6 FIDM Grads Now Working at TOMS Host Exclusive Panel Discussion in Los Angeles

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Six FIDM Alumni now working at TOMS headed up an exclusive panel discussion at the TOMS headquarters in Los Angeles yesterday, and invited FIDM Students to attend. Fielding questions about how they got their start, they shared their FIDM stories as well as their TOMS stories. They also offered helpful advice about networking, LinkedIn, and keeping online personas professional and "job ready."

The grads include:

  • Erik Soto, Merchandise Product Development '04 and Business Management '12 Grad, TOMS Eyewear Merchandiser Product Developer
  • Ann Ro, Visual Communications '10 Grad, TOMS Retail Marketing Coordinator
  • Vi Pham, Jr., Visual Communications '10 Grad, TOMS Product Merchandiser
  • Derrick Alexander, Merchandise Product Development '12 Grad, TOMS Retail Coordinator
  • Francine Greco, Merchandise Marketing '10 Grad, TOMS Executive Assistant to the General Manager of the Americas
  • Salpy Talian, Graphic Design '07 Grad, TOMS Digital Designer

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Erik Soto said that during his last quarter at FIDM he saw a poster at the Career Center about TOMS visiting FIDM to interview students for their internship program. He signed up for the interview but was the 11th person out of 10 spots. One person canceled and he got in. He interviewed with Jackie (also a graduate of FIDM), and got the internship. He said at the time there were 150 people in the company, and literally one parking space. The TOMS van used to pick them up down the street with coffee waiting for them. Now, a TOMS barista meets everyone at the front door, serving lattes and cappuccinos all morning long.

Erik does product development for the TOMS eyewear division now. He develops the full line, then merchandises it. He manages all of the calendars and creates all of the line sheets. He said all of his FIDM classes have prepared him for the job he has at TOMS. He said, "Everything is very entrepreneurial at TOMS—you're building the airplane as you're flying."

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Salpy Talian graduated with her Graphic Design degree from FIDM in 2007, and worked at an advertising agency before landing her job at TOMS through a connection she made at FIDM. She actually started as a freelancer, filling in for someone on vacation. It's been three years now that she's been working on digital, creating all of their online assets: social media graphics, emails, website, landing pages, ad banners, and more.

Last year, Salpy went to Honduras on a Giving Trip. In fact, each employee qualifies to participate in these types of trips to celebrate their first year at TOMS. They help distribute shoes at schools, delivering on the TOMS mission—to help people in need. Then, every three years they are invited on additional Giving Trips.

When asked what she enjoys most about having a creative career, Salpy said, "I enjoy the freedom to create—seeing your ideas come to life."

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Francine Greco is the Executive Assistant to Craig Reingold, the GM of the Americas. She worked full-time at Guess corporate before TOMS recruited her through LinkedIn. She could not stress enough the importance of keeping LinkedIn profiles up to date at all times. Francine just got back from her first Giving Trip

"Merchandise Marketing," Francine said, "really emphasizes entrepreneurship." It was the perfect major for her, she continued, "because that's what TOMS is all about." TOMS recently added a showroom for buyer visits. Francine helped pick and coordinate the items in the room, keeping the project on budget and on time. She said what she loves the most about her job, though, is the people who work there. "Everyone gets along so well."

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Next on the panel was Derrick Alexander who graduated with his Merchandise Product Development degree in 2012. As a student at FIDM, he worked full-time at Nordstrom where he met the TOMS Eyewear rep and kept in touch through LinkedIn. The rest is history. Derrick has now opened up six TOMS pop-up stores across California as the Retail Operations Coordinator.

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Vi Pham, Jr., works in men's footwear at TOMS. She said that attending FIDM opened doors for her. She met Ann Ro at FIDM in the Visual Communications program, and they quickly became best friends taking many of their classes together. Ann landed a job at TOMS first, then Vi followed. Vi said that she loves the fact that the thoughts and opinions of employees really matter at TOMS. "It's not only a great company, it's a movement and we're all very passionate about that."

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Ann Ro actually started out working in aerospace, but decided it wasn't a fit. When she heard there was a job opening at TOMS, she jumped on it. She loved the company and wanted to work there. Then she brought on Vi. "FIDM Students help other FIDM Students out," she said. Ann works in retail marketing at TOMS, creating incentives for retail spaces to help push sell-through. She does visual merchandising, as well. "FIDM helped me to be nimble, and think on my feet."

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DEBUT Grad Samantha Sneed Featured in Rockwall Herald Banner


Advanced Fashion Design Graduate Samantha Sneed, who showed her first collection at DEBUT 2015, is profiled in her hometown paper, the Rockwall County Herald Banner. “I learned so much about sewing, and new techniques I hadn’t learned before,” she said. She describes her womenswear designs as "classic American meets modern equestrian clothing, with a fun campy twist." See her collection below:




Meet FIDM Social Ambassador Brianna Joseph


Get to know  FIDM Social Media Ambassador  Brianna Joseph, a Merchandise Marketing  Student  at our San Francisco campus. Follow Brianna on Twitter @BriannaFIDM and stay updated with her experience as a current FIDM Student.

Q&A with Brianna:

Hometown: Turlock, Ca

Describe your style: My style is kawaii, funky, edgy, and out of the box.

Currently listening to: Lana Del Rey, Mariana & The Diamonds, Candy Hearts, I Prevail, and The Animal In Me

Favorite Brands: Hot Topic (of course), Betsey Johnson, Material Girl, Adorkable Apparel, The Moon Cult, & Nikki Lipstick.

An icon who inspires you: Traci Hines; she is an actress, singer, famous within the cosplay community, and has her own line, Adorkable Apparel.

Favorite place to eat in SF: Japantown is my favorite place to eat out. There are so many great choices for food! (I have a sushi addiction).

Dream Job: To make it to Hot Topic corporate, do something in marketing or anything else creative. Perhaps even work my way up to CEO... who knows?

Best Advice for FIDM Students: Always do the best that you can do. Love and be passionate at what you do.

Your FIDM experience in three words: Crazy, stressful and rewarding. 

You know you went to FIDM when: When I was a Fashion Design major... having to carry rolls of muslin and a giant toolbox on BART during rush hour. Fun times.

More about Brianna: 

I’m currently a Merchandise Marketing major who switched over from Fashion Design. I’m a Sales Associate at Hot Topic and I absolutely love my job. I live in Fremont, CA in the east bay but I grew up in Turlock, CA in the central valley a.k.a. “cow country.” Growing up in the central valley I never quite fit in; my outfits, and style were always over-the-top and fun. I seemed to always be ahead of the current fashion trends in high school. That’s why when I found out about FIDM, I knew it was where I belonged. I am creative and a total nerd. With that being said, I’m a cosplayer. I enjoy making costumes for myself, and a dressing up at cosplays as different characters like the Little Mermaid (Ariel is my alter ego), Rose Tyler from Doctor Who, and Sailor Moon. As you can see, a lot of my inspiration comes from Disney, Anime, and other pop culture references. I do cosplay photo shoots with my amazing photographer and cousin, Alicia Martinez. I’m trying to establish myself in the cosplay community so I can build a brand of my own. This is who I am. I’m over the top, outgoing, a total nerd, but hey that’s me. Brianna. 

Connect with Brianna:

Twitter @BriannaFIDM 

More about FIDM Social Ambassadors:

The FIDM Social Ambassador program is a team of FIDM Students who blog, tweet, vlog, photograph, and discuss their first-hand FIDM experience on social media. To apply to be a member of the FIDM Social Ambassador program, click here.


Posted by Celine Gastelum



Meet FIDM Social Ambassador Elana "Lanie" Dills


Get to know FIDM Social Media Ambassador Elena "Lainie" Dills, a Merchandise Product Development Student at our San Francisco campus. Follow Elena on Twitter @Fidm_Lainie and stay updated with her experience as a FIDM student.

Q & A with Elena

Hometown: Auburn, Ca

Describe your style: My style has multiple personalities. My closet ranges from vintage inspired jumpsuits from the '70s era to leather miniskirts from the '90s, to sequin from Thailand and graphic superhero T-shirts from thrift stores. My style cannot really be put into one category.

Currently listening to: I have synesthesia so I see color in everything, especially music. Currently I am listening to music that is purple, which has a lot of emotion and movement– makes me want to dance! An artist that I am really enjoying at the moment is Childish Gambino.

Favorite Brands: My favorite brands are Chromat, Nasty Gal, Vionnet, Issey Miyake, and Agent Provocateur.

An icon who inspires you: There are so many! I have an entire binder full of magazine articles and pictures full of people who inspire me. I guess my top inspirations as far as icons go are Lady Gaga, Jane Fonda, Ellie Goulding, and Audrey Hepburn.

Favorite place to eat in SF: Thai Stick on Post Street in the Tenderloin. It has the best Thai food in the city and is pretty student-budget-friendly.

Dream Job: My dream job is doing product development in dance wear and lingerie. I would like to help make dance wear more fashionable and innovative from a technical standpoint.

Best Advice for FIDM Students: Use your resources. The Idea Center, professors, and Career Center are all there for a reason.

What is San Francisco’s best kept secret? The hole-in-the-wall restaurants are the best places you can find in the city.

Your FIDM experience in three words: Powerful, inspiring, hectic.

You know you went to FIDM when: Every day is outfit show-and-tell.

More about Elena: 

Movement has always inspired me. From an early age, I was dancing instead of walking and manipulating my clothing to allow me to twirl, cartwheel, and gallivant around my hometown of Fair Oaks, CA. I never realized that I would want to make a career out of my love for movement until my mom, an English teacher, invited me to a runway fashion show produced by students.  Watching moving art made by creative FIDM Students for the DEBUT Show was exhilarating for me and I knew that there wasn’t anything else that I would rather do. However, I also wanted to help people and was not sure if I could do both. In my interview with my Admissions Adviser, I discovered that I could do both. My dream is to help morph dance wear into a stronger fashion market category and eventually start an organization for female abuse survivors, as I am one myself.  FIDM has taught me that no matter how strange or crazy your dream may appear, there is always a way to move through things and make your own reality. Currently, I am in my fifth quarter of the Product Development major and am the Managing Editor for our student-run magazine FIDM MODE. After I graduate, I plan to work for an active wear company such as Nike or Under Armour and eventually get my Bachelor’s in Business and Nonprofit Management.

