Miranda Mazuki Launches Ready-to-Wear Line in Jakarta, Indonesia


The Jakarta Post has a profile of Miranda Mazuki, a 2012 Graduate who just launched her first ready-to-wear line, Mazuki, in Jakarta. While at FIDM, Miranda assisted in the visual department of Yves Saint Laurent in Beverly Hills and after graduation, she moved to New York and interned for Jill Stuart International and worked as a freelance knitwear consultant at Opening Ceremony. 

Her first collection, entitled "Comfortable Solitude," features structured silhouettes and comfortable fabrics such as Egyptian cotton and silk and wool blends. Based in Jakarta, Mazuki is producing men's and women's collections. 



Blake Lively Stuns in Two Different Monique Lhuillier Looks For 'The Age of Adaline' Premiere



Blake Lively wore Monique Lhuillier twice in one evening for the premiere of her new film, The Age of Adaline. The actress, who famously does not use a stylist, donned a leather-trimmed red lace gown with a full skirt. For the after party, she chose a spangled sheer bodysuit that was paired with a black blazer. 



NastyGal Technical Designers Sara Goodman and Sandy Novak Visit FIDM

15074j Guest Speakers Nasty Gal_DSC_2573

FIDM Students on the Los Angeles campus were treated this week to a special visit from NastyGal technical designers Sara Goodman and Sandy Novak. They shared their insider experience on what it's like to be a technical designer in the world of fashion.

Sandy Novak, Senior Technical Designer at NastyGal and a graduate from FIDM, gave a presentation in the Student Lounge on the differences between a designer and a technical designer. She explained that essentially designers come up with original creations and sketch out their ideas, while technical designers create the blueprint for the garment, and are ultimately responsible for the fit—which translates into sales.

Sandy introduced Sara Goodman, the Director of Technical Designer at NastyGal. Sandy explained that Sara is her mentor. She's been in the industry for 18 years and has worked for companies including Adidas, Nordstrom, bebe, BCBG, and Guess. In fact, Sara's first job was as a pattern maker at Adidas working on pants for Lakers basketball player Kobe Bryant.

Sara said that one of the advantages of pursuing a career in technical design is that you'll always have a job. Good technical designers are highly valued. The fit of a garment can make or break its salability, so accurate measurements are key to the merchandise product development process.

"I build garments from scratch—from numbers really," Sara said. "Being a technical designer is truly what I love to do."

This summer, FIDM will be launching a new Bachelor of Science Degree in Apparel Technical Design—open to students who have earned an Associate of Arts degree from FIDM in Merchandise Product Development. For more information, please call 213-624-1201.



See Masked Muses from the Art Forms Fashion Collection by FIDM Alumnus Paul Hernandez at San Diego's Art Alive


Fashion Designer, FIDM DEBUT Graduate, and San Diego native Paul Hernandez debuts his Masked Muses from the Art Forms Fashion Collection during the Art Alive 2015 celebrations at The San Diego Museum of Art. The Art Forms Fashion Collection is comprised of four dramatic fashion installations, each inspired by a different piece of art in the museum.



• Masked Muse I: Inspired by the painting, Wooded Landscape with a Waterfall, by Jacob van Ruisdael.


• Masked Muse II: Inspired by the painting, Flower Garland with the Holy Family, by Daniel Seghers.


• Masked Muse III: Inspired by a jali screen by an unknown artist from India.


• Masked Muse IV: Inspired by the sculpture, Bather, by Jacques Lipchitz.

The collection will be on display throughout the Art Alive celebrations, from Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26, 2015.

Photos by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages



Paul Hernandez to Create Dress Forms Inspired by Works From San Diego Museum of Art


From April 24 to April 26, the San Diego Museum of Art will be transformed into a vision of art and flowers as more than 100 floral designers bring the Museum's renowned Permanent Collection to life during the 34th annual Art Alive fundraiser. In addition to the floral exhibition and other special events, fashion designer, San Diego native, and FIDM Graduate Paul Hernandez will create one-of-a-kind, draped dress forms inspired by four works from the Museum’s Permanent Collection. 

This year’s floral exhibition will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26. General admission is free for members, $20 for nonmembers, and free for children age 6 and under. In addition to viewing the annual floral exhibition during Museum hours, Art Alive 2015 offers three full days of events, activities, and celebrations. 



Interior Design Grads Create Rooms for 2015 Pasadena Showcase House


Interior Design Graduates Casey Mason and Ruben Marquez of Jennifer Bevan Interiors designed the library and an adjoining bath for this year's Pasadena Showcase House. "We used a combination of Dunn Edwards Muslin, Reclaimed Wood, and Barnwood Gray to create over-scaled Greek key panels as a play on wainscoting and to give the space a sense of history. There were bookcases and a faux fireplace on the south wall that were not original to the home, so we removed them to enhance the square footage of the library and allow us to create an intimate seating area," explains Casey. "The Kravet fabrics that we chose for the furniture and drapery are a perfect mix of textures and we fell in love with the abstract art piece over the sofa by Bryan Ricci, a local LA artist, and we felt that it perfectly juxtaposes the traditional elements in the room."


The adjoining bathroom takes cues from a gentleman’s suit, starting with a Walker Zanger mosaic that seamlessly combines marble and porcelain. "The textured wall covering by Dillard Pierce is the perfect marriage of drama and dimension," she adds. "The gorgeous faucet, sink, and vanity legs from Sherle Wagner fell in line with the idea of a gentleman’s area, since stately architecture motivated the design of the fittings. The modern, cubic Christopher Guy mirror is definitely meant to be a statement piece. Polished nickel lighting add a flawless finish, creating a handsome-looking space."


