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


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


Read more about Caitlin and the competition here



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


Fashion Design Graduate and professional figure skater Michael Kuluva is Creative Director of Tumbler and Tipsy, the L.A.-based brand that has been featured in over 100 publications and media outlets, including Vogue Italia, People, and The Today Show

Where were you born/raised? I was born in Missoula, Montana, but I was raised in Los Angeles since I was three months old. I call myself a native.

How did you first hear about FIDM? While looking into many campuses around the U.S. that focused on my passion for a Fashion Design program plus a degree, I came across FIDM since it was a local school. I really loved the contemporary, high tech campus, and that the instructors are specialized in their field from the industry so they were teaching us exactly what was happening. There were also opportunities outside the campus for students in all majors.

When did you start Tumbler & Tipsy and how did your figure skating career influence the line? I started Tumbler and Tipsy in the Fall of 2009, so it will be six years this February. My figure skating career influenced my label in so many ways, from the vibrant neon sequins to having skating stars such as Sasha Cohen, Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski, Sarah Hughes, Mirai Nagasu, Adam Rippon, and many others wearing Tumbler and Tipsy on the red carpets, sitting front row at Fashion Week, or even walking our New York Fashion Week runways. I have now gone on to design for professional figure skating tours in Europe and also for international competitive skaters.

Michael pictured on the runway with Kendall Jenner

How do you feel FIDM helped prepare you for your exciting career? I feel FIDM gave me the foundation to go anywhere in the fashion industry. Being a Creative Director, I am able to expand the Tumbler and Tipsy brand with my knowledge from FIDM, which translates into our overall brand presence, sketching or drawing the new collection digitally, style forecasting, pattern making, manufacturing, hand sewing gowns, the history of fashion plus so much more. I use the knowledge I received from FIDM in my daily life as a fashion designer.

What can we expect to see for Spring 2015? Spring/Summer 2015 is exciting this year with a lot of the women's look becoming more androgynous with trends having the more "boyish" looks. Comfortable Bermuda shorts are going to be all the rage being paired with cropped printed tank tops. Expect to see a lot of the color pink throughout the season in every designers collection plus look for the "Amazon Jungle" theme coming around this summer especially in the RTW swimwear collections.



Just Accepted Graphic Design Student Has a Master's Degree



Name: Marsadez Troupe

Age: 26

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Previous College: CSU, Fresno University of La Verne

FIDM Major: Graphic Design

FIDM Campus/Start Date: Los Angeles, CA April, 2015

Admission Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? Cathy was a tremendous help throughout my admission process. She answered all of my questions and made sure I was on track with my project and admissions materials. Also, Cathy made sure she was available (even during the holiday vacation), to give me feedback on my project. In many ways, Cathy was a great motivation as she ensured me she as there to help me through everything, even after my acceptance. She is truly a wonderful person with great insight and much inspiration.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am a young woman that continues to strive with great ambition, and to succeed in everything I do. I was always the girl to help everyone. Due to my kind nature, I was told by countless people that I should become a therapist. So shortly after I graduated from high school and began attending CSU, Fresno, where I decided to major in Psychology. Four years later, upon my graduation, I began the Marriage and Family Therapy program at the University of La Verne.

I love the therapeutic process and helping others, but I realized I was I was not in love with the career. Helping my clients through Art Therapy helped me find myself, and unleashed my passions within myself. When I received my Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy, I decided to indulge myself creativity and apply to FIDM. I felt as if I was doing something for myself for once in my life. I am the type of woman that appreciate the creativity and inspirations of life.

I enjoy reading, poetry, drawing, scrapbooking, collecting and learning about sneakers/urban street-wear, admiring fashion, enjoying music, watching movies, astronomy, outdoor activities, sports, and pretty much anything that catches my interest. In hopes that I could be someone's else inspiration, I hope I can inspire others to follow their dreams, no matter the barriers they face or the obstacles they must climb through.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment is being a young African American woman, who isn't afraid to chase my dreams. Before the age of 25, I received two degrees. Now at the age of 26, I am not afraid to further my accomplishments at FIDM.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is the perfect fit for me because it allows me to unleash my creative abilities. I will be able to accomplish all my lifelong dreams through FIDM. I can enjoy many of the majors revolving around fashion. Most of all, the energy here at FIDM is inviting, everyone here is helpful, and I am able to get hands-on experience from instructors within the industry.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project was created around a luxurious speciality retail store that I'd like to open in the near future. My project was divided into three parts: I described in great detail my luxurious specialty retail store and clientele, creating the slogan, "Mercy Me Lavish," and I created the store's catalog cover with a sleek photo of Kanye West. I also created a magazine ad of three black and white photos of Erykah Badu in Givenchy with stylish typography.

What are your career goals? I aspire to become a knowledgeable graphic designer within the fashion industry. Furthermore, I would like to possibly own my fashion line specializing in high fashion urban street-wear. Moreover, my ultimate career goal is to own my specialty retail store. I will be able to utilize my creativity in graphic designing to in-house my own graphic clothing line. To further advance my goals, I wish to also write books tailored to the sneakerhead community and to those who appreciate fashion. With my mindset, I will accomplish any goal I set for myself.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? Here at FIDM, I expect to learn how to utilize my creative abilities and apply them to the world around me.



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Transferring to FIDM From UC Irvine



Name: Michelle Aganian

Age: 19

Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA

Previous College: UC Irvine

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? Shirley was amazing at giving me all the details and information about the big journey ahead. She assured me why FIDM is the right place for me and made me feel welcome. She has made the transition so simple for me so far and I am grateful for all her help.

Tell us a bit about yourself. My favorite thing to do is travel and explore new places. In my spare time, I enjoy crafting small things out of paper, scissors, glue, etc. I also love spending time with my family and friends. My inspiration would have to be my family because my biggest goal in life is to make them proud.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? So far, I think my proudest accomplishment would have to be making the switch from UCI to FIDM. I wasn’t happy with where I was going at UCI and decided to follow my passion for design. Even though it wasn’t an easy decision, I am glad I made it.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM has exactly what I am looking for. I never thought that I would find a major that felt so right for me until I came across Visual Communications.

Describe your entrance project. For my first project, I had to create something using triangles, circles, and squares. I chose to make a lamp with a square base, a circular light bulb, and a pyramid-shaped shade. For my second project, I had to make an exterior window display. I made a display inspired by the winter season featuring cool colors (mint, blue, lilac, white, and silver), snowflakes, shopping bags, and lots of snow. For my third project, I had to make an interior store display. I decided to make a store that only sold white clothing. To spice up the plain merchandise, I made the rest of the theme bright and bold with black and white stripes and pops of neon yellow.

What are your career goals? Although I am not 100% sure what career path I would like to go down yet, I know for a fact that I want to be able to put my creativity and imagination on display while traveling the world, particularly around Europe.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn not only about my major, but also other skills that will be useful in my career and life. I hope to come out feeling confident in my abilities and my creativity.