Connect with Elena:

Twitter, @FIDM_Lainie 

More about FIDM Social Ambassadors: 

The FIDM Social Ambassador program is a team of FIDM Students who blog, tweet, vlog, photograph, and discuss their first-hand FIDM experience on social media. To apply to be a member of the FIDM Social Ambassador program, click here.

Posted by Celine Gastelum 



What’s in Your FIDM Tote? Nine of Our Favorite Posts From Twitter and Instagram


All FIDM Students and Grads remember the feeling of receiving their crisp-white FIDM Tote– marking the beginning of a new chapter and initiation into the #FIDMFamily. 

FIDM Social Media challenged current students to post a photo of their FIDM tote bag essentials. Below, we compiled our top nine favorite posts from this quarter. You can also have your tote featured here by using #FIDMTote on Twitter or Instagram.

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By Celine Gastelum



Merchandise Product Development Field Trip to Childrens Clothing Manufacturer Evy of California in DTLA


Photo | FIDM Product Development Fundamentals Class at Evy of California

FIDM Students in Louise Wallace's Product Development Fundamentals class toured Evy of California on a field trip this morning, just blocks from FIDM's downtown Los Angeles campus.

Evy is a children's clothing manufacturer that licenses major brands including Disney, Sanrio, Peanuts, Angry Birds, Sean John, Ecko, and more. Their styles are sold in stores including Target, Macy's, Kmart, Dillard's, and Toys "R" Us.

The students met two of the company's technical designers who are also FIDM Grads: Cristina Mihalas (boys department) and Krystyna Nowinski (girls department). Krystyna shared with students her story of how she landed at Evy. She said she interviewed there three months before she was set to graduate from FIDM, and on the last day of finals she got the job offer! In fact, she had to leave work early on the day of graduation so she could participate in the ceremony.

Krystyna said that all of the classes she took in the Merchandise Product Development program at FIDM have been vital to her success as a technical designer. She is especially grateful for all she learned in her Illustrator classes, as well as her textile classes. She is constantly using Illustrator and working with fabric weights, fibers, and content. She said she loves being the bridge between fashion design and production. "I love details."

Louise Wallace added, "As her former instructor, I can testify to the fact that Krystyna's personal strength is her attention to detail." Which is precisely why she makes an excellent technical designer.

The students were taken on a tour of Evy's stunning design studio and sample room, for both the girls and the boys departments. They met the Sean John designer, who was reviewing Sean John samples for summer 2016.

Krystyna ended the tour with information about Evy's internship program, and she encouraged the students to apply.


Photo | Krystyna Nowinski, Evy of California Technical Designer


Photo | Sample Room, Girls Department at Evy of California



MPD Alumnus' Pladra Brand Hosts Pop-Up Shop in San Francisco's Hayes Valley


Merchandise Product Development Graduate Jeff Ladra's outdoor lifestyle brand, Pladra, has a pop-up shop in San Francisco's Hayes Valley. Located at 573 Hayes Street, the store is stocked with the brand’s signature flannel shirts for men and women, made from the world’s softest Portuguese 100% cotton flannel accented with whimsical nature prints used to face the collar and cuffs.

The pop-up shop is now through September 30, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. 



Industrywatch: H&M Offers Over $1 Million Prize in Recycling Challenge

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"No company, fast fashion or not, can continue exactly like today," said H&M Chief Executive Karl-Johan Persson, announcing the company's plans to offer an annual prize of 1 million euros for the most innovative new techniques for recycling clothes. The Swedish fast fashion retailer timed the announcement to coincide with the release of its new line of recycled jeans, underlining its commitment to sustainability. Read more.



Just Accepted Social Media Student Is the Blogger Behind Oh Lovely Rose



Name: Lauren Michelle Anderson

Age: 20

Hometown: Newport Beach, CA

FIDM Major: Social Media

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? Cathy was such a monumental help in the admissions process. Since my major is new and this is the first class of applicants for the program, it was a bit different than applying to any of the other established majors. There were no current students in the program to talk to, or any past entrance projects to use as inspiration. Cathy made those factors irrelevant with her kindness, comfort, and positivity, and made me absolutely fall in love with FIDM and my major.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I love social media. I find that I'm often on Instagram and Twitter making connections and soaking up inspiration. My blog is called Oh Lovely Rose; it's a lifestyle blog that puts a huge emphasis on living a fun and positive life. I like to think that my blog is like your virtual big sister--totally fun and easy going, but also trying to teach you important things in order to make life that much easier. I love blogging more than anything and hope to make it something I can do for a long time.

I grew up performing and in the theatre, so I will always love performing and telling stories. I believe that performing has taught me a huge amount about communicating with people. It also taught me that hard work and discipline is important even when doing creative things. I performed at Disneyland for a year and a half. I also closed my last musical for a while in May, and that was so wonderful. Though I've decided to not pursue theatre as a career, I will always love it and hope I can find the time to go back to it sometime soon.

I'm hugely inspired by color and am in a long term relationship with pastel pink. I love having fun with my personal style and accessories, and pulling inspiration from the color I find in life. I have recently picked up photography, and love taking bright and colorful photos. Instagram has been a huge source of inspiration for me, because I have been able to find like minded creatives and also have a space to showcase my favorite colors and things. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment has been starting my body positivity campaign The Role Model Movement. It started out as an idea and an Instagram account, and has turned into a huge way that people are connecting with and inspiring others just by telling their stories. Anyone can submit to the movement and be a part of it by direct messaging or emailing me with a photo and a quote on what he or she thinks makes him or her a role model. In the last two months, I have received 35 submissions from six different countries around the world. I have begun collaborations with other campaigns, as well as a mini documentary and website for the movement. I'm incredibly passionate about body positivity and stopping the constant stream of unhealthy media being fed to the younger generation. Everyone is beautiful in their own way, and we should celebrate it. 

What made FIDM right for you? I always had a dream of going to FIDM and felt a connection to the school and what it stands for. It's an incredible place with incredible people, and I'm so happy to say that I belong to the FIDM community.

Describe your entrance project. For the Social Media Program entrance project, you are asked to come up with a brand and it's ideal customer, figure out how to market that customer, write a blog post that would be featured on your brand's blog, and then advertise the blog on social media. I decided to come up with a brand called Fair + Free. The brand's main product was floral crowns, and the customer was the modern, millennial bohemian. The blog post I wrote was called "Five Ways to Wear Your Crown After Coachella", and it featured five different ways to style a floral crown in everyday life. I then marketed the post on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

What are your career goals? My dream is to be able to make my blog my career. I love blogging more than anything, and I want to work hard and watch my blog grow. I hope to build a solid team that will join me on my blogging endeavors, because I love collaboration and working with others. I also love working with brands, and hope to do that often. In addition to my blog, I want to start my own social media consulting company, geared towards entrepreneurs, bloggers, and creatives. I love helping people, and it's a huge part of the brand I have created for my blog. I want to see people succeed in their lives and their dreams. 

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn how to think creatively and strategically at FIDM. I believe that I will learn from trying things and actually experiencing and creating, rather than just being lectured at. I expect to become an expert on my major, social media, and be comfortable joining the industry and starting my own business. I expect to grow as a student and a person, and I hope to become the best version of myself at FIDM.



@FIDMCollege Instagram Takeover: Julia Blake, Founder of Pale Violet


Join @FIDMCollege on Instagram, from Tuesday–Thursday, September 1-3, as we host an exclusive Instagram takeover with Julia Blake, a Merchandise Marketing Alumna and the founder of LA-based fashion boutique Pale Violet

Instagram Takeover Details

Over the course of three days, you'll get the chance to virtually experience a day in the life of a boutique owner. Blake will curate a series of photos on FIDM's Instagram page, featuring helpful tips for aspiring fashion business owners. 

To participate in our Instagram takeover, be sure to follow @FIDMCollege and @PaleViolet on Instagram. Get to know Julia Blake below, and be sure to visit her website

About Pale Violet Boutique Owner Julia Blake

After earning her degree in Merchandise Marketing from FIDM San Diego in 2010, Blake began working for Betsey Johnson as a sales trainer in Los Angeles while simultaneously working as an assistant to celebrity stylist Douglas VanLaningham. While styling, Julia found her love for helping women look their best on a day-to-day basis. After working in various other parts of the fashion industry, including wholesale, she felt equipped in starting her own company and launched Pale Violet, an e-commerce platform for affordable, fashion-forward women's apparel. Launched in the fall of 2013, Blake's offices are based in trendy downtown Los Angeles with a team solely comprised of FIDM Students and Alumni.  



Just Accepted Social Media Student Is Consultant For DreamWorks



Name: Madison Clark

Age: 19

Hometown: Born in Berkeley, California (but went to high school in Boca Raton Florida)

FIDM Major: Social Media

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

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? My advisor was an integral component of my admissions process. She not only answered all of my questions, but she also offered helpful insight that helped me decide on my major. Shirley was always there to talk if I had any concerns, and her affable nature really made the whole process a delight.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I consider myself a collector of people, places, memories, and even things. I crave the touch of permanence in a world filled with the fickle and the fleeting. To achieve a modicum of permanence, I regularly collaborate with friends to produce YouTube videos that advocate LGBTQ+ rights, which are widely disseminated to various audiences.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? One of my proudest accomplishments is working for DreamWorks as an intern and now as a consultant. My experience there has given me the opportunity to collaborate on multiple projects and gain exposure to different company areas that focus on creative design and development. This opportunity has helped me refine valuable skills, such as teamwork, cultural competency, and creativity in my personal and professional narrative.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM’s unique Social Media major provides the perfect place to hone my current skills and gain additional insight into the world of digital media. In addition, FIDM combines education with real world experience, which will enable me to apply knowledge I have gained inside the classroom into real world scenarios.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project tested my knowledge of social media and ability to market a company successfully. The three social media platforms that I focused on were Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and my company was Reformation, whose core mission is for fashion and sustainability to coexist. I believe that one of my project’s most important elements was channeling the consumers’ engagement through using the hashtag #JointheReformation and encouraging their commitment to combining fashion with sustainability. In addition, my project also offered consumers the opportunity to interact directly with the company through various social media platforms, which encourages a two-way dialogue between the company and the customer.

