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Design Thinking: W 78 ST

(Image courtesy of W 78 ST.)

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 organizations apply Design Thinking and spoke to W 78 ST founder Gabirelle La Mura to learn more about her company.

(Image courtesy of W 78 ST.)

1. What makes W 78 ST different from other brands?

Our quality is just as important to us as our designs. W 78 ST focuses on creating quality and elevated staples with a spontaneous twist. Growing up in New York City (on W 78 ST), it feels like every time you step out of your apartment, no matter the occasion, it’s a chance to use fashion to be seen. We wanted to create innovative designs that would allow our customers to effortlessly look chic while still having a pulse on what is currently in fashion.

(Image courtesy of W 78 ST.)

Our bags are all hand-crafted individually in Los Angeles, making each truly one of a kind. In addition to the craftsmanship that goes into each bag, we use the highest quality Italian leathers that give our bags is relaxed yet sophisticated feel and shape. With the combination of our leathers, fabrics, and soft down, the purity of the design speaks for itself. In addition to using the highest quality leathers and fabrics, our bags are all filled with 100% recycled down that is ethically sourced in Italy, which allows our bags to be insanely soft, with the coziest and fluffiest feel.

(Image courtesy of W 78 ST.)

2. Where does W 78 ST find inspiration?

We find inspiration from truly everywhere. It could be a color, shape, or random thought that comes into my head. A lot of inspiration comes from who we imagine wearing our bags. Our customers are smart, savvy people that see the importance of quality.

(Image courtesy of W 78 ST.)

3. How does W 78 ST incorporate its mission and vision into its product offerings?

We think the most exciting pieces in fashion are the ones that can walk the line between an everyday staple and something incredibly clever. We walk this line while keeping quality and craftsmanship as a top priority. Handbags are essential and very personal to everyone. They hold all our personal items and become sentimental. We always create pieces that are elegant and youthful at the same time, and that is something that we always want to stay consistent throughout the brand and what makes our bags effortless.

(Image courtesy of W 78 ST.)

4. What is the future of the company?

W 78 ST is about to hit its 1-year mark, and we couldn’t be more excited about its future. I have been working hard on some new bag designs that will launch soon. We will release a brand-new bag design in February that we cannot wait to share! We also have some really special collaborations in the works as well!

(Image courtesy of W 78 ST.)

W 78 ST started as a passion project where I made pieces just for fun, and we want to keep this natural and exciting essence to the brand while still making the best choices on the business end. As for the long-term future, eventually, we see ourselves slowly expanding to additional bag designs and, eventually clothing. We have had such an exciting first year as a brand and are so grateful for all the opportunities we have been given and cannot wait to continue building and expanding!

(Image courtesy of W 78 ST.)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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