Today Samantha and I went to Philadelphia to meet with Urban Outfitters. I recently finished my fashion production class at FIT and was curious to see how a line gets produced on a corporate level. We took the train out in the morning and got picked up by Samantha's mom at the train station, and got driven to the Urban Outfitters headquarters. They have the coolest offices ever. I believe they are in some converted naval buildings and are bright and airy and industrial looking. You can see the naval ships outside of the window. They also have a really nice cafeteria, gym, magazine shop, and coffee shop on site. Seemed like a really cool place to work. Everyone there is young and hip, naturally.
First up with met with Samantha's merchandiser and technical designer to discuss a new design for the current season. This romper has become a best seller and is sold out online and at most stores so they decided to do a new style right away. They are going to make it in a knit so we picked out a fabric and fiddled with the sketch and made some measurements on the dressform.
After that, we went to go get the samples for the holiday 09 delivery. We brought them to a fitting area and me and another girl tried them on (their sample size is my size). Some of the stuff looked great and fit amazing. Some stuff clearly needed some revision and refitting. I was amazed how good some of the samples were considering they were first run samples.
After that we had a meeting with the production team to present the styles. They had a fit model come in and try on all the available styles. It was very interesting to learn how they adjusted styles to fit their price points. Some fabric choices and detailing had to be compromised. For example, they decided to make larger size quilting on the two quilted items because that would bring down the price of the labor. They also had to cut some fabrications because they were not affordable (such as an amazing peplum trench coat in coated canvas, fortunately Samantha got to keep the sample).
The production team liked most of the stuff and decided to go ahead with 10 of the 13-14 styles that were presented. Before we left we got to raid their samples and retrieve some of Samantha's rejected styles from past seasons. They will be great for fabric or style reference.
After a long day, we took the train back home. Very tired.