Alumni

Jun

12
2014

'The Fault in Our Stars' Costume Designer Is Alumna Mary Claire Hannan

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FIDM Alumna Mary Claire Hannan is the Costume Designer of the blockbuster film The Fault in Our Stars, starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort. Her past credits include Into the Wild, The Kids Are All Right, and Red Eye, among many others, and her work has been exhibited at the FIDM Museum & Galleries. She is currently at work on The Longest Ride, to be released in 2015. 

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"Materializing the written word into an on screen character is fascinating to me. I also really enjoy the collaboration with the director and actors in the creative process," she says. "I have worked with incredible talent, most of them Oscar® winners."

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Jun

10
2014

MPD Alumna is Thriving While Pursuing B.S. Degree in Business Management

Johnae

Name: Johnae McDonald

Degree: Merchandise Product Development

Current Major: Business Management

Tell us about the internships and jobs you've had since arriving at FIDM. My very first internship took place at women's contemporary brand Nation LTD, as a design intern. I did a bit of everything, from providing assistance at fit sessions and photo shoots, to running errands to the showroom and sample makers. Then I spent about six months interning at Bebe in their Fabric R&D and Design departments. The internship with Bebe was definitely the best that I've ever done, because I got a feel of what it's like to be a designer on their team. I would attend meetings, create trend reports, and help the design team at style outs and presentation set ups. The highlight of the internship was when they let me create my own design and had a sample made.

After that I scored a job at PhaSHEN Inc. as an Assistant Product Developer. The company is a full-package vendor whose clients include GUESS and Splendid/Ella Moss. It was a great experience in a sense that I got a chance to see what it's like to work on the vendor side, and learned more about the import business. Then I started interning at a company called NuORDER as a Sales Development intern. It's an online wholesale platform that streamlines the ordering process for brands and buyers. It's basically e-commerce for wholesale. 

What was it like to recently speak to a class at FIDM? I was honored that Susan Spencer asked me to speak, because I'm only 19, and I'm still a student myself! Overall it just felt great to share my experiences in the industry with my peers.

How are you enjoying the Business Management Program? I love it! I feel that I've learned so much between the Merchandise Product Development and Business Management programs, and it's given me the confidence to eventually start my own business.

Jun

09
2014

Merchandise Marketing Grad Plans Career as Buyer

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Name: Julie Simmons

Grad Date: March 2014

Current Position: Helen Ficalora, Sales Associate

Major: Merchandise Marketing

What brought you to FIDM?

I always knew I wanted to do something different after high school in Phoenix, Arizona. Going to a university sounded like fun, but I knew I would get bored quickly and wanted to push myself to be successful as soon as possible. A family friend heard my dilemma and told me about FIDM. I went to the Open House and immediately knew that FIDM was the perfect school for me.

What was the most rewarding part of your FIDM experience?

I knew from the first day of classes that I made the right choice by going to FIDM and was going to learn more in a short two years than I ever had before. The most rewarding part was learning truly useful skills and being able to apply them directly to jobs in the industry.  Every teacher was so knowledgeable and I gained so much in every single class, whether it was English Composition or Merchandising Strategies. 

What advice would you give to future FIDM students?

My advice is to create relationships with as many people as possible. Not only do you feel more confident and comfortable knowing people around you, but it also helps you to succeed on a professional level. Get to know all of your teachers, become friends with your classmates, and introduce yourself to everyone. Every job I have gotten since starting FIDM has been through connections I met through fashion school. Even after graduating, teachers and students are constantly reaching out to me with new opportunities.

How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far?

Everything from writing skills, to formulas learned in Merchandise Buying, to concepts taught in site management, to being able to walk confidently into an interview has helped me in my career thus far.  I successfully maintain two different brand’s social media accounts due to Mrs. Hinckley pounding into my head how to get the consumer’s attention and post meaningful and interesting content.  I am in charge of creating, planning, and delegating our store’s monthly sales goals due to my proficiency in Excel and Merchandise Math. FIDM has provided me with everything I need to be successful in the industry and I couldn’t be more appreciative of the knowledge each teacher has passed down.

What are your future career goals?  

My goal is to come back to FIDM for the Bachelor’s program. During that time, I plan to intern with a corporate company in their buying department. I hope to get enough experience through the next two years that I can land a job as a buyer by the time I graduate in 2016.  I want to work in the corporate retail industry for a while and learn everything there is to know. Once I am ready, my mom and I plan to open up our own boutique.   

Jun

09
2014

Merchandise Marketing Grad Adds Bachelor's Degree in Business Management

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Name: Elizabeth Poteracki

Major: Merchandise Marketing, BS Business Management

Grad Date: June 2014

Current Position: Freelance Branding Consultant, Greenlee Swimwear

How did you find FIDM?

I initially attended UC Irvine after going to high school in Southern California. I was having a difficult time choosing a major and I toured the FIDM OC campus in my second year of college. After about a year of convincing my parents, I finally applied to FIDM. I was very excited to make the change because I knew FIDM was a perfect fit for me.

What was the most rewarding part of attending FIDM?

Realizing that my career aspirations lie within retail and seeing how my education will be instrumental in achieving my goals is rewarding. I am happy to discover that I have both a passion and talent for business, fashion, and the retail industry.

How has your education helped your career so far?

I have been able to sharpen my social media marketing, store merchandising, and critical thinking skills at FIDM. Being able to implement strategies and principles from the classroom into my actual work has been gratifying.

What are your career goals?

My ultimate goal is to be an executive in the retail industry. I am currently in the BS Business Management program and am considering going for my MBA after FIDM.

Jun

09
2014

June 2014 Merchandise Marketing Grad Interns at TJ Maxx

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Name: Gunjan Bansal

Major: Merchandise Marketing

Grad Date: June 2014

What is your current position: Intern, New Business Development, TJ Maxx

Prior School: Swami Vivekananda High School, Mumbai, India

How did you find FIDM?

After extensive research online, I discovered FIDM as a leading institution for the fashion industry. I instantly knew this was a great fit to pursue my career goals to expand from jewelry to accessories and apparel.

What was your favorite part of your FIDM education?

At FIDM I learned that research is not just an art, it's a science. Using the free library resources at FIDM truly made it an amazing learning experience. Also meeting people with different aspirations and networking was an opportunity to connect and learn.

What are your future career goals?

My short term goal is to work with a big brand in their buying department and gain the experience to effectively manage the product side of the business. My long term goal is to own a brand and sell to major retailers across the globe.

Jun

05
2014

Merchandise Marketing Grad Interns at Rachel Zoe Studio

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Name: Jessica Harshman

Where did you go to school before FIDM?             

University of Colorado-Boulder, BA in History, with a minor in Ethnic Studies

What is your FIDM major?

Merchandise Marketing

Grad Date: June 2014

What is your current position?

Styling Intern, Rachel Zoe Studio

How did you find FIDM?

While attending undergrad and studying History, I was writing a fashion blog and became enamored with the global fashion industry and craved to learn more. I researched trends, kept up with bloggers, styled and shopped for my friends, devoured fashion magazines, and became known as the campus fashionista – I was even featured on Teen Vogue.com Best Dressed College Students in the Nation! But the major turning point was when I realized a career in fashion was a real possibility. My mother sent me a link to FIDM’s website and I took the career quiz, and matched with the Merchandise Marketing Program. I applied three days later and within a week got my acceptance over the phone. The rest is history; I cannot imagine where I would be without FIDM! Probably working as a sales associate wondering what a buyer’s job is.

