Alumni

Feb

24
2015

Beach Riot Wins Swim Brand of the Year at SIMA Awards (Interview)

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Beach Riot, the popular swimwear line founded by FIDM Graduate Nicole Hanriot, recently won Swim Brand of the Year at the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) Awards last week. We recently chatted with Nicole about the exciting win.

How did it feel to win Swim Brand of the Year? It was a huge shock and honor for us to win. To be nominated with our peers is an honor in itself. We will be celebrating this weekend in New York City at the Axis Trade show. 

How do you feel FIDM helped prepare you to run and design your own business? Being a graduate from FIDM has helped in so many ways. I love how most of my instructors were working in the industry at the time as teaching at FIDM; it really helped prepare us for the real world. I am so grateful for all the tools I use on a daily basis that FIDM taught me. 

What are your future goals for Beach Riot? We just launched our first ready to wear contemporary apparel collection which is very exciting. My goals for the future are to just keep striving ahead and grow Beach Riot into a world wide contemporary lifestyle company.

Feb

24
2015

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

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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.

Feb

24
2015

SF Fashion Design Students Design For Crowdfunding Retailer Betabrand

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During the Spring 2014 quarter, Fashion Design Students (now alumni) from Computer Pattern II teamed up with retail clothing company and crowdfunding platform Betabrand. "It was a 'real time' experience working within a new business model for the garment/product manufacturing industry," explains Fashion Design Department Coordinator Janice Paredes. "Once their original designs were critiqued by Betabrand's directors, the students created production patterns and graded sizing on computer software using fit and customer information from Betabrand."

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The designs selected by the Betabrand (Think Tank) customers have now been fully funded and will be produced. The FIDM designers are Nicole Spyt (Morning-Mess Jacket) and Elizabeth Irwin (360 Reversible Dress). "It is especially exciting because these designs were fully funded before the 30-day funding period deadline," adds Janice. "Students watched each day as the votes and comments were submitted. The Beta-Go-Go Dress is currently in crowdfunding, too, and you can watch it in real time."

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In 2013, Betabrand launched a crowdfunding platform, similar to Kickstarter, so that users can crowdsource clothing concepts and prototypes into actual products. Since the inception of the crowdfunding platform, Betabrand has funded almost 100 garments. A feature of production is the turnaround from initial design to sellable article – which can be in four to eight weeks. 

Feb

24
2015

FIDM Style Project: Corey Marshall of Fashionista Problems Talks about Technology and the Fashion Industry

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Image: Fashion blogger and FIDM Grad Corey Marshall of Fashionista Problems

In this month’s FIDM Style Project series, we reached out to some of our favorite fashion bloggers to ask:

“How has technology influenced the fashion industry?”

Fashion blogger Corey Marshall of Fashionista Problems weighed in on the subject:

“First I need to point out that I am defining technology specifically as the Internet and social media in this context. Technology has made fashion practically attainable to anyone. It has also become a quicker process since inspiration is not just on the streets now, but literally everywhere. I can’t even count the hours I’ve spent scrolling through Pinterest and fashion blogs getting ideas to put outfits together. From seeing an item online, whether it is on a blog, someone’s Instagram, scrolling through Pinterest, or another means of inspiration, the next step of attaining the item has become a much easier process than it used to be. There are even apps (The Hunt for example) where people can post a photo of an item they are interested in purchasing yet not sure where it’s sold. Other users of the app help them find where it can be purchased. With a little research, the item can be on the way to your closet in a few days. Fashion has become a quick-moving cycle. If you’re a fashion-oriented gal like me, after receiving that new piece, you’re very eager to Instagram or post a blog entry about the outfit you put together with that new item you worked so hard to get into your hands. This is where the whole cycle starts over again, when someone else gains inspiration from your social media post!”

More about Corey

Corey is a graduate of the Fashion Design program at FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, as well as a graduate of the Graphic Communications program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The concept of Marshall’s brand, Fashionista Problems, grew out of the fact that many people have moments of looking in their closets with plenty of clothes, and yet feel as if they have nothing to wear, followed by have the urge to go out and buy something entirely new.

Marshall started the brand in 2012 by creating handmade pieces meant to be worn at Coachella, an event that “very closely defines her style” and showcases a few of her favorite things: fashion, music, art, and socializing. Eventually those pieces evolved into simple pieces that can be worn on an everyday basis. Marshall even sold one-of-a-kind illustrations for home decor.

“I love trying new things and bringing concepts to life that people bring to me,” says Marshall. Fashionista Problems has evolved into more of a lifestyle brand with the integration of her YouTube channel, blog and other social media outlets. Since she started using Instagram, it has been her favorite way of publicizing her brand. Marshall is a very visual person and has always been inspired by photography.

Connect with Cory

Twitter

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Instagram

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About FIDM Style Project

FIDM Style Project is an online editorial collaboration series between the online design community and FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Are you interested in participating in the next FIDM Style Project series? Get in touch with us here

Feb

17
2015

Merchandise Product Development Grad Ashley Rainaldo Hired at Velvet as Retail Merchandiser and Design Assistant

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Ashley Rainaldo graduated last year with a degree in Merchandise Product Development and is now working as a Retail Merchandiser/Design Assistant at Velvet by Graham & Spencer. She says her Brand Portfolio class was one of the most important classes she took at FIDM. 

Where are you working now and what do you do? Right now I’m working at the Velvet headquarters in Culver City. Throughout school I worked here part-time in design, looking to eventually move up the design ladder. After graduation I was offered a position in merchandising full-time. Although my original plan was to stay in design, I have always been interested in merchandising and I saw it as the perfect opportunity to get more experience in a different aspect of the industry. Half the week I travel to all of our various department stores (Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, etc.) and work with their employees to make sure the Velvet section is merchandised and visually up to par. The other half of the week, I am in the office helping out the design room. I report back to the designers and give retail feedback on what is and isn’t selling. I also assist in public relations. I like to wear as many hats as possible!

