Name: Allyson Ansusinha
Title/Company: Director of Product Development for Appalatch
FIDM Major: Fashion Design
FIDM Grad Year: December 2011
Tell us a little about yourself. I'm always itching to create and to work with my hands. I love textiles and clothing. I love being a maker of style, or as I like to say, a facilitator of communication. Style is communicating your personality to the world and I love being a part of that. I love walking outside and watching the wind blow through the trees, doing yoga, reading fiction, and weaving fabric. I try to be optimistic and always look on the bright side.
What is Appalatch's mission? Our mission is to make high-quality, honest, accessible clothing in America. We want our clothing to have a wider reach than expensive luxury brands, but with the same quality. We create clothing with sentimental value, because we want it to be passed down through generations. We design with lasting style and quality to make that happen.
What is a typical day like for you as Director of Product Development? A typical day will have me bouncing all over the place. Working at a start up means I wear many hats. Things are constantly changing, and I roll with the punches. I may start by thinking about design and meditating on a concept before diving into conversations about our direction with assistants. Once the mood is set I like to start with textiles; I work with the Stoll Knitwear software to program a knit design that's in my head, and knit a sample. Usually I have to edit and repeat that step a few times. Once I'm satisfied with the textile, I either drape or flat pattern the garment design. Being the Director of Product Development means that I design all of our products and think through exactly how they're going to be made. It's like a puzzle, and I love it.
What is your favorite aspect of your job? I love how rewarding the finished product is. My creative process tends to be chaotic--ideas, fabric swatches, and garment samples pile up. Sometimes I feel like I have to swim through the studio. But when a collection is finished and I see all of the the beautiful textures, graphics and silhouettes I created with the help of my team I feel so satisfied.
How has FIDM helped you in your career? FIDM gave me an amazing foundation for working in this industry. My pattern making and sewing skills became super polished at FIDM, I learned to make tech packs (so important), and I learned how much work it really is to take the concept of a garment into reality.
Any advice for current FIDM Students? Work your butt off. You really have to be ambitious and put forth the effort to better yourself and grow. Listen to your intuition and don't let anyone take advantage of you. Oh, also, sleep. It does your body, mind, and spirit good.
Categories: Fashion Knitwear Design, Fashion, Designer, Alumni, Careers
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