Over the years I have worked with some amazingly talented people such as Fiona Paxton, Josephine Kimberling and Natalie Ralls which I have a already written about. Today I would like to share a prolific designer i enjoyed working with for 5 years Jessica Grieb. Jessica Heads up the textile design department at Urban Outfitters. She is the most perfect person for such a trendy company as whatever style of trend comes her way Jessica can master it. She has a super can do attitude and a vast tool box of design skills.
Anne Marie - How did you get into the industry?
Jessica - After graduating from college, I found myself with a BFA in illustration and no idea what to do next. I literally looked through the newspaper job listings and applied for almost anything with the word "artist" in the title. I ended up getting a graphic artist job with a private label apparel company creating graphic tees and sleepwear prints.
Anne Marie - What is the most valuable skill you use in your job?
Jessica -This is a tough question. I guess I would have to say my drawing skill because that's where all my prints start. But also I think that my experience within the industry helps with my ability to make quick assessments and offer quick solutions. So much of what we do is on tight timelines and you have to be decisive.
Anne Marie - What do you love about being a senior textile designer at urban?
Jessica - I love the variety of the product that I get to work on - and the process of making sure we are telling a clear story for our customer as she follows the product throughout the store. I love how we think about customer experience and merchandising; about how our girl puts her looks together from head to toe and how we can give her what she needs for every category. It makes me feel very connected to the end product. Also, the print team is just really fun...a great group of girls who are excited about what we do!
Anne Marie - When working for such a young and trendy customer where do you look for inspiration?
Jessica - Basically, when I research, I end up going down a Tumblr rabbithole for hours. When you're looking for inspiration and things to get excited about you have to look at what our girl is getting excited about too. And of course it's not just fashion - it's music, lifestyle, memes, etc. Once we feel solidified on concepts we back them up with lots of supporting tears and purchased vintage samples.
Anne Marie - Why are prints so important to your customer and what are her go to favorite prints?
Jessica - Our customer LOVES print. It's a great way for her to express her attitude or emotion - and can also be used to either blend in or stand out. Our girl perpetually wants florals with a vintage flair. Right now our customer is also loving prints that fall into the boho/ethnic category, but our customer is pretty savvy on this front - we have to make sure we are telling a true story to her through our ethnic prints and not just throwing ikat and triangles on everything.
Anne Marie - What are you drawing these days?
Jessica - I'm kind of in a doodling phase these days. Tiny packed doodling or giant bold doodling...I am just liking imperfect linework.
Anne Marie -Who are your favorite designers illustrators?
Jessica - Right now I am loving Lazy Oaf. We carry some of their product at Urban. Truly, right now I am getting inspired more from random imagery than I am from actual illustrators. That probably sounds horrible. But I am tending to like the style or vibe of something as a whole rather than the work of a specific person. Right now I am really into screen caps from old karaoke videos. The juxtaposition of bold, generic type face over a grainy video still of something random and bizarre - I LOVE it!
As you can see this girl can draw! Thanks Jess.