College for Creative Studies: Product Design
For centuries, makers of timepieces have been able to precisely calculate the length of a minute. But as Rommel Vega has learned from working in the watch industry, tastes in style are much more unpredictable than the changing time.
I always have to keep the consumer in mind as I'm designing," said Vega. "It's kind of exciting to know that I'm creating a piece that someone I know nothing about will eventually be wearing."
Vega is part of Fossil's women's dress team. Working out of the corporate headquarters near Dallas, he designs all of the women's trend watches as well as accessories, including bags, belts and shoes. Currently, he is working on the Spring 2008 collection, which will be released in March.
"Some times it feels sort of like a guessing game," explained Vega. "Tastes in the market change so quickly. But Fossil knows this. To freshen us up, the company sends us on trend shopping travel trips around the world and to international fashion shows to look for inspiration. So far, I've been to Hong Kong, Barcelona, Paris and places in Italy... Phillips Starck has also had a major influence on my design career. He is one of the most influential designers of my time."
Vega began his career with Fossil immediately after graduation. He had already established an impressive portfolio filled with work he completed during internships with Converse and design consultancies in Boston (Proteus and Altitude, Inc.), which work on design projects for other companies.
"The internship experiences were a real wake-up call for me," said Vega. "I learned a lot about designing outside of the classroom and the importance of a strong portfolio.
"But what I think really caught Fossil's attention were the watch designs I created as part of my senior studio. Although I didn't actually see an open position announced through Fossil, I sent them some of my samples anyway. Then they contacted me to begin the interview process."
The designer also benefited from preparation he received at the school from talented and demanding instructors.
"CCS has a great reputation. "Just having the College on my resume has opened the door to so many interviews and opportunities."
Now, I'm working for a great company doing exactly what I love - being creative."