What was the most rewarding part of your FIDM experience?

The most rewarding part of my FIDM experience was publishing an article for FIDM's student magazine, MODE; making Presidents Honor Roll; presenting my final megatrend project to my peers; and making it through Textile Science – I will never forget the many hours spent with my pick glass and lighter, trying to decipher if a swatch was a protein or cellulose fiber, and if it was spun or filament. Finishing every quarter strong has been an accomplishment and I’m so thankful to have had amazing, industry professionals as teachers and mentors throughout this nine-month whirlwind.

What advice would you give to future FIDM Students?

Get involved, sit in the front of the classroom, ask questions, come prepared, and look and act professional! Seek advice from your teachers; they are your biggest resources – not only for academic success but also for career advice. Ask instructors to look at your resume. Take advantage of the library and all of FIDM’s subscription services. You have some of the best trade publications at your fingertips – make use of them! Dress appropriately and carry yourself with confidence because you never know whom you could meet at any time. Get good grades but focus on extra-circulars. Time flies by at FIDM and you don’t want to graduate with any regrets. Most likely, once you graduate you won’t be able to work for free so take as many internship opportunities as possible.

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Confidence means you’re comfortable expressing what you don’t know. Credibility is built up over time but can be taken away in an instant. Be smart about which parts of your persona you show and where. But most importantly: go for it! You have nothing to lose.

How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far?

My education at FIDM has allowed me to talk and write eloquently about the fashion industry. I understand what it means to be a buyer, an allocator, a wholesaler. I’ve learned there so many career paths one can choose from in this industry and my specific studies have allowed me to hone my skillsets while developing new ones. I’ve always loved writing but now I’m a sartorial writer– adding tint means adding white pigment to a color, fabrics are made of fibers, and Givenchy is pounced jhee-von-SHEE. I can walk confidently into an interview and ask the appropriate questions while staying humble and remembering there is always more to learn – but that I am an asset because I went to FIDM and can differentiate a woven from a knit, spot a fad from a megatrend, and calculate a six month plan.

What are your future career goals?  

My career goals are many because I have numerous interests within the fashion industry. My immediate goal is to work for a bi-coastal product-oriented company with which I can grow. I see my future career path as a spider web – not a ladder – because I am interested in buying, styling, trend forecasting, and writing. Ideally, I will be a stylist/personal shopper for a few select clients while I am working a corporate job. I am also going to continue with the evolution of my fashion blog ninelivesforfashion because it fulfills my creative drive and motivates me to keep-up with industry news and fashion trends.

Jun

04
2014

Merchandise Marketing Grad Focuses on Brands

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Name: Bhavi Advani

Grad Date: June 2014

Major: Merchandise Marketing, A. A.

Where did you go to school before FIDM?

Dubai Modern High School, Dubai, UAE

How did you find FIDM?

I was studying Economics and Finance at the University of Toronto, and I wasn't really passionate about what I was studying. Somewhere down the line I knew I wanted a successful career in the fashion industry. I looked up fashion schools and I found FIDM on the Top 20 Fashionista list. Speaking to my international Admissions Advisor Kathy Gilbert on the phone made me feel like FIDM was the best home away from home for me.

What was the most rewarding part of the FIDM experience?

The teachers at FIDM bring the fashion industry into class and nothing could top that. Every day that I attended class, I felt like I was learning a life lesson. And all that I have learned is directly applicable to my prospective career field.

What is your current position?

VIP Celebrity Public Relations Intern, Salvatore Ferragamo

How has your education helped in your career so far?

My education at FIDM has given me an overall knowledge of how the industry functions and how to successfully survive each day. I have built my foundation at FIDM and now I am applying everything at my internship. FIDM gave me the opportunity to intern at Ferragamo and FIDM provided the education needed to prosper.

What are your career goals?

My goals are quite specific. After taking the Brand Management class with Professor Hinckley, I am determined to become a brand consultant. My two dream companies are Burberry and Disney. Understanding the brand, the target consumer, and being able to build a long-term relationship is the job of the Brand Consultant. I want to be the face of the brand.

In Dubai I would like to launch a 2-story boutique that combines fashion and entertainment. One floor would be high-end contemporary apparel and the other would be a hookah lounge for clients to relax and enjoy the ambience.

Jun

04
2014

Two Business Management Students Launch Contemporary Women's Collection (Interview)

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Fashion Design Graduates and current Business Management Students Johnny Townsend and Aysha Rahim recently launched a women's wear collection, Half-Brother

What is your mission for Half-Brother? We really set out to create a lifestyle more than just a clothing label. Not only do we want to create an experience for our customers that goes beyond a single garment, but we are also committed to manufacturing exclusively within the United States and predominantly within Los Angeles.

When did you start the line? Half-Brother was officially formed in March of this year. The concept for the line originated in 2010 but we have only recently been able to make this dream a reality. As of right now our collection is contemporary women's wear however we also create custom tailored menswear independently of the collection.

Where does the name come from? The name is derived from the relationship between the gods Anubis and Horus. In some accounts of Egyptian mythology the two are the sons of Osiris. The significance of their relationship lies not only in the balance of light and dark, but also in the way in which the two are connected. The relationships we form with one another may not have a basis in genetics but the modern family really is made up of friends, neighbors, colleagues, and in some way we are brothers and sisters.

Tell us about your Spring/Summer 2014 capsule collection. It is heavily influenced by our love of the 1960s and 70s Americana style. There was a lot of Fleetwood Mac playing while the collection was being designed. There is definitely an ethereal feel to the garments; the colors are derived from succulents, stone, and clay. We wanted to design clothing with a vintage feel that was wearable by contemporary women. The fabrics are all natural and we’re using a lot of silks and cottons. We want our women to feel feminine and strong.

How did you meet one another? We met at FIDM San Francisco. We both started the Fashion Design program in 2009, and graduated in 2011. We met during our first day of the program and somehow we just knew it was meant to be. After graduating from the Fashion Design program we both ended up working for technology companies, Johnny for Apple and Aysha for Intuit.

These experiences gave us a unique perspective on technology and business and reaffirmed that we needed to complete our education. Once armed with the knowledge we would be able to successfully pursue our passion for design. We had a vision for a label that we believed in deeply but we wanted to have the business acumen to back it up.

Jun

04
2014

Merchandise Marketing Grad Launches Buying Career

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Name: Aiza De Leon

Grad Date: June 2014

Major: Merchandise Marketing Professional Designation

Where did you go to school before FIDM?

I graduated from Colegio San Agustin in Manila, Philippines.

How did you find FIDM?

I was searching online for programs that focus on Business and Buying. Since I already had a Bachelor's Degree, and FIDM's Professional Designation is designed for students with a prior college degree, it was suitable.

What was the best part of the FIDM experience?

It was the overall exposure to real industry experience. Whether it came in the form of classroom teachings, instructors sharing professional experiences, materials that engaged us with market and global trends, meeting industry pros, networking, or internships—I found all of these rewarding because they prepared us for our career paths.

