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


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

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

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

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

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

More about Glenda

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

Connect with Glenda

About FIDM Style Project

FIDM Style Project is an online editorial collaboration series between the online design community and FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Are you interested in participating in the next FIDM Style Project series? Get in touch with us here.



Founders of Custom Perfume Company Pastiche Speak in Fundamentals of Fragrance Class

14163j Bill and Dana Knees of Pastiche Custom Perfume_DSC_8809

Husband and wife founders, Dana and Bill Knees, of the custom perfume company, Pastiche, visited FIDM last week as guest speakers in André Barnwell's Fundamentals of Fragrance class. They spoke with beauty students about their brand and how they market their custom fragrances. André wanted his students to learn about this example of a California fragrance launch, as opposed to a New York launch.  

Tell us about your company, Pastiche: We’re the first national custom perfume company. Our fragrance designers host parties and events where guests design their own signature scent and perfume bottles. We’re based here in Southern California, launched just last November and are growing very quickly.

How did you get started in the fragrance industry? I’ve always attributed my success to the power of connections. Out of college my cousin was working as a Regional Sales Manager for Chesebrough Ponds who owned global cosmetic and beauty companies like Elizabeth Arden, Erno Lazlo, Calvin Klein and mass market brands as well. He got me an interview and I nailed the job! 

What did you demo to the FIDM Students? Pastiche is a husband and wife team. We come from the corporate world – including marketing and sales experience at companies like Unilever and Coty. Bill presented the business model of our company; I gave a demonstration of how our parties work. We smelled some of our amazing perfume blends from our beautiful fragrance bar. 

How did you develop your fragrances? We worked with a master perfumer, who hired me at Robertet Fragrances. There are only about 500 master perfumers worldwide. We are fortunate to be working with one of the elite few.

Why isn’t this being done at retail?  It actually is at places like Saks Fifth Avenue. The problem is that it is too expensive in that environment. Plus perfume parties with other people are just more fun than doing it alone. Our process is also very fun – like designing your own ice cream sundae.

How do you hire your fragrance designers? Actually anyone can be a designer, simply by purchasing one of our starter kits. We train them and they typically make $200 or more at each party they supervise.

Describe the difference between top, middle, and base notes: We don’t really go into top, middle and base notes at Pastiche. We talk more about our fragrances as blends. We are about presenting a blend and determining if you love it. We keep things simple. I either like it or I don’t and move on. We also make it simple to put things together, in order not to overwhelm the person who is smelling. We often compare our process to tasting food. I like it or not, I like it more if I add this or that. Simple yet fun. Not complex.

Why are department store fragrances so expensive? There is overhead for retail space and salaries to be paid. Like everything, prices go up every year. Large companies are concerned about the bottom line profit. It needs to be a money maker so often they take steps to reduce quality.

Any advice for students pursuing careers in beauty? Network, network, network. Be genuinely interested in people. Ask what they do and be curious. This will help you to figure out what interests you. Never forget to ask how you can help them. Success in life comes from people who who help one another. It's not all about me. Get as much actual, pertinent job experience as you can. Relevant work experience is key.



California Boosts Tax Incentives for Film & TV Productions

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The California legislature passed a bill that will increase funding for the state's film incentives to $330 million a year—a boost from the current $1 million a year currently allocated. The bill will also allow subsidies for keeping big budget movies, new network dramas, and TV pilots local, according to the Los Angeles Times. 

photo credit: Los Angeles Times



How To: Make a Lasting Impression with Your Professor


Professors at FIDM are talented professionals who are currently working in the industry, so they make great networking connections for our students. 

If you're a current or future FIDM Student, here's how to take advantage of this opportunity:

1. Introduce yourself

Your teacher will know you as a name down a roster during the first class, but take it a step further and make a proper introduction before or after class. Talk to them about what you're excited to learn in the class and what you want to do after graduating. They might offer some great insight or give you connections on how to make your goals possible.

2. Participate

Teachers never want to stand before a classroom that doesn't participate. It's a two way street and a better experience when students are actively listening and involved in discussions.

3. Be Timely

Respect a teachers time. Don't arrive to class late, and try to submit your assignments when they are due. 

4. Take advantage of office hours

Almost every teacher has office hours, and they will be sitting in their office between those times whether students decide to show up or not. Don't leave them hanging: go visit your teacher during this extra time outside of class and ask questions. 

5. Ask questions

Ask good questions and make eye contact to show your interest in the class material. 