The 2015 Pasadena Showcase House of Design is open through May 17, 2015. Tickets are available for purchase here



Fashion Knitwear Design Grad is a Technical Designer at Alternative Apparel (Interview)


Fashion Knitwear Design Graduate Marisol Aguirre has a new job at L.A.-based Alternative Apparel as a Technical Designer in the men's department. After finishing her degree in 2007, she worked for more than four years at Forever 21, in the girls department, and freelanced for Multee. We recently chatted with Marisol to learn more about her current job and future goals. 

What are your responsibilities at Alternative Apparel? I’m responsible for all fits, from development to pre-production. My job is to ensure each garment's fit represents the aesthetic view of the company. I fit once a week on a live model and submit fit comments to vendors in a timely manner to ensure all deadlines are met. I also, must keep track of all samples and maintain all logs that pertain to my styles. Being organized and having the ability to communicate efficiently are a must in my position as I must ensure our vendors received sufficient and correct information to provide us with quality production.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM prepared me for my career by providing courses that I continue to use in my current job. One of my favorite classes was, Stitch, Color and Surface Design with Instructor Robin Wagner. We learned the particulars of color and texture created by an assortment of stitches. I’m thankful and grateful to Robin Wagner and Anne Bennion for providing me with knowledge and support that I have utilize throughout my career.

What are your ultimate career goals? I enjoy and appreciate the responsibilities that come with being a Technical Designer. However, now that I’m a mother to a baby boy, my goal to one day teach children art and knit has resurfaced. My background as a playground worker/tutor at an afterschool program called LA’s BEST (which I worked for in my twenties as I attended FIDM) would come in handy. But at this point in my life my personal goals are to be the best mother and wife. And as for my career goal, it is to be the best Technical Designer I can possibly be.



DEBUT and DECA Grad Is Founder of New Menswear Label J. Webster


DEBUT and DECA Graduate Johnathan Webster worked for Oumlil, Helmut Lang, Theory, and Theysken's Theory before striking out on his own with J. Webster, a new menswear collection dedicated to bridging the gap between traditional tailoring and contemporary smart street wear. "It is my mission to give men the highest quality of craftsmanship, materials, and cut of a blazer that is accessible and affordable," says Johnathan, who spent 15 months in Rome furthering his design education thanks to the Koefia scholarship he received after graduating from FIDM in 2009. 




Nasty Gal's New Girlboss Grant Goes to Two FIDM MPD Grads


After successfully funding a Kickstarter campaign in January, FIDM Merchandise Product Development Graduates Natasha Endrei and Alicia Rhodes of Aeline have begun to accept pre-orders on their website. Their patent-pending product, Pliable Pattern, is a gridded fabric that allows users to draft patterns directly onto the fabric, which can then be pinned, cut, and sewn. This innovative fabric saves both time and money. 


Natasha and Alicia, who met while working on the private label team at a popular e-commerce company, recently received a grant from Nasty Gal's Girlboss Foundation for their innovation. Their Pliable Pattern will begin shipping in June. 



MPD Graduate Is Lead Studio Technician for the Global Apparel Materials Studio at Nike (Interview)


Name: Morgan Jefferies

FIDM Degree: Merchandise Product Development

Grad Year: 2013

Job Title: Lead Studio Technician for the Global Apparel Materials Studio at Nike

Tell us about your job at Nike. I've worked at Nike since May of last year. I work across 14 categories, including both Sport and Sportswear. I work daily with category material developers and designers to create tools that give more visibility to each categories seasonal material palettes. Additionally, I am the point person on creating visual tools for our leadership teams and special collaborations such as the Olympics. Day-to-day responsibilities include managing a library of over 40,000 fabrics and trims ensuring materials are up to date and available, as well as facilitating all vendor visits to campus for both domestic and import suppliers.

How do you feel FIDM helped prepare you for the workforce? I would encourage any student to develop a strong relationship with their teachers. They know more than you might think and you can learn a great deal from them. Additionally, the variety of classes helped prepare me to have a broader skill set. Every company varies in its working style. The more corporate the company, the narrower and deeper your position becomes. The smaller the company, the more hats you wear. It's ideal to work at all different kinds so you can determine which is the best fit for you. Take as many classes as you can that pertain to digital (Photoshop, Illustrator, Excel, PDM); it's increasingly the expectation of our generation that we are efficient in these programs and you will be in a more advantageous position when applying for jobs if you are. 

What are your ultimate career goals? The sky is the limit. I'm not as focused on climbing the corporate ladder as I was when I entered the industry. Ultimately I will work in a creative role but truly my goal is to find what I can do that will make me happiest in the industry and then build from there. I'm learning as I go and I've found that the idea you have of what you're going to do when you begin your career changes dramatically with each role you take and each company you work for. Some are great, some present incredible challenges. Perseverance and having an open mind are key. Don't be afraid to move, work for a small company, or take a position you didn't think you would ever be doing. Be flexible--you might just love where you end up.



FIDM Grad Is Fashion Blogger Behind And She Saw Stars


Fashion Design Professional Designation Graduate LaDonna Davis is the fashion blogger at And She Saw Stars, which was started last year as a means to feature her designs, photography, styling, and writing. "I thought it'd be good to get started early rather than wait until I graduated and start working to get my name and work noticed," she explains. LaDonna recently covered Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia. "I love covering fashion and styling on my blog, but my main interest is in telling stories, which is why I got into fashion design in the first place."