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM definitely prepared me well when it comes to communication, time management, and working well under pressure. I had to do a million presentations, practice meetings, interviews, etc. in class and I think those real life situations are the most helpful. I am completely comfortable in those kinds of work situations now.

How did you find out about FIDM? Initially through MTV’s The Hills. I used to watch it every day. I wanted to go to FIDM so badly because it looked so awesome and I loved Lauren Conrad. When I got older I actually took the time to research it, and many of my coworkers recommended it to me as well.

How did you decide on your major? I was really torn on whether I wanted to be a designer, a stylist or a merchandiser. I literally would be happy doing any of the three. I’m creative and visual but I also like the business side of things. When I explained that to my advisor, she pointed me to Merchandise Product Development. I got to learn a little about everything in this major, which was perfect for me.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Not to sound cliché but they are all pretty valuable. It’s important to have a little bit of knowledge in everything no matter what position you decide to take in the industry. The last class you take, Brand Portfolio, I think is one of the most important. First of all, you work on an entire portfolio that you can bring to your future interviews to get your first job, so that’s a huge deal. You also do mock interviews, which prepare you for your first real interview, also a huge deal. In my last mock interview, I got to meet HR from Nasty Gal. The interview went so well that she got my information and we still keep in touch, just in case a position opens up for me. I made an awesome connection that day!!

Any advice for current FIDM Students? INTERN!!! FIDM is hard, and you always have homework and projects. But it’s important that you’re interning or working in the industry while you’re in school. You won’t have much of a life for a little while, but it pays off! You get more out of your classes because you’re learning and seeing it in action all at the same time. Plus you have a way better chance of getting a good job when you graduate.

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal is to soak up as much experience as I can while I’m young and to keep doing what I love to do. Whether it’s in design or merchandising or whatever else, I just want to be the best at what I’m doing.

Anything else you’d like to share? To whomever is reading this: Keep working as hard as you can. All the blood, sweat, and tears (and money) will be worth it!

Feb

12
2015

Tweetup with FIDM Grad, Professional Figure Skater, and Fashion Designer Michael Kuluva on Mar. 12

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Frozen meets fashion… sort of. On Thursday, March 12 from 4:00 - 5:30 PST, FIDM is hosting an online Q&A Tweetup with FIDM Fashion Design Alumnus Michael Kuluva. Kuluva is a professional figure skater and the Creative Director of Tumbler and Tipsy, a Los Angeles-based brand that has been featured in more than 100 major publications and media outlets, including Vogue Italia, People, and The Today Show.  

Tweetup Details

To participate in our virtual Q&A, be sure to follow @FIDM and @MichaelKuluva and submit your questions using the hashtag #MichaelatFIDM. Then check back at 4:00 on March 12 to see if Kuluva answers your questions! Read more about Kuluva below and in our recent interview with the designer here.

About Professional Figure Skater & Fashion Designer Michael Kuluva

From a young age, Michael Kuluva worked his way up to become one of the youngest, most talented and recognized names in professional figure skating history, touring in over more than 600 cities in 40 countries. Since studying fashion at FIDM, Kuluva has become a designer and stylist to musicians, red carpet celebrities and Olympic athletes.

Kuluva’s “show-stopping, jaw-dropping” brand Tumbler and Tipsy is unique in its form, exclusive in its style, extraordinary in its appearance, and quickly paving its way to the forefront of today’s global fashion scene. Tumbler and Tipsy by Michael Kuluva was featured as an Emerging Designer at Los Angeles Fashion Week S/S 2012 with rave reviews.

For its spring 2013 collection, Tumbler and Tipsy partnered with "Just Dance,” the number one dance video game in the world from Ubisoft. Tumbler and Tipsy by Michael Kuluva was the first brand/designer EVER to bring any virtual video game to the real-life runway at New York Fashion Week in spring 2013. Pop star Cher Lloyd opened the 2013 Spring show with her hit single "Want You Back" while celebrities strutted the infamous catwalk for this history-making fashion week show, which included Kendall Jenner, Olympian Alex Morgan, Entertainment Tonight's Christina McLarty and G4's television host Kristin Adams. The dazzling fashion show featured 47 unique looks for women and men and included the "Just Dance 4" video game-inspired looks, along with custom Tumbler and Tipsy "Monster Headphones."

Feb

11
2015

Hear a Forecast Presentation by Donegar Group Creative Director David Wolfe at FIDM

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FIDM Students are invited to join FIDM's Alumni Association for an entertaining trend presentation, "Launchpad to the Future," by Doneger Group Creative Director, David Wolfe. Innovation fuels every field, and technology continues as the driving force affecting everything from fashion design and textile development to color theory and retailing. David is the apparel industry’s most notable and quoted authority on fashion, color, and trend forecasting. Just back from his week at MAGIC, the apparel industry trade show, he will give a presentation featuring pictures from Doneger’s exclusive trend reports.

Date: Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Cost: Free

Location: FIDM Annex 605 West Olympic Blvd Los Angeles, 90015, 3rd Floor Room A332

Parking: Located on the main campus or at surrounding lots

RSVP: Seating is limited. Please RSVP to Carrie Shay, CShay@fidm.com.

Feb

10
2015

"Art of Motion Picture Costume Design" Exhibition Features All 5 Academy Award Nominees for Costume Design

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The FIDM Museum & Galleries' 23rd annual "Art of Motion Picture Costume Design" exhibition features over 100 costumes from 23 films from 2014, including costumes from all five Academy Award nominees for Best Costume Design - The Grand Budapest Hotel, Inherent Vice, Into the Woods, Maleficent, and Mr. Turner.

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Over the weekend, the museum hosted an opening party to celebrate the popular exhibition that also features costumes from Birdman, Selma, The Theory of Everything, Gone Girl (designed by FIDM Graduate Trish Summerville), The Fault in Our Stars (designed by FIDM Graduate Mary Claire Hannan), Step Up All In (designed by FIDM Graduate Soyon An), and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (designed by FIDM Graduate Marlene Stewart), among others. 

