FIDM x GUESS Collab on Sustainability Courses
Top fashion designers from Guess made a special visit to the Creative Patternmaking Design class recently on the Los Angeles campus to mentor FIDM Students on design sustainability projects. Students were challenged to create patterns for existing garments, implementing sustainability practices.
“I was impressed that the students stayed focused on the design component and didn’t compromise due to the limitations of the project,” said Guess Designer Jessica Varela.
The class is the first in a series of four 10-week courses taught by FIDM Instructor Tricia Edwards. In this unique FIDM x Guess partnership, Guess funds the classes, providing everything from books to supplies. In fact, Jaclyn Allen, the Director of Corporate Sustainability at Guess who had the initial vision for the project, worked closely with Special Projects Chair Amanda Starling to review the curriculum we developed, and then coordinated the Guess designers to review the student projects and offer industry feedback.
Another unique aspect about the partnership is that several technical designers currently working full-time at Guess are also enrolled in the 10-week class, providing a unique opportunity for FIDM Students to study alongside industry professionals, learning from them and making valuable industry connections.
FIDM Student Byanka Alzaga said, “It is really interesting to hear from the Guess employees because they have so much experience in the industry. We learn different ways to minimize the waste each week, so seeing their take on each exercise is eye opening. The Guess team helped me see the different ways I can lay out my patterns and construct them differently, which I applied when creating my physical sample.”
The class explores how to use fewer seams to utilize more of the fabric. To be truly efficient, designers are taught to consider fabric widths, much in the way Halston used fabric widths to his advantage in designing bias cut dresses or Tim Rissanen and Holly McQuillan with their Zero Waste approach to patternmaking.
The students will be presenting their final designs at the Guess corporate offices in Los Angeles on Wednesday, June 13th.
“I would love to work for Guess as a denim designer or product developer as I’ve always viewed Guess as the pinnacle of success,” said Byanka who just graduated from The Business of Denim Program. “I grew up in LA, so staying in the this beautiful city is my ultimate goal.”
The series continues this summer with “The Quest for Sustainable Denim.” Students will explore trends in denim washing, create a denim wash future trend presentation, and work with a wash house to create a custom denim wash using sustainable techniques.
The third class in the four-part series, “Future Materials,” will be offered in the fall, covering traditional and new innovative material options and their impact on product lifecycle. Students will be challenged to create a current and future trend report for sustainable fabrics and trims.
The final class, “The Business of Being Sustainable,” is scheduled for Winter Quarter 2019 where students will research the business aspects of sustainability to propose a solution driven approach. They will also research and create process methodology to improve each step of the process from field to consumer.
The Guess courses are open to students of all majors. In this course, students represented the majors of Merchandising & Marketing, Fashion Design, Business Management, Advanced Fashion Design, The Business of Denim, International Manufacturing & Product Development, and Apparel Technical Design.