I am Kristine Upesleja and the founder of consulting firm MADISONS – INNOVATIVE MATERIALS.
I’m a trend ‘hunter’, lecturer, educator, researcher, connector, and visionary.

20 years’ experience as a costume designer for opera/ theater/film/TV and work as an interior design assistant in Europe and the US have profoundly shaped my love for materials. After moving from Berlin to Los Angeles I first assisted Roberta Marino, celebrity interior designer, on the Brad Pitt residencies in Los Feliz and Beverly Hills. A year later I got hired by FIDM/ Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising to run the materials library at the college. After years of research I founded the Innovative Textiles & Materials Department and established an Innovative Materials Collection. Once a year I curate an Innovative Materials Conference/Exhibit with guest speakers from the innovative industries.

I work with companies such as Hugo Boss, Adidas, C.P.Company, Stone Island, Lenzing, Vitra, Patagonia, Prana, Textile Exchange, JS Apparel, Schoeller, Cocona, Recover, S3 Studios, Guess, and Gary Cass, founder of Fermented Fashion, to name a few.

I’ve been giving lectures and webinars, host panels about Wearable Technology and Smart Fabrics, and keep writing articles for various magazines. Recently I’ve been interviewed for French Vogue. I consult with design firms to help them find the right materials and connect companies with designers, material specialists or technologists to help them realize their projects.

I’m planning to establish cross continental connections and material centers to educate young designers and professionals about the possibilities in the textile and design world.

I am on the Advisory Board of ThermalTech, a company that has invented a stainless steel fabric that collects sun energy. The applications seem to be endless. It has been a terrific journey.


  • Art Academy Riga, Latvia
  • Ilan Dei Studio, Venice Beach, California
  • AATCC Conference, Long Beach, California
  • FGI, San Diego, California
  • Woodbury University, Burbank, California
  • Innovative Materials Conference, FIDM, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Irvine, California
  • FBI/Fashion Business Inc., Los Angeles,  California
  • Pasadena Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California
  • Innovative Materials Symposium ‘The Reef’, Los Angeles, California
  • Factory Direct, California New Mart, Los Angeles, California
  • LA Maker City, Los Angeles, California
  • Smart Fabric and Wearable Tech Conference 2015 San Francisco, California
  • Magic Retail Show 2015 Las Vegas, California
  • MELANGE, Los Angeles
  • CSUN, Northridge
  • FGI ( Fashion Group International)
  • GUESS Workshop, FIDM, Los Angeles, California
  • Wear Smart Conference Montreal, Canada
  • Ecosessions, Montreal, Canada
  • SCI-Arc, Los Angeles, California
  • SOHO HOUSE, Ecosessions, Los Angeles, California