DESIGNER PROFILE – Erica Di Claudioviews: 0
What is your employment status?
EDC: Consulting and Freelancing with various brands.
What is your official job title?
EDC: Creative Design Consultant
Please summarize your professional career in 1 to 3 sentences; what should everyone know about you?
EDC: I have over 20 years experience in the apparel design world and I’ve worked with various brands, both large and small. I pride myself on my ability to balance strategic thinking with the creative process and thrive when I am met with a new challenge. When I design, I consider all the facets of a product. Function and style. Performance and beauty.
Describe what you do?
EDC: Currently I consult with brands, coming up with new creative concepts, designing and launching product lines, mentoring creative teams to become experts in their markets and optimizing workflow processes for creatives. I specialize in intimates, activewear, lounge, swim, seamless and knits.
Why did you choose to be a designer?
EDC: I love the process of creation, from having an idea and then making it tangible, turning otherwise unassuming material into an object of desire. Plus, it’s pretty exciting to see a person wear something that was once just a vision in your mind!
What steps did you take to become a designer?
EDC: I learned! I went to school to educate myself on the industry and learn the skills I needed to start off but I kept on learning, often taking courses or finding a mentor who could help me master techniques.
What is the best/most challenging part of your job?
EDC: People! I love collaborating and bouncing things off others. The best ideas usually come from a really good brainstorm with other creative minds. But as a consultant or freelancer, you’re often on solo projects or have to rebuild that team synergy with each new contract.
If you weren’t a designer what would you be?
EDC: Flower Grower/Designer – it’s my current side hustle and retirement plan.
How did you get started in design?
EDC: My first “fashion” job was with a local knitting mill as an assistant designer. It was a great experience working directly with the knitters, seeing the machinery work and REALLY learning how to design knitwear.
What sparked your interest in design?
EDC: I grew up watching the women in my family make, build and create everything…everyday. They were so passionate about their processes and this became a huge influence in my life. They taught me how to think outside the box and to appreciate the blood, sweat and tears that go into a creative hustle and this naturally evolved into my interest to design.
How has your work evolved since you began your career?
EDC: Having worked for brands most of my career, early on I’ve had to teach myself to steer away from designing for myself and learn to listen to the customer and design for their needs.
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
EDC: Flowers! I guess this ties back to what would I do if I wasn’t a designer. The way flowers evoke nostalgic memories and play off each other with their colouring and naturalistic shapes are all influencers in the way I think when I design.
What advice would you give to young designers?
EDC: Try it all. Keep learning. Early in your career is a perfect time to try on different hats to see what you like best and what you excel at. There is a lot you don’t learn in school. And always be open to learning, both formal training and from people in your life. Even after 20 years I continue to do so. I’ve even learned so much from younger designers.
What’s your motto?
EDC: It’s not happening to you, but for you. There is a lesson in everything.
Erica is a seasoned creative in the apparel industry with 20+ years of extensive experience with high profile brands. Offering hands-on design and consultant services. An expert in concepting and collection development, she has led the full creative cycle to deliver innovative and successful product assortments in niche markets including activewear, intimates, knitwear, lounge, swim and seamless.