VMSD - January 2012 - (Page 15)

PROPS + DECORATIVES designer profile MELISSA HOPF This paper princess shares her hands-on approach to prop making and what’s on the books for summer 2012. Melissa Hopf has paper flowers, and glue and lacquer and varnish, in her blood – and in her hair, in her pockets and perhaps under her fingernails. The new president of Judith Von Hopf (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.) has been working in her mother’s props and decoratives factory since she was a little girl, handdrawing display flowers, cutting them out and, as a young adult, lugging her huge sample case around to retail clients. Times and company leadership have changed. Unchanged, though, is her company’s creative approach to product development, its “what if…” brainstorming process that produces so many of what Hopf calls “strange accidents.” “We don’t do a lot of drawings,” says Hopf. “We do 1 more think-tanking and hands-on testing. Someone will say, ‘Let’s cut some burlap and see what we get.’ Or ‘What if we took some shrink wrap and melted it on this birch 1 The Judith Von Hopf flowers for Sephora’s Christmas branch, what would it look like?’ ” window were all handmade in California. Now putting the company’s summer line together, Hopf ’s creative team is looking at new ways to re-create grass. “What if we took this butcher paper, hand-dyed it, cut it into thick strips, mounted it on a backing and made this chunky, funky, thick paper grass that’s totally different?” she suggests. They’ve come up with a way to emulate water, another popular summer theme, “ We don’t do a lot of by spraying tulle netting with insulation foam. “It takes on a form of its own, bubdrawings. We do more bling and expanding,” she says. “Then we’re painting it with an ombre effect to crethink-tanking and ate a multi-colored watery blue, like the ocean.” Hopf ’s innovations don’t end with paper and scissors. She’s about to unveil a hands-on testing.” new company website with an interactive designer showcase, which mocks up a digital store window with some completely original ideas. The site will also include an ongoing trend-report blog for her designers and outside contributors. “We’re so caught up in the process of making things, we haven’t always joined the world we’re part of, the retail and fashion world,” she says. “We want to inspire our clients, even if I can’t call on all of them anymore with my giant sample case.” —Steve Kaufman vmsd.com | JANUARY 2012 15 http://www.vmsd.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - January 2012

VMSD - January 2012
Contents
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
Props + Decoratives
Judith Von Hopf’s Melissa Hopf
Lighting
Mannequins + Forms
Seven Continents’ Ken Albright
Materials + Wallcoverings
Furniture
Fixtures
Chippenhook’s Steve Kidwell
Flooring
Centiva’s Leigh Wright
Signage + Graphics
Best of the Rest
Ad Index
Lasting Impression

VMSD - January 2012

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