What is your current position?

Assistant Buyer for Burlington Coat Factory

What are your career goals?

I want to become a successful Buyer. I would also love to have my own organization someday in the Philippines.

Jun

02
2014

FIDM Graduates Featured in L.A. Blogger Roundup on Racked LA

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Merchandise Marketing Graduate Chriselle Lim of The Chriselle Factor (pictured, left) and Apparel Industry Management Alumna Karla Deras of Karla's Closet (pictured, right) were both featured in a L.A. blogger fashion roundup on Racked LA

Chriselle is wearing a Lovers + Friends top, a Nasty Gal skirt, Proenza Schouler shoes, a Judith Leibier clutch, and House of Harlow sunglasses. Karla is wearing Armani trousers, a Maison Martin Margiela belt, an American Apparel bodysuit, and Aquazzura shoes.

Jun

02
2014

DEBUT Grad Tylor Purcell Profiled in Hometown Newspaper

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Advanced Fashion Design Graduate Tylor Purcell, who showed his black, white, and yellow collection of men's and women's wear at DEBUT in March, is profiled in the Daily Miner, his hometown paper.

"The 2011 graduate of Kingman High School will begin a six-month paid internship June 10 with Los Angeles-based GUESS, which makes jeans, clothing and accessories for men and women. He will serve as an assistant to a designer, then will be hired on full-time to sketch clothing designs for young people.

'I had nine months to create 12 different looks in clothing for men and women," said Purcell, 21, about the fashion show. "It was very hard but it was a lot of fun. I made everything by myself, on top of attending my classes. It was overwhelming, but I learned a lot about my work ethic and myself. I'm determined and stubborn, and this is something I love to do.'"

May

30
2014

Meet the Founders of Juicy Couture at FIDM! RSVP for "The Glitter Plan" Book Signing & Reception

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Join FIDM for a private affair with the world renowned founders of Juicy Couture on Friday, June 27 at FIDM Los Angeles!

Fashion icons, best friends and business partners, FIDM Alumna Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor transformed a small entrepreneurial project into a global fashion empire with Juicy Couture. Join FIDM for an intimate Q&A with the duo in a panel-style discussion followed by a book-signing of their new tome, The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture For $200 And Turned It Into A Global Brand.

When:

Friday, June 27

Time:
4:30 p.m.: Check-in
5:00 p.m.:  Q&A begins
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.:  Reception

Where:
FIDM Los Angeles,
919 S. Grand Avenue,
Los Angeles, CA 90015

RSVP is required and space is limited.

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Details

Skaist-Levy and Nash-Taylor began with $200, in a one-bedroom Hollywood apartment, with the vision of comfortable, fitted, attractive t-shirts and one rule: whatever they did, they both had to like it. Juicy evolved into a global phenomenon, defining a new genre of “California Cool” contemporary clothing, and the epitome of casual luxury. Skaist-Levy and Nash-Taylor put LA style at the forefront of the international fashion scene. Although the duo has since parted ways with Juicy, they have launched a new collection of edgy, feminine clothing Pam & Gela, which debuted in March 2014.

Take part in this special event and conversation with Skaist-Levy and Nash-Taylor moderated by celebrated fashion journalist Booth Moore, followed by a book-signing of The Glitter Plan, described as “memoir, part manifesto, part how-to, part fashion industry guide, and 100% Juicy.” 

 

May

29
2014

Jewelry Designer and FIDM Grad Renata Ortega Visits Premiere Product Development Group

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Renata Ortega, FIDM International Manufacturing & Product Development Grad (IMPD) and current student in the Bachelor of Science in Business Management degree program, visited the Los Angeles campus today as a guest speaker for the Premiere Product Development Group, an elite group of FIDM Students with access to special guest speakers.

Just three weeks ago, the entrepreneur launched her own jewelry line, Renikins, and she's already selling out. Her statement necklaces retail for only $40 and have been featured on fashion blogs and Instagram, which has helped make her an overnight success. Renata has been collaborating with Lora Arellano, Rihanna's former makeup artist who is now heading up Melt Cosmetics with Dana Bomar.

The young designer reinforced to the students the importance of interning and getting industry experience. She told them that as a student in the Product Development program, she herself interned at Halston and also worked as a makeup artist at MAC. "I'm a big believer that you need to work, and get out there in the industry," she said. "In the industry, it's about who you know."

While she was at MAC, she became interested in the IMPD program. She applied, got accepted, and spent the next nine months in the program working with FIDM industry partner Bebe on a capsule collection. She traveled to Europe and China for trend research, sourcing, and visiting denim mills. Reneta said the experience she gained from the program was invaluable. "The business, the sourcing, the materials, the tech packs—it's so important. If your tech pack is done correctly, fewer samples are needed," which she explained is a favorable/cost-cutting outcome.

Working with Bebe as an industry partner mirrored what it's like in the real world. Renata said Bebe gave constructive criticism and harsh, honest feedback. She had to re-work the color palette for Bebe three times before it met with their approval. "That's how the fashion industry is. It's not sugar-coated."

While an IMPD student, Renata was hired as an Assistant Designer at the fashion label, Sanctuary. She worked there for about a year, gaining valuable well-rounded fashion experience. When she graduated from the IMPD program, she took an Associate Tech Design position with Ella Moss where she learned about garment construction—how to work with fabric in terms of cutting and laying down a pattern. "I suggest you pay attention in your FIDM classes," she advised. "You will use those skills."

She stayed on at Ella Moss for a year and half before she made the decision to focus full-time on her jewelry line, Renikins. Her plan is to go into handbags next, and finally apparel. Renata Ortega is just getting started.

Shop her jewelry on Renikins.com.

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May

27
2014

MPD Grad Scores Job at Sue Wong After Graduating in March (Interview)

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Name: Alexis Rivera

Degree: Merchandise Product Development

Job Title: Product Development Assistant

Company: Sue Wong

What are some of your job responsibilities? I am responsible for various tasks dealing with the revised samples. I make sure to keep up communication with overseas factories in order to facilitate the production of our prototype samples, keep track of the status of each sample, assemble tech packs, as well as participate in the sample revision process with Sue. I also will have the opportunity to help organize catalog photo shoots and fashion events to preview upcoming lines.

How does it feel to have a job so soon after graduation? It is the best feeling and the first step to chasing my dreams. I did a few internships throughout school so I already had some exposure to the fashion world. As soon as I got out of school I wanted to hit the ground running and start my career in the fashion industry.

How did FIDM help prepare you for this job? I actually found the posting for this job on the Career Network through the FIDM Portal. Our Career Center is extremely helpful throughout the job hunt, and I urge all current students and alums to take advantage of these services. The two years I spent at FIDM studying Merchandise Product Development definitely had me very well prepared for this job. I love my major because I have so many directions I can go into with my degree. FIDM gives you everything you need in order to be successful; you really get as much out of it as you put into it.

May

27
2014

Recent IMPD Alumna Is Assistant Designer at Sovereign Code

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International Manufacturing & Product Development Alumna Brodie Silver, who graduated from FIDM in March, is the Assistant Designer at Sovereign Code, a men's and kids line based in Los Angeles and sold at Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, and Zappos, among others. "Before I found this job, Kevin Keele in the Career Center was such a great help with my resume; he also gave me great advice and insight on different types of companies, which really helped me in my job search process," she explains. 

