Product Development Alumna Scores Job at Paige Premium Denim


Recent Merchandise Product Development Alumna Laura Jenkins has just started a position as the Costing/Production Assistant at Paige Premium Denim. "I couldn't be more thrilled and grateful to have found this job," she says. "They are amazing, and I am fascinated each day." Laura was part of the Premier Product Development Group at FIDM. 

Caption: Paige Denim campaign image 



Alumna and Former FIDM Scholarship Winner Working on New Leggings Line



FIDM Alumna and former FIDM National Scholarship winner Tina Zeljeznjak, who uses the name Chriztina Marie professionally, is profiled in her hometown paper, The Dispatch, for a new line of designer, high-performance workout leggings. Eagle Rock WERKSHOP will feature fashionable, Olympic-quality fabric with flatlock seams and a hidden pocket at the waistband. She has raised more than $60,000 via Kickstarter to fund the line. 



Merchandise Marketing Alumna Operating Elesch Boutique in Kearney, NE


After graduating from FIDM San Diego in 2010, with a degree in Merchandise Marketing, Anna M. Greenwald returned to her hometown of Kearney, Nebraska to share her passion for clothing and personal styling. She opened the women's boutique elesch in 2011, and later expanded to selling menswear with gents by elesch. 

"From the very beginning, my experiences and education at FIDM have more than prepared me for this adventure, from business plans and budgets to marketing and creative advertising," Anna says. "I hope to never break ties with the talent I have met during my time at FIDM, including my instructors.



FIDM IMPD Grad Develops Apparel for Military

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Brandy Brinser completed the program in International Manufacturing & Product Development in 2004, after getting her degree in Merchandise Product Development. She currently develops performance garments for military, law enforcement, and fire fighters--while raising her two children. Here is what her career path looks like.

What is your current position?

I'm a Product Developer for 5.11 Tactical. My specialty is Woven Bottoms Institutional and Social.

What do you do?

In addition to the usual product development duties like monitoring and negotiating costs, record keeping for tech packs and bid-spec information, I oversee compliance with regulations governing professional clothes. Testing and certification for fire and water resistance is part of the job.

What did you do between graduation and this position?

I worked as a product developer for active brands like Oakley and Wet Seal.

How did your FIDM education prepare you for your career?

The 3rd year IMPD program was most helpful. We took trips to Europe for hands-on inspiration and trends research and to Asia to comprehensively understand the negotiation and production processes. It also was incredibly helpful as a student to attend international and domestic textile shows, retail corporate meetings, global industry events and seminars, research trips, field trips, and to see trend services, and more.



FIDM Grad Strikes Out On His Own With Ace Rivington


FIDM Graduate Beau Lawrence, who was most recently a VP at Neff headwear and has worked in the apparel industry for sixteen years, has started his own line, Ace Rivington. "After years of being in the center of the denim industry I needed to make a change," he explains. 

After working for huge brands such as Guess? Inc. and Union, Beau moved to Carpinteria, California, which allows him to focus on his "creativity and brand building." For Ace Rivington, Beau came up with a concept for a luxurious sweatshirt made from a homespun French terry fabric. Learn more about his company here:




Monique Lhuillier and Pamela Skaist-Levy Among 48 Designers Creating Custom Helmets to Benefit The NFL Foundation


Helmet by Nicole Miller

FIDM Graduates Monique Lhuillier and Pamela Skaist-Levy of Pam & Gela are among 48 top designers who have created one-of-a-kind Super Bowl XLVIII helmets to benefit the NFL Foundation. The unique collaboration between the NFL and Bloomingdale's and the CFDA merges fashion and sports in a uniquely modern way.


Helmet by Diane Von Furstenberg

Fashion and football fans can bid on helmets from January 15 to February 4, with 100 percent of the net proceeds benefiting the NFL Foundation, which improves the lives of those touched by the game of football. The helmets will be unveiled in the iconic Bloomingdale's 59th Street windows on January 15 at 5:00 p.m. Other participating designers include Narcisco Rodriguez, TOMS, Alexis Bittar, DKNY, Helmut Lang, Cynthia Rowley, John Varvatos, and many others.

Visit Bloomingdale's Fashion Touchdown here.



Interior Design Alumni Collaborate with Dodgers & Union Rescue Mission to Design Downtown Learning Center

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FIDM Interior Design Alumni participated in a collaboration with the L.A. Dodgers and Union Rescue Mission to design a learning center at the downtown homeless shelter. Dodger Andre Ethier, who donated $75,000, was on hand at an event, where alumni presented sketches for classroom space, computer workstations, and a library to enhance the Mission's services to the homeless. Department Chair Dina Morgan worked with alumni to complete the project.



Alumna and Hunger Games Costume Designer Talks Favorite Looks With Vanity Fair


FIDM Alumna Trish Summerville, Costume Designer of the The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, recently chatted with Vanity Fair about her favorite looks from the film, which features pieces from Alexander McQueen, Nicholas K, Tex Saverior, and Juun J, along with handcrafted and even flaming costumes.

Trish was also the Costume Designer on another film adapted from a wildly successful book, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and is currently working on the highly anticipated film, Gone Girl, another adaptation starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck.



FIDM Grad on Sales and Marketing Team at High-End 3D Visualization Company RTT


Erica Dwerlkotte graduated in 2013 with a degree in Merchandise Product Development. Recently, she was hired as a paid intern in the sales and marketing team at RTT, a high-end 3D visualization company.

"I meet with new and potential clients—I’m jumping on board with all our current accounts. I work with 3D pattern drafting software and take that into our 3D software for rendering. FIDM prepared me for my current position in many ways. Terminology and just basic knowledge of the industry was a huge help. All the different classes opened my eyes to so many different careers that I didn't even know existed."

Read the entire interview with Erica on FIDM's



Bradon McDonald Tweetup Recap: The Project Runway Finalist Talks about NYFW, 2014 Trends and Industry Insights with FIDM


FIDM hosted an online Q&A with Project Runway season 12 finalist Bradon McDonald on Twitter this week during which the FIDM Advanced Fashion Design Alumnus talked about 2014 fashion trends, his New York Fashion Week experience, and details about his upcoming wedding.

