Fashion Design Grad Designing Multi-Functional Tote Bags


Fashion Design Alumna Sara Song, who designs multi-functional tote bags under the new label Lunch Time by Sara Song, is already selling at the FIDM Museum Store and has an online shop. We recently chatted with Sara to learn more. 

Why did you begin making your tote bags? I had always dreamed of having my own brand since I started studying Fashion Design at FIDM. When I was a student, I was looking for a fashionable tote bag that I could take every day to school, my work, the gym, or the mall, but I couldn’t find one that really complimented my style. So I started to design tote bags that suited my needs and style.

How are your bags different? Unlike other tote bags, my bags are multi-functional, with insulation inside so that you can use it as a purse when you hang out with your friends, or when you go to work, you can use it as a lunch bag and put your sandwiches and fruits to keep it cool and fresh.

How does it feel to see your product at the FIDM Museum Store? As an Alumna of FIDM, I’m so excited to introduce my bags for the first time at my school. I believe this will be a great opportunity for my line to go forward. I’m so grateful to be able to start my journey with FIDM Museum Store!



Baldwin Jeans Introduces #MYBALDWIN Social Media Campaign


GQ has a report about Baldwin Jeans, founded by FIDM Graduate Matt Baldwin, and their new social media campaign, #MYBALDWIN. The cult favorite denim brand is asking their fans to upload shots of their beloved jeans, in various states of worn-in-ness. Fans can then vote on which pairs they like best, and the top three washes with the most votes (by December 1) will be put into production and named after the owners, who will win a free pair. 

Hear more from Matt below: 




Gap Hired Trish Summerville to Style #DressNormal Ad Campaign


Gap enlisted L.A.-based costume designer and FIDM Graduate Trish Summerville, known for her work on The Hunger Games and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, for its #DressNormal ad campaign. In conjunction with the retailer's newest collection, the company is launching "The Dress Normal Project," a pop-up shop and exhibition of photos styled by Summerville to be held in L.A.'s Venice neighborhood. 

Read a full report in Los Angeles



Beauty Industry Management Student Focuses on Skin Health

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Jessica Fernicola chose to continue for a third year Beauty Industry Management degree after graduating with an Associates degree in June 2014.

What made you decide to go on for the Advanced Study Beauty Industry program?

I am the type of person that likes to be fully prepared before starting a new task or opportunity. It just wasn’t for me to end at an AA degree (in Beauty Industry Merchandising and Marketing). I want to learn more because I know when the time comes, and I am sitting in that office, I will be more confident because I continued my schooling and learned everything that FIDM had to offer.

What are your goals in the industry?

I truly believe makeup is to enhance, not to fix or change. I believe that as a society we should help one another and that does not include telling young girls that they must cover their skin with makeup to feel beautiful or to fix a problem. My goals are to guide young girls and boys in the right direction, which involves educating them on how to take care of their skin and bodies! I do have a skincare/lifestyle brand in the works that might get me one step closer in helping spread the word.

Any interesting internships to tell us about?

Currently I am interning for a candle company that is just starting up. All of our candles are soy and double as body oils when lit. Since I  just started, I am still learning, but it is exciting to grow with a young company because it feels more personal. I feel my sense of creativity is being used every day and that is something I really enjoy. 

Trends that you see taking off in beauty?

The trend that I have been noticing has not only affected the beauty industry but almost every aspect of a person’s life is health. I’ve noticed that individuals are getting more and more keen on going green and using wholesome ingredients, not just in food but on their skin as well. The word “vegan” can be seen on cosmetic packaging these days and I think it’s for the better! I love seeing the world become a healthier place and giving consumers wholesome products to put on their skin.



Beauty Industry Management Student Interning in PR

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Brhea Harper got her Associates degree in Beauty Industry Merchandise and Marketing in June. She chose to continue at FIDM for the Advanced Study Beauty Industry Management program.

Why did you decide to stay at FIDM for the third year?

I simply LOVED my major. I graduated in June 2014 and the exact next day I was off to New York City for the Beauty Tour. Going there and visiting companies such as: Estee Lauder, Temptu, Coty, and Inglot; I realized how much love I had for this industry! I can’t see myself doing anything else with my life other than working in beauty.

What is your career goal?

Being in such a large industry requires so much experience. My main goal is to really get in there and figure out exactly what I want to do while showing people my passion. Overall, I do want to work for a big parent company such as L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, LVMH (Louis Vuitton-Moet Hennessy), or Shiseido. I would prefer to work in the product development or marketing areas of color cosmetics or skin care. Eventually I would like to climb my way up the ladder to a high position.

Any internships?

Currently I am interning at a celebrity PR firm called Michele Marie PR in Beverly Hills, and I absolutely love it. Some days I’m sending out clothes to celebrities or their stylists. Other days I’m searching for boutiques in different cities. It’s a fun, busy environment, and I can tell I’m learning so much.

What beauty trends are you watching?

I see the pops of color in makeup coming up as a trend: extreme blush with a nude eye, navy blue winged eyeliner, or bright yellow lip color. Some people are afraid of color when it comes to makeup because of society, but once this trend becomes bigger you will be able to see everyone’s real personality.



Interview: FIDM Design Grad Reggie Aguiluz on Inspiration

I had the wonderful opportunity to interview FIDM Alumnus Reggie Aguiluz about his journey from FIDM classroom to downtown LA showroom. Watch as he talks about his inspirations and offers advice for students pursuing a career in the industry. Learn more about Reggie's line at

Sharing someone's story through video and digital storytelling is such a passion of mine. Hope you are all inspired to be creative and passionate in everything you do because passion and perseverance will truly help you "defeat the odds."

by FIDM Student Brianna Kim, a second year Digital Media major.



Lauren Conrad Weds in Gowns by Badgley Mischka and Monique Lhuillier



FIDM Alumna Lauren Conrad recently wed William Tell in a rustic ceremony in Santa Ynez, California, wearing a custom-made, fitted lace Badgley Mischka gown. For the reception, she chose a strapless mermaid-style silhouette from FIDM Graduate Monique Lhuillier. "I don't know that I have ever been as happy as I was walking down that aisle," the LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl's designer gushed to Us. "It was amazing!"