What are your career goals? My goal upon graduating FIDM is to continue working in marketing, specifically marketing with social media to create a unique platform that changes the way brands connect with consumers and pitch products. I am interested in changing the way brands target consumers by creating a flexible business model that adjusts for the constantly evolving consumer. I believe that furthering my education at FIDM will be the springboard for me to make this dream a tangible reality.



Stone Cold Fox's Production Manager and Collection Rep Is FIDM Grad


Two childhood friends, designer and creative marketing director Cydney Morris and production manager and collection representative Dallas Wand, are the creative forces behind Stone Cold Fox, the popular women's brand that's takes inspiration from vintage clothing. Dallas, a Merchandise Marketing and Business Management Grad, is in charge of the label's in-house showroom and styles photo shoots as well.  



FIDM Students Attend Fashion Industry Trade Show MAGIC in Las Vegas


Top left: Brett Bushell; Group shot, left to right: Ho Sze Wah Michelle, Jose M. Hernandez, Miriam Silva Tapid, and Stephanie Crompton; Center: Amrin Stewart; Right: Chris Cortez. 

Twenty-five FIDM Students, along with Career Advisor Simona Williams, Department Chair Roni-Miller Start, and Instructor Kenneth Chang recently attended MAGIC, the fashion industry trade show (which is celebrating its 20th anniversary) that was held in Las Vegas from August 16 to 19, 2015. 

"This historical and educational convention was beyond expectation for the FIDM Students," said Simona. "We had access to all shows and seminars: Sourcing at MAGIC, Footwear Sourcing, WWD MAGIC, Project, The Tents, Project Women's, FN Platform, WSA@ Magic, PoolTradeShow, The Collective, CurveNV@Magic, and Playground."



Attorney Specializing in Apparel Law is Guest Speaker in Apparel Technical Design Bachelor's Program

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FIDM Students in Deborah Young's Textile Management class for the Apparel Technical Design Bachelor's program were treated this week to a special guest lecture from Jeff Kobulnick, a Southern California attorney who specializes in apparel law.

FIDM Instructor Deborah Young has served as an expert witness on a few of Mr. Kobulnick's cases.

Mr. Kobulnick gave an in-depth overview of the ins and outs of trademark and copyright infringement in apparel. Trade secrets and patents are two other areas of intellectual property law.

The first thing he told the students is that garments in and of themselves are not copyrightable, just the design of the textile. The life of a copyright is equal to the life of the "author" (or in this case, designer) plus 70 years after their death. For companies, it's 95 years.

A bit of advice for designers? Inspiration should be from works that the designer is sure is in the public domain. 

He went on to cover trademarks and acquired distinctiveness. An example of acquired distinctiveness is the Louboutin red sole. Everyone knows that the red sole is identifiable as a Louboutin shoe—and it has been for 20 years. Yves Saint Laurent made a red shoe with a red sole, and Louboutin sued them for it. Three years ago, the New York Court of Appeals said that Louboutin's trademark red soles were entitled to protection, except when the shoe itself is red—allowing YSL to make and sell red-soled shoes.

Mr. Kobulnick fielded numerous questions from the room of students throughout his presentation.

Before he left, he distributed a handout covering best practices for copyright protection issues, with the overall takeaway being that designers need to keep good records documenting dates and their inspiration and research. Another must? Get your designs copyrighted.

Jeffrey A. Kobulnick is a partner at Ezra Brutzkus Gubner LLP in Woodland Hills, California, and was recently published in California Apparel News.



B.S. Apparel Technical Design Students Visit Denim Sewing Contractor in Downtown LA

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Fashion Designer, FIDM Alumna and Instructor Rebecca Eliason led her students in the B.S. Apparel Technical Design Program on a fashion industry field trip yesterday morning to visit Thelma Siguenza, a prominent denim sewing contractor in downtown Los Angeles, and longtime colleague of Rebecca. The visit offered the students a firsthand look at product development.

While there, each student was assigned to find a garment in production and sketch both the front and the back of it, identifying and labeling the stitches.

Thelma toured the students through the factory floor, explaining each station and the production process. The class observed one gentleman carefully placing a pattern piece to mark precisely where the pockets will be sewn on a pair of pants.

Rebecca said, "Thelma's product is a better quality pant." Mass manufacturers would not take the time to mark the fabric in this manner. They would save time by drilling a hole into the fabric. "By using a pencil mark, it minimizes damages," Rebecca explained.

Thelma held up the pants Rebecca was referring to and said with the corduroy fabric she was using in her design, she had to employ an overlock stitch. "I can't use a lap seam here—the caballo stitch," Thelma explained.

As a sewing contractor, Thelma does product development for manufacturers. She makes the first pattern, then the production pattern. Once the orders come in from the manufacturer, she does the marking, grading, cutting, and sewing. For dying, she sends out.

Rebecca Eliason and Thelma Siguenza met in the 1980s when they were working at Jett Paris, a denim company in Los Angeles—Rebecca, a designer, and Thelma, a pattern maker. They recalled making a denim underwire bustier and cropped denim jackets. In fact, one of their Jett Paris designs became famous when it was styled on Geena Davis in the iconic 1991 film Thelma & Louise. It was a faded denim jacket with lace and pearls.

Thelma Siguenza owns her own sewing factory now. It's a vertical operation, as she also has denim label PB1930, as well as a retail space downstairs called Parker & Barrow—named after Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. The students toured the unique retail space, and visited the design room.

In the center of downtown LA's historic core, Parker & Barrow's location is supreme—next door to Urban Outfitters on Broadway between 8th and 9th Street, across the street from the Eastern Building and Acne Studios, and just a few doors down from Umami Burger and the Ace Hotel. 

PB1930 is Thelma's denim label available at Parker & Barrow, custom made for exclusive clientele by appointment only. Thelma only uses denim from Japan, Italy, and the U.S. It costs about $400 to $450 to have a pair of jeans custom made, which includes the custom pattern and fittings. After that, the pattern is kept on file at Parker & Barrow, and clients can have subsequent jeans made in the $250 range.

FIDM is known for its industry connections, and Rebecca's friendship with Thelma is a testament to that. Thelma said that her dream is to develop her vertical operation into an "incubator." She said, "I want to mentor students." She is currently looking for interns.

Read about the field trip the students in the B.S. Apparel Technical Design program participated in earlier this month.

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FIDM Designers Starring on Project Runway's 14th Season


FIDM Graduate Blake Patterson (second from left, top row), FIDM San Francisco Student Candice Cuoco (seated, center), and FIDM Instructor Jake Wall (seated to Candice's left) are on the new season of Project Runway. They are among 16 contestants vying to win the fashion competition series and show their collection at New York Fashion Week in September. Watch Project Runway Season 14 every Thursday on Lifetime, and follow @FIDM for our weekly live tweeting of each episode.



Grad Providing Pro Bono Design Services to the Ronald McDonald House


Interior designer and FIDM Grad Melinda Mandell is graciously providing pro bono design services for the Ronald McDonald House at Stanford in Palo Alto. There will be a fundraising event, Where Hope Has A Home, on August 22, 2015, at 7:00 p.m. in Los Altos to raise money to benefit the families with critically-ill children receiving care at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. 




Catching Up With Social Media Student and Vine Star Taylor Metzner (Interview)


FIDM Social Media Student and Vine star Taylor Metzler has 88,200 followers on the video sharing social network and another 60,400 followers on Instagram. We recently caught up with Taylor to learn more. 

You now have over 86K followers on Vine. How did you do it? I just was myself. I posted funny or weird videos and my friends let me be in their vines.

Who are some of your favorite Vine stars that you’ve collaborated with? Jerry Purpdrank and Anwar Jibawi--they are my best friends.

Are you working on any additional projects? Yes, I work for an app called Shots and I’m starting a YouTube channel.

What attracted you to the Social Media program at FIDM? Social Media is becoming the new way of life. This is where the most money can be made and where I can potentially make a big mark in the industry since it's so brand new. I have the chance to become a classic.

What do you look forward to learning in the Social Media program? I want to learn how to properly edit things and make a better, more efficient blog. Also, I want to learn how to talk to other companies professionally.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself rich and famous with a nice house and a French bull dog.

Any advice for aspiring social media influencers? Just be yourself. It's easy to become famous on the internet and it's easy to become a joke and flop. If you stay loyal to yourself, you’ll make it farther.



Just Accepted Social Media Student Has 23,800 Followers on Instagram



Name: Yulan Holtz

Age: 18

Hometown: Santa Rosa, California

FIDM Major: Social Media

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

Admissions Advisor: Laurel Gardner

How did your advisor help with the process? Laurel has been so helpful throughout the entire process, from the first day I began my FIDM adventure to now. She's been able to answer any questions I've had and gave me the best start to college that I ever could've asked for.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I went to Summerfield Waldorf School for 14 years. Waldorf schools really focus on art and expressing yourself so I grew up with a very creative background. There also is a circus at Summerfield and I was a participant from third grade until I graduated. I focused mainly on aerial arts such as the various versions of the trapeze while also working on tumbling, pyramids, and hand balancing. I love photography, social media, concerts, and I am a huge San Francisco Giants fan.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? One of the things that many people talk to me about is my Instagram. Over the past year, my account has really grown. I post photos that give glimpses into my life and adventures that I go on. I use either my iPhone camera or my Canon T3i. At the moment, I have approximately 23,800 followers. I'm equally proud of my documentary about social media that I created for a senior project. I interviewed around 20 people on how they viewed social media, filmed B-roll, added music, and edited and showed the documentary during my senior project speech.

What made FIDM right for you? From the moment I stepped onto the FIDM campus four years ago, I knew that FIDM was the right place for me. I've always had a huge love for fashion and the atmosphere felt great--full of opportunities and the right connections. I got the sense that I would be inspired by everyone involved at this school.

