Behind the scenes: This is how the accessories are created at Cabaia 🧠
"How and where are Cabaïa products designed?" , "When will the new collection be released?" , "Will this accessory also be available in pink?"
Every day we receive many questions about the new collections or about the way we design our accessories.... Today we allow you a look behind the scenes: Welcome to the paradise of the Cabaïa product team, who think day and night about how to design even more ingenious accessories that will turn your everyday life into an adventure!
Step 1: The idea
Which product should be developed next? What new colours will appear this season? How can we improve our current collections? These are the existential questions that our entire product team answers in regular meetings! All this happens under the watchful eye of Lorraine, our Product Manager. To find answers to all these questions, the team visits trade fairs, scours magazines for the latest trends, probes the opinions of the entire office, studies the current market...
"One of the first steps when thinking about a new product is to study the competition and the market - we call it benchmarking. We look at the products, prices, ranges, materials and everything that's out there right now to know exactly what our Cabaïa community is currently missing."
Sandra, Textile Buyer and Product Manager
Step 2: Your opinion is needed
Who could know better what he or she needs ...than you? Every month we send out a questionnaire about the current products. Would you like to take part? Follow us on Instagram or subscribe to our newsletter! This questionnaire is an important part of the development of our products, it gives us valuable information about which features we should prioritise in our products.
Step 3: The design
After we have collected all your opinions, it is the turn of our product engineer Hugo. He will analyse your answers and come up with several design proposals, all of which will try to meet as many criteria as possible. But beware, he has to deal with technical and financial constraints, such as the cutting direction of a fabric, the available materials or even the durability of a material...
"The development of a product is very time-consuming: It takes at least 9 months up to a year to launch a new accessory. In order to create a new collection (patterns, colours) with existing productis we have to plan a year in advance."
Lorraine, Product Manager
Once the final design of the bag or backpack and its technical features have been confirmed, it's time to get down to the aesthetics! Lucie, our collection manager, is in charge of this. Her goal is to find the perfect balance between the traditional patterns, and new colours and designs...
"Colourful and flowery patterns are the most successful at Cabaia. At the moment, there is also a big trend towards peppy, vitamin-packed colours, as well as geometric and floral prints, directly inspired by the 1970s."
Lucie, Collection Manager
Step 4: The prototypes
Once the design has been validated, it's time to finally give life to the product: and for that, we launch the prototypes. In the mean time, Amandine and Sandra, product manager and buyer, have been busy finding the best suppliers and factories to bring our project to life. Our search criteria: BSCI or SMETA certified factories, eco-responsible materials and above all impeccable quality.
"Negotiating, getting our suppliers to meet deadlines, finding the recycled materials.... These are our daily challenges."
Amandine, Luggage Buyer and Product Manager
And this is where the back and forth of prototypes begins! The product team reviews them all and decides either: to rework them - to validate them - to abandon them. To make their choice, they try to limit duplication, they think about coherence with the current season. Once the prototypes have been validated, production can begin!
But sometimes we just can't decide...
And this is where we need you!
Lorraine, Amandine, Sandra and Lucie can't agree on the colours for this capsule collection which should be released in 2023. Can you help them decide?
We hope you enjoyed this little dive into the product team! While we wait for tomorrow's collections to be released, you can still read more about our adventures with our bike bag. We also tell you more about our recycled materials. And if you want to follow Lorraine for a day as a collection manager, it's this way.