EVIT alum finds niche as fashion designer

Brisa built her foundation with training at EVIT, now a fashion designer
Posted on 01/19/2022
Living her dream as a fashion designer, Brisa got her start at EVIT

EVIT alumna Brisa French became a fashion designer because she saw apparel as a great way to express individuality, creativity and self-image. Since completing the Fashion Design & Merchandising program in 2010, she has been doing just that as a designer for companies like Max Studio, Bebe, and where she works today, Carrie Amber Intimates.


At the East Valley Institute of Technology, she learned technical skills that she continues to use as a professional fashion designer. But she credits EVIT with something else too that allowed her to thrive and get a solid start on a path to a rewarding career: “I finally fit in somewhere.”


EVIT students take a half-day of academics at their high school and a half-day of tuition-free career training at an EVIT central campus in one of more than 40 different programs ranging from Aviation and Culinary Arts to Construction, Fire Science, a range of health-care programs and much more.


EVIT students are immersed every day in two and half to four hours of hands-on training and education in a specific career field. The result is an atmosphere of common interest and camaraderie that builds confidence and keeps them engaged and excited about learning.


“I didn't have tons of friends at my home high school and I struggled to find peers with the same interests as me,” French said. “But at EVIT, I was surrounded by students who had similar interests and goals as I had.”


A highlight of the fashion design program is the annual fashion show. It’s an emotional and exciting night for the students and their instructors as parents and the public get to see their creativity on display.


“We got to cast our own models, design and construct our own garments, and show them off in a fashion show. It was months of hard work that we were all very proud of,” French recalled.


After completing her EVIT training and graduating from high school, French moved to Los Angeles where she attended FIDM, the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. She earned degrees in Merchandise Product Development and in International Manufacturing. After interning at Max Studio, she was hired there as an assistant designer and worked her way up to associate designer. She was then approached by Bebe, which hired her as a designer for woven tops.


She is currently an intimate apparel designer for Carrie Amber Intimates, designing lines for well-known off-price stores like Ross, Burlington and DD’s Discounts. She also designs private label lines for clients like Fashion Nova, Tilly’s and Dolls Kill.


“Each season I research trends, create trend/ theme boards, build color palettes, choose fabrics, sketch designs, send instructions to the factories, fit samples, and present the final product to customers,” French said. “I absolutely use the skills I learned at EVIT in my day-to-day.”


She is also open to the possibility of starting her own business someday. EVIT, she said, is “a useful tool to give you a taste of what your future career might be like.”


EVIT students have a 98% high school graduation rate, two out of three go on to college and 94% are in jobs related to their training, college or the military within a year of completing their training.


In addition to high school programs, EVIT also offers career training for adults. Enrollment for high school and adult programs is currently under way. Start the process at www.evit.com/enroll.


Brisa’s Career Path:

  • Completed EVIT Fashion Design & Merchandising in 2010
  • Earned degrees in Merchandise Product Development and International Manufacturing from FIDM
  • Worked as a designer at Max Studio and Bebe
  • Currently an intimate apparel designer for Carrie Amber Intimates and for private label lines.
  • Future plans: May open her own business someday.


Get started on a career while in high school:


How to enroll in high school programs at EVIT:

  • Complete and submit application online at www.evit.com/enroll
  • Parents/legal guardians of new students will need an active email account to access and use the online registration system
  • Upload attendance record, discipline record, current unofficial transcripts and proof of immunizations
  • Admissions office will inform students via email once application is approved or if more information is needed
  • EVIT is for all high school students – public, charter, private or home-schooled – who reside in one of 11 East Valley school districts: Apache Junction, Cave Creek, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Higley, J.O. Combs, Mesa, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Tempe
  • More information: Call (480) 461-4108


How to enroll in adult programs at EVIT:

  • Schedule appointment to meet with an advisor by calling (480) 461-4110
  • Complete online application form at www.evit.com/enroll
  • Tuition rates vary by program. Apply for financial aid by visiting www.fafsa.ed.gov and using school code 035723
  • Send questions about financial aid to [email protected]
More information: Call (480) 461-4110