Merchandise Marketing Alumna Working at AG Jeans After Internship


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

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

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



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


Name: Justin Hamilton

Major: Digital Media

Title: Lead VFX Designer

Company: Greenhaus GFX

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

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

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

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



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


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

Vote for Johana here



What's In Your FIDM Tote? Our Favorite Posts From Twitter and Instagram


In preparation for the various supplies and other items FIDM Students carry to campus each day (and to share our school spirit), FIDM provides each student with a FIDM tote bag during the first quarter of their program. 

FIDM's Social Media department recently challenged current students to show the world the contents of their illustrious FIDM tote bags. Scroll down to check out some of our favorite posts from the ongoing challenge. If you would like your tote featured here, tag it #FIDMTote on Twitter or Instagram. 

For more information on becoming a student at FIDM, click here.

(Above) Post by Instagrammer @NicoleChristiana



Industrywatch: Tech & Teen Dollars

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Business analysts, trying to understand the slump in the teen apparel market, point to two trends: fast fashion and tech gizmos for taking teen dollars. "You try to get them talking about what's the next look, what they're excited about purchasing in apparel, and the conversation always circles back to the iPhone 6," John Morris, a retail analyst for BMO Capital Markets tells the New York Times. "A phone keeps you much more entertained," explains teen model Nicole Myers (pictured above). "It's a better distraction than clothing."

Teen apparel accounts for 15% of retail apparel sales.

photo credit: New York Times



FIDM Goes International. Is Your City Next? #FIDMVisits.


This fall, get your questions answered by an Admissions Advisor and learn about FIDM’s majors, financial aid, the admissions process, and more when FIDM visits these cities. (For U.S. cities and dates, go here.): 

FIDM Visits Brazil

August 30 - September 4 at FEIRA EDUCATIONUSA, BRAZIL

To schedule an appointment: e-mail 

August 30 in Brasilia, Brazil 

Hotel Melia Brasil 21

Sat: 14:00 - 18:00

September 1 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hotel Windsor Atlantica

Sun: 17:00 - 21:00

September 4 in Sao Paolo, Brazil

Hotel Intercontinental

Sun: 17:00 - 21:00

FIDM Visits Asia

To schedule an appointment: e-mail 


September 10-12


September 16-17, 22 & 24


September 18-20


September 21


September 26-30


October 9-12


October 14-19


October 18-20


October 21

Schedule your appointment today! Email Lisa Aronoff at 



Student Spotlight: Amanda Daucher, Visual Communications and YouTube Star


Name: Amanda Daucher

Major: Visual Communications

How are VisComm classes going?

They are going great! It is sad to think they are coming to an end soon in March 2015. I have learned so much. I see the world in a whole new way now. For example, learning about architecture in sketching classes, I now notice all of that when I walk around the city.

Why did you choose FIDM?

It all started when a FIDM representative came to my high school (James Madison in Vienna, Virginia) in my fashion merchandising class during junior year. I was very interested and got in contact with an advisor. I have always loved fashion and was doing a fashion/beauty YouTube channel at the time, plus a fashion design class in senior year. I really knew I wanted to go to FIDM when I attended 3 Days of Fashion, I felt safe at the campus, the teachers knew so much, and it was a nice change in my life since I had never been on the West Coast before.

How is your YouTube channel going? How has it evolved since becoming a FIDM student?

I just hope from my YouTube channel that I help people with the knowledge I have learned on my life journey. A lot of people have been into my "FIDM advice videos," where I state my experience and thoughts. I also give out my email,, for people to contact me if they have questions about FIDM or anything really. I have gotten many emails from girls who are interested in FIDM. I even met up with one girl at FIDM and she is now a friend of mine and is coming October 2014.

What are your career goals?

I have a lot of things I want to do and try. I have always wanted to be a stylist for people on a budget. I feel I am a super shopper when it comes to deals -- I find the best items for less. I learned it all from my mom! I also would love to get into visual merchandising because I love styling. It would be so much fun to visualize a store or window displays. One goal I would love to do is get into the entertainment business. Since I have my YouTube channel, I talk a lot in front of a camera. I would love to be a fashion host of something like Giuliana Rancic. There are so many other things I want to do but those would be my top three.

If you could give any advice to future students what would it be?

My advice would be to get your homework done right away. I know a lot of people procrastinate and I do too sometimes but when I get home from class and just start on my homework I feel so much better. By the weekend I am usually done with all of my homework, so I can just relax and not stress too much.

Any proudest accomplishments since attending FIDM?

Being on honor roll at FIDM is one. To know that my work has paid off makes me proud of myself. My YouTube channel in general is always my proudest accomplishments. I love seeing myself grow and doing what I love. Helping others is my entire goal for my channel. Ever since I started FIDM, I have helped so many people learn about the college and a lot of my viewers end up wanting to know more or even attend. 



Your City Is Next. #FIDMVisits.


This October, FIDM will visit cities all over the U.S. Get your questions answered by an Admissions Advisor and learn about FIDM’s majors, financial aid, the admissions process, and more in these cities: 

10/11 & 12


10/18 & 19



Las Vegas






Raleigh Durham

10/23 & 24


10/25 & 26


10/25 & 26


10/25 & 26




10/25 & 26



Register to attend an event in any of the above cities.

We hope to see you soon! 



Trendwatch: Teen Market Moves to Fast Retailers

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Teen fashion followers are leaving former favorites—Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, and American Eagle—in droves. Where are the heading? According to a business report in The Washington Post, "Advantages are going to stores that use novel approaches to assure that a design can be made in response to Internet buzz and then taken from a factory floor to a suburban mall in a matter of weeks." Fast retailers like Forever 21 and H&M are mentioned as riding the trend.



Hypebeast's Head of U.S. Brand Partnerships Speaks to FIDM Students


Huan Nguyen, the Head of U.S. Brand Partnerships for the popular menswear online magazine Hypebeast, recently spoke to students in Susan Spencer's Contemporary Business Strategies class. "FIDM is a great place to learn about the fashion industry from the ground up, and in my experience, the students have asked great questions and showed a genuine curiosity about the work I do," says Huan, who encouraged students to persevere during their time in school and after graduating. "It's a competitive industry and the only way to stand out is through networking and showcasing your skills."



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



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

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

People Style Watch has the full report. 



FIDM Students Celebrate the Latest Issue of FIDM Mode

Mode Picture of Ashley and Marie

Image: (Left) Ashley Wiley, Beauty Director for FIDM MODE and Marie Kramal, PR and Social Media Manager for FIDM MODE.

Downtown LA was buzzing with excitement as more than 100 FIDM Students celebrated the latest issue of student-produced magazine, FIDM MODE on Thursday, August 7.  The red carpet event featured a DJ, and delicious appetizers.

Working on FIDM MODE can be a very satisfying and exciting experience according to Marie Kramal, FIDM MODE PR and Social Media Manager, who says working on the publication is extremely rewarding.

“I enjoy being able to use my talents to contribute to a vision I believe in," she says. "I also really love the 'fearless' concept, which is what this issue is all about.”

FIDM MODE is a magazine created by FIDM Students for FIDM Students promoting awareness on design, student life, and current events. Published bi-annually and produced on the Los Angeles campus, students from all majors and campuses interested in expressing themselves through creative writing, graphic design, and photography are encouraged to pitch, write, and photograph editorials. Topics include everything from fashion and beauty, to student projects and job-searching tips.

FIDM MODE gives students the opportunity to build upon their classroom experience and apply it to the real world once they graduate.

“Working on FIDM MODE made me more outgoing in my industry in terms of networking because I have to talk to people for MODE,” says FIDM MODE Beauty Director Ashley Wiley. “It also makes me more aware of trends.”

Fashion Blogger and FIDM Merchandise Marketing Alumna Rachael Dickhute of the fashion blog Everything Hauler agrees.

“[This issue of the FIDM MODE] is going to bring in the editorial side for FIDM Students. It’s something for them to relate to and it’s a great outlet for trends as well,” said Dickhute.

Mode Picture of Rachael

Image: Fashion Blogger and FIDM Grad Rachael Dickhute of Everything Hauler at the FIDM MODE launch party wearing pants by Ms Scandal, top by Cotton On, and jacket by LuLu’s.

The professional look of the magazine also caught the eye of fashion blogger and FIDM Student Nikki Dror of the fashion blog Four-Eleven. “I love the cover! There’s a lot more content and the photo shoots are very professional,” said Dror.

Mode Picture of Nikki

Image: Fashion Blogger and FIDM Student Nikki Dror of Four-Eleven at the FIDM MODE launch party wearing jacket, shorts and shirt by H&M and shoes by Choies.

To learn more about FIDM MODE or to read the current issue for Spring/Summer 2014, click here. See more photos from the MODE launch party on the FIDM Facebook page here.



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



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



FIDM Grads Working As Costume Designers on The Mentalist


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

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

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



Industrywatch: Tory Burch Appeals Across Generations


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Fashion brand Tory Burch is cited in a Women's Wear Daily special marketing report as being one of the only companies that successfully caters to women across all age groups. In a survey of consumer experts on capturing the neglected baby boomer fashion market, Peter Hubbell, CEO of BoomAgers says, "If you look at a brand like Tory Burch, you've got every generation of woman out there embracing what Burch is all about." A major theme of the study is that boomers (ages 50-65) want to look and feel current—not defined by age or loose fit.



