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a collage of images of IMPD students in Paris and in fashion showrooms

IMPD Student Iysus Da Silva Designs for K+K Clothing in Industry Partnership

Each year, FIDM partners with a top brand in our International Manufacturing & Product Development (IMPD) program where students master all facets of the product development cycle from the initial concept and design to technical design, global sourcing, costing, production, and marketing to the consumer. This year, a select group of students were accepted into the exclusive 9-month program and are partnering with K+K Clothing, a private label dressmaker based in Los Angeles, where students are challenged to design day dress lines for the back-to-school 2023 season. The students traveled to Europe in September for trend and customer research and will be going to Thailand in January to learn about production. We caught up with IMPD student Iysus Da Silva to learn more about her journey in the program.

Born and raised in Canada, Iysus lived mostly in Calgary but moved around in high school. She attended a boarding school on Vancouver Island (Brentwood College School) and then came to FIDM right away after graduating in 2020. She has her A.A. in Merchandise Product Development and is pursuing her IMPD degree while also interning at a VIP showroom in WeHo.

Tell us about the designs you’re working on in IMPD: I’ve been designing day dresses and some special occasion dresses (homecoming) that showcase K+K’s feminine and playful styles. They do all kinds of vibes and aesthetics but K+K is definitely the epitome of girly girl style above all. It’s been really fun to delve into that world with our research.

I also understand that students have been developing original artwork and creating prints out of it: We’ve all been designing digital prints on Adobe and some students have hand drawn a fair amount of prints as well. It’s been a wild ride with prints because it was all very new to us but we’ve improved a lot more since the start and learned the ropes about what makes a print and “good” print. A lot of trial and error for sure. 

What is one of the highlights of the 9-month program that you’ve experienced so far? Well, going to Europe for research is a no brainer. Paris and London were so amazing and a great way for all of us to bond. Besides the obvious, I’d say a big highlight is seeing everyone grow together. We did some ice breakers on the first day and we told each other our strengths and weaknesses and it’s cool to see how we’ve all grown and improved since then, especially with working so closely as a group all the time. 

Tell us about the study tours that are part of the program: Paris and London was our trend and customer research trip that we did in September. It was amazing to see the difference in shopping, consumers and trends while we were there while also getting a good taste of the culture ourselves. Our next trip is Thailand in January where will be visiting factories and seeing more of the production side of things. We’re all super excited. 

Any current internships or industry employment at the moment? Currently, I’m doing an internship at a VIP showroom in WeHo which has been a great and really fun experience so far. 

What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? I feel like my career goals are always changing. I like to keep my options open because FIDM has introduced me to a lot of different sectors of fashion that I enjoy since I started my first year. If I had to chose something though, it would probably be in the realm of technical design or design!

Categories:  International Manufacturing & Product Development Merchandise Product Development Alumni Industry Partnerships Student