Blog

Apr

27
2015

Miranda Mazuki Launches Ready-to-Wear Line in Jakarta, Indonesia

Mazuki

The Jakarta Post has a profile of Miranda Mazuki, a 2012 Graduate who just launched her first ready-to-wear line, Mazuki, in Jakarta. While at FIDM, Miranda assisted in the visual department of Yves Saint Laurent in Beverly Hills and after graduation, she moved to New York and interned for Jill Stuart International and worked as a freelance knitwear consultant at Opening Ceremony. 

Her first collection, entitled "Comfortable Solitude," features structured silhouettes and comfortable fabrics such as Egyptian cotton and silk and wool blends. Based in Jakarta, Mazuki is producing men's and women's collections. 

Apr

27
2015

Interior Design Students Visit San Francisco Design Center

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A group of Interior Design Students took a field trip to the San Francisco Design Center last week.
The SFDC is the West’s best destination for fine home furnishings and accessories. Sitting at the heart of the San Francisco’s Design District (known as Showplace Square), the SFDC is comprised of three buildings: the Showplace, Galleria, and Garden Court. Together, they house over 100 beautifully curated showrooms representing over 2,000 manufacturers whose product lines are sourced locally and internationally.

The students visited a variety of showrooms, learned the historical background of the area, and saw how professional Interior Designers source furniture and materials for their clients. The students were accompanied by Interior Design Department Coordinator Diane Cuyler and Career Advisor Julie Arnone.

Apr

27
2015

Blake Lively Stuns in Two Different Monique Lhuillier Looks For 'The Age of Adaline' Premiere

 

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Blake Lively wore Monique Lhuillier twice in one evening for the premiere of her new film, The Age of Adaline. The actress, who famously does not use a stylist, donned a leather-trimmed red lace gown with a full skirt. For the after party, she chose a spangled sheer bodysuit that was paired with a black blazer. 

Apr

27
2015

Trendwatch: Google Data Pinpoints Top Fashion Trends

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Trend forecasting companies are about to get a reboot from tech behemoth Google. Data scientists will be delivering twice yearly predictions based on Google searches for fashion items, says a report in the New York Times. Predictions, broken into 3 categories (sustained growth, obsessions, and seasonal growth), should become valuable tools for e-commerce and apparel industry professionals since findings are based on real consumer searches. Today's hot trends according to Google? Tulle skirts, midi skirts, palazzo pants, and jogger pants.

Apr

27
2015

Just Accepted Merch Marketing Student Dreamed of Coming to FIDM Since Elementary School

 

Alex

Name: Alexandra Cornwell

Age: 19

Hometown: Orange, CA

Previous College: Fullerton College

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Marilyn Moore

How did your advisor help with the process? I couldn't have done this without Marilyn. When I first met with her, I had so many questions and she was there to walk me through the whole process. Marilyn was so positive and truly believed in me and my abilities, which really helped boost my confidence. She guided me through the entrance project and gave me advice that will stick with me through my entire FIDM experience. I can't thank her enough.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I absolutely love adventure. I think California is filled with beauty so I love hiking and roaming around, trying to find those hidden gems. Just last week I found myself in Santa Monica at one in the morning, just staring at all the lights. I'm really fascinated by night life. It's fun doing things on a whim; random adventures make the best stories.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I think getting accepted to FIDM is my proudest accomplishment. Since I was in elementary school, I've been wanting to attend FIDM, so when high school came around I had no question about where I wanted to go. I allowed people to discourage me, and after high school I took a "practical" route and went to a community college. I was there for a year and hated every second of it. It just wasn't for me. I wanted to be surrounded by motivated and excited people who were passionate about the same things. I know there are many more accomplishments to come.

What made FIDM right for you? What made FIDM right for me was the atmosphere and the student body. Just walking through the campus you can tell how excited everyone is--you can almost feel the energy. It also offers everything I want and more. Even though the curriculum will be challenging, I know it's going to be worth it.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project, I made a portfolio with looks that I would sell in my store. I'm Dutch, so I named my store Tulip, after Holland's national flower. I tried to make looks that were affordable and similar to what I look for when I go shopping. As much as I would love to buy a $5,000 Chanel bag, my retail job doesn't allow me to do that. So I wanted my customer to be able to buy cute things without having to break the bank. 

