VMSD - January 2016 - (Page 81)

DESIGNER PROFILE fixtures COU RT ES Y OF CHI PP EN HO O K , L E WI SVI L L E, T EX AS Getting to the Happy Point Natasha Watkins grew up in Dallas, shopping in vintage thrift shops, funky boutiques and trendy music stores. Now, as senior designer at Vassi Design Group's (Lewisville, Texas) Chippenhook brand, she works with the likes of Michael Kors, Neiman Marcus and Alfred Dunhill Ltd. Culture shock? She doesn't think so. Rather, she thinks she brings a new kind of objectivity - almost an innocence about the brands - that pumps freshness and life into her designs. An example was the jewelry displayer she created for Dunhill. To prepare, she first immersed herself in the company's history. "I love the research part of my job," she says, "diving into the brands. 'Who are their designers? What marketing images do they use? What does their runway experience look like?' I try to get their vibe." For Dunhill, inspired by first-class travel - vintage vehicles, ocean liners and streamlined trains - she created an elegant but simple travel trunk, completed with high-gloss black with chrome handles and hardware, which folded open with drawers that slid out. For Stephen Webster's ornate, edgy jewelry, she used basic geometric shapes and introduced a small visual surprise - delicate, asymmetrically placed rose gold feet. She also told the luxury story with materials and small details like stitching and hardware. Shapes and planes are critical to small jewelry display, she acknowledges, but "materials are my passion. I pretty much live in the resource room here." Watkins also loves the process of exchanging ideas back and forth until they "get to the happy point." And how does she measure that happiness? "It's all about the clients. When they rave about how it helped their sales and how they got compliments on it - it just melts my heart." -Steve Kaufman NATASHA WATKINS SENIOR DESIGNER CHIPPENHOOK/VASSI DESIGN GROUP "I love the research part of my job ... 'Who are their designers? What marketing images do they use? What does their runway experience look like?' I try to get their vibe." VMSD.COM | JANUARY 2016 81 http://www.VMSD.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - January 2016

Vmsd - January 2016
Contents
From the Editor
Editorial Advisory Board
Props + Decoratives
Lighting
Mannequins + Forms
Materials + Wallcoverings
Materials New Ravenna’s Sara Baldwin
Furniture
Fixtures
Fixtures Vassi Design Group/chippenhook’s Natasha Watkins
Flooring
Flooring Emma Gardner Design’s Emma Gardner
Signage + Graphics
Best of the Rest
Ad Index
Lasting Impression Melissa Shoes, New York

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