Celebrity Fashion Designer Returns to FIDM as a Guest Speaker
FGI-nominated Fashion Designer Jenna Piantedosi, a graduate of the Merchandise Product Development program, returned to her alma mater, virtually, as a guest speaker for Premier Students in the Merchandising & Marketing and Merchandise Product Development programs on Thursday. The 2012 Alumna is the creative entrepreneur behind the “chic with an edge” ready to wear lifestyle collection J. DOSI. She spoke to students about her journey and shared valuable industry experience and advice from her by-appointment design studio and showroom in Pacific Palisades, California.
Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, Jenna – who was also part of the Premier Group when she was at FIDM – told students she got her start in the industry with an internship at Herve Leger via FIDM’s Career Center. She went on to work for brands such as Bebe, Not Your Daughter’s Jeans, and Love Token, where she was the Creative Director. “I became knowledgeable in denim and washes,” she said. “I worked with domestic and overseas manufacturing, went to China, attended all the trade shows, and worked with showrooms and reps and got a lot of experience and knowledge.”
She said working with smaller companies where she was “really hands-on” helped prepare her for running her own line. Jenna discussed the challenges of launching a business, including the costs of attending trade shows, selling to buyers, and finding the right showroom. “I highly advise you to get the experience before launching your own line,” she said. “Sometimes you just have one chance so you want to make sure you really thought it out.” She told students she had a business plan and took out a loan to launch J. DOSI.
Serving as a guest speaker over Zoom had one advantage in that Jenna was able to give Premier Group students a virtual tour of her studio and showroom space. She highlighted pieces from her collection, including luxurious jackets crafted from printed leather and lace bonded suede, satin and chiffon blouses with logo buttons, and exclusive floral and animal prints designed by Jenna herself. Fans of Jenna’s designs include Meghan King, Heidi Pratt, and Maria Shriver, who wore J. DOSI to interview Joe Biden.
She also noted the ways she’s adapting during Covid. “I’m going to come out with an easier to wear collection for Fall 2021, maybe more leggings or softer blouses,” said Jenna, who plans to open a brick and mortar boutique in Las Vegas in the future. “And I'm personally shopping for my clients and doing virtual closet cleanups. We’ve also made some designer masks and they’ve been a good seller.” Jenna added that she wants to take J. DOSI global and focus more on selling direct-to-consumer since the margins are better and retailers are dealing with their own challenges.
When asked why she continues to make time in her busy schedule to speak to students she said: “I was that student and it’s really important to me if I can help and guide them. I just enjoy it and I really do love giving back. I wouldn’t be where I am today without FIDM, Eva Gilbert, and Estel Hahn. They have been my support system and team. I have taken advantage of everything I possibly could at FIDM. I owe great gratitude to the college for where I am today.”
Learn more about J. DOSI at jdosi.com and on Instagram @jdosi.
Jenna is offering the FIDM community a 70 percent discount using the code FIDM70 at checkout.