FIDM Grad Anita Herrera Profiled on The Hundreds



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

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

Read the entire story here



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


Amanda Holub is a Bay Area native who graduated from FIDM in June of last year with a degree in Merchandise Product Development. As a student, she worked a variety of retail jobs, and also designed for a local start up where she eventually went on to do production management. The recent grad is now working at Williams-Sonoma Inc. as a Product Development Coordinator. 

Tell us about yourself: In my free time I play guitar, go on hikes, spend time with my friends, and generally try to be out and about as much as possible.

Where are you working now? I currently work for Williams-Sonoma Inc., under the Pottery Barn Kids brand as the Product Development Coordinator.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? Majoring in Product development means you learn about everything that falls under the umbrella of product development. In my current position I oversee all of the samples that come in and out, assist the various designers, make design approvals, assist technical designers, and the color specialist, among many other things. In my role, I see everything that happens in the product development department and I use the things I learned in school every day. It's a really great entry level position because I'm able to assist in every aspect of product development and also get to see the roles merchants and sourcing play as well. It's a great way to see what direction and area of product development I ultimately want to end up in. Between my education at FIDM and my experience working in the fashion industry, I feel confident in my ability to move up and thrive within the product development team.

How did you find out about FIDM? When I became interested in college, my dad mentioned it as an option for me since he knew I was interested in fashion.  

How did you decide on your major? I knew I liked to design, but I also liked the business end of things. When I went in for my first interview with the school and learned about the Product Development major, I knew it would be perfect since it was a beautiful marriage of the two things I was most interested in. 

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? The textile science classes have been invaluable to me, as well as the pre-production classes.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Any experience is good experience, even if you're going to school full-time, working part-time in retail is really valuable. Once you're looking for a job, be assertive about the position you're applying for, and if possible go through a recruiter.

What is your biggest goal right now? To win the giant pencil! In our office every month we all nominate someone for what is essentially employee of the month. Right now my goal is to win it! 



Just Accepted Beauty Student Wants to Work as a Market Research Analyst



Name: Vy Nguyen

Age: 20

Hometown: Garden Grove, CA

FIDM Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: OC/LA, July 

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? Cathy helped me step-by-step throughout the entire process. She was very sweet and patient with me whenever I had any questions, whether it be about financial aid or clarifications on my entrance project. From the initial call, she sounded very warm and welcoming. 

Tell us a bit about yourself. In my free time I love playing around with makeup and writing, and when I want to do something a little more active, I love rock climbing. Lately, I’ve been playing around with making videos and I’m planning to start a YouTube Channel soon.

What made FIDM right for you? I actually never considered FIDM as a school that I wanted to attend until a friend asked me why I wasn’t going there since I was so interested in beauty and fashion. After that, I started looking into it and realized that I wanted to be in a school that geared more towards hands-on education as well as a school that would help me in my field of interest, which is beauty.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project required me to create and design a brand and a product for a specific consumer. I came up with the brand Fine China, and the product was a Porcelain Face Primer. It was meant to cater to women ages 16+ who wanted a primer that smoothed over any acne spots or dry spots that were hard to hide with foundation because you could still see the outline of the blemish. This product would also hydrate the skin and prolong the wear of makeup. Since it smoothes over the skin to look like porcelain, it would not clog the pores, and would fight acne.

What are your career goals? My ultimate career goal is to be a market research analyst for a beauty company, or to be the head of a market research analyst company.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn how to effectively market a product and how to present a brand or a product to target audiences. I want to learn different marketing techniques, especially on social media since I believe that is currently the main source of marketing.



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


Trish Summerville, a graduate of FIDM, is nominated for the 17th Costume Designers Guild Awards for her work on Gone Girl, in the Excellence in Contemporary Film category. Trish, who is known for her work on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, most recently worked on Westworld, a sci-fi western TV series starring James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood, and Anthony Hopkins. 

The Costume Designers Guild Awards, presented by Lacoste, will take place on February 17, 2015, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. 



FIDM Style Project: Lauren Felix of La Petite Fasionista Reveals Her Must-Have Fashion Piece


Image: (Left) Fashion blogger Lauren Felix of La Petite Fashionista and her must-have bracelets.

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

 "What’s one thing in your closet that you couldn't live without?”

Fashion blogger Lauren Felix of La Petite Fashionista weighed in on the subject:

“My must-have fashion piece, is not truly one individual piece, but all of my bracelets. The 'arm party’ has become my signature look. All of my outfits are completed with a stack full of bracelets. Accessories are way too much fun to just wear one, right?”

More about Lauren

In March 2007 when Felix first started blogging, she just wanted to share her outfits. She never imagined La Petite Fashionista would become what it is today. When she started her blog, she used the site as a creative outlet to document her outfits and thoughts on fashion. As a high school student, she had the opportunity to partner with ELLEGirl magazine on a charity fashion show—an event that changed her life course. She realized at that time she would stop at nothing to have a career in the fashion industry.

As the blogging world grew, so did Felix. She majored in Fashion Merchandising at Florida State University and eventually had her fashion dream come true, going onto work for three years in the corporate retail world as a fashion merchandiser. 

From the start, the goal of La Petite Fashionista was to be "real.” It's about women coming into their own in their careers, closets, and kitchens. In 2012, Lauren launched La Petite Fashionista Magazine: a quarterly digital publication with contributors from around the country sharing their ideas on simple and healthy recipes, tours of real girls’ homes, fashion trends on a budget, DIY ideas, and interviews with women entrepreneurs. LPF Mag as she adoringly calls it, is about living and loving life—in style!

In 2014, Lauren is launching LPF Media—a sister site to share her expertise, offer her services as a social media expert and freelance social media manager. She offers a Social Media With Style Workshop to help bloggers find social media success!

Connect with Lauren





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



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


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

Learn more about Matterial Fix in this video: 




Business Management Student's Lululemon Case Study Wins Her a 2nd Scholarship


Business Management Student Brenda Torres recently won the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund award for the second time. In addition to the $5,000 award, Brenda received a trip to New York City to attend the Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

"I feel so honored to have won the YMA Fashion Scholarship for a second time," she says. "I had a great time in New York, and I was able to network with people who work at companies such as Converse, PVH, Perry Ellis, and Levi's." Brenda also got to meet with her mentor, Aaron Ledet, who is the VP for U.S. Manufacturing for VF Corporation. "I also attended the internship/career fair and I feel that hard work truly pays off; it felt so good to be a YMA Scholar again," she adds. 

In order to win the scholarship, Brenda had to take on a challenging case study. "It involved creating a new marketing strategy for Lululemon, a renovated product line, a six-month buying plan, a pricing analysis, and an advertising campaign," she explains. "I really dedicated so much time doing this. I am grateful for having Roni Miller Start introduce me to such a great opportunity."

Congratulations, Brenda!