McDonald also dished on his favorite blogs (Tom + Lorenzo), Instagrammers (@InterviewMag @Tylynnnguyen and @NicholaFormichetti ), and his favorite celebrity muses actress Blake Lively and musicians Florence Welch and Solange Knowles.

Leading fashion eccomerce brand @Shoedazzle chimed in on the conversation, as did @ProjectRunway:

— Bradon McDonald (@bradonPAUL) December 12, 2013

McDonald answered questions from Twitter users who submitted questions using the hashtag #BradonatFIDM about his FIDM experience, and advice about resources for aspiring fashion designers.

McDonald’s on-air marriage proposal coupled with four challenge wins landed him among the top five finalists and as a fan favorite on Lifetime’s hit fashion show Project Runway. McDonald told FIDM that his upcoming wedding is being planned for the spring, revealing a photo of the venue, Wolf Mountain Sanctuary.

McDonald wouldn’t reveal details about current fashion design projects, although he hinted that one of his top-secret endeavors relates to his former career as a professional modern dancer.

We want to thank Bradon McDonald for sharing his wonderful insights, and everyone who participated in the #BradonatFIDM Tweetup!



FIDM Grad Launches Online Retail Site Whiskey & Lace

Molly McKenna Whiskey and Lace

Molly McKenna (on left) graduated from FIDM with a degree in Merchandise Product Development in 2008, and launched online retail site Whiskey & Lace in late 2012 with Co-founder Erika (on right). We sat down with Molly to find out more about her company.

Tell us the story behind your company: Whiskey & Lace Co-founder, Erika and I are long time friends who have always shared a deep passion for fashion. We knew instantly we would be great friends and that we were brought together for a bigger reason. When we met in 2008, it was the first time each of us found someone else who shared the same love and appreciation for fashion, hard work, and anything creative. Over the last five years of working together in sales and merchandising at our respective jobs, we realized that it was time to stop talking about our dreams and start acting on them. We have always pushed one other to be better and work harder. It was obvious from the beginning we would create something together, and after many late night discussions, going back and forth to the drawing board, in late 2012 our larger than life dream was finally realized and Whiskey & Lace was born.

What's W&L all about? Whether you’re a Whiskey Girl or a Lacey Lady, is a place where girls can go to find a mixture of ultra-feminine, edgy, well-merchandised outfits at the click of a button. W&L’s main focus is in the photography, because Erika and I understand the importance of feeling emotion while shopping. The idea here is to take the hard work out of it for our customers. Experimenting with trends, stressing about putting the right outfit together and never knowing if you are portraying the best version of yourself through your own personal style are all problems girls face each day. Through beautiful lifestyle pictures, Whiskey & Lace is able to communicate a point of view and express that fashion can be fun no matter your age, shape or taste.

What's the difference between the Whiskey Closet and the Lace Closet? The Lace Closet is all about Erika; she loves to be in the spotlight, front and center wearing anything pink or with ruffles, lace, or bows. The Whiskey Closet has my name written all over it. I enjoy being in the background wearing something slightly more understated, edgy, and dark. Despite our style differences, we both share an eye for clothes that make you feel good about yourself, express who you are, give you an edge, and keep you feminine all that same time. We love mixing the two styles together. The result is often something really sweet with a dash of salt.

What's your best-selling item right now? Has to be our sweaters. We have tons of shapes and colors, as well as price points. We love to dress them up or down. Finding a way to make pieces transition from day to night or from look to look is something that is really important to us. We believe that by anchoring your wardrobe with staple pieces that you really love and don’t mind splurging on is a great way to always look chic; that way you can add trendier pieces here and there without breaking the bank. We show multiple ways to wear things to justify the pricier pieces. We mix expensive styles with fast fashion all the time. That’s how Erika and I shop, personally, and we love sharing that!

What fashion trends should we be on the lookout for this winter? 

Winter White: Head-to-toe winter white is easy to assemble at any price. It's also super easy to attain.

Chunky Knits: Whether it’s a chunky sweater, scarf or beanie, this is a cozy trend we are loving to help kill the chill.

Over-the-Knee Boots: Everyone needs a pair. They come in all sorts of colors and price points. One of our favorite things about them is they can transition from day to night. 

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM had a way of preparing you for the real world. We didn’t just learn from textbooks. Everything was so hands-on and you were being taught by industry professionals. FIDM was the first place where everyone was like me—ultra creative! Being surrounded by people who share your same passion is inspiring.

How did you find out about FIDM? I always new I wanted to attend FIDM. I dreamed about it. It seems weird now, but I remember being in the city as a young girl and seeing girls walk around with their big white iconic FIDM tote bags. I wanted one! Living in the city and attending fashion school was my biggest dream. Thanks to my super supportive parents, we made it happen.

How did you decide on your major? I knew I wanted a major that taught the business side of the industry—AKA the not-so-glamorous side—as well as the creative. Merchandise Product Development was the perfect fit for me to fine tune my creative/merchandising side, as well as the business side. It has served me well.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? All of my branding classes were a big help. I still utilize things I learned in those classes to this day. Another one was Merchandise Math (my least favorite) but most helpful in my day-to-day job.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Never stop dreaming. The clichés they say are true. You can do anything you put your mind to. Often times you are the only thing standing in your own way. Erika and I took a huge leap on a dream we weren’t sure would work. Passion is what fuels us every day. We are best friends and simply bring out the best in each other. This would not have been possible if it weren’t for her. We are each other’s biggest fans and cheerleaders. We didn’t have it all figured out from the beginning, but we continue to learn and adapt to this ever-changing industry every day. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else with anyone but her. Sometimes you just have to go for it, and not let fear stand in your way. You will be surprised with what you are capable of. I sure was. I would have never guessed I would have my dream company off the ground by age 26.

What is your biggest goal right now? We have achieved our first goal, which was to prove our theory can work and that girls want a place to shop online that feels more like a brick and mortar. We had a successful first month of business. Currently, we are keeping our heads down and really focusing on marketing and spreading the word about our brand. We are constantly coming up with creative ways to market ourselves. It’s a hard thing to do on a budget, but definitely possible with the power of social media. Fine tuning our message and getting a concise story out to our customer is our main focus right now.

