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Research is a major part of my ideating.  Whether it’s to support or change strategy or to look for new opportunities.  It is the key to keep me focused and stand behind what I design. Through this example I will show what I might have used for a thermal program.  There are four major categories that I pull data from Sales, Trend, Market research and Guest insights

1) Sales from the merchant team. We discuss what went well and what did not and start talking about strategy together early on.  This leads to a better collaboration and making sure we are on the same page.

2) Trend and early development.  I work with a variety of people who to gain info from runway, shows through travel as well as help drive new items that are coming into the market.  This really drives new fabric development, silhouettes and colors for the season.  From this mood boards and presentations are made and curated by the R&D designers. 

3) Market research this can be domestic traveling to NYC or LA, online research and shopping mall trips.  I use this to verify direction and possibly provide extra support on a direction I want to portray.  I have an image to the right on how i wanted to show stripes vs solids for thermals. 

4) Consumer Research. This is the most important category to get information from.  This is what i am most passionate about as well.  I gather this information from online reviews, asking specific questions to research groups, shopping with the guest whether we travel or shop within the same city, and bring people in for in person feedback and activities.  To the side is an example of a post I might send to the a research group.

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