Meet Beauty Grad and FIDM Instructor Taryn Aronson (Interview)


Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing Graduate Taryn Aronson, who is also an instructor at FIDM, has had a successful career at companies such as Too Faced Cosmetics, Mama Mio, Smashbox, and Urban Decay. Today, she works in the exciting field of social media marketing, online community building, and influencer outreach. 

How did you get into the growing field of social media? Getting into social media was a total accident. My background was in product development and marketing for beauty brands and that was my life for eight years. In 2008, was doing product development and marketing for a skincare brand that was produced by a company that housed multiple internet brands. One day a VP approached me and casually asked me if I thought it was strange that they didn't have any social media pages for any of the in-house brands. I answered that I supposed it was a bit weird, and he asked me if I wanted to take it on. 

What are you up to when not teaching at FIDM? Most recently I was the Director of Social Media and Public Relations for Josie Maran Cosmetics. Last summer I decided to strike out on my own though, and I am currently an independent consultant offering social media marketing, community building, and influencer outreach strategy to a variety of beauty, fashion, wellness, and lifestyle brands in Los Angeles. 

What is the best part of your job and why? The best part is making my own hours. I'm a night owl and always struggled with a traditional nine-to-five schedule. It's really freeing to be able to work when the mood strikes, even if its 1:00 a.m. and not worry about having to wake up early the next morning. 

What is it like teaching at your alma mater? It's such an honor. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true. I am really passionate about teaching and am so grateful to have the opportunity to give back. I know what students are up against (having been in their shoes 15 years ago) and have enjoyed a diverse career that I think allows me to give my classes a well-rounded view of what is possible post-graduation. 

Why should someone study Social Media at FIDM? FIDM is one of the first schools in the country to offer a BA in Social Media which is very exciting; I'm so thrilled to be a part of it. This program is cutting-edge and will give graduating students a unique edge as they enter this growing and constantly evolving field.



Year in Review: 26 Amazing FIDM Moments of 2014


FIDM had many exciting successes in 2014! 

1. January: FIDM Students Take 2nd in National NRF Competition

Merchandise Marketing Students Imani Steiner, Sarah Bitticks, Danny Lucero and Amanda Gebran were awarded scholarship money and a stipend to attend the National Retail Federation’s annual conference, Retails’ BIG Show in NYC as part of the NRF Foundation’s Student Challenge.

Later in the year two FIDM Students, Sarah Bitticks (Business Management) and Bailey Blakkolb (Merchandise Marketing), were selected among 25 finalists for the NRF’s Ray Greenly Scholarship, Elizabeth Poteracki (Merchandise Marketing) was selected as a recipient of the NRF’s $10,000 Next Generation Scholarship, and three FIDM Graphic Design Students were selected as winners of the NRF’s Holiday Card Contest.

2. January: FIDM's Life Lessons with Kimora Lee Simmons 

Kimora Lee Simmons is one of the most dynamic and influential businesswoman in the fashion and entertainment industries, and she came to FIDM to share her words of wisdom with our students. We shared clips from Kimora's visit to FIDM, along with free wallpaper downloads to inspire you to live in the spirit of #fabulosity. Download inspiring Kimora’s Life Lessons desktop wallpapers here.

3. February: Project Runway: Under the Gunn


Fashion royalty and FIDM Advisory Board Member Tim Gunn was spotted on the FIDM campus during the filming of Lifetime’s Project Runway: Under the Gunn series earlier this year, along with costars and fashion design mentors Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-Chee, and FIDM’s own Graduate and Spokesperson, Nick Verreos. 

Verreos, a fashion designer and red carpet commentator went on to win the competition. Read the Top 10 Reasons Why Project Runway: Under the Gunn was Filmed at FIDM here.

4. February: FIDM Museum Celebrates Hollywood’s Leading Film Costumes


Hollywood's leading costume designers celebrated the opening night of FIDM Museum's 22nd Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition, including Michael Wilkinson (American Hustle), FIDM Alumna Trish Summerville (Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Daniel Orlandi (Saving Mr. Banks) and many others. The annual exhibition features Academy® Award-nominated film costumes every year– and this year's exhibition is coming upSee more photos from last year's opening reception here.

5. March: The 2014 FIDM DEBUT Runway Show Dazzles

FIDM's Fashion Design and Theatre Costume Design Advanced Study Students debuted their collections at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California. The show included an industry collaboration with Cadillac. Named among "Southern California's Top 100 Events 2014," the FIDM DEBUT Runway Show also features incredible work by Interior Design, Digital Media, and Textile Design students. Don't miss out on this year's show in March.

6.March: FIDM + LaCoste at Costume Designers Guild Awards


FIDM Film & TV Costume Students partnered with LaCoste to design an installation at the Costume Designers Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton for which they developed tuxedo shirts for iconic movie characters.

7. March: FIDM + 5.11 Tactical

FIDM’s International Manufacturing & Product Development Students class of 2014 partnered with 5.11 Tactical, a leading apparel and gear company providing serving law enforcement, first responders, tactical operators, and recreational enthusiasts, to design product lines. Read more about FIDM's IMPD program here.

8. April: Students Grow a Red Wine Dress


FIDM Students from a variety of majors seized an opportunity to participate in a Fermented Fashion workshop with Australian scientist Gary Cass. Cass discovered a way to grow a cellulosic fabrication from fermented wine and also works extensively with DNA. He shared his processes with students on the LA campus, followed by hands-on creation and manipulation of the fermented wine fabrication in a laboratory setting. Read more here.

9. May: GUESS + FIDM


The GUESS Scholars program launched at FIDM through which two outstanding current or future FIDM Students will receive a one-year renewable scholarship every year. GUESS also hosted a GUESS + FIDM Design Contest through which Francisco Flores Jr.’s Cold-Shoulder Cropped Denim Jacket and High-Rise Side-Tie Denim Shorts designs were produced and sold on Watch our video featuring GUESS president Paul Marciano who shares the reasons why he employs FIDM Grads here.


10. June: FIDM Hosts the Founders of Juicy Couture


FIDM Alumna Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor, the founders of Juicy Couture and new label Pam & Gela, hosted a private Q&A and book signing at FIDM. The inspiring Q&A session, moderated by Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic Booth Moore, was followed by a book signing by the duo who were promoting their book, The Glitter Plan: How we Started Juicy Couture for $200 and Turned it Into a Global Brand.

Watch highlights here.

11. June: “Be unreasonable,” says NRF CEO Matt Shay to FIDM Grads


The president & CEO of the National Retail Federation Matthew Shay served as commencement speaker at FIDM’s Graduation Ceremony held at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. Quoting Bernard Shaw, Shay said to FIDM Graduates, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” 

Shay was the first person in FIDM’s history to receive an honorary degree from FIDM.

The graduation ceremony was all the buzz on social media as the #FIDMGraduation hashtag went viral, trending worldwide on Twitter. Watch highlights below. 

12. July: FIDM + Saks Fifth Avenue


FIDM Visual Communications Students designed windows at Saks Fifth Avenue’s store in Beverly Hills as part of the luxury retailer’s Student Window Design Challenge in partnership with Design:Retail magazine. 

13. July: FIDM + Zara


Zara and FIDM Merchandise Product Development Students collaborated to design imagined spring 2015 products for targeted Zara audiences. Students in Estel Hahn's Classification and Line Development class were presented their designs to Zara corporate at the end of the quarter. Read more here.

14. August: The FIDM Library Celebrates the Future of Textiles


The FIDM Library showed off the latest innovations in the textiles and materials industries for their week-long 5th Annual Innovative Materials Conference, which included a “Recycle, Reuse, Reinvent” event in collaboration with the FIDM Alumni Association where guest speaker Janet Hansen, who designs costumes for Britney Spears, Daft Punk, and the Rockettes, among others, discussed her incredible LED designs. The Textile & Materials Department in the FIDM Library, one of the largest specialized libraries in the United States, is just one of many resources available for FIDM Students.

15. September: FIDM Students Design for Olympic Snowboarders


FIDM Graphic Design and Textile Design Students developed branding concepts and apparel designs to Olympic snowboarders and siblings, Taylor and Arielle Gold.

16. September: U.S. News & World Report Recognizes FIDM


FIDM’s Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management is ranked #3 in U.S. News & World Report's “2015 Colleges with the Highest 4-Year Graduation Rates.”  Read more about our Business Management program here.

17. Summer: New Majors & Degrees Launched


Adding to FIDM's coveted Associate of Arts Degrees and Bachelor of Science in Business Management Degree options, we announced new Bachelor of Arts degrees in Design, Social Media, Digital Media, Apparel Technical Design, Professional Studies, Graphic Design, and Interior Design. Explore our Bachelor's Degrees.

18. September: FIDM Museum Exhibits 98 Emmy®-Nominated Television Costumes


FIDM Museum’s 8th annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibition featured 100 costumes from more than 20 featured television shows representing 98 Emmy® Award nominations including costumes from series like Breaking Bad, Orange is the New Black, Pretty Little Liars, American Horror Story, Castle and many more. Actors and leading costume designers turned out for the opening reception including FIDM Alumna Mandi Line (Pretty Little Liars). See all the photos here.

19. October: Project Runway: Threads & FIDM 


The latest in Lifetime's Project Runway television franchise premiered. Project Runway: Threads, which was filmed at FIDM, featured young teen and tween fashion designers competing for a package that includes a scholarship to our prestigious 3 Days of Fashion summer program for high school students. Social Ambassador and FIDM Advanced Theatre Costume Design Student Erica Williams also made an appearance.

20. October: FIDM + YES TO & Beauty Vlogger Ingrid Nilsen

FIDM San Francisco Students partnered with natural beauty brand YES TO, Inc., on a special packaging design project in partnership with YouTube sensation and beauty vlogger Ingrid Nilsen (missglamorazzi). FIDM Graphic Design Student Jenay Valencia’s design was selected for a special, limited-edition rollout of YES TO’s best-selling beauty wipes, carried by more than 20,000 stores nationwide. 


21. November: FIDM + LA Dodgers & Union Rescue Mission


FIDM Interior Design and Graphic Design Students participated in a collaboration with the LA Dodgers and Union Rescue Mission to design a learning center at the downtown Los Angeles homeless shelter. Dodger Andre Ethier donated $75,000 to the center for classroom space, computer workstations, and a library to enhance the Mission's services to the homeless.

22. December: FIDM at The White House


FIDM Alumnus Kevan Hall was among top American designers who attended The First Lady’s Reach Higher Fashion Education Workshop held in the East Room at The White House. Later that month, First Lady Michelle Obama sparkled in a piece from FIDM Alumna Monique Llhuillier’s spring 2015 collection at the annual Kennedy Center Honors gala.  

23. All Year: FIDM +Westfield Fashion Events


FIDM was involved in several elite fashion events hosted by Westfield shopping centers including: Westfield Valley Fair hosted Fashion Dujour, a luxury fashion event that included a draping competition among FIDM Advanced Fashion Design Students. The event also included a panel discussion with Marie Claire senior fashion editor Zanna Roberts Rassi, Randi Zuckerberg, Rumi Neely of Fashion Toast, Athena Calderone of Eye Swoon, and stylist Jeanann Williams.

Westfield Topanga hosted the FIDM Design Lab Live featuring five FIDM Students' red carpet gowns, draped in just two hours during the Cocktails & Couture event where FIDM Visual Communications Students also designed visual installations.


The Beverly Center’s hosted a “Show Us Your Style” event where FIDM Alumna and leading fashion blogger Chriselle Lim served on a panel discussion with Aimee Song of Song of Style, Adam Gallagher of I Am Galla and FIDM Advanced Fashion Design Students illustrated attendees in the form of fashion sketches.

Finally, San Jose-based Westfield Valley Fair Mall’s “Cocktails & Couture” event is where FIDM SF Visual Communications students built a mirrored gown installation (shown above).

24. December: FIDM Grad Named DVF Global Brand Ambassador


Fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg named FIDM Graduate Brittany Hampton as Global Brand Ambassador for DVF asnd winner of E!’s fashion-docu series House of DVF.  

25. All Year: FIDM Career Center


A few amazing facts about the FIDM Career Center in 2014, which offers placement and career development services exclusively for FIDM Students and Alumni over the course of their entire career.

  • Job Opportunities: 22,736 job leads were posted on the Career Network, a private online job postings board just for FIDM Students and Alumni  in 2014. The FIDM Career Center network includes 14,338 employers nationwide with 15,788 industry contacts. 
  • On Campus Events: The Career Center hosted 333 companies and 726 employers across our four California campuses for job development and industry meetings in 2014.
  • Academic Internships: 1,365 academic internships were vetted and approved by the Career Center and made available to eligible students in all majors. These 10 week (8 hours per week) non-paid academic internships allow students the opportunity to combine academic training with employment in fields related to their course of study.

26. December: NRF Recognizes FIDM President & Founder with “Influencer” Award 


The President and Founder of FIDM Toni Hohberg was honored to be recognized as an “Influencer” at the National Retail Federation's inaugural NRF Gala. This is the first time in the National Retail Federation's history that they have chosen a leader of an educational institution for this honor, and FIDM is incredibly proud of this distinction. FIDM Alumni are retailer leaders worldwide. They have started retail businesses and filled millions of international retail jobs. It is a deep privilege for FIDM to prepare students to take their place in the vibrant & exciting world of retailing.

It was a great year! Watch more inspiring interviews with FIDM Alumni and industry partners below:



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


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



Lilly Pulitzer Teams Up with Target

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Followers of old money brand Lilly Pulitzer (of the floral-printed shift dresses) are shocked according to Adweek about the fashion company going mass market in its latest venture with Target. The collection, launching April 19th, includes "15 lively and modern prints inspired by archival artwork across 250 items, including apparel, shoes, accessories for women and girls, home goods, and cosmetics." Prices will range from $2 to 150.



Free "Frozen" Screening Tonight Downtown LA

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Flix at Fig, the free movie event that takes place every third Wednesday of the month at the nearby mall FIG at 7th, is showing the fabulous Frozen for fanatics tonight at 6pm. As part of the DJ-hosted event, MAC cosmetics will supply a Frozen Beauty Bar. Sounds like good, cold, fun.



FIDM Students Participated in Holiday Window Display Contest at South Coast Plaza


Students from Vis Comm Grad and Instructor Alison Rudrud's classes participated in a Holiday Window Display Contest at South Coast Plaza over the holiday season. The famed shopping center was sectioned into different areas and students worked in teams to judge each section, which included stores such as Cartier, Dior, Fendi, J. Crew, Zara, Pottery Barn, and Crate & Barrel.



The students were given clipboards, pencils, judging scorecards, and maps, and were asked to judge the windows based on set criteria. FIDM Students learned more about the target South Coast Plaza customer and why some retailers  embraced the holiday spirit and why some chose a more neutral window presentation strategy.




Just Accepted Social Media Student Makes YouTube Videos



Name: Landon Ballard

Age: 17

Hometown: Mission Viejo, CA

FIDM Major: Social Media

Campus and Start Date: Orange County, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? Cathy really helped me focus on each and every step of the admissions process. Whenever I would start to worry about the big journey that is college, she would be there to answer all of my ridiculous questions and support me in deciding which major suited me best.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I have spent six years involved in middle and high school drama -- I know theater inside and out. When I am not in school or in rehearsal, I like to film YouTube videos and entertain people. They can be anything from a simple challenge video, to a vlog about my day, or simply me talking to a camera with a sincere message. I found that simply talking to a camera is the best way to clear your mind.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I am very proud of all the stage shows and musicals I have either acted in, or helped create over the years. I am also very proud of my personal YouTube channel, where I upload videos a couple times a month. I have people tell me all the time that they enjoy my videos and find them really entertaining, and that’s all I want. At the end of the day if I can make someone smile then I’m happy.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is one of the few schools in the country that has a program dedicated to Social Media; once I saw that I knew this is where I should be. My mother actually is an alumni and she suggested that I look at the new majors and since then my mind was set on FIDM.

Describe your entrance project. I put together a portfolio showing all my personal social media profiles, from Facebook to Pinterest and Twitter, including what I post and the kinds of things I like and follow. I also included a excerpt from my own personal blog.

What are your career goals? One day I hope to be a full-time YouTuber and entertainer. I want to travel the world one day and make people’s days better, and genuinely make an impact on people. I have a real passion for simply sitting and talking to a camera. Something so simple can change someone’s day in a matter of seconds.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I want to learn more about social media, and how it can used in marketing and business management. In general I want to learn how to be less shy and be more confident in public, and maybe less socially awkward.

Unnamed2YouTube star Miranda Sings with Landon



Merchandise Marketing Grad Launches Daou Denim Co.


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


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



Innovative Materials Conference Comes to San Diego February 2-7, 2015


The 5th annual Innovative Materials Conference will be held at FIDM San Diego from February 2-7, 2015. Hosted by the Library, the conference features the latest innovations in the textiles and materials industries. Visiting curator Kristine Upesleja will be on hand to discuss these unique items. 

You're invited to enjoy refreshments and hear from guest speaker and LED costume designer Janet Hansen, who has worked with Britney Spears, Daft Punk and the Rockettes, on Tuesday, February 3, 2015, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (RSVP by January 30th to 

Open to the public on February 7, 2015, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., during FIDM's Open House. FIDM Faculty may arrange class tours by contacting 



Product Development Student and Sneaker Customizer Featured in Toyota Video



Merchandise Product Development Student Devlin Braswell of F.B.C.C. (Fly Boy Couture Club) has been customizing sneakers since the 1990s. His imaginative designs and commitment to helping the homeless earned him the attention of Toyota Corolla's video series, "My Path to Success." The U.S. military veteran and father shares his love of sneakers and what drives him.

Watch the inspirational video clip here



Just Accepted Fashion Design Student Wants to Give Back



Name: Karolina Latek

Age: 19

Hometown: London, Ontario, Canada

Previous College: Colorado Mesa University

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Fall 2015 - LA Campus

Admissions Advisor: Joleen Harris

How did your advisor help with the process? Jolene was wonderful; she actually has been working with me for over a year. She is very kind, light-hearted, and extremely helpful regarding information about FIDM. 

Tell us a bit about yourself. My hobbies are sewing, dancing like a goofball, spending time with my family, best friend, and boyfriend. My interests include art, music, and activities to improve my health. My inspirations are Alexander McQueen, Monique Lhuillier, Carolina Herrera, the outdoors, and positive atmospheres.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Never giving up on life. Everyone, and I mean everyone, will have doubts about where they are in life, but you should never ever give up. Each day, do something for your neighbor, something for the world, and something for yourself. You should always feel proud about your progress each day as an individual.

What made FIDM right for you? The location, friendly vibes, and endless opportunities I see exploding from this gateway to greatness.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project was based around the idea of living out your fairytale. Fashion is something that allows a person to express themselves. Your personal fairytale may include becoming a princess, rockstar, or a doctor, but the important thing to remember is that it is your fairytale and no one else's. My entrance project tried to encompass a relation to everyone's dreams.

What are your career goals? To become a fashion designer; I would love to build a fashion empire. In addition, I vow to always, always, always give back to the community. No great soul is great alone and I feel it in my heart to give back what has been given.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn diligence in regards to working with designs, fabrics, people, connections, and self-improvement. The tools that FIDM has to offer are at my fingertips, I simply have to use them.



SF Instructor's Artful Gentleman Company Partnering With Salesforce on New Fashion App


SF Instructor Jake Wall, the designer behind Artful Gentleman, is partnering with on a fashion app that will help consumers decide what to buy at retail stores. Fashionforce uses a combination of dressing rooms with photo-sphere mirrors and 360-degree cameras, as well as fashion experts via a cloud platform, to advise the user, according to Racked SF. The official roll out will be February 9, 2015, in San Francisco. 



From the FIDM Library: Textiles & Materials Quarterly

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Winter 2015 footwear trends are bold, sensuous, earthy, and fun. Pops of red abound, providing much needed contast to pale neutrals and greys. Shades used by the old masters such as deep reds, smoked rosin, coral orange, and gold moss accentuate a painterly feel. A playful blend of color, texture, strappy and guard-like details, graphic patterns, and cut-out shapes create the tone—rich, elegant, vibrant.

A new direction encompasses distressed, scorched, mended, patched, and greasy surfaces. Leather looks rusted and battered, and fabrics with a lurex sheen dress up casual wear. Effects resembling moss, weathered finishes, and wood grain, present a tactile quality as forest and floral themes converge.

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Tactile layers of fur, suede, and embroidery create a soft effect. Heels and platforms go beyond the boundaries of fashion, and carve out sculptural silhouettes.

by Cynthia Aaron/Textiles & Materials Specialist/FIDM Library



Industrywatch: Nasty Gal Names New CEO

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Retail executive Sheree Waterson takes over the reigns of e-commerce powerhouse Nasty Gal, as the newly named CEO. Waterson was picked by founder Sophia Amoruso a year ago, following a career at Levi's, Speedo, and Lululemon. "I actually see myself as a support to Sophia," Waterson told re/code, "So we can unleash her genius. Taking over the operation of the company allows Sophia to be out connecting the brand with our customer and all the other amazing people she meets."



Martha Stewart Presents FIDM President Tonian Hohberg With NRF Foundation Award


On Sunday evening in New York City, the National Retail Federation Foundation held its first gala, celebrating imagination, inspiration, and innovation. The foundation honored FIDM Founder, President, and CEO Tonian Hohberg (pictured, third from right) by naming her to The List, which recognizes 25 people who are shaping retail's future. 

This is the first time in the NRF's history that they have chosen the leader of an educational institution for this honor, and FIDM is incredibly proud of this distinction. Martha Stewart was a presenter at the gala and handed the FIDM President her award. Ms. Hohberg's reply, when asked how to build a successful institute: “Surround yourself with the smartest team you can find, who understand the secrets of intelligent, unselfish leadership, sprinkled with a sense of humor.”

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FIDM Alumna Margarita Arriagada (pictured, below), Sephora's Chief Merchant, was also honored as a Power Player. The inaugural gala raised nearly $1.2 million to support the next generation of retail talent. Congratulations the NRF Foundation and all of the evening's honorees. 

The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association whose board of directors includes industry executives from Saks, Inc, Neiman Marcus, Crate and Barrel, The Container Store, HSNi, Ralph Lauren, and Macys. The NRF hosts annual conferences that are considered epicenters for reporting on the most cutting edge innovations in digital retailing, dynamic and strategic marketing and other key retail trends such as "Shop.Org" and "Retail's The Big Show."

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Seventh Grade Student and Aspiring Fashion Designer Rachel DeAngelis Has Her Heart Set on FIDM


Rachel DeAngelis is in seventh grade, and has already designed and created a ball gown among countless other sewing projects. Sewing since the age of seven, this young fashion designer spends 15 hours a week working in her design studio. She attends FIDM Saturday Workshops whenever possible, and would be honored to earn her four-year degree from FIDM one day. A Southern California native, Rachel has even been featured in the Malibu Surfside News. Read on to find out more about this inspiring young designer.

Tell us about your interest in fashion: My first interest in fashion started when I saw a lot of my family members sew and design. I really wanted to learn, too. I started with hand sewing to learning the basics, and then continued with classes at Joann’s Fabrics, Fashion Camp (Orange County), Sew Modern, Mood, and FIDM Saturday workshops. I now design my own fashion line. Please look at my website

Who taught you how to sew? My grandma taught me how to hand sew and use the machine. When I first started, I was too young but when I reached eight that is really when I could understand fashion and sewing.

What do you love about fashion? I love fashion because I can create my thoughts and design them.

What’s your favorite fashion trend this season? My favorite fashion trend this season is the lace in every gown. I believe that every evening gown needs poof or the right kind of embroidery. I also like the flowy, dreamy and silhouette looks. I think it is romantic and comfortable. I always favor the tool, leather, satin ,velvet, and lace, and of course sparkles!


What garment are you most proud of that you have designed and sewed? So far I don’t have an absolute favorite design of my own. I am really proud of two that I have made: my blue ballgown (with 12 yards of fabric) and my corset dress. I am starting to work on an under-the-sea dress and I hoping it will be fabulous.

How often do you sew and work on design projects? I work at my studio about 15 hours a week.

Have you ever attended any of the workshops at FIDM? I have attended several workshops at FIDM. My favorite is the trend setting workshops.

What did you learn? I learned that everything in one line has to match somehow or another. For example, the color and the way it is built.

Do you have plans to attend FIDM? Yes, I would be honored if I could attend FIDM for four years or more because my heart is set on fashion.

Do you have plans to start or join an official FIDM Fashion Club when you start high school? I am not in high school so I can’t start a Fashion Club yet.

What inspires you to pursue fashion? What inspires me the most is my great grandmother. She was a seamstress in New York.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? I can picture myself being a famous designer and designing for the celebrities. Celebrity weddings would really be the ultimate for me.

Anything else you’d like to share? Vera Wang is my favorite designer. I also like to plan weddings like David Tutera does. I really like Nick Verreos’ designs as well.



Anna Kendrick Hit the Golden Globes in Monique Lhuillier

Anna Kendrick 2015 Golden Globe Awards

The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards aired last night and among the glamorous stars to hit the red carpet was Into the Woods actress Anna Kendrick in a stunning design from FIDM Graduate Monique Lhuillier. The floor-sweeping gown featured a sleeveless V-neck and ruby crystal embellishments set against a blush background--a perfect look for a princess (or an actress who plays one).

See more of our favorite looks from last night's Golden Globe Awards on Prom Advice



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


Name: Jana Garvin

Major: Visual Communications

CompanyTandem Arbor 

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

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

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



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Is Miss Santa Barbara County USA 2015



Name: Jazzel Garcia

Age: 18

Hometown: Eastvale, CA

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

Campus and Start Date: Orange County, October 2015

Admissions Advisor: Marilyn Moore.

How did your advisor help with the process? Without her guidance I don't know what I would've done. She was always making sure I got things done, eager to help, and really came in handy throughout the steps I needed to take.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Some of my favorite hobbies are pageantry, working out, hanging out with my family and friends, and volunteering. I've competed in Miss California Teen USA twice, and from there went to a regional pageant, Miss Hispanidad International which is a multicultural beauty pageant; I won their title in 2013.

I'm so blessed and honored to say I am the new Miss Santa Barbara County USA 2015, and I'm excited for this new journey. Having family and friends supporting me is important to me. I love being around positive energy and knowing I can be myself around them. I am inspired by and admire every aspect of the fashion world and can't wait to learn so much more.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I absolutely love thinking out of the box -- sometimes we have to face our fears to know our limit. My proudest accomplishments so far have been modeling and pageantry. I've modeled for L.A. Fashion Week, was a catalog model for the designer Rochelle Carino, went to NYC for a Bridal Expo, and much more. I couldn't be any more proud of myself knowing I've done a little bit of everything.

What made FIDM right for you? I love the good vibes FIDM's campus gives off when you walk in at first. I feel like the college allows me to be creative in many ways and imagine my future the way I just want it.

