Sometimes things don’t go to plan, that’s life right? Through chance meetings, experimentation, improvisation, mistakes, unexpected results or what I like to call happy accidents can occur. From Viagra to Velcro, Post-it notes to the Popsicle, it turns out that many well know inventions were designed by accident.
The reason I started pondering this issue is because someone recently asked me what inspired my two tone design. The truthful answer is that I was in a hurry to have a new sample made and so rather than ordering more leather, my sample maker suggested using one colour for the main body of the bag and some remnant leather of a different colour for the inside. I didn’t much like the sound of it but keen to see the structure of the bag as soon as possible I agreed and the rest, as they say is history.
Now lets take a look at the ubiquitous denim jean, it’s been said that on any given day of the week, the majority of people on the planet are wearing them. They were originally invented by Jacob Davis and Levi Strauss in 1873 as purely work trousers worn by gold miners during the Gold Rush. Fast forward nearly 150 years and they are now a fashion staple. Bootcut, straight leg, skinny, super skinny, flare, high rise, mid rise, low rise. I wonder what Davis and Strauss would think if they could see the world they had created.
It is rumoured that when Chanel Number 5 was being formulated, the pharmacists’s assistant added too much aldehyde to one of the batches, more than had ever been used in perfume making. So, the concoction that later became Chanel Number 5 was actually the result of a laboratory mistake.
The legendary fashion designer
Diane Von Fustenburg came up with the well-known wrap dress in 1974 and it has become
her most recognised creation. She has admitted that “… it happened by
accident. First it was a little wrap top inspired by what ballerinas wear, with
a matching skirt, and then I made it into a dress.”
…it happened by accident. First it was a little wrap top inspired by what ballerinas wear, with a matching skirt, and then I made it into a dress.
Diane Von Fustenburg
A mistake is exactly what got designer Raquel Allegra into tie-dye in the early days of her business. She was trying to dye some fabric a uniform color, but due to her inexperience ended up with something resembling tie-dye. She liked it even better.
Some people call this serendipity, some call it a happy accident. Whatever the case, if it changes the course of your life or business for the better, I’m all for it.