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Salvador Perez, Costume Designer and President of the Costume Designers Guild; Trish Summerville, FIDM Alumna and featured Costume Designer for Gone Girl; and Barbara Bundy, FIDM Vice President and Museum Director

This major exhibition is the only one of its kind in the world that pays homage each year to the creativity of the costume designer for film with a museum show of outstanding costumes and Oscar® nominated designs. It is a tradition to display the former year's Oscar winner for Best Costume Design, which in 2014 was The Great Gatsby

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Mary Claire Hannan, FIDM Alumna and featured Costume Designer for The Fault in Our Stars

The free exhibition is open to the public through Saturday, April 25, 2015, Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

Photos by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages

Feb

06
2015

Pretty Little Liars Costume Designer Mandi Line to Appear at SOURCING at MAGIC (Interview)

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Heading to MAGIC? On February 18, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., FIDM Graduate Mandi Line, the costume designer for Pretty Little Liars, will be on an exciting panel for SOURCING at MAGIC. Entitled "SOURCING HOLLYWOOD: How Costume Designers Make TV & Film Come To Life," Mandi will appear with fellow costume designers Lyn Paolo and Joe Kucharski, and celebrity stylist and FIDM Grad Daniel Musto. We recently caught up with Mandi to chat about her exciting career in Hollywood.

What is your design process when it comes to a new character or entire show? Well, the long and short of it is, I talk to the writer of the show, we go back and forth, and then I do some tear sheets to show her what I'm feeling. On Pretty Little Liars I am so blessed that they really trust my gut. That is a special gift to have someone that actually lets you do your job. I have found that many times and I am so so blessed. 

How do you think costume design is influencing designer collections or style in general? They are saying that street used to influence the runway, but now fashion designers are even saying film and TV have changed the face of retail. Fashion pulls from all walks of life, even the make believe ones.

What has been your approach with PLL? Why do you think it has been so successful? From the beginning I gained the network and writers trust with the attitude that I could promise them one of the best dressed shows on TV. They weren't sure that that was what they were going for. But after the first season, Us Weekly said we were the best dressed cast and the first show since Sex and the City to be considered for contemporary series best costumes. After that they put their hands in the air and said "well go with it" and now with Twitter and live tweeting we have been named "the show that changed the face of television." The viewer feels like everything from the actors to the sets to the wardrobe are accessible. Social media and the timing of Pretty Little Liars could not have been better. 

How did you know that you wanted to work in costume design? I knew I wanted to work in costume because after I stopped modeling I knew all the behind-the-scenes hustle and bustle of fashion and knew I needed to stick with that world. Plus, my shopping addiction had to play out somewhere with other people's money. I say you really either have it or you don't. I have to be a gypsy and a therapist on top of knowing clothes. And just because you dress well doesn't mean you are cut out for this.

How did FIDM prepare you for your career? Bottom line, FIDM got me my first job as an intern on a film. I owe my "in" to them. I owe my surviving to my heart too.

This year’s sourcing show runs from February 16-19, 2015 and as always, MAGIC offers an un-paralleled seminar series with over 50+ sessions led by 70+ executive-level speakers. View the full list here.

Photo Credit: Gregory Metcalf

Feb

04
2015

Fashion Designer and FIDM Grad Reese De Luca Visits Premiere Product Development Students

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Reese De Luca graduated from FIDM in 2003 with his Merchandise Product Development Degree. The entrepreneur is now the Creative Director of de la COMMUNE, a premium brand launched with a capsule collection of underwear, sweats, and tees. He visited his alma mater last week to speak with the students in the Premiere Product Development Group—an elite group of FIDM Students with special access to guest speakers. He covered everything from his Kickstarter campaign to his social media success.

Tell us a little about your background in fashion: I’ve designed for Juicy Couture, William Rast, Carushka Bodywear, Buffalo, and Point Zero. I’ve always been a serial entrepreneur. I made and sold my own Sailor Moon magazine in Grade 7, and created an accessory line that was sold in a local designer boutique at 16.

Tell us about your line, de la COMMUNE: It’s a premium brand that we launched with a capsule collection of underwear, drop crotch sweats and tees. The majority of our styles are unisex. Fair labor is a major concern for us, so everything was made in Los Angeles and Toronto.

When did you launch it? We launched our Kickstarter on September 22nd and it was over on Halloween at midnight. It was an amazing experience but was also very stressful. The real work starts when your campaign is actually live. Daily tweeting, facebooking, instagram. Emailing online media and blogs for coverage. Literally hounding all our friends to help us reach our goal.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM was an amazing experience in my life. The teachers I had all had real time experience so almost everything that was taught to us could be applied to real world situations. We had a lot of projects and there was a lot of competition and talent at school. It helped push me to the next level and really think creatively about the projects and how I wanted to present them.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Line Development. My instructor was great. You chose a brand from the board and all quarter long you did a step along the product development calendar until you had a complete line to present at the end of the quarter. I remember not seeing Juicy on the board and asking her if she could add it for me. She added it to the board and called on me first. I was obsessed with Juicy and ended up winning best merchandised collection. It was a great class and really mimicked the paths I would take when developing collections as a design director.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Always try to ask questions and absorb as much information as possible. Get to know your teachers because they can be a great resource for you—now and later.

What is your biggest goal right now? We want to grow de la COMMUNE into a full lifestyle brand. For guys who like nice stuff.

Anything else you’d like to share? Follow us on instagram and join our journey @delaCOMMUNE.

Jan

30
2015

Interior Design Grad is Winner of HGTV's Fresh Faces of Design Contest

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Interior Design Graduate Caitlin McCarthy is the Overall Winner and received the Best Small Spaces award for HGTV's Fresh Faces of Design competition. Her entry, a diminutive loft space in Los Angeles, impressed the judges and voters alike. "It’s the fundamental designs and smart space solutions that I learned at FIDM that really grabbed the judges attention," Caitlin says. 

