Michael

Fashion Design Graduate and professional figure skater Michael Kuluva is Creative Director of Tumbler and Tipsy, the L.A.-based brand that has been featured in over 100 publications and media outlets, including Vogue Italia, People, and The Today Show

Where were you born/raised? I was born in Missoula, Montana, but I was raised in Los Angeles since I was three months old. I call myself a native.

How did you first hear about FIDM? While looking into many campuses around the U.S. that focused on my passion for a Fashion Design program plus a degree, I came across FIDM since it was a local school. I really loved the contemporary, high tech campus, and that the instructors are specialized in their field from the industry so they were teaching us exactly what was happening. There were also opportunities outside the campus for students in all majors.

When did you start Tumbler & Tipsy and how did your figure skating career influence the line? I started Tumbler and Tipsy in the Fall of 2009, so it will be six years this February. My figure skating career influenced my label in so many ways, from the vibrant neon sequins to having skating stars such as Sasha Cohen, Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski, Sarah Hughes, Mirai Nagasu, Adam Rippon, and many others wearing Tumbler and Tipsy on the red carpets, sitting front row at Fashion Week, or even walking our New York Fashion Week runways. I have now gone on to design for professional figure skating tours in Europe and also for international competitive skaters.

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Michael pictured on the runway with Kendall Jenner

How do you feel FIDM helped prepare you for your exciting career? I feel FIDM gave me the foundation to go anywhere in the fashion industry. Being a Creative Director, I am able to expand the Tumbler and Tipsy brand with my knowledge from FIDM, which translates into our overall brand presence, sketching or drawing the new collection digitally, style forecasting, pattern making, manufacturing, hand sewing gowns, the history of fashion plus so much more. I use the knowledge I received from FIDM in my daily life as a fashion designer.

What can we expect to see for Spring 2015? Spring/Summer 2015 is exciting this year with a lot of the women's look becoming more androgynous with trends having the more "boyish" looks. Comfortable Bermuda shorts are going to be all the rage being paired with cropped printed tank tops. Expect to see a lot of the color pink throughout the season in every designers collection plus look for the "Amazon Jungle" theme coming around this summer especially in the RTW swimwear collections.

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A Chat With Fashion Design Grad Michael Kuluva of Tumbler and Tipsy

Fashion Design Graduate and professional figure skater Michael Kuluva is Creative Director of Tumbler and Tipsy, the L.A.-based brand that has been featured in over 100 publications and media outlets,...

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Amanda-Holub

Amanda Holub is a Bay Area native who graduated from FIDM in June of last year with a degree in Merchandise Product Development. As a student, she worked a variety of retail jobs, and also designed for a local start up where she eventually went on to do production management. The recent grad is now working at Williams-Sonoma Inc. as a Product Development Coordinator. 

Tell us about yourself: In my free time I play guitar, go on hikes, spend time with my friends, and generally try to be out and about as much as possible.

Where are you working now? I currently work for Williams-Sonoma Inc., under the Pottery Barn Kids brand as the Product Development Coordinator.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? Majoring in Product development means you learn about everything that falls under the umbrella of product development. In my current position I oversee all of the samples that come in and out, assist the various designers, make design approvals, assist technical designers, and the color specialist, among many other things. In my role, I see everything that happens in the product development department and I use the things I learned in school every day. It's a really great entry level position because I'm able to assist in every aspect of product development and also get to see the roles merchants and sourcing play as well. It's a great way to see what direction and area of product development I ultimately want to end up in. Between my education at FIDM and my experience working in the fashion industry, I feel confident in my ability to move up and thrive within the product development team.

How did you find out about FIDM? When I became interested in college, my dad mentioned it as an option for me since he knew I was interested in fashion.  

How did you decide on your major? I knew I liked to design, but I also liked the business end of things. When I went in for my first interview with the school and learned about the Product Development major, I knew it would be perfect since it was a beautiful marriage of the two things I was most interested in. 

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? The textile science classes have been invaluable to me, as well as the pre-production classes.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Any experience is good experience, even if you're going to school full-time, working part-time in retail is really valuable. Once you're looking for a job, be assertive about the position you're applying for, and if possible go through a recruiter.

What is your biggest goal right now? To win the giant pencil! In our office every month we all nominate someone for what is essentially employee of the month. Right now my goal is to win it! 

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FIDM Merchandise Product Development Grad Amanda Holub Lands Job at Williams-Sonoma Inc.

Amanda Holub is a Bay Area native who graduated from FIDM in June of last year with a degree in Merchandise Product Development. As a student, she worked a variety...

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Trish Summerville, a graduate of FIDM, is nominated for the 17th Costume Designers Guild Awards for her work on Gone Girl, in the Excellence in Contemporary Film category. Trish, who is known for her work on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, most recently worked on Westworld, a sci-fi western TV series starring James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood, and Anthony Hopkins. 

