Read about Allison using Make the Dot to combine concepts and fabrics at Berkeley College

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Allison is a recent Fashion Merchandising graduate from Berkeley College, NYC, who has a passion for combining abstract design concepts, with real-world practice materials. Her focus is on trying to bridge the gap between all the concepts in her, and creating a real manufacturable product.

Can you share a bit about your background and what you've been focusing on in your studies?

My name is Allison Santiago, and I’ve just graduated from Berkeley College, New York, where I completed my Fashion Merchandising degree.

In my studies I spent the majority of my time work on fashion merchandising concepts such as tying together the design and business side of things, ie taking a really cool idea for a fashion product and seeing how we can actually make it.

Who is your favorite fashion designer or artist, and how have they influenced your work?

Tough one.

I’m gonna be a little different and go with COS, as I love their simple yet elegant silhouettes and pastel colors linked to nature.

Pastel color palettes are my favorite and I’m always looking at ways to incorporate nature in my work, which is something I think COS are very good at.

How would you describe your design style?

Simple, airy and light - with a dash of elegance.

Allison's moodboard for 2024-25 created with Make the Dot

Talk me through your design process before you discovered Make the Dot?

We’ll it was a little chaotic, I must admit.

I generally use my computer and ipad for all my work and I would browse sites like Pinterest and download inspiration images from there, or take a screenshot.

I’d then start building a collage in Word or Canva, but the difficulty was some images were blurry so that wasn’t great for visualizing.

Once I was happy with the concept and I’d added some written content I’d save it as a PDF, download it and then submit it to my teacher.

Which was normally right on time.

What were the main pain points you experienced?

I mean having to download stuff, re-upload them again only to redownload it is a huge pain and wasted a lot of time.

Meaning I was always submitting my assignments at the last minutue.

Designers and merchandisers have to visualize a lot and there was kinda no software available that allowed you to do that.

So that also sucked.

How has Make the Dot changed your approach to concept design and building moodboards?

When I discovered Make the Dot in class I remember thinking “this is such an interesting app as it’s gonna make so many lives different and gonna be so much easier to design and create a portfolio”, which is just what I was just doing.

And during that task I was thinking “theres gotta be a better way, there has to”.

So when I discovered Make the Dot, I realised there was.

The biggest change for me is being able to create my concepts on my computer, phone and tablet, because you know we’re all kinda connecting to everything these days, so whenever I see something cool I can add it to my board.

The color palette and textile libraries are genius, because that’s the end goal of what we’re essentially trying to create as a designer, so having them both in there is amazing.

What kind of project are you planning on doing / what kind of brands are you planning on working for after graduation?

I’d like to first learn my trade from some of the more established brands in NYC.

But in general I’m pretty open to roles that combine both the visual and business side of the industry.

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