Part I - A Designers Tale
This is how I can best describe the process from concept to creation when I embark on a new design. It begins out of curiosity, a buzz of excitement; a whirlwind of ideas. Inevitably turbulence strikes shortly after take off as I unpick and grapple with the complexities of a new design concept and the more intricate details of balance and harmony. Then as we gradually break through the clouds, everything begins to smooth out. I understand the nature of the problem. There is so much joy to be had at this discovery stage, because I can feel the idea finally works.
Great journeys often begin in response to an experience. This is the case for our latest design journey that was inspired by a conversation with a customer last summer. In a chance meeting, I chatted with her about peoples’ changing lifestyles and their increasing desire to remain true to a personal sense of identity and style, while seeking renewed purpose in something greater than themselves. In my mind, my pencil was already sweeping across the page in a flurry of activity as she talked about the idea of a RUSKIN belt bag. What she was describing, was something subtle, graceful and purposeful. Beyond that, she was looking for freedom of movement and something well proportioned. I could already imagine it.
Typically, when I start a new design, I allow time for ideas to float around for a while. It often feels a little unpredictable at this stage, but when I have decided on a concept worth progressing, I put pencil to paper to explore. I still love using pencil and paper. It is a powerful exercise, because it allows me to translate concepts, reflect experiences and invite constructive feedback. Once I have refined the details and measurements and each design element works in harmony with the concept, I share the design with our artisans in Italy for final discussion and iteration - at last we begin to rise out of the vapoury turbulence.This latest design, The 'Clutch con Cinta', as our artisans in Italy call it, is a response to my conversation almost a year ago now. The Clutch con Cinta finds resonance in deliberate restraint. It is designed to make a soft style statement beyond pure aesthetics with material honesty and artful pragmatism. The intention, quite simply, is that it will be seriously pleasing to touch and feel and use.The opportunity to capture ideas and references from conversations is invaluable and sets in motion that true sense of and feeling of human-centered design. It means that I am designing in direct response to your needs and desires - ultimately, it is this connection that takes RUSKIN designs to the next level.
This journey is not quite finished. Currently we are at the final sampling and testing stage before we land this new design in our store.
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Alli Abdelal - Designer at RUSKIN