New Coordinator Brings Expanded Vision to LIM’s Colors & Materials Lab

LIM College’s Color & Materials Lab boasts a large selection of fabric samples and materials, and is the perfect place for new ideas and innovations. Now, it also has a new coordinator — Visual Merchandising faculty member Katie Hawkins.

Among other professional accomplishments, Professor Hawkins formerly headed the Visual Merchandising department at Christian Dior North America. Her vision for the Color & Materials Lab includes extending the sample library to be further inclusive of temporary materials and artistic mediums currently prevalent in the field. 

She is also launching "The Color & Materials Lab Presents," a series of workshops, studio visits, and guest speakers featuring color and materials “movers and shakers.” Events this semester include a Studio Visit to Roboto NYC, a 3D Printing studio, and a Tabletop Styling Workshop with prop stylist Katalin Junek.

Professor Hawkins says that her love of color and materials comes from years of working in fashion and the arts.

She notes, “My fashion career really began in business development working with British label Temperley London and then for Converse by John Varvatos. At that time, I was learning about the industry, working with designers and marketing to understand creative direction and how that translates to retail.”

She delved into Visual Merchandising at Max Mara, where she was hired as a Senior Visual Merchandiser.

“Working for an Italian fashion house that is so closely linked to the art world was a great education in product merchandising and global brand image. I had a lot of exposure to store and interior design, and gained knowledge of architectural materials, fine finishes, furniture and floral.”

After that Professor Hawkins went on to head the Visual Merchandising department for Christian Dior North America as Senior Director of Visual Merchandising, overseeing visual merchandising across all retail and wholesale channels, showrooms, and special events.

Currently, Professor Hawkins runs independent design studio And Or Forever. She and studio partner Carr Chadwick design and produce a wide variety of spaces for set designs, fashion shows, pop ups, and exhibitions.

“We have created some fun projects utilizing materials in interesting ways - turning concrete sonotubes [cardboard tubes used for concrete forming] into a Bauhaus ballet set, using Mardi Gras float pomps [small squares of paper or foil] to spell out a fashion designer’s logo, and wrapping a snowmobile in a graphic print!”

For more information on "The Color & Materials Lab Presents" events email: katie.hawkins@limcollege.edu.