"I was in the fashion industry for roughly seven years before attending FIDM, and worked in all aspects, most of which I taught myself on the job. I was constantly confronted with people saying, 'Well, if you had gone to school for this, you would know.' So I did just that! FIDM not only prepared me for the fashion industry, but it also reinforced the fact that this was the industry I needed to be in."

May

23
2014

Nordstrom Product Group Creative Director & FIDM Grad Melanie Owen Visits FIDM

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FIDM Grad and Nordstrom Product Group Creative Director, Melanie Owen, visited FIDM today to chat with students about the secrets to her success in the fashion industry and the wonderful internship opportunities currently available at Nordstrom.

In the twenty years since she graduated from FIDM with a degree in Merchandise Marketing and an emphasis in Product Development, Melanie has been a Senior Design Director at Urban Outfitters and VP of Design at Roxy. She's held positions at Justice and Hollister. Part of her career was spent in the home market when she worked for PBTeen and Pottery Barn Kids. She's been at Nordstrom since July of last year and she loves it.

"When I look back at my career and what I did at FIDM, I'm so thankful for what I did."

She recommended that the students start working in the industry while they're still in school. "I encourage you to soak it all up. Learn everything!"

One student asked how to break into the industry if they've never had a job in fashion, and she suggested they get their foot in the door and not to worry too much about starting at the bottom—strategic moves will get you where you want to go. Education and experience are vital, however. She said she would not hire someone for a design position if they did not have design on their resume.

"Small companies are a great place to start because of all the different hats you wear." Her first real job was at Billabong where she was making $10 an hour as a patternmaker. From there she moved over into design.

At Nordstrom, Melanie works in the Product Development Group, a $1 billion department. She said they have 53 different internal brands that compete with top fashion labels such as Rag & Bone, Chloe, and Celine. Their yoga label, Zella, is a $100 million brand that competes with the likes of Lulu Lemon.

The Seattle-based department store is investing $1 billion in technology. Their goal is to be as much of an online store as a brick and mortar. In fact, they recently acquired the flash sales site Hautelook. They are a $12 billion company, and their goal is to be a $20 billion company by 2020. Expanding their national presence, Nordstrom is planning to open their first full-line department store in New York City in 2018.

Nordstrom is currently accepting applications to take on interns in December 2014. She encouraged each and every student to apply, saying Nordstrom would love to have them.

May

22
2014

Trendwatch: Monogramming Shoes

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Personalizing your shoes is not a new concept. Nike started Nike ID, and many were able to design their own shoes, and include their name or personal logo.

Monogramming has been a growing trend in accessories. You can have your initials in jewelery, handbags, and various small leather goods.

A recent trend I've seen is monogramming shoes. Hot shoe brand, Ancient Greek Sandals (which, by the way, you must check out) has had monogramming events at trunks shows. I have to say, I'm quite excited! It's very classy, minimal, and their is something special about having your initials on a product.

I hope they come out to L.A. soon!

Photo Source: Instagram

FIDM Alumna Nalini Arora is an international footwear and accessory design consultant. Her specialty lies in women's fashion footwear, accessories, and kids shoes.  

 

May

22
2014

FIDM Style Project: Fashion Blogger and FIDM Grad Nikki Minton Goes Bananas for Stylist Rachel Zoe

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Images: (Left) Fashion blogger Nikki Minton of My Style Diaries and fashion stylist, author and television personality, Rachel Zoe. 

In this month’s FIDM Style Project series, we reached out to some of our favorite bloggers to ask “If you could have dinner with any fashion icon, dead or alive, who would it be and why?” This is what Nikki Minton of My Style Diaries had to say...

“If I could have dinner with any fashion icon, I think I’d go for the obvious and say Rachel Zoe.  She really has conquered so many aspects of the fashion industry, from styling celebrities and editorial shoots to creating (and killing it!) with her own fashion line. Her personal style is so on point, and maybe, just maybe, after dinner, she’d give me a glimpse into her fabulous closet. Bananas.”

More about Nikki

Minton is a graduate of FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and has been dazzling us with her fashion expertise ever since. She views her blog, My Style Diaries, as an online resource for women everywhere who want to look their best and believes personal stylists should be available to everyone and not just celebrities.

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

Images courtesy of My Style Diaries and LA Confidential

May

21
2014

FIDM Alumni Success Story: KAOHS Swimwear

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FIDM Majors: 

Ali Hoffmann - Visual Communications

Tess Hamilton - Merchandise Marketing 

Did you meet at FIDM or were you friends prior?

Tess: We met at FIDM 
 
How has FIDM helped you prepare for starting your own business?

Ali: As a V Comm major Entrepreneurship for Visual Communications really helped Kaohs get off the ground. Ms. Darlene Blanchard (Ms. D) was incredibly supportive and helped me overcome many of the fears related to starting a business, especially at such a young age. She continues to encourage us and support everything we do. I also tend to refer back to a lot of the marketing classes I had with Ms. Pat Turner, her knowledge about the industry is priceless. 
 
Describe your experience creating your own brand.

Tess: We started with sketches on notebook paper and asked a lot of questions. We also made some mistakes, but they made us better. It’s stressful but worth every minute of it.
 
What are some of your proudest accomplishments thus far?

Ali: I think we are really proud of hitting our goals: break even point, web sales, wholesale sales, and being asked to be a part of Mercedes Benz Miami Beach Swim week, this upcoming July. 
 
Share the story of how your designs got in the hands of the Jenner/Kardashian Family. Ali: We have a good friend, who is one of Kim’s best friends. When Kim saw the bikinis she was instantly supportive as was the whole family. Having the Kardashians and Jenners as fans, has helped grow our business and get us some great press online as well as US Weekly, In Touch, Life & Style, etc. 
 
Where would you like the brand to continue to press forward? What is the ultimate goal for the brand?

Tess: We want to continue to grow add larger swim collections, as well as brand into ready to wear pieces. We would love to get into kid's swim, men’s board shorts and even surfboards. Only time will tell.
 
What does entrepreneurship mean to you both?

Ali: Being an entrepreneur is both scary and exciting. We are both really excited about growing as a company, as we continue to grow, we will get to give back and share our experiences and knowledge with many.
 
Was Kaohs (or creating a brand of the like) always in your career plans or did this passion evolve while at FIDM?

Tess: We both knew we wanted to work for ourselves, we just didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. 
 
What would you say is the most important part about networking?

Tess: Constantly networking is important because you never know whom you will meet. It’s important to us to expose Kaohs and ourselves to as many environments as possible. We love networking and working with different bloggers and companies worldwide. 

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Photos courtesy of Mariya Dondonyan

May

21
2014

New Interview With FIDM Alumna and RtA Denim Product Development Manager Rahnel Alvarado

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FIDM Grad and RtA Denim Product Development Manager, Rahnel Alvarado visited FIDM last week to speak with the students in the Merchandise Product Development program. We caught up with her to find out more about her career goals and how her education at FIDM has set her apart.

Name: Rahnel Alvarado

Company/Job Title: RtA Denim/Product Development and Pre-Production

Tell us a little about yourself: I am a person who loves to be constantly challenged and learn new things every day.

