Interview with Prachi Gupta – Design Ladder Design Studio
About Design Ladder Design Studio, history and success story.
“Product” is a generic term that loosely refers to everything from a single item to the totality of all collections a manufacturer or retailer offers to its customers. When one thinks of designing Product, one has to think of consumer need from multiple perspectives: function and usability, aesthetics, affordability, novelty, breadth of choice, vanity, etc. and business’ need for revenue and gross margin.
Each of these needs has to be solved for the product and businesses to succeed in the market. To us, each such need is a rung in the ladder that leads to the design success of individual products or entire lines, and hence our name Design Ladder.
Prachi founded Design Ladder to bring the richness of her product and line design experience to help her clients in this highly saturated and competitive market. She believes that product design and visual presentation is what makes any manufacturer stand out in this highly crowded space.
Product is the first thing that any buyer notices. Product creates the first impression of any brand, and attracts interest and attention. Product is the face of a brand. Through Design Ladder, Prachi wants to ensure that she brings to bear her wholistic experience to help clients succeed.
Since the very inception of her professional education in design, Prachi has continued to be recognized by the design community for her ingenuity, ability to forecast trends and serve the market with very desirable designs.
She graduated with the Best Design Student award from India’s premier fashion school NIFT. She then served as the head of design for one of India’s largest white label apparel manufacturers where here designs adorned the aisles of world-class brands and retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Liz Claiborne, A&F, H&M and Target.
After moving to Atlanta, she worked with several home fashions and rug manufacturers. Her designs won five America’s Magnificent Carpet Awards, wherein one year her designs won in two categories.
She also started of bags and fashion accessories that sold at Neiman Marcus, Container Store, and several other national and international brick-and-mortar, Catalog and e-commerce retailers. Her product also sold at several hundred boutiques across the US. She also did custom products for large events, such as the launch events of movies from Paramount Pictures.
2. Let us know about services that you offer to the textile and flooring sector?
We have two methods of engagement: 1) well-scoped deliverables, and 2) Long term strategic guidance and execution.
A client would usually engage the first approach when they already know what kind of gap they are trying to fill, and they can define and scope that well for us. For example, a specific kind of collection as defined by a collection of inspirations or mood boards and verbal direction of vision.
We recommend a long term strategic engagement when a client is looking to evolve, transform or enrich their line/brand over several seasons. They have a vision about the target market, but want a fresh but experienced perspective on their line and how it should evolve over the upcoming seasons to evolve and nurture their vision of their brand.
They want to ensure that their assortment is robust and trendy, i.e., it serves all needs of the target market and is also perceived to be at the forefront of innovation when it comes to design and color.
Which services do we offer?
1. Line/assortment gap analysis and planning, guided by brand and revenue objectives of the client.
2. Product and collection design. This includes giving direction to product development and evolving the design based on production constraints. This also includes product/collection presentations to the sales team.
3. Visual merchandising of showrooms and e-commerce websites
4. Visual content creation for social media marketing, for e.g., lifestyle shots
Which product categories do we specialize in?
a. Rugs and carpets (hand and machine-made, indoor and outdoor)
b. Decorative pillows
c. Indoor / Outdoor textiles
d. Kitchen / Diner textiles
e. Decorative home accessories / hard goods
f. Wallpaper artwork
2. Apparel and Accessories
3. Fabric prints and patterns.
4. Pet Products & Accessories
3. How do you evaluate carpet and flooring industry in North America during Coronavirus Pandemic?
As the pandemic is winding down for most people in the United States, new perspectives on personal and social living are starting to show up. The wide adoption of work-from-home and work-from-anywhere culture across the US has seen a boom in housing market. People are spending a much larger share of their lives at home than in pre-pandemic times and are therefore very motivated to upgrade their in-home living experience.
Furthermore, after months of isolation, people are eager to welcome family and friends home. People now see their homes and living spaces to express their individuality and amplify their social activity.
All this is going to continue the uptick in home furnishings market across the entire spectrum of home products, from furniture, kitchen and dinnerware, wall decorations, accent and statement pieces and lighting.
4. Which kind of designs are a trend in 2021 in the USA and North America?
I predict four trends in designs: Color, Simplistic and Eclectic fusion.
Color: Expect to see a lot more demand for variety in colors, and especially a move from subdued naturals to the more expressive colors. Colors naturally elicit and express emotions, and since people are eager to express themselves through their spaces, I predict a much higher demand in color variety.
Simplistic: Simplified traditional or simplistic contemporary patterns bring balance to any room. I therefore predict an uptick in demand for this trend in the updated color palette.
Eclectic fusion: It’s like travelling the world and bringing in elements of various cultures together in the form of silhouettes, patterns and colors. Be it Suzani blended with stripes or Vintage florals decorated with modern contemporary pieces of art!
5. Indian Carpet Export is increasing continuously in last decade. What is the main reasons in your opinion?
In general, buyers and designers all over the world are drawn towards the uniqueness which comes with hand weaving. In Addition to that, India is also known for sustainable fashion with the use of natural fibers like wool, cotton and jute. I think, that influences the overall export business.