Isabelle started sewing when she was 8 years old. It started with hand sewing little stuffed animals and garments for her dolls. Then, quickly she moved on to attempting to hand sew full garments for herself. Her mother taught her how to use the sewing machine and helped her create her very first custom designed dress. From that point on, most of her playtime was spent analyzing garments, recreating shapes on flat pieces of fabric, and sewing up new designs for herself.
Throughout middle school and high school, she sewed most of her own wardrobe. Friends requested custom made dresses for dances and she was commissioned by peers to create their dream prom dresses. She made her own prom dress at age 18 and was featured in a local newspaper.
During the summer of 2009 at age 16, Isabelle experienced her first fashion design internship with Chicago local designer Anastasia Chatzka.
From the time she was 13 years old when she first learned about Parsons the New School for Design she started saying that is where she would go to college. So it was no surprise to anyone who knew her that Parsons is precisely where she ended up for furthering her design education.
While growing up in the north suburbs of Chicago, Isabelle made the most of living close to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago by attending a pre-college program taught by Shane Gabier, a co-founder of designer label Creatures of the Wind. This pre-college program was her first official education in pattern drafting and sewing professionally finished garments.
During the summer before her Senior year of high school at age 17, Isabelle lived in New York City for one month to attend the pre-college fashion design program at Parsons the New School for Design.
After graduating Highland Park High School in 2011, Isabelle went on to move to New York City to pursue her dream of being a fashion designer. She attended Parsons the New School for Design and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Fashion Design in 2015.
During her Junior year of studying at Parsons, she took the opportunity to study abroad at Central Saint Martins in London for one semester.
Throughout Isabelle’s time studying at Parsons, she took advantage of living in the fashion capital of the world. Isabelle’s first design internship in New York City was for Lela Rose during her Sophomore year of college.
Isabelle went on to intern for Donna Karan Collection during her Junior year and Edun during her Senior year. While studying abroad in London, Isabelle interned for the couture house called Boudicca.
After graduating Parsons the New School for Design in 2015, Isabelle interned for Lands’ End in their New York office within the Concept and Color team. Upon completing the summer internship, she was offered the opportunity to stay on the team as a Concept and Color Designer. She worked at Lands’ End for one year before moving on to her next role.
In 2017, Isabelle was offered an Associate Designer position with the designer label Alejandra Alonso Rojas. She went on to work in this role for three years where she learned a tremendous amount about design and development in the New York City garment district. Isabelle was able to explore textile innovations through natural dye techniques, she learned exquisite seam finishing techniques from the local factories she worked with, and she deepened her knowledge of garment fitting and construction through fittings with pattern makers. The experience at Alejandra Alonso Rojas also provided a wonderful foundation for running a small business in the fashion industry.
In 2020, due to the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, Isabelle launched her own company called Forest & Thread. After years of being ultra-focused within the luxury womenswear market, it was refreshing to dive back into her roots in home sewing. Isabelle designs, drafts patterns, and write sewing patterns with high quality construction techniques integrated as she knows from her time working in the fashion industry. Drawing from her experience with textile innovation and creating development packages for factories, Isabelle came up with the idea for garment making kits to go along with her sewing patterns. Forest & Thread offers unique custom designed printed fabrics by Isabelle available by the 1/2 yard or as part of a garment making kit.
In 2022, Isabelle worked as the Designer for luxury womenswear label Hellessy. She oversaw all of design and development for each collection, which consisted of knitwear, denim, and woven styles. Isabelle developed custom textile prints for Hellessy based on the concepts per season. She also conducted the fittings and worked closely with factories to ensure accurate translation of design into final garment. After one year, Isabelle decided leave Hellessy and continue her journey building Forest & Thread.
Isabelle currently lives and works out of her Brooklyn apartment with her husband and two cats. Her experience in the fashion industry plays a huge role in the products she creates, ensuring high quality, unique & modern designs, and professional techniques.