Read more about her wedding looks in the new issue of Us Weekly and at Hollywood Life



Brand New MPD Professional Designation Grad Already Working at Kellwood


New Merchandise Product Development Graduate Bob Zhang alreayd has a job as a Technical Design Associate at Kellwood for the Jolt brand. We caught up with the FIDM Alumnus (who just graduated on Wednesday) to learn more. 

How did your job at Kellwood Industries come about? ​I participated in the Denim Tour with the Premier Product Development Group and visited Kellwood. I ended up interning there for a quarter then I got an interview opportunity last month.​

What will you be doing at Kellwood? ​I create styles on webPDM software, web EBA, ​create tech packs, line sheets, and support designers in different aspects of product development.

Where did you go to school prior to FIDM?​ I studied accounting and business at USC prior to FIDM. 

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career?​ The overall product development process, Illustrator, Photoshop, ​pattern making, pre-production, webPDM, sewing, and fabric and trim knowledge.



Alumna Combines Passion For Fashion and Dogs Into a Boutique


Alumna Carrie Ann Sanders is profiled in the Houston Chronicle for combining her two passions, fashion and dogs, into the Carrie Ann boutique in Houston's Uptown Park neighborhood. Stocking original styles, accessories, "sophisticated West Coast collections," and dog apparel, the shop is having a relaunch party tonight featuring Bravo TV Chef Roble from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  



Vis Comm Alumna Designs Collection Benefitting Animal Organization Jaws & Paws


Phraseology founder Amber Day, a graduate of the Visual Communications Program at FIDM, is releasing a new collaboration on Wednesday benefiting an organization that helps stop shark finning, Jaws & Paws. Pop artist and animal activist Anjali Ranadive (pictured above) is the face of the new collection, which features shark tees, marine-inspired shorts, and kimonos. 




Attend FIDM's 3rd Annual FABULOUS! Soiree Fundraiser on September 20 at Style Week OC


The Daily Pilot has a story about Style Week OC, a 10-day celebration of fashion. Style Week OC features a special FIDM Fashion Museum Soiree fundraiser on Saturday, September 20, 2014 to benefit FIDM Museum Fashion Council's campaign for acquisition of The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection.

Tickets may be purchased here

From the Daily Pilot

Wrapping up the week-long fashion celebration is "Project Runway" season two contestant and clothing designer Nick Verreos, who will return to host the Spectrum Collection Runway Show on Sept. 20 at Irvine Spectrum Center. During the show, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising students will present their resort-wear looks inspired by Celebrity Cruises' exotic destinations. In a promotional video, Verreos said one of his favorite parts of the show is seeing the fashions under the Irvine Spectrum's Ferris wheel, because it serves as the perfect backdrop.

"I've seen the evolution really turning into one of the premiere fashion weeks of the entire country," he said.

Retailer events and runway shows will be free and open to the public for viewing. FIDM's annual Fashion Museum Soiree on Saturday, themed "Fabulous!", will be a private, ticketed benefit with a VIP reception area, refreshments and seating for the runway shows. The event benefits the FIDM Museum Fashion Council, which hopes to acquire the Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection. Tickets are $110 or $200. For information, call (949) 244-7977.



Colleen Quen to Show 50+ Couture Gowns at San Francisco Event


Shark Tank's Robert Herjavec will host Chic Metropolitan magazine's "Fashion& Luxurious" issue release party and fashion show on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Designer and FIDM Alumna Colleen Quen will showcase over 50 gowns, including art-like pieces that have been worn by Tyra Banks and Paris Hilton. 


Tickets for the event are available here



MPD Graduate Will Perform as a Featured Artist at RAW's Axis Event in October


Merchandise Product Development Graduate Jordan Washington, who performs as Jordan Cordel, is a featured artist at RAW's Axis event on October 2, 2014. Showcasing visual art, fashion, music, film, photography, hair and makeup, and performing art, Axis will be held at Los Globos in Los Angeles, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. "It's really a blessing," says Jordan, who sings pop and R&B. "Now I have A&R's from record labels and music industry managers coming to scout for new talent. I'm grateful."



Mary J. Blige Wears White Silk Tuxedo Designed By Octavius Terry



Since graduating from the Advanced Fashion Design Program in 2013, Debut Grad Octavius Terry has designed for celebrities such as Ariana Grande, Queen Latifah, Tamar Braxton, Matt Barnes of the LA Clippers, Sean Kingston, and Nick Cannon to name a few. He outfitted Mary J. Blige in this white silk tuxedo for a recent photo shoot. 



Grad is Co-Founder of Michele Marie Public Relations Which Employs Three FIDM Interns


“FIDM was crucial in the shaping of my career in many ways," says Michele Marie PR's Sara Andréasson. "Due to FIDM's fantastic Career Center and extensive connections, I was able to land an internship with an amazing company, where I eventually got hired, and then I opened my own fashion PR firm--the career of my dreams!”

Sara, who currently employs three FIDM interns, has worked in public relations at Hugo Boss, John Varvatos, and Da-Nang, where she was Director of PR. Michele Marie PR is a full-service public relations agency specializing in editorial, celebrity, and event driven press in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle industries. 



Military Grad Starts Her Own Apparel Company

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Veteran Lindsey Robinson started her apparel company Reason4Riot upon graduation from FIDM in Summer '13. Here is her story:

What was you major?

I got an A.A. in Merchandise Product Development, and took some Business Management courses after graduation.

How did you find out about FIDM and when did you decide to go?

A rep visited my high school in my senior year. I went directly into the U.S. Navy after school, knowing that the apparel industry is where I really wanted to be. I enrolled at FIDM as soon as I got out of the Navy. A Career Advisor on the San Diego campus suggested the MPD major. I always knew that I wanted to create things. I wanted to be the brains behind the masterpiece.

Did you use the Career Center?

Yes, they were very helpful! They never left any questions unanswered. They offered more than enough information to guide students.

Tell us about Reason4Riot.