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Read more about Caitlin and the competition here

Jan

29
2015

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

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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.

Jan

28
2015

FIDM Grad Anita Herrera Profiled on The Hundreds

 

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Merchandise Marketing Graduate Anita Herrera is featured in The Hundreds online magazine for her work as a public relations executive, stylist, and designer. 

"I’m from Huntington Park, which is pretty much the ghetto of Los Angeles, it’s like South East LA, where these types of opportunities or jobs aren’t even a thought because it’s not usually even an option. The fact that I went to FIDM was almost unheard of at the time. Just because people didn’t do that. So I went and applied to be a Merchandise Marketing major because I knew that I wanted to be on the business side of fashion. That particular degree offered education and public relations, event production, merchandising – basically all the initial tools – fashion math, and things that you need to basically apply to your career."

Read the entire story here

Jan

28
2015

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

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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! 

Jan

28
2015

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

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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. 

Jan

26
2015

Jewelry Design Alumna's Matterial Fix Line Carried at Bloomingdale's and Lord & Taylor

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Orange County-based designer and Jewelry Design Graduate Courtney Sims founded Matterial Fix with a philanthropic focus (10% of sales are donated directly to help girls around the world.) She has been profiled in Riviera magazine and is now carried at Bloomingdale's stores throughout California and at Lord & Taylor. 

Learn more about Matterial Fix in this video: 

 

Jan

22
2015

Alumna Serves as Costume Designer For 'Little Women, the Musical'

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The Omaha World-Herald has a profile of FIDM Graduate Denise Ervin, who is the costume designer for a local production of "Little Women, the Musical" at the Omaha Community Playhouse. Denise returned to the playhouse (where she worked in the 1970s) after a succesful career in Los Angeles where she was a deisgner and product developer for Adidas. Ervin and her crew has made 70-plus costumes from scratch for the production, debuting tomorrow. 

Jan

20
2015

Merchandise Marketing Grad Launches Daou Denim Co.

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Merchandise Marketing Graduate Katherine Daou has recently launched the San Diego-based Daou Denim Co., a collection that combines trend and authenticity with a great fit. The San Francisco campus alumna worked in design and sales prior to striking out on her own. The line consists of premium denim, hardware, and trimmings.

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Daou Denim Co. is hosting a launch and collection preview at Moniker Warehouse in San Diego on February 26, 2015, from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. rsvp@besocialpr.com to attend. 

Jan

13
2015

FIDM Grad Christine Capuano Lands Job at Forever 21 as Assistant Production Coordinator

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After first preparing for a career in journalism, Christine Capuano decided to follow her lifelong dream of working in the fashion industry and applied to FIDM. She graduated last year with her Merchandise Product Development, Professional Designation Degree and is now working at Forever 21 as an Assistant Production Coordinator. She said she loves doing something she truly enjoys. Read on to learn more about this inspiring FIDM Grad.

Tell us a little about yourself: I grew up in New York, moved to Phoenix when I was twelve years old, attended Arizona State University for my undergrad and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism & Mass Communication. Graduating in the midst of the recession as print journalism was quickly becoming a dying field proved to be much more difficult to find a job I was excited about, and I ended up working as a recruiter for almost two years. It was a nice job, but not at all something I was passionate about. I moved to Los Angeles in July of 2013 and decided to follow my lifelong dream of working in the fashion industry and I haven’t looked back since.

Where are you working now? I work at Forever 21 in downtown Los Angeles and am an Assistant Production Coordinator in the Contemporary/Love 21 department. I basically am the liaison between our buyers, designers, product developers, and our vendors. It’s a lot of work, 50 hour weeks, but very rewarding to finally be working for a company I love and doing something I truly enjoy.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? When I first started at FIDM, I had no idea what I signed up for and I don’t think many students do. In the ten months I was there, I learned how to sew, work with color and testing, merchandise math, product development, design, etc. I literally learned a little bit of every facet of the industry and everything I learned I have seen play out in the industry, which has been really rewarding.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Fabric Identification, Apparel Process, and Product Development have proved to be very essential. I have meetings every morning with the wife of the Forever 21 President to confirm color, print, trim, fabric swatches, strike offs, and CADS, and I definitely wouldn’t want to be speaking with her not knowing what I was talking about or what she was asking me. I really was not a fan of Apparel Process in the beginning, but knowing how to spec, and why garment fits aren’t working or issues are arising is vital.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Soak up everything, while you can! Do internships. I interned for a stylist who is also a graduate of FIDM, Rodarte, and a public relations firm. The one I was most excited about ended up being so utterly terrible. I didn’t learn very much; they weren’t nice or communicative with me; but in the grand scheme of things I was only there for one month, and having their name on my resume undoubtedly got me both of my post-graduate jobs including the one I have now. Sometimes you have to do things that aren’t so glamorous, but trust me—it pays off!

What is your biggest goal right now? I would really like to become a part of our creative team. I love watching the designers, graphic designers, and product developers collaborate on new developments. Right now I am very fortunate to be working very closely with my team, but being able to be a decision maker and see my personal taste and choices reflected in the garments is a huge goal of mine.

Anything else you’d like to share? I was very blessed to be able to go back to FIDM, which was a dream of mine ever since I was 14 or 15. I didn’t go until I was 25, and was slightly discouraged at the overwhelming number of young students in my classes. I started to rethink my decision to go back to school, but I am so glad I stuck it out. I met a girl around my age on the first day of classes, she became my roommate about six months later, and we still live together today. It really is never too late to follow your dreams! I put in ten months of extremely hard work and it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Jan

12
2015

Vis Comm Alumna Is Founder of Retail Consultancy and Visual Design Firm Tandem Arbor (Interview)

Jana

Name: Jana Garvin

Major: Visual Communications

CompanyTandem Arbor 

Tell us about your firm. We are a retail consultancy and visual design firm born out of a passion to elevate the shopping experience for brands and boutiques by developing and executing creative retail environments. We work across multiple retail platforms (retail stores, shop-in-shops, pop-up shops, showrooms, trade shoe booths, window displays, eCommerce, and print marketing) to create cohesive, impactful displays that bring a brand to life.

