Diseiye Thompson is a Toronto based fashion and costume designer. The artist was exposed to fashion design in 2014 when they took a sewing class at Art Starts. This inspired Diseiye to apply to the Fashion Design Program at Toronto Film School, and they went on to develop a luxury evening wear collection that was exhibited at Toronto Women’s Fashion Week.
Diseiye has since interned and worked for industry professionals like Susan Dicks & Co, Greta Constantine & Lea-Ann Belter. They are currently a lead costume designer for the Art Starts’ Colour Wheel project, which will be revealed October 5th, 2019.
How did you begin your career as a fashion designer?
I began my fashion design career in 2014 when I decided to take sewing classes at Art Starts. Upon completion of the program, I was able to apply to the fashion design program at Toronto Film School where I further learned to hone my design skills.
What accomplishment are you most proud of as an artist?
I am most proud of my willingness to thrive in an already saturated industry, maintaining my individuality and integrity in every aspect of artistic career.
How did you first connect with Art Starts?
I first connected with Art Starts through the ‘Sew What’ program that was championed by Carleen Robinson in 2014. The Sew What program was an integral part of sharpening my sewing skills and introducing me to successful people in the industry that looked like me, which truly inspired me to pursue fashion as a career.
How has working within the community arts sector influenced you as an artist?
Working within the community arts sector has afforded me the privilege of being inspired by my peers, building a support system, and allowing me to share my wealth of knowledge.
What advice would you give youth wanting to develop their career as a fashion Designer?
My advice to youth starting out in the field is to not be afraid of change and experimentation, because change is a catalyst for growth and discovering one’s artistic voice.
What are you currently working on and what can we expect to see in the future?
I am currently working on launching a new collection at the collaborative pop-up shop with Catch & Release, which is a curated fashion collective created by Brosche Gallery to represent a merge of innovation, craftsmanship and artistic vision. The pop-up opening is on Friday September 13th at the Brosche Gallery space at 575 Queen Street West.
It’s been an honour to watch Diseiye develop their career since starting out at Art Starts and maintain their individuality. They have been doing a wonderful job of passing down their sewing and design expertise to the youth creating costumes for our Colour Wheel Project. You will be able to view all of Diseiye’s and the other artists’ hard work at the highly anticipated performance on October 5th, 2019.