Anything else you’d like to share? We have a motto at Whiskey & Lace that we try to live by. I still find myself reading these words every once in a while to get me through a tough day: "Never stop dreaming. Always be a doer and a thinker. Don’t be like the rest of them. Remember to flirt with adventure, even if it scares you. Continue to see possibility everywhere, always."



10 Great Jobs Held by FIDM Merchandise Product Development Grads

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From couture to mass merchandise and everything in between, Merchandise Product Development majors have the creative and business skills to hit the ground running. Read about a selection of great jobs that FIDM Grads are currently rocking.

1. ModCloth, Assistant Tech Designer

2. Billabong, Design and Product Manager

3. Marine Layer, Tech Design Associate

4. Athleta, Product Development Coordinator

5. Z Supply, Assistant Designer

6. Guess, Assistant Designer

7. Helmut Lang, Fabric Merchandiser

8. Disney Stores, Assistant Buyer

9. Fossil, Product Development Manager

10. Fossil, Functional Lead PLM Program



Bachelor's in Business Management Grad Styles A-List Indian Celebrities


Celebrity stylist and Business Management Alumna Neeraja Kona is profiled in the Deccan Chronicle. In addition to attending FIDM, she completed a summer program at the London School of Fashion prior to working with brand such as Michael Kors and Louis Vuitton. She has since worked with Indian celebrities such as Jr NTR, Kajal Agarwal, Samantha, Allu Arjun, Yami Gautham, and Nitin.

"You can't work with A-listers or start your own business right away, so it's a good idea to start as an intern," she tells aspiring stylists. "Go to designers or approach the stylists at their studios and they may just employ you."



Recent Jewelry Design Alumna Interning for Michael Kors (Interview)


Name: Leigh Sandusky

Major: Jewelry Design 

Grad Year: I finished the program at the end of September 2013; my formal graduation will be in June 2014 at the Staples Center.

Job Title/Responsibilities: I am currently a Jewelry Design Intern for Michael Kors. I create detailed jewelry designs; some of the designs I created went into sampling for Fall and Holiday 2014.  These designs are being approved right now by Michael Kors to go into production. I contribute ideas for jewelry to the design team and design jewelry renderings on Illustrator to present to buyers and higher-ups to go into production.  

I also create design mechanical and color way drawings on Illustrator to send to the factories to be sampled for future collections. I do a lot of trend researching and organization of the Michael Kors jewelry archives.

How did FIDM help prepare you for this job? Attending FIDM for Jewelry Design was one of the best things I have ever done. I have been given many opportunities and I would not be where I am today, in my career, if I had not attended FIDM.  The Jewelry Design Program at FIDM is amazing, specifically because the Jewelry Studio is located in the heart of the Jewelry District, exposing the jewelry students to industry professionals. 

I actually got my first part-time job because I was Downtown in the Jewelry District and I was carrying a FIDM bag. I was a Jewelry Design Intern at 1928, and four of my designs went into production. FIDM helped me refine my skills as a designer, the faculty assisted me in preparing for interviews and with my resume, and the college has helped me create an impressive portfolio.

Our final project in the Jewelry Program is Sample Case. This is an opportunity for us to create and show samples of our work throughout the time we spent at FIDM. Now I have beautiful samples to show my future employer when I go on an interview. 

What are your ultimate career goals? Right now I am fresh out of school and I would like to get my feet wet. I would like to design for a brand or a company for awhile and gain experience, and have a better understanding of how the industry and the design process works. I would like to make it to be a Senior Designer for a reputable brand/company. I also think it's important to keep my creativity going by working on my own designs as a side project, while I have a stable job designing for a company.



Graduate Is Award-Winning, Eco-Friendly British Fashion Designer (Interview)


Name: Mihaela Zhekova

Company: Gem in a Box 

What have you been up to lately? I am an eco-friendly, award-winning British fashion designer based in Southampton, U.K. I run my own creative business, Gem in a Box, and I offer Jewelery Making and Fashion Illustration - Photoshop workshops at local schools and private venues. I also specialize in creating sustainably made, one-of-a kind clothing out of old raggedy items. I have been running my business since 2008. I will be visiting New York between February 4-11, 2014. I am looking for a chance to volunteer at the New York Fashion Week.

Tell us about your recent award. In June I was declared Winner of the ENLIVEN Fashion Project 2013, by British designers Wayne Hemingway MBE and Mia Nisbet, as well as the Eastleigh Borough Council. My prize included £200 career development bursary, one month free retail and exhibition space at Re:So creative Boutique in Southampton, and a copy of The Rough Guide to Vintage London (2013), signed by Wayne Hemingway MBE. 

Since winning my ENLIVEN award I have participated in various charity fashion shows, I assisted designer Mia Nisbet for four days before and during the PURE London Trade Show, have led workshops, and served as a guest speaker. In October I began providing fashion trends and reports for the Partnership Community Newspaper. My articles will be published four times a year and distributed to residents of Hedge End, West End, and Bottley, Southampton.



Alumna Opens Her Fourth Upscale Pet Boutique in Beverly Hills


FIDM Alumna Janene Zakrajsek and her husband, Rob Gaudio, have opened their fourth Pussy & Pooch boutique in Beverly Hills. You are invited to the official ribbon cutting this Thursday, December 12, 2013, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The 12,000 square-foot flagship is dedicated to healthy pet nutrition, lifestyle enrichment, education, learning, fitness, and fun. There's a holistic Wellness Spa, canine Training Lab and Social Club, Pethouse Boutique, pet grooming Bathhouse, Meat Market pet grocery, and one-of-a-kind Pawbar in-store cafe. 



Business Management Grad is Marketing Manager at Authentic Brands Group (Interview)


Name: Jeremy Castro

Position: Marketing Manager, Authentic Brands Group

What have you been up to since graduation? After completing my Apparel Industry Management Program in 2008, I decided to continue my studies at FIDM and received a Bachelor of Science in Business Management the following year. During my first degree program I began an internship at Silver Star, working in the product development and production department. The opportunity led to a full time position as director of production and sourcing, which I continued during the Bachelor's program. I eventually switched departments from production to marketing, as marketing is an area that incorporates all aspects of a company, from sale and strategic growth to product innovation and branding.