What are your current goals? Last fall, Tandem Arbor was hired as the creative and buying team for the relaunch of LuxeYard, a high-end home furnishing eCommerce site. We will be debuting a Tandem Arbor furniture collection on LuxeYard. My current goal is to make LuxeYard a huge success with highly curated content, innovative technology components, and a great place to shop. As a longer-term goal, I am inspired by the career path and accomplishments of Kelly Wearstler; I hope to one day reach her level of achievement and distinction.

What do you like most about your job? I love the responsibilities and possibilities of having my own firm. I have had the opportunity to engage in various disciplines for different scopes of work and I get to continue to integrate new strategies and creativity into the process, all of which has been very rewarding.

Jan

08
2015

'Project Runway' Alumna Kelli Martin Is Founder of Alternative Fashion Mob

Kelli

FIDM Graduate and Project Runway Alumna Kelli Martin of Anti.Label recently moved to Columbus, Ohio where she founded Alternative Fashion Week and Alternative Fashion Mob, a collection of fashion designers, industry professionals, and couture enthusiasts who are dedicated to furthering the fashion industry in Columbus..

Read a Q&A with Kelli in (614) Magazine.

Jan

07
2015

Merchandise Product Development Grads Launch Pliable Pattern Product

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FIDM Grads Alicia Rhodes and Natasha Endrei's new company Aeline has launched the duo's first product, Pliable Pattern, a pattern making product designed to improve final fit. 

What is Pliable Pattern?

Pliable Pattern is a product that will help change the manual pattern making process as we know it. It uses the 3 current materials: dot paper, muslin, and manila paper and combines them into one product that saves time and money, and aids in a better fit for the final garment.

How did you come up with the idea?

We came up with the initial idea when we were working together on a pattern for a dress, and we were running into a number of issues. One was the dot paper not molding to the bust correctly, and then paper tearing multiple times. We thought there must be an easier way, and soon after Pliable Pattern was born!

PliablePattern copy

What you study at FIDM? Did you meet at fashion school?

I (Natasha) studied extensively at FIDM and completed 3 degrees: Merchandise Product Development, IMPD, and then the B.S. in Business Management. Alicia also completed the Merchandise Product Development Degree before entering the work force! Though Alicia and I both went to FIDM, we actually didn't meet until after graduation. We both worked for Modcloth, and met there, instantly clicked, and almost immediately came up with the idea for Pliable Pattern and our company Aeline!

What are your goals for the company?

Right now we are in the initial phases of starting up, but we have high hopes and big goals for Aeline. We want to proceed into multiple products that can expand Pliable Pattern. We also have a few other products in mind to branch into different product categories as things progress. We want to have a company that produces great quality products, connect with our consumers, and make a positive impact on the world around us.

Jan

07
2015

FIDM Interior Design Students Created Initial Design Concepts For Learning Center at Union Rescue Mission

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FIDM Interior Design Students (now alumni) created the initial design concepts for the Maggie and Andre Ethier Learning Center at Union Rescue Mission and presented them to Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers in December of 2013. The center recently celebrated its grand opening, which was made possible by a $100,000 grant from the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation and Ethier. 

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Jan

02
2015

FIDM Grad Brittany Hampton Wins 'House of DVF' and Now Serves as Global Brand Ambassador

Brittany

Bay Area native and FIDM Graduate Brittany Hampton is the winner of House of DVF, E!'s fashion-docu series featuring Diane von Furstenberg, and is now the Global Brand Ambassador for the company. "A chance to work for DVF is an opportunity of a lifetime, not to mention a dream since I was in high school," says Brittany, who worked in model representation and wardrobe styling at Nickelodean prior to becoming a contestant on the show. Congratulations, Brittany!

Read more on the House of DVF Blog

Dec

21
2014

FIDM Grad Brittany Hampton is Finalist on E!'s 'House of DVF' Airing Tonight

 

Brittany

FIDM Grad Brittany Hampton is one of three finalists on Diane von Furstenberg's reality competition series, House of DVF. The Bay Area native attended FIDM's San Francisco campus and worked for nearly two years as the in-house stylist for Nickelodeon. 

Read more at SF Gate. The House of DVF finale airs tonight, Sunday, Dec. 21, at 10 p.m. on E!

Dec

12
2014

Paige Denim Graphic Designer and FIDM Grad Simone Garcia Visits Premiere Product Development Group at FIDM

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Paige Denim Graphic Designer and FIDM Grad Simone Garcia recently visited her alma mater to speak at a meeting with the Premiere Product Development Group—an elite group of FIDM Students earning degrees in Product Development.

Simone graduated in June earlier this year with a Merchandise Product Development Professional Designation Degree from FIDM.

She advised the students to do internships. "It's 100% important to have an internship." In fact, that's precisely what led Simone to Paige Denim. Back in March, Simone was sitting in the very same seats that the students were sitting in when Laura Jenkins from Paige Denim was the guest speaker for the Premiere Product Development Group at FIDM. Simone and Laura, also a graduate of FIDM, connected that day,and Simone followed up for an internship. Simone's first day was on April 18th, her birthday. She interned for a few months before she was hired full-time in September as a Junior Graphic Designer.

"I encourage you guys to go for it, and get out there!" the recent FIDM Grad announced.

When asked what set her apart from the other candidates in the job interview process, she said it was her portfolio. Simone did very well in Estel Hahn's Brand Portfolio class at FIDM. "During my internship, I showed my boss my portfolio and he was impressed." She was offered the job before she was even finished with her internship.

Ultimately, Simone wants to be a buyer and have her own business. In the mean time, she said one of the biggest perks of working at a premium denim label is building relationships with others.

