IMPD Student Rahul Wadhwani 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 LA, where students are challenged to design day dress lines for the back-to-school 2023 season. We caught up with IMPD Student Rahul Wadhwani to learn about his experience in the program.
Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Rahul attended Clements High School. He has his A.A. in Fashion Design and is currently pursuing his IMPD degree while also working as a freelance stylist and creative director in the industry.
Tell us a little about this year’s IMPD partner, K+K Clothing, and what you’re working on with them: K+K Clothing specializes in women’s day dresses as well as special occasion dresses. They offer private label as well as wholesaling and are sold in stores such as Francesca’s, Macy’s, and Dillard's. The challenge we received was definitely something I did not expect, but it has been such an amazing experience to be a part of the conceptualization to the creation of a collection! We were instructed to design a collection of dresses for the back to school season, which is definitely not an easy season to design for since it is right after summer and before fall. This definitely challenged me in a way to push myself outside of the box. We had to be really mindful with our silhouettes and our fabrics. The dresses I designed lie in the idea of simplicity. I wanted to create a line of dresses that can be worn by many ages and different body types and I chose to stick to my personal design philosophy which is using classic silhouettes and elevating them for the everyday consumer.
I also understand that students have been developing original artwork and creating prints out of it. Is this something you're working on, and if so, can you tell us more about this: Since the beginning of this program, I have tried to hand paint all of my prints. I believe that original artwork and imperfections in prints seems to be a great element in a dress and adds dimension to the silhouette. It’s been a really cool experience on the process of how a print is created and it really shows how much goes into the creation of a garment.
Tell us about the study tours that are part of the program: One of the highlights of this program has definitely been the study tours. We took a trip to Paris and London for trend research as well as meeting with print companies and industry professionals. It was an eye opening experience filled with culture, food, and art that inspired us to create our designs as well as our silhouettes.
Any current internships or industry employment at the moment? I work as a freelance stylist and creative director and have had opportunities to work with so many different types of people! I have also created and conceptualized over twenty shoots and worked with artists from multiple different mediums such as singers, actors, and influencers. You can check out more of my work @rahistyles
What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? I eventually am going to have my own brand, and through the IMPD program, I have learned what the product development steps are from start to finish, which have led to me think a lot more about the structure of my future company as well as the details of it. I have learned how to create a garment from the ideation stage to the completion stage and I will apply all of these learnings to my brand.