Looking to break in.

I’m looking to make my way in to the softgoods/ outdoor gear world and have been a corporate designer for 1 year now in consumer and commercial products all unrelated to this field. I have been developing several pack and snowboard boot designs at home and am sharpening the skills continually. Any advice as to what people in this field when hiring someone w/ limited experience are looking for? How often is 3-D used?

3D is not used as often as you’d think, because of time constraints, really.

Style and imagination trump 3D modeling …

Make sure you’re real comfortable with illustrator if you want to do bags, very commonly used.

do you sketch or is everything computer drawn?

At Kenneth Cole all the bag designers sketch and then layout/ render in illustrator. easier for them to draw out line drawings/ flats/ patterns to have sent over seas for prototypes.

posting your work might also help.


In our case everything is done in flat form in Illustrator (as dygitalvision explains) for the factory - because samples can be turned around in a week, I rarely need to do presentation work - we simply wait for the sample.

I have been developing several pack and snowboard boot designs at home and am sharpening the skills continually.

my guess would be and i am porbably wrong, is that for ski/snowboarding moots 3d may be used much more than in other soft goods because much of the boot is molded, no? plus there are many “hard” parts (pause) which might benefit form 3d data…

if you have some examples it be cool to see, you do not usually see much of how these are built besides the final product

thanks guys, from what I’ve heard illustrator/ photoshop is the most effective way of communicating designs. Check my work. The first sample page is old and was at a time when I was developing my photoshop rendering. It will be replaced soon by my boot design process and refinement page, (currently working on). The next is ideation and how I sketch 1 generation overlay.

Your thoughts


hopefully this link activates. Otherwise apologies for the copy paste.

Your pack designs are excellent! :smiley:

Grazi, any more advice on what to explore to show skills for possible upcoming interviews of the softgood nature?

You’re on a good track with your bag drawings as far as the hand thing goes as long as those were done quickly. Your shoe linework seemed nice too, probably wouldn’t have to go that far with the renderings unless you had to show to clients for approval, but inhouse you might get away with swatches. They can sew a bag up in a day and it’ll be worth more than a rendering to get feedback.
-I would work on a very stable, repeatable, way of doing your illustrator linework for your bags, something so that your own individual “drawing style” wont affect how someone would interpret your intent. For example, lots of designer draw squrounds (those curvy rectangles, no straight lines). That works fine for quick hand sketches to get the feel of the product, but you need to be sure if that’s what you really want with the illustrator lines and that the manufacturers won’t get things confused. I once did a bag that was in a 3/4 view and got the part back and parts where as if they cut parts of the pattern straight from my 3/4 view, perspective and all. It was a very interesting sample. So get a good illustrator format down that may actually be kind of “dry” but clear, that’s for communicating to the f.e.(far east). The other swoopy stuff can be for the internal groups, marketing, etc.
Nice stuff in your portfolio by the way.

Thanks for the added perspective skinny. props