LaDonna, who has an engineering background, enjoys looking at construction, how a fabric flows, and how it makes a statement or makes someone feels is important. "In the future, I expect to have an aspect of my fashion designs that go strictly towards the development of characters in stories," she adds. "So far, my own designs have utilized recycled materials and a patchwork process/technique that I am developing. I like to work with recycled materials and hope to gain additional experience working with these materials for fashion."

Pictured: FIDM Student models Adrienne (top) and Jorden (middle)



Recent Grad Hired at EDG Interior Architecture + Design: Hear Her Story


Name: Thao Tu

FIDM Major: Interior Design

Grad Year: December 2014

Company: EDG

How did your job come about? I learned about EDG via a connection I made through my previous employer. I had spoken about which direction I wanted to take after FIDM, and my boss suggested I get in touch with her friend, who helped staff various firms, and we explored various the ones that fit what I had envisioned for my career. Initially, EDG had already filled a prospective position, but a few months later, I was alerted of another opportunity. Fortunately, everything worked out.

What is your title/job responsibilities? I was hired for a Jr.Designer position. My responsibilities include, but does not limit to conceptual work (source inspiration pictures, materials, palettes, furnishings), technical work (InDesign, PS, a lot of CAD, and SketchUp), as well as FF&E specifications.

How do you feel FIDM has helped prepare you for your career? There are major things, such as the intensity of exposure to various programs the industry uses. I don't think it's a waste of time to have invested so many hours fixing that sketch or CAD or SketchUp model. Every details speak for itself, but it's important not to get lost in there and forget your original intention. I discovered I love how history influenced design and the idea of story telling in design. It's a humbling feeling that I went from working on a project in a staged real-life scenario to an actual real-life project; there is never an end to the learning experience with design.



FIDM Grad Kenya Kirkland Opens Fashion Boutique in South Bay


Kenya Kirkland graduated in 2011 with her degree in Merchandise Product Development. She now owns and operates her own boutique in Inglewood called Shop1323. She also designs clothing and jewelry, hosts events, and manages a team—all with three kids! She says, "I'm what you call a mommy mogul!"

Where are you working now? I currently own and operate a boutique in Inglewood called Shop1323 that boasts some of LA's top brands including two lines that I design and produce myself here in LA.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM prepared me for the production side of what I do. I use a lot of what I learned, daily. But the relationships I built on campus are just as valuable as the information learned in class.

How did you find out about FIDM? I was a store manager at BCBG and one of my sales associates was a student at FIDM. She told me about the school and what she was learning and I was so intrigued! 

How did you decide on your major? My student advisor guided me to Merchandise Product Development because of my interest in both design and the business of fashion. Definitely the right choice.

Which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Looking back, I say Technical Design was most valuable because Rebecca Eliason has become a true mentor and inspiration to me.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? My advice would be to build relationships with your teachers and other students with the the same passion as you. Intern as much as possible while you're in school. Lastly, keep great notes! If you're lucky you'll need them.

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal right now is to brand my boutique as the go to destination for women in the South Bay!

Anything else you’d like to share? Your network is your net worth. 



Attend the Beauty Product Development Panel in Los Angeles on April 21


On Tuesday, April 21, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., in Room 500 at FIDM L.A., find out what Product Development in the Beauty Industry is really like from experts and FIDM Grads at the Beauty Product Development Panel. Panelists include ORLY & SpaRitual's Elyse Piwonka, Smashbox's Kia Ragland, Arbonne's Robyn Turner, and Stila's Caitlin Woo. 



Former Fashion Club President and FIDM Grad Chigo Ikeme Lands Paid Internship at NastyGal and Gets Accepted Into IMPD Program


Former Fashion Club President, Chigoziri Ikeme graduated last month from FIDM with her degree in Merchandise Product Development and just got accepted into the prestigious one-year IMPD program. She credits her Brand Portfolio class with Ms. Hahn for helping her land her paid internship at Nasty Gal Inc. in fabric research and development.

Tell us a little about yourself: I'm a recent MPD grad and a recently accepted IMPD student who has a slight obsession with textiles and thrift shopping. I've been involved in the fashion industry since I was 16 and I'm happy to have discovered my passion for fabrics and product development while at FIDM

When did you find out that you got accepted into IMPD? It was on the evening of March 4th, I opened up my acceptance letter and immediately tears of joy streamed down my face and I was screaming with excitement. I'm extremely grateful to FIDM and the IMPD selection committee for choosing me to part of this prestigious program. I know that this venture will be a great stepping stone towards pursuing my dream career. The program begins this summer and I can't wait to find out which brand we'll be collaborating with.

What do you hope to learn in IMPD? I hope to learn more about all the different aspects that go into creating garments especially in the area of fabric sourcing and development. I also hope to make valuable connections with my colleagues and the industry partners we work with.

Tell us about your paid internship at Nasty Gal: I saw the internship opportunity posted on Nasty Gal's website and I knew I needed to apply. The next day after submitting my application, I had a mock interview for my Brand Portfolio class and my teacher, Ms. Hahn, brought in a Nasty Gal recruiter as the interviewer. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. The recruiter was very impressed with me and my portfolio and that same week I had a formal interview at their headquarters and a week later I was hired as their Fabric R&D intern.

What are your responsibilities? As the fabric intern I assist the fabric team with putting together fabric spec sheets, souring fabrics, and creating fabric boards for the design team. I just started but already I've learned that fabric plays an important role in Nasty Gal's designs and they strive to create high quality on trend garments.

Any advice for someone who is just starting at FIDM? Network, network, network! As a student, this word is engrained in our heads because it's so important. Don't just network with fellow students but also with your teachers. My teachers helped a lot in telling me about various job opportunities that I wouldn't have known about otherwise and they're flowing with knowledge that will help you in your life and career. 

