We at Mission Field are a curious bunch, and when our operations manager Ashley Butler went to NY fashion week in February, we had to hear her secrets! What was it like, what cool new trends did you observe, what fun and flowy materials might we see in future retail packaging?! Well… maybe not the last item, but here were Ashley’s 5 major takeaways on how fashion innovation is similar to consumer product innovation:

1. No Detail is Too Small - just like your packaging’s back label - absolutely every detail of the fashion show was taken into consideration… right down to the material they use on the runway.

2. Make sure to Have Some Fun - The choice of music really stood out because it wasn't necessarily top ten or popular music, but everyone was dancing in their seats having a great time because it was about the mood not the words. The same should apply to innovative concepts, they also need amazing packaging art and design to bring their (hopefully) disruptive mood and ethos to life!

3. Hurry Up & Wait - Remember when your final insight report-out, which was initially an urgent request, got delayed because of management turnover… now imagine you’re a model and this happens in your business unit every single work day: Model call time is usually 4-5 hours before show time, meaning for a 10AM show, models and beauty team members had to be at the venue at 5AM at the latest. Hair and makeup on average takes about 1-2 hours per model so it's likely that models are ready for the show about 2 hours in advance. Backstage is a place where you're likely to find models in sweatpants, eating veggies or pizza listening to music before it's time to get dressed then it's a mad dash to get prepped to stand around and wait another 45 minutes to make sure the influencers, bloggers, celebrities, industry professionals and photographers are in place!

4. Organized Chaos - The calm, poised beautiful presence exhibited on the runway is the polar opposite of the backstage area which is utter chaos with clothes being thrown around, body parts everywhere and designers forcing garments that may or may not fit on models no matter what. The backstage of a fashion show is not for the faint of heart, you are guaranteed to see numerous exposed unmentionables but everyone is moving so fast that no one is paying attention. This is about the show, the clothes, walk and face so even if you're being stabbed by 8 straight pins no one should know, just like no one should have any idea how chaotic it is backstage.

5. It takes over 6 Months of Planning, and a 75 person team for a 10-Minute Show - When it's all said and done, the show itself was brief. Six months of planning, preparing and full production for only minutes of the final product. From the designers, production team, hair and makeup, sponsors, models, and assistants, the show we attended had over 75 different people directly involved in making it come together… just like all the cross functionals it takes to make a new product innovation come to life!

*And - BTW - the color for fall will be dark magenta accentuated by silver pops of color ;D