Alumni Q&A: Alison Knabbe, Class of 2016

What’s happening in your career now?
I’m the 3D Design Coordinator in Global Creative Development at Coach. My team and I design all Coach window displays, pop-up shops, wholesale shop-in-shops, wholesale window displays, and store interior props. I work on all phases of the design process, starting with conceptualization all the way to the final hand-off to production or final install.

If you could go back in time and give career advice to your younger self, what would it be?
Trust YOUR process. Everyone takes a different path — and everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. The journey won’t be easy, but there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel waiting to lead you to exactly where you belong. Nothing worthwhile comes easy. The harder you work, the greater the reward.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in your industry?
Be a quiet professional. Quiet professionals know the grind. Have patience and stay focused. Take each day as an opportunity and challenge to be better than you were the day before. Keep learning, keep improving, and keep grinding. Stay humble and never forget where you came from. Set your expectations high and never settle. 

What career accomplishment are you most proud of?
My proudest moment at Coach was the first pop-up shop that I designed. We partnered with a high-end boutique in Miami for an art installation-based pop-up for Art Basel that featured our collaboration with Gary Baseman, an American contemporary artist. It was the first time we designed a pop-up shop for Art Basel, so there was a lot of hype. The design process was long and stressful, but I’ll never forget the overwhelming emotion I felt when I walked into the store and saw the way my design came to life.