To celebrate the launch of our brand-new Cornflower Blue range, we sat down with the Knomo designer, Eva Tsang, to share the design process and give an insight into what goes on behind the scenes when creating products at Knomo.
Eva has been part of the Knomo team for 13 years when the company was into its second year in the market and has been the Designer for the brand for 5 years. She is responsible for coming up with new products for the brand that are functional, desirable, and produced responsibly. Accessory design is Eva’s passion and seeing Knomo products out in the wild everyday makes her feel proud to Design for the company.
As you would expect, a lot of thought and research goes into launching a new colour range for a Knomo product. Research starts well over a year before it hits the market and the colour is chosen based on a balance of intuition, trend research and past data, this makes it easier to understand which colours are likely to be more popular. For Eva, inspiration comes from anywhere and she is keeping an eye out for anything that inspires her. The Cornflower Blue range was inspired by wildflowers encountered one sunny summer walk; the colour was adopted by our SS19 Mayfair collection to fit nicely with the fresh summer wardrobe of our Mayfair customer. The bold Jade lining gives the range a fun twist whilst preserving the elegant Mayfair collection style. Observing how people carry and use their bags in everyday life really helps Eva to understand what to look out for when designing Knomo products.
After weeks of visits to trade fairs and personal market research, Eva puts together various mood boards to provide further inspiration for her designs. What was evident from the research was that blue is a key trend for the season and we wanted a bright, yet elegant tone for our Mayfair collection. The final colour is chosen from a pantone colour or a reference colour material, in the case of the Cornflower Blue range the colour was referenced from a swatch Eva managed to acquire. The product is then presented to the entire team to sense check before a production order is sent to our responsible manufacturing partner in Cambodia. The final product is then ready to hit the shelves once we receive it back. From the initial idea for the colour to the product making it onto the shelf is usually a 4-6-month period, depending on what we are trying to launch for the season.
Even when a product is launched, there are always ways to update and improve a product along its lifecycle, Eva tells us the design process is never quite ‘finished’ as long as it is live. Customer feedback is an important part of deciding how to update and improve a particular product or starting a new colour search. The team then gets together once again to review which past season colours worked and which ones did not, this helps with Eva’s next colour search. If a seasonal colour has proven to be very popular and has potential to be a neutral transition into the following season, we would consider continuing alongside bringing another new colour for the next season.
The product chosen for colour updates are usually applied to selected best sellers’ styles such as the Mayfair collection or styles that can be colourful without being too crazy, for example a bright yellow oversize tote would probably be a tough sale! We normally launch 1 or 2 colours for each collection each season depending on our own brand strategy. Eva informs us that SS20 will have a soft neutral pallet with some bursts of playful details to keep the range interesting. We are also sourcing more responsibly produced raw materials for this season.