Our 2015 Carol Phan College Scholarship winner, Claire Guite, graduated in May from Cal State Long Beach with a B.A in Fashion Design. Below, Claire writes about her college and work experiences.
Hello everyone! I am here to give an update on my college experience, life in general, and life after college working in the fashion industry. There is so much to say about everything so I will condense it the best that I can.
I recently graduated from Cal State Long Beach this past May with my Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design and I currently work as Assistant Designer for Boyish Jeans, a women’s sustainable line of denim in Los Angeles.
Studying fashion design is much more of a challenge than what people would generally think about a fashion major. I had many sleepless nights at my sewing machine working on projects, I dealt with really tight deadlines juggling multiple projects at once, and had to learn how to manage my time well, especially when I was an upperclassman splitting my time between school, an internship, and a job.
I have learned so much about clothing construction (sewing), pattern-making, sketching, using Adobe Illustrator as well as a CAD (computer-aided design) program for computerized pattern-making, how the business side of fashion works, fashion history, how a fashion show is run, and so much more.
Although rigorous, I did enjoy my time in the fashion design program at CSULB. I met new friends who share the same passion as me, and by senior year many of us became very close as we were all under a lot of stress because of the same design classes. These friends are also great connections for me as a working professional in the fashion industry.
The fashion program, at CSULB, holds a fashion show every year in the Spring for the seniors to showcase a collection of their work from throughout the year, and it is the largest student-run production on the West Coast.
I had the opportunity to show a collection of my design work and it’s one of my proudest moments so far in my life to have my work on display. I have attached some photos of my work that I showed at the annual Campus Couture show in May!
In addition to school and a part-time job working retail at Marshall’s, I interned my senior year at Boyish Jeans as a Design Intern and it was my first exposure to working in the fashion industry aside from a retail job. I learned so much as an intern about the production side and logistics of what it takes to run a clothing company (and I still am), a lot about technical design and what actually goes into the logistics of mass-producing that I didn’t learn in school.
I do have a love for denim and I ended up working really well with the people there and eventually they decided to promote me to Assistant Designer after graduation. So far it has been a perfect fit for me and I am growing with them because they are still a small company. I’ve been working there officially for just over a month and have already learned so much! I work in an office in the Arts District in LA with some very cool people, and my roles include but aren’t limited to: assisting the Design Team (Head Designer, Associate Designer, Concept Designer) in any way possible; assisting in fittings; prepping samples for fittings and shipping; working to create tech packs, line guides, and Illustrator flat sketches; assisting with garment specs; and assisting with design concepts and mood boards.
Boyish Jeans is a company dedicated to sustainability and having less of a harmful impact on the environment through their materials and processes, and their jeans are really cute! I am incredibly thankful to have this kind of opportunity for a job in my field, and in a very competitive industry, right after graduation. I give all glory to God for that one!!
As far as my personal life, I’m still living in Long Beach and commuting to LA for work, enjoying going to the beach whenever I can, finding new ways to be creative and spending more time with my friends and family when I am able to. I am enjoying the summer and taking time to myself to recover from the craziness that was my last year of college. I am really excited to see what is in store for my future as I continue to learn more and more about design and the fashion industry in general!
Enjoy the photos I have attached 🙂