Feetures' Spring 20 Decoded Collection launched in stores and online earlier this month to wild acclaim. While Feetures fans are used to seeing our fun new colors change season after season, this new design is unlike any other. This week we sat down with our Lead Sock Designer, Song Anh Nguyen, to talk about the story behind Decoded, where she gets her inspiration, and more.
What is Decoded?
This season’s colors represents the juxtaposition between Nature vs. Technology. Contrasting mix of soft colors inspired by the big sustainability movement & push towards wellness paired with artificial brights that appeal to high performance. People want to reconnect with nature explored through running, biking & climbing. Then the polarized side of us continues to seek for the next best thing in tech and incorporating artificial intelligence more & more into our lives. With that in mind, for S20, we’ve incorporated a more technical mesh pattern throughout the entire top of the foot. The design has multiple mesh panels directed at different angles to maximize ventilation. The mesh is combined with a color blocking design that wraps around the entire foot using three different colors together to create a bold look.
How do you decide on what colors to use?
In my opinion, color is one of the most important design elements. There are a couple of things I try to keep in mind when developing a color palette. I pay a lot of attention to current trends and what's happening in the market daily. At the start of each season, we analyze how our colors performed from prior seasons. I also rely on trend forecasting services to see what's to come. So with the combination of past, present & future trends, that sets the tone for my selections.
Where do you find inspiration when it comes time to develop a new season or a new line?
Finding inspiration can be tricky. You never know when inspiration will strike. Inspiration can come from anywhere; I can be inspired by the flowing movement of the ocean or by a rug in a hotel lobby. When I'm stuck in a 'creative block', I try to be outside because I find myself inspired by nature the most. I'm also inspired when I simply just talk & listen to people share ideas and hearing their perspectives. You learn what people are looking for and you create products based off of those needs. I like to ask myself questions as well. I think it's important to consider the purpose of my designs. What do I hope to achieve? What problems am I trying to solve? Who would my audience be?
How did you become a sock designer?
I majored in Apparel Product Design and socks were never a part of the curriculum nor a career I had planned for myself. I knew North Carolina has a rich textile industry so after graduating, I decided to stay to optimize on the opportunities & wealth of knowledge in the area. I landed a job as an Assistant Designer in 2012 and that was when I was first introduced to the hosiery industry. The technical aspects from the fiber & yarn innovations to the knit structure of the socks has kept my interest & inspires me to challenge myself as a designer.
What is your favorite thing about working for Feetures?
Working for a brand that makes a difference in people's lives. You might wonder how socks can change people's lives but every now & then, we get the best testimonials from consumers sharing how our socks have either improved their runs to help them reach their PR or simply allowed them to walk again without pain after having foot issues. These personal stories provides a sense of purpose and makes me feel like this isn't just a job.
What is your favorite Feetures?
My favorite style is the Merino 10 in the cushion weight. Generic wool tends to have a harsh hand but our Merino is very soft and comfortable. The pile of cushioning is perfect for me because it has enough loft but not too bulky for most of my shoes. The great thing about Merino Wool is it is naturally thermoregulating so I can wear it year round. It's also naturally anti-microbial so my feet can stay odor free!