Design Thinking: Elan


(Image courtesy of Elan)

In Graduate School, one of the buzzwords professors love to discuss is "Design Thinking." Design Thinking is an iterative process in which we seek to understand the user, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding (Dam and Siang). Design Thinking enables a company to understand consumer needs to serve their audience better. For this project, I contacted different companies to learn how the organizations apply Design Thinking to their market offerings. I had the chance to learn more about Elan.



(Image courtesy of Elan)


1. What makes Elan different from other brands on the market?

We love to create comfortable and versatile pieces that are affordable yet always up to date with the latest trends. Our styles are designed to make our women stand out in a crowd, always adding some sort of twist to an item and never keeping it basic.



(Image courtesy of Elan)

2. How does Elan stay ahead of upcoming trends?

Staying ahead of upcoming trends is a full-time job; many hours of every day are dedicated to researching fashion. Our designers get inspiration from a trend forecasting company called WGSN and are always looking at the latest fashion shows to see what the top designers are up to.

(Image courtesy of Elan)


3. Where does Elan draw inspiration from during the design process?

Our designers also receive a lot of inspiration and ideas through travel; places like Italy, Paris, London, and NY are always the best places to discover new fashion trends. They also draw inspiration from their three daughters of different ages and styles. The designers like to also put every item through the generation test. If all three daughters love it and the mom loves it, it is what we like to call a “no question item.”



(Image courtesy of Elan)

4. How does Elan incorporate its mission and vision into its product offerings?

Elan is a young contemporary brand created for the modern, feminine, free-spirited woman. We love to cater to the woman who lives for fashion and travel and is not afraid to turn heads in one of our silhouettes. By making quality and long-lasting timeless pieces, we feel our clothing brand can help a woman look and feel like their best self.


(Image courtesy of Elan)


5. What is the future of the company?

We believe the future of our company is in the online world. We have been a wholesale business for over 30 years, selling to boutiques and department stores throughout the US. During the pandemic, when we could not ship our clothes to stores anymore, we decided to start our retail site for the first time. Having our presence online gives us more control over our brand image and provides us with a direct line of communication with our customers. We are excited to continue to grow our brand in this retail space and ideally cater to women worldwide and maybe even expand beyond clothing into accessories. The sky is the limit!



(Image courtesy of Elan)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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