The Costume Designers Guild Awards, presented by Lacoste, will take place on February 17, 2015, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. 

Featured Story

Trish Summerville Nominated For Costume Designers Guild Awards for 'Gone Girl'

Trish Summerville, a graduate of FIDM, is nominated for the 17th Costume Designers Guild Awards for her work on Gone Girl, in the Excellence in Contemporary Film category. Trish, who...

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Winners

On Sunday evening in New York City, the National Retail Federation Foundation held its first gala, celebrating imagination, inspiration, and innovation. The foundation honored FIDM Founder, President, and CEO Tonian Hohberg (pictured, third from right) by naming her to The List, which recognizes 25 people who are shaping retail's future. 

This is the first time in the NRF's history that they have chosen the leader of an educational institution for this honor, and FIDM is incredibly proud of this distinction. Martha Stewart was a presenter at the gala and handed the FIDM President her award. Ms. Hohberg's reply, when asked how to build a successful institute: “Surround yourself with the smartest team you can find, who understand the secrets of intelligent, unselfish leadership, sprinkled with a sense of humor.”

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FIDM Alumna Margarita Arriagada (pictured, below), Sephora's Chief Merchant, was also honored as a Power Player. The inaugural gala raised nearly $1.2 million to support the next generation of retail talent. Congratulations the NRF Foundation and all of the evening's honorees. 

The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association whose board of directors includes industry executives from Saks, Inc, Neiman Marcus, Crate and Barrel, The Container Store, HSNi, Ralph Lauren, and Macys. The NRF hosts annual conferences that are considered epicenters for reporting on the most cutting edge innovations in digital retailing, dynamic and strategic marketing and other key retail trends such as "Shop.Org" and "Retail's The Big Show."

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Featured Story

Martha Stewart Presents FIDM President Tonian Hohberg With NRF Foundation Award

On Sunday evening in New York City, the National Retail Federation Foundation held its first gala, celebrating imagination, inspiration, and innovation. The foundation honored FIDM Founder, President, and CEO Tonian...

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Award

FIDM Interior Design Students Lara Hayes (pictured, left) and Juliette Mutzke-Felippelli recently won the 2014 Harold W. Grieve Student Design Competition honoring excellence in Interior Design, presented through the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Both women are currently 4th quarter Professional Designation students.

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"I felt incredibly honored to receive the award as Harold Grieve was an important figure in the film and interior design industries, having designed homes for legends such as Bing Crosby and contributed to the set design of major films," explained Juliette. "On a more personal level, I walked away from a career in public relations a year ago to pursue my passion for design so receiving this recognition felt very gratifying and more importantly, encouraging, for me to continue pushing myself to learn and grow in the design field."

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The project they submitted for the award was from their Computer Graphics II class, a concept for a new Los Angeles nightclub called LUR, based off the character played by Scarlett Johansson in the sci-fi film Under the Skin. "In the movie, Scarlett plays a femme fatale who lures men into a pitch-black liquid. We based our concept off the interaction between hunter and prey, using the black liquid as our inspiration. We brought this concept to life with black lacquered walls throughout the space and manipulated the lighting to lure guests directly to the dance floor," she adds. "Here, the abstract capstone chandelier by Zaha Hadid envelops guests while VIP guests experience the nightclub at an elevated position." 

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Student Life

Two FIDM Interior Design Students Win ASID Student Design Competition

FIDM Interior Design Students Lara Hayes (pictured, left) and Juliette Mutzke-Felippelli recently won the 2014 Harold W. Grieve Student Design Competition honoring excellence in Interior Design, presented through the American...

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15037j David WolfeDSC_7674

Trend forecaster David Wolfe, Creative Director Doneger Creative Services, announced the death of old-style, head-to-toe trends at his lively presentation at the downtown FIDM LA campus Wednesday night. Speaking to alumni and current students at an event hosted by Alumni Director Bill Cliatt, Wolfe shared his observations on the major cultural shifts that will continue to take fashion into the 21st century. Rather than recycling decades past, creative designers will look at folding technology into textiles, garment functionality, and the retail experience. For Spring 2016, Wolfe sees the influences being athleisure, self expression in prints and textures, light ethereal colors in response to all the black, classics like pantsuits with a twist, and relaxed, soft silhouettes. The overall trend is "options"—or many micro trends rather than one big craze that everyone  adopts.

To keep up with the latest tech apparel trends Wolfe recommends students look at the website TechStyleNews.

The Latest Trends

FIDM Speaker: Doneger's David Wolfe Forecasts Rise of Tech Fashion

Trend forecaster David Wolfe, Creative Director Doneger Creative Services, announced the death of old-style, head-to-toe trends at his lively presentation at the downtown FIDM LA campus Wednesday night. Speaking to...

read more
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