Design Thinking: Pearled Ivory



(Image courtesy of Pearled Ivory.)

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 spoke with Alex to learn more about Pearled Ivory.



(Image courtesy of Pearled Ivory.)


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

I think Pearled Ivory is different than other brands in a few ways. I believe, specifically with our curation, we are very intentional with the pieces provided on our web store. We curated based on texture, color palette, and shape. We want to create consistency in our presentation and give each person the best experience we can provide them. Also, a large part of our brand is presenting our brand in an actual retail experience through a pop-up model. Within that model, we can meet all of the unique individuals that support us and even hug them if we can. As well as provide the pieces with a different presence rather than solely online. Lastly, we genuinely think so many people believe this, but we care so damn much about our audience and the people who support us.



(Image courtesy of Pearled Ivory.)


2. How does Pearled Ivory stay ahead of upcoming trends?

I would say that we stay ahead of upcoming trends but not truly following them. Of course, they influence us as new silhouettes rise in popularity, but we try to stay true to our vision. We believe we have a specific voice, primarily through garments, a color palette, materials, & shape. A large piece of our content provides complete looks within our Instagram & website to give the audience a visual presentation of how we would style the pieces; maybe they will get some inspiration from it.



(Image courtesy of Pearled Ivory.)


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

We draw inspiration through the pieces we touch daily and provide our story along with the garment. As well as our interests as individuals on the team. We believe these pieces are only the intersection of an identity we, as a team, have. We also try to be as intentional as possible and sustainable through designing, manufacturing, packaging, etc.



(Image courtesy of Pearled Ivory.)


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

We believe we incorporate our mission and vision through our product by presenting them in a specific way. I, myself, am so very picky when it comes to every aspect of the presentation. How the product shows online, the hanger it sits on, the hang tag, how the fabric feels, and many more tiny details go into our presentation, as well as we want only to provide the absolute best products we can. When it comes to curating, we touch hundreds of pieces before selecting them for our store. When designing, we go through a rather long sampling process. Every piece we sample, we would wear it for a long time. If it's not an item we want to wear for a long time, we won't present it.



(Image courtesy of Pearled Ivory.)


5. What is the future of the company?

The future of Pearled Ivory would be to present our vintage-inspired products at the same level, if not better, quality than the vintage pieces themselves. We want each piece to last as long as our 40-year-old Levi's we curate. We are also presenting pop-up stores around the United States and the world. We want to meet everyone who supports us. Lastly, we want to be able to create a unique & loving community. If we can have a pop-up somewhere, and someone falls in love because of our event or finds a new friend group after moving to that city, that would be at the top of our list.



(Logo courtesy of Pearled Ivory.)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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