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DEBUT Student Brenda Soehendra Wants Women to Feel Their Best

DEBUT Student Brenda Soehendra Wants Women to Feel Their Best

When Advanced Fashion Design Student Brenda Soehendra moved to Los Angeles three years ago to pursue her dream of becoming a fashion designer, she didn’t know how to draw or sew. The Jakarta, Indonesia native has officially made her dream come true as one of 11 illustrious students who will show her first collection at DEBUT. We caught up with the designer to learn more about her womenswear collection, entitled “Out of Office,” her path to FIDM, and what she hopes people say when encountering her designs.  

Tell us about your DEBUT collection: It is a Spring/Summer collection that tells a story about a luxury tropical vacation full of relaxation and splurging. I love traveling and exploring new places, and that’s also where my inspiration always comes from—different places across the globe I’ve been to and those on my bucket list. My customer is a career woman who keeps herself busy during the weekdays and spends time with friends and family on weekends. She likes to reward herself with luxury vacations once in a while where she can have time for herself to rewind and relax. Her guilty pleasure is splurging on luxurious high quality clothing pieces and some fashion items once in a while. 

For this collection, I didn’t use a lot of different fabrics, but instead I chose to play with different colors. My fabrics are mainly silk charmeuse and polyurethane vinyl, and I also played with a bit of floral jacquard. I chose to use charmeuse because it is a luxurious fabric that feels good on the skin, so they can feel comfortable while still looking elegant wearing it. The polyurethane vinyl fabric that I use is a light, translucent fabric. Since it is a spring collection, I figured that women will want to start showing off their skin despite the still-chilly weather, which is why I especially choose a see-through fabric that can show off their figure and clothing inside their coats and jackets while still feeling cozy.

What was your path to FIDM? I’ve always known that I wanted to do something related to fashion and thought going to a fashion school would be a dream come true. I first heard about FIDM when I was a sophomore in high school. My sister was the one who pushed me to apply for the Merchandising & Marketing Program at FIDM, so I learned about the school and I was immediately sold. Merchandising & Marketing was the only major my family allowed me to take if I wanted to go to a fashion school. Deep down I always knew that I wanted to do Fashion Design, but I didn’t have the courage nor the confidence in myself to pursue that dream of mine. It wasn’t until halfway through my first quarter in FIDM when I convinced myself and my family that what I really wanted to learn. At last they gave in and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.

How is FIDM helping you get closer to your career goals? I learned a lot about the fashion industry from FIDM. Before going to FIDM, I only had my love for fashion, without any knowledge about the industry. I knew I wanted to become a fashion designer from the start, but I wasn’t quite sure of my ability. I came to FIDM with zero skills. I’d never touched a sewing machine before and did not have any drawing skills whatsoever. I love how FIDM has taught me everything from the basics to the process of making garments to the technical and the business part of it all. Moreover, FIDM provides us with a good connection to the industry. Through the Career Network, I was given opportunities to do internships with brands like Halston and gain some real life experience.

No one could have imagined a global pandemic would force DEBUT to be cancelled. How are you supporting one another or comforting yourself during this difficult time? Since the school promised to reschedule a runway show for us as soon as this whole pandemic is over we are all still holding on to that promise and are looking forward to our show. For now we are just putting a positive mindset and hope that this is over soon.

What do you hope people take away when seeing your designs? I hope people see my designs and want to have that exact second, thinking: “I want to wear that,” “I would die for that look,” “I would look so good in that.” I want people to wear my designs and feel beautiful, elegant, worthy, and powerful. I want women to feel their best wearing my garments.

FIDM regrets that, due to precautionary measures brought on by coronavirus, or COVID-19, we are canceling this year’s DEBUT and related events. In compliance with government recommendations, we plan to reschedule the event when it is possible to do so. We take the safety of our guests, students, staff, and faculty very seriously and thank you in advance for your understanding during this uncertain time.

Please follow us on Instagram for updates on how we are showcasing all of the student work from DEBUT.

Categories:  Advanced Fashion Design Student