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



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


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



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


Name: Denise Zeigler

Major: Merchandise Product Development

Company: Real Natural Beauty


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

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

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

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



Industrywatch: Ralph Lauren Introduces Tech T-Shirt

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Ralph Lauren is introducing a high-tech T-shirt at the U.S. Open tennis tournament this week. The sleek black shirt "marks Lauren's entry into the rapidly advancing world of wearable technology," according to the New York Times. Silver-coated threads woven into the thin fabric transmit data like heart rate, breathing, and stress levels to a phone app or dashboard. Executive VP David Lauren  explains: "Everyone is exploring wearable tech watches and headbands and looking at cool sneakers. We skipped to what we thought was new, which is apparel. We live in our clothes." He points out the elegant, streamlined fit without wires or clunky hardware.



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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Just Accepted 16-Year-Old Merchandise Marketing Student Is Already Taking College Courses



Name: Natasha Le

Age: 16

Hometown: Lake Forest, California

Previous College/Work: I have taken courses through Irvine Valley College during my high school years so that by the time I start FIDM in the fall of 2015, I will have attained my AA degree and be able to shorten my time at FIDM through the Professional Designation Program. I have worked as a copywriter and have interned as a styling assistant with WiShi and as a writer for Better Than A Cupcake (which also stands for Bold Talent Aiding Charities).

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA, October 2015

Admissions Advisor: Marilyn Moore

How did your advisor help with the admissions process? She guided me through the application process by going over what was required and showing me examples of portfolio projects that previous applicants had submitted. We met and communicated several times during this period to check on my progress and to clear up any confusion I may have had regarding FIDM and the application process. She was extremely helpful.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am ambitious and very dedicated to my passions, which include fashion, music, and writing. When I can, I write and come up with various sci-fi or slice of life plots or I find new music for a blog that I run. I am also involved with several multicultural clubs and academic clubs that include the California Scholarship Federation in addition to my high school's Orange County Academic Decathlon team, where I have been secretary and where I will be president this upcoming year. Asides from this, I occasionally dabble in psychology and foreign languages. I find most of my inspiration from certain films, art, music, and quotes.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Remaining in the Top 20 (ranking) of my class, writing and completing a novella, and knowing what I want to do and where I want to go with my life.

Describe your entrance project. I had to construct a customer profile based on five outfits that I styled (careerwear, eveningwear, etc.) and coordinated for my own line or boutique. The general look of my project was modern, sharp, and geometric with a lot of blacks, whites, and occasional splashes of color. The apparel and other items I included were primarily marketed towards upper-class consumers.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM facilitates connection-making because of its experienced faculty members and general renown, while its location is ideal because it lies in a very vibrant and expressive city that will allow me to fully immerse myself in art, literature, and all of my other inspirations. I've lived in the suburbs all my life and although I do not necessarily dislike it, I find the suburbs a bit stale in comparison to what the city has to offer. FIDM is also one of the few schools that offer the Merchandise Marketing major that I'm pursuing.

What are your career goals? I would like to someday be a creative professional who handles projects such as styling, contributing to magazines, coordinating shows, consulting, etc. I would not like to limit myself to one or two projects, but many as I find that more fulfilling.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I believe that I will learn more about the complexities and nuances of the fashion industry that an amateur would not typically be aware of. I will learn how to work with a team of professionals and how to apply my passion for and interest in fashion.



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Town & Country Magazine's September Issue Is Dedicated to Los Angeles


From the ACE Hotel (pictured above), located just steps from FIDM's Los Angeles campus, and furniture designers Nikolai and Simon Haas to artist Rosson Crow and Rodarte designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy, L.A. is the new "capital of cool," according to Town & Country's September issue, which is dedicated to Los Angeles. 



Their L.A. portfolio features the best of fashion, film, food, art and galleries, designers, and iconic locations. Here are some interesting quotes from the issue:

"From a designer’s point of view there is a bit of a frontier—or perhaps Hollywood—mentality that anyone can do anything." -- L.A. Times fashion critic Booth Moore

“I never get bored by what’s presented outside of my house—even the freeways. I made a book about them in the nineties that ended up helping people change their community because all of a sudden they’re looking at the geometry of them.” -- Catherine Opie, photographer and UCLA professor

“There are scenes in New York and London and Paris. Here there are individuals.” -- British model Liberty Ross

“Here, culture is nonhierarchical, diverse, and forward thinking. I agree with the director Werner Herzog, who says L.A. is now the world’s cultural center. If you count the number of images and compositions that are made here, he’s probably right.” -- Michael Govan, LACMA Director

“About six years ago I felt it would make sense to move to a place with easier access to nature, more of a creative community, and that wasn’t freezing cold in the winter." -- Moby



SF Vis Comm Students Visit Benefit Cosmetics Headquarters


Yesterday, San Francisco Visual Communications Students in Teresa Lehane’s Business of Social Media Marketing class took at trip to Benefit Cosmetics where they had the opportunity to meet Valerie Hoecke, the Senior Vice President of Digital, who oversees Benefit's websites (in 32 different languages), email blasts, and social media.







Students learned about their social media strategies, recent campaigns, and user-generated content, and met Graphic Design Alumna Tiffany Matthews, who is currently doing in-store graphics and point of purchase displays for Benefit.



FIDM Students: Enter Cotton University's 24 Hour Runway Show Design Contest


FIDM Students are invited to enter Cotton University's 24 Hour Runway Show Design Contest. College students can submit fashion illustrations for a design they would create for back-to-school looks in cotton. Winners will not only have the chance to see their work in Cotton’s 24 Hour Runway Show, but also attend the show in South Beach Miami, FL on November 7, 2014 to November 8, 2014.

This contest will be judged in two rounds. Please login to read the full contest details. The first submission deadline is Monday, August 25, 2014. Twenty finalists will be chosen and given six weeks to construct their final outfit based on their winning fashion illustration design. Ten Grand Prize winners will receive a 3-day, 2-night trip to South Beach with VIP Treatment at the Runway Show, a $200 AMEX® gift card, and much more.



GUESS Scholars Program Awards Two Scholarships to FIDM Students


Furthering their commitment to future leaders, the GUESS Foundation and FIDM have launched the GUESS Scholars Program that awards two outstanding students with one year of full academic tuition. Congratulations to this year's inaugural winners, Fashion Design Students Quinton Lovelace and Duston Jasso on their exciting award!

"The story of the Marciano brothers and their success is an incredible inspiration to anyone that is pursuing the American dream, including me," says Quinton. "Receiving a scholarship from GUESS is a feeling that is almost too amazing to fully articulate." Duston adds: "Becoming a GUESS Scholar has opened a door that will allow my dreams to flourish and become reality. I feel such gratitude that GUESS is investing in my future as a young artist and fashion leader, by believing in my raw talents, passion and dedication." 

And we're happy to report that GUESS + FIDM Design Contest winner Francisco Flores' Cold-Shoulder Cropped Denim Jacket and High-Rise Side-Tie Denim Shorts are now available on the GUESS website

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Recently Accepted Fashion Design Student Wants to Inspire Others With Her Designs



Name: Jacklyn Dewenter

Age: 21

Hometown: Chantilly, VA

Previous College: Attended Liberty University and Northern Virginia Community College

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? From day one, Susan put in so much effort to help with the whole admissions process. She would call and e-mail to check up on me and made sure I was caught up with the application. I have never met an advisor as helpful and cheerful as Susan.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Drawing, painting, and designing have been hobbies of mine since I was very young. My family has many artists; without them I probably would not have started drawing at such a young age. Many different people have inspired me. Lee Alexander McQueen and Tim Burton have influenced me to take risks and to not be afraid to express myself. Michael Kors and Anna Wintour have influenced me to not exclude myself from designing other forms of fashion design.

I used to design strictly special occasion, but they have motivated me to experiment with different styles. My greatest supporters would have to be my parents. My Mom has always pushed me to put as much effort into my work as possible. My Dad has always has given me the best advice, to always have an open mind, and to think outside the box when it comes to designing. I have many other friends and teachers who have always been such great motivators -- I could not be where I am today without them and I could not be more grateful.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Being accepted to FIDM would be one. I always loved fashion but never had the courage to really pursue fashion design. With the help of my parents and teachers I gained enough confidence to pursue this career and they really made me realize that I was meant to be in this industry. Not many people have others supporting them to pursue their dreams. I truly am blessed to have people support me with fashion design.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM has classes that are very career oriented and hands-on, which is the best kind of learning experience for me. While visiting the Los Angeles campus I couldn’t help but feel very excited for what is in store for me. The Library has so many resources; I can see myself spending all day there! Internships, job fairs, and other events that FIDM provides make it very easy to network. Talking with some of the students, they seem so passionate about what they are doing and studying. Being in that environment is exactly what I have been looking for.