In late 2010, Authentic Brands Group (ABG), a brand development and licensing company, acquired Silver Star. During the acquisition I was given the privilege to join the team out in New York City, where I have been since. ABG brands include Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Muhammad Ali, Juicy Couture, Judith Leiber, Adrienne Vittadini, Taryn Rose, Hickey Freeman, Hart Schaffner Marx, Palm Beach, Misook, Prince, Spyder, Ektelon, Viking, Bobby Jones, TapouT, and Sportcraft.
What are your current job title/responsibilities? As Marketing Director at ABG, I collaborate with the sales and financial departments to set the yearly marketing budgets. With the sales, brand, and creative teams, we identify innovative marketing and licensing opportunities and execute on those to grow brand awareness and increase revenue. Some of the marketing initiatives include seasonal photo shoots, identifying ambassadors and sponsorship opportunities, implementing social/digital strategies, and executing retail/brand experiences.
How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? The most important thing FIDM taught me was to always stay determined and set a goal -- and once you’ve accomplished that goal set a higher goal. As a student I attended MAGIC since one of my teachers advised me she could get passes. At the show I made it a goal to come back with an internship. I presented my resume, portfolio, and business card to several prospective companies, ultimately meeting the owners of Silver Star at the show and securing an interview the following week with them, which led to a fantastic career path with ABG.



How Did This Grad Become the First Product Developer in Fossil's Leather Division? Get Her Story.

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After graduating with degrees in Merchandise Product Development and International Manufacturing and Product Development in 2008, FIDM Alumna Leah Douglas took a job as the first product developer in Fossil's leathers division. Five years later she is the company's Functional Lead in the implementation of the Product Management Lifecycle Management Program (PLM).

Recalling her design school education, Leah says, “My time at FIDM was amazing. I gained the knowledge and skills I needed to start my career on the right foot. Not to mention meeting the people who helped to shape me professionally. Now, my favorite thing is when a FIDM Grad’s resume crosses my desk for a position I am filling. I know that if they went to FIDM they have a strong skill set before we even speak.” Read more.



FIDM's JustFab Dress Contest Winner Ashley Henderson is Hired at JustFab Corporate Office

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FIDM Fashion Design Grad Ashley Henderson won the JustFab Dress Contest at FIDM, and was awarded an internship at the online retailer's headquarters in El Segundo. The company hired her when her internship came to an end, and she's now an Assistant Designer in the Fabletics department.

Name: Ashley Henderson

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Grad Year: 2013

Company: JustFab

Title: Assistant Designer

Tell us a little about yourself: I'm a Southern California girl, born and raised. I've been an honor roll student my whole life. I come from a HUGE family, all full of unique characters...haha! There was never a dull moment growing up. I feel so blessed to come from a family that supports and encourages us to achieve our dreams. I am the more shy siblling out of the 5 of us. Oh, and I love Betty Boop.

Where are you working now and what do you do? I am an assistant to the Fabletics designers at the JustFab corporate office. I put together line sheets, create technical flats, and organize the samples that are stored away so that it's easier to find things when needed again. They give me design projects to do on my own and present to them, ship out merchandise, email and call people, schedule meetings—the list goes on! 

Tell us about the JustFab Dress Design Contest that you won: I WAS EXTREMELY SHOCKED! I created three dresses, and the one they picked was an asymmetrical, deep plunging, wrap dress in a royal blue color—easy to wear and great for all body types! I was literally the last person to turn in my application. I know this because I had classes that day and I had to go turn it in after class. When I went to turn them in, the office was closed! So I had to go to another floor and see if someone could get my application to the right people. I was unsure if my project even made it on time and I really had no idea what they were going to think. I was just happy that I took a risk by even doing the project, because it is so easy to get consumed by school work. After I turned it in, I was satisfied knowing that I had at least tried; I had no expectations of being a finalist. So I was in complete shock when I got that email and I ran around the house screaming and jumping lol.

Tell us about the JustFab internship that you had before you were hired full-time: The internship was a lot of fun, I started off with just a lot of organizing and research tasks that both the Fabletics and the denim designers would give me. I would also put together inspiration boards, create technical flats, and keep the design wall updated with the most current design ideas that they put together. I would also do printouts for scheduled meetings. The whole team is full of funny, smart, welcoming, and creative people. They gave (well, STILL give) a lot of amazing advice and pointers so that I gain as much experience as possible as I enter into the fashion industry. They made me feel a part of the family very quickly! I learned so much and so quickly from all of them, I already feel like I've grown so much here.

How did you feel when you were hired full-time? I was nervous at first. I knew that my internship was coming to an end, but I really wanted to stay. I was so excited to hear that they wanted to keep me.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM has definitely helped me a lot. Obviously, I wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for that dress contest they put together! But besides that, the skills that were taught in my classes, such as how to do technical sketches, how to measure correctly, how to sew, how to put together line sheets and collections, and much more, are all skills that are ESSENTIAL in the fashion industry. It all contributed to me landing the job.

How did you find out about FIDM? In high school, I did my own research and looked up fashion schools in LA and came across FIDM. And then they actually ended up coming to my high school for college day!

How did you decide on your major? I really loved the art classes that I took in middle school and high school, like ceramics, jewlery design, graphics, and computer design. I realized I love to work with my hands and to design stuff, so one day I decided I wanted to design and make clothes.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Computer Aided Fashion Design I & II, all the Pattern Making, Draping, and Garment Construction classes, Textile Science, Fashion History, and The Business of Fashion.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Get involved! Participate in extra things like contests because you never know what could happen. Take advantage of those "volunteers wanted" opportunities on the website to help out at tradeshows, fashion shows, etc. At first, I didn't realize the importance of it, but it really is because you meet a lot of people who are experienced in the fashion industry and can help you. Don't get consumed by just doing your homework. Listen to what your teachers are ALWAYS telling you—to take advantage of FIDM's resources, including talking to your advisors.

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal is to work as a designer under a well known and successful company, and then eventually branch out and have my own brand. I also want to gain experience in the fashion industry by traveling!



