Kate Gabrieli (pictured, right) graduated with a Professional Designation Degree in Fashion Knitwear Design. "I took a Textile Design class with Anne Bennion, Chairperson of FIDM's Fashion Knitwear Design, Textile Design, and Design programs, for fun since I had some extra credits to earn, and so I had the chance to dive into it, " she says. "I was terrible at it, but that class has helped me more in my career than I would have thought." We recently chatted with Kate to learn more about the textile design studio in Marina del Rey, California she recently launched.
We hear you used to work at the FIDM Museum Shop. I worked at the Museum Shop while I was a student and when I graduated, I managed the store for Judy Yaras, the Director of the Museum Shop Operations. I was so lucky because when I graduated, I knew knitwear wasn't what I wanted to do anymore, so it truly gave me a chance to figure out life and then go from there. During this time, I was able to really understand sales, working one-on-one with our customers and then being invited with Judy to go buy for the store; it really made everything click for me. It made me understand that you can't always buy for yourself, but if you are passionate about the product, then the customers will be too. Also, working at FIDM helps me to this day because I kept connected with everyone, and I'm blown away by the support I am getting.
What led you start your own textile design studio, Reserved Studio? After leaving the Museum Shop, I got a job as a creative director at the only service studio in Los Angeles where I fell in love with textiles. I got the job strictly on personality; I really knew nothing about this industry, so I learned first hand all about the production side of things and how to create really amazing artwork here. I was spoiled and had some of the best textile designers here in LA at my fingertips. This is where I met my future business partner who was an artist. We would be brought in to companies such as Vince, Brighton, David Meister, Robert Rodriguez, and a lot of others. We would create custom textile artwork for them and then from there, we would make it factory ready. I loved the stress and deadlines and the creative outlet it gave me. It was so rewarding and when I finally had a good grip on it, I wanted a change and to move back to the east coast where I am from.