At AEO, we have some pretty talented and amazing associates working behind the scenes to deliver the best product to date. Senior Fabric Development Manager, Kai Gomes-Brown is no exception to this rule. Get to learn all about Kai and her daily responsibilities at AEO.
Name: Kai Gomes-Brown
AEO: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do….
Kai: Growing up I always loved fashion! My love for fashion began in the late 80’s when I started watching Style with Elsa Klensch, (a television show about fashion and design from around the world that aired from 1980 to 2001) with my parents on Saturday mornings. I would watch the show to see designer runway shows presented during New York, London, Milan and Paris fashion weeks. I learned a lot about high fashion and the designers that created the collections. In high school my favorite elective course was Home Economics where I learned to sew and then I attended F.I.T. (Fashion Institute of Technology) where I studied Merchandising. I’ve worked in fashion since graduation for some of the most recognizable names in the industry. As a Fabric Developer it’s very important to stay in tune with the latest and upcoming trends in fabrics and silhouette so I am able to work with designers and fabric suppliers to interpret those trends into fabrics that are in line with the American Eagle Outfitter’s and aerie aesthetics and price structure. Unfortunately, Style with Elsa Klensch is no longer on television but there are a number of resources like blogs and magazines that I use and are available to everyone to research the latest and upcoming fashion trends!
AEO: What kind of projects do you find yourself working on from day to day?
Kai: As I mentioned one of the most significant aspects of being a Fabric Developer is to research in order to stay in tune with the latest and upcoming trends. I work on weekly trend recap reports and competitive analysis reports to share with our designers and fabric suppliers. Another important function of my day to day responsibilities is to maintain the fabric library that houses numerous types of knit fabrics including: jerseys, ribs, laces, waffles, jacquards and many more. When a designer is in need of a fabric they can search the library to find a fabric that suits their needs.
AEO: What do you love most about working with clothing?
Kai: I love that what you wear is an expression of who you are. It’s really important to me that I develop fabrics that are great quality and on-trend so our customer feels confident when they wear our clothes.
AEO: We’ve been hearing a lot about plush fabric. Tell us more!
Kai: I’m really excited about Plush! This fabric is the softest fabric ever! It’s super cozy and luxe but completely versatile to wear for both day and night!
AEO: What differentiates plush fabric from other fabrics used in graphic t-shirts and tanks?
Kai: The biggest difference is that Plush is a rib that is specially treated to get the cozy, plush surface whereas most (but not all) of the fabrics used for graphics, tanks and tees are jerseys with smooth surfaces.
AEO: What are a few different ways that you can wear this plush fabric?
Kai: Plush can pretty much be styled with anything! A pair of AE distressed Hi-Rise Jeggings with AEO Buckle Strap Booties, a Sky High Suspender Skirt with AEO High Top sneakers or a pair of aerie printed Leggings with Riding Boots. The styling combinations are endless!
AEO: What are your top three items for this upcoming season?
Kai: I can’t name just three! My top four “most favorite, I can’t wait for fall” items are: the AEO Sky-Hi Jegging and Vegan Leather Moto Jacket, aerie’s Skinny Jogger and of course, the Plush Long Sleeve T-Shirt!
AEO: What’s your personal style like?
Kai: I would describe my personal style as being relaxed, chic and edgy. I get a lot of inspiration from runway shows and high end designers. I try to interpret that aesthetic into my look but within my budget through-my hair styles, clothing and accessories. Some of my favorite places to shop are AEO, asos, Saks Fifth Avenue, H&M, Barney’s and Alchemist in Miami.
AEO: Where do you draw your daily inspiration from?
Kai: Blogs, magazines, fashion trend services and people watching! Some of my daily blog reads include: Stylesnooperdan, MajaWyh, TheyAllHateUs, WhoWhatWear and YahooStyle. My favorite magazines are V, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Jalouse and Elle Decor.
AEO: What is your favorite city that you’ve either traveled to or what to travel to?
Kai: My most favorite city that I’ve traveled to so far is Barcelona and I hope to visit Paris in the very near future.
Have you worn our new plush fabric yet? If so, tell us your thoughts in the comments below.