FIDM Grad Designs Special Edition Label for Cetaphil


FIDM Digital Media Graduate Jassamine Domino, who suffers from the chronic skin disease epidermolysis bullosa, has designed a special edition label for a jar of moisturizing cream manufactured by Galderma for its Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream. As a child, Jassamine attended Camp Wonder for several years, funded by The Children's Skin Disease Foundation and supported by Galderma, and later now serves as a camp counselor.

The special edition moisturizing cream is available at CVS.

The Keene Star has the full report.



MPD Alumna Launches Remy Skye Women's Line and E-Commerce Shop


Merchandise Product Development Alumna Thu Nghiem is co-owner of Remy Skye, a new women's label and e-commerce store featuring styles that can easily transition from day to evening. "Being hard wroking women ourselves, we wanted Remy Skye to encourage women to strive for a confident attitude and style," says Thu, who founded the business with her partner Vivian Ly.

"My major prepared me in a way that it gave me the broad sense of the fashion industry -- creatively and the business side," she explains. "I feel like Product Development prepares you for any type of career in the industry, from designing and manufacturing, to retail." 



Bollywood Fashion Designer Surily Goel to Present at India Resortwear Fashion Week


Designer and Stylist Surily Goel is set to present her Getaway Glam collection during India Resortwear Fashion Week according to The Times of India. In 2003, the FIDM Fashion Design Graduate started her own line, SURILY, and has styled well-known Bollywood stars including Priyanka Chopra and Arjun Rampal. The resort wear collection will feature floral prints, easy flowing silhouettes, and sunset shades. The show will take place on December 13, 2013, at the JW Marriott in Mumbai, India.

Photo: Design by SURILY



Alumna's Krze Studio Vegan Shoes on Sale Online in December

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FIDM Footwear Design Grad Leila Kerze announces the launch of a one-month campaign to sell her fashion forward vegan footwear directly to customers, starting Cyber Monday, December 2nd. Her brand, Krze Studio, made in Italy and with retail prices in the $500 to 1,000 range, will be available online at reduced prices, from $100 to 500. These prices are "realistic for my friends and family, not just my fashion colleagues," explains Leila. The Los Angeles native attended FIDM after earning a B.A. from Loyola Marymount. Before going independent, she designed shoes for BCBGMaxAzria and Donald Pliner. She runs her business from Tuscany. 




IMPD Grad is Fossil Product Development Manager

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Jill Jacobson, 2006 Merchandise Product Development and IMPD grad, has worked in the industry at St. John's Knits, Pacific Sunwear, Billabong, and currently at Fossil. Looking back at her education, she says, "FIDM provided the building blocks necessary to understand the process regardless of the product."

What is your job title?

Product Development Manager, Fossil Leathers, Outlet

What brought you to FIDM?

I was a career changer, with a Bachelor's degree in Health Sciences. As such, I was able to take the shorter Professional Designation program in Merchandise Product Development and then the advanced IMPD program. Going back to design school to do something I was completely passionate about was the best life decision I've made.

What does a Product Developer do?

I manage the development of all leathers and tech items from concept through production approvals. We work with overseas vendors to assure the samples, prints and materials follow the tech specs while meeting calendar milestones and margin goals. For me, it is the perfect blend of business and creative.

Did you use the FIDM Career Center and Alumni services?

Absolutely!! The Career Center provides endless internship possibilities—important for testing classroom skills and networking. It is a resource for your entire career.

Alumni outreach is one of the main reasons I went to FIDM. Fashion can be a challenging industry, but FIDM is in the heart of it all, working and maintaining personal and professional connections.



FIDM Social Media to Host Tweetup with Project Runway Star and FIDM Alumnus Bradon McDonald on Dec. 12


On Thursday, December 12 from 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. PST, FIDM is hosting an online Q&A Tweetup with recent FIDM Advanced Fashion Design Alumnus Bradon McDonald who was among the top five finalists of Lifetime’s 12th season of Project Runway.

Prior to attending FIDM, McDonald spent 14 years performing as a professional modern dancer in New York City with Mark Morris Dance Group. A mere 12 hours after performing his last show, he found himself at FIDM orientation focusing on his future in fashion. As a leading competitor on the hit fashion show Project Runway, McDonald won four challenges, proposed to his partner, and demonstrated his innovative approach to couture design with his signature fabric manipulation, embellishment and uncommon hand-sewing techniques.

To participate in our virtual Q&A, be sure to follow @FIDM and @BradonPAUL and submit your questions using the hashtag #BradonatFIDM. Then check back at 12 p.m. on December 12 to see if Bradon answers your questions! 

Read more about Bradon on the Project Runway website, and in TimeOut New York's detailed interview. Below, see the results of one of McDonald’s winning challenges, his design in advertisement for L’Oreal.





The Blacklist Costume Designer Is FIDM Grad

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FIDM 2006 Fashion Design Grad Christine Bean gave a great interview to Tyranny of Style on designing costumes for TV and movies. Christine who did the costumes for Smash and The Dark Knight Rises, is currently getting attention for her work on the crime drama The Blacklist.

On how she got started:

"After I graduated FIDM, I spent some time assisting on low budget and student films, which led me to Western Costume where I learned a tremendous amount about period costume and earned my union status."



FIDM Grad Is Finalist in New Voices of Beauty Contest Online

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FIDM Grad Nikki Minton is a finalist in the online contest sponsored by P & G, New Voices of Beauty. Minton, a full-time fashion blogger based in L.A., graduated in 2009 with degrees in Merchandise Product Development and B.S. Business Management. My Style Diaries, her blog, is part of the Lucky Magazine style collective. Learn more and vote.



Graduate Spotlight: Darshna Patel, Jewelry Design


You earned your first degree in English from the University of Utah, what made you want to pursue a degree in Jewelry Design at FIDM? 

Though jewelry designing began as a serendipitous encounter, it grew into a unique and compelling interest for me. As a child, I was embellished in jewelry as I often went to Indian parties and functions. As an adolescent, I realized that jewelry wasn’t only a form of embellishment, but also a medium to express a sentimental experience. And through this medium, I aspire that my jewelry will create that experience.    

After completing your A.A. in Jewelry Design and having a prior degree in English, how will you apply the knowledge that you gained from both majors and drive it to a career?

