fashion industry and how it is ultimately reflected in garment design. Trend cycles, consumer behavior, social, political and economic influences are discussed as influences on trend development.

By taking thsi course, Yelissa demonstrates the abilty take customers into consideration when creating a product.

The term assignment for this class is below:

Collection Development

For this assignment, students broke into groups to create a product from idea to “conception”. This meant finding out who is the target market, designing the product, who are competitors with similar products, the fabrics used, the cost for making the product, and the retail price.

After brainstorming, Yelissa’s group decided to create fall and winter coat brand called Haute & Hoot. The brands mission was to add a bit of laughter to life.

Haute & Hoot coats were designed for students in their 20’s who like to be fashionable, warm, and incorporate a bit of laughter into their day. The coats were all designed as 3 in 1 coats: An outer shell and inner shell that can be worn together or separate. To allow customers to control the amount of warmth they want with their cute outer shells, Haute & Hoot offers inner shells named Cozy (warm), Toasty (warmer), and Fuego (warmest). Recommended outer and inner shell combinations have fun names like “The Oven” and “Roasting by the Fire” to help brighten up the wearers day.

Each outer shell is made using different materials such as Nylon, Primaloft, and Silnylon while the inner shells are made of different amounts of Primaloft. To make the coats ( meaning outer and inner shells), the cost is between $30 – $100 retailing at $75 to $215.


Visual Merchandising

Course Description

This course is designed to provide an exploration of visual merchandising by considering the product presentation in the retail environment.  This course explores the theoretical and practical use of in-store environments, lighting, special effects, fixtures and product placement as a form of visual communication intended to convey a specific message about the fashion brand and to influence the consumer.  Topics include the creation of specialty and department store displays,   the design of visuals for walls and windows, professional presentation techniques, and the effects of color, music and lighting on consumer behavior.

By taking this course, Yelissa is well prepared for not only the laborious and artistic work of a visual merchandiser, but also any work needing innovative, analytical, and thorough workers.

The following projects helped Yelissa gain and present these skills.

Color Theory Assignments

Time to get to Mixing! For this assignment, students needed to demonstrate their understanding of color theory by hand mixing primary colors with black and white to create the following pieces:

Here are the four components for this assignment :

Press the tabs to see how Yelissa did each piece!

Koi Pond Color Wheel

This color wheel was inspired by the elegance and beauty of the Koi fish. These fish symbolize good fortune and prosperity making it a perfect motif for my first portfolio work.

Koi fish do not naturally come in the various colors they are known for. They are breed to create a range of hues. The same can be said for creating most of the colors of the color wheel. By carefully combining the most natural hues (red, blue, and yellow), I created Secondary and Tertiary colors while staying true to the simplicity and grace of the Koi fish.

Primary Color Relationship

This piece shows the relationship between the primary colors red, blue, and yellow. Yelissa created this piece by using the very tip of her round paint brush to carefully paint small circles in the shape of abstract triangles. For the yellow circles, she added a blue dots in the middle which made some circles look a bit more green. The red circles had yellow added to them making them appear orange at times. As for the blue circles, they at times looked purples because they had red added to the center.

If someone were to look at this piece from afar, instead of looking like red, blue, and yellow it would give the illusion of being orange, green, and purple. This illusion shows how easily these three primary colors make other colors.

Colored Monochromatic Swatches: Orange

For this assignment, students had the opportunity to use the color of their choice to create a monochromatic color scheme. The most popular colors throughout the student projects were blue and red since the paint swatches were readily available. Yelissa, on the other hand, decided to use orange not only because it is a beautiful and bright color, but also she was curious about how it would look when mixed with black.

Yelissa started first by mixing in white a bit at a time. She painted several rectangles to have a better match with the paint swatches she would be matching to. As expected, the colors got lighter, less vibrant, turning into tints of orange.
Things started getting interesting as Yelissa added black to the pure hue. This vibrant orange hue turned from brown to green the more she mixed in black. Yelissa noticed when the hand painted orange shades were put in order they looked extremely similar to an orange fruit drying out.

Brown Monochromatic Swatches

For the brown monochromatic swatches, things went more as Yelissa expected. She made sure to paint the black, brown, and white swatches first to not disturb their purity. Once she started adding white to the brown paint, the hue started turning lighter, becoming less vibrant. When Yelissa started adding black to a fresh puddle of brown paint, it became more shaded the more black she added.

