Converse asked its Class of 2016 Summer Interns to create a city attack market plan, incorporating consumer insights, marketing, product creation, merchandising, and direct to consumer tactics. As the Apparel Design Intern on Team Paris, I lead the initiative to create a capsule collection that captured the spirit of Parisian youth.
SS18: Beyond the Icon takes a classic fashion staple, overalls, and incorporates three main product stories: inclusivity, creativity, and functionality, to unleash an innovative wardrobe. Overarching those narratives is a collection rooted in skate and streetwear.
The collection consists of a reverse print t-shirt, a coach’s blazer hybrid, and the innovative 3-in-1 overalls, which can be converted into a backpack, a chino short, or simply worn as an overall. The coach’s blazer is designed to adapt to a European market in which blazers are wildly popular among Parisian youth. Other accessories include a Converse signature baseball cap and a bandana that highlights the seasonal prints designed by my teammate and Footwear Graphics Intern, Claire McIntire.
THE KEY ITEM:
Team Paris' key item of the season, the 3-in-1 overalls, tells a story of functionality. The top bib can be detached from the bottom, giving consumers the option to wear just the chino shorts or pants as part of their outfit. The top bib then transforms into a backpack by unzipping the two-piece construction and repositioning the straps. In three simple steps, we've taken a piece of apparel and transformed it into a low profile storage solution. Our aim was to push innovation in simplistic terms, to create a transformative, functional wardrobe that will elevate Converse apparel before its competitors.
With a small capsule collection and a transformative key item, we’ve given consumers the freedom of creativity to build their own unique looks. The overalls can be worn up or down, over a t-shirt, and layered beneath the coach’s blazer. Add a printed bandana around the neck for a more dressy, accessorized outfit, or swap it out for a baseball cap that reflects ease and casual comfort.
Our girl can pull off a bold, edgy look by wearing her overalls over a bandeau, or create a more mature and sophisticated outfit by layering on the coach's blazer. These silhouettes and combinations work effortlessly on both men and women, and tell a well-rounded story for inclusivity. Team Paris wanted to give consumers the comfort of playing up both their masculine and feminine qualities, regardless of their gender. Our hope is for our consumers to genuinely express their multifaceted selves when wearing this collection.
To keep the story going beyond SS18, we’ve implemented our design strategy to other iconic staples of clothing. How can Team Paris reinvent the denim or leather jacket the way we reinvented the overalls? Can we reinvigorate suspenders, or create a mash-up between a wife beater and a maxi dress? Unleashing an innovative wardrobe doesn’t stop at this collection, and we have the opportunity to continue elevating design for the future of Converse apparel.
Massive thanks to my Team Paris teammates Abby, Meredith, Lauren, Patrick, Val, Megan, Victoria, and Claire for making our project a memorable success.