Special Edition: Prints Charming

Today's post is a special treat that I'm sure you'll enjoy! It's an intersection between a Style Story and What's Interesting. In essence, what you're about to experience is a mix of style, and a behind the scenes look into how the creative process works in bringing fashion textiles to life.

First, and like I've always mentioned, I pride myself in my great love for the fashion industry in its entirety. Most of my life has been spent studying, analyzing, promoting, and serving the industry on some level. I insist on saying fashion industry, rather than just fashion, because my admiration extends far beyond the end result - our clothing. There is a far greater depth that takes place behind the scenes. And in that depth, is where the true magic happens. 

The fashion industry is a combination of both creative and business. It would be reckless thinking to assume fashion is easy, and doesn't require a level of knowledge to discuss it intelligently. It is one of the strongest economic forces in the world; and is filled with creativity, a high level of marketing and merchandising know-how, and a strong sense of forecasting and predicting the needs and wants of others.

Follow along with me as I take you behind the scenes, and up close and personal with the Textile Design Team of Chico's, as they explain how the artistry in their prints come to life. It is my hopes, after this interview, you'll have an even greater appreciation for the industry we simply can't live without. Enjoy! 

Glenda: I understand the prints on your textiles are created by artists. What comes first, the artist's drawing, or the concept for the collection? 
​Chico's: The concept for the collection comes first.  Our trend department will start a concept board and name it for example, Bora Bora Bound, and fill it with island pictures, colors and inspirational runway shots.  The textile design team will then use that inspiration to create our one of a kind prints.  
Glenda: Can you explain the process of how the artist's work becomes a textile?​

Chico's: Once the artwork is selected to be in a collection the textile/CAD team will create what we call a package.  This will provide our fabric mill with all or our color and repeat information.  They then use this information to print onto the fabric.​  ​We work with a variety of mills around the world.
Glenda: What was the inspiration behind such lovely prints for your spring/summer collection?
Chico's: ​Bora Bora Bound was the name of our collection.  This embodied island life. It portrayed lush tropics, beautiful soft tie-dyes and medallions.  The colors were pulled straight from blues and teals of the ocean, and green and soft neutrals of the foliage surrounding the island of Bora Bora. 
Glenda: When prints are created, how does the design team determine which print will work with a certain type of garment?
Chico's: Most pieces are determined around the artwork.  If we have painted a beautiful scenic print, putting it on a piece with a bunch of pleats or ruffles would take away from the art.  We choose a silhouette that can properly showcase the artwork.   If we have a more fashion forward design with lots of details we will choose a more simplistic print.
Glenda: Recently I ran into world famous designer, Jeremy Scott, at a vintage show near downtown Los Angeles. He was sifting through vintage fabrics. Are the artists ever inspired by vintage, or do they like to stay modern?
​Chico's: How cool! Jeremy Scott is a fashion icon. We often look to vintage to get inspired.  Sometimes old is new.​  We have many different prints in our stores and in order to not become repetitive we look to many sources to get inspired and expand the breadth in our assortment.
Glenda: The Chico's brand conveys a message of ease, sophistication, creativity, and world travel. Are the artists instructed to develop images that stay within the message of the brand, or do they have the freedom to create whatever inspires them?
Chico's: ​Artists have full freedom to create from the heart.  We have a close connection with our customer and always create with her in mind.  The reason our brand conveys those messages is because that is who our girl is... she inspires us!​

Outfit Details:
Tropical Cold-Shoulder Maxi Dress. This dress is sold out online, however, there is still inventory in the boutiques.
Lions Head Sandal by Miss Trish of Capri via eBay

Here's an even closer look at the Textile Design team at work. This video is dated 2013. Enjoy!

Thank you Team Chico's for sharing the inner workings of your Textile Design Team. This truly was an enjoyable experience! Friends, now you know, when you wear prints from Chico's, you are wearing a genuine work of art!

Stay True,
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Photography under the creative direction of Fred Harrison
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  1. It seems like a tropical print would be a natural in Southern California. I'm surprised we don't see more of them. This is a lovely look for you, Glenda. I love the way you've styled it. Those beads!!!

    1. Hm, you're right, Connie, I don't see many tropical prints either. Maybe it's too much of a cliche for us?...

  2. What a wonderful post! I love knowing more about the work with artists and the print design inspiration and process!
    Glenda, as usual, ya got it goin on!! Looking great in the pretty print!

    1. Thank you Naomi! I'm glad you enjoyed the post and the information. Too many people think fashion is easy, and it's often undet represented as a career of choice.

  3. Love the look! Thanks for sharing the video too of how they create their prints!

  4. Nice post Glenda! Very informative! Love the print.
    Kery B

  5. Nice post Glenda, very informative! Love the print 😊

  6. When I started working for a fashion label, it shocked me to learn that the time frame from concept to customer's closet was two years. So many steps involved! You're quite right not to dismiss it.

    1. Too many people think fashion is easy. The two year time frame has changed. Now, with the surge of fast fashion, designers and brand's have to work in lightening speed to keep up.

  7. We often forget the artistry and the vision to inspire that the fashion industry represents...Great post.

  8. You look Fantastic in this dress and it will be a forever date night special. I see these prints in different colors on just about every Cruise, but the fabric is not easy to find at the shops. Enjoy!

    1. Yes, it will make a great date night option. Oh how I'm ready to go on another cruise!

  9. That tropical print looks like it was made for you Glenda! Thanks for taking us behind the scenes for the prints- fabrication lesson! The triple stands neck;ace and sandals are lovely and you can go virtually anywhere in this fabulous ensemble!
    xx, Elle


Thank you for taking the time to comment, it really means a great deal for me to connect with my So What to Twenty friends. I hope you subscribed via email or by social media - I wouldn't want you to miss anything on our True Style journey. Stay True, Glenda