Tell us about your position at RtA: It is a smaller company, so no job is too small. I am involved in design, development, and also take care of pre-production. We have fittings weekly, test new fabrics for washes, and create tech packs.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? I honestly can say the things learned at FIDM give knowledge about how it is to work in the industry. The teachers at FIDM give honest and current feedback as to what it is like in the industry. The intense workload and the challenging environment makes it an easier transition into the work force.

How did you find out about FIDM? I had a dream of going to FIDM since I was in high school, but the dream was unattainable at the time. I came back for the dream once I completed my 4-year degree and worked for a couple of years.

How did you decide on your major? I wanted to learn a little about everything in the fashion world and least understand how all the elements work together. Product development seemed to marry this idea perfectly.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? All textile classes, pre-production, sourcing, brand portfolio, and of course Illustrator and Photoshop.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Work hard; learn everything you can; and be confident in your abilities.

What is your biggest goal right now? I want to eventually have my own line. The ultimate goal—to be the “boss.”

Anything else you’d like to share? At FIDM you will get back exactly the effort and energy you decide to put into the adventure!

May

20
2014

Senior Product Development Manager for 3 Dee International Genevieve Davis Returns To Alma Mater To Review Student Portfolios and Conduct Mock Interviews

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Genevieve Davis, Senior Product Manager for 3 Dee International, graduated with a Merchandise Product Development degree from FIDM six years ago and returned to her alma mater today to grade students on their brand midterm in the MPDV 2850 Brand Portfolio Development class.

The footwear developer reviewed and graded the students' portfolios, and conducted one-on-one mock interviews with half of the students in the class. Next week, FIDM Grad Chris Tsuyuki from WGSN will do the same for the second half of the class.

Before Genevieve started reviewing portfolios and conducting mock interviews, she chatted with the small class of sixteen students about her path to success as a footwear product developer. She explained that she started her career at Rock and Republic when representatives from the fashion company took notice of her work at Portfolio Day on campus. They liked what they saw so they contacted her and hired her as a pre-production assistant. After Rock and Republic, Genevieve landed a job at a footwear company.

The FIDM Grad is now the Senior Product Manager of 3 Dee International, traveling to China four times a year for two week at a time, London two times a year for market research and trend spotting, and New York three times a year. She has designed shoes for clients including American Rag, Dune London, Steve Madden, Madden Girl, Adam Tucker, E.S. Originals, Sugar, Betsey Johnson, and Forever 21.

Genevieve now has three people who report directly to her. When asked what sets a portfolio apart from the rest, she said it's about presenting clean, neat work. She suggested making the images pop, and use shadows and gradients where appropriate. As far as new hires, she looks for job candidates who are motivated, driven, and hungry to make something happen.

She assured the students the Merchandise Product Development is a great major. "I use what I learned at FIDM every day of my life."

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Genevieve Davis conducting a mock interview with a PD student

May

20
2014

Alumna Hannah Skvarla is Co-Founder of The Little Market With Lauren Conrad (Interview)

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Name: Hannah Skvarla

Job: Co-Founder, The Little Market

FIDM Degree: Merchandise Marketing

What led you and Lauren to start The Little Market? Lauren and I met while studying at FIDM. We began traveling together and visited Bali, El Salvador, Tanzania, and Uganda. On each trip we would visit local markets and meet hardworking women artisans who were struggling to support themselves. We wanted to figure out a way to give these women access to a bigger market. We asked experts in International Development about the most sustainable way to set up an online store to support artisans from around the world. We partnered with non-profit Global Goods Partners in New York, to identify and work with artisans that shared our fair trade values.

How did you get involved with Human Rights Watch and other charity orgs? Social justice has always been a very important part of my life. My family has always emphasized the importance of giving back through volunteering with organizations, learning about rights issues, and directly serving those in need. After completing my B.A. in Public Relations at Chapman University, I interned at Human Rights Watch's New York office. I fell in love with the commitment of HRW's 400 journalists, researchers, and attorneys to providing a voice for those facing a host of issues -- women's rights, children's rights, refugee rights, LGBT rights, disability rights, health rights, etc. -- right here at home and all around the world.

What has been the most rewarding part of being in this type of business? The Little Market is incredibly rewarding. I love the opportunity to introduce shoppers to beautiful handmade products and raise awareness for fair trade and ethical purchasing. Positive feedback from the artisans keeps us motivated and inspired. We love hearing about how the income generated from the sales of our items empowers our artisan partners.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? The Merchandise Marketing major gave me the ability to understand the target market, to develop a brand concept, and to communicate a business strategy to the participants in the process, all using technology to bring a message of making a difference to a global marketplace.

May

16
2014

MPD Alumna Taking Over Nicole's Showroom at LA Kids Market

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After 40 years at the California Market Center, Nicole's Showroom founder Nicole Schmidt has said farewell. Merchandise Product Development Alumna Tiffany Stricklett, who has served as a sales rep at the showroom for over seven years, will take over. "I have always wanted to run my own showroom," says Tiffany. "I learned so much from Nicole and cannot wait to bring a new, fresh vibe to the kid's industry." Nicole's represents the kids lines Ashley Anne Accessories, Bebemonde, Cape Clogs, Cupcakes & Pastries, Dimity Bourke, Great Pretenders, Lil Darlings, Little Wings, Paper Wings, RaspberryPlum, and Seam.

Read more on the LA Kids Market Blog

May

15
2014

FIDM Grad Rahnel Alvarado from Premium Denim Label RTA is Guest Speaker for Premier Product Development Group

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FIDM Grad and Product Development Manager at RTA Denim, Rahnel Alvarado visited the Los Angeles campus today as a guest speaker for the Premiere Product Development Group, an elite group of FIDM Students with access to special guest speakers.

Starting off her chat, she gave the students excellent advice. "Utilize your instructors," she said. "They will help you throughout your entire career." She also added, "Never burn any bridges. This is industry is really small." 

Rahnel graduated from FIDM in Spring 2011 with a Professional Designation degree in the Merchandise Product Development program. While a student, she worked as a manager of hotels and apartment buildings. Many of her residents were in the entertainment and fashion industries, and one of them told her about a position as an executive administration assistant at Citizens of Humanity. When she graduate, she applied, got the job, and worked there for about six months before a position in product development opened up at Goldsign.

Rahnel became Adriano Goldschmeid's right hand and gained invaluable experience, gleaning incredible knowledge from him, the "godfather of denim." She even learned about the intricate subtleties of working with leather.

After two years of working at Goldsign and Citizens of Humanity, an opportunity at a new premium denim label presented itself to Rahnel. RTA hired her as their Product Development Manager in January of this year.

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At RTA, Rahnel does everything from making fabric selections to getting samples made to working with the laundry house on washes and treatment such as distressing, fades, and wax. On a daily basis, she works with designers, patternmakers, and cuttters. She creates the line sheets, produces the photo shoots, and is responsible for tech pack and cost sheets.

When it comes to hiring, Rahnel was asked what makes a job candidate stand out from the rest. She simply said, "The key is confidence."

At the end of her talk, students lined up for one-on-one time with her. One student, who is about to enter the job market, asked for feedback on her portfolio, and Rahnel graciously provided expert tips.

