I have been working towards completing a graphic design/art direction internship with Marissa Maximo, the founder of Anaak Collection, for 4 months. Anaak Collection is a seasonal high-end fashion brand that emphasizes a relaxed bohemian lifestyle for self-loving femme women.
Throughout my experience working for Anaak, I have learned a lot about producing and editing creative assets. I was awakened to the amount of drafts it takes to make a cohesive product for web or print. Marissa is very specific about how she wants to project her brand identity; every visual and every word matters. During the process of refining the concept of her next collection, I worked very closely with her, laptop to laptop, sometimes trying out 10 different layout options before coming up with a final solution.
Being patient with the creative direction process has proved to be an essential skill, and due to unexpected variables, the duration between ideation to production can vary.
I have learned a great deal of things about commercial and high-end fashion while working with Marissa. Across the months, I became accustomed to garment terminology, industry terms, and organization strategies for best business practice. I have also furthered my knowledge of Photoshop, Indesign, and Pantone color matching. A lot of working with Adobe programs involves trial-and-error, experimentation and creative problem solving. I have defintiely had to dig deep on occasions to find solutions to program or technique issues that pushed me beyond my comfort zone.
During work hours, Marissa and I have had many conversations about the high-speed nature of the fashion industry and what it means to compete with the internet and social media in the current landscape. As a small sustainable business, Marissa feels pressure to keep up with the high-speed production of larger corporate brands, but is more interested being able to keep a keen eye on the quality of her textiles than producing garments in mass.
Throughout the internship, I have deepened my interest in textile design, illustration, and editorial concept creation. Through creating CADs, which are computer aided mockups of clothing designs, I have learned about how to scale textiles for buyers and makers.
I have found that the common thread between building a successful business relationship with a mentor, and a product-customer relationship is in communication; every word matters.