What are your career goals? After getting my degree in Merchandise Marketing, I hope to work as a buyer. I eventually would like to branch out and be able to try everything once. Being a buyer, doing public relations, opening a store--I want to do it all.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM?
I expect to learn the ins and outs of the business. There's so much that I don't know so I'm very exited to learn more! Fashion is very complex! I also expect to learn how to market myself better so I can get more jobs!

Apr

27
2015

Just Accepted Beauty Student Has a B.S. Degree in Chemistry

 

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Name: Janelle Biehl

Age: 21

Hometown: Fleetwood, PA

Previous College: Millersville University, B.S. in Chemistry

FIDM Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: The fabulous Joleen Harris

How did your advisor help with the process? From day one, Joleen has been absolutely amazing. I was on a trip to California when I decided to stop by the Orange County campus. Joleen met with me right away and gave me all the information I could possibly need about the school. I was never afraid to contact her with questions, and she was always quick to respond. I live on the east coast, so having an advisor who is friendly and quick to help really made the application process and project easier. She was also very encouraging and supportive throughout the whole process.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I really enjoy going on trips and adventures with my friends. Adventures could be hikes, shopping trips, beach trips, or anything fun. I love reading magazines like InStyle, Vogue, and Marie Claire, but my favorite way to relax or get inspired is a long walk through the makeup aisle.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment is graduating college with a degree in chemistry and being accepted into top chemistry PhD programs in the country. Before deciding that FIDM was the right place for me, I planned on going to graduate school. I had gone through a yearlong process of applying to these schools, and although that is not where I will be going next, it was still an honor to be accepted into such prestigious programs.

What made FIDM right for you? I visited different universities that I had been accepted into for graduate school this past winter. During those trips, I really thought that my heart was not happy. I had to take a step back and think about what I have a passion for and how I can make it a career. I have always loved makeup and the beauty industry. After researching FIDM and the Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing major, I realized that this was the dream. The connections that the school has, as well as the close location to so many major beauty brands, really made FIDM the right choice. It will be exciting to be surrounded by other students who are creative and have the same interests.

Describe your entrance project. I created a cosmetic line for young consumers who are just beginning to use makeup. There were three looks based off of a giraffe, zebra, and tiger, each having eyeliner, mascara, and eyeshadow. The giraffe set was a natural, simple daytime look. The zebra set had a liquid eyeliner and gave a cat eye look, and the tiger set was perfect for a smoky eye. Each was in a square package that had the corresponding animal print all over the packaging, with the animal name written across the top. The price point is great for young consumers who may not be willing to pay for high end products.

What are your career goals? I would absolutely love to work for Benefit, Smashbox, or any other beauty company. I would love to do product development, or work in marketing/public relations for a big company.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn the best way of marketing and presenting products to the world, and how I can become the best at it. I am really excited to learn everything I can about the beauty industry.

Apr

27
2015

Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Accepted to FIDM as a High School Junior

 

Casey

Name: Casey Sampson

Age: 17

Hometown: Peterborough, NH

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, July 2016

Admissions Advisor: Roxy DeGuzman

How did your advisor help with the process? I have known Roxy since the summer of 2013, which is when I first visited FIDM. We briefly met that summer and continued to stay in touch over the next year, emailing back and forth. I came to visit a second time in the summer of 2014 and Roxy and I talked a lot about the things I am interested in, what I am hoping to learn, and what I enjoy in life. When focusing on the major I would want to study at FIDM, Roxy helped me realize that the Merchandise Marketing major was the best fit for my personal interests and preferences. She encouraged me, motivated me, and was always there to answer any questions I had.

Tell us a bit about yourself. My interest in fashion and art started when I was very young. I’ve always loved expressing myself through the clothing, accessories, and jewelry I wear. I also like to express myself through music and different types of art.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I have always been a driven person and have always worked hard to achieve my goals. Maintaining straight A’s throughout high school while juggling sports, friends, work, and family is one of my proudest accomplishments. My early acceptance to FIDM is another. I still can’t believe I am officially accepted.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is the right school for me because of its location, atmosphere, and the majors offered. I love Los Angeles, and when I first visited the FIDM campus the vibe and atmosphere made me feel it would be a great fit for me. I loved just walking down the hallways of the school and seeing different windows displays and projects students had made. Seeing the creativity inspired me and made me want to become a part of the school.

