Isy Andrade Designs Menswear for Her DEBUT Collection
Born in Bogota, Colombia, Isy Andrade moved at the age of five with her family to Milton, Ontario in Canada where she grew up and attended Milton District High School. After graduating in 2020, she moved to Los Angeles to attend FIDM and earned her A.A. in Fashion Design, after which she was accepted into the prestigious Advanced Fashion Design program. The designer will be showing an inspired collection at FIDM’s Annual DEBUT Runway Show event this spring. We caught up with her to learn more.
Tell us a little about yourself: I moved to Los Angeles in 2020 amidst the pandemic to attend FIDM. After graduating from the A.A. Fashion Design program, an amazing professor of mine, Jonie Thomas, recommended me to Nick and David to apply for the DEBUT program. Once the opportunity presented itself I knew it was the right decision, and I have loved being a part of this program.
Tell us about your DEBUT collection: The name of my collection is freakware, and it’s a visual representation of my muse; the nameless guy who you only watch in a sudden glimpse. In a fleeting moment he captivates and confuses you: a mystery personified. By creating a whole persona and character behind my collection, I’ve been able to push my creative limits and explore the world of menswear. This is my first time ever designing menswear and it’s definitely been a very inspiring and creatively demanding task.
What silhouettes and fabrics can we expect to see? My design aesthetic is definitely colorful and out of the box. By carefully curating this collection to blend with my own aesthetic as well as mens streetwear, I’ve been able to create a wonderful display of orchestrated chaos with colors and fabrications acting as the foundation of the collection.
What is your point of view, as a designer? I’m someone who doesn’t ever like to take themselves too seriously and I approach every aspect of my life with this in mind. Fashion is expression, and that expression is always subjective. My main prerogative will always be to express whatever makes me feel joy, regardless of outside opinions or standards.
How do you hope people will feel when they see your designs? I hope people simply feel when they see my collection. Fashion has the ability to stir up so many different emotions, and if my collection makes someone feel even the slightest bit of anything then I know I did my job right.
What inspires you as a creative and as a fashion designer? My biggest inspiration is just the human experience. I like to design with feelings in mind, and remembering moments of extreme happiness, excitement, sadness and even anger. Designing with intention has gotten me to where I am today in my creative journey, and as I grow as a designer I hope to continue developing this mindset.
What is a lesson you've learned as you've been working on your collection? The biggest lesson I’ve learned has been the importance of showing up for yourself. Being a designer is challenging, and there’s always a million things you have to think about. It’s very draining in every single aspect, however no one is going to get you to the place you wanna be except yourself. Accountability and responsibility are so important and working on this collection has taught me that in so many different ways.
Tell us about your path to FIDM: FIDM has helped me grow into myself as a designer in many ways. I've been lucky to have worked with really great professors who have opened my eyes to so many new things. Looking back at my first day at FIDM compared to now, I’m so pleased and thankful for the way I’ve been encouraged to develop my skills as a designer.
How is FIDM helping you get closer to your career goals? FIDM has given me opportunities to freely express my creativity and build a portfolio that I’m proud of. Their network and connections have helped me get my foot in the door and I’ve been able to work at some great brands through them.
Any advice for someone considering applying to be a DEBUT student? If you feel like DEBUT is for you, go for it. This program has improved my skills in a way I never thought was possible, and I’ve learned so much in such a short period of time. I recommend anyone who is interested in debut to do it because you will come out the other side a much stronger designer.
Anything else you'd like to share? I’d like to say that I couldn’t have done any of this or gotten to the place I am without the never-ending support of all my friends and family. I’m so excited for everyone to see this collection and I’m so thankful for everyone who has helped and encouraged me along the way.