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Employee Spotlight: Lacey Prince

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Lucasfilm’s Senior Manager of Product Development Takes Us Into the World of Softlines

How would you describe your day-to-day responsibilities?

I lead the softlines product development team. That basically means all apparel, accessories, and home categories for Star Wars. We cover everything from a t-shirt you’d find at Target to high-end watches and home décor in collaboration with brands such as Nixon, Pottery Barn, or Rag & Bone.

There is never a dull moment. No day is the same. For Star Wars we’re really managing things at a global level. We work with our regional counterparts to develop products all over the world.

What was your background before coming to Lucasfilm?

My background was actually in home textiles. I worked in interior design but also did costume design and always loved fashion & product. I then went and worked for the Disney Stores as a merchandiser and gained lots of experience working with licensed product. It’s where I learned the business side. The chance to return to San Francisco and the region where I grew up was a big part of coming here to Lucasfilm.

Do you remember your first day here?

What stands out in my memory is that I was trying not to get lost! We have all these original theatrical movie posters lining the hallways here at our San Francisco campus. You can easily lose your way, so I’d end up using the posters as landmarks to get around!

When developing products, how do you collaborate with different licensees?

There’s a lot of partnership in everything we do. We have hundreds of licensees and work with them on the initial direction of each project from trend to color palette and art aesthetic. We are always looking to tell a story through the product, incorporating special details where we can.  We influence the design, the aesthetic, and we also make sure that the products meet our standards. The goal is to create the best Star Wars product out there.

Does your team develop concepts for products or do the licensees?

It goes both ways. Even retailers will sometimes come to us with a big idea and then we’ll help determine which licensees might be best to bring that idea to life. Then there are times when we have an original concept that we’ll take to someone to help create.

For example, we just launched a new jacket with Columbia Sportswear. It’s a parka inspired by an original crew jacket worn on location in Norway during filming of The Empire Strikes Back. We had an unusual window this holiday season where there is no movie release so we wanted to do something special and authentic. Columbia has been a great partner for years, and in the past we’ve done things inspired by character designs, so we thought it’d be fun to go in a different direction. Columbia helped bring the design to life.

Is it unusual to do something like re-creating crew gear?

We’re going to see! Hopefully people are excited. We’ve had similar success with things that are fan-driven. It’s a limited edition run.

Is there a particular partnership or product that was especially challenging?

Something that comes to mind is the launch of our first baby collection. We’ve never done newborn infant programs in the United States. What could a Star Wars infant or newborn offering look like? We tried to be mindful to what fans have expressed an interest in and capture the essence of our franchise but in a way that’s sweeter or softer.

How do you bring the Death Star into a nursery?

We embroider it! That’s what we do! We take the Death Star and hand-embroider it onto a piece of wall art. It was a new aesthetic to think about. We do so in partnership with Pottery Barn Baby and Gap Baby.

You mention “essence” in Star Wars products. What does that mean to you?

It’s really important to make sure that we capture the storytelling value in our products. We want to make sure that what we’re doing is relevant to what’s happening in our films, series, and beyond. If we’re working on a specific character it needs to be authentic to their attributes. Would a character do that certain thing or say something in that way? We’ll even go back to reference photography for costume details. Fans look for and expect that level of detail. It’s important across the board.

What keeps you excited in your work?

I‘ve always loved the product side, being able to work hands-on and bring ideas to life. What’s rewarding is being able to understand the process, watching a product go all the way through development and then show up in the market, or even see someone wearing something.

I also love being surrounded by the passion for the franchise. It’s infectious. You feed off that. I wasn’t a hardcore Star Wars fan before coming into this job, but I have such a newfound love for it now.

If you were to estimate the number of products you’ve been involved with, how many would you say?

Well covering all product development – that’s softlines and hardlines – we do about 50,000 products a year. That’s how many we’re looking at, but not all of them come to life. That’s hundreds of thousands of ideas year after year.

With apparel alone we’re always in motion. In fashion there’s always the desire for something new, something on trend. So we’re developing into trend and seasonal interests. It’s ever changing. We work on everything at once, all seasons. I could be working on something that’ll come out tomorrow or one year from now.

What traits do you think are needed to be successful in your line of work?

There’s a level of detail one needs to have. Creativity, openness, and flexibility are also big ones. We’re always shifting products and strategies. There’s something fun and unique about someone bringing in their point of view or passion for the franchise.  I’m always looking for new ideas we’ve never explored. There’s a galaxy of endless possibilities out there.


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