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Paige Denim Graphic Designer & FIDM Grad Simone Garcia holding a pair of Paige Blue Galaxy Coating jeans.

Dec

11
2014

L.A. Label Together California Hosts Holiday Pop Up Shop Downtown

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On Friday, December 12, the sustainable fashion label Together California, is hosting Holiday Bizarre, a pop-up shop event at the Bold Room, directly across from Downtown L.A.'s Ace Hotel. The pop-up event will house brands invited by founders Lily Cherazi and Benedict Barrett and feature live music, DJs, an open bar, and hair braiding. 

Dec

11
2014

IMPD Graduate Bringing Superhero Shirts With Detachable Capes to Kids (Interview)

 

Capes

Name: Lindsay Newhouse

CompanyLittle Capers

FIDM Major: IMPD

Grad Year: 2001

What led you to your involvement with Little Capers? A friend of mine approached me about partnering with her in a company she bought four years ago. She hadn't done anything with it for a couple years. I believe in the product and see a market for Little Capers. I can see how we can make it grow.

What is the age range you design for? We are gearing towards boys and girls ages two to seven years old. 

How did FIDM help prepare you for running your own business? FIDM helped me learn about product development, textiles, and production. I worked for 10 years in product development and production before I took five years off after having my own kids. Classes I took at FIDM has helped me in areas I never used with my past positions.

You may find Little Capers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Dec

09
2014

Revenge Costume Designer Jill Ohanneson Chats With InStyle About Sunday Night's Fashion

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Fans of the hit show Revenge never know what to expect when it comes to twist-and-turn plot lines, but one thing everyone can count on each season is the high-fashion looks from costume designer and FIDM Graduate Jill Ohanneson. She chatted with InStyle about the navy-and-gold gown Emily Thorne wore in a party scene:

“Since it was the yacht club, there were lots of navys, blues, reds, and golds, and that dress was a nod to the nautical in an elegant, classy way,” Jill told the magazine. “The dress is by Xscape, I found it at Nordstrom, and it’s such an amazing neckline when it bisects Emily’s shoulders like that. She was really comfortable and felt really good in it.”

Dec

09
2014

Michelle Obama Wore Monique Lhuillier to Recent Kennedy Center Honors

 

Obama

For Sunday night's Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., First Lady Michelle Obama wore a frosted pale-pink gown from FIDM Graduate Monique Lhuillier's Spring 2015 collection. The dazzling dress featured a sweetheart neckline and glittering embellishments.

The gala will be broadcast on CBS on December 30, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Read more about Mrs. Obama's look in the New York Times

Dec

08
2014

The Top 10 FIDM Stories of 2014 Include Tim Gunn, Hunger Games, Ben Affleck's Gone Girl Movie, and the Juicy Couture Founders

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Tim Gunn's fashion competition show Project Runway: Under the Gunn was filmed at FIDM, Grad Trish Summerville designed the costumes for the Ben Affleck-starring flick Gone Girl, and Grad and Juicy Couture Founder Pamela Skaist-Levy visited FIDM Los Angeles. Those were just a few of the FIDM stories that generated the most buzz in 2014! Here are the top 10: 

10. 7 FIDM Grads Who Are Award-Winning Costume Designers for Movies Like Hunger Games

9. 40 Definite Signs You Went to FIDM

8. Find Out Why This Student Went from Psych Major at UCR to Product Development Major at FIDM

7. After a Degree from UCI This Future Vis Comm Student Is Pursuing Her Childhood Dreams

6. The Founders of Juicy Couture Visit FIDM

5. Just Accepted Student Designs Shorts and T-Shirts 

4. MPD Student Is Assistant Technical Designer at Forever 21

3. 2013/2014 National Scholarship Winners & Finalists Announced

2. Tim Gunn's New Show Project Runway: Under the Gunn Filmed at FIDM

1. Gone Girl Costume Designer Trish Summerville Feat. in Variety's Women's Impact Report

 

Dec

08
2014

Business Management Student Interning at Nylon Magazine (Interview)

Nikki

Current FIDM Business Management Student Nikki Dror is a fashion blogger and FIDM Merchandise Marketing Graduate currently living in New York City. She's interning for Nylon magazine and the casting agency Socialyte while finishing her degree online. 

How long have you been in NYC? I moved to New York just three months ago, in mid-September 2014--not long after completing my A.A. degree at FIDM.

Tell us about your two internships. I'm currently interning with an "influencer casting agency" called Socialyte. This innovative kind of casting agency focuses on internet talent and social media influencers (fashion bloggers, Vine stars, influencers who have hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram etc.). There are so many brands out there that want to tap into the audiences of such influencers, and Socialyte facilitates those deals and contracts. Socialyte was recently acquired by Nylon Media, and that's how I ended up interning in the Nylon magazine office.

What would you like to do after you finish your studies and internships? My plans for my immediate future include staying here in New York and continuing to blog actively. I've had so many opportunities here to meet other bloggers, work with amazing brands, and attend A-list events. I only hope that I continue to move in a forward and upward path, growing my blog, and chasing a career in social media marketing.

How has FIDM impacted your career? I never would have even known about the blogging industry--and I certainly wouldn't have seen social media as a lucrative marketing opportunity. FIDM is on the cutting-edge of not only fashion trends, but social and marketing trends, as well.

Dec

04
2014

Rachael McCrary of Jewel Toned Shapewear Shares Business Advice

Jewel

FIDM Graduate Rachael McCrary, the founder of Jewel Toned Shapewear, is sharing business lessons she has learned since launching her own company. "Ask yourself, if money wasn't involved, is this still my mission on this planet? If yes, then tell everyone all about it and surround yourself with an A-game team. Don't listen to anyone that discourages you," she says. 

Read more on Lucky Community

Dec

01
2014

Q&A with FIDM Graphic Design Alumna Anne Tran, Visual Graphic Designer at Forever 21

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Graphic Design Alumna Anne Tran graduated from FIDM in Winter 2012 and hit the ground running. Currently a Visual Graphic Designer for Forever 21, she gave us a little insight on what she does on a day-to-day basis and offered some great advice to aspiring graphic designers. 

