Grad is Product Developer at CFDA Fashion Awards Nominee STAUD
We recently chatted with Los Angeles native and Merchandise Product Development graduate, Nathalie Herrera, who is a product developer at L.A.-based label, STAUD, whose designers are nominated for the 2019 CFDA Fashion Awards in the Emerging Designer of the Year category.
How did you first hear of FIDM? An advisor from FIDM came to my high school and gave us the low down on the school and what it offered.
What made you want to attend FIDM? I was always interested in the fashion industry and was always cutting up all my magazines and making collages. I was heavily into sketching and was always creating.
What are some of the most valuable lessons you learned at FIDM? How to hustle! Back then there wasn't Uber and I didn't have a car. I interned, went to school full-time, and worked part-time. Honestly, life was really hard to juggle back then while trying to find a way into the industry. The quarters are short so it teaches you how to multitask four different classes while trying to juggle the rest of your life.
Did you use the Career Center while at FIDM? When I started at FIDM, I was at Chase bank. The Career Center kept pushing me to get a job in retail. They advised that it would help me understand merchandise and product more. They were definitely right. I left my job at Chase and luckily got a job at H&M retail. It was a great experience and am so happy that I got to work for H&M. I feel like a lot of retail jobs don't offer as much as H&M does and I felt so fortunate to work there.
The internship I had at the same time was at Reformation, which was such a start up back then. I got lucky enough to meet the operations manager when she came to my class at FIDM to speak about sustainable fashion. I was bold enough to raise my hand and ask for her information. I emailed her about an internship opportunity and the rest is history.
Tell us about your day-to-day responsibilities at STAUD. How did this job come about? I wish I could list out my day-to-day, but it's always random. I'm constantly in three seasons. For example, I'm in Pre-Fall/Summer production meetings in case I'm needed for any problem solving and I'm in Fall 19 pre-production because there's always an exclusive or something I have to help with in development. Finally, I'm in Resort design/development, which involves creating artwork, sourcing all the fabric, developing all the trim, organizing, ordering and tracking every element that goes into a garment, BOM's, costing, sending out and creating all salesman samples, and constantly in meetings with design team.
Sarah Staudinger and George Augusto are the founders of STAUD. I knew Sarah from my Reformation days and quickly got to know George through freelancing for them for a bit back in 2017. They needed a product developer and I obviously knew it was a perfect fit and so I came on in 2018 as product developer.
What do you love most about your job and why? I really enjoy my job! I'm absolutely in love with my team and everything we do. I'm really lucky to be here at STAUD, it's a really cool brand and I vibe heavily with the aesthetic. We're always creating something new and forward and it's great that this brand is out here in Los Angeles and not in New York like every other cool brand.
What are your ultimate career goals? To be in charge of design and development. I always feel like my head is racing with ideas and it's great that i'm able to be so creatively outspoken here at STAUD.