We had the good fortune of connecting with Ally Dechant and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ally, what inspires you?
I am truly inspired by denim and what surrounds it. I knew by the time I was 16 years old that I was going to move out to LA to come to FIDM and learn as much as I could about denim. From that moment, I have been learning everything I can about all avenues of the industry – from going to the Rosebowl Flea Market and looking at vintage denim to interning at modern denim companies and researching the modren technology. Being curious inspires me, and denim is an amazing thing to be curious about because once you learn one thing about it, there’s 10 more things to learn and you get sucked in. Whenever I see a beautiful 1950s denim jean I get excited about the beautiful slub of the fabric and the natural wear, and I feel the same when I see some amazing pieces that were processed using a laser machine and I get excited to see the innovation. The people apart of the denim industry have always inspired me as well, it’s a true community. I remember a couple years ago I got the Denim Dudettes book by Amy Leverton and whenever I was feeling down I would look through it and be in awe of those powerful women in denim and hope to be one one day. And it’s funny how life works because now I work for Amy Leverton and help do social media posts on the Denim Dudettes account and amplify female voices in the industry!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Truly my career is just starting out so I’m not sure how much advice I can give, but what has gotten me to where I am now is the passion for what I want to do as well as being curious and I feel that is what sets me apart. In a couple weeks I will be graduating from The Business of Denim program at FIDM and finish up my Bachelor’s of Arts in Design starting in the fall. I remember when I first started at FIDM and in the second quarter of my Associate’s degree I got my first internship which was at Re/Done. I had to go talk to the department head of my program because the internship was for school credit, she was so suprised I had gotten an internship so fast and she wouldn’t approve the school credit because I was new to FIDM and I would “be an embarassment” because I didn’t know enough about the industry. I ended up doing the internship anyway without her knowing, making lifelong friends and mentors, creating a foundation for my start in the denim industry, and staying for about a year. I think about that moment sometimes and remember how upset and crushed I felt, and then how much better succeding felt. In the end I just followed my heart and my passion to guide me and I ended up with more than I could have asked for. Since Re/Done I have interned at Frame, Guess?, and Pistola Denim and will start interning with Ralph Lauren in New York this summer. My true passion is working with denim and I always want to keep learning. My goal for my future is to continue the legacy of denim though my creative lens and modern innovations.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Since I’m a denim nerd I would take them to as many denim places as they can bear, HA! If it was the second Sunday of the month I would 100% take them to the Rose Bowl Flea Market, it’s truly my happy place. If we were doing some denim shopping I would take them to American Rag Cie and Nudie Jeans on La Brea, What Goes Around Comes Around denim bar, Mister Freedom, and Raggedy Threads. If we went for drinks I would take them to Everson Royce Bar in the Arts District and sit in their outdoor area and make sure to order the fried cauliflower and flaky buttermilk biscuits. Some of my other favorite dinner places are Cafe Habana in Malibu (the shrimp tacos and corn off the cob are the best) and Met Him At A Bar on La Brea for the most amazing pasta.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There’s so many people that have helped me along the way, and a couple have already been featured on the Shoutout LA website! Some individuals that have helped me throughout my journey are Amy Leverton and Shannon Reddy of Denim Dudes, Alex Andronescu, Emily Starobrat, and of course my parents!