May

15
2014

Celebrity Fashion Designer Ina Soltani Introduces 'Second Skin' Collection

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Fashion Design Alumna Ina Soltani has become a go-to designer for celebrities such as Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Kerry Washington, and Jennifer Lopez, among others. Her latest 'Second Skin' collection for fall 2014 is filled with bold and dramatic pieces such as leather cigarette pants, motorcycle jackets, and snakeskin cut out dresses. 

Ina appeared on Elle Fashion Director Joe Zee's TV show All On The Line where he mentored the L.A.-based designer. 

See more of the fall collection at Apparel News and Women's Wear Daily

May

13
2014

Shoe Design: Outsole Plates Need Designing Too!

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For a shoe designer, there are many aspects to design when it comes to footwear: the upper, the heel, the outsole, the insole (depending on the type of shoe), hardware, and the outsole plate.

The outsole plate is the part of the shoe that strikes the ground. One can say, it's hitting the ground and, "who cares? ", but I think "why not?" When it's on the selling floor, it's definitely being looked at and it's a great design detail.  It’s important to put creativity into all aspects of a design.

You can draw inspiration from furniture, fashion, architecture, or anything that is inspiring.  There are so many possibilities. Above is a board of an outsole design inspired by marble and marble-like textures.  Of course there are many other technical aspects to consider such as is the design recessed, raised, how deep or how much raised, additional textures, etc. For now, play with creating fun outsoles, and you will learn over time the technical aspects.

For more outsole inspiration you can go here.

Do you feel it’s important to design every little detail out? Or do you think, it doesn't matter and no one will see it? 

FIDM Alumna Nalini Arora is an international footwear and accessory design consultant. Her specialty lies in women's fashion footwear, accessories, and kids shoes.  

May

13
2014

Beauty Grad Is Packaging/Product Developer Coordinator at Stila Cosmetics

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As the new Packaging/Product Developer Coordinator for Stila Cosmetics, Christine San Antonio does everything from speaking to vendors about projects and assisting her managers to giving creative input on packaging and products. "I feel that FIDM prepared me for what to expect in the beauty industry," the Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing Graduate explains. "FIDM also helped me understand my interest and really see what I wanted to do in my career and future."

May

13
2014

Vis Comm Grad Is Celebrity Stylist for Actors and Athletes (Interview)

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Name: Victor Michel

FIDM Degree: Visual Communications

Tell us about your celebrity styling career. I can say it has been nothing but a dream come true. In less then a year, I have worked with magazines such as GQ and Rolling Out. I landed my first cover with Rolling Out as well as a four page spread for my styling of actor Brian White. It’s been a pleasure to have styled Claudia Lee (Actress), Malcom Smith (Super Bowl MVP), Tahj Mowry (Actor), Reggie Bullock (Los Angeles Clippers), Natalie Alyn Lind (Actress), Jahlil Okafor (National Player of the Year), and Kevin Durant (NBA MVP).

How has FIDM helped you succeed? FIDM is not just a higher learning institution; it prepares you for not only a job, but a career. Attending FIDM, I learned many lessons I now use in my professional career, such as time management, patience, punctuality, presentation, and being fashion savvy. Most importantly, FIDM taught me the importance of paying attention to detail, which is reflected in my work. The fashion industry is perhaps one of the most competitive fields you can get into, much like attending FIDM.

Attending FIDM made me think outside the box to compete with very talented students. Now being a fashion stylist I find myself day in and day out challenging myself to find new ideas, concepts, and trends to stand out from everyone else. Week after week, course after course you are learning from professors who work in the fashion industry and know firsthand what it takes to land big opportunities.

We hear you are also working with the men's label MyVice. I became involved with MyVice through a former teammate who I became close with while playing professional basketball. I am a junior designer at MyVice and I help with the concepts and development of new product. I also play a large role in building our celebrity relationships and gifting our product to celebrities. 

May

12
2014

Business Management Student Launches Fitness Website (Interview)

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Merchandise Marketing Graduate Ida-Sofia Koivuniemi, who was a DECA high school student, is currently purusing her Business Management Bachelor of Science degree at FIDM. 

What led you to start Fit SidekickI was inspired to start Fit Sidekick because when I started my own fitness journey I found myself longing for a friend to be there for me through this time in my life. I wanted someone who would come to fitness classes with me and someone to share my results with. I want to be that fitness friend for people because going through this alone can be tough! It also helps to hold you accountable for reaching your goals and helps you get in shape faster. If my website can motivate at least a few people to start living an active lifestyle, I will feel as if I have done something right.

How are you enjoying the Business Management program? I like the B.S. program a lot. I am doing it fully online which gives me more time to focus on my job at Flywheel Sports (an indoor cycling studio) and my website. The classes are very comprehensive and I'm learning a lot of new stuff that I was not taught in the A.A. program.

What are your career goals? After graduation I hope to find an entry level marketing position, or even get a promotion within the Flywheel community. I hope to somehow blend my love for fitness and marketing and create a job out of it. Of course, I hope my website becomes successful as well and will find me job opportunities.

May

12
2014

BCBG Founder Max Azria Celebrates 25 Years in L.A.

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"Los Angeles has become the No. 4  city in the world for fashion, behind New York, Paris, and London,"  BCBG founder Max Azria told the LA Times in this weekend's Image section. Azria and his wife, FIDM Grad and BCBGMAXAZRIA and Herve Leger Chief Creative Officer Lubov Azria, are celebrating the company's 25th anniversary in Los Angeles. An exhibition of Azria's work is open at company headquarters in Vernon through May 18.

May

07
2014

Alumni Spotlight: Charlee Escobar

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Name: Charlee Escobar

Major: Merchandise Marketing A.A. Degree 

Job: Production Assistant / Sample Coordinator at Rocket Dog Brands, Inc.

1. What made you want to study Merchandise Marketing at FIDM?

I wanted to study Merchandise Marketing because I had a love for working with numbers, but I also wanted to be in a creative environment. I thought that being a buyer would be a great marriage between the two and I still believe so, but I started to find myself drifting towards being a planner or working in allocations. Planners work a lot more in Excel with pricing and various spreadsheets. I find my peace in Excel; it’s just relaxing to me.

2. What was the most valuable piece of information you learned during your education at FIDM?

There are two valuable pieces of information I learned at FIDM. One: this is a small industry. Everyone knows everyone! If you can break into this small circle and prove yourself, the places you can go are infinite.

Two: INTERN! All of my teachers preached about internships. I wish I listened when they gave me this advice, it definitely would have made the hunt a lot easier to find a job after graduating because companies look for that entry level experience. It really helps you get started, it gets your foot in the door.

3. What were some of the challenges you faced as a student?

While I was a student I also worked full-time while planning my wedding, so one of the largest challenges was finding time to enjoy my personal life while being successful both at work and school. Learning to prioritize definitely helped me with this challenge. I also completed two years of schooling at my Community College back home, which was in semesters so switching to quarters was a challenge also. You definitely need to stay on top of all of your work or you could end up being extremely behind because quarters fly by much faster. There are also a lot of projects that last throughout the whole quarter, so if I fell behind one week it would sometimes cause a ripple effect.

4.What are some of your proudest FIDM accomplishments?