I am working very hard to build it where it needs to be. Right now the line includes streetwear  T-shirts and caps.  Within three years, I'd like to be in quite a few online and brick and mortar shops. Within five years, I'd like to have my first flagship store.

Any advice for other military college students?

Stay focussed on your overall goals, but always keep an open mind when it come to your career.



FIDM Style Project: Glenda Harrison from So What to Twenty Reveals Her Must-Have Fashion Piece


Image: (Left) Fashion Blogger and FIDM Grad Glenda Harrison of So What to Twenty and a vintage Maidenform bra advertisement.

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

“Name one thing in your closet that you couldn't live without and why?”

Fashion Blogger and FIDM Grad Glenda Harrison of So What to Twenty weighed in on the subject:

“My answer is a good bra. Yep, that's it. Having the right foundation is essential to having a good fit and feeling comfortable in your look. Having a pulled-together look must begin with the essential element of having great under garments,” says Harrison who cites Lilyette as her favorite intimates brand."

More about Glenda

Harrison is a graduate of FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and enjoys incorporating her passion for the fashion industry with writing by encouraging her followers to explore their personal style and femininity through fashion. Harrison also believes that “true beauty is not so much about how the clothes can make you feel on the outside, but how beautiful you are on the inside.” 

Connect with Glenda

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 Marketing Alumna Working at AG Jeans After Internship


After working as the Retail Department Intern at AG Jeans, Merchandise Marketing Alumna Victoria Sparks was offered a full-time position as the Retail Assistant at the denim label. "There are so many different aspects that I love about my job," says the June 2014 graduate. "I really get to dabble in all the different parts of the Retail Department, from Retail Operations, to Allocations, to Visuals, and my favorite, Buying."

Victoria, who found the AG Jeans internship through FIDM's Career Network, says she spends 80 to 90 percent of her time with the Buyer, which suits her just fine. "I love that I get to have an impact on so many different parts of the department and really become a well-rounded professional individual. I also love the people I work with; they are all so helpful, friendly, and intelligent, which I believe is extremely important when just starting out on a career," adds Victoria, who also interned at Halston while studying at the college.

"FIDM helped prepare me for my career, from the math and buying courses, to technology for merchandise buying, to allocations, to merchandising, and organizational behavior. Each taught me something I actually use at my job." 



Grad Designs Titles for Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Interview)


Name: Justin Hamilton

Major: Digital Media

Title: Lead VFX Designer

Company: Greenhaus GFX

Tell us about your role as Lead VFX Designer. That means that anytime we have to be on set to supervise a shoot involving VFX I'll be there. I'll also coordinate and complete any work that must be done in post. When we aren't working on a job with VFX I'm always excited to jump in on the design phase of any campaign we work on. In my case, this usually involves creating a healthy amount of 2D and 3D elements that I can use to create some initial style frames. Some recent highlights are designing the Guardians of the Galaxy and Maleficent main titles. 

We hear you recently worked on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles titles as well. For the animated title sequence at the end of TMNT, I designed the initial style frames and animation that were approved by Director Jonathan Liebesman, Michael Bay, and the rest of the crew behind the film. I couldn't have done it without my team here at Greenhaus and the beautiful illustrations based on the film done by Rudi Liden. I was about to get married, so fellow FIDM Grad and Art Director Kyle Brosius took the reigns from there to see the project through to completion. I was beyond impressed with the final piece when I returned!

What do you enjoy about this type of work? For design work I love coming up with looks, concepts, and ideas that can work to help push a project artistically or from a marketing standpoint. In our field, we are always creating the most beautiful imagery possible in an artistic and technical sense and it's a blast to find that look that marries perfectly with the project. In the case of TMNT, I was stoked to nail down a look and animation style for the team so that they could use that as a guide to create the rest of the piece while I was away.

For VFX work, the joy is usually creating something that blends so perfectly with footage that the viewer cannot tell that it was added in post. I have a side that is creative/artistic and another side that is more technical/scientific and this type of work allows me to bring those together.



Johana Hernandez Nominated as One of the Most Influential Latinas for PEOPLE Espanol


FIDM Alumna Johana Hernandez, who appeared on Fashion Star and designs the label GLAUDI, is vying for a spot on PEOPLE Espanol's list of most influential Latinas for 2014. If Johana receives enough votes, she will be featured in the magazine and receive prize money that will be donated to a school that she helped build in El Salvador. Johana was nominated by prominent Spanish journalist Myrka Dellanos and TV personality Raul De Molina. 

Vote for Johana here



Lauren Conrad Appears on Cover of Martha Stewart Weddings With New Bridesmaid Dress Collection



Lauren Conrad, formerly a student at FIDM, has designed a collection of bridesmaid dresses for her label Paper Crown. Conrad and five of her bridesmaids model the ethereal and bohemian-style gowns for Martha Stewart Weddings. The bride-to-be says:

I don’t think it has to be too cohesive,” she explains. “It’s too difficult to take a group of girls and put them in the same color and silhouette; everyone has their own style.” So she’s choosing a few hues, then letting her friends pick from “all the different shapes” in her line. “I don’t mind if there are a few girls in the same dress, or if people are all in different ones,” she says.

People Style Watch has the full report. 



Monique Lhuillier Dresses Kaley Cuoco and Louise Roe for 66th Annual Emmy Awards



The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco donned a Resort 2015 pink and red strapless gown with lace applique and a tiered tulle skirt from FIDM Grad Monique Lhuillier at last night's 66th Annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Fashion expert Louise Roe opted for a more conceptual look from Lhuillier's Spring 2014 RTW collection. 



FIDM Grads Working As Costume Designers on The Mentalist


FIDM Graduates Amanda Friedland and Suzy Magnin are the Costume Designer and Assistant Costume Designer, respectively, on CBS's The Mentalist. Both Amanda and Suzy have worked on the show for Season 4, 5, 6, and are currently working on Season 7. 

"We love the collaborative aspect of working with creative writers and directors on an episodic basis," says Suzy. "You really get to know your characters having worked with them for so many years. Costuming is a visual form of storytelling that we both enjoy."

