For Yotam Solomon fashion extends beyond mere design.
The designer pays close attention to the details of his work ““ down to the very chemicals of the fabric dye used for his clothing creations. This is because according to Solomon, textile manufacturing damages many natural resources.
Tonight, UCLA’s Fashion and Student Trends group will host a question-and-answer session with the Los Angeles-based fashion designer, who will give those in attendance insight on his career and what the fashion industry is all about.
“People that want to know about the fashion industry should come. There’s a lot of information that I’m going to share that people are usually shocked to find out about,” Solomon said.
The event will begin with a reception at 5:15 p.m. in the Ackerman 2nd Floor Lounge with members of FAST, Solomon and other industry professionals, followed by a presentation and question-and-answer session at 6 p.m.
Solomon said that the presentation will touch on numerous aspects of the fashion industry, including advice for beginning a fashion line, using social media, and tips for working in different fashion outlets.
“Even the biggest companies are going through a massive change through online shopping,” Solomon said. “I’m going to talk about the differences between a Los Angeles-based designer versus a New York-based designer.”
Solomon, who graduated from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in 2007, said that he currently designs pieces inspired by natural elements that fuse high fashion and comfort.
Solomon said he will also provide advice for aspiring models. For example, he said that a common misconception is that being a model or owning the runway is about the brands and pretty face, but it’s really about attitude.
“It’s not about labels you wear, it’s how you put everything together in the final ensemble and that’s what can make you chic or not,” Solomon said. “It’s basically your individual style and doing it the right way. A lot of people think of it as having the best brands and they’re wrong. It’s not about that at all.”
Fourth-year geography and environmental studies student and FAST member and budget director Miki Koga had the opportunity to intern for Solomon last spring. Koga said in addition to attending fashion events, she also helped research environmental issues in the textile industry.
According to Koga, Solomon’s designs are geared toward helping the environment, but another significant part of Solomon’s work is his role in charity organizations that promote sustainability and healthy living. For instance, Solomon created a spring “Oil Spill Collection” dedicated to the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
“I found it very inspiring that he used a disaster to help people and turn it into art by incorporating fashion. He’s all about taking inspiration from the environment and giving back to it,” Koga said.
Elizabeth Fong, a fourth-year economics student and FAST president, said that since UCLA has no specific major for fashion, the event is intended to provide information for those interested in pursuing a possible career in the industry.
“(UCLA students) have to major in something else and do fashion on the side and it’s different from fashion school where they have internships and things right at their hands,” Fong said.
Attendees will also have the opportunity to meet with Los Angeles fashion bloggers, stylists, editors and other industry professionals who will be on hand to discuss everything fashion. There will also be a raffle with the chance to win one of Solomon’s original design pieces.
Following the reception, Solomon will give a presentation on his work as a designer, as well as answer questions about his experience in the fashion industry.
“It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of math, to be honest. There are legal issues, business aspects and percentages. It’s really about knowing your business over anything else and people will be surprised to know how much math and social skills you have to have,” Solomon said.