Describe your entrance project. For the Social Media major, I needed to create a business and promote it on three social media platforms. I decided to create a photography company based in San Francisco. I used Instagram, Snapchat, and I created a two-page blog post about the company using photos I had taken in the city.

What are your career goals? I have so many interests that it's hard to narrow them down into one career. I'd like to work in social media for a fashion company and travel the world, especially visiting the big cities such as New York, Paris, and London for Fashion Week. I also would love to incorporate photography, concerts, and even my love for baseball and the San Francisco Giants.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I'm very excited to learn the "behind the scenes" information about fashion and social media. I'm going to take every opportunity that comes my way and use it to learn and grow. I have no doubt that every piece of information FIDM gives me will help me achieve what I want in life.



Catching Up With FIDM Social Ambassador Kun Guo


Name: Kun Guo

Hometown: Beijing, China

Major: Fashion Design

How did you first hear about FIDM? I heard about FIDM from one of my friends who lived in L.A. so I visited the campus and I loved it.

What is it like being an International Student at FIDM? People at FIDM are friendly. There are students who come from around the whole world--it's quite fun to experience the different cultures.

What are your career goals? I hope to work and live in a place surrounded by fashion people. I'd like to have my own brand (like every fashion student wants). 

What do you enjoy about being a FIDM Social Ambassador? It is really exciting to work with FIDM Staff to help promote the college. I feel that being one of FIDM's Social Ambassador is a really important part of my life in Los Angeles.

Learn more about Kun here



Roxy Merchandising & Design Product Analyst & FIDM Valedictorian Kassandra Cassily is Guest Speaker in Premier PD Group

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Students in the Premier Product Development Group were treated this week to an amazing guest speaker, Kassandra Cassily, Merchandising & Design Product Analyst for Roxy and Quiksilver, and FIDM Valedictorian. She gave an inspiring talk about her journey from international business analyst to working in product development for one of the biggest names in the action sports fashion industry.

Kassandra, who goes by KC, came to FIDM with degrees in International Business and Chinese, which she joked was easier than earning a degree from FIDM. "FIDM has the hardest workload ever." She also added that Merchandise Product Development is "definitely the best major." It combines the business side of fashion with the creative side, which makes you incredibly marketable in the fashion industry. "You help designers, but you can speak the business."

KC has lived, interned, and worked in Germany, Luxembourg, China, India, and of course here in the U.S.—a rich background to take into the fashion industry.

In China, she worked for a snowboard shop doing PR and event planning. She was also a runway model, which as it turns out is an excellent background for understanding fit in fashion, a crucial thing to know when working in merchandise product development.

She worked as a business analyst at Morning Star, an investment analyst firm, in the U.S. before transferring to Germany, then Luxembourg where she opened an office for them. She created European Best Practices for Morning Star. She was 24 years old, managing a team of 22 people which she named, "Team Awesome." She even did presentations to her team on how to speak confidently in a foreign language. Promoted to Sales Director, she was named "Global Sales Rookie of the Year."

Morning Star asked her to move to Dubai, but she turned them down. She knew she was headed in a different direction. She decided she wanted to move to California and pursue a career in the action sports fashion industry.

After seeing a job posting to work at Burton as a product developer, she had her "checklist" in hand.

Incredibly well versed in business, there were many things on the Burton job description that she could check off, but she was lacking an education in product development and fashion. That's when she found FIDM.

In her research on fashion colleges, she discovered that FIDM had partnered with Signal Snowboards, and it piqued her interest. FIDM turned out to be the perfect fit.

While she was earning her degree from FIDM in Merchandise Product Development, she started interning at Roxy. In an odd turn of events, Roxy was participating in a mentorship for OTIS, and they asked KC to head it up. A student at FIDM was mentoring students at OTIS.

When her internship ended, there was one (and only one) position available at Roxy, and that was to be an analyst on the merchandising and design team. Her goal was to go into product development, so she hesitated applying for the position. But, it was the only position open and she knew she wanted to work there, so she applied and got it. As it turned out, six months into her position, attrition in her department created the perfect opportunity for her. She's now doing the job she wanted in the first place, and she couldn't be happier.

She said she uses all of the knowledge gained in the classes at FIDM—everything from PLM and Illustrator to fit classes and fabric identification. Added all up, her background in international business, fashion, and snowboarding—she's been a snowboard instructor in Beijing, Germany, Luxembourg and many places in the U.S.—makes her the ideal candidate to work in action sports in California. Roxy is her home, for now.

Spring 2016 in on the road—they're getting feedback about what's selling through. Summer '16 is about to hit the road for sales, as she's currently editing the line guide. And they are starting on Holiday 2016 with initial sketches.

Her overall takeaway for the students? "If you work hard and really go after diverse interests, your career will take you places." She added, "Be true to yourself. Enjoy the journey. Network."

KC is currently looking for interns. At the end of the talk, several Merchandise Product Development students in the Premier PD Group expressed interest in Roxy. With KC as their mentor, the sky's the limit.

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Just Accepted Social Media Student Is Making Her Dreams Come True at FIDM



Name: Alexis Alcala

Age: 23

Hometown: Corona, California

Major: Social Media 

Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help you through the admissions process? Shirley has been the most helpful through this whole process. I originally came to her in 2010, when I was first looking into FIDM, and from then until now, she has answered all of my questions, and been extremely patient with me.

Tell us about yourself. Ever since I can remember, I have loved everything about fashion. Most teenagers put their favorite musicians and actors on their bedroom walls--for me, it was the greatest designers and my favorite outfits at that time. As I got older my passion for it grew; I studied it, I read magazines, and I watched film. From there I was able to combine my love for writing and fashion and turn it into a fashion and lifestyle blog.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My greatest accomplishment thus far is expanding and growing my blog. It takes bravery to write about what you’re feeling, what you believe in, and put yourself out there to have people you’ve never met form an opinion of you. It’s a scary experience, but I am willing to do it because I have met some of the most interesting and talented individuals. I'm extremely dedicated to making my dreams into a reality and this blog has opened up so many doors for me.

Why FIDM? FIDM has been my dream school since I was a freshman in high school. Things happened that didn’t allow me to come straight out of high school, but I always knew that I would come at some point. There is something so beautiful about going to a school where everyone is passionate about the same thing. FIDM is perfect for me in this time in my life because it offers a major not many people know about. I’m so glad I waited until now because a few years ago the Social Media major was non-existent and now I am going to study exactly what I have always wanted.

Tell us about your entrance project. For my entrance project, I needed to pick a brand to showcase and promote on three different social media platforms. I chose the brand Tobi since I was in the middle of doing a collaboration with them. I went out to Laguna, snapped some shots showing off the beautiful top they had sent over, and from there, I linked all the places I was showcasing my post on. I chose Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.

What are your career goals? I'm a realist in the sense that I have a few career goals, in case one doesn’t work out, I have another one to fall upon. I would love to work in the fashion and social media department of a broadcasting show such as E! News. I'd also like to continue working independently on my website, by collaborating with brands I am passionate about.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I plan to learn all the tools needed to become the business woman I know I can become. I plan to to take advantage of every opportunity given to me. 



Hillary Janvrin Is Costumer on "Big Brother" (Interview)


Name: Hillary Janvrin

Major: Visual Communications

Job Title: Costumer on Big Brother 

How did you first hear about FIDM? I am from a small town in New England called Hampton, New Hampshire. I knew that I wanted to be in fashion since I was in middle school, so when it came to apply for schools I wasn't entirely sure what the best one was for fashion-related majors. I also never planned to go so far west, to California, so L.A. was never on my mind. One day my best friend mentioned FIDM to me after watching an episode of  The Hills with Lauren Conrad. So I gave it a look, and realized I loved everything about FIDM. 

What jobs have you had since graduating in 2012? I started interning right after graduation, and landed my first paid position as Set Costumer for a Lifetime movie. I went on to do more Lifetime films, and also worked on commercials for State Farm, Target, and editorials for Teen Vogue. I also costume designed some features and shorts .After two years of small low budget projects, I landed a job as Set Costumer for a show called Tim and Eric's Bedtime Stories for Adult Swim. That job got me my union days, and I was able to apply for Local 705, the Motion Picture Costumers Union. After becoming a union member, my first union job was Big Brother Season 16. From there, I went to work on shows like, Major Crimes, Angie Tribeca, NCIS: Los Angeles, School of Rock, East Los High, and now back to Big Brother Season 17.

What do you enjoy about working on the show? Big Brother is unlike any show I've worked on before. It is the only reality show I've worked on, so it is set up, and shot much differently. Since the show is live, and a real reality show, we are not allowed to interact with the house guests. So it makes shopping for them quite difficult. We do not have fittings before any show, and we usually don't know who is playing in a competition until the day of. So we have to shop multiple sizes and multiple outfits for all house guests in one week. There are usually three competitions a week, and we dress the house guests for two out of the three. Since we dress them for competitions, the outfits can be almost anything. So far this year we have put the house guests in squirrel costumes, '90s outfits, construction uniforms, and medieval attire. It is really fun for our department--lots of hands on crafts and costume making. I do most of the shopping for the show, which means my boss tells me what she wants and I go out into the world and find it for her. She lets me have a lot of input in the costumes whenever I can which makes it worthwhile.

What advice would you give someone who wants to get into costume design? The advice I would give is this: it's not glamorous. I don't get to dress up every day and look fabulous; most days I'm dressing for the outdoors, and that could be rain, dirt, and heat. It is also long hours--a typical day is 12 hours, but if the shooting is behind, you could work 20 hours. I love what I do. The actors and the production rely on you and when you can do a great job, it is the best feeling . These film and TV crews become your family and you get the opportunity to work with incredibly talented actors.



FIDM Grad Launches San Antonio Fashion Awards


San Antonio-based style maven Burgundy Woods is "probably the most stylish woman in S.A. you've never heard of," according to a recently article posted by mySA. This FIDM Grad has launched the San Antonio Fashion Awards, which will be presented on October 10, 2015, at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Burgundy wanted to recognize the city's hair, makeup, and design innovators who often work for free out of their passion for the industry.   



