IADT-Seattle Fashion Class Scoops the Trends for Zumiez
August 23, 2011
•IADT General, IADT Seattle
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The results are in: Young people are wearing darker denim than a few years ago. Fewer are wearing distressed jeans. Most are wearing a relaxed fit, not overly tight or baggy.
These are the results from a three-week project conducted by 18 fashion students from IADT-Seattle’s Term 3 Trend Forecasting Class. The trends were requested by Ciel Kullman, product development manager at skateboarding apparel leader Zumiez. Because Ciel is also a member of IADT’s Fashion Design Advisory Committee, she knew that fashion students were hungry for involvement with industry and exposure to real business issues. So she asked for support in gathering consumer data “from the street.”
Students eagerly took on the challenge and gathered over 300 surveys in malls, parks, schools and social events for two weeks using a method of observing and recording consumer behavior.
First, students crafted a questionnaire that met all of the criteria that Zumiez requested. Then they tested the process on themselves and refined it. After that, the class went to a local mall in groups to get some experience gathering information in public before going off on their own over the weekend.
The first batch of surveys were counted, tabulated, sorted, and turned into data. Percentages were calculated, comparisons were made. The results ended up stimulating more questions. After further discussions, the group decided to simplify the format to get clearer results.
One week later, after submitting a second round of surveys, students broke into groups to tabulate their data, analyze their findings and come to some conclusions. It was time for the teams to prepare for the presentation to Zumiez. Numbers were crunched, charts and graphs were made, slides were composed and a presentation was written.
On June 23, 14 students and the instructor drove to Zumiez’s Everett, Wash., headquarters, where Codi Frickey and Daniel Hammett presented the class findings to a Men's Senior Designer, a Juniors’ Senior Designer, and Ciel Kullman.
The designers were not surprised with the results. Internal trend sources at Zumiez were saying pretty much the same thing. The designers were pleased because the efforts of the class confirmed Zumiez’ design direction. The designers said they were impressed with the professional presentation and the depth of the information.
Great job, students!