Frank & Oak releases a new line every month leaving no room for lost time in their schedule. With e-commerce gaining more mainstream customers, how far would a team of designers have to plan-out to accomplish this every month? I recently caught up with the team over at FrankandOak.com on how their team’s process this workflow and how far ahead the planning really is for each release.
You release an issue every month. This includes a SoundCloud mix, a theme, and a name (eg. Reinvention Issue). How far does the design team at Frank & Oak plan ahead and how has Frank & Oak cultivated their workflow to keep on-top of themselves? Where are the names inspired from for each issue as well?
We launch 12 collections each year (1 per month), and usually plan 3 collections at a time. We work about 2-3 months in advance, so that our designs are really relevant to the time of year, and we’re always updating based on feedback from our customers.
Every week our design and sourcing teams meet altogether to give updates and recaps of their work. Together, we all go through a process which starts with research and inspiration, and finishes with a complete collection inspired by a specific theme and time of year.
The name of each issue (eg. the Reinvention Issue) is the simplest way to express the theme and inspiration behind the collection. It connects the clothing to a narrative we can all relate to.
Now what about Frank & Oak’s office culture? From the looks of it, Frank & Oak seems very keen on their employee’s happiness. What’s a typical day in the office for the designers and their work-schedule? How does the office feel on a rainy day?
Different people on the design team have different specialties (outerwear, shirts, accessories, knits, pants, etc.). So everyone works separately, but also coordinates with the rest of the team to make sure the collection comes together as a whole.
Because we plan and work so quickly, every day is different, but fits within a planning cycle. To start, we pick colors, and choose and design fabrics and silhouettes. Then we make sketches and tech packs, and request samples. Once we receive a first round of samples, we hold fittings, and make any necessary changes before the collection launches.
Where do the designers hail from? Past experience? What does the office look for in their designers?
We look for people who understand our aesthetic, the direction of the company and each collection; people who are efficient and organized, and who work well in a team. Technical skills, and an alignment with the values and aesthetic of the brand are of course really important as well.
Describe the looks from NYFW. Who designed the line that was presented? How far ahead was it planned?
The 17 looks we showcased at NYFW were from this fall’s September – December collections. The pieces were inspired by modern-day entrepreneurs and creatives around the world—from New York to Shanghai—and combined American workwear staples with elegant European silhouettes.
Function always plays a big role in our designs, and all of the pieces shown were easy to wear and easy to pack–ideal for the modern man on the move.
The whole design team designed the collections 2-3 months before the event.
*Pictured to the left is StylePublic’s own Brittany Bosco, aka Hello Bosco, sporting Frank & Oak’s, “The Edit: Issue No. 1″, at NYFW.
We have a new collaboration that launched on October 24 that we co-designed with Canadian footwear destination Little Burgundy. The collection features footwear, bags, and accessories.
We’re always breaking into new product categories – this fall, keep an eye out for new bags, beautiful knits, and great gifting items.
– Frank & Oak Design Team