(FIDMDigitalArts.com) What does your job entail daily?  

(Tran) "We drive store sales by creating exciting and well-informed visual directives that clearly communicate merchandising strategies." 

Read the full Q&A on the FIDM Digital Arts Blog.

Nov

25
2014

Two FIDM Grads Behind Popular Swimwear Line KAOHS

Blog

In July of 2013, FIDM Graduates Tess Hamilton and Ali Hoffmann launched KAOHS, a swim line inspired by the skate, boho, and surf lifestyle of Southern California. After attending their first Mercedes Benz Miami Fashion Week in July of 2014, the duo were voted "Ones to Watch" by Women's Wear Daily and gained a following after Kim Kardashian donned one of their bikinis. Made in Los Angeles, the swim line can now be found in retailers in California, Hawaii, Arizona, and Florida, as well as online

Nov

21
2014

FIDM Alumnus Israel Valencia Launches Two Fashion Labels Since Graduation

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Israel Valencia, FIDM Grad and owner of fashion brands In My Air and Happy Hour, visited the Los Angeles campus today to meet with the Premiere Product Development Group, an elite group of FIDM Students with access to guest speakers from the fashion industry sharing their inspiring stories of success.

The young entrepreneur graduated from FIDM with a degree in Merchandise Product Development in 2010 and has already launched two labels. His original intention when he started at FIDM was to pursue a career in menswear, but he changed his mind. He said to the students, "With the education that we get at FIDM, we really can do anything."

Well-received by the fashion community, In My Air has been featured in Cosmopolitan, InStyle, and Nylon. The high-end label has been styled with iconic brands including Louis Vuitton, Rag & Bone, and Hermès, and worn by Hannah Simone who plays Cece on TV show New Girl.

"We built a fan base," Israel said, "But it wasn't moving the way I wanted. It came down to sales." He decided to move In My Air to an online-only retail business, and launch a label with a lower price point to test that market. It's working.

He is already on season two of Happy Hour and now has 30 accounts including ModCloth.

What is the secret to his success? He said, "It's about putting in the work, using your skills, and not being afraid. That's the biggest one—not being afraid." Just being in his presence for two minutes, it is clear that he is a person who lives his life with conviction and confidence.

He credits FIDM for preparing him for his fashion career. "The amount of work FIDM gives you is perfect because you're going to have to do more," he jokingly warned the students. "I've learned how to be professional and how to be organized." 

Three years of internships were critical in his career preparation, as well. He advised the students to intern in factories so they can truly see the process with their own eyes and gain invaluable experience. Networking with sewers, cutters, and patternmakers provides a whole dimension to an education in fashion that you don't necessarily get exposure to in the classroom. He added that learning does not end with your degree in hand, either. "I'm still a student. Every day."

When asked what he wakes up every day thinking, he replied, "How fortunate and lucky I am, and how amazing my life is that I can do this."

And you know what else. When he is frustrated and needs to clear his head, he said he walks over to FIDM from his studio offices in the Fashion District and he sits in Grand Hope Park, back to his roots—where it all began. "These kids are inspiring. This place is inspiring. I come here and I know it's bigger than me. These floors. The courage and the bravery of the students. I feel the energy of it. It's a way to get grounded and balanced. FIDM is a symbol of my life. The goal is here."

HAPPY HOUR COLLECTION SS 2015 from Tim Jieh on Vimeo.

Nov

21
2014

Merchandise Marketing Alumna Launches Amour Absolu Jewelry Line

Kathryn

Merchandise Marketing Alumna Kathryn Giarratano recently launched Amour Absolu, a jewelry collection that celebrates life's special moments and milestones. 

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"During a career that included an internship in Entertainment Tonight’s Wardrobe Department, top honor’s graduate degree from FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) in Los Angeles, Styling Consultant for Saks Fifth Avenue in both Beverly Hills (assistant) and Cherry Creek Denver, I had always dreamt about the idea of designing my own line of fine jewelry. It was a dream without a clear vision until the birth of my first daughter, Giuliana. In searching for a piece that would symbolize this most significant addition to my life, I found that birthstones and engraved pieces were the only customizable pieces for new mothers. I wanted a piece of fine jewelry that would be beautiful and subtle, special and simple. I designed the Bar Pendant with 8 diamonds, one for each letter of her name. This would be the first piece designed in what has now become a line that was inspired by what I feel for Giuliana, unconditional love. Out of that necklace came a line of beautiful customizable pieces designed to signify the people, moments and milestones that mean most in life."

Nov

20
2014

Chan Luu Debuts Vintage-Inspired Holiday 2014 Jewelry Collection

Chan

Celebrity jewelry designer and FIDM Graduate Chan Luu has unveiled an online-only, vintage-inspired jewelry collection for Holiday 2014. Featuring champagne diamonds, freshwater pearls, or Swarovski Elements© crystals, these unique pieces come with a free jewelry travel pouch and will only be available as long as supplies last.

Nov

19
2014

Alumna Creates PERFECTLY.ME Online Clothing Company

Stef

The Millard County Chronicle Progress has a profile of FIDM Graduate Stephanie Nissen, who has created PEFECTLY.ME, an online clothing company that offers access to personal stylists, personality-based clothing recommendations, and personalized clothing. She is currently crowdsourcing the funds needed to fully launch the collection, which will offer designs for different types of curves and sizes. 

Nov

19
2014

Join Celebrity Stylist Daniel Musto for a Styling Workshop in January

Daniel

Acclaimed stylist and FIDM Graduate Daniel Musto is holding a Styling 2.0 workshop on Sunday, January 11, 2015, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Venice Beach. Daniel, who has styled clients such as Jenny McCarthy, Gabourey Sidibe, Giuliana Rancic, and Kendra Wilkinson, will teach attendees how to work as as successful celebrity stylist. 

