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Meet Danielle Denise

Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle Denise.

Danielle, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Technical Design has been my career since I discovered the field in college. I was attending Cal Poly Pomona and majored in Apparel Management and Merchandising. I had a design internship at a company in Vernon, CA and assisted a team of women whom all did something different. One was the designer, another was in production and one was the Technical Designer. I shadowed the Tech Designer the most, and it was history from there. I went on to do a couple more internships before working freelance a Technical Designer. Now, I work in corporate, focusing on swimwear and activewear. I am also a Design Consultant, helping aspiring designer’s get their brands into development.

As a Blogger, that passion came a little later in my twenties. I had dabbled in content creating on Youtube first and attempted to upload makeup tutorials. The content was short-lived once I realized, make-up wasn’t my calling! Once that faded, I created a website domain and started blogging. Often times, I share my personal journey in life, career and purpose, inspiring photoshoots and meal prep recipes. Adding to my content, I plan to start a podcast this year about thought-provoking topics that are relevant to today’s society.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
There were plenty of unmentionable struggles during college; toxic relationships, partying, working a plethora of gigs (interns, retail, clubs, etc) and being on academic probation just to name a few. Let’s just say I was still finding myself. My twenties were a rollercoaster of feelings and discovering. Once I received my Bachelors, the struggle of finding a job began. I felt defeated as each employer turned me down for “lack of experience”. About a year after graduating, I finally received freelancing gigs in tech design, slowly allowing me to get my foot in the door.

Blogging is a struggle as well but it’s much more personal. I invest my time and money into creating content, not knowing what the response will be from the audience. I was, and still, am, self-conscious about my posts. But as I get older, I am learning to let go of the inhibitions and just create. The right people will be drawn to my presence and will support. It’s simple math. The only person that can get in the way is me.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
It’s a bit challenging to describe what I do because people hear “designer” and just assume that’s the position. To be clear, Technical Designers are the “engineers” in the fashion industry. The main focus is on garment construction and the overall fit – two very important qualities in apparel. I’ve touched just about every fabric group but my main focus over the years has been swimwear and specialized knits. In my day-to-day, I’m not actually sewing anything. I am informing the vendors on how to proceed with my corrections.

I have fit meetings multiple times a week and try samples on a live model to gain feedback. Travel is required but not often. I have experienced visiting vendors in China and working hands-on with their technical team. A humbling experience! The workdays are long, deadlines are tight and utilizing math skills is important (always measuring and understanding patterns). But I thoroughly enjoy what I do. I care about quality and fit. I value consumer reviews and use that as an opportunity to improve my work. When people look and feel good in clothes I made, my purpose is made!

I have had a few proud moments where my favorite social media influencers and models wore swimwear I developed: Felicia La Tour, Jackie Aina and Chanel Iman to name a few. I would contact them directly for feedback and they were happy with the fit! It’s satisfying to know that my hard work is not going to waste. The biggest proud moment this year was to see one of my favorite female rappers, Megan Thee Stallion, wear my bikini. She looked so exquisite, the swimsuit became a best seller online! I love her so much!

What were you like growing up?
I was a shy, quiet kid growing up in San Ramon, CA. Unless you were super close to me, you saw my quirky side. I would draw quite a bit, especially clothes.My grandfather deemed me to be a fashion designer when I grew up. I played the clarinet until I was about 13 and was a Girl Scout until about 12. But I was very rough around the edges. I hated dresses because I loved playing outside. Often times, with bugs. I fell off my bike enough times to leave visible scars lasting today. I never really got in trouble on my own, but I made a great accomplice to my friends. My mom moved us [my siblings and me] around quite a bit. I did Junior High and High School in San Diego, where I developed my own sense of style wearing bucket hats, striped halter tops and bejeweled denim that I “bedazzled” myself. The early 2000’s was a great time!

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