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Design Thinking: Fallon & Ava

(Image courtesy of Fallon & Ava.)

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 companies to understand consumer needs to serve their audience better. For this project, I contacted different companies to learn how organizations applied Design Thinking. I spoke with Fallon & Ava to learn how the company incorporates its mission and vision into its products.

(Image courtesy of Fallon & Ava.)

1. What makes Fallon & Ava different from other fashion companies?

We are the first and only brand in the market that specializes solely in sustainable, Italian-made, luxury turtlenecks, making us the destination for the perfect turtleneck. Every classic wardrobe essential has its ultimate destination. We thought, why was there not one for turtlenecks? It's one of the most versatile and timeless pieces you can have in your closet. We believe every woman deserves the perfect turtleneck to be her go-to for any occasion.

You can consider us a fashion brand because we have created a recognizable aesthetic around the Fallon & Ava turtleneck, but what makes us different from other fashion companies is the fact that our product never goes out of fashion or out of season. Instead of introducing a whole new collection every season, we took years to perfect one product that will live on. We will continue to introduce new variations of the turtleneck and new colors, but we will always offer the classic turtleneck. We also think that being a family-run business sets us apart in the way we approach our business. Family, kindness, human connection, and giving back always come first for us. We want our customers to feel like they're a part of the Fallon & Ava family.

(Image courtesy of Fallon & Ava.)

2. Where does Fallon & Ava find inspiration when designing your products?

We're always inspired by the classics... whether it's classic icons, movies, music, style, etc. We grew up with an appreciation for the classics because of our mother. She dressed us in turtlenecks when we were young, partly because of her love for timeless style. She also had a love for interior decorating. The home we grew up in is painted a beautiful baby blue, which became the inspiration for our Signature Blue color turtleneck. It's a way for us to bring a little bit of home and family to our customers.

Our Bow Turtleneck was inspired by classic femininity and a woman's desire for comfort and style. We designed The Bow Turtleneck with functionality and femininity in mind. We listened to common issues most women have and what they disliked about turtlenecks. One was that they were too tight and restrictive in the neck. All of our turtlenecks have a finely knitted rib that gives the neck excellent elasticity, but the attached grosgrain ribbon on "The Bow" creates an adjustable neck, allowing you to create the feel and look you want while making a statement.

(Image courtesy of Fallon & Ava.)

3. How does Fallon & Ava incorporate its mission and vision into its products?

Our mission as a brand is to serve as a platform for women to embrace their inner power, allowing them to navigate the world with confidence and poise while wearing a turtleneck. We believe a beautifully made and well-fitted turtleneck has the power to be a woman's secret weapon. We took two years developing our product to make sure we're giving women the perfect turtleneck in more ways than just the product itself. Women have a hard time trusting not only in the reliability of a product but trusting where it’s made, what it’s made out of, who made it, the values behind the brand, the community the brand creates, and the brand’s dedication to giving back. That’s why we decided to make our first prototype at a woman-owned knitwear factory in Brooklyn and then move production to Italy. To craft the perfect, tailored turtleneck, it is essential to manufacture them in Italy, renowned for the highest quality knitwear.

From the yarns to the grosgrain ribbon on The Bow, to the product itself, every turtleneck is 100% made in Italy at a family-owned factory in Tuscany founded by two brothers. From two brothers to two sisters, it is important to us that we work with and support fellow family businesses. The perfect turtleneck can only be perfect if it's sustainable, which is why it was important to us that we chose a sustainable yarn. The turtleneck is made of LENZING™ ECOVERO™, a sustainable viscose fiber derived from certified renewable wood sources. Its manufacturing process generates up to 50% lower water impact and CO2 emissions. Human connection is also a core value of our brand, so we introduce that in our packaging. When a customer receives their turtleneck, we want it to feel like they're receiving a special gift from a friend wrapped with care. We want you to feel welcomed into the world of Fallon & Ava and the Fallon & Ava family when you open our package.

(Image courtesy of Fallon & Ava.)

4. What is the future of the company?

We plan to introduce our current styles in more colors. Eventually, we'd love to have the classic turtleneck offered in every color you would ever want a turtleneck in. We'll also introduce variations of turtlenecks and different bow designs. Our ultimate goal is to expand to other product categories besides turtlenecks and create a Fallon & Ava lifestyle.

(Image courtesy of Fallon & Ava.)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog! Please reach out if you have any ideas for content, partnerships, and more!

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