Space is extremely limited. Please RSVP for location, rsvp@danielmusto.com. 

Nov

17
2014

FIDM Grad Working as Costume PA on New Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass Film

Raquel

Name: Raquel Gremler

Major: Fashion Design

Grad Year: 2012

What is your role on Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass (2016)? I am a Costume PA, and I have mainly been assisting the Costume Supervisor, Donna O'Neal. She has taken the time to mentor me; it has been incredible to work for this team, led by Oscar-winning Costume Designer Colleen Atwood. We wrap production at the end of the week. 

What have you been up to since graduation? After I graduated I worked in several arenas, from styling for e-commerce websites like HauteLook and Farfetch, to collaborating with film schools like AFI and NYU. I also worked assisting different costume designers and major stylists.

How did FIDM help prepare your for this career? FIDM gave me the tools to start networking and be productive on my job. Thanks to the design and history classes I have a major advantage when I apply for jobs. At FIDM, Career Advisor Maril Delly gave me the opportunity to work for Wendy Greiner, who introduced me to the supervisor for Alice in Wonderland: Through The Looking Glass.

Next month, you begin working on a new Tim Burton film, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar ChildrenI can't wait to start working for Colleen one more time on her next project. It will be directed by Tim Burton, which makes it a dream come true. I came to London chasing that dream. To be honest, I wouldn't have had this opportunity if FIDM and their staff hadn't given me their support. 

What has it been like working for such a legendary Costume Designer? Working with Colleen has been an incredible opportunity. I have been fortunate to see how she starts designing, picks fabrics, and mixes trims together. I don't think I could be any luckier than to be working for a second time for her and her team. She is such an icon and I have been learning so much since I started. 

Nov

13
2014

Recent Apparel Industry Management Grad Is Product Development Assistant at Calypso St. Barth (Interview)

  Jourdan

Name: Jourdan Sims

FIDM Major/Grad YearApparel Industry Management, 2014

Company/Title: Calyspo St. Barth/Product Development Assistant

What are your responsibilities? My role consists of helping the product development team, reaching out to factories regarding fabrics, managing the color comments for each garment, and creating linesheets and tech packs

Where are you based? New York, NY

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for your new career? FIDM definitely taught me the basic knowledge I needed in order to grasp a career in the fashion industry. Understanding the vocabulary used on a day-to-day, knowledge of fabrication and the color wheel, and the confidence to ensure my abilities will withstand the job that follows.

Nov

12
2014

Wild Attire Inc. Community Manager Jacob Sigala Offers Career Advice To FIDM Students

Jacob-Sigala

Jacob Sigala is the Community Manager at Wild Attire Inc., responsible for the company's social media marketing, doing everything from branding and content creation to campaign strategy and analytics. He graduated from FIDM in 2013 with a Professional Designation Degree in Merchandise Product Development. His advice to FIDM Students? "Do not be afraid to fail. When things don’t go your way, simply take it as a lesson; try again, or move on to the next thing." 

Tell us a little about yourself: I grew up in Venice, received my undergraduate degree in media and business from UCR, and graduated from FIDM in 2013. I’m a very opinionated individual, who is always looking for what’s next. Marketing, photography, fashion, and the outdoors, that's basically what I’m about.
 
Where are you working now and what do you do? I work at Wild Attire Inc. We’re behind ties.com and scarves.com. I’m the Community Manager for both brands. This means I’m in charge anything and everything that has to do with social media marketing. A lot of people will assume that this means I’m on Facebook all day, but you’d be surprised to find how much more this type of marketing means. I like to think of it as Mad Men in real-time; it’s branding, content creation, constant campaigns, communication, analytics, and then some. 
 
What made you the ideal candidate for this position? I started with the company as an intern; that helped a lot. (I recommend for everyone to intern!) Additionally, my background is in media, business, and fashion. I’ve been working on making my resume appealing for positions such as these. I had the education, experience, and personality they were looking for. I told them what I could do and they gave me an opportunity to do just that.  
 
How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? From my studies at UCR and into FIDM, I learned that the best way to go about marketing anything is to know it from the ground up. I wanted to do marketing in fashion and FIDM had the perfect major for the matter. On top of marketing and branding, we learned everything from design to sourcing in Product Development. Understanding how everything works and knowing the language to communicate with every department is essential to marketing; you know the brand better. This in turn allows you to communicate better with the customer, overall providing a more fluid experience for everyone. 
 
How did you decide on your major? Based on my philosophy on marketing, which is knowing the product from the ground up. On top of branding and marketing, the major literally had us sewing garments in order to get a feel for what the industry actually is. I had a goal in mind, and the classes the major offered were in line with said goal. 
 
Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Most of the classes played an important role. However, the classes that I apply the most (given the field I’m in) were the branding and digital design classes.  
 
Any advice for current FIDM students? Do not be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to hear, “No.” I’m not saying to expect it. Of course always strive for success, but I know that the fear of failure holds a lot of people back. So let it go. When things don’t go your way, simply take it as a lesson; try again, or move on to the next thing.  
 
What is your biggest goal right now? To become an influencer in a niche community, whether it’s in marketing or menswear. I’m launching a blog in January, which will have men’s fashion as a base. I’m going to use it as a space to experiment strategy, and really just to have fun. I won’t tell you the what the blog is, though. This is because my goal is to have people wonder who’s behind the blog without me having to talk about it. 
 
Anything else you’d like to share? Yep, a bit more advice to students. When opportunity comes knocking at your door, take it. If it doesn’t come to you, then you go to it. Go knock on people’s doors (maybe not literally) but ask for advice, ask questions; really just engage with people. You never know where an opportunity might lead, even if it seems insignificant. For example, if a professor asks you to stay in touch, do it! You might just end up on the FIDM Blog. (Shout out to Prof. Hahn!). I’m only just on the first leg of my career, but if anyone has questions feel free to reach out.
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