Sofia Masuda's DEBUT Collection Celebrates Culture and Diversity
Sofia Masuda was raised in Los Angeles and the nearby San Gabriel Valley where she learned to draw and embroider at a young age. She earned her first FIDM degree in Textile Design in 2019, and graduated in 2020 with a B.A. in Design. For the last nine months, Sofia has been working on her first collection, which will be live-streamed as part of FIDM’s Annual DEBUT Runway Show event on Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 5:00 PM PDT. We recently chatted with the Advanced Fashion Design student to learn more about her designs and the inspiration behind them.
What silhouettes and fabrics can we expect to see? In my collection, I focused on shape and movement, pushing the limits of traditional knit silhouettes and creating a fun and different perspective on texture and pattern matching. Since I have a textile background, I wanted to use as many different techniques as possible. There are knits, original digitally printed textiles, hand crochet flowers, handmade organza flowers, and different elements of embellishments that are embroidered on to the garments.
What is your point of view, as a designer? As a designer, I love embracing my culture in my design process. I am half-Japanese and half-Mexican, and I have always found culture and diversity interesting. Growing up in Los Angeles in a very diverse community, I had the opportunity to really understand the importance of our differences. Viewing the world in the eyes of a diverse background is beautiful and I have always wanted to capture the beauty in our differences. My family, my culture, and my community is what made me the designer I am today, and I think it is important to understand where you’ve been to understand who you want to be.
How do you hope people will feel when they see your designs? I want them to feel happy and empowered. The collection is all about acceptance of diversity and self awareness of one's uniqueness.
What inspires you as a creative and as a fashion designer? My family plays a big role in my creative journey. Without them and their support, I wouldn’t be the designer I am today. They inspire me to excel in my career and push for more possibilities.
What is a lesson you’ve learned as you’ve been working on your collection? I’ve learned a lot during this process of developing my collection. Since my background is not in fashion design, [I’ve learned] a lot of the basics in terms of patterning and sewing techniques. I learned that when creating a collection, you are constantly changing designs and developing new ideas along the way.
Any advice for someone considering applying to be a DEBUT student? I would definitely apply. This experience in the program was one of the best experiences I could have had in my development in my career. It gave me the opportunity to have a platform to showcase my design as a designer. The skills I’ve learned in this program would have not been something I could have developed without participating.
Anything else you’d like to share? I hope everyone loves my designs and collection. I am grateful to be working with such a talented group of designers, and I love that we all go to work and develop together.
Keep up with Sofia Masuda at sofiamasuda.com and on Instagram @sofiemasuda.