November 9th, 45 min

Eileen Fisher: Embracing imperfect newness

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Eileen Fisher

Eileen Fisher

Founder, Eileen Fisher, Inc.
About The Episode

In his book The Laws of Simplicity, John Maeda says that “simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.” Our final guest this season, Eileen Fisher, is a master at making the simple, meaningful.

Eileen is the founder of her eponymous and iconic fashion brand Eileen Fisher, Inc., which is known for its ethical & sustainable practices, and elegant yet simple clothing. She started the company in 1984, and grew it from her first sale of $3000, to annual revenue of over $300 million.

We speak with Eileen about her design principles, how she thinks about form, function, and sustainability, and how systems thinking has helped her develop a brand that stands the test of time.

We’re so glad you joined us for the sixth season of our show, and hope you were inspired along the way. Stay tuned for the next season, and in the meantime, we’ll be sharing some of our best episodes from past seasons, in case you missed them. Thanks for listening.


Eileen Fisher founded her women’s fashion brand in 1984, with $350 of startup money. It’s since grown into a company with over 1200 employees and hundreds of millions of dollars a year in revenue. The company focuses on producing simple, timeless clothing, with sustainability initiatives including selling used pieces in excellent condition—resold through their Renew take-back program—as well as a Waste No More program which transforms damaged clothes into a new felted fabric, used to create wall hangings, pillows, and other accessories.

Meet Your Hosts

Aarron Walter
VP of Design Education

Aarron Walter is Director of Product on the COVID Response team at Resolve to Save Lives. Previously, he was VP of Design Education at InVision, and founded the UX practice at Mailchimp where he helped grow the product from a few thousand users to more than 10 million. He’s the author of a number of books, the latest of which is a second edition of Designing for Emotion. Aarron’s design guidance has helped the White House, the US Department of State, and dozens of major corporations, startups, and venture capital firms.

You can find Aarron on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Eli Woolery
Director of Design Education

Eli is the Director of Design Education at InVision. His design career spans both physical and digital products, and he has worked with companies ranging from startups (his own and others) to Fortune 500 companies.

In addition to his background in product and industrial design, he has been a professional photographer and filmmaker. He teaches the senior capstone class Implementation to undergraduate Product Designers at Stanford University. You can find Eli on Twitter and Medium.

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Uncover insights from the world’s top designers and creatives

In our sixth season, we’re looking beyond the design team to explore the far reaches of collaboration, and we’ll surface a cross-disciplinary approach to doing complex work with diverse teams.