Describe your entrance project. I completed my entrance project over the course of a few months. I decided to use photography to show my five outfits for my store because it allowed me to style each look. I was also able to choose different, visually appealing, and interesting locations for each photo shoot to really show off the clothing. I then took the photographs and uploaded them into a program on my computer that allowed me to create a magazine-like booklet, which I then had printed.

What are your career goals? Studying Merchandise Marketing at FIDM will allow me to explore a number of different career paths that I am interested in. I think I might like to become a buyer because I always want to be on trend and pay attention to new and up-and-coming trends. I may also be interested in becoming an entrepreneur and owning, as well as managing, my own store. My hope is that studying Merchandise Marketing at FIDM will help me decide which of these paths will be the best fit for me.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I hope to gain knowledge about the how the fashion industry works, as well as skills in both merchandising and marketing. I also expect to gain the business and management skills I need in order to be successful and do well in whatever job or career I pursue.

Apr

27
2015

Meet the FIDM DECA Challenge Winners From Castro Valley High School

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Each year, FIDM puts high school DECA students’ trend forecasting, marketing, and film production skills to the test for its annual FIDM DECA Runway Challenge. For this year's entries, DECA students researched current fashion trends to create a look depicting the fashion forecast, which was presented via short film and shared through YouTube. Approximately 80 teams from around the country competed in this year’s challenge.

This year’s winning teams from Castro Valley High School ("Pioneer Boho"), Bergen County Academies DECA (“Back to Roots"), and Lower Pioneer Valley ("Bold and Boxy") were named first, second and third place, respectively, and will be recognized on stage at DECA’s International Career Development Con­ference (ICDC) this week in Orlando, Florida.

FIDM awarded the winning team--Rita Sorokina, Erica Gorman, and Kyley Lockwood (pictured above, from left to right) of Castro Valley High School--with a travel stipend to attend ICDC. "In DECA, thousands of members are challenged to take something they love and turn it into something incredible," explains Kyley, whose team was inspired by the Western culture and rodeo scene in their hometown. "We all love fashion and were so excited to be able to express ourselves through this competition. Wining was just an incredible bonus to the experience." 

Kyley says that their favorite part of participating in DECA is the valuable connections you make with other people. "DECA has allowed us to make so many friends in and out of our chapter," she adds. "It has given us skills that will be incredibly useful in the industry and have increased our overall confidence in business. We have met so many fascinating people because of DECA's diverse membership. In DECA there is something for everyone, no matter what type of business interests you." ​

Watch the winning entry here:

 

Apr

24
2015

NastyGal Technical Designers Sara Goodman and Sandy Novak Visit FIDM

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FIDM Students on the Los Angeles campus were treated this week to a special visit from NastyGal technical designers Sara Goodman and Sandy Novak. They shared their insider experience on what it's like to be a technical designer in the world of fashion.

Sandy Novak, Senior Technical Designer at NastyGal and a graduate from FIDM, gave a presentation in the Student Lounge on the differences between a designer and a technical designer. She explained that essentially designers come up with original creations and sketch out their ideas, while technical designers create the blueprint for the garment, and are ultimately responsible for the fit—which translates into sales.

Sandy introduced Sara Goodman, the Director of Technical Designer at NastyGal. Sandy explained that Sara is her mentor. She's been in the industry for 18 years and has worked for companies including Adidas, Nordstrom, bebe, BCBG, and Guess. In fact, Sara's first job was as a pattern maker at Adidas working on pants for Lakers basketball player Kobe Bryant.

Sara said that one of the advantages of pursuing a career in technical design is that you'll always have a job. Good technical designers are highly valued. The fit of a garment can make or break its salability, so accurate measurements are key to the merchandise product development process.

"I build garments from scratch—from numbers really," Sara said. "Being a technical designer is truly what I love to do."

This summer, FIDM will be launching a new Bachelor of Science Degree in Apparel Technical Design—open to students who have earned an Associate of Arts degree from FIDM in Merchandise Product Development. For more information, please call 213-624-1201.

Apr

24
2015

See Masked Muses from the Art Forms Fashion Collection by FIDM Alumnus Paul Hernandez at San Diego's Art Alive

Paul

Fashion Designer, FIDM DEBUT Graduate, and San Diego native Paul Hernandez debuts his Masked Muses from the Art Forms Fashion Collection during the Art Alive 2015 celebrations at The San Diego Museum of Art. The Art Forms Fashion Collection is comprised of four dramatic fashion installations, each inspired by a different piece of art in the museum.

