Monday, April 2, 2007

Fashion Secret: A Secret for all Designers and Innovators

WSJ April 2, 2007 by Stephanie Kang

Top fashion designers often look to the past in order to find inspiration for new designs. New York fashion designer Zac Posen collects antique clothing and studies fashion history. He says, “(creating new) fashion is often about having a conversation with the past.”

Another designer, Gabrielle Greiss, checks out details such as hardware used on buttons and the stitching on a pocket, for inspiration. But how can we tell if a design will be successful? Ms. Greiss says, in order to tell if a design is right, “I’ll wear it out on the street and see if I get any reaction. Then we will know.”

Two important lessons for all of us:

1) Look to the past for inspiration and for old designs that can be updated with new technology and incorporated in new products.

2) To evaluate an idea, particularly one that is radical, give a quick version to the users, let then use it and see their reaction. They are the final judges.

Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award

I was thrilled and honored to receive the 2007 Olympus Lifetime of Educational Innovation Award on March 22 at the NCIIA Annual Conference in Tampa.

This award was recognition of the accomplishments of the team at RPI- administration, faculty and most important, our great students.

Many thanks to Olympus and NCIIA ( for their important support in the effort to educate our students with the new skill sets needed to make the world a better place.