Susan Kay is our ultra-talented designer that’s responsible for taking the Appaman aesthetic and turning it into a fashion-forward, cohesive collection with cool and wearable pieces. We asked her to share some pages from her sketchbook so our fans could take a peek behind the scenes into her creative process and see where some of their favorite Fall/Winter 2013 pieces began.
There are many steps involved in design and production, starting with Susan’s initial meetings with Harald, where they discuss looks that inspire them, favorite vintage styles, and upcoming trends they love. Lynn weighs in with feedback from buyers about what our customers like and styles they want to see.
In the meantime, Susan begins to sketch, and the ideas start to come to life. She draws out croquis (fashion sketches of outfits) and individual pieces to visualize the garments and establish the look of the season. She experiments with different designs she has in mind and adds notes about the detailing.
Most of the styles will undergo lots of revisions before they go to production (if they make it that far), so it’s always fun to look back on the process and see the origins of some of our favorite pieces…
- Here’s an early sketch of a modern, casual cheerleader-inspired look, which pairs a stylized varsity jacket with a pleated skirt and knit hat. Our collection features this style in the form of the Varsity Bomber with quilted stitching, the Box Pleat Skirt, and Tilly Hat.
- For boys, Susan imagined a preppy vintage cardigan, inspired by letter sweaters and classic Ivy League style. We ended up with the Thompson Cardigan, which looks updated and modern with our Skinny Twill Pants.
- Outerwear requires lots of detailed notes! Here’s the development of the Pratt Down Parka and versions of the Varsity Jacket, boy Puffy Vest and girls’ Moto Club Vest:
- Both Susan and Harald draw original images for our graphic tees. Here are Susan’s sketch of the Prom Gathered Tee and the first version of the Stars Gathered Tee: