Mary McDonald

Mary explains why she loved and struggled while collaborating with Monika Chiang.

on Dec 4, 2012

This episode we see one of my NYC city projects unfold with the usual client designer interactive drama. I say usual because all design jobs involve either in front-of-the-scene drama or behind-the-scenes drama that no one but the office knows about. Of course having a camera there for TV you get to catch the problems clients rarely even know about. We can't let them because it is not their problem. It is ours. Now it is all of ours, so I wish some of you out there would dive in and help!

So basically for this episode I have been hired by infamous Venture capitalist Chris Burch to help redesign the SoHo store of his latest clothing brand Monika Chiang. Of course I am honored, considering he was the business man behind Tory Burch and am feeling the pressure of doing a good job -- perhaps more than normal -- which is high to begin with!

Well first of all Monika is basically a supermodel that is eight feet tall and about 16 ounces in total, so that is enough to not want to show up for work without design strife! She is actually funny and friendly in person but seems icy when dealing in our design meetings. In reality, I get her vibe because after all Monika has her own brand to consider and has a strong idea of what she wants to say through her store -- even if it is filtered through my vision. It is probably the most fun and simultaneously the most challenging collaborating with another designer even in another field because they are open to being more outside the box but also have very definite ideas what is in their own head. My goal as a professional is to come up with good design with a complete visionary point of view that is also pleasing to the client.