Whether a piece of jewelry was given to me from family or I had selected a piece for myself, I knew that jewelry would carry a narrative. I find when jewelry comes to fruition it is extremely important to explain the creative process and the inspiration from which a piece was created. I would love to apply this to my own line in the future. But for now, I would love to be a writer who writes the copy for products. And as a designer, having that English degree makes me feel more well-rounded. 

What did you like best about FIDM?

I appreciated that most of my classes were very hands-on. And I never thought that a torch and a jeweler’s saw would be my favorite tools to use. At the beginning of the program, the thought of using these tools seemed quite daunting. And, I am truly grateful for the class I graduated with—as cheesy as it sounds I just feel so fortunate.  And last but not least, a lot of people dread networking. Yes, networking is great for making connections in the industry. But if I hadn't been involved with activities or didn’t network outside of the jewelry industry, I wouldn’t have met two amazing FIDM Students whom I consider my best friends.

What was your favorite class you took at FIDM?

Creative Design III was an incredible class. I feel that this class really pushed me to think outside of the "jewelry box." And, it helped me identify myself as a Jewelry Designer. The History of Jewelry was also a phenomenal class. The lectures and discussions in the class and doing the homework took me to that experience of being in a museum. I was in awe the entire time.  

Were you able to administer your design talents and literary knowledge on campus outside of schoolwork?

Absolutely. I was thrilled that I had the opportunity to become the Managing Editor of the FIDM MODE.™ I experienced many dream goals through the FIDM MODE: ™ writing about jewelry, specifically Art Deco jewelry; writing captions and headlines; working on a layout for a magazine; and last but not least, editing copy for a magazine. In addition to writing about jewelry, a few of the pieces I have designed have ended up being used for shoots and are featured in the publication! When I say this list out loud it may sound mundane to a lot of people, but it’s just the opposite. It’s invigorating.      

What advice do you have for future Jewelry Design students?

I had a really hard time believing in myself when I started the program. As the program progressed, I learned a lot and I surprised myself on the outcome of every project that made it to my final presentation. And I realized that I struggled believing in myself because I found it difficult to explain my jewelry and talk about myself. This is where my English background came into play and I relied on that to help build my confidence. Ultimately, it is important to have confidence. It will shine through the work that you create.



Inspiring Interview with BCBG's Lubov Azria, FIDM Grad

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Chief Creative Officer of BCBG Lubov Azria speaks to Fashionista about how she made the move from Russian ballerina to Max Azria's main muse and creative partner in the SoCal fashion label. After studying Fashion Design at FIDM, Lubov started working as a patternmaker before going to BCBG and helping the company carve out a niche as an affordable contemporary brand. Explains Lubov, "Prior to the mid- '90s, there was really only missy and (high-end) designer, with nothing in-between. For me, it's always been about making the most beautiful clothes at the most affordable prices." BCBG,  home to many FIDM fashion grads, works with FIDM's Career Center to fill internships and jobs.



FIDM Merchandise Marketing Grad Working in Bali

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Merchandise Marketing grad Lexi Seibel just got hired by Milk the Goat, a fashion company out of Bali, Indonesia. Her dream job combines her passion for fashion and travel. We caught up with Lexi just before she took off for Bali.

What is your new position?

My job title is Design Assistant for fashion beachwear and jewelry label Milk the Goat. I'll be doing everything from replying to emails, going to market in New York, and flying to China to pick fabrics!

What was your major?

I graduated in 2013 with a degree in Merchandise Marketing.

I thank FIDM for helping me grow so much as a person while I was there. I wouldn't be where I am today if I did not attend FIDM.

Did you work while at design school?

Yes, lots. I interned with the showroom SparklingorFlat, American Rebel, and Christian Dior. I also worked at Kitson and LF stores.



Tim Gunn's New Show "Under the Gunn" Being Filmed at FIDM LA


Lifetime has picked up the new Tim Gunn fashion competition show "Under the Gunn," which is being filmed here at FIDM Los Angeles. On the new show, Gunn--beloved star of TV's Project Runway and one of FIDM's Advisory Board members--will oversee the work of three Project Runway standouts: Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-Chee, and FIDM Instructor Nick Verreos as they mentor 15 up-and-coming designers. The show premieres on January 16, 2014. Read more on the story in today's Los Angeles Times.



Recent Grad Is YouTube Beauty Blogger OliviaMakeupChannel (Interview)


Since graduating in 2012, with a degree in Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing from FIDM, blogger Olilvia Frescura has been busy focusing on her website and YouTube channel.

When did you start writing about beauty and making YouTube videos? I started my YouTube channel, OliviaMakeupChannel, in November 2008, as a sixteen year-old.  It's kind of mind blowing to think that I've been making YouTube videos consistently for five years! My blog came about a year later.

I created my channel because I was obsessed with watching makeup tutorials on YouTube and recreating them at home. I had a lot of friends asking me how I did my makeup, so I decided to try making my own videos to teach them. On my channel, I like to post tutorials, beauty DIY's, and more personal content. On my blog, I focus solely on product reviews.

What do you love most about beauty and why? I really love that I can express my individuality with makeup. And since it's not permanent, I can experiment with all kinds of looks. The beauty industry isn't superficial in my eyes, it's empowering. I use makeup to reflect how I feel on the inside.

Beauty products, to me, are meant to enhance natural features, and help people feel more confident. If it wasn't for concealer, I don't know if I would have survived my horrible acne I had as a teenager. Now, I'm all about bold lips and eyebrows, because those are my favorite facial features.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM has helped me decide what I really want to do for my career, as I wasn't too sure prior to attending. My YouTube channel sparked my interest in beauty, so if I hadn't started that, I probably wouldn't have wound up at FIDM. I think I have learned a lot more about the business of beauty, as far as marketing and ingredients go.

I am constantly reading product ingredients and know what is good and bad for my skin type, which has really helped with my blogging, because ingredients aren't always mentioned. With an extensive knowledge of ingredients, I am able to identify how ingredients perform, which makes my product reviews a lot better.