Design Strategies

Creating visual displays or any piece of art means knowing how to use the elements and principles of design. To test our comprehension of these strategies, students used them to compare a store retail display and a famous art pieces.

Figure 2. Ralph Lauren’s Spring 2017 Window Display

Figure 1. Picasso’s “Reading at a Table”

After spending hours on Madison avenue looking for the right window display for this assignment, Yelissa saw Ralph Lauren’s Spring 2017 window display. Orange, pink, army green, and cream were the first things to catch her attention. The mannequin placed right in the center, surrounded by leis petals to highlight the mannequins femininity.

Yelissa decided to compare the window display with the “Reading at a Table” a painting by Pablo Picasso. Though seemingly different, Yelissa noticed the main subjects of each compositions were women, their beauty, and femininity.

With the quote below in mind, Yelissa Started her assignment.

 “If the principles of design are the instructions, the elements are the tools.”

Meg Reid

The Press Kit

Making a press release requires visual presentation skills and analysis similar to visual merchandiser. Using the presentation techniques learned in class, students created press releases for recent designer collections. Packaging, invitations, creative director bio, and articles analysing the finale ready for the likes of Vogue needed to be inside the kit.

For the press kit assignment, Yelissa chose Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2017 collection. Yelissa believed Sarah Burton, the brands creative director, had a way of making clothing look like a dream yet so edgy! The pring 2017 colection was no exception. Yelissa researched the collection heavily, watching the show several times, reading every article until she (almost) became one of the people behind creating such beauty! Here’ s the result of Yelissa’s hard work:

Press Kit open
Spring 2017 invite closed, front of Press Kit in background
Spring 2017 invite open

To correctly portray the brand, Yelissa Handmade the:

  1. Folder to mimic the invite
  2. Wax closing for the invite
  3. Skull and key chain
  4. Page designs for the biography, company history, etc.


Introduction to Fashion Industry

Course Description

This course focuses on the organization and operation of the fashion industry—how fashion brands(apparel, accessories, and home fashions) are designed, manufactured, marketed, and distributed within a global context. This course captures the dynamics of the fashion industry, with its various components, by emphasizing the changing nature of the industries technological changes, organizational changes, and changes in the global nature of the industries involved.

The following project demonstrates Yelissa’s marketing research and creative skills:

Marketing Mix Analysis

For the term project, students had to analyze a brand of their choice marketing mix. To understand the brand better, students collected information about how the brand started and who the target market was. Using this data, students created a mood board for the brands fall/winter 2017 collection.

For this assignment, Yelissa choose Zara as her brand because it’s a global company everyone should know! Here’s a summary of her project:

Mood board description

For the Fall 2017 collection, Yelissa put together a mood board wit the city of New York in mind. Wearers of this collection would be trendy city dwellers. Walking around with coffee in hand and enjoying the changing season is their favorite pass time. Their second is getting cozy at home after a long day at work with a warm drink. The collection would feature cashmere, Burberry like plaids, soft knits, and colors from city fall nature walks. This mood board is called “A walk through the city”.

Zara, the first brand of Industria de Diseño Textil (INDITEX), did not start as a retailer when it came to be in 1974. The brand first came into the fashion world as a manufacturer called Confecciones GOA, created by Amancio Ortega Gaona, Antonio Gaona, and Rosalia Mera (Amancio’s wife). After 12 years of successful business, Confecciones GOA became a women’s fashion retail store due to a major order cancellation. Zara used their old own factory from Confecciones GOA to manufacture their clothing and later on created another factory due to expansion and high demand.

Fun fact: Zara was the second option for the global retailer. The original name they wanted was Zorba (named after the movie Zorba the Greek) but a bar nearby already had the name.

Now, Zara has more than 2,000 stores all over the world! The brand is famous for doing almost nothing in terms of marketing. Zara relies on store window displays and customer word of mouth. Because of this, Zara’s target market is mainly social and professional women and men who like to keep up with trends. Since the store rarely has promotions, the brand feels more exclusive, only the trendiest know of it. Those who want to purchase affordable basic and fashion forward pieces are welcome to shop at Zara.