Business of Denim Grad is Denim Designer at OnTwelfth
The Business of Denim Graduate Axelina Hallstrom graduated from FIDM in 2018, and now she's working as a denim designer at LA-based fashion brand, OnTwelfth.
Where were you born and raised? I was born in Santa Rosa, California and moved to Denmark as a baby with my mom. We lived there for three years and then we returned to the U.S., where I was raised in Santa Maria, California.
How did you first hear about FIDM? I heard about FIDM at a college fair in high school, I was immediately drawn to the table. I attended the Los Angeles Campus and graduated in March of 2018.
How did you decide on your major? I always knew I wanted to go into one of the Advanced Programs after I completed my AA degree in Fashion Design. My boss at the FIDM Scholarship Store always noticed me buying yardage of denim and she told me about the new program and about how she thought it would be perfect for me. I did love denim and wanted to learn more about it so I applied for the program and got accepted. It was such exciting news for me and I'll never forget the moment when I found out.
What are some of your favorite FIDM memories? My fondest memories happened while traveling with FIDM to Japan, Amsterdam, and North Carolina through the The Business of Denim program. I made some of my closest friends in the program and it was amazing traveling the world, learning about denim with the people who had a mutual love for it. We truly got a once in a lifetime experience. We especially learned a lot getting to work at DyStar and do our own washes on raw denim. I think in a lot of ways it was our most important lesson because what better way is there to learn than doing something hands on.
Did you hold any internships while at FIDM? I had a summer internship at Halston for about three months in 2017. Then, at the beginning of 2018, I started an internship at OnTwelfth in which I would assist the designers with anything they needed. I graduated in March of 2018 and the company hired me directly after that.
Tell us about your day-to-day responsibilities as a denim designer. OnTwelfth is a fashion company that basically does 50 percent fashion garments (tops, dresses, bottoms, etc.) and 50 percent denim. As the denim designer, I have many responsibilities that I have to uphold every day. Typically, my job includes keeping regular contact with our factories in China, design and development of both denim and non-denim bottoms, trend research, tech pack creation and release, regular fittings for production styles, fit comment release, production upkeep, private label design, and upkeep of fabric library. I really enjoy how much freedom I get as a designer and I love coming into work everyday to do the thing I love.
How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM really helped me with all aspects of my design knowledge as well as a large amount of my denim knowledge. There are some things that you just learn while being on the job that can't necessarily be taught, but FIDM does set you up for success as long as you truly make the most of all your classes.
What's it like to work in Los Angeles, which is known as the denim capital of the world? Denim is a universally loved and worn fabric and to be in the center of where it blossoms is really something special. I feel so lucky to have access to all these amazing companies and have all these connections here. You feel so immersed in the indigo world and the denim industry is really one of community. It's less about competition and more about learning from one another.