During my first quarter one of my teachers asked for my essay to use as an example for the following quarter. For me it was a proud moment because I’ve always excelled in Math and Science but never in English. Another accomplishment was putting together my portfolio. It was rewarding to see all of my hard work over the course of this program in one place. It brought back a lot of great memories, and definitely made all of the hard work worth it.

5. Now that you have graduated and earned your degree, where do you work/what do you do?

After graduating from FIDM, I was hired at Rocket Dog Brands, Inc. AKA the most amazing company to work for. I am now their new production assistant / sample coordinator. I focus mainly on sales samples that come in from our factories and stay in communication with the factories to ensure that our samples are going to arrive on time.

When I was hired, I expressed my interest in being a planner, so I have also had the opportunity to run a couple of our spreadsheets each week. Just a little more about my job duties – I enter factory orders, generate GTIN and UPCs, follow up with the designers regarding production spec, manage special make up requests from customers, and I also maintain our showroom display. We are a smaller corporate office so I have had the opportunity to do a lot of various projects around the office.

6. Has your education at FIDM helped prepare you for the work you are doing?

I do believe that my education at FIDM has helped me prepare for the work I am doing. Since I did not intern, FIDM is really the reason why I was hired. FIDM is fast paced, which is also similar to this industry.

Photo Courtesy of Mariya Dondonyan

 

May

07
2014

Graphic Design Grad Gives Back to Organizations He's Passionate About

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Graphic Design Graduate Michael Nguyen has volunteered countless hours for organizations such as the Orange County German Shepherd Rescue, YouTube artist Tiffany Alvord, and the Asian Pacific Festival. "I feel so lucky to have been given an amazing education at FIDM and want to share my talents with those in need, he says.

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Visit Michael's Facebook Page to learn more about his work. 

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May

06
2014

Merchandise Product Development Grad Annie Hsu Lands at Jolt

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When the Denim Study Tour, led by Department Chair Eva Gilbert (left), visited Kellwood headquarters this spring, we ran into 2012 FIDM Grad Annie Hsu. She updated us on her career.

What is your job?

I am Sales Operations Assistant at Jolt. I assist the Head of Sales on all private label jobs for Jolt,  following projects from beginning to end. This allows me to work with various departments: Design, Technical Design, Sales, Customer Service, Shipping, etc. Every day there are problems to solve and I work with numbers a lot.

Did you use the Career Center?

Yes, Kevin in the Career Center connected me with Jolt for an internship in Production which led to my current position.

What was your major?

I got a Professional Designation in Merchandise Product Development.

Where did you go to school before FIDM?

I earned a B.S. in Managerial Economics from U.C. Davis.

Any tips for current FIDM Students?

Utilize all the resources around you, especially the Career Center. You never know who you will meet and where your next opportunity might be.

May

06
2014

Beauty Grad Is Product and Package Development Associate at Jouer Cosmetics

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Name: Kia Ragland

Degree: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing and Business Management

Job Title/Company: Product and Package Development Associate at Jouer Cosmetics

Responsibilities: Some of my responsibilities include assisting the PD Director with R&D of new product and package development, project managing products from concept to market, assisting quality control, initiating necessary product testing, requesting all documents in order to reach regulatory standards, and managing archives. 

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM truly helped me become the driven, independent, and great multitasker that I am today. The group projects really taught me how to be a team player, but also have the ability to take the leadership role. Having such a short turnaround on so many projects gave me the experience needed to handle almost anything that comes my way. FIDM definitely taught me how to be a problem solver that can take action and proceed with multiple solutions until the task is complete.

What are you most excited about in your new position and why? I am excited to take on more responsibilities and really assist in the growth of Jouer Cosmetics being that it’s still such a young brand. I really admire the vision of the brand and the level of quality that goes into every product.

May

05
2014

Recent VisComm Grad Is Public Relations Coordinator at BCBGMAXAZRIA

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Recent graduate Lindsey Spink, who received her degree in Visual Communications in March, is currently the Public Relations Coordinator and Executive Assistant to the VP of Global Public Relations at BCBGMAXAZRIA. "My day-to-day responsibilities include preparing studio loans and pulls, creating press clippings, reviewing BCBG editorials, assisting the VP of Global Public Relations, meeting with press, preparing for and assisting with special events, communicating with editors, and being in charge of public relations department budgeting," she explains.

"FIDM helped prepare me for my career by teaching me the following skills: writing press releases, creating media kits, connecting with industry professionals, the entire process of coordinating special events, budgeting, and how to communicate with press." 

May

05
2014

BCBGMaxAzriaGroup Hosts Retrospective Celebrating 25-Year History

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BCBGMaxAzriaGroup turned part of its Vernon, California warehouse into an exhibit space on April 29, for a retrospective of the company's 25 year history designing a mix of "Paris chic with L.A. cool." On display were Max Azria Atelier red carpet dresses, Herve Leger bandage dresses, youthful styles from BCBGeneration, and pieces from BCBGMaxAzria Runway. 

Lubov Azria, the fashion house's creative director, is a graduate of FIDM. 

Read more coverage of the exhibit in Apparel News

May

05
2014

Merch Marketing Alumna Accepted Into JCPenney's Business Analyst Program (Interview)

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Name: Laura Clayton

Major: Merchandise Marketing

Grad Year: 2009

What does it mean to you being accepted in the Business Analyst Training Program at JCPenney? I am truly honored and so excited to become a part of such a well-known and respectable company that has stood the test of time while continuing to evolve. I feel that the Training Program will give me the opportunity to develop my knowledge and skills in a learning environment and will enable me to achieve success once I am assigned to my specific merchandise team.

What will your role/responsibilities be? Allocating merchandise at the SKU level based on Buyer intent to ensure stores are at optimal inventory levels; developing product knowledge to be store level expert in regard to product needs and opportunities; collaborating with planning and merchandising teams to review assortment flow plan and ensure sufficient quantities are purchased to support the assortment plan; performing pre-season, in-season, and post-season analysis to uncover opportunities and risks; monitoring JCPenney warehouse inventory and flow and recommending appropriate actions to -maximize business objectives.

Do you have to relocate for this job? I currently reside in Nashville, TN where I am a Merchandise Distribution Analyst for Kirkland's Corporate Office. I will be relocating to Dallas, TX for my job at the JCPenney Corporate Office.

How did FIDM and the Career Center help prepare you? FIDM did an excellent job of preparing me for this job. Through my buying, planning, and allocation classes I was able to gain hands-on experience creating reports/analysis that are used daily in the retail business industry. FIDM gave me endless opportunities to gain knowledge and firsthand experience in the fashion industry through internships, events, and class projects.

I was first introduced to the JCPenney Training Program in Kevin's Professional Practices class. I feel that Kevin did an outstanding job making sure that his students were prepared to start their career path. The guidance and recommendations he gave me for my resume, cover letter, and portfolio truly helped me to stand out among other candidates during my interview process at JCPenney.

May

05
2014

Nick Verreos Participates in Discover Los Angeles' "What's Your L.A. Story?" Instagram Campaign

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Over the weekend, alumnus Nick Verreos participated in a photo shoot with photographer Michelle Yam (who also attended FIDM) for a Discover Los Angeles' campaign entitled "What's Your L.A. Story?" for Instagram. Nick posed with red carpet gowns and some budding fashion designers who were visiting FIDM with their parents. 

