Why I like Product Designers over Fashion Designers?

Have you ever wondered why things you wear hasn’t changed much but whereas things around you are getting better and better? This piece is about how design thinking can lifes far better.

Before I share my experience let me make the definitions clear. Product designer is someone who designs things from your cars, phones, shavers, containers for your detergent to probably whatever is around you. Fashion designer is someone who designs what you wear and carry — bags, wallets, shoes,etc.

I am going to tell you why product designers venturing into fashion world is what you and me want. I am going to give 5 arguments to support the claim.

1 . Functional

Product designers make it a point that their creations are functional whereas with fashion designers it is more about aesthetics. The Juicy Salif by Phillipe Starck is an iconic example of how design thinking can produce great but simple and functional product.

Juicy Salif by Phillipe Starck

2. Usability

Fashion designers are notorious for not taking into account purpose of the product. Common example which is making rounds now is the women’s pockets. Its there without purpose, “#WeWantPockets” twitter trend is a testament.

Courtesy — BBC and Thinkstock

3. Sustainability

Product designers are trained to think about every step of the design from selection of material to end of product life cycle. This is completely ignored by many fashion designers, else we wouldn’t have ended up with fast fashion.

4. Look

Product designers usually churn out modern looking and more trendy products. Apple is a great example of how product designers have set the new norm of our modern society.

Evolution of Apple screen

5. User Feedback

Fashion industry works top down, few people in a room or a show decide what you are going to wear and carry. Usually accessories like wallets, bags, belts almost remain the same. This approach would put a product designer out of job, for him it is all user centric.

I learnt these the hard way. Enlightened by this information and being super excited, I have started my new venture a platform for product designers to make functional products for day to day use from eco-friendly leather. The ideas theses guys have come up in the platform are to say the least amazing! Though the platform is in beta testing, our product launch page is up if you want to check out — JoinELM.com.

Full Disclosure — I am Founder of Join ELM, a platform for Product Designers to bring their idea to market and make 10% comission on selling price.