March/April Belle Armoire article artwork

My Product Design students at Art Center College of Design have been struggling with what it means to be an innovative designer in today’s global market.

The Oxford Dictionary defines INNOVATION as – The action or process of innovating, a new method, idea, or product.

In most Introduction to Fashion Design classes the purpose of clothing is defined as protection, status, modesty, and decoration.  In the fashion industry it feels like STATUS and IDENTITY are the primary driving forces.

So the question I ask is “what is innovation in the fashion industry”?

If innovation means finding a need or a problem, and then solving it, what is the need in the fashion industry?  What leads to innovation in fashion? What IS innovation in fashion?

These are some of the most obvious NEEDS I could think of in fashion.  What do you think?  I would love to have readers list more.

  1. I am young and single and I am driven by biology to find a mate.  I NEED to have a really cool outfit to wear to the party tonight.
  2. I am depressed, I NEED to buy.
  3. Ooooh, sparkly jewelry.  I WANT to have it.
  4. Exercise clothing – I WANT to have a great workout…and I NEED to look really cool doing it.
  5. I am a designer of a luxury brand in a recession. I NEED to find a way to get my customer to spend money.

If innovation means finding the question to ask and then developing a new way to answer it…WHAT IS THE QUESTION?

In the next couple of Blog posts I will try to explore this idea.


About Justine Limpus Parish

Associate Professor - Art Center College of Design apparel design - Product Design Dept. costume design - Entertainment Design Dept Fashion Instructor: Mt San Antonio College Workshop instructor: Disney Consumer Products
This entry was posted in FASHION DESIGN, PRODUCT DESIGN/APPAREL, TEACHING and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s