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2014 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved



FIDM Grad and "Bachelorette" Desiree Hartsock Teams With Maggie Sottero to Launch Wedding Dress Collection



FIDM Graduate Desiree Hartsock, who gained fame as The Bachelorette and dreamed of becoming a bridal designer, has teamed with award-winning fashion designer, Maggie Sottero to launch her debut wedding dress collection. Desiree and her fiance, Chris Siegfried, are on hand today in Hollywood at the Couture Bridal Market hosted by The Knot to celebrate the launch and talk about their upcoming nuptials. 


"I'm simply ecstatic to see this dream come true," Desiree announced as she reviewed her collection recently in Salt Lake City. "The dresses reflect my personality: free spirited, but with a passion for glam, as seen in the soft, flowing fabrics and the Art Deco beadwork. I haven't decided yet whether my own wedding will be in a church or outdoor setting, but I love that the dresses in my collection are perfect for either and so are the dresses I've designed for myself."



MPD Alumna Founds Real Natural Beauty Skin Care and Cosmetic Line (Interview)


Name: Denise Zeigler

Major: Merchandise Product Development

Company: Real Natural Beauty


Tell us about your business. Real Natural Beauty is a natural skin care and mineral cosmetic line made for the multicultural woman's unique beauty. Our natural skincare is made with pure herbal extracts, vitamins, and minerals to truly deliver on performance and results. While our mineral cosmetics is made in a wide color range, triple-milled to be lightweight, long lasting, true to color, and does not look chalky or dull on our various skin tones. 

Did you have a hard time over the years finding a line that worked for you? I practically lived in Sephora, Ulta, and Nordstrom. I have literally tried every product and was still unsatisfied. I founded Real Natural Beauty because I was tired of settling for products that did not deliver on results, made with quality ingredients, and in a wide color range. I knew I was on to something when other customers in the stores and friends and family were having the same disappointments that I was experiencing.

Are you exclusively sold online? At the moment yes... but not for long! While we may not have a store front, we plan to be in unique spaces such as boutiques, hair salons, and other retail spaces that share our same passion while offering a unique flair. I love that my business is mobile and allows me to be in various spaces, do private events, makeup artistry, and more!

How did FIDM help prepare you for this career? Every course and faculty member opened my eyes and allowed me to understand the retail, fashion, and beauty industry. The classes that stood out for me were Brand Imaging and Marketing courses. Understanding that you are always marketing yourself, how to build a brand, and understanding your target market are critical in this industry. Be a sponge and learn everything.



FIDM Alumna Living and Working in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Interview)


Apparel Industry Management, Advanced Fashion Design, and Business Management Graduate Ariana DaSilva is working in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, as a Senior Fashion Trainer at Sharaf Retail Group, which represents brands such as Agent Provacateur, Forever 21, and Hello Kitty Beauty Spa. 

What is your current job title/responsibilities? As a Sr. Fashion Trainer, I currently develop, revise, improve, and maintain all of the training programs and materials alongside managing newly acquired luxury retail stores in Dubai, Bahrain, Kuwait, Singapore, and Malaysia. I also monitor and report on the progress of trainees, meet with visual merchandising, marketing, and product development to identify and recommend training requirements and conduct training needs analysis as well as evaluating training effectiveness. I am involved in induction, luxury/high-end customer service, brand/product knowledge, upsetting/cross selling, and style training programs.

What led you to living and working in Dubai? Both for personal and professional reasons, I wanted to change my life, and Dubai kept on popping up in my life. From random job offers in my email, to meeting people who live or work in Dubai, I knew I had to go for it. From the time I started at FIDM, I would always talk about how I wanted to live and work abroad, I just wasn’t sure where, or how it would happen. After completing my BS in Business Management at FIDM, I knew I had to pursue my dreams. No risk, no reward.

Have you lived in a  foreign country prior to now? I have never lived or worked in a foreign country, but have always been drawn to people who travel for work. I always knew that it was something that I wanted to do. I don’t like to stay in one place, or do the same thing every single day.

How did FIDM help prepare your for your career? What didn’t FIDM do is the question. The faculty at FIDM have had a huge influence on my life and are an integral part of my present success. I connected with a lot of people at FIDM. In fact, they encouraged me to get my A.A. in Apparel Industry Management, A.A. in Fashion Design, and B.S. in Business Management. FIDM was and still is my family. They cared about me when I had no support and felt alone and helpless.

Those who made a huge impact on my life know who they are, I could not have made it without them. My degrees have given me sound knowledge and the confidence to go out there in the world and use my talent. Never once was I turned away when I needed help, support or encouragement, and I thank all of them from the bottom of my heart.

Any advice you would like to give to FIDM students post graduation? When I was at FIDM, I spoke every quarter to the new incoming college students during the SUCCESS Seminar. I shared with them my own personal tips and tricks on how to survive throughout their college career. I immediately found myself in the position of a role model, and this enhanced my desire to improve and become better, despite my life situation. It’s easy to let life get in the way and bring you down. But what happens after you graduate? My advice: never give up.

Focus on what you love and don’t settle for less. If you want to move, move. If you want to design, design. Do what moves you, do what you are passionate about, and you will be able to move mountains. Don’t ever stop learning, and making yourself better. Evolve and be aware of what’s happening around you. You make the magic happen around you. You make your own reality, and you must believe in your own power.



FIDM Alumna and Monique Lhuillier Senior Fit Technician Paige Rangel Visits FIDM

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Monique Lhuillier Senior Fit Technician and FIDM Grad Paige Rangel visited the Los Angeles campus recently as a guest speaker for the Premiere Product Development Group, an elite group of FIDM Students with access to special guest speakers.

With a B.A. degree in Communications and Business from Arizona State, Paige Rangel came to FIDM to pursue the Professional Designation degree in Merchandise Product Development. She worked in retail during the one-year program at FIDM, telling the students that she didn't have time for an internship but she wishes she did. She encouraged all of them to do an internship if they can.

When she graduated, she started looking for work and landed her first job as a design assistant at the U.S. Apparel Group, a company that specializes in licensed apparel. It was there where she realized she really enjoyed technical design. She loved writing the fit comments. In fact, a fit model informed her about a job opportunity at Robert Rodriguez. Paige inquired about the position and was hired as their technical designer.