Interview: Hedi Slimane Likes West Coast Creativity

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Saint Laurent's media-shy Creative Director Hedi Slimane discusses the advantage of opening his design studio in Los Angeles in an in-depth interview for Yahoo Style. Great reading for couture and creativity fans.

On California as a creative home:

The shift of global creativity toward the Pacific might have happened over the last seven years. The influence of California is now at so many levels, besides the entertainment industry. In fashion, the perception towards the city seems to have changed recently in a positive way.

The city of Los Angeles was for me a perfect observatory of popular culture and inspiring sub-cultures. Not to talk about the Internet community, which transformed California, and exported its spirit and ingenuity.

On looking back at analog:

I would now rather explore an analog world, that could bypass the botoxed-digital revolution, an alternative aesthetic that feels emotional, moving and warm, slightly wrong or chaotic at times. Anything but a deadly digital flat screen world.



Join FIDM for an Exclusive Virtual Q&A at TOMS Headquarters on Aug. 27


FIDM visits TOMS HQ! On Thursday, August 27, FIDM will be hosting an online Twitter Q&A at the TOMS headquarters, featuring a panel of six FIDM Graduates who work there. Periscope users will be in for a treat as well, because the Q&A will also be live on the video streaming app. The featured panelists include:

1) Eyewear Merchandiser/Product Developer Erik Soto

2) Influencer Marketing Manager Whitney Tellache

3) Retail Marketing Coordinator Ann Ro 

4) Product Merchandiser Vi Pham Jr.

5) Retail Coordinator Derrick Alexander 

6) Executive Assistant Francine Greco

7) Digital Graphic Designer Salpy Talian

Tweetup Details

To participate in our virtual Q&A, be sure to follow @FIDM on Twitter, and submit your questions using the hashtag #FIDMatTOMS. Then, check back between 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. on August 27 to see if the TOMS panelists answer your questions!



FIDM Grad Jene Park Is Now Creative Director of Thomas Wylde



Jene Park is the new creative director at Thomas Wylde, the Los Angeles-based brand that is favored by stars such as Sienna Miller, Cameron Diaz, and Charlize Theron. Known for high-end leather jackets, silk caftans, and skull-printed scarves, the label is getting a makeover as well as a diffusion line with Park at the helm. 

Read more in the Los Angeles Times



Read Career Advice from Five Successful Film/TV Costume Designers in this FIDM Blog Exclusive


During the private opening of the FIDM Museum’s ninth annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibition, we chatted with the costume designers of Fox’s “The Mindy Project”, ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars”, AMC’s “Better Call Saul” and more, discussing topics from their humble beginnings in the industry, to the most rewarding aspects of their careers. They also provided wonderful bits of advice for aspiring costume designers. 


“Everybody can go to the store and buy Prada, but to buy Banana Republic and make it look like Prada, or to make it look like a Salvador Perez… that’s good costume design,” says Emmy-nominee and FIDM Alumnus Salvador Perez who is President of the Costume Designer's Guild, and Costume Designer for Fox’s “The Mindy Project,” Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2, and Lifetime’s TV biopic, “Liz & Dick.”

When asked how it feels to be a Primetime Emmy nominee for Fox's “The Mindy Project” this year, Perez replied by saying, “The show itself is a gift, and the Emmy nomination is the icing on the gift.”

He expressed that working with Mindy Kaling is one of the most rewarding aspects of his job. “Mindy is such a dream to work with. If you can make someone happy with clothes, what more can I do with life? It’s great,” he says. His costume designs for “The Mindy Project” are currently on display at the FIDM Museum. 


“Read magazines, Instagram… follow bloggers. Know what’s going on," says Mona May, FIDM Grad and Costume Designer for Clueless, Stuart Little 2, and Enchanted.

With this year marking the 20th anniversary for the iconic '90s film Clueless, the FIDM Grad stated that the film “still lives on." Her costumes for Lifetime’s TV biopic “Whitney” are currently on display at the FIDM Museum. 


“I don’t care what you’ve done before. I don’t care what you’ve designed. I don’t care if you have a jewelry line. I just care that you’re there with me, you trust me, and you support me, because there are many people in this business who want your job,” says Mandi Line, FIDM Grad and Costume Designer for ABC Family’s “Pretty Little Liars,” MTV’s “Faking It,” and Showtime’s “Shameless.”

In a previous interview, Line mentioned, “FIDM got my first job as an intern on a film. I owe my 'in' to them."  


“I’m always learning [about] other people’s lifestyles—how they dress in their worlds, whether they’re fishing or a molecular biologist,” says Jennifer Bryan, Costume Designer for AMC’s “Better Call Saul,” CW’s “The Vampire Diaries,” and AMC’s “Breaking Bad.”

When it comes to hiring for an assistant or intern, Bryan says she looks for people with a dedication to the craft of costume design.

“[Costume design] is not as fashion-driven as you think, it is more about character," she says. "If a candidate has a working knowledge of costume history, it’s a plus.” Her costumes for AMC’s “Better Call Saul” are currently on display at the FIDM Museum. 


“No one [in costume design] is where they are without good people behind them," says Lisa Padovani, Costume Designer for Fox’s “Gotham.”

Padovani's first big job in costume design was as an assistant for feature film Quiz Show. She has since worked her designer magic for many major movies and television shows, including HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and Shutter Island. The most important lesson that she gained from her beginnings as a costume designer was “to not be afraid.” Her costumes for Fox’s “Gotham” are currently on display at the FIDM Museum.

More than 100 costumes from more than 20 shows, including Marvel’s “Agent Carter” and CW’s “Reign”, are on display through September 26, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, at the FIDM Museum. Admission is free to the public. Read Variety's recap of the exhibition first-look.



Students Earning Their B.S. in Apparel Technical Design Participate in Field Trip To Local Sewing Contractor

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Photo | FIDM Student Elisa Ho

Students earning their B.S. in Apparel Technical Design, participated in a field trip to a sewing contractor in Downtown Los Angeles yesterday as part of their MPDV 3100 class. FIDM Instructor Rebecca Eliason chose that particular contractor, Siroos Yasmeh, because she wanted her students to get a first-hand look at woven garment construction at a small sewing production facility.

The students who participated in the field trip were: Anna Mendieta, Sofia Villarroel, Xzavia Brady, Jaclyn Prophet, Elisa Ho, and Jinju Bok, most of whom earned their PD degree in June of this year.

During their visit, the students were asked to select a garment and create a technical flat sketch of the front and back of the garment, as well as identify the fabric, trim, and any construction call-outs including all stitches and seams.

As recent graduates of the Merchandise Product Development program at FIDM, they are well versed in garment construction and were able to accurately identify terms such as lapped, superimposed, and welt seams, as well as single needle top stitches, release tucks, and edge finishes.

FIDM Student Jaclyn Prophet picked up a white long-sleeve button up shirt. She said it was made from 13 different pattern pieces, had lapped seams, a stand-up collar, and an edge finish at the bottom. Elisa Ho identified the piece she selected as constructed from cotton batiste, with single needle top stitches, a mandarin collar, and release tucks.

The next field trip is scheduled for two weeks from now where students will be visiting a denim production house in Los Angeles.

MPDV 3100 Garment Construction & Analysis (Course Description): In this course, students gain valuable experience in identifying and evaluating the apparel construction techniques, fabric selection strategies, and mass production processes and pricing used in developing garment prototypes. In visits to local production sites, they match construction, stitch, and style details to appropriate manufacturing facilities and machinery capabilities. By comparing innovative practices and garments from like brands, they acquire the ability to establish construction standards for a wide variety of product categories and price points.

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Photo | FIDM Student Jaclyn Prophet

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Photo | FIDM Students Sofia Villarroel and Xzavia Brady

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Photo | FIDM Student Elisa Ho



FIDM Grad Teams Up to Launch Revolutionary Sunglass Company Covry Sunwear


Tired of sunglasses that didn't correctly fit their faces because of higher cheekbones and narrower nose bridges, former high school classmates Florence Shin and Athina Wang are revolutionizing the sunglass market with Covry Sunwear

"We have always struggled to find sunglasses that fit us well," Shin told NBC News, "They would slide down the nose or rest on our cheeks, which made them very uncomfortable to wear. We decided to start this company when we realized that we weren't the only ones that had this problem." Wang, a graduate of FIDM, told NBC News, "is made up of longer nose pads, a narrowed nose bridge and a reduced frame curvature, and is designed for anyone that has a lower nose bridge and higher cheekbones."


Instead of using the more common industry term, "Asian Fit," Wang explained that "these features are common for people of Asian ethnicities, but we found that people of all backgrounds can share this problem."



FIDM IG Takeover: PAM & GELA


Join FIDM on Instagram, from Wednesday, August 19 – Friday, August 21, as we host an exclusive Instagram takeover with Gela Nash-Taylor and FIDM Grad Pamela Skaist-Levy, the founders of Juicy Couture and PAM & GELA.

Instagram Takeover Details

Over the course of three days, you will get the chance to go behind the scenes of fashion empire PAM & GELA. The dynamic duo has curated a series of photos for FIDM’s Instagram page, featuring fun facts about the fashion moguls, as well as valuable advice to carry you through life and business. Pam & Gela will also answer questions from our audience during the takeover, in a live Q&A on @FIDMCollege’s Instagram.

To participate in our Instagram takeover, be sure to follow @FIDMCollege and @PamandGela on Instagram. Get to know Pam & Gela below, and check out their website.

About Fashion Moguls Pam & Gela

Pamela Skaist-Levy was born in Los Angeles, CA, and grew up a “skateboarding Valley girl” in Encino. She is a graduate of the FIDM and a former costume designer.

Skaist-Levy and her business partner of over 15 years, Gela Nash-Taylor, were the maximalist masterminds behind the extraordinary Juicy Couture brand. They created an unapologetic world where “more” was fun. Their unique take on everyday luxury and irreverent fashion expression served as an inspiration to a whole new generation of young designers and paved the gilded way for progressive, up and coming ready-to-wear brands. Now, they are back for seconds with their new brand PAM & GELA, which brings back their unique take on casual luxury. 



