Alumna Sofia Masuda Invited to Show Collections in LA and Paris Fashion Weeks
FIDM Alumna Sofia Masuda was recently invited to participate in both LA and Paris Fashion Weeks based on the designs from her DEBUT collection, which incorporated her background in textiles as well as an embrace of her culture. “I am half-Japanese and half-Mexican, and I have always found culture and diversity interesting. Growing up in Los Angeles in a very diverse community, I had the opportunity to really understand the importance of our differences. Viewing the world through the eyes of a diverse background is beautiful and I have always wanted to capture the beauty in our differences.” While her original DEBUT designs got the organizers’ attention, Sofia will be designing new pieces for both events, as a part of her brand, Oyuki Designs.
Sofia attended Arcadia High School in the San Gabriel Valley just outside Los Angeles before heading to FIDM. She’s earned an A.A. in Textile Design, a B.A. in Design, and an Advanced A.A. in Fashion Design, with a final graduation in 2021. We checked in with her to learn more.
You’ve been invited to both LA and Paris Fashion Week. Congrats! How did both of those come about? What will you be showing? Thank you! I am very excited for all the opportunities and the projects I have been fortunate to take part in and am going to participate in this coming year. LAFW was this past October and it was such a great experience. I was in two shows. One was with a company who found me on Instagram and reached out to feature my collection from the FIDM Advanced program in their show, along with some additional menswear pieces. The other show was with the company Preview Models where I also showed my DEBUT collection. I was contacted by one of their producers who I had networked with during my time at FIDM.
In regards to Paris Fashion Week, I was contacted by DLAS Fashion Week, who found me on Instagram and saw my show in Palm Springs. They reached out to invite me to take part in their show in Paris. I will be designing and showing a whole new collection for my international debut and am really excited about such a great opportunity.
You are also working currently as a kidswear designer at Best of Chums. Tell us about that: I am the designer at Best of Chums. We are a high-end, wholesale kidswear company that produces and distributes to boutiques and department stores nationwide. I design for the three brands we carry: Mabel and Honey, Isobella and Chloe, and Mayhem. The responsibilities that come with this role start with the design process. I work on and alter about two hundred tech packs a season, along with working with a design team to hand pick fabrics and prints. I have also had the opportunity to design some original prints as well. Additionally, I am responsible for all communication with our manufacturers. This includes measurement adjustments and relaying design notes to get to our final products. I work on merchandising the line and working with the team to create the lookbooks for the season. I was also fortunate to have the opportunity to travel with the company to sell at the tradeshows in various states across the country, including New York and Texas.
How are you enjoying the role? Is it a good fit? I am enjoying it so far. I am about to be with the company for a year now and overall the experience has been amazing. I love the work environment and getting the opportunity to learn so much about the industry in such a small amount of time and getting hands-on experience has truly been amazing.
How did FIDM help prepare you for this position? FIDM helped prepare me for the position I am in now in every way! My first degree in Textile Design helped me get a better understanding of fabrics, prints, and a lot of the technical skills I use daily. The B.A. program taught me about concept design and collection development. The Advanced Fashion Design program gave me the technical skills of developing tech packs and an understanding of garment construction. Overall the skills I learned of how to problem solve, time manage, and work on a design team developed over my entire time at FIDM.
Anything else you’d like to share? I would also like to share the name of my brand which is Oyuki Designs. It is still in development, but I am working on some exciting projects to come in the next year.
Follow Sofia’s work on Instagram @sofiemasuda and @oyuki_designs.