California: The Great Denim Legacy
San Francisco and Los Angeles
When it comes to denim, it seems like everybody who's anybody is based in California. From the incredible legacy of Levi's to the premium labels Joe's Jeans and Paige, the golden state has it all. That's why FIDM organized the first annual three-day Denim Study Tour visiting some of the major denim brands in San Francisco and Los Angeles.
A select group of ten Merchandise Product Development students qualified to participate in this first-ever study tour. Students flew from Los Angeles to San Francisco to spend a day at Levi's headquarters. But before that, the first stop had to be FIDM's San Francisco campus in the heart of the city's historic Union Square!
At Levi's, the group met the company's historian who shared with them the company's great legacy. They even got to see the very first pair of women's jeans, from the 1930s! Later they were invited into the design studio and treated to a sneak peek of the collection for Fall 2013.
Days two and three were spent in Los Angeles, visiting the headquarters of Guess, Joe's Jeans, Paige, and 7 for All Mankind. Not only were students introduced to companies who focus production off-shore, but also to companies that do domestic production—the premium denim companies!
They toured a wash house in Santa Fe Springs, where denim is processed for Paige and other high-end labels. There, the students were exposed to everything from laser printing and PFDs (prepare for dye) to lab dips and washing.
The tour provided excellent networking opportunities for the students. They met FIDM Grads working at these companies and Human Resources Directors. The CEO of Joe's Jeans even greeted the group on their visit.
"Going on this denim tour really put everything into perspective for me," shared Janessa Landeen. "Sometimes in the classrooms it's hard to visualize what we are learning. But seeing it in person and knowing that what we are doing now is very much relevant to what we will be doing out in the industry was really cool."
The resumes of the students were left at each of the companies. There has already been a response in terms of paid internships and future jobs. How's that for success!
If FIDM's Denim Study Tour sounds intriguing to you, find out what you could do with a Merchandise Product Development degree from FIDM.