Describe your entrance project. Traditional Asian culture is very fascinating to me. For this entrance project, Chinese culture and architecture was the inspiration. Most of my designs in the past have been theatrical and centered towards special occasion. For this collection, I designed clothes that were more wearable. I used a contrasting color theme that included shades of red, gold, and black and white. Each garment has a Chinese character or symbol incorporated into the design as well as silhouettes, shapes, and textures that I found appealing in pictures that were part of the inspiration.

What are your career goals? I always wanted to have a good influence on people who may admire my designs. I want to be able to inspire young women to dress with modesty in mind as well as find beauty in what some people find not attractive. I have always struggled with finding beauty in myself and I know many other women struggle with the same issues. I want to be able to show beauty in all forms of body shapes, nationalities, etc. and still be able to promote a healthy lifestyle.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I plan to learn as much and everything I can at FIDM to be the best designer I can be. Whether it be just attending every class or lecture or spending all night studying at the FIDM Library. FIDM has everything that I need to learn to be successful in what I want to pursue.



Trendwatch: Swimsuit Designers Stay in California

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"The corporate suits may be in Manhattan, but the bathing suits are on the beach, particularly in California. California has spawned some of the greatest historic names in swimwear—Catalina, Cole of California, Tyr and Ocean Pacific. That’s why several swimwear designers whose corporate headquarters are on the East Coast have set up shop not far from the Pacific Ocean," reports California Apparel News. Interviews with established designers Anna Kenney, Laurie Allyn, and Rod Beattie highlight the West Coast vibe that inspires their best design work.

photo credit: California Apparel News



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


Name: Ethan Bartlett

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

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

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

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

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



Merchandise Marketing Alumna Erica Thomas Launches New E-Commerce Site


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

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



Clueless Screening Free at FIGat&7th in Downtown LA


On Wednesday, August 20, FIGat7th proudly presents FLIX at FIG, featuring the film Clueless. Angelenos are invited to bring a blanket, grab food and drinks at TASTE, and the first 150 guests will receive complimentary kettle corn.

Live DJ & Happy Hour: 5:30 p.m.
Film begins: Sunset (around 8:00 p.m.)
Location: FIGat7th - TASTE Courtyard on the Plaza Level



Apparel News Reports on FIDM's Recent Denim Industry Event


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

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


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

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



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


Name: Jordan Lausch

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Grad Year:
June 2014

Urban Outfitters (URBN Inc.)

Product Development Assistant

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Military Veteran Is Asst. Manager at Hot Topic

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

How did you decide on FIDM?

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

How did you decide on your major?

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

What is your current position?

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

Any advice for former military considering FIDM?

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



Meet FIDM Social Ambassador Alexandrea Neil

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Get to know FIDM Social Ambassador Alexandrea Neil, a Merchandise Product Development Student at our Los Angeles campus. Follow Alexandrea on Twitter @FIDM_Alex for live updates about her life as a student at FIDM.

Q&A with Alex:

Hometown: “Anaheim Hills, California.”

Describe your style: “I love to have fun with fashion! I really don’t follow any ‘fashion rules.’ Instead, I follow trends but I put my own twist on it. I would say that I’m very girly and chic but with an edge to it.”

Favorite brands: “I love TopShop, ZARA, Free People, and Urban Outfitters.”

An icon who inspires you: “Olivia Palermo. Her style is just perfect!”

Favorite place to eat: “Lemonade in Orange County and LA. It’s so delicious.”

Dream job: “My dream job is to design my own line. But along the way I would love to work in trend forecasting.”

Best advice for FIDM Students: “Go outside your comfort zone. It will help you get to new places and meet new connections you never would have found!”

Your hometown’s best kept secret: “It's not much of a secret but in my hometown, there’s a little hiking spot called Top of the World. I love going there to get fresh air after working on projects.”

Your FIDM experience in three words: “Intense, but rewarding and exciting.”

You know you went to FIDM when..: “you go into a retail store and try to guess what type of fabric is used on all the garments. I'm such a nerd but I find it so fascinating!”

Connect with Alex:

Twitter: @FIDM_Alex

More about Alex:

“Hello! My name is Alexandrea Neil from Anaheim Hills, California. I am currently in my 5th quarter at FIDM studying Merchandise Product Development. I spent my first year of FIDM at the Orange County campus and absolutely loved every moment of it. Now I am so excited to be starting my second year at the Los Angeles campus. Additionally, I am currently working a retail job as a stylist for Bebe and I am part of the premiere Merchandise Product Development group on campus.”

