We recently spoke with Giselle Shepatin a friend of the department. Enjoy the interview below.

Cañada Fashion Department (CFD): You’ve been a part of Artistry in Fashion for all of our shows. This will be our 26th event, how has the experience changed?
Giselle Shepatin (GS): It used to be indoors and it got hot! Now it is outdoors and beautiful and gorgeous. The number of designers doing the show has grown to a great group. There are a lot more choices for the guests, lots of great designers and it is more spacious outside. The consistency is great and I love the variety of people that attend. They are a great fit for the designers. I also love that the designers have evolved and grown up together. We get to know each other better every year.

CFD: What is your background?
GS: I have always made clothing. I always knew I would be an artist. I love to sew, and I love textiles in all their forms. I love dressing women’s bodies. They are works of art and then clothing can just add more to that. I have a fine art background as well. I found when I learned pattern making, that it was a very freeing experience for me as a designer. I love watching my customers come with me on the journey as I’ve developed as a designer. They see something in my aesthetic that keeps them coming back and that is quite rewarding.

CFD: What is the best part of your job?
GS: Touch! I love to touch fabrics and made things work on the body. I’m very tactile. Other senses like sight and touch are also important. I love the process of finding a new fabric and figuring out what to do with it.

CFD: You’ve have Cañada students as interns. How has their education prepared them for internships?
GS: Cañada students are the best. They seem to have a great understanding of pattern making. They can see both the big picture and the details. They are able to see a small successful studio operate. I love talking with my interns about their future goals. I allow them to learn by doing. I have had interns come back and they are thrilled to see what their patterns have become. I try to prepare them with confidence, technical skills, and respect.

CFD: What is your advice for someone that wants to open their own business?
GS: This is hard to answer. First of all, know yourself. Don’t be afraid. Learn to love the things you don’t like and have fun with the things you like. If you are someone that will perfect things, learn to forget your ego and fear. Go out there. Get feedback. If you are likely to just dive in, make sure you price things correctly. Don’t spend more money than you are making.

CFD: Is there anything else you would like to add?
GS: Get out in the industry. Go to the LA textile shows. Ask lots of questions. Be around fashion. Be in the industry outside of school. School is valuable, but you need to be in the industry too especially if you don’t know what you want to do exactly. Experience as much as you can.

Thank you, Giselle. Be sure to come visit her and our other designers as part of Artistry in Fashion on Saturday, September 26, 2015.