Following trend forecasting at a macro level with the Umbrella Trends, I filter and distill the inspiration for each of our owned brands. This process was executed on boards for merchant approval until 2011. After procuring a minuscule budget, I tested the idea of building a vignette to represent not only the look of the season, but the evolution of the brands. It was a smashing success. Even the current CEO was walked through the space; saying "Now this, I get!"
My business case for building physical concepts for accelerated alignment was embraced and scaled for every brand, every season. I was able to integrate a lot more inspiration for the design teams in regards to material, technique, silhouette, and the idea of evolving color palettes (rather than new each season). Technical and design partners quickly realized the impact of physical samples at concept, and began integrating their own ideas into seasonal builds- everything from a pre-development swatch of fabric made into a pillow, to flatware in a new metal finish.
Concept is still initially communicated via mood board, but everyone has come to expect these emotional, inspirational, and engaging builds each season. Permanent brand rooms were eventually established and are maintained with the season's concepts and brand information. These spaces are available 24/7 for design teams, merchants, and vendor partners to gain alignment at any point along the development journey.
High Spring 2014 :: Threshold
Spring at Target is our busiest season. Our guest looks for a fresh start after the business of the holiday season- so we pull out all the stops for the spring- every category has major updates, so for 2014, we created four trend sub stories and one master trend. Many categories were introducing upwards of 100 products and needed a breath of looks to tell smaller stories in larger spaces.
Master mood, material and technique boards
The vignette for Spring 2014
Holiday 2012 :: Threshold
Holiday concepts and vignettes are especially fun- mostly because they happen before Halloween even happens! Christmas and New Years are especially emotional for everyone that sees the concepts- because each person has different traditions and ideas of what makes a holiday special.
Each holiday season sees traditional and contemporary blown apart with whimsical nods to nostalgia and the makings of new traditions.
This is a great example of how a physical build or vignette will ultimately result in product. First the trends and concept:
The Print and Pattern team receives art direction to produce a robust portfolio of artwork for designers. Much of the artwork is displayed in the vignettes as mocked up product.
Here's a view of samples in the development process. Teams are able to get to sampling much faster after aligning on a concept sooner in the process.