Sock Swag By Design: All About Alicia & Britt
Our Community to Yours: Find out how our Design Team works!
The design process has phases for the team, beginning with Alicia and Britt.
“I’m always looking for graphic trends in the pop culture sphere. What matters to people right now? What are they talking about together? What are the social values in our fan community? What is super funny or gets a belly laugh to us all? What memes do I need on a sock?!” exclaims Alicia.
“When designing, I’m thinking about how this sock would enhance someone’s day, how would it inspire someone and make them feel good putting it on,” Britt adds.
First, the team starts by identifying trends and seasonal color palettes; this requires searching online everywhere, from Pinterest to different brands.
“We also follow our wholesale boutiques on Instagram to keep up with what’s new in store for our customers,” Alicia explains.
Teen Vogue, Apartment Therapy, and various textile print house websites are also scoured for ideas and inspiration. The perspective always goes back to the questions, What are people into right now? What are they doing for hobbies, what would they want as gifts?
From here, they come up with a Design Brief, which condenses the moods and colors for the season into boards. They present these to cross-department teams, including sales and marketing. This collaborative process leads to the direction of where we’re heading for the new line.
After the Design Brief, it’s time to sketch. With two seasons, each with 80-90 new designs to be sketched out – roughly 40-45 per designer – that’s a lot of creativity!
“We love bouncing ideas off each other,” Alicia says. “There’s a lot of collaboration and a lot of silly emails or texts with pigeons throwing side-eyed shade.”
Example of an Art CAD of our New Athletic Ribbed Crew Socks.
Next, it’s onto Sampling. After working with the same factories for 10-15 years, it’s a long-standing and loving relationship with our awesome vendors in South Korea. They sample the new designs for us. Then we review the samples for fit and accuracy.
“Each design we make is fit on a real, live human,” Alicia explains. “We change designs to make them stretch better or look nicer. All our models have great calves! Our STRETCH-IT model has a wider calf, around 20 inches typically.”
Then they check with the cross-department teams to ensure everyone is on board with the new selection. The new design fit is then approved and ready for tradeshow season and selling. From there, the best design moves forward to be sold on our website and also sold to our wholesale clients.
When asked how they as the designers would describe our socks to space aliens that just landed on earth, Alicia jumps in with a great idea.
“We have many socks with Space Aliens, so I would give them many pairs! And then run for it? Or are they friendly aliens?”
As for their personal favorites, Britt is down with the slipper socks, she lives in them. After having planned surgery, which was followed by rehab, she found out how useful they could be. Warm, easily washable, more flexible than slippers with the added grip of silicone grippers on the bottom, she was in love. “Slippers get dirty and gross and have to be thrown away,” she says. “Slippers also don’t have a way to absorb moisture and you can’t wash them like a sock to clean them, so slipper socks are where it’s at!!!
As for Alicia’s favorites, she is down with the ’90s inspired turn cuff crew “YAS Queen.”
“You can wear the sock folded up or down,” she explains. “It says YAS QUEEN if you roll the socks up. I wear them down because the folded top looks great with Mary Jane shoes, oxford Dr. Martens. They give a super-duper 90’s vibe. Plus, the sunflower on a white color reminds me of the sunflower printed Esprit brand skorts I used to wear. LOL.”
Beyond the camaraderie of collaboration and the creativity that ensues, the pair agree that naming the socks and coming up with funny puns are definite perks to their jobs, as is talking about the artwork with one another.
“Especially when we are trying to fix the artwork to make it look more readable and clear,” Alicia says. “We get a lot of laughs from saying things out loud like,
“That dumpster fire really needs something.. try throwing in a tire!!”
“Does the tongue out make it look cute and relaxed, or like it just sustained an injury?”
“Maybe the rabbit should have less wine in its tiny shopping cart?”
“Could the T-rex on the beach make a sandcastle near that shovel and pail?”’
They even had a fellow designer, Rachel, document these sayings and compiled them into a hilarious “Things Designers Say” document that was distributed as a Christmas gift one year!
Alicia started freelancing at SITM in 2010 and has worked at SITM since 2012.
“I continue working here because I like to create a positive working environment for my team. The apparel industry can be rough and I genuinely want to develop and encourage employees to be their best. Plus I have a weird sense of humor”.
Britt freelanced for SITM for several years and has been working for SITM as a full-time employee for almost 6 years.
“I love letting my imagination run wild and being able to bring my silly ideas/animals/pop culture references to life through my designs. It’s also uber satisfying when I’m out and about and see someone wearing SITM socks I designed, we have such fun fans! Plus I appreciate having a supportive team to work with every day”.
Here are some things the Design Team has up their sleeve to get you all excited about!
Their (Sock) Bucket List:
Check out the joy and inspiration their designs have sparked in people on Instagram!