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Read more on Nick's Blog

May

05
2014

Fashion Design Grad's Annie + Jade Eco Line Featured in California Apparel News

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California Apparel News has a story about Fashion Design Alumna Annie Le's new clothing line, Annie + Jade, which uses eco-friendly fabrics and ethical manufacturing practices. Her women's collection features natural, organic, recycled, or blended fabrics such as wool, silk, Modal, and Viscose. "I don't believe that being eco-friendly is a one-way road," she told Apparel News. "There are multiple ways to be eco-friendly."

May

05
2014

Hank Pola Scholarship Presented to Textile Production & Development Student

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On April 17, California Fashion Association President Ilse Metcheck presented a $5,000 scholarship to FIDM Fashion Design Graduate Shayna Goldberg in honor of her late husband Hank Pola, who was a longtime member of the textile and apparel community. Shayna will begin pursuing FIDM's Associate of Arts Advanced Study Program in Textile Production & Development this summer.

California Apparel News has the full story. 

May

01
2014

FIDM Graphic Design Grads’ Stormtrooper Art Featured in “Legion” Star Wars Exhibition this Weekend

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Celebrate “Star Wars” Day in  Los Angeles this weekend at the “Legion”  exhibition featuring artists’ unique interpretation of Stormtrooper helmets, including works by FIDM Graphic Design Alumni Eric Acasio and Danny Osterman.

Lucasfilm invited artists at Disney Consumer Products, where Acasio is currently a graphic designer, along with designers from snowboarder/skater headgear manufacturer NEFF, where Osterman is a graphic designer, and other guest artists to participate.

“Artists have sliced, melted, warped, ossified, pickled and otherwise completely re-imagined the classic trooper bucket,” describers Mashable writer Chris Taylor about the exhibition, which runs from Friday, May 2, to Sunday, May 4, at the Robert Vargas gallery in Los Angeles.

Osterman tells FIDM that his participation in Legion– the launch of which coincides with J.J. Abrams’ seventh “Star Wars” film cast announcement – has been like fulfilling a childhood dream for him.

“It feels amazing,” says Osterman who mentioned that the “Star Wars” films were part of his childhood. “Having your artwork seen is so hard now with social media platforms being so saturated. Being able to get that extra push from NEFF is exactly what I needed to be on a main stage and I couldn’t be happier. I’m hoping it will open the doors to new opportunities in the art world.”

He adds, “I learned so much and owe so much to FIDM and the faculty. It helped mold me to be what I am today.”

Osterman’s classmate Acasio, who was serendipitously invited for the same design opportunity, was equally thrilled.

“I’ve been a big fan of Star Wars ever since I was a kid. Every wrapping paper tube was a ‘light saber’ and I used to recreate the Death Star trench scenes when I kid,” says Acasio, adding:

“I’ve never had work on display at this type of scale before. There are so many talented creatives in this show so it’s a little intimidating, I’m just glad to be a part of it,” says Acasio. “I never have really worked on toys/sculptures before and it really is an awesome feeling taking on another medium, but I did get to incorporate some graphic design into it, too. Also knowing that one of my FIDM classmates in this show too… how awesome is that?”

See a sample of Legion’s Stormtrooper art on the FIDM Digital Arts Blog, our site dedicated to graphic design and digital media. Image above: "Star Wars" Stormtrooper interpretive art by FIDM Graphic Design Alumnus, Danny Osterman, currently a graphic designer at NEFF.

Apr

30
2014

5 Recent Beauty Program Grads and Their Glam Industry Jobs

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FIDM's Beauty Industry Merchandising and Marketing program prepares students to enter and move up in the industry that helps us all look our best each day. Here are a few recent success stories.

Alyssa Johnson is Product Development Coordinator at GLAMGLOW.

Grace Lim is Associate Marketing Manager at Hourglass Cosmetics.

Sasha Lee is Marketing Coordinator at Commodity.

Louie Lopez is Product Marketing Coordinator at GLAMGLOW.

Rachelle Pons is Social Media/PR Assistant at Josie Maran Cosmetics.

Apr

28
2014

Alumna Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor Author 'The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture For $200 and Turned It Into a Global Brand'

Pam

In The Glitter Plan: How We Started Juicy Couture For $200 and Turned It Into A Global Brand (Gotham, May 2014) Juicy co-founders Pamela Skaist-Levy, a graduate of FIDM and Gela Nash-Taylor, along with L.A. Times fashion critic Booth Moore, reveal how they created a fashion empire of "California cool" clothing. Part memoir and part how-to, they share valuable industry lessons with humor and glamour. 

The duo are now partners in a new women's line, Pam & Gela, which launched last month. 

Apr

28
2014

Beauty Grad Is Int'l Regulatory & Product Development Coordinator at GLAMGLOW

Alyssa

Name: Alyssa Johnson

Position/Company: International Regulatory & Product Development Coordinator at GLAMGLOW

Responsibilities: My responsibilities include preparing both domestic and international regulatory and registration documentation for products that are launched all of the world. I also work with the PD manager assisting in the concept, safety and regulatory compliance, and evaluation of all new products.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM not only gave me a solid educational foundation in the beauty industry, but the college also put me in contact with amazing instructors who were working in the industry! I've been blessed enough to get this position and a previous position through connections with my FIDM Instructors.

It's so important to maintain a level of professionalism in your classes with your peers and especially your teachers. You will leave a great impression -- so great that they just might contact you years later for a job opportunity, which is what happened with me!

What are you most excited about in your new position and why? I'm most excited to be involved in the process of developing new products! Touching the ingredients, and smelling the fragrances. Watching all the stages from conception to the final product. This process, is so crucial in the success of a brand, products need to be innovative efficacious, and fun. I'm so happy to be part of it! It's what made me fall in love with the beauty industry.

Apr

23
2014

FIDM Alumnus Promoted to Creative Director at Mood Designer Fabrics

Mood

Ben Pinpin, a graduate of FIDM's Fashion Design Program, was recently promoted to Creative Director at Mood Designer Fabrics. We recently caught up with the 2012 alumnus to chat about his career. 

What are your new responsibilities? My responsibilities for the company include developing creative endeavors for the Los Angeles and New York locations, such as the strong majority of the educational programs, e-marketing campaigns, maintaining relations with third party venues, reaching out to new customers, developing in-store visuals, producing educational videos, and most of all providing Mood students and customers with great customer service and some cheeky wit.

How long have you been at this company? I've been with Mood Designer Fabrics since January of 2013 starting off as a regular Sales Rep and Cutter. I always used my witty charm with a little educational twist as my selling pitch because I always believe in consumer knowledge. That led to being one of their sewing teachers in April 2013, then Educational Director around August 2013, and finally becoming Creative Director December of 2013.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM helped me prepare for this career by offering great professors including BJ Sims, John Swaitek, and Sandy Katana for pattern drafting, Martin Podway for business of fashion, Nancy Riegelman for illustration -- it's a very long list. Most importantly, working with Kevin Jones and the FIDM Museum & Galleries, along with being accepted into the Advanced Fashion Design Program drastically improved my work ethic and skill set. FIDM has amazing resources that I utilized very well.

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