A Southern California native and Merchandise Product Development '14 Grad, Victoria Hultquist is now working as the Outreach and Events Coordinator at FASH UNITED, an official partner of the United Nations Trust Fund (UNTF). Their mission? To unite the fashion and design industries through strategic campaigns for fund development and increased awareness of human rights and equality internationally. Victoria is currently working on her Bachelor's degree from Vanguard University.
Tell us about your work at FASH UNITED: We are currently working on celebrity/designer collaborations and live events to fund the UNTF. I work on the communication that is related to designer/retailer collaborations, celebrity campaigns, sponsorships and overall outreach efforts. I also create the designs and layouts for our merchandise, social media, e-mail marketing and overall campaigns.
How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM prepared me in more ways than one. FIDM creates such a unique learning experience for all of their students and I would say that is what prepared me the most. FIDM taught me how to do everything in the fashion industry that was related to my major with a very hands on experience. They taught me how to learn from my mistakes and turn it into something better. Everything that I studied at FIDM prepared me for what I am currently doing in my career and the amazing jobs that I had while studying at FIDM.
How did you find out about FIDM? I found out about FIDM my sophomore year in high school. They came to one of my classes and I was immediately intrigued. A year later I had an admissions interview, applied, and got accepted to FIDM within two weeks. And two weeks after high school graduation, I started school at FIDM.
How did you decide on your major? I decided on my major through the application process. I went through an extensive questionnaire to help determine my major. I originally wanted to study makeup/beauty, but I realized that I already knew how to use those products and wanted to study something I hadn't learned yet. After obstacles of finding on-trend clothes for my plus size curves I decided I wanted to learn the design/development side of things so that I could cater to every plus size woman out there.
Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable? The classes that were the most valuable to me were my Illustrator/Photoshop classes, my pattern drafting/sewing classes, and of course Brand Portfolio Development. Those six hour classes were long, but well worth it. Everything that I am doing in my career uses Photoshop/Illustrator. I may not be sewing or drafting patterns at my current position, but I know that some day when I am designing plus size apparel, I will use those skills. In the mean time, I use those skills to create my own clothes. I feel that Brand Portfolio is every FIDM student's most successful class. That is what every student is gearing up for. Everything that we learn is represented in this amazing book of our own creativity.
Any advice for current FIDM Students? I could go on for days with advice for current FIDM Students. But, as cliche as it is—don't give up on your dreams. And don't ever let ANYONE tell you that you can't do something. You can do ANYTHING if you set your mind to it. We all choose FIDM because we know exactly what we want to do with our careers. Trust and believe me that when I say it gets harder, it really does, but there is nothing more rewarding than finishing that portfolio and walking across that stage at the Staples Center. After all, only a student at FIDM knows what it's really like. :)
What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal is to finish my Bachelor's degree from Vanguard University and go into law. My overall career goal is to become a fashion attorney. Once I have reached that goal, I want to design plus size apparel. But for now, I am going to school and working at the dream job so that I can reach those goals in the next few years.
Anything else you’d like to share? You can do it!!! There will be times when you want to give up, but you will get through it. The fashion industry is very glamorous. There are very amazing, talented people out there who will help you, and others who are the complete opposite. Don't let anyone get in your way. Learn from your mistakes and turn them into something better. It is your life, you get to make your own journey, so make it a good one!
Visit fashunited.org to find out more about their campaigns, including End Violence Against Women.