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. Get to know more FIDM Social Ambassadors here.



FIDM Style Project: Sasha Goldenberger of Sasha Gold Reveals Her Must-Have Fashion Piece

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Image: (Left) Fashion Stylist Sasha Goldenberger of Sasha Gold and her must-have vegan leather Obey jacket.

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

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

Fashion Stylist Sasah Goldenberger of Sasha Gold weighed in on the subject:

“I could not live without my vegan leather Obey jacket. It can be worn with anything! It also un-sweetens girly florals and dresses just enough. The jacket can dress up jeans and puts the perfect edge to any outfit. Vegan and cruelty-free is the key to my heart and closet for a lifetime.”

More about Sasha Goldenberger

With her polished fashion palette and a compelling and creative vision, Sasha Gold originated from Seattle, Washington, where she developed and established her background in fashion design. A current resident of Long Beach, California, Sasha obtained her degree in Visual Communications from FIDM and is also a licensed Cosmetologist. She is currently a freelance stylist.

Connect with Sasha


About FIDM Style Project

FIDM Style Project is an online editorial collaboration series between the online design community and FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising. Are you interested in participating in the next FIDM Style Project series? Get in touch with us here.



Former Military MP Aims for Fashion Design Business

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

Tell us about your military service.

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

How did you find FIDM?

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

How did you make the transition to fashion college?

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

What was your major?

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

What did you like best about the program?

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

What was your education experience prior to FIDM?

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

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

What are your plans after graduation?

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

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

Did you do internships in the industry?

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

Advice to future/current students?

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

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



MPD Graduate Is Director of Fashion Label in Dubai


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

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



Meet FIDM Social Ambassador Michelle Ortega

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Get to know FIDM Social Ambassador Michelle Ortega, a Visual Communications Student at our San Francisco campus. Follow Michelle on Twitter @FIDM_Michelle for live updates about her life as a student at FIDM.

Q&A with Michelle:

Hometown: “Tracy, California.”

Describe your style: “My sense of style is very versatile. I base what I wear with how I'm feeling!”

Favorite brands: “Kate Spade, Urban Outfitters, Zara, and Topshop.”

An icon who inspires you: “Angelina Jolie. Not only does she have a great sense of style but she's talented and big hearted as well.”

Favorite place to eat: “AJI-ICHI Japanese Restaurant. They have amazing sushi and authentic Japanese food!”

Dream job: “Art Director! Whether it’s for a music video, a tour or for Pinterest!”

Best advice for FIDM Students: “Manage your time wisely and network, network, network!’”

Your hometown’s best kept secret: “Public Rooftops Gardens! When you're feeling stressed or need to get away for a bit, these rooftop gardens are perfect to enjoy!”

Your FIDM experience in three words: “Eye-opening, creative, and fast-paced.”

Connect with Michelle:

Twitter: @FIDM_Michelle 

More about Michelle:

“Hey guys! My name is Michelle Ortega and I’m a Visual Communications Student at the FIDM San Francisco campus! My journey here at FIDM started in Fall 2013 and so far it’s been a blast! I’ve learned so much about myself and what kind of designer I want to be in the last year. So far every day at FIDM has been an adventure where I'm learning something new. Going to school at FIDM has opened my eyes to new perspectives and is giving me the tools overall to be successful in life. With my first year under my belt, I plan to take every opportunity I can to get involved! It’s my passion that drives me and FIDM allows me to experience. To anyone thinking about following their passion, do it!” 

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. Get to know more FIDM Social Ambassadors here. 



Free Downtown L.A. Outdoor Concert Friday Night at FIGat7th


On Friday, August 8, 2014, FIGat7th presents the fourth of six free outdoor concerts at the FIGat7th Downtown Festival. There will be performances by indie rock band Gardens & Villa and singer-songwriter White Hinterland, hosted by Kevin Bronson of The music starts at 8:00 p.m. and an after party takes place at City Tavern at 10:00 p.m.

Parking is $5 on Friday nights after 4:00 p.m. with validation from one of the retail or restaurant merchants. The FIGat7th Downtown Festival happens every Friday night from now until August 22, 2014. 



From the Intern's Desk: Making the Most of FIDM's Resources


There is more to FIDM than what you will learn in the classroom. This institution is filled with excellent ways to get involved, get advice on your career, and enhance your overall experience while you're in this specialized college. Here are some ways to make the most of what FIDM has to offer.

1. The Career Center

Every major has an advisor who specializes in helping you in your career not only during FIDM, but after FIDM. Take advantage of the Career Center and meet with your advisor often. When you make great connections with your career advisor, you will be one of the first students to know about open jobs. 