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal right now is to be the best fabric intern Nasty Gal ever had and also to learn all that I can from the IMPD program in order to ensure that I have the career I want when I graduate.

Anything else you’d like to share? As a recent FIDM grad I can say that I learned the most from the classes that challenged me the most. I used to dread my textile classes and now I'm in love with the fabric industry. Always have an open mind and don't be afraid to take risks. 



Grad Opens Farron Elizabeth Boutique in Atascadero, California


The Paso Robles Daily News has a profile of FIDM Graduate Farron Day, who recently opened the Farron Elizabeth boutique in Atascadero. 

Day’s goal is to make clothing that is flattering to all body types. sizes and ages, all the while being affordable. The Farron Elizabeth line ranges from $10 up to about $50.

Day went to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, graduating when she was 20. She went on to work for a T-shirt company for nearly three years, before she started her own company. For the last 10 years she was doing wholesale manufacturing.

“I wanted to cut out the middleman and sell directly,” Day said. Now, the Farron Elizabeth line is only available in the Atascadero store and online. “It allows me to cut my prices.”



Art Director at Ad Agency and FIDM Grad Angelique Felice Carrisal Tells Us Which Classes Were Most Valuable To Her


Angelique Felice Carrisal graduated from FIDM in 2010 with a degree in Graphic Design. She's now working as an Art Director at Media Matched, an advertising agency in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Alex Gardos' Design I and II classes were always the best. I also enjoyed Digital Photography. Motion Graphics from Ryan Nellis is actually what led me to pursue Visual Effects and Animation at NMSU. And it's not a class, but my internship in the Publications Department at FIDM was also key.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM taught be to always be learning, even outside of the classroom. All of that knowledge will escape you if you're not constantly absorbing anything and everything. You absolutely have to keep studying and be on top of the latest trends, or else you'll fall behind.

Tell us a little about yourself: I grew up in what I like to call "The Dirty Southwest." I started
learning the technical side of graphic design at 16 by sneaking into college classes, and got my first internship at 17. I moved to LA to go to FIDM at 18 and completely gave it my all. When I graduated at 19, I felt there was more I could absorb, so I went for my Bachelor's in Visual Effects and Animation. That hard work paid off, because at 23 I got my first full time design job at Albuquerque the Magazine, which led me to my current position at only 24!

How did you find out about FIDM? My cousin was flipping through the school catalog when it was time to start deciding where to go to college. I loved the catalog design and location...then the tour sold me!

How did you decide on your major? It was actually a tough choice between Graphic Design and Digital Media, since I also have a background in multi-media (I have a student Emmy from a PSA I wrote/shot/edited), but I always knew that Graphic Design could take me far if I let it.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Observe everything, meet everyone, and go everywhere. It will lead you to great places. Also, if you're like me and went to Los Angeles for school, don't waste the great experiences you'll have. My only regret was not enjoying non-school life more. I feel it could have inspired me and helped me with creative blocks.

What is your biggest goal right now? Move back to Los Angeles and have more fun! But, after I spend some time at my current company. I love it here, and they love me! :)

Anything else you’d like to share? Yes. The best advice I ever heard from my first internship. From an employee who taught me to always "raise my worth" in the workplace.



Current/Elliott Assistant Designer Heather Espinoza Says FIDM Education is Top Notch


Heather Espinoza graduated in 2012 with a degree in Merchandise Product Development. She's now an Assistant Designer at Current/Elliott, a premium denim label.

What do you do? My daily duties range from building line sheets (no joke—a bible for everything Current/Elliott every season) to CADing my hand sketches and those of my designers for upcoming seasons, to going through 50 emails from import vendors across the world. It's a lot of work and effort, but at the end of the day we are all working together toward a product we are proud of. 

Tell us a little about yourself: I'm 22, and come from a very tight knit Hispanic family. I went to FIDM right after high school. After I earned my Product Development degree, I joined 24seven and was placed at C/E where I covered for the new assistant for three weeks. After that, I worked with the salesman sample team for five months, then moved to pre-production for two months. Then my supervisor said there was an opening either with her or with design. I chose design. It was the hardest and best decision I've made in my time at C/E. That was 2.5 years ago and I can honestly say it's been such a great experience to work with such an incredible team. 

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? The education FIDM offers is top notch. Everyone knows that FIDM's workload is intense. You have six different deadlines for six different projects, but in reality you're going to have twice as many deadlines and twice as many projects all due within a matter of days. I feel that is what FIDM did best in terms of preparing me—I learned how to manage every second of my time to get everything done. 

How did you find out about FIDM? FIDM visited my high school every year, and one day I finally decided to fill out the contact form. Best decision I ever made. 

How did you decide on your major? At first I thought I was going to major in Fashion Design. It was what I imagined everyone wanted when they walked through the door. My advisor explained that Merchandise Product Development encompassed the creativity of Fashion Design but also had the business aspect. I felt that was what was going to make me most marketable. I would learn about tech packs and what specs I needed to pay attention to—things like that are what convinced me to go into PD. 

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Illustrator/Photoshop. Without a doubt. I cannot express how invaluable those two things have been. I live on Illustrator. I'm proud of how comfortable I've gotten with those tools. It will really make you stand out if you know how to CAD. Yes it's important to know how to hand sketch, but for you to be able to translate a beautiful hand sketch to a beautiful and accurate CAD—it's done deal. You're hired. 

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Be nice, hard working and adaptable. I can't express how stressful this industry can be, but if you do it with a smile on your face and are still treating people with respect, you'll be the one person that's remembered and recommended. As for hard working, anyone can do this. It doesn't count on the quantity of work you get out within a day. For you to be able to get things done correctly and promptly, it'll get you places. Lastly adaptable—if you're asked to do something, do it. Everything is a learning process, if you're not willing to do it once, I can assure you you'll never learn how to do it properly. Your superiors will thank and respect you for having that "hands on attitude" that your professors have been lecturing you on since you started school.

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal right now is to learn as much as possible and grow as a designer. I've learned so much at C/E during these past couple of years and I continue to learn every day, whether it's a computer shortcut or new jargon. It's really satisfying to have a conversation with someone and know what's going on without having to google it later. 

Anything else you’d like to share? One thing I'd like to share with students is to take their work seriously. Yes it's a fun job, as anything you're passionate about should be, but when you're at work, be at work. Don't let foolish things get in the way. You'll make many friends along the way, friendships to last a lifetime, but the best friendships in this industry are the kind that are valued on mutual respect. The kind of friends that know they can count on you to get the job done without having to ask you countless times to do it. Take it from someone who is the 'baby' in our company, no one will judge you on your age. They'll judge you on your work ethic and what you bring to the table. It's an amazing industry to be in, and we're all lucky to be a part of it.



FIDM Grad and Product Developer at Affliction Says Networking is Key in the Fashion Industry


Hraché Novruzyan

 graduated in 2010 with a degree in Merchandise Product Development

. She is now working at Affliction
 as a Product Developer and travels to Hong Kong on business

 (pictured above on recent trip).

Tell us a little about yourself: I was born and raised in Orange County where I still currently live. My mother is the one I thank every single day for introducing me to this industry. I remember being very young when she was taking fashion classes at a local college. There was always something about her projects that I found so interesting. I didn't hesitate once when the time came for me to choose a career.

Where are you working now? I'm currently working at Affliction in Seal Beach as their Product Developer. I work with an incredible group of people who challenge me every day and keep me on my creative toes!

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM taught me that it's healthy to be competitive in this industry. I learned how to be professional and organized. The variety of classes taught me about each of the components that go into one single garment which helps me every single day.

How did you find out about FIDM? FIDM Alumni came to speak to my Fashion Design class when I was a junior in high school. It was like love at first sight!

How did you decide on your major? I think I spent the entire first year telling myself I had made a mistake and that I was giving up being creative and innovative to learn the business aspect of the industry and was completely freaked out. I thank each of my instructors and advisors for talking me into this major. I didn't want to draw for a living; I wanted to know more about the business and industry and how it all comes together while at the same time still being creative.  Although I lost sleep over it for my first few quarters at FIDM, I'm incredibly happy with my decision.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? All of them. I'm not just saying that. After working in the industry for a few years now, I can definitely say that each class was useful. My father gave me advice when I was starting my career. He said, "Don't ever ask someone to sew on a button for you if you yourself don't know how to sew on that button." I may have laughed and shrugged it off back then, but he couldn't have been more right. Learning how to make patterns, sew, draw or how fabrics are made and dyed have all helped me so much. Each aspect is so incredibly important and beneficial to your career. The further you get into your career, the more you'll realize that some classes are more beneficial than others depending on your career, but in the end each one has helped in its own way. 

Any advice for current FIDM Students? It's simple. It's the one thing I don't think I did enough when I was at FIDM. NETWORK!!! I've become queen bee of the networking world and although I wish I had done it more during my years at FIDM, I'm still glad I realized how important it was earlier on in my career. 

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal is to leave a decent dent in the apparel industry. I'm not talking about being the next Coco Chanel, although that would be amazing—I'm talking about making a difference in the companies I work for and having a positive influence on the people I work with.

Anything else you’d like to share? Don't be afraid to take a job you never thought you'd like. You're the rookie once you graduate FIDM. You can't afford to be picky. Take any job that's offered to you in the industry and be eager to learn. You'll be surprised where it might lead you. Who knows, you might end up on a path you never even knew existed.



IMPD Student Karoline Korpor Wins Hank Pola Scholarship


Members of L.A.'s fashion community celebrated FIDM International Manufacturing & Product Development Student Karoline Korpor (pictured with Ilse Metchek), who recently received the Hank Pola Scholarship. Named in honor of the longtime textile executive and member of the Textile Association of Los Angeles, Pola’s grandson Spencer presented the $5,000 scholarship award to Karoline, who holds degrees in Textile Production & Development and Fashion Design from FIDM. 

California Apparel News has the full story. 



MPD Grad and Current Menswear Student Scores Summer Internship at Nordstrom (Interview)


Name: Devon Figueroa 

FIDM Degree: Merchandise Product Development

Current Major: Menswear (Advanced Degree Program)

How did the internship opportunity come about? The creative director of Nordstrom, Melanie Owen (a FIDM Alumna), visited us here on campus. I was lucky enough to listen to her speak during the the Premier Product Developers group and during an Advanced Program meeting on the same day. She was very excited that FIDM had just launched the Advanced Study Degree in Menswear and encouraged us to apply for the internship. I have always loved Nordstrom, so I immediately jumped at the opportunity. The hiring process started off with a simple online application, then a second recorded video interview, and finally a live video interview.

What will your internship program entail? What are you most excited about? We definitely get a good understanding of “The Nordstrom Way” and from what I hear, it is an awesome company to work for. I will be working directly under the Product Developer of Men’s, Scott Darlington (also a FIDM Alumnus), who oversees every Menswear brand that Nordstrom creates, with exception to footwear. I am definitely most excited to be a part of Scott’s team and working in Menswear since it is definitely a passion for me. Working under a former student will just add to the experience.

How are you enjoying the Advanced Menswear program at FIDM? Joining the Advanced Study Program has been amazing. I came to FIDM knowing I wanted to do this program, but had to complete MPD beforehand. Product Development became an extreme passion of mine and being able to concentrate that in Menswear has been a dream come true.

What are your future career goals? Right now I'm taking everything day by day, year by year. I used to have so many goals and dreams, but seeing how many great things have popped up for me has been truly amazing. Right now I have been working hard in every opportunity that comes my way. If I had to claim at least one future goal, it would be to be a creative director for a label I am passionate about. I can only work towards it and hope for the best.



FIDM Grad Bear Brandegee Is Personal Stylist For Worth New York (Interview)


Accomplished graduate Bear Brandegee, who most recently worked for Doncaster, is now a Personal Stylist for Worth New York, based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 

What was your role at Doncaster prior to leaving? For a decade, I was a stylist with the American fashion house Doncaster, where I focused on dressing women in executive and community leadership roles.

Tell us about your new role as a stylist with Worth New York. Worth New York is a luxury line of women's clothing designed for every aspect of a woman's lifestyle. I fell in love with the collection, the design aesthetic, and the extraordinary quality of the product. I've opened my own Worth New York studio in downtown Pittsburgh and work with women on all their style and dressing needs in a private by-appointment, relaxed environment.

I also engage in community service by hosting travel trunk shows where a portion of proceeds go to directly to local not-for-profit organizations. It's always fashionable to support people in need in our community. In addition, and what's super exciting to me, is that I'm also charged with finding women like me who want to run their own fashion business and help establish them in communities where we've identified where a Worth New York business and stylist will thrive. It's a great feeling to help empower other women to succeed.

How do you find your clients, the executive women of Pittsburgh? Word of mouth. I find over and over again that women are always willing to help other women to succeed, grow, and expand their business.

What about the business speaks to your passion? I am passionate about helping women feel beautiful and express themselves in a way that is natural and comfortable for them. So for me, my favorite moments are spent in front of the mirror helping clients see what I see.

As a business development leader, I love the opportunity to help other women be successful. This is a lucrative business that is all about connecting with women and providing a bespoke service with world class clothing and exceptional customer service. For the woman who wants to run her own business in fashion, this is a great place to be. 

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? From running a fashion business to the specifics of the elements of style, FIDM provided me with essential tools of the trade that I put to use every day.



Seven For All Mankind Designer & FIDM Grad Tells Us the Secret to the Amazing Fit of Seven Jeans

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Seven For All Mankind Fashion Designer and FIDM Grad Kristin Vander Ark recently visited the students in the Premiere Merchandise Product Development Group in Los Angeles for a group discussion about her career success and experience at FIDM.

Kristin graduated from FIDM in 2007, studying mostly on the San Francisco campus and finishing her final semester in Los Angeles. As a student, she interned at Paper magazine. Then, as a result of an introduction from FIDM Instructor Estel Hahn, Kristin was hired at Koos Manufacturing, a company that does vertical integration of denim—wash house, dye house, production, sewing. She was an Assistant Designer responsible for sketching and doing tech packs. She said she learned all of the aspects of the company and it was a "great experience."

After working at Koos for four years, she was hired at Seven For All Mankind, starting as an Assistant Designer. She was soon promoted to Associate Designer, then Designer. She designs a wide variety of product, from denim bottoms to dresses, skirts, and bags. She said one of her favorite parts of the job is developing fabrics and washes.

When asked, "Where do you get your ideas for silhouettes?" Kristin replied, "The runway, looking at blogs, Pinterest..." Twice a year, she travels to Europe for research, attending the Premiere Vision show in Paris and the Denim Premiere Vision in Barcelona.

The students had an opportunity to ask Kristin all kinds of questions about her career and she left them with one final thought, "The good thing about your major [Merchandise Product Development] is that you can go into so many different directions. It just depends on what you want to do."

There was one last question, though. "What's the secret about the amazing fit of Seven jeans?!" Kristin simply replied, "Two hours of fittings every single day. We're very detail-oriented in our fittings."



Find Out Why Grad Loves Her Job as Social Media Manager at Kofax


Name: Saehee Kim

Title: Social Media Manager

Company: Kofax 

Previous Work: Social Media and Digital Marketing Specialist at Oakley; Social Media Coordinator at Young Company - Creative Marketing Communications 

FIDM Degree: Visual Communications Professional Designation 

How did FIDM help prepare you for working in the industry? Like any other FIDM Student, I attended FIDM to become successful in something I was passionate about. The only problem was that I was a little confused to what I really wanted to do. FIDM really helped guide me to try different things until I found my passion in marketing.

FIDM makes it really easy to sign up for different opportunities and I think that really helped me get started on trying new things. I took advantage of all the resources available to me during the year (the Career Center, the Job Board, volunteer opportunities, library, instructors, and internships) to see what I was excited about. I ended up falling in love with marketing -- specifically digital marketing.

What do you enjoy about working in social media? The best part of being a Social Media Manager is that it's never boring and that I'm just as close to the customer as I am to the company internally. Social Media is constantly evolving as a whole, but so are my relationships with our fans and followers. That's what keeps my job interesting everyday. Being the "voice" of a company is a great responsibility, and with that responsibility comes a great deal of visibility in the company.

Even though there are many other individuals and teams who make important decisions, and still many more executives above me, I always feel like I'm in the "know" of things and it makes me feel important at work.

Learn more about FIDM's new degree program in Social Media



Alumni Panel Gives Tips on Starting a New Fashion Business


When three uber-successful FIDM Grads return to campus for a panel on new business best practices, you can bet there will be a rapt audience on hand to listen to their advice. Beau Lawrence of Ace Rivington, Reese De Luca of de la COMMUNE, and Michael Kuluva of Tumbler and Tipsy visited the LA Campus on Thursday, March 12 for a panel moderated by Alumni Director Bill Cliatt to discuss their professional paths and what it took to turn their passions into thriving businesses. See our event calendar for upcoming events



This IMPD Grad Landed a Paid Internship at GUESS? Find Out How.


Recent International Manufacturing & Product Development Graduate Kimberly Poquiz has accepted a paid internship at GUESS? We recently chatted with the new alumna to learn more.

How did the GUESS internship come about? I first saw the posting for the internship online through the Career Network. A few days later, my Career Advisor visited my class and spoke about various internships that were available to us. At that point, I decided to apply for the internship.

What will you be doing at GUESS? How long is the internship for? I will be working at GUESS as a Product Development intern for their GUESS Factory division from June until August. I would like to start my career working as a product developer. Eventually, I'd like to start my own apparel business.

How do you feel FIDM has helped prepare you for this internship and your future? My experience at FIDM has definitely played a crucial role in molding me into the person I am today. While I was in the International Manufacturing & Product Development program, I was able to participate in industry events and meet notable people in the denim industry. I also gained so many hard and soft skills in addition to my education. After everything that I've learned and experienced at FIDM, I feel very prepared for my internship and my future.



Visual Communications Graduate Hired as Retail Coordinator Exhibits Development Group


Visual Communications Graduate Lizanne Dooner is now working for Exhibits Development Group (EDG), which brings high-quality traveling exhibitions of art, science, and history to a broad and diverse audience. Lizanne joins EDG’s Retail Division as Retail Coordinator and "brings great enthusiasm and skills to EDG’s Dressing Downton, Beatles, Sherlock Holmes, and MythBusters stores while supporting the team in the growth of EDG’s retail presence," according to EDG. 



What to Expect When Starting Your First Job: FIDM Interior Design Grad Shares Job Advice With NerdWallet


What can you expect when starting your first job after college? Four San Franciscans, including 2014 Interior Design Graduate Mallory Colin, who is an Interior Designer and Project Manager at Engage Hospitality, share their experiences in a new video for NerdWallet. Watch the clip below:





Sportswear International Features Candiani + FIDM Denim Design Challenge


The Italian denim company Candiani teamed up with FIDM's Advanced Study program students in International Manufacturing & Product Development to challenge them to "think about what 'premium' means to the consumer and research back tot he times when the quality of the brand/product mattered more than its image." After investigating fabric provided by Candiani, the graduating students researched a strong concept, and exhibited a developed a merchandised collection as part of their thesis show, which we recently wrote about here.

Read more in Sportswear International



Grad Designs Womenswear in Shanghai, China After Working For Lanvin and Kenzo


Debut grad Richard Tzu Fang Chan has been busy since graduating from FIDM in 2008. He worked in Paris as an assistant designer at Lanvin and Kenzo before moving to Shanghai, China where he is now at Meters/Bonwe, China's largest retail group. "It's a challenging opportunity but the rewards are substantial," he says. "I cover four seasonal collections annually where I design the luxury capsule that is focused on using high-end fabric to create chic, wearable, and affordable designs for women in the workplace." 



See Jen Awad's Fall 2015 Collection From LA Fashion Week


FIDM Graduate Jen Awad's Fall 2015 collection, shown at Los Angeles Fashion Week, is featured in Women's Wear Daily

After two seasons of pursuing minimalistic designs, Jen Awad upped the novelty factor via zippy separates that evoked the Sixties and Seventies. She used jewel-toned suede for biker jackets and miniskirts, sheer metallic lamé for party dresses, ostrich feathers for coats and bronze-tinted paisley brocade for cigarette pants, cropped tops and drop-waist minidresses. But her selection of sleeveless silk dresses seemed too unimaginative — and out of place — in an otherwise fun, youthful collection.



Lauren Conrad Designs Disney Cinderella Collection for Kohl's



FIDM Alumna Lauren Conrad has designed a whimsical Disney Cinderella collection for Kohl's, under her LC Lauren Conrad line. The 24-piece collection includes dress, skirts, sweaters, and knits, including a glass slipper sweater, a layered tulle skirt, fawn heels, an organza-bow back dress, and a tea-length skirt. The new collection, which is in Kohl's stores now, was released in conjunction with Disney's Cinderella film, out March 13, 2015. 



Merchandise Marketing Grad Opens Her Second Boutique in Napa Valley



Allison Molinatti, a graduate of FIDM's Merchandise Marketing Program, has opened her second boutique (the first is in Manhattan Beach, California) in the Napa Valley. Allison [in wine country] carries women's clothing and accessories, along with children's apparel and gifts. “There was a real need for children’s items in St. Helena as there is no other store in town that carries children’s clothes,” Allison told the Napa Valley Register. “We wanted moms, grandparents and tourists to be able to pick up clothes for their little ones.”



MPD Alumna and Business Owner Shares Her Success Secrets


Name: Jordan Inglebright

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

Company: ESEF Apparel

Tell us about your company ESEF ApparelESEF Apparel started when I was 17, with a group of friends, originally as a graphic t-shirt company. I would rent out venues, hire bands, and charge a $10 entry fee. With entry to my events you were given a "free" shirts. This is what I was doing during my time at FIDM. The clothing company at the time was more of a fun thing that I enjoyed doing. While at FIDM I learned how to use Illustrator, and Photoshop very fluently. I really utilized the experience I had finding resources to bring down the cost per unit and how to maximize profit from FIDM.

After FIDM, I attended UC Berkeley and majored in Media Studies. Coinciding with my time at Berkeley, ESEF Apparel turned into a screen printing company. I enjoyed the process of creating t-shirts. By nature I am a relationship builder, I love connecting with people, and creating new friendships. At Berkeley, I was able to connect with many of the sororities, school organizations, and local businesses. Many of those first clients are still my current customers.

Since Berkeley, ESEF Apparel has really grown. We have more than tripled in business every year. We finished last year completing 805 screen printing and embroidery jobs. The growth is explosive, excited, exhausting, and scary all at the same time. I now have eight employees and run a full-service garment embellishment facility. This business truly started in the garage and now is in a fairly large warehouse.

How did FIDM help prepare you to run your own business? At FIDM you are given what feels like 150 hours work of work and have to figure out how to do it in 20 hours. This is real life. This is how FIDM makes you successful -- they prepare you for the real working world. Everything you learn can be directly applied to how to work.

Where do you see your business headed in the coming years? Hopefully we will go back the basic foundation of where ESEF started and create an original clothing line. Also, I would like to start making shirts for major corporate companies. Right now we are forecasted to produce 200,000 units this year. Hopefully we will reach around 1 million in the next five years.

Esef Apparel | Feeling Funky from Esef Apparel on Vimeo.




Lourdes Chavez Designer Trunk Shows Occurring Throughout the U.S.


FIDM Graduate Lourdes Chavez is a Los Angeles-based fashion designer who produces two collections each year and specializes in couture. Her label is currently being hosted throughout the U.S. at a series of designer trunk shows, from North Carolina to New Jersey. 

The colorful and charming Spring 2015 collection features Swiss cotton piquet, Italian polished cotton original prints, Geneva silk faille dresses, jackets and separates, floral cut-outs and embroidery, elegant French silk jacquard and brocade cocktail dresses, sophisticated mother-of-the-bride dresses, and glamorous evening gowns. All designs are adaptable to meet the client’s discerning taste and style wishes.



FIDM Grad Victoria Hultquist Working at FASH UNITED—Official Partner of the United Nations Trust Fund


A Southern California native and Merchandise Product Development '14 Grad, Victoria Hultquist is now working as the Outreach and Events Coordinator at FASH UNITED, an official partner of the United Nations Trust Fund (UNTF). Their mission? To unite the fashion and design industries through strategic campaigns for fund development and increased awareness of human rights and equality internationally. Victoria is currently working on her Bachelor's degree from Vanguard University.

Tell us about your work at FASH UNITED: We are currently working on celebrity/designer collaborations and live events to fund the UNTF. I work on the communication that is related to designer/retailer collaborations, celebrity campaigns, sponsorships and overall outreach efforts. I also create the designs and layouts for our merchandise, social media, e-mail marketing and overall campaigns. 

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now?  FIDM prepared me in more ways than one. FIDM creates such a unique learning experience for all of their students and I would say that is what prepared me the most. FIDM taught me how to do everything in the fashion industry that was related to my major with a very hands on experience. They taught me how to learn from my mistakes and turn it into something better. Everything that I studied at FIDM prepared me for what I am currently doing in my career and the amazing jobs that I had while studying at FIDM.

How did you find out about FIDM?  I found out about FIDM my sophomore year in high school. They came to one of my classes and I was immediately intrigued. A year later I had an admissions interview, applied, and got accepted to FIDM within two weeks. And two weeks after high school graduation, I started school at FIDM.

How did you decide on your major?  I decided on my major through the application process.  I went through an extensive questionnaire to help determine my major. I originally wanted to study makeup/beauty, but I realized that I already knew how to use those products and wanted to study something I hadn't learned yet. After obstacles of finding on-trend clothes for my plus size curves I decided I wanted to learn the design/development side of things so that I could cater to every plus size woman out there.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable? The classes that were the most valuable to me were my Illustrator/Photoshop classes, my pattern drafting/sewing classes, and of course Brand Portfolio Development. Those six hour classes were long, but well worth it. Everything that I am doing in my career uses Photoshop/Illustrator. I may not be sewing or drafting patterns at my current position, but I know that some day when I am designing plus size apparel, I will use those skills. In the mean time, I use those skills to create my own clothes. I feel that Brand Portfolio is every FIDM student's most successful class. That is what every student is gearing up for. Everything that we learn is represented in this amazing book of our own creativity.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? I could go on for days with advice for current FIDM Students. But, as cliche as it is—don't give up on your dreams. And don't ever let ANYONE tell you that you can't do something. You can do ANYTHING if you set your mind to it. We all choose FIDM because we know exactly what we want to do with our careers. Trust and believe me that when I say it gets harder, it really does, but there is nothing more rewarding than finishing that portfolio and walking across that stage at the Staples Center. After all, only a student at FIDM knows what it's really like.  :)

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal is to finish my Bachelor's degree from Vanguard University and go into law. My overall career goal is to become a fashion attorney. Once I have reached that goal, I want to design plus size apparel. But for now, I am going to school and working at the dream job so that I can reach those goals in the next few years.  

Anything else you’d like to share? You can do it!!! There will be times when you want to give up, but you will get through it. The fashion industry is very glamorous. There are very amazing, talented people out there who will help you, and others who are the complete opposite. Don't let anyone get in your way. Learn from your mistakes and turn them into something better. It is your life, you get to make your own journey, so make it a good one!

Visit to find out more about their campaigns, including End Violence Against Women.



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


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.



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.



SF Fashion Design Students Design For Crowdfunding Retailer Betabrand


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."


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."


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. 



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


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






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



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


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!



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


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."



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


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,



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


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.


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. 

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

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

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