Knitwear Grad is Sweater Designer at Kellwood

Knitwear Grad is Sweater Designer at Kellwood

Name: Zahra Knott

Hometown: Derby, KS

Current Residence: Los Angeles, CA

Job Title: Sweater Designer 

Company: Kellwood 

What were you doing prior to FIDM? Prior to attending FIDM, I worked at several boutique retail stores that specialized in knitting and weaving yarns. I taught classes on a variety of hand knitting and weaving techniques and designed custom sweaters for some of the clientele. 

How did you decide to study Fashion Knitwear Design at FIDM? I had earned a BFA degree in Textile Design from the University of Kansas, but my education was focused more on fine arts rather than clothing. After graduating and moving to LA, I had some success designing hand knit sweaters for Vogue Knitting. I really enjoyed it, but had never considered sweater design as a career. I knew I needed to learn more fashion design if I wanted break into the industry. That's when I heard about the knitwear program at FIDM, and their one-year Professional Designation A.A. Program for students already holding bachelor's degree. As a student returning to school in my early thirties, the program was a great fit for me, preparing me to embark on a new career in just a short amount of time.

How did the program help prepare you for your career? In addition to classes in fashion sketching and design, FIDM afforded me the opportunity to focus specifically on knitwear with access to industrial knitting machines and software. I also benefitted from the knowledgeable and encouragement of the faculty and staff who consistently made themselves available to me and helped me to secure my first job in the industry while I was still in school.

What are some of your day-to-day responsibilities and what do you enjoy most about your position? Working on several Juniors and Girls brands, some of my responsibilities include researching trends and materials, shopping for inspiration, developing and sketching new designs, creating initial techpacks for protos, following up with overseas vendors and factories, attending fittings, and managing sample garments. I enjoy the variety of tasks I get to do each day, and the opportunity to be both creative and analytical.