What’s in a name? It’s your Story!
Written by Vlisco Stories Team • 6 years, 3 months ago
“The process of naming our collections started only a few years ago, in 2007. Because we had no winter or summer collections, we started to give each season a name. Within a week, the fabric names were used everywhere and proudly displayed on the boxes. People now associate these names with a design from the collection.
But that is only about the collection...
We invited Roger Gerards, Creative Director of Vlisco, to say a few words about the origins of naming Vlisco fabrics and Vlisco collections.
What is most exciting is that the fabrics are named not by us, but by our consumers. If I’m not mistaken, that makes us unique in the world of business and brands.
Naming fabrics is not something that I have ever come across here in the West. As soon as you give something a name, you claim it as yours. A name lends emotional appeal to a product. It can conjure up pleasant associations, say something about you or do something to you. Especially if you are the person who thought of the name first.
Take for instance ‘The Household Gravel’ (the oldest pattern in the current Vlisco line) or ‘Le Sac de Michelle Obama’, to name but a few. We didn’t think of those names, and neither did the brands. They were thought up by the consumer. We don’t know the names at the outset. And that opens up a wealth of creative opportunities.
Our designers use cutting-edge technology to create their initial drawings. Every detail is painstakingly executed to produce a technically workable and creative masterpiece. Our designers devote considerable time to a single drawing, and surreptitiously add meaning to it. They tend to keep their ideas a closely guarded secret. Every now and then they explain the underlying thoughts behind their designs to me, but we don’t actually do anything with that information. We simply market the products under a product number.
The process of naming our fabrics was initiated by traders. Handling products that are numbered was problematic because not all traders could read. And so they gave our fabrics a name. That’s how it all began. The beauty of this solution is that a product can have more than one name, depending on the country, culture or moment that it was launched into the market and the prevailing mood at that moment. Or it might be a deeply personal story related to the person wearing the fabric, such as a special event in his or her life when the fabric was first worn.
These fantastic stories – both new and old - are what makes Vlisco Stories so intriguing and exciting. I never tire of hearing them!”