 

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• Masked Muse I: Inspired by the painting, Wooded Landscape with a Waterfall, by Jacob van Ruisdael.

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• Masked Muse II: Inspired by the painting, Flower Garland with the Holy Family, by Daniel Seghers.

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• Masked Muse III: Inspired by a jali screen by an unknown artist from India.

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• Masked Muse IV: Inspired by the sculpture, Bather, by Jacques Lipchitz.

The collection will be on display throughout the Art Alive celebrations, from Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26, 2015.

Photos by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages

Apr

23
2015

Links We Love: Slow Fashion, The Strange History of Sunglasses And More

SlowFashion

This week’s Earth Day got industry people and consumers alike thinking about the true meaning of eco-friendly fashion. Ever since sustainable materials and practices inundated clothing markets, the lesser known slow-fashion movement has taken matters of manufacturing literally into its own hands. The movement began in the '90s and aims to limit the wasteful disposal of garments by resisting light-speed trends that can render last month’s hot commodity as totally out the next. 

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Some movement participants consider its philosophy a general push for conscious shopping. Others,  like designer Natalie Chanin, do away with  industrial production altogether in place of old fashioned artistry. Chanin and her team hand sew every single stitch of her brand Alabama Chanin's beautifully embroidered clothes made from Southern hand spun, knit and dyed cotton. Quality and durability are key qualities of slow fashion designers that seek to create cherished items that last. These are not your grandma’s frumpy knits either. Slow-fashion designers like John Patrick offer timeless staples like high-waisted shorts and gorgeous minimal blouses that could never really go out of style.

Because of its meticulously handcrafted nature and locally sourced materials, it may not be an affordable option for everybody.  Alabama Chanin balances their steep prices by open-sourcing their patterns for anyone to recreate and hosting workshops. Those who make clothing know it demands long processes and hard work. Whether you make garments from scratch or simply feel appreciation for the work it entails, the slow clothing movement opens the seams for consumers and designers to examine the processes their garments undergo from spool to hanger and the environmental and human costs taken along the way.

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L.A experienced a British invasion over the weekend when not, one but two UK fashion moguls came to town, and brought the party along with them. Burberry held a runway show in front of the Griffith Observatory on April 16th and the stars really did shine. Among the 700 guests were fashion royalty Anna Wintour , the Beckhams, Elton John and Rosie Huntington-Whitely,  who nibbled very Brit cucumber crab sandwiches before the followup fall 2015 presentation. Though British flags flanked the drive up to the parking lot, the collection was perfect for L.A.  The paisley prints, patchwork, peasant dresses and suede coats shrouded in fringe were a fond reflection of Cali’s never dying love for the 70’s.

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In addition to the collection originally seen this February in London, Burberry debuted an exclusive L.A evening wear line for men and women that will be sold at the new Rodeo drive store. This L.A- only collection is all about theatrical statement pieces like a cinderella-style tulle ball gown and a gold sequined trench coat. 

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At the same time, beloved Londoners Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos of the Pilotto brand came into town. In addition to city-wide trunk shows, Pilotto brightened the MTV Music Awards when Bella Thorne and Anna Camp both donned funky printed minidresses from its Spring’15 collection. Pilotto’s womenswear line is more familiar to Brits than Americans, but after this L.A sprint, may become a brand in-demand.

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Spring is an season of re-birth, both conceptually and for the birds and the bees, literally. And at a time when millennials are taking huge strides for LGBTQ rights, it seems an apt time for founders of Butchbaby & Co to announce their new genderqueer maternity line.  The importance of androgynous clothing has recently struck a nerve for designers and major retailers world wide like Selfridges, who launched their gender-neutral fashion experience in London at the start of this year. Design student Michelle Janayea and Vanessa Newman, a digital strategist, recognized that queer, trans, and masculine parents-to-be had little-to- none choices when it came to the feminine frills of maternity wear. Based on comfort and accessibility, the new line features outfits for each possible stage of the day; button down shirt and stretchy jeans for work, nursing T-shirt and jogging pants for play and nursing bra and boxer briefs for rest. At its conception, Butchbaby is currently an online store but with an outpouring of warm support from the LGBTQ community, this baby could make its first steps into in-store retail sometime soon.

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The fashion docs just keep coming! As if Iris (in theaters April 29) wasn't enough, new documentaries about two ingenious designers should make your summer viