As the Director of Production and Product Development at Black Scale, a top streetwear label headquartered in San Francisco, FIDM Grad Devon Figueroa returned to the Los Angeles campus this week to meet with the students in the Premier Merchandise Product Development group, to offer advice and share his experience in the industry.
Devon Figueroa holds two degrees from FIDM, in Merchandise Product Development and in Menswear. After graduating, he was selected to participate in Nordstrom’s official internship program, where he worked directly under the Product Developer of Menswear and FIDM Grad, Scott Darlington.
“Nordstrom really, really, really takes care of their employees,” Devon told the students. He said they want their employees to be happy, and they maintain a consistent dialogue about that, in terms of opportunity and career. They offered him a position in NPG (Nordstrom Product Group) after he completed the internship, but he decided he wanted to move back to Los Angeles to pursue working for a small company.
It was then that he got the interview at Black Scale. He said when they looked at his portfolio they were afraid that he wanted to do more design work, but Devon asked for a chance to show them what he could do. It worked. He was hired as the Assistant Production Manager, and it wasn’t long before he was promoted to the Director of Production and Product Development, his current position.
He said he loves working on a small team, where he can have a big impact on helping to build the brand. The Los Angeles office has only three people: the Head Designer, the Creative Director, and him. At Nordstrom, the merchandiser makes the calls, but at Black Scale he handles the merchandising as well, which he likes.
As the Director of Production and PD, he makes decisions on fabric selection and manufacturing options. Black Scales does most of their production in China. He decided to save money on shipping, and do some manufacturing in Los Angeles, which he said he learned about at FIDM.
Black Scale works with musical artists and other influencers. A$AP Rocky was their main person for awhile. They’ve collaborated with Burton, Puma, Adidas, Rude, Off-White, and Motown Records. Soon, they’ll be collaborating with Midnight Studios. “Shane is always in the office,” Devon said.
Devon shared with the students that Money Ruins Everything, an agency and showroom in the fashion district of downtown Los Angeles, has the Black Scale account, and they’re always posting on Instagram that they’re looking for sales interns.
Categories: Menswear, Alumni News, Merchandise Product Development
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