Justin Janda graduated in 2016 with degrees in Merchandise Product Development and Advanced Study Menswear. He is now the head development pattern maker and associate technical designer for 2253 Apparel Inc., working across all categories—junior, missy, plus, and men’s—on brands including Liverpool Jeans, Rawan, Revery, and Celebrity Pink USA.
Tell us a little about yourself: Born and raised in the Bay Area, I've always been surrounded by different cultures and people, which has truly inspired me to be where I am today. That environment exposed me to influential beings and opened my eyes to all the creatives there are in this world. I was always in the city taking in all the visuals around me and gaining experiences. We can truly draw some amazing inspiration by just walking around our neighborhoods and cities.
How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? Merchandise Product Development really helped me be prepared for my field because it focuses on both the technical design and fashion design aspects of the industry. As a technical designer and pattern maker, it is important to have a very strong knowledge of fit, construction, and fabrics. Every fabric fits differently and it is my job to adapt to each fabric’s fit accordingly. FIDM provided the best base I could ever have asked for. I truly believe I would not be where I am today if it was not for FIDM. From countless hours and days required to work on projects and portfolios, I feel that FIDM does a great job of getting you ready for the work world.
How did you decide on your major? When I originally was going through the application process, I really wanted to be in Fashion Design. But once I got more into the profession I really wanted to be in, as a technical designer and pattern maker; I knew Merchandise Product Development was the right major for me.
Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable? For my specific profession, the most valuable classes to me were all three fabric classes, Patternmaking 1 & 2, and Advanced Pre-Production. I feel like these seven classes gave me a very strong background and base to be able to do whatever I could think of when creating a garment.
Any advice for current FIDM Students? Take advantage of every opportunity. Any chance you get to ask a question, do it. You have to challenge yourself to prove that you are able to do what it is you dream of. Even if you feel like giving up at some point, don’t. Keep pushing.
From my experience, FIDM provides the best possible base from which to grow. It is up to you to keep growing and really push yourself to be the best you can. Do not be afraid to dream bigger, we are supposed to push boundaries. Be the best you can be and do not be afraid of taking risks.
What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal right now is to be the best possible pattern maker at the highest level. Throughout my daily life, I do my best to continue to push my own limits. I feel like that’s the only way to keep growing. Once we really push those limits, it is then that we notice what we are actually capable of.
Anything else you’d like to share? Just remember, every day can’t be the best day, so take the bad with the good and keep grinding. It’s one heck of ride and I wouldn’t change it for the world.