We caught up with student Julia O’Daly to hear about her life after completing the Technical-Apparel Industry Oriented certificate.

Cañada Fashion Department (CFD): What was your background before Cañada?
Julia O’Daly (JOD): I worked as a marketing executive in the technology and marketing industry. My mom was a patternmaker for the Lucille Ball Show.

CFD: What is your ultimate fashion-related goal?
JOD: I’m doing it. I wanted to be a stylist, but I didn’t think it was possible at my age, 56. I finished my certificate at Cañada and started as a sales associate at Anthropologie. Within a year, I was promoted to head stylist at the Palo Alto store.

I get to dress people all day. It is the most fun job. It is all about silhouette and what works best for each individual’s body type. I daily use information I learned in Principles of Design when dressing clients and even when training new hires. I also owe a lot of my success to the pattern and fit classes. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t work. Many people come in and think since they are shorter they need petites, but really it is less about a person’s height and more about their proportions.

I also end up doing a lot of color and pattern mixing. It is fun to see how principles apply to make a pleasing outfit and what causes proportions to be off.

Lastly, I use information from Apparel Analysis. It is so helpful to understand why garments cost what they do based on how they are constructed. Shapes get boxier in a recession because every seam costs money to sew. Fewer seams save money and make for boxier garments.

Thank you, Julia, for speaking with us. We wish you continued success.