An Originally Raleigh Story
Monday, December 17, 2018, 6am by Karen DeSollar
If you have been around GRCVB’s Marketing or Sales teams recently, you might have noticed that we have been using the theme Originally Raleigh for the last 10 months or so.
Originally Raleigh describes the restaurants, attractions, products and events created by local makers and entrepreneurs that are embodiments of our destination brand strategy... all of them crafted by passionate-minded innovators who make Raleigh, N.C., an enriching and energizing travel destination.
We at GRCVB are passionate-minded, too, about the work we do. For example, when I design new trade show booths for our Sales team, I try to be mindful of every detail of the space—the visuals, photography, color palette and the story we're telling, all of which are aligned to reinforce the destination brand. And that includes what our Sales team wears.
With that in mind, in September of this year, we turned to Wilson College of Textiles at North Carolina State University and Dr. Kate Annett-Hitchcock, associate professor in the Department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management. We were looking for a custom, capsule wardrobe for our Sales team that demonstrated originality, Raleigh-style. And Dr. Hitchcock helped us design a project for her 415 class, Fashion Product Development.
We have been working with Dr. Hitchcock’s students all semester, developing the vision for the project, the specific pieces we may need, their design, construction, color palette, fabric selections... all the way down to the trim and buttons.
Several of our Sales staff have met with the students over the last few months for fittings, tweaks, additions and deletions to complete the final work.
Last Fri., Dec. 14, the students made their final presentation to the Sales staff of the pieces they created. Here’s what they were:
- A black denim, fitted blazer whose seams are bound in Raleigh-red;
- A Chanel-style, couture jacket in a beautiful red tweed, with zippers and welt pockets;
- A Raleigh-blue bomber jacket trimmed in black... the subtle sheen on the fabric makes it particularly striking;
- And, a one-of-a-kind Raleigh T-shirt, which features an outline of downtown Raleigh and many of the area's attractions or features noted.
Now that the pieces have been designed in prototype, we will turn our attention to fabrication. This is again where the students are helping, connecting us with N.C.-based clothing manufacturers who can produce small-batch runs.
Our deepest appreciation goes out to Dr. Hitchcock and the students who were part of the project: Kara Odham, Mo Holley, Jay Martin and graduate student coordinator Dakota Batch.
They have helped us create a personal and professional style that is truly Originally Raleigh, while proving again that our area has the kind of smart, creative and giving people around which our destination's brand is built.
Pictured at top (L-R): Dakota Batch, Kara Odham, Mo Holley, Jay Martin and Dr. Kate Annett-Hitchcock.
Author: Karen DeSollar
Karen DeSollar is creative director at the Greater Raleigh CVB and has worked for over 15 years in the tourism sector. She started her career as an editor and earned a bachelor's degree in speech communications and English and a master's in journalism. She added graphic design to her bag of tricks when she spent 13 years as director of communications at a university in San Diego.