Product Development Grad Cristina Mihalas is Now Technical Designer at Evy of California


Cristina Mihalas graduated in 2009 with a degree in Merchandise Product Development. She's now a production technical designer at Evy of California, Inc., a company that specializes in boys and girls apparel. Earlier this year, Evy opened their first retail location, Super Charged, just two blocks from FIDM's Los Angeles campus.

Tell us a little about yourself: Born in Timisoara, Romania, I am the youngest of six kids. When I was three years old, my family moved to Salzburg, Austria. In 1996, we made the big move to California, which is where my family has been based out of ever since. I have siblings all over the place now—New York, Arizona, California—so I am traveling as much as I can to see them and their children. I have a major travel bug and love to explore new places; I am rarely ever home on the weekend! I am currently planning my wedding and will be married in less than three months.

Where are you working now and what do you do? I work for Evy of California, as a production technical designer for the boys department. 

How did you find out about FIDM? I was working for Nordstrom and I had been very curious about the “other end” of fashion. So, I started doing research and found that I could learn and work on the production and manufacturing side, but needed to get the proper education and training first. One of the division managers at Nordstrom told me about FIDM in San Francisco, and I dove in head-first and moved to San Francisco a few weeks later, after I had been accepted into FIDM.

How did you decide on your major? I initially enrolled as a Merchandise Marketing student, but within four weeks I asked to change to Product Development as I felt that I needed something that had a little bit of a creative outlet. 

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? The sewing classes, pattern classes and the Illustrator classes are some that I still think of when I am working. If it wasn’t for the sewing classes, I wouldn’t know all the different stitches and seams. I really enjoyed the pattern drafting classes because it set up my understanding for garment construction alongside the different seams/stitches. And of course the Illustrator classes because I now use Illustrator on a daily basis.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? If you don’t find a great job right away after graduation, don’t give up. The best advice I can give it to get your feet a little wet. Any experience is good experience. If someone is offering you a job that isn’t the exact position you want, don’t pass it up. 

What is your biggest goal right now? Besides finishing my wedding planning, my goal is to continue to grow with Evy of California, and one day have my own technical design department that I manage.



Society Fashion Designer Arnold Scaasi Dies

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Arnold Scaasi, designer to New York and Washington high society, and Hollywood royalty, died in New York at 85. Known for his love of bright colors, ruffles, bows, and beads, he told the New York Times: "Clothes with some adornment are more interesting to look at and more fun to wear." Among his famous looks was the sheer, beaded, bell-bottomed pants suit Barbra Streisand wore to the 1969 Academy Awards and Barbara Bush's blue, puff-sleeved inaugural ball gown in 1989.



Student Spotlight: Tomy Huang, Advanced Fashion Design


Name: Yongjian Huang (Tomy)

Major: Advanced Fashion Design

How are classes going? Taking classes here at FIDM is a joyful experience--I'm learning something useful and inspiring. All the courses covered many skills and techniques that could help students quickly enter into the world of fashion and design. I love taking classes at here and learned so much in most of the classes and could easily use them in work.

Why did you choose FIDM? The reason I chose FIDM is not only because it combined both design and business courses together, but also because DEBUT can help me to learn so much and provides me a stage in front of the industry and market. I would like to debut my design and spirit through the DEBUT stage. 

What are your career goals? My career goal is to establish one fashion business that could not only function as a professional business, but also provide great and never before seen visual design for costumes.

If you could give advice to future FIDM students what would it be? To succeed at FIDM means to succeed in your future job and the industry. However, success at FIDM is not easy at all. Don't be late or lazy, and always keep looking for the new ideas.

What's your proudest accomplishment since starting FIDM? My proudest accomplishment while attending FIDM is that I challenged myself to make it into DEBUT for 2016. As an international student who came from China, I was not born speaking English. Therefore, the courses, especially the business and marketing courses, are a challenge for me. I took seven classes in one quarter to be able to finish all the required courses for DEBUT and studied very hard to improve my language. It was a challenge, but I have learned a lot, and finally made it and joined the best student team among all fashion design students.



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Coming to FIDM OC From Australia



Name: Leia Holford

Age: 18

Hometown: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, Summer 2016

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? To be completely honest, I was so nervous when I first visited FIDM because I wanted to make a really good impression. Susan made the entire process, easy and fun. She was very informative on FIDM, its degrees, the expectations, and study requirements, along with determining what degree was right for me. Susan showed me the facility and worked closely with me on the admission process. She has been an incredible help and support for me. 

Tell us a bit about yourself. I have always had an interest in fashion, as it is a huge part of today’s culture. It is expressed through everyday life and what inspires fashion-conscious people. I love to read about fashion, and watch runway shows and red carpet events. I also love visiting the shops with friends and checking out all the latest trends. I also love playing different sports and snow skiing. My other interests include volunteering, as I love giving a helping hand to others. I have also been involved in "creative crew," which is a support team for a musical theatre production, including set design and fabrication.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment so far would have to be getting accepted into FIDM. This was a dream of mine and to be accepted when I haven’t graduated from high school is amazing for me.

What made FIDM right for you? From the day I started researching colleges, I knew that FIDM was the one. I just thought it was incredible with what it had to offer especially being very specific to my chosen major. I found that FIDM also has a vast variety of resources that will assist in the learning process. Another element is the job opportunities and internships available. While the education side is pivotal, having experience in the workforce itself is important. I had various options of where I could go to college and I decided to choose the USA, as I believe this is the best fit for a degree in this industry. I have visited Southern California multiple times and have a great attraction to the area.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project, I had to come up with five different outfits, for five different occasions. Coming from Australia, I wanted to highlight the lifestyles as I am inspired by Australia’s sparkling beaches, mountains, and untouched vastness, which are a considerable distance from the rest of the world to maintain its unique identity. The store’s clothing items are very versatile as you can be sitting on a beach and within an hour you can be in a trendy restaurant in the city. I wanted my store to capture this spirit with clothing that people can buy that is easy to wear and able to transform into something more casual or upmarket. I included bright colours with whimsical detail, while not disregarding streamlined essential standout shades.

What are your career goals? A future career goal would have to be to own my own clothing store, or work as a buyer or stylist.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn the ins and outs of fashion first hand. I have no doubt that FIDM will teach me the essentials and give me experience in the fashion industry, providing me with numerous opportunities and resources in such a dynamic and evolving industry.



FIDM Grad Chelsie Kadota Launches Swimwear Label S.I.E SWIM

Chelsie Kadota

Chelsie Kadota graduated from FIDM in 2011 with her Product Development Professional Designation degree. She recently launched her own swimwear label S.I.E SWIM which she intends to grow into an international lifestyle brand.

Tell us a little about yourself: Before FIDM, I had a B.A. double major in Business Management and Marketing while on a basketball scholarship. I was the total opposite of a typical "jock," and after I earned my undergraduate degrees, I knew I wanted to go to FIDM to major in Product Development—to further my knowledge and experiences in the industry. I recently launched my own swim lifestyle brand called S.I.E SWIM online.  It has been a labor of love for a year in the making and I do everything from the designing to the accounting.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM opened my world to the many facets of the fashion industry and introduced me to connections that I am still in contact with today.

How did you decide on your major? After reading through all the descriptions of the majors, I knew Product Development was the perfect fit because it encompassed the skills needed to own a fashion business.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Throw yourself into the experience and gain all the knowledge and connections from FIDM. It is a very awesome opportunity that shouldn't be taken for granted.

What is your biggest goal right now? To build my brand into a international lifestyle brand.

Anything else you’d like to share? I'm thankful for all the people and teachers I met at FIDM and wish everyone well.



Product Development Grad Gabrielle Santiago Has Wallpaper Line and Licensing Deals in the Works

Gabrielle Santiago

In two short years, Gabrielle Santiago went from FIDM graduation to interning for celebrity interior designer Nate Berkus to opening her eponymous design firm where she has licensing deals in the works, along with a wallpaper line in pre-development. Read on to learn more about this inspiring recent grad.

Tell us a little about yourself: Where to start. Ok—I am a poster child for walking into corners, designer of all things style, writer, and valid number one fan of Ella Fitzgerald Pandora. I have spent a decade devoting myself to the world of design. As a Merchandise Product Development graduate, I spent my college years designing footwear in Los Angeles. In 2014, I moved to Chicago to work alongside celebrity designer Nate Berkus, as a studio design intern. It was at that moment when I realized my love for interior design. I moved back to LA and began working for HGTV's Lonni Paul as an art director. At age 23, I launched Gabrielle Santiago Design and have since been working toward my dream of becoming a well known designer under my own name!

What are you working on? I am the principal designer at Gabrielle Santiago Design. I have multiple projects going on at the moment. A few celebrity interior design projects, licensing deals, and of course my wallpaper line that is currently in pre-development.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM has continued to help me in all aspects of my career. I still find myself picking up some of my old college books to find answers or inspiration. I think the main thing FIDM taught me is that every day is a challenge, but it's how you prepare for it that sets you apart from the crowd.

How did you find out about FIDM? I originally had it set in my mind that I was going to FIT. I did pre-college courses there and considering I was from the east coast, it just made sense. I thought I would just give another place a chance, so I flew out to LA with my parents to see FIDM because my guidance counselor in high school suggested it. As soon as I arrived, it was a done deal. I knew it was the school for me.

How did you decide on your major? This is such a funny story. I actually originally applied for Fashion Design and my admissions advisor strongly encouraged me to look into Product Development. I wasn't very keen on hand sketching or sewing, so I looked into his advice. I am so glad I decided to listen considering now I am producing things for the home decor and interior design industry rather than apparel.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? There are so many classes that have aided me on my career path. I remember when I took the fabric identification class I dreaded going every week, but I'm so glad I did. This class continues to get me discounts at the local fabric mart. I always negotiate the price down due to quality recognition. I know what they're selling me and that terrifies them!

Any advice for current FIDM Students? I have endless amounts of advice! When interviewing for a position, don't make the interview all about you. Employers love when you ask questions! If you break down those walls and get personal with your interviewer (even for a split second) they will find it easier to relate to you. People want to work with people they genuinely like. I'm sure you have a great personality. Don't be afraid to flaunt it.

