Interview with designer Jeffrey Wan you sew (JW), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Le Morne Lunch Box Crossbody Handbag.

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Interview with Jeffrey Wan you sew at Sunday 28th of April 2019: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
JW : The inspiration for the Le Morne Lunch Box came to me when a good friend of mine, from my home-country of Mauritius, came to visit me for the first time in Manhattan. We were deciding what to eat for dinner when he told me he’d always wanted to order Chinese food so he could eat directly out of the cardboard take-out box with chopsticks. It was a classic image he had of what it was like to live in New York City; cramped up in a small apartment, sitting on the floor with nothing but good friends, light shining in through the window, and disposable utensils that came complementary with your meal. It was the same feeling I had when I moved to New York City and away from my family. I had a ton of fear, but I was willing to put everything I had into pursuing my dreams of being a designer. This bag, and really the entire collection, is about those moments. The moments that start with wide eyes and a fluttering heart. When you can feel your dreams start to become reality. To me, that’s what fashion and living in the city means… you are in the “concrete jungle where dreams are made of”.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
JW : I wanted to design a bag that would give the user an experience of the daily life in New York City. A bag that was versatile to have from day to night.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
JW : The plan is to produce it in new colorways and materials. We are currently looking to manufacture in Spain and Italy.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
JW : It took one week to design the bag and when through some revisions after doing two rounds of sampling.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
JW : It was a geometric shape that I felt strongly about and a concept that I have been thinking for a couple of years now.

DI: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
JW : The design is currently available for purchase under the Jeff Wan brand.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
JW : I have been in the industry for more than 5 years designing handbags and accessories. After designing runway pieces for some major brands, I felt confident that it was time to showcase my talent under my own name.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
JW : The chinese take out box was the main inspiration behind the design. The influence also came from my design mentors with whom I had the opportunity to work with at Coach.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
JW : The target customer is for the crowd who has a strong interest in fashion and follows the trend.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
JW : This design does not take the inspiration literally but is also very functional. It acts both as a top-handle and as a crossbody.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
JW : I grew up in Mauritius where we used to have a beach house in a place called Le Morne. It reminded me of the days when I used to go to the beach for a picnic with the family.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
JW : I first hand sketched the idea and used Adobe Illustrator to do some CADs.

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
JW : The way the leather folds to hold its shape with the trims makes the design unique.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
JW : I worked with a handbag factory who made our samples and production to work on the pattern making.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
JW : The design uses traditional pattern making. It requires extreme precision to sew the pattern pieces together. To get the pieces cut with precision, we use a laser cut machine.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
JW : I try not to use too much data when designing so that something fresh and new can come out of it. Once I get the general idea and concept, I’ll start some research. I researched the trends and what the customers look for when buying a bag. There is also the price range that needs to be taken into consideration. To animate the bag I would play with materials and different kinds of leather.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
JW : Due to the unique shape and construction technique, we run into some production issues that caused a delay to our line of production. It took some trouble shooting to get it right and most stages need to be hand sewn.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
JW : I consider myself an international designer. Coming from Mauritius and designing in New York, I wanted to expose the brand to different countries.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
JW : It takes a lot of patience to get something right. With this design, it took multiple rounds of sampling to get the material to hold the shape I wanted.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
JW : I have been very fortunate to have had professional experiences at different brands such as Diesel, DKNY, Keneth Cole, Michael Kors and Coach. During those times, I have had amazing mentors who taught me so much and I keep a good relationship with them to this day.