Technical Design Students Present Design Thinking Projects to Fabletics
Students in Louis Wallace’s class, Design Thinking: Research & Ideation (MPDV 4600), presented their prototypes to Fabletics Senior Technical Designer Krista Osborne and Fabletics Technical Design Manager Nicole Hoebler for industry feedback. Through a process of human centered discovery, the students were challenged to use a Fabletics garment as their baseline product, define and interpret a problem, ideate their concept for resolving it, and identify potential risks to implementation. At the end of the quarter, they presented their solution for review and evaluation.
Each student presented a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunity, and threats), design details, target customer, bill of materials, performance and quality testing, their prototype, and fit notes. They each closed with how they plan to adjust their prototypes for their final samples to be presented this quarter with video and 3-D animation.
Kiera Berry chose the Tyra bodysuit as her baseline product to create her emPOWERed jumpsuit. In her product analysis, she read the customer reviews to gain a better understanding of the garment. She added a seam to address fit issues.
Ariana Barragan selected a tennis skirt as her baseline product. In her Courtside Pleated Skirt, she kept the side seams open for ease of access to the pockets in the shorts underneath. She also added compression on the waistband to keep it in place as it's worn on the court.
Xochil Munoz said trans people are not often represented in the main clothing market, so they are working on a prototype for swimwear designed for the person transitioning from female to male. After their presentation, Fabletics Technical Design Manager Nicole Hoebler said, “You did really great research. If you keep going with it you’ll come up with a lot of great ideas. Keep getting feedback from people to understand what the needs are. I think you can go really far with this.”
Sarah (Yunzhi Li) designed a sports bra that covers the stomach. She said there is a need in the market for this because every time she wears a traditional sports bra when working out, she gets a stomach ache from the compression. She said for next quarter, she’s going to shorten the straps and bring them closer to the center. Fabletics Senior Technical Designer Krista Osborne said, "I feel like this is a really good idea and it's different from what's out there right now. This really gives that compression panel on the waistband."
Nael Jean-Jacques created running pants that transition into shorts, with pockets on both the front and the back, and a hidden pocket at the seam that fits keys and a credit card. He used magnetic snaps and 4-way stretch rip-stop fabric. Fabletics recommended that he incorporate towel loops to store the lower part of the pant leg.
Duanhui Ma created a sports bra with a one-piece pad insert, to address the problems that two-piece pad inserts present in terms of being uneven and difficult to smooth once placed in the cups. Krista recommended that she add a design element such as a laser cut hole or mesh in the center of the bra pad, for breathability.
Elaine Wang designed biker shorts with a kangaroo pouch for inserting a heating pad, in order to address the needs of women with endometriosis. She named her product line “Mederi,” which is Latin for “to heal.” Modeling her product, she presented the prototypes she developed before creating the final sample for this quarter. She said it works great.
Isabelle Leong used design thinking to address a problem that people with Type I Diabetes face when they wear dresses. "When my aunt went to her friend's wedding, she often had no choice but to lift her skirt in the middle of the ceremony to reach under and turn off the beeping device and get her insulin.” They have to re-inject insulin into different areas around their waist every few hours. She said there are no functional dresses on the market for people with Type I diabetes so she created a tennis dress designed specifically to accommodate access to the skin around the waistband in order to inject insulin. She pattern drafted several times using Gerber and printed in Optitex. The feedback from Fabletics was that Isabelle could really take this idea and run with it, as it would help a lot of people.
Preyotee Raheema designed a modesty workout top—a long sleeve top with a built-in bra—using fabrics from Sportek. She said that next quarter she is going to fix the prototype so it’s not fully lined, as it’s making the garment too bulky. She also plans to use knit blocks next quarter instead of woven. Nicole said, “I don't think I've ever seen this on the market—a long sleeve top with a built-in bra—I think they're kind of rare to come by so this is a great idea. I think you identified all of the fit opportunities and issues really well.” Krista said, “This is a really good idea. I haven't seen anything like this before, and I think it's a great opportunity. I would focus on getting that bra to fit perfectly, so that you can drape the shirt over it.”
Aliah Mae Alzona created the A-Wear Jacket that you can wear anytime, anywhere, anyhow. She said that Professor Wallace shared an article with her from the Wall Street Journal that said 2-in-1 clothing is becoming really big.
The students visited the Fabletics headquarters in El Segundo on October 18, 2022, to network, tour the facility, and pick a garment in the Fabletics line to use as their baseline product.
At the end of winter quarter, the students will finalize and present these great ideas to an industry panel for critique and evaluation in Design Thinking: Implementation (MPDV 2850).