Being a designer for American Eagle Outfitters means that you have to stay ahead of the latest trends and fashion across a spectrum of price points, genres, and brands. From checking out street style, reading fashion blogs and trend reports, to hitting the coolest cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Paris, our designers seek out inspiration in every possible medium. Our design office is in New York City, so it’s easy for our designers to get out of the office and explore the fashion world around them. Connor D., a student at University of Cincinnati, is currently interning in New York City with the American Eagle Outfitters Men’s Knit Design Team.
Design research trips are integral to the product design process. Connor’s mentor, Men’s Cut and Sew Designer Regina M., took him on his first design research trip for new product inspiration in SOHO. Besides checking out all the trend and fashion opportunities SOHO has to offer, Regina and Connor also checked out restaurants and food in the area… you never know where inspiration is going to strike! Regina snapped photos throughout the day with Instagram (you can follow her at @mokface) and Connor described the day to us.
Starting the day off right with a bit of small talk and breakfast, Regina (my experienced coworker), explained the process of cramming in a day of research while remaining shopping savvy.
Beginning with the Soho area, she showed me the ins and outs of a New York City shopping trip. Having specific intentions on what we were to buy, we scoured the streets of Broadway, Greene, and Lafayette just to name a few.
All the shopping worked up our appetite (again), so after a bite to eat we were back at it!
With our sights set on the Upper East Side we continued to seek out interesting finds until the late afternoon when, begrudgingly, we made our way back to the home office to tell the rest of the team about our inspiring day.
I was amazed at the type of design inspiration we gathered from building architecture, interior design at cafes and stores, as well as colors we saw people on the street wearing. Overall, this experience helped me gain a better understanding of where we pull ideas for product designs and colors as well as aspirations for American Eagle Outfitters.