Makeover Challenge

Dashing Diva Moves Forward with Packages from John Waski Design

Posted: October 4, 2009 by

The 2008 Package Design Makeover Challenge was a great success. Our readers chose Atomica Design Group as the best overall package redesign of the Dashing Diva line of products. See the cover story for a thorough exploration of the illustration background that led to Atomica's success.

Even though the readers voiced their opinion clearly, Dashing Diva has decided to go in a different direction. The management at Dashing Diva was most impressed by the design approach of the JohnWaski Design firm. In fact, they have committed to developing packaging based on those designs. Robert Cleary, director of product development and operations at Dashing Diva, is very excited to introduce new products and packages in 2009 based on the designs from partners John and Norma Kwan-Waski. 

"We love this design," Cleary gushes. "We think they were spot on.We felt thatWaski Design best captured the modern woman without catering to the clichés or outdated definitions of femininity." Dashing Diva had established itself with a sophisticated, urbane product line and an ultrapampering salon experience. The task before the four Makeover Challenge design teams was to create a new direction for Dashing Diva to bridge the gap between the brand's history and its future.

The New Design Direction for Dashing Diva

John and Norma enjoyed Cleary's energy and passion for the category. "He knows what he wants," John says, "and he knows his brand." Cleary did not have any second thoughts on moving forward with the designs from John Waski at first sight. The Dashing Diva management did consider Atomica's design direction for a short time, but the "modern" versus "retro" decision was easy to make in the end.

Looking ahead

The brand owners see Dashing Diva as an edgy, urbane lifestyle experience in the stores and now in the packaging, as Cleary hopes to "reignite" the retail drive with a fresh approach. Cleary's intention has been to bring the blue-sky designs ofWaski down to earth while maintaining the integrity of John's and Norma's inspirations. He faced some difficulties in finding packaging sourcing companies that shared his vision for collaborative public relations campaign and an extended relationship. The most visionary he found, VPI Packaging Inc. in Nutley, NJ, agreed to work with him to get low minimums on initial purchases in the hopes of an extended relationship.

Original Dashing Diva Packages

The two new packages shown here are new product launches for Dashing Diva, and will probably hit stores in February. The structure of the 6-1/2" MoistureWhip bottle is based on theWaski Hand Veneer bottle design, where the bottom is the top (the dispensing end). Cleary knew he had to create a custom-mold bottle for this package, but he still hopes to find a stock dispensing cap that will fit.

As a bonus, Cleary noticed that pairing the Butter Scrub stock jar with the MoistureWhip package immediately makes it look more upscale and custom. He hopes to maintain the relationship with JohnWaski Design as a collaborative partnership as they move forward with new products. Dashing Diva is already considering moving its entire nail polish line into the small custom-shaped bottles of Waski's Makeover Challenge submission.

Design directions

Cleary took the designs to FashionWeek in New York City to show the new concepts around informally and gauge response. It was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. "That kind of validated what we were thinking all along," says John. TheWaskis also received positive, detailed, and thoughtful comments about their Challenge submission from longtime clients.

Popular vote winner by Atomica Design Group

At FashionWeek, Cleary knew he had a unique opportunity to plant seeds in the minds of industry players and to elicit genuine, unguarded reactions. "I wanted to see the look on their faces," Cleary says. The power of buzz is undeniable in fashion, and he knew that exposing the designs to a few of the most vocal players could have a significant PR impact.

Norma explains how she and John approached the project. "Dashing Diva was really looking for something that's timeless," says Norma. The goal was to create something upscale and a little over the top, embracing the bluesky opportunity the Challenge presented. John remarks, "This shows you can go way out with something, and as long as it's distinct and clear, you can pull it back."

The Waskis believe they succeeded because the design approach was upscale but still fun and exciting. Norma stresses how the designs tried to create a new classic take on elegance that could also help the brand be very extendable for different Dashing Diva lines. "I think it's a very good first step, and it's already leading the way in upscale cosmetics," says Norma. .The 2008 Package Design Makeover Challenge was a great success. Our readers chose Atomica Design Group as the best overall package redesign of the Dashing Diva line of products. See the cover story for a thorough exploration of the illustration background that led to Atomica's success.

Even though the readers voiced their opinion clearly, Dashing Diva has decided to go in a different direction. The management at Dashing Diva was most impressed by the design approach of the JohnWaski Design firm. In fact, they have committed to developing packaging based on those designs. Robert Cleary, director of product development and operations at Dashing Diva, is very excited to introduce new products and packages in 2009 based on the designs from partners John and Norma Kwan-Waski.

 

"We love this design," Cleary gushes. "We think they were spot on.We felt thatWaski Design best captured the modern woman without catering to the clichés or outdated definitions of femininity." Dashing Diva had established itself with a sophisticated, urbane product line and an ultrapampering salon experience. The task before the four Makeover Challenge design teams was to create a new direction for Dashing Diva to bridge the gap between the brand's history and its future.

John and Norma enjoyed Cleary's energy and passion for the category. "He knows what he wants," John says, "and he knows his brand." Cleary did not have any second thoughts on moving forward with the designs from John Waski at first sight. The Dashing Diva management did consider Atomica's design direction for a short time, but the "modern" versus "retro" decision was easy to make in the end.

Looking ahead

The brand owners see Dashing Diva as an edgy, urbane lifestyle experience in the stores and now in the packaging, as Cleary hopes to "reignite" the retail drive with a fresh approach. Cleary's intention has been to bring the blue-sky designs ofWaski down to earth while maintaining the integrity of John's and Norma's inspirations. He faced some difficulties in finding packaging sourcing companies that shared his vision for collaborative public relations campaign and an extended relationship. The most visionary he found, VPI Packaging Inc. in Nutley, NJ, agreed to work with him to get low minimums on initial purchases in the hopes of an extended relationship.

The two new packages shown here are new product launches for Dashing Diva, and will probably hit stores in February. The structure of the 6-1/2" MoistureWhip bottle is based on theWaski Hand Veneer bottle design, where the bottom is the top (the dispensing end). Cleary knew he had to create a custom-mold bottle for this package, but he still hopes to find a stock dispensing cap that will fit.

As a bonus, Cleary noticed that pairing the Butter Scrub stock jar with the MoistureWhip package immediately makes it look more upscale and custom. He hopes to maintain the relationship with JohnWaski Design as a collaborative partnership as they move forward with new products. Dashing Diva is already considering moving its entire nail polish line into the small custom-shaped bottles of Waski's Makeover Challenge submission.

Design directions

Cleary took the designs to FashionWeek in New York City to show the new concepts around informally and gauge response. It was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. "That kind of validated what we were thinking all along," says John. TheWaskis also received positive, detailed, and thoughtful comments about their Challenge submission from longtime clients.

Popular vote winner by Atomica Design Group

At FashionWeek, Cleary knew he had a unique opportunity to plant seeds in the minds of industry players and to elicit genuine, unguarded reactions. "I wanted to see the look on their faces," Cleary says. The power of buzz is undeniable in fashion, and he knew that exposing the designs to a few of the most vocal players could have a significant PR impact.

Norma explains how she and John approached the project. "Dashing Diva was really looking for something that's timeless," says Norma. The goal was to create something upscale and a little over the top, embracing the bluesky opportunity the Challenge presented. John remarks, "This shows you can go way out with something, and as long as it's distinct and clear, you can pull it back."

The Waskis believe they succeeded because the design approach was upscale but still fun and exciting. Norma stresses how the designs tried to create a new classic take on elegance that could also help the brand be very extendable for different Dashing Diva lines. "I think it's a very good first step, and it's already leading the way in upscale cosmetics," says Norma.

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