Describe your entrance project. My first project was all about shapes using triangles, squares, and circles. Having such limited shapes that are given really makes you think. So I thought of street lights. and having the ability to go any way you want. In life we have so many directions we can take and I think street lights is a great example of life because you can always go whenever it's green and of course know your limits when it's red to stop.

My second project was an exterior window display. I love traveling and learning new cultures, but of course, everyone has to travel with fashion. Making a great appearance is extremely important. For my background, I had a globe and the Empire State Building from New York. New York is the place to be and hope to one day be able to have my business there. I also had three mannequins displaying modern clothing for women. Each mannequin had their unique style and there's never a right or wrong answer in fashion.

My third project was an interior display. My dream is to own my own business in the future, so I imagined what I wanted my store to look like. My theme was vintage since I love low lighting and a soft look on everything. I topped it off with a chandelier in the middle and added a big mirror with a comfy chair and in the middle I drew a big seating area where the branches would come out and hang beautiful jewelry. My mannequin had a soft pink sweater with a black belt and a short black pinned skirt that matched with her black boots.

What are your career goals? I want to have a career that feels like my lifestyle. I love styling and want to be the mastermind behind red carpets, magazines, and celebrities. I want to own my own business because I know that each day will be filled with new ideas, opportunities, and the chance to help my clients feel confident in what they are wearing.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I plan to learn how to be more open-minded and see the different perspectives in Visual Communications and develop my creativity into the career I've always wanted.



Just Accepted Jewelry Design Student Runs Her Own Jewelry, Graphic Design, and Textile Design Business



Name: Margeaux “Margo” Pawell

Age: 24

Hometown: Newport Beach, CA

Previous College/Work: I will graduate from Chapman University with a BFA in Graphic Design in May. I work for myself, for my company, Margomade. When I started the company almost a decade ago, it was solely a handmade jewelry business. It has since grown to include freelance graphic design and textile design.

FIDM Major: Jewelry Design Professional Designation

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles Campus, July 2015

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? She answered any and all of my questions about FIDM. Cathy was also extremely helpful in connecting me with one of the jewelry instructors so that I could tour the studio.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I love color, the brighter the better. You can recognize me by my bright red corduroy pants or my Barbie pink lipstick or whatever other extremely bright color I am wearing. I knit, crochet, sew, quilt, design, make jewelry, and cook to name just a few of my interests.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment so far will be graduating from Chapman University with a 3.9 GPA. My other proudest accomplishment would be fulfilling my largest Margomade jewelry order ever, which included over 298 custom bracelets and necklaces for the company Flaredown, an app for managing chronic illness. The jewelry was used to help the company raise over $33,000 for the development of the app through Indiegogo. In addition to creating jewelry for the app, I also designed their logo.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is the right school for me because it teaches both the art and the business side of jewelry. Its location right in the heart of the Jewelry District is also perfect.

Describe your entrance project. For the inspiration journal, I created a hand-stitched book that contained photos of a variety of my design projects from quilts to knit sweaters to beer packaging design. For the actual piece of jewelry, I created a wire-wrapped turquoise necklace featuring a coin as the pendant. The necklace was inspired by my time interning in London, and rosary beads.


What are your career goals? My goal is turn Margomade, and my love for color into a multi-faceted design career that involves jewelry, textiles, and graphic design. I specifically hope to design and manufacturer seasonal lines of jewelry while continuing to do freelance design work for a variety of clients. The goal is to it eventually grow Margomade to beyond just me, Margo.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? So far, my jewelry skills are all self-taught. I expect to learn the more intensive skills that I wasn’t able to learn from my bedroom floor, such as metalsmithing and lost-wax and stone setting.



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


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

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



National Retail Federation Foundation Honors FIDM President and CEO Tonian Hohberg


The National Retail Federation Foundation has named FIDM Founder, President, and CEO Tonian Hohberg to The List, which recognizes 25 people who are shaping retail's future. Her reply, when asked how to build a successful institute: “Surround yourself with the smartest team you can find, who understand the secrets of intelligent, unselfish leadership, sprinkled with a sense of humor.”

This is the first time in the NRF's history that they have honored the leader of an educational institution. FIDM is incredibly proud of this distinction.

The NRF Foundation will celebrate The List's 25 honorees at their inaugural gala on Sunday, January 11, 2015 in New York City. You may read more here



Merchandise Product Development Grads Launch Pliable Pattern Product

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

What is Pliable Pattern?

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

How did you come up with the idea?

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

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

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

What are your goals for the company?

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



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


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

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5 Footwear Sketches Created by FIDM Students


As Christian Louboutin would say, "A shoe has so much more to offer than just to walk." For all of you shoe lovers, here are 5 incredible sketches created by FIDM Footwear Design students.  

Interested in designing for a footwear brand, or launching your own shoe collection one day? Click here to move one step closer to your dream. 


Student Designer: McKenna Aldredge 


Student Designer: Kat Pollack 



Student Designer: Anthony Robert Lewis 



Student Designer: Lola Ealy 



Student Designer: Stephanie Wong 



Industrywatch: More Room for Plus-Size Fashions

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Since the average American woman wears a size 14, and apparel sales for plus-size women grew more than 5% in the last year, it's easy to understand why retailers like H & M, Forever 21, and Asos are getting into the neglected plus-size market reports the New York Times. Bolstered by bloggers like Nicolette Mason and Curvily, online retailers are picking up on the trend. One company—Eloquii—"aims to do for the plus market what Zara has done in the mainstream market: offer customers options that mimic runway trends but at prices that are lower than those in boutiques and department stores."

Study Apparel Industry Management with a degree from FIDM.



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


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

Read more on the House of DVF Blog



RSVP For Free 'Fashion Club Day at FIDM' at All Four California Campuses



Open to all high school students and Fashion Club Advisors, FIDM is offering its next Fashion Club Day at FIDM event on Presidents Day, Monday, February 16, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m.

Join us for a free day of fun and informative workshops at FIDM’s four California campuses. Lunch will be provided. You'll learn about careers and important trends in the industry, meet former Fashion Club Presidents who are now FIDM Students, and get tips on how to run an official FIDM Fashion Club.

Connect with other high school students in FIDM Fashion Clubs, find out about unique scholarship opportunities, and enjoy hands-on workshops taught by FIDM Staff. Fashion Club Members will receive credit for two meetings just by attending. Campus tours and Admissions Advisors will be available to assist prospective students.

Fashion Club Day at FIDM will be held on all four campus locations. Space is limited and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, so RSVP today. We hope to see you there! 

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FIDM Style Project: Rylee Green of Fashion Doctor Now Talks about Technology and the Fashion Industry

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Image: Fashion blogger and just-accepted FIDM Social Media Student Rylee Green of the Fashion Doctor Now.

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

"How has technology influenced the fashion industry?”

Fashion blogger and just-accepted FIDM Social Media Student Rylee Green of Fashion Doctor Now weighed in on the subject:

“To say the least, technology has entered into the fashion industry with a galactic, supernova explosion. Today, social media is truly on the cutting edge of most industries, and there’s no better way to get fashion trends before potential buyers, sellers, and up-and-coming designers,” says Green.