Soon thereafter, Robert Rodriguez was acquired by The Jones Group, and Paige was promoted to managing the work of four technical designers. She found that she was moving away from doing fit comments, and moving more in the direction of management. She worked there for four years, and she said she loved it, but once Jones bought them the environment shifted into more of corporate atmosphere, and she found that it wasn't for her anymore.

Through the Apparel News, Paige found out about an opportunity at Monique Lhuillier. She submitted her resume, interviewed, and was hired. She's been working there now for two years and loves it.

When asked what she looks for in technical design new hire, she joked and said, "Someone who does NOT want to be a designer," making the point that technical design is not about creative design but about coming up with creative solutions. She said she looks for problem solvers and motivated candidates.

Monique Lhuillier is a small company located in downtown Los Angeles. It's only herself, an assistant, and six pattern makers. There is no factory in China. Paige said they make everything downtown. 

She explained to the students that once the design team is finished with a line, they walk the runway with it or do a presentation. The line comes back to the pre-production team. All photos and notes are taken, then the tech packs are then set up. Once that's finished, then they start on patterns. Paige uses the pattern and creates the garment in muslin first. She tries to keep each garment to three fittings, with an objective of getting a perfect sew by sample.

Paige goes to every single fitting and all the production meetings. "I babysit these samples until they're perfect," she said.

Finally, Paige presents the final sew by sample to Monique Lhuillier.

The students flooded Paige with questions about the industry and the challenges and rewarding parts of her career. The meeting ended with networking and the exchange of business cards.

Read more about FIDM Grad Paige Rangel on her blog: The Love Designed Life.



Advanced Fashion Design Grad Is an Associate Designer For Express (Interview)


Name: Ethan Bartlett

Major: Fashion Design (2010); Advanced Fashion Design (2011)

Job Title: Associate Designer (Women's Knits) for Express.

Location: I am based at their New York Design Studio.

What do you love most about your job and why? I have always had a strong passion for cut/sew knits, and working for a company as big as Express, I really get to utilize my passion and knowledge of knits in a meaningful way and on a enormous scale.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? My Advanced Fashion Design degree really prepared me with the knowledge of construction of garments, and how to make beautiful garments. I am so grateful to have worked with such inspiring instructors during my time at FIDM.



Merchandise Marketing Alumna Erica Thomas Launches New E-Commerce Site


After years of experience with a trio of brick and mortar stores, Erica Dee, Erica Dee Men, and Erica Dee Kids in Corona del Mar, CA, Merchandise Marketing Alumna Erica Thomas closed her high-end boutiques to launch Harper's, a trend-focused boutique at a more accessible price point. The shop, which opened in 2008, quickly became a Orange County shopping destination. Now Erica has launched a full E-commerce site that includes new merchandise every other day. 

"My beginning in the fashion industry started at the Los Angeles campus," she explains. "My education laid the foundation and gave me the knowledge to be successful in opening multiple retail stores and now launching a mega fashion E-commerce site." 



Apparel News Reports on FIDM's Recent Denim Industry Event


Mother jeans founder Tim Kaeding (left) with Kingpins founder Andrew Olah

California Apparel News has a story about Kingpins + FIDM, a recent event organized by the denim development tradeshow Kingpins and the college, held on the top floor of the Cooper Design Space in Los Angeles.


Speakers included Tim Kaeding, former creative director for 7 For All Mankind and founder of Mother denim brand; FIDM Graduate Joie Rucker (pictured, left) and Caroline Calvin, designers and founders of Calvin Rucker; denim legend Francois Girbaud, currently at J Brand; and Ben Talley Smith, a denim designer and consultant. 

The denim industry veterans and visionaries gave students advice on all aspects of the business, including breaking rules. "If you believe there are rules, you probably won’t be able to take anything to the next level,” said Rucker. 



Merchandise Product Development Grad Jordan Lausch Lands Job at Urban Outfitters Headquarters in Philadelphia


Name: Jordan Lausch

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Grad Year:
June 2014

Urban Outfitters (URBN Inc.)

Product Development Assistant

Tell us a little about yourself:
I'm inspired by the ocean and the great outdoors in general. I'm an avid antiquer. I make dream catchers in my spare time.

Where are you working?
I work at URBN Inc. Home Office in Philadelphia, PA. I am currently working for the Urban Outfitters brand as a product development assistant for both men's and women's sweaters. Every single day is different and inspiring at Urban. Most of my time is spent communicating directly to our vendors overseas about yarns that we are sourcing, styles that are being developed, and costing. This information then gets translated back to our design, production, and buying teams.

How did you find out about the job opportunity?
I began working with URBN at a store level when I started at FIDM in San Diego. I started as a sales associate at Anthropologie in La Jolla and was quickly promoted to the position of resident personal shopper. I then made a move to Los Angeles to finish my time at FIDM which lined up with an opportunity to be part of the opening team of BHLDN (Anthropologie's bridal sister brand) in Beverly Hills. It was through the store opening that I was able to pick the brains of several Home Office employees and I was later introduced the the Product Development recruiter at URBN. The rest is history.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now?
My past classes at FIDM translate directly into my position now. FIDM has also granted me with the skill set to fully understand the design and garment construction processes. Connections made with instructors were (and continue to be) very important to me as I navigate this industry.

How did you decide on your major at FIDM?
I chose Product Development because I wanted the opportunity equally learn the business and creative sides of the industry. Product Development is an extremely well-rounded major. 

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you?
Sourcing materials is a large part of my job here at Urban and I find myself referring back to my Production and Sourcing Strategies class that I took during my last quarter at FIDM. I also keep my Textile Science swatch book on my desk for easy fiber and stitch reference.

Any advice for current FIDM Students?
Work, work, work. Even if that means flipping burgers at In-n-Out (I miss you, In-n-Out!!). A full resume always trumps an empty one.

What is your biggest goal right now?
My biggest goal right now is to furnish my new, historic apartment in Old City Philadelphia, and to continue to grow with URBN.

Anything else you’d like to share?
See what inspires me and scenes from the office by following me on Instagram (@jordlausch) or by taking a gander at my blog,



Military Veteran Is Asst. Manager at Hot Topic

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Military veteran Christopher Norkin earned his BS in Business Management from FIDM in Fall 2013. Here is how he did it.

How did you decide on FIDM?

I decided on FIDM prior to enlisting in the Army (I just needed the GI Bill to assist). I had a spokesperson from FIDM come to my high school and speak to my fashion and textiles class in 2006!

How did you decide on your major?

I received my Associates in Merchandise Marketing in June 2012. The decision was based on advice from my Admissions Advisor that the studies would prepare me for retail.

What is your current position?

I'm a Full-time Assistant Manager at Hot Topic. I started as a Sales Associate right before I enrolled for my Associates at FIDM in late 2010.

Any advice for former military considering FIDM?

My best advice to students who are veterans or who are using their parents/spouses' GI Bill is to use the full four years of it! The GI Bill supports a Bachelor’s education, and I highly suggest that students either take on the Business Management program or Advanced Studies. 



Former Military MP Aims for Fashion Design Business

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Casey Eby decided to her trade her rifle and body armor for fashion design when she came to FIDM in 2012. Now her sights are set on a BS in Business Management, followed by an MBA, and her own women's fashion/jewelry line. Here's how she does it.

Tell us about your military service.

I served in the U.S. Air Force, where I met my wonderful husband of 4 years. We both served in Texas together, then at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. I loved the military and was passionate about my career as a Military Police officer, though somehow, I was not fulfilled. I would find myself sketching clothing design ideas in my duty notebook and I was always looking at fashion blogs and websites. I dragged my husband to fashion week in Paris, which was about 5 hours away from where we lived, just so I could be around the industry.     

How did you find FIDM?

I originally heard about FIDM in 1999 when a representative came to my high school in Napa, northern California. I took a tour of the San Francisco campus and loved it, but I decided not to pursue a career in the fashion industry because unfortunately my family was negative about my pursuing an artistic career. The consensus was that I would not be able to support myself with a "creative career." Not following my heart is the greatest regret of my life! 

How did you make the transition to fashion college?

I was injured on duty and could no longer serve in the military. This was a blessing in disguise. It took some major prayer and support from my husband, but HE convinced me that Fashion was where I belonged. I hung up my M4 and my body armor, with my GI bill in hand. I applied to FIDM LA while I was still living in Germany, waiting for my official military release paperwork. It was never a question in my mind where I wanted to go to school. I contacted FIDM and Jeanette Guevarra, the counselor who interviewed me in 1999, still had my paperwork on file. It was like it was meant to be!  

What was your major?

I was accepted to FIDM's Fashion Design program within a few weeks of submitting my portfolio. I moved back to LA from Germany and started the Fashion Design program in fall of 2012.  

What did you like best about the program?

I loved that the Fashion Design program gave me a taste of all facets of the industry, from garment construction, pattern making, to Gerber. I graduated with a better idea of what avenue of the industry I wanted to pursue.  I went to FIDM not knowing how to sketch. This was always a huge frustration for me because I had so many ideas in my head, but my hand could not communicate them to paper. Thanks to the amazing guidance and patience of Ms. Nancy Riegelman (My sketching Goddess!), I was able to learn the language of fashion sketching. This has opened up a whole new world of creativity for me.

What was your education experience prior to FIDM?

Prior to FIDM I had taken some college classes at JCs, but it was always a half-hearted attempt. I did not see the general classes offered in a traditional college as applicable to anything I wanted to pursue as a career. I dropped out because I was so frustrated with the traditional college system. It didn't make any sense to me.  

At FIDM, I was able to understand why I was taking the classes in the program and that they all teach useful skills. Even the professional speaking class became an opportunity to get myself comfortable talking about my future business model. 

What are your plans after graduation?

I am currently pursuing my BS in Business Management at FIDM and will have my BS degree July of 2016. I have been thinking of going on for my MBA with Pepperdine School of Business.  

My professor, Dr. Morrison gave me some great advice; he said to make it a graduation present to myself to have a proposal for my first business completed by the time I walk for my Bachelor's. With a solid business plan, and a fire under my butt to get it done, I will be opening a luxury e-commerce site. I have been working on a jewelry line, for the last few years.  I plan to establish my retail brand and eventually expand into an in-house women's ready to wear line coupled with the jewelry. 

Did you do internships in the industry?

I landed my first internship as a design assistant with Heidi Merrick Studio. This was an amazing internship and I worked with her for eight months! The best teacher is hands on! I am a firm believer that if you want something, GO GET IT! Don't wait on anyone else, go pound the pavement and make things happen for your own career.  

Advice to future/current students?

FIDM helped to make my passions for designing clothing and jewelry gel together with my goal of owning a successful business. I would encourage any future FIDM student to treat this education as an investment in yourself. You will learn new skills that may be difficult, but give it all you've got. Eventually those weaknesses will become future strengths.  

Turn your dreams into goals and write them out on paper.  Keep them in front of you until you make them become your reality.  



MPD Graduate Is Director of Fashion Label in Dubai


Merchandise Product Development Alumna Mital Doshi is the Director of Lemonein FZ, LLC, a fashion label based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. "Lemonein was my vision at the start of college and seeing it form is like a dream come true," she explains. "We offer not just clothing but unique works of art and rich culture. This essence is what keeps me going and what I love the most. I want to be one of the brands that develop from roots based in the Middle East."

The 2013 graduate says that FIDM helped her understand how to convert a vision into a reality: "For me, FIDM was place with great inspirations, from teachers to libraries to surrounding fashion industries and markets."



Alumni Panel Sparks Discussion at SF Career Connections

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"FIDM taught me that I am capable of accomplishing so much more than I ever imagined possible," summarized a participant in last week's popular Career Connections panel discussion on the San Francisco campus. Her fellow alumni panelists agreed.

Seven working alumni from a range of majors fielded questions from staff, faculty, and students about building fashion industry careers. Participants included: Alex Williams (Merchandising Assistant, Sears Holdings Co.); Raya Saab (Assistant Buyer, Sears Holding Co.); Brock Hughes (ecommerce Merchandise Coordinator, Charlotte Russe); Andrea Hillary (Asst. Merchandiser, Charlotte Russe); Theresa Frantz (Sr. Designer, Janie & Jack, Gymboree); Angelica Diaz (Sr. Assortment Analyst, Ross Stores); and Stephanie Bodner (Designer, Honey Cooler Handmade).



Introducing FIDM Grad Paul Hagopian's Shade55 X FIDM Designer Blog Collaboration


FIDM Grad Paul Hagopian is an American entrepreneur and designer who founded the men's denim line, Shade55. A son of immigrants, and a strong believer in the American Dream, Paul shares his story of influencing factors that helped successfully shape his career as a designer and owner of Shade55.

Paul understood the true meaning of individual initiative by observing his two immigrant parents who fled political violence in Lebanon and came to America to start a new life. His lineage includes generations of tailors, including his father, who worked with Paul's uncle at a clothing manufacturer. He eventually started a company called Cotton U.S.A. where Paul learned further hands-on, inside experience.

Growing up watching his father work in tailoring, Paul felt as though he was born with a “needle and thread in his hands.” He helped his father in the factory, and as a young boy, assisted in customer service and the shipping department. From this, he gained more experience in the industry and became intrigued by the art of making clothing. His knew intuitively that a career in fashion was the path for him and decided then and there to pursue it at any cost.

When he became older, he attended FIDM and took a two-year program in apparel manufacturing. Here he learned the academic skills he needed to combine with his hands-on industrial experience to launch a career in fashion design. He took a job at Joe’s Jeans, which is a premium Los Angeles-based denim company. Here, Paul learned that he could combine the influence and teachings his father gave to him and apply them to a different type of denim business.

During the height of the recession, Paul decided to move from Joe’s Jeans to start Shade55. His inspiration came from a desire to put Americans back to work and create jobs here by basing the entire manufacturing process within the United States. He uses no imported goods, nor does he ship any work overseas when other companies are doing so. Paul knew it was fundamental to his moral fiber to “keep denim here,” and keep Shade55 American.

Thus the foundation for Shade55 was made, and Paul continued his hands-on, quality-driven, non-corporate approach to managing a denim company. He realized that women had always been the primary focus of fashion, with a de-emphasis on men, and he wanted to reverse that with Shade55. He believed that men needed their own identity, and that denim was the staple of American men, from cowboys to urban professionals.

Shade55 can be found in stores across the country. The line’s success has its roots in Paul’s experience growing up observing the apparel industry first hand, to gaining academic experience at FIDM, and combining the knowledge to create an original, unique men’s denim line that celebrates American craftsmanship. 



Alyssa Casares Holds Fall 2014 Collection Preview at FIDM SF


Last week, Alyssa Nicole designer and Alumna Alyssa Casares held her Fall 2014 collection preview on the balcony of FIDM's San Francisco campus. Her ethereal and feminine women's label was founded in 2010 with her mother Sonia Casares and has evolved into a demi-couture collection handcrafted in San Francisco and Los Angeles. 


Alyssa Nicole has been featured in Women's Wear Daily, WGSN, Refinery 29, Racked SF, Daily Candy, and Teen Vogue, among others. 

Alyssa Nicole Fall 2014 from Alyssa Casares on Vimeo.




Actress and FIDM Alumna Shandel Miranda Launches Lingerie Line Vie Amor


Name: Shandel Miranda (Vigil)   (@ShandelMiranda)

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Grad Year: 2012


Title: Founder & Designer

Tell us a little about yourself: I'm an actress, model, and designer. I have lived in LA only three years, but have been a Cali girl my whole life. I was born in San Diego, California. I chose to move to LA because I believed in order to pursue all I desire, LA would be the best fit! Plus you can't beat the weather and shopping. :)

I have always been driven and determined all throughout my life, I graduated high school a year early, received a scholarship to UNLV where I studied and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Liberal Arts in 2009, I also studied real estate and was a licensed realtor while I was attending UNLV. Upon graduating, I began to reflect on what would make me happy and what I have always been doing and desired to do and that’s when I choose to make the move and applied to FIDM. I remember the day I got accepted I felt as though the stars where aligning and I remember shedding tears of joy!

I chose to work with lingerie because I felt that it was a market where I could really have the freedom to design what I wanted without any influence and I had and continue to have many ideas on how to make the lingerie market different. (Some, I cannot talk about yet, because they are patent pending—shhh…lol.)

I also feel that lingerie is a necessity and a luxury and my brand showcases the luxurious aspect. Lingerie is often reserved for personal intimate moments and when those moments arise I want my products to make women feel confident, sexy, and beautiful, regardless of their size or imperfections, because none of us are perfect! My pieces are offered in custom sizes for every woman to showcase their greatest and most favorable assets. I also use only the best quality in fabrics, so that there is comfort you can feel in every piece and the garments will last longer.

Tell us about the lingerie brand you're launching: The brand in called VIE AMOR, which means LIFE & LOVE. I chose that name because I feel those are the principles of living and because life and love go into every uniquely designed piece.

The style aesthetic one can look to expect from the brand is French influenced vintage. Everyday elegance.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? Simply put, I don't know how I would of done it without FIDM.

Long version, FIDM has been a supportive influence in my pursuit. The teachers and staff continue to make me feel that anything is possible though dedication and hard work and putting it your 100%.

The knowledge, skill set, and connections I've learned and made are extremely vital to the fashion apparel industry.

How did you find out about FIDM? When I finally decided what I wanted to do, a good friend of mine at the time told me that her sister was a buyer for Old Navy and went to FIDM in San Francisco, and recommended I look into it. I took her advice and did my research and well you know how the rest goes...

How did you decide on your major? I originally considered the Fashion Design program, but after speaking with my advisor about my goal of having my own line and business, the Product Development program seemed to be a better fit and made more sense to me. 

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Sketching, Patternmaking, Textile science, Texting Testing, Retail Math and Costing, Sourcing, Branding, Portfolio, Illustrator, Photoshop—basically all of them!

Any advice for current FIDM Students? YES! Intern, intern, intern. Work with people who are already in the industry, gain actual experience, try to work with people who are doing what you want to do and do your best, give every job you take your 100% while you're there. Because sometimes what you give to others can come back to benefit you in ways you would never have imagined and take you places you never would have thought of. Also, don't stay in work environments that you aren't happy in, because a better, happier experience can be right around the corner and will appreciate you! Be strong, the industry can be hard, but whatever you put in you will get back and don't give up if things aren't happening fast enough for you, because it will happen, as long as you believe and work for it! That which is perceivable is achievable! Never be afraid to ask for help and stay positive! xoxo

What is your biggest goal right now? My goal is to have my products carried in stores in Los Angeles, New York, Spain, London, and Paris.

Anything else you’d like to share? The website for the line is, email me at for all special orders.



Join Us For the 5th Annual Innovative Materials Conference


The FIDM Library and Alumni Association invite you to "Recycle, Reuse, Reinvent" in celebration of the 5th annual Innovative Materials Conference, curated by FIDM Textiles & Materials Manager, Kristine Upesleja. 

When: August 18, 2014 to August 22, 2014, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Where: FIDM Los Angeles Annex, Room A 332, Standard Oil Building, 605 Olympic Blvd.

Exhibit: See the latest innovations in the textiles and materials industries along with designer Janet Hansen’s LED clothing.

Tours: Sign up classes for a tour with the Textiles & Materials department team; RSVP to

Guest Speaker: On Thursday, August 21, 2014, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., hear from Costume Designer Janet Hansen, who designs for Britney Spears, Daft Punk, and the Rockettes. Janet will discuss her LED costumes and clothing among other topics. Enjoy refreshments and network with FIDM Alumni and industry professionals. RSVP by August 19, 2014 to




Alumnus Evan Kinori Joins Handcrafted Denim Line Jack/Knife


FIDM Alumnus Evan Kinori has recently joined the handcrafted denim brand Jack/Knife. The Stylesight blog recently interviewed the clothing company's founders, who say:

"He has helped to solidify the brand’s direction and pushed our design, pattern-making and production capabilities. Through countless hours and studio-overnights, Evan has made a serious commitment to taking the ethos of Jack/Knife and harnessing our potential to become more efficient makers."




Merchandise Marketing Grad Is Merchandise Assistant in RTW Coats at Macy's (Interview)


Recent Merchandise Marketing Alumna Fernanda Umeoka has an exciting career with Macy's in New York City. We recently chatted with the Brazilian native to learn more. 

What have you been up to since graduation? I graduated from FIDM in December 2013. As soon as I was done with school, I headed home to Brazil for the holiday, and then promptly returned to the U.S. where I packed up my things in L.A. and moved to New York City the following day. The next Monday I began the Executive Development Program at

How did you begin your career at Macy's? I began my career at through the Executive Development Program (EDP), which is a eight-week training program designed to give recent graduates exposure to both the buying and planning side of the business. The program combined on-the-job and classroom training, leadership workshops, off-site experiences, and opportunities to hear from senior executives. 

What are your current responsibilities? After graduating EDP, I received my first assignment where I am currently the Merchandise Assistant in RTW Coats. My current role encompasses a broad range of responsibilities. I do everything from communicating with vendors on a day-to-day basis, getting merchandise live on the site, analyzing selling reports to attending market, creating purchase orders, and making re-order recommendations. My favorite part of this job is that every day is different. The industry is constantly changing, the product is always evolving, and we are always preparing for the following season. It’s exciting to see the entire process from beginning to end: from when you see the product at market to when it is live on the site.



Apparel Industry Management Grad's Men's Line Now at Urban Outfitters (Interview)


We recently caught up with Apparel Industry Management graduate Reggie Aguiluz to get an update on his men's line VDE.

What is new with VDE? There's been a few new things going on with VDE. We just launched with Urban Outfitters' Without Walls division, which is a hybrid of contemporary/performance wear. Our bestselling items such as "The Samurai 1.1 Jogger" and "The 3/4 Assassin Short" are available online and in the newly opened Urban Outfitters store in Herald Square New York. We're getting ready to release our new Athletic Samurai Jogger which will be available on Jack Threads this fall as well.

Are you doing the designing yourself? Yes, I've been designing everything myself. I try to keep the collections small, but unique and very dedicated to the detailing of each garment. The brand is manufactured in the U.S. from imported Japanese technical fabrics.

Where do you see the line heading in the future? I see VDE heading towards the athletic street culture. For the competitors, contenders, and challengers in the world, not just in the gym, but from the playing field to their ateliers. The line has a very unique concept mixing street, contemporary, and athletic ingredients, so I see the brand opening up a new alley within the fashion industry and having it's unique niche within the retail world in the near future.




Nick Verreos Blogging For 'Project Runway' Season 13


For the 11th season in a row, Nick Verreos is serving as an official blogger for Project Runway and Lifetime. The season 2 veteran, and Project Runway: Under the Gunn winning mentor, offers his fashion expertise and entertaining quips about the reality competition show in his weekly recaps. 

Read Nick's post on the Season 13 Premiere



Merchandise Marketing Alumna Owns Golden Bones Boutique & Salon in Austin, Texas


Along with partner Bijou Finney, Merchandise Marketing Alumna Kassi Foster owns Golden Bones Boutique & Salon in Austin, Texas, which is celebrating its second anniversary. "Our mission was and is to bring the edgier and trendier styles to the young women of Austin," Kassi explains of their one-stop-shop for fashion, hair, and makeup. "Bijou and I both grew up in El Paso, TX, and she went to school right outside of Austin. I decided to come back to Texas after attending FIDM and chose Austin because the fashion scene is really starting to grow and expand."


Kassi, who also has a bachelor's degree in sociology from Arizona State University, says that FIDM helped prepare her to run a business in numerous ways. "The buying classes helped tremendously with that aspect of the business. Also, all of the management skills I learned have definitely come into play. Trend forecasting is one of the most important skills that I learned at school, and impacts our business daily," she explains. 


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