FIDM Fashion Knitwear Design Grad Lands Job at Jerry Leigh

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It took Katie Chick about two weeks after her 2013 graduation to land a job as an Assistant Designer at industry partner Jerry Leigh in Van Nuys. The job was posted as an internship on the FIDM  Career Network website, but eight days into it, the company offered her a permanent position. "I learned to approach everything as a work in progress," says Katie about transferring her school experience to the workplace. "DEBUT (the FIDM runway show for Advanced Fashion Design students) taught me how to work on tight deadlines." She is creating deisgns for clients like Tommy Bahama, True Religion, Kohl's and Quicksilver.



FIDM Textile Design Grad Designs Prints for Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, bebe & More

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FIDM Textile Design Grad Ashley Lakin found her job at the downtown Los Angeles textile house Neman Brothers two weeks after graduating in 2013. Here's how she did it.

What is your current position?

I'm a Textile Designer for women's apparel. I am responsible for 2 to 3 new prints a day for clients like Macy's, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, bebe, and more.

How did you find the job?

It was posted online by the Career Center. I got an interview and a week later I got hired. It was fast!

How did you settle on your major?

After graduating Arizona State, I worked as a production manager for an apparel company. Then I went to Trade Tech for pattern-making. One day, I was sourcing fabrics downtown when an industry person mentioned there were job openings in textile design. Print is big right now, so it makes sense there is a demand for designers.

What did you like best about the major at FIDM?

The program really trains you to do it all. I've been told that I'm faster, more productive than people who have been in the industry 10 years. Anne Bennion, the department chair, is tough but she prepares us to be really efficient.

What trends are you spotting right now?

Tribal, vintage florals, and baroque patterns like fleurs de lis are popping up on my radar.



FIDM Alumni Association Hosts Stylist Panel in L.A.


FIDM Alumni and their guests were recently treated to an Alumni Association-sponsored Stylist Panel, featuring celebrity stylists (pictured from left to right) Jonathan Colombini, Warren Alfie Baker (X Factor, The Taste), and FIDM Graduates Lindsay Albanese (InStyle, Today Show, Good Day LA) and Daniel Musto (Fashion Star, Kris Jenner Show).


The panel discussed how they got their respective starts in the industry and answered questions from the audience. The event was held at the New Mart in Los Angeles.




Textile Design Grad Explores Licensing

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FIDM Textile Design Gad Elizabeth Hale came to the program after a career as a graphic designer at the Los Angeles Times. For her, returning to design school was a midlife transition that turned into "the best year of my life."

"I got interested in surface design, so I did a course at UCLA. When my instructor recommended FIDM, I visited it and I immediately fell in love," says Elizabeth. "The class was so small, and intimate, and focused on individual development. It really motivated me to go for it."

With a Professional Designation under her belt, Elizabeth plans on developing prints for fabrics, paper, and dinnerware. Next step? The trade show Surtex for licensing. Visit her online shop Spoonflower, where she is showing small batch textiles, wallpaper, gift wrap, and decals, and do-it-yourself custom design services.



FIDM Merchandise Product Development Grad at Disney Stores

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Noelle Barrett, 2012 Merchandise Product Development grad, loves her new position at Disney Stores. She took the time to tell us about it.

What is your title and what do you do?

I am Assistant Buyer for Disney Stores. That means I comp shop to compare our products with competitors, and manage range plan updates, item setup, and PO creation for the company database.

Did FIDM help you find the job?

Yes, I found the job posted on the FIDM Career Network. Also the faculty at FIDM is so great, whenever I needed help, they were eager to assist.

Why did you choose Merchandise Product Development?

I was able to learn about both the business and creative sides of the industry. The fast pace at FIDM prepared me for the real world.

Did you do any internships at design college?

Yes, for my last one, I was a Visual Merchandising Intern for Versace.

Want to share future plans?

Ultimately, I believe that FIDM played a major role in getting me where I am today. I am very happy where I am, and eager to see where the road takes me.



Attend Career Stardom Panel With Nick Verreos at FIDM LA Open House on Saturday


On Saturday, November 16, 2013, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., you're invited to meet FIDM Grad, Instructor, and Designer Nick Verreos. The Project Runway star will host the Career Stardom panel twice, at 11:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m., talking to experts who will share success stories and advice from their educational and career experiences.

While on campus, you can learn about career paths, tour FIDM's state-of-the-art library, view student work, and explore housing options. FIDM's Open House is free to the publilc.

Make your reservation now.



Meet Celeb Stylist Daniel Musto at FIDM Orange County's Open House on Saturday


On Saturday, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., meet celebrity stylist, fashion expert, and FIDM Grad Daniel Musto (NBC's Fashion Star, Extra!, and Kris Jenner Show) and seven multi-industry experts from companies such as St. John Knits and 7 for All Mankind at FIDM Orange County's Open House.

Daniel will be on hand for a Q&A presentation where he'll chat about his experiences in the industry and what it takes to be a successful fashion stylist. While on campus, you can also view two fashion exhibitions: Innovative Materials and Gatsby's Women: Fashionable Ideals of the 1920s.

Orange County's Open House is free to the public. Make your reservation now.



Interview with 2 Broke Girls Costume Designer & FIDM Alumna Trayce Field

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FIDM Alumna Trayce Field, Costume Designer of the hit TV series 2 Broke Girls gave an exclusive interview to the FIDM Museum & Galleries. To read more go to

How did you get into costume design?

When I was a Merchandise Marketing student at FIDM, I had no idea what career I wanted, but I knew I would figure it out as I went along. While in college, I worked in retail stores in the mall. I always wondered where actors got their costumes, so when people from the different costume departments came into the stores where I worked, I would ask them all kinds of questions. I met someone from Sabrina the Teenage Witch who hired me as a wardrobe PA. So I stopped working retail and started on my career path. I am a lucky, grateful girl who woke up one day wanting to know where actors got their clothes. I found out, and here I am!"

Industry pros teach their craft in FIDM's Film & TV Costume Design program.



Fashion Design Alumna Designing New Women's Line (Interview)


We recently caught up with Alumna Kanjana "Cake" Carlos, who is designing a new women's ready-to-wear line from her San Francisco base.

