Footwear Design Student Esther Chung, who will be graduating next weekend, is currently working full time as the Design Supervisor at SWYT Culture, a women and children’s footwear company. Her role involves designing and developing each collection as well as the creation of PR/Marketing graphics. We recently caught up with Esther to learn about her path to this exciting career.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m 24, born and raised in Southern California. My interest in footwear began a bit spontaneously while I was traveling in Asia. Being exposed to fashion in different cultures opened my eyes to the possibilities of design and somehow gave me the epiphany that I wanted to design shoes. Although I have always been interested in different forms of art I found that designing for shoes brought the most creativity out of me and was worth pursuing as a career path.
Did you have any previous college experience before FIDM? I have a BA in Film and TV from New York University.
How did you decide FIDM was the right college for you? FIDM stood out to me for its Footwear Design major. I wanted to apply to a program that I knew would challenge me and give me the intensive training that I was looking for. I had insecurities about going back to school in the beginning, especially since I had no drawing experience, but I knew I was passionate about footwear and would fully commit to it.
How did you decide to apply to the Footwear program? I did a lot of research before applying and was really inspired by alumni testimonials and the work they produced during school. I wanted to get to that level and learn from professionals in the industry.
What was your favorite experience in the program? Presenting our Vera Wang Collections to Brown Shoe Company. Yes, preparing for this presentation involved many stress-ridden days, but I found that those weeks really pushed me to grow as a designer and create work that I was proud of. And of course the Italy trip was an amazing, eye opening experience to the production side of footwear.
Did FIDM help you land your internship/job? Yes. In my first week of the Footwear program, I visited Kevin Keele in the Career Center where he gave me SWYT Culture’s job lead for a paid internship. Thank you, Kevin, if you are reading this!
The Footwear Design Advanced Study Major is now accepting applications for the program that begins Oct 2013. Please contact Kathy Bailon at [email protected] or Denise Delgado at [email protected] for more information.