She also addresses the accessibility to fashion by a global audience, thanks to technology and social media.

“With the click of a computer, any fashion student or guru could reach millions in an instant,” she says. “Technology and social media allow all the necessary bells and whistles, the glitz and glamour of fashion to be seen and heard across [all] continents.”

More about Rylee

Rylee Green has been involved in the fashion industry for more than five years as an event coordinator, director, photographer, as well as make-up artist. The 24-year-old Dallas resident love creative writing, web design, social media and keeping in touch with all her friends and associates on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Connect with Rylee




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.



Trendwatch: Overalls and Yoga Pants Top Ebay 2014 Sales

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Ebay's roundup of top-selling apparel items for 2014 included overalls (530,000) and yoga pants (435,000) according to a report in Women's Wear Daily. Other trends tracked by the e-commerce site are Oscar de la Renta and Givenchy bridal wear after celebrity weddings of Amal Clooney and Kim Kardashian, tiaras (thank you, Royals), and sneaker sales (up 12% over last year, with sales totaling 1 million. 



Trendwatch: Men's Jewelry a Growth Category

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Blame it on rock 'n roll or David Beckham, but Business of Fashion reports a rise in men's jewelry sales—especially in bracelets. "Our mens's jewelry business is a key area in what has become an overarching strategy for Barneys to grow the men's accessories business," says Tom Kalenderian, Barneys Executive Vice President and General Merchandise Manager. Upscale brands Versace, Bottega Veneta, and Givenchy are already riding the trend.

The report notes that bracelets are the most acceptable way for many men, who have traditionally been limited to watches, cuff links, and wedding bands, to expand their jewelry holdings. "Bracelets piled up on wrists evoke memories of distant travels to exotic vacations. This new found comfort level for men to wear their style on their sleeve is infectious, says Kalenderian. Silver and leather are the most popular manly materials.



Trendwatch: Authenticity the Best Brand of All

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Online retailer Zady was featured in a New York Times business story on the rising appeal of authentic brands. "People love being part of an authentic brand because they aren't just buying into a logo—but also buying into a set of values," says co-founder Maxine Bedat. How does authenticity translate in the apparel world? Describing their brand's first sweater, Bedat explains: "We are making it entirely in the U.S....from the sheep farm in Oregon, to the wash house, dye house, processing and knitting." Zady then tells the stories of various heritage suppliers to market their authentic apparel.

photo credit: New York Times



Trendwatch: Bright Colors Light Up Fine Jewelry for 2015


Eye-popping color, and a lot of it, is the latest fine jewelry trend according to Women's Wear Daily. With examples from upscale jewelers like David Yurman, Kwiat, Elizabeth & James, Elisa Solomon, and Jade Jagger (pictured above), the look is a logical counterpoint to minimal black and grey apparel. Popular precious stones include: multi-colored sapphires, tsavorite, garnet, and amethyst.

Want a college degree in Jewelry Design? Check out FIDM.



FIDM Student and Career Ambassador Interning at Vera Wang (Interview)


Name: Brandie Rose Ribeiro

Major: Fashion Design

Grad Date: June 2015

How did the internship at Vera Wang come about? Maril Delly from the Career Center gave me the information to contact the manager at Vera Wang who is a graduate of FIDM. I sent the manager a detailed email along with my information. The manager from Vera Wang then contacted me and scheduled an appointment for me to interview. The initial interview was to review my resume and get to know me.

I was contacted again by the Vera Wang manager who scheduled a second interview with me, which consisted of a written exam. Lastly, I was contacted once more by the Vera Wang manager in which she scheduled a final interview with me which was an oral presentation of a pin alteration and stitch test. A week later I received a phone call stating that I was selected to be a Vera Wang intern. I am very thankful to be one of the chosen among many applicants.

What are your roles and responsibilities in the internship? My role as an intern is to assist the master seamstress and tailors in the alteration department. My assignments are to sew bra cups, baste seams in place for fittings, and bead gowns and veils. In addition, I sew bridal buttons, add bows, sew ribbons for bustles, remove and prepare zippers, and organize fabrics and supplies. Throughout my experience they have taught me special sewing techniques which I consistently apply to my school work and my own bridal orders.

How did you become a FIDM Career Ambassador? The Career Center approached me to see if I would be willing to participate and become a Career Ambassador, representing the Career Center by reaching out to FIDM students. In order to become a Career Ambassador for the Career Center at FIDM, one must have a 3.0 GPA or higher.

In addition, I had to go through an in-depth training with each Career Advisor on certain subjects that apply to one’s career journey. The training sessions prepared  my fellow ambassadors and I to reach out to all FIDM students and share with them the crucial skills necessary to succeed in our competitive industry.

What is your role as a Career Ambassador? As a Career Ambassador, I brainstorm ideas for our meetings. I research, prepare, and host meetings. Our meetings are held at the Career Center during lunch on selected scheduled Wednesdays and lunch is provided for all the attendees. Our meetings consist of activities, speeches, and sharing with FIDM Students (socials bios, networking skills, how to dress for an interview, interviewing techniques, and resume presentation and writing.)

What are your career goals? Prior to entering FIDM, my goal was to become a bridal gown designer. Upon graduating from FIDM, my five year plan is to design for Vera Wang’s bridal house and reside in the real world of business, gaining practical experience. Approximately five years later, I will brand myself as many designers do, gaining a broad perspective customer base, and will launch my own bridal line.

Over the next 10 years, I plan to work my business plan to where I am one of the top competitors in the bridal industry. Upon my name being highly established, I hope to extend my design skills into lingerie and resort wear for the honeymoon. Once I achieve these goals, I will make new goals and continue to follow my dreams.

How do you feel FIDM is preparing you for the industry? The Fashion Design program at FIDM has taught me everything it takes to brainstorm a design for a target customer, sketching on both paper and Adobe Illustration, deciding whether to drape my design or go straight to pattern-work, sourcing suitable fabric, and knowing what is appropriate for certain seasons. I'm also prepared when it come sto making the garment, doing fittings, and creating tech packs that are presentable for an interview or a prospective client.

I arrived at FIDM with amateur sewing skills, and the FIDM Fashion Design program has given me the confidence and knowledge to become a polished professional bridal gown designer. Recently I was accepted into the Bachelor of Science Business Management Program. This education will provide me the skill set to create and efficiently run a business. The program will give me the knowledge to go forth with my dream and create a well-lit path to achieving my goal and creating new goals.



Lady Gaga Is Shiseido's Face of 2015

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Lady Gaga is the face of Shiseido cosmetics' 2015 New Year's ad campaign. During this strategic sales period in Japan, 50 selfies shot by Gaga will appear in print ads all over the country in national and regional publications.

FIDM offers Associates degrees in Beauty Industry Management and Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing.

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