Also, when starting out in the industry it's okay to accept a job that isn't your overall dream job. Everyone starts somewhere. We all run for coffee and fax paperwork at some point in our lives. It's your attitude when you do it that sets you apart from everyone else. If you finish an internship and somehow a job opens up, you want your employer to remember your happy face and think, "Hey, what about that girl who was always smiling while running for coffee. Let's give her a shot."

What is your biggest goal right now? Find time for a vacation! Ha! A girl can dream right? In all seriousness, the main goal right now is to maintain balance. I currently have multiple projects in full action and it's hard to remember to attempt a personal life sometimes. It's important to take a breather and remember to be successful in all things life. Not just the career. I try to say that to myself everyday.

Anything else you’d like to share? I want everyone to know that it is possible to reach your dreams, but only if you put the work in to make it possible. Feel free to follow me on social media @gabriellesantiagodesign and check out my website at as I continue to carve out my path in the design industry. 



Catching Up With Married FIDM Grads Eiman Hamza and Michael Scarpellini


In the past, we've told you about married FIDM Graduates Eiman Hamza and Michael Scarpellini, who are partners in the My Closet chain of boutiques and the brand, Happiness. We recently caught up with the globetrotting duo, who are based in Italy, to learn about their expanding business and family.

What is new with Happiness and your retail stores?

Michael: Since we started our brand Happiness in 2007, we have added a lot of variety to our product line, which was known for its t-shirts and sweatpants. Now we have dresses, ponchos, shorts, parkas, swimwear, and a full kids collection. We just opened our first kids store in Rimini, Italy and now have 8 mono brand retail stores in Italy and Spain, which we are very excited about. Everything from the design to the product inside the store was developed by us--it was a lot of hard work, but we are so happy with the results.

Eiman: We’ve given jobs to more than 300 people and out of anything we’ve ever done since we started Happiness, this for me is the most rewarding. Everyone who works with us lives and breathes Happiness. We have all found a family and happiness in each other. I find us to be very lucky to be surrounded by such creative and powerful individuals who inspire us each and every day.

How has life changed now that you have a baby? 

Eiman: Life feels more complete now. We opened up our dream stores, the brand is retailed in some of the top 3,000 stores worldwide, and we are happily married, but there was always something missing. At the end of the day we were still empty until Zeyd came along and filled that emptiness with absolute chaos. He is so funny and crazy; he makes life have meaning and is the truest purest form of happiness in our lives. He inspires us and motivates us more than anyone can imagine.

Michael: Eiman doesn’t want a nanny so working and the traveling that comes along with work is always done with Zeyd by our side and that is not easy. Somehow we manage to make it work but its crazy.

Where do you see the future of your brand and retail stores going?

Eiman: We have plans to open stores in Tokyo and New York in the next year and I am beyond excited about that. I see us continuing to spread Happiness worldwide.

Michael: The future for Happiness is opening several direct stores plus growth in distribution and offering a wider variety in product.





What To Do In LA LA Land: Fun August Events


In August, summer takes its last breath, but not before a whole lot of fun! If you missed the Harajuku fashion walk in Little Tokyo last weekend, don’t despair. KCON USA, the Korean Pop convention, promises to bring you “All Things Hallyu” ( meaning S. Korean cultural fever) with concerts, dance classes, panels, and amazing fashion. From Friday August 31- Sunday September 2nd, learn to be YouTube famous, hear Korean beauty secrets, and see you favorite K Pop stars and actors. Vendors will be slinging Seoul’s cutest fashions and Korean street food. The fun starts this week downtown at the Staples Center. Tickets are a bit pricey, so be sure to pick the day with the activities you are into the most.  

Korean Beauty Products

If the convention isn't your thing, but you have been meaning to try out some new beauty products, then look no further: Refinery 29 has created the Ultimate Guide to Shopping for Korean Beauty Products in L.A. With this map, you will know exactly where to go to get that natural cleanser ampoules serum (all the rage in Korea), glamorous night cream, and face masks.

Unique craft fair

Who doesn't love a good craft fair, especially one that pledges to bring you one-of-a-kind design, fashion and art? Unique Craft Fair brags more than 350 hand-picked vendors and artists that include artisan clothing from BATHKE, jewelry by Bashful Owl and art prints from Annie Free. To top it all off, DIY craft workshops projects will be going on all weekend long. The fair runs Saturday August 8 2015 - Sunday August 9at the California Market Center in downtown. Tickets are $10 per day and include free drinks and snacks.

Blitz the Amassador

If you love world music, then this is your month! This Saturday, August 1, Ghanaian-born activist/ Afro-Roots musician Rocky Dawuni will be holding it down at Grand Performances with Ghanian/ Brooklyn hip-hop master Blitz the Ambassador. The Grand Performances stage is located in downtown at the California Plaza and as usual, this concert is free! 

Sister Nancy

On Thursday, August 13, dance hall queen Sister Nancy will perform for free at the Santa Monica Pier as part of the free Twilight Concert Series. You can’t miss this chance to hear Reggae’s finest, against the ocean sunset no less! 

Sizzling Summer Nights

The Gene Autry Museum’s Sizzling Summer Nights concert series offers live Salsa and Latin fusion bands (and tons of dancing) every Thursday evening from 6:30-9 pm.  Bust out the moves with free dance classes from award winning instructors and chow down at the taco bar. Museum galleries will be open for view until 8 pm. Tickets are free for Autry members and $6 for students.

LA's best food trucks

In this city, we pride ourselves on our street food. So why not go to the best? Now you have a cheat sheet; Refinery 29 has rated the best 5 food trucks in L.A.  


Attention vintage fanatics and retro lovers, this weekend is the month for you! The Way We Wore, one of L.A’s most prized vintage havens,  is having a month long blowout sale. Bargains begin with 50% off everything on the first floor. Expect to find treasures from eras past as well as designer brands. The sale begins on Saturday July, August first and runs all month. 

Corita kent 1

Someday is definitely now to see the inspiring art of Corita Kent. She was rebel nun activist who promoted social justice through her pop art. Kent originally taught art in Los Angeles at Immaculate Heart College (now IH High School) in Los Feliz, but left the religious order after her feminist, pro-civil rights and pacifist options were deemed too threatening for the Catholic Church.  Kent continued her life as an artist until her death in 1986. Humor and grace proliferate her brightly colored work and the hopeful messages they espouse are just as relevant today as in the 1960’s. Don't miss “Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent” at Pasadena Museum of California Art. The show runs until November 1. 



Attend the FIDM Museum's Free #4for400 Launch Party to Help Save 400 Years of Fashion History


Support the FIDM Museum in #4for400, our social media fundraising campaign to acquire the Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection, by attending a free launch party on Tuesday, August 4 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the FIDM Museum in Los Angeles. 

This remarkable collection of 1,400 rare objects represents 400 years of fashion history, and would serve as a one-of-a-kind cultural treasure for our communities--an inspirational and educational tool for generations to come.

Help Save 400 Years of Fashion:

*Donate $4, $40, $400, $4,000 (or any amount) by texting MUSEUM to 243725

*Share the message on Twitter (suggested Tweet: $4 could save 400 years of fashion history. Join @FIDMMuseum in their campaign!

*Attend our free #4for400 Launch Party on August 4. Enjoy food, music, raffles, and tours

*Follow the FIDM Museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates

*Share, Like, Re-Gram, and Re-Tweet #4for400 posts from the FIDM Museum

*Create original #4for400 posts on your social media platforms

*Ask your favorite celebrities and fashion industry personalities to support #4for400

Learn more at the FIDM Museum Blog. Thank you! 




Just Accepted Graphic Design Student Transferring From Orange Coast College



Name: Courtney Glowacz

Age: 20

Hometown: I grew up in Trabuco Canyon, CA and now reside in Huntington Beach.

Previous college/work: I started working at 16, after I left high school early with the CHSPE, which is an equivalent to the GED. I was an assistant manager at a retail clothing store and an intern at a record label by the time I was 17. During my internship, I was able to work with all departments but always favored working with the Creative Director. I attended Orange Coast College for one semester before deciding I wanted to go to a more focused school.

FIDM MajorGraphic Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, October 2015

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? From the get go I connected with Susan. She was so fun to work with and I never left with any questions unanswered. She's very upfront which I found was so comforting. I was nervous about the entrance project but she even got me to use Photoshop after not using it for years. I plan on staying connected with her even after my time at FIDM.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I didn't always know I wanted to study Graphic Design. It dawned on me a few months ago because I've always loved making websites, designing logos, and other aspects of design. I love playing music (bass and guitar), taking photos, and exploring new places. I'm vegan, so finding new places to eat at is always fun too. One of my absolutely favorite things is going to concerts and shows.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment so far is how I have never let anything get in the way of my dreams. When I want something, I go out and do anything it takes to get it. When I was 15, I had my dad driving me around to interview different bands in LA and OC for my music blog. When I was 17, I was working backstage at concerts and the youngest intern at the record label. At work, I've always been put into managing positions even though I'm usually younger than everyone on staff. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that I never let age or inexperience deter me. I take pride in being a hard worker and giving it my all.

What made FIDM right for you? The first thing I did when I realized I wanted to go to school to study Graphic Design was to contact any designers or creative directors I knew. They all suggested going to a more major-focused school which is one of my favorite things about FIDM. Location is another thing for me. Being in the heart of LA gives you constant inspiration and opportunities. The last thing is that I love being around other people following their dreams. It's so motivating which I why I'm so excited to get to know everyone at FIDM. If you see me on campus this October come say hi.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project was to design a logo, magazine ad, bags to use in stores, and a catalog cover for a company I could make up or for one that already exists. I decided to create a company called World Classic, which was vegan, eco-friendly apparel that donated a portion of their proceeds to a different foundation or charity each month to promote global awareness. I also had to describe the target demographic and come up with a slogan which was 'Thank you for saving the planet." It was so much fun doing this project.

What are your career goals? My long term career goal is to become a creative/art director for a record label or magazine.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I plan to learn so much, from real world experience to being well educated in computer programs I'll use in my career. With all the opportunities FIDM provides us the sky is truly the limit.



From the FIDM Library: Summer 2015 Style Report

Serge lutens copy


Nostalgia for the analog is informing future technology, as designers and artists look for ways to move away from the web, and virtual design translates into real-world design. The old (turntables, forties style radios) meets the new (streamlined, more sustainable), especially with a twist of eighties retro thrown in. A hybrid has emerged blending the best of both worlds-the online and offline.  Digital breaks out into physical space in pixelated patterns, digitally warped shapes, and a ‘screen filtered’ look. The impact on art and design is felt in images and objects that have a flattened sensibility. Colors are saturated, and materials juxtaposed, like layering effects in design software.  The body is manipulated in elongated and oversized shapes, but body-conscious as well, in angular and slim sculptural forms. Tech and retail giants are answering the consumers’ call for more sustainable and renewable products. They are making the pledge to switch to renewable energy such as solar power, and creating furniture and other products that can be disassembled, recycled, and reused.


The digital world a la 1980s is influencing a return to power dressing, but this time around shapes are softer and more relaxed. Armani classics are being re-worked, and Serge Luten’s power glamor photography is revisited. Strong lines and bold colors are juxtaposed with delicate florals. The softer side of punk shows up in the New Romantic genre, an edgy prettiness reminiscent of new wave bands of the eighties. Colors are bright and saturated and pop like Pop Art.

A gender neutral sensibility continues in the oversized zoot suit, caged, sculpted, and cutaway looks. A glossiness abounds, with glamor and sex appeal taking center stage in ‘wet look’ reflective, glossed, patent, and sensual finishes. Japanese-inspired magazine editorials of the eighties welcome a mix-match of subcultures. Clashing, hallucinogenic animal prints, stacked arm bangles, and cinched waists recall ‘pretty punk’ girl bands. Solid and sheer strapping brings the body in focus in sporty designs, sometimes with graphic prints. Leathers are seeing graphic metallic printed surfaces.   


A street attitude in blazers and cropped, tapered trousers covered in graphic checks or an updated preppy look in artist palette brights keeps ‘young’ tailoring fun.  Traditional men’s tailoring is given a lift in graphic prints and textures, or blocked panels of differing patterns. A relaxed fit is still going strong, in the classic city overcoat, and tailored track pants with contrast side seam stripes. Printed shirts, in novelty or abstract patterns inspired by the 1980’s lends a nostalgic, retro feel. Optical graphic stripes paired with an edgy urban sports-casualwear feel is a reminder of street art inspirations.  A smart bohemian mood rendered in a warm, tonal palette embraces hand-crafted oversized intarsia knits, subtle textures in jacquard and chambray, and pull-on pajama shirts. Layers, such as hooded bomber jackets with detachable hoods and lining bring another dimension to design. Graphic camo all-over prints might be seen in mechanics or military style coveralls, or quilted down jackets. Artisan flair is a key component in sophisticated, textural fabrics. Casual and carefree is the attitude, while a modern fit and a nod to the past brings in double-breasted overcoats, corduroy suits, and tapered trousers.

Rory macarthur


A products’ complete life cycle from manufacture to disposal—the cradle-to-cradle concept—is becoming more important in the design industry. Renewable energy sources, implemented by big-box stores and furniture manufacturers, is helping to reduce the carbon footprint. Companies are producing biodegradable plastics for kitchen systems, strollers, and accessories. Office chairs are recyclable, compostable, and renewable and can be disassembled, reused, or recycled.

“Athleisure” living is incorporating athletic accessories like weights and bicycles into home décor, becoming a status symbol. The digital world inspires overlays of holographic and grid designs used in products and spaces. Gaming, 3D modelling software, and lighting accentuates interiors in an eighties new wave boldness. Graphic contrasts in brights and patterns pop on textiles and panels.  An ombre effect, or gradation of color is seen on glass, textiles, and panels. A high shine or sheen is evident in mirrored effects on furniture and product design. Colored lights outline and contour shapes, such as around an architectural indoor or outdoor detail. Lighting, as well is saturated in color for overall effect. Blitz blue and machine red are accented by electric magenta, jellybean green, and flash orange.  

The FIDM Library Style Report is by Cynthia Aaron.



Trendwatch: Interiors Get More Refined

Contour table copy

As a counter trend to all the heavy woodsy, restoration, crunchy granola Portlandia and backward gazing mid-century modern stuff that is filling interior showrooms, the New York Times notes a trend towards "a brighter, lighter, more contemporary aesthetic, one that still favors organic materials but with a more refined sensibility and cleaner lines." Sight Unseen an online magazine that backs the trend notes, "Extremely sophisticated palette. Mixing of materials. It's been percolating for a long time." Translation? Less wood, more polished brass and copper, more glass, mixing of materials.

FIDM offers AA and BA degrees in Interior Design.



Trendwatch: Converse II Adds Comfort

Sneaks copy

Attention sneakerheads! The new, tech-improved Chuck Taylor 2 was released on Tuesday—and indications are, so far, that the public is buying. The beloved shoe that hasn't changed in nearly 100 years is still available in the original edition, but for those seeking a little more comfort with their style, the company has improved the canvas and added a full-length Nike Lunarlon padded sole and suede lining. "Comfort is the driving force for many consumers," fashion expert and author Alan Flusser told the New York Times. New edition is available in high and low top, in four colors, for now.

FIDM offers an Advanced Study Footwear Design degree.



Merchandise Marketing Grad Launches Buying Career


Molly Gahan was the winner of the Outstanding Student award for Merchandise Marketing 2015. The Illinois native graduated in December and has returned to Chicago to build her career.

Where did you go to high school?

Joliet Catholic Academy, Joliet, Illinois

How did you find FIDM?

I found FIDM at a college fair in Chicago. Since I always had an interest in the fashion business, I eventually checked out the school's summer program, 3 Days of Fashion. I knew that this was the college where I could gain deep knowledge of the industry I wanted to succeed in.

What was the best part of the FIDM experience?

Building relationships with my instructors was most rewarding. Rather than sitting in an auditorium with 500 others, I was in a small classroom environment. This allowed me to connect with my fellow students and instructors.

Advice for future students?

I encourage students to attend each and every class in order to build the necessary relationships.

What are your future goals?

I hope to become a buyer at Sears. Once I complete my internship, my hope is to get a full time position. Looking ahead 10-15 years, my goal is to open my own boutique. This has been a dream of  mine since my college search. The jobs that I work in before opening my store will provide the knowledge that I will need to operate my own business.



Attend the 6th Annual Innovative Materials Conference at FIDM LA


The FIDM Library and FIDM Alumni Association invite you to the 6th annual Innovative Materials Conference on August 17, 2015 through August 21, 2015. See the latest in the textiles and materials industries including innovations in wearable technology and sustainable products, and watch a 3-D printer in action. 

Exhibit hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., in the Annex, Room A 332, Standard Oil Building, 605 Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles. 

Sign up classes for a tour with the Textiles & Materials department team. RSVP to

On Wednesday, August 19th, 2015, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., hear from guest speaker Charlie Brown, head of Avery Dennison’s Customer Design and Innovation Center, who will discuss the role of eco-friendly practices in the apparel industry. Enjoy refreshments and network with FIDM alumni and industry professionals. RSVP by August 18th to



Congratulations to CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist and FIDM Grad Matt Baldwin of Baldwin


Congratulations to FIDM Graduate Matt Baldwin, a finalist in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund design challenge. Learn more about Baldwin

From Vogue:

Over the past twelve years, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund has granted more than $4 million to more than 30 design companies, including winners like Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, and Proenza Schouler, and runners-up like Tabitha Simmons, Prabal Gurung, and Thom Browne. 

Over the next four months, this group of ten finalists—in addition to running their businesses as usual—will participate in special design and advertising challenges, stage a runway show at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, and, of course, share their stories and inspirations with It all leads up to the big announcement on November 2.

The 2015 finalists are:

Baja East, Scott Studenberg and John Targon

Baldwin, Matt Baldwin

Brother Vellies, Aurora James

Cadet, Brad Schmidt and Raul Arevalo

CG, Chris Gelinas

Chromat, Becca McCharen

David Hart, David Hart

Gypsy Sport, Rio Uribe

Jonathan Simkhai, Jonathan Simkhai

Thaddeus O’Neil, Thaddeus O’Neil



Merchandise Marketing Grad Wants Plus-Sized Career

Lisett lopez copy

Merchandise Marketing Grad Lisette Lopez attended the Professional Designation program to help make a career switch to fashion buying. Her goal is "to take the plus size market by storm" as a Buyer. Here is her road map.

Where did you go to college before FIDM?

I graduated Woodbury University in Burbank, CA with a Bachelor's degree in Business in 2007.

How did you decide to return to school, to FIDM?

In (my previous) college I had interests in fashion and law. After a few years working in a law firm, I realized it wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I reached a crossroads and asked myself, "What can I do for the rest of my life that will make me happy?" I knew the answer was to be in the fashion field as a buyer/stylist for the plus size market.

I wanted to explore my passion for fashion, and I knew that FIDM was the ideal school because of its reputation and strong networking opportunities.

What did you like about getting a Professional Designation degree in Merchandise Marketing?

The curriculum is perfectly tailored to educating people on the business of fashion. The instructors and advisors are knowledgeable, well connected, enthusiastic, encouraging, and willing to give advice about school and work.

What are you proudest of?

Going back to school was a challenge. I was balancing a full time job and a full class schedule but it has been extremely rewarding. FIDM has been one of the best decisions I have made for myself.

Advice for FIDM Students?

Take school seriously! FIDM is a fun environment where you an express yourself (I got purple highlights at 29!), but this is where you lay the foundation for your career. Give it your all! Also, learn how to dress professionally! Fashion is fun—but you can be fun and professional!

Keep an open mind! I entered FIDM wanting to be a buyer. That didn't change. However, I did develop an interest in product development and licensing which would seamlessly fuse my love of fashion and law. And, though I still love buying, allocation doesn't look too shabby! 

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