Tell us a bit about your line. Kajan Cake was founded in 2013, with the focus on beauty that is timeless, accented with the unique. Classic lines with an edgy style, designed around the modern woman, inspired by the silhouettes and shapes found in the architecture, the mountains, and even the overlapping of shadows in the San Francisco Bay Area.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? The Fashion Design Program helped build the foundation for the technical skills that I needed to create my collection; but more importantly it was the knowledge and support of the teachers and staff that helped instill in me the confidence and determination to undertake the enormous life altering task of starting my own label.

How do you like being a designer in San Francisco? I don't like working as a San Francisco Bay Area designer, I love it. I love that I am surrounded by the mixing of cultures and ideas that inspires my creativity to be free and borderless. From the weather, to the architecture and to the food, I feel that I am enriched by the experiences and energy, which gives me the inspiration in my designs.



Fashion Design Alumna and Koesch Designer Featured in Q&A


Rediff has a Q&A with Fashion Design Alumna Kresha Bajaj of the brand Koecsh.

"I started sketching at a very young age and instead of going to the garden and playing with my friends I would sit in my father’s fashion shop with the designers and learn how to sketch. I just kept practicing. Right after I graduated from high school, I did my IB (International Baccalaureate), I went straight into a fashion school and I studied design and marketing and tried to excel at the sketching and technical part of it. For seven years I learnt every single aspect of fashion: the marketing, the business, pattern cutting, patterning, sewing, threading every single thing.

I wanted to understand every single stage of fashion designing. I did not want anyone telling me that this is not possible or you cannot make a pattern like this so you cannot do it. I never wanted to be dependent on anyone. So, I just studied fashion from head to toe."



Alumna's Jewelry Line Sold at Famed Royal Hawaiian Hotel


Alumna Keito Hirakawa's jewelry line, Swimming With The Birds, is selling well at the famed Royal Hawaiian Hotel. "My business is currently located in Japan, but thanks to technology I can communicate and do business with clients overseas as well," explains the 2012 Jewelry Design Graduate.

"Growing up by the ocean my entire life, the things and lifestyle I find at the beach are my biggest inspirations. However, because I travel and move quite often, versatility is very important to me. So I strive to create jewels that make you feel beautiful, empowered and comfortable wherever you are."

Follow Swimming With the Birds on Instagram where they share behind-the-scenes photos and inspiration.




Trendwatch: Luxury Designers Do Bridal

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With the U.S. market for wedding gowns hitting $7.7 billion a year, high-end designers like Oscar de la Renta are expanding into an area that was previously limited to bridal specialists like Vera Wang. The market driven trend began about 20 years ago, according to Business of Fashion, when "prominent society women started turning to their designer friends to make their gowns." Carolyn Bessette's choice of Narcisco Rodriguez for her wedding to John Kennedy, Jr. is cited as a prime example. The move away from the "Cinderella" gown lets each woman "express who she is while not wearing a gown that wears her," summarizes Caroline Burstein of Browns Brides in London. In a twist on the trend, bridal designer FIDM Alumna Monique Lhuillier successfully made the move into ready-to-wear, after building the brand in bridal.



FIDM Fashion Design Alumna Starts Clothing Line

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Fashion Design major Courtney McCrone has launched her own clothing line, 23 Skidoo, in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. The 2013 graduate's line of feminine,whimsical dresses, "handmade with love in Cleveland," can be found at About FIDM, she says, "This institution put a fire on my back to pursue my dream and make it a reality. I will always carry it in my heart."

How did you come up with the cute name?

23 Skidoo means "to be of high spirits," and I wanted to capture the spirit of Anywhere Adventurewear for young women with adventurous souls who want to look and feel feminine.

How did FIDM help you follow your passion for design?

The best part was living in L.A., the land of opportunity. Being around so many artists was inspiring and an eye-opening experience. I always loved seeing other students' projects, and the different points of view. As a design college, FIDM attracts a wide range of cultures and the school itself was an inspiration for my clothing line.

Did you use the Career Center?

My career counselor helped with all of my questions as I began to build my brand. I also did a couple of short internships with the designers at Fremont and Kittenhawk.

Tell us more about your brand.

I call my followers "Skadettes" and I enjoy making their shopping experiences memorable. For the line's debut at the local Ingenuity Festival, my team and I built a teepee; we had records playing and chocolate chip cookies for anyone who liked us on Facebook. Now my online shop is launched, so anyone can become a Skadette!



FIDM Alumna Starts Children's Wall Decor Company

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Merchandise Marketing Alumna Rasha Afifi-Talleh has launched the online store, to market her line of educational wall decals for young children. Decorating with removable decals "is a great way to spend fun, quality time with children interacting, learning, and decorating," says Rasha.



Nut Kreations Entrepreneur and Alumna Speaks at FIDM


Nut Kreations co-founder and Merchandise Marketing Alumna Mina Feuerhaken recently spoke to students in Mychelle Fitzgerald's Entrepreneurship class on campus. Less than two years after graduating from FIDM in 2009, she opened a retail store in Santa Cruz, California dedicated to fresh and high quality nuts, dried fruits, seeds, granola, tea, coffee, and other natural treats.

Nut Kreations was awarded the Most Innovative New Business Concept in Santa Cruz in 2012, and Mina and her husband, Brody Feuerhaken, plan to expand to more locations in the future. Mina, who serves as President of the company, comes from a long line of pistachio nut farmers.



Merchandise Marketing Alumna Debuts First Licensed Collection at High Point


Home Accents Today has a story about Seattle-based designer and Merchandise Marketing Alumna Shannon Koszyk's licensed collection with Currey & Company that is debuting at this week's High Point Market. Featuring vintage-inspired chandeliers, sconces, and candleabras, the capsule collection is both historic and modern at the same time.



Alumna Is a Product Development and Marketing Executive in the U.K.


Fashion Design Alumna Ria Jhala is working as a Product Development and Marketing Executive for the new U.K. company Rae Feather. "I'm doing a lot of things that I learned during my time at FIDM, from designing, sampling, development, business, costing, website and office management, marketing, and more," she explains. "There is an element of layering throughout the collection, starting from basic t-shirts to chunky knits, to softer cashmere knits and oversized cardigans." The new line also features relaxed pants, shoes, and scarves.

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