2. The FIDM Library

One of the greatest resources on campus is the FIDM Library. Every single issue of Vogue is archived in the library. You will never need a magazine subscription because the library is already subscribed to just about everything you could ever want. The FIDM Library is also a great resource for trend books that are not available to anyone else. These are incredible resources to take advantage of. It's the biggest perk of being a current student. 

3. Student Activities

Get involved! There are many clubs on campus to join. Meet some new friends, add excellent clubs and experience to your resume, and simply strengthen your time here on campus. From leadership opportunities, to volunteer work, student activities is the best place to grow your network and make a difference.

4. Your Professor

Ending our list of tips with the classroom, one really important resource to make the most of is the person who stands before you in every class: your professor.  Most professors here at FIDM are industry leaders and professionals. Alongside teaching at FIDM they are in the industry and working in addition to teaching. They are simply filled with knowledge and everything you need to know is at your fingertips. Ask questions and make connections with them as well. Many teachers have helped students get ahead in their careers and have even helped with the job search. 



From the Intern's Desk: Getting Adjusted to LA


If you are just moving to LA from a small town, you'll quickly learn that this town walks to its own beat. This may be a culture shock to many, with the way the city moves, to how its residents live in it, so we've decoded it for newcomers. You'll feel like home in no time. 

1. Learn the City Layout

Go on Google Maps and get acquainted with the layout of LA. Know the 101, 405, and 10 highways and how they revolve around the city. Major roads to know include Santa Monica Blvd, Olympic Blvd, Wilshire, and Sepulveda. These roads intersect across Los Angeles and will help you maneuver around major traffic jams from time to time. Also know the one way streets. Most often, the way it works is that one way streets alternate. So if Grand in one way going right, Olive is one way going left. 

2. Avoid Driving Between 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.  

No explanation needed. Traffic on the 405, 101, and the 5 are a monster between these times pretty much 7 days a week. Doesn't matter if there's a holiday or it's a random Monday afternoon, do not drive during this time unless you want to be on the road for two hours trying to get to Santa Monica when normally it would only take 25 minutes. 

3. Know About Parking Tickets

If you lived in a town where you could park anywhere and go on with your day, LA is definitely going to culture shock you. You have to pay for it here, and prices start at $8. Doesn't sound like a lot, but if you go to school daily and buy Starbucks, these numbers add up quickly. Also, there’s weekly street sweeping in LA. Be mindful of the signs when you park on the street. Make sure you’re able to park during each day/time. Parking citations start around $60 so read the signs and don't forget to feed your meter. 

4. There Are No Seasons

There are no seasons here in LA. It's summer 300 days a year. It can get hot here, but luckily it's dry heat and it rarely gets humid. During the winter, you'll need a jacket and a few sweaters, but nothing extremely heavy. Your Burberry rainboots will stay in perfect condition in SoCal 'rainy days.'

5. Everyone Is In The Industry

You will meet a lot of people here in LA and will quickly learn how small this city really is in terms of who knows who. We really take the term literally when we say everybody knows everybody. 



Trendwatch: Spring/Summer 2015 Trend Insights

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FIDM Students learn how to use the Trend Forecasting Resources in FIDM’s Libraries to research trends in Beauty, Textiles, Colors, and more for class projects. We wanted to share with you a few of the trends we’re seeing for Spring/Summer 2015.

Continuing this series, we are sharing our second trend insight from trend books Doneger and Promostyl: Easy Living, Open Air, Decorous, and Evening Bloom.

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Let's start with beauty: we're continuing to focus more on a natural face with strong detailed finishes this coming season. An impeccable translucent foundation smooths out the face and allows the natural colors to show forth all while removing redness and other blemishes. Bold brows and thick lashes are details we focus on in this trend. 

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Focusing on Fashion: Nothing says Spring like flowers in bloom! An accessories trend are floral head crowns. Varying from thickness, color, and even how you can position them on the head are what make this trend simple, feminine, and effortlessly stunning. 

Embellishments and decor on outfits is the fashion focus this season. Bejeweled or lacey dresses, fully beaded sweatshirts, floral applique, pearl, and fringe. The Spring will be decorative and divided between two extremes: subtle touches vs over the top accumulations. 

We'll be seeing lots of loose fitted dresses like gypsy tunics with lace applique and a fringe trim, lace babydoll with scalloped edges, pointelle and rib knit trim sweaters, and a Marrakesh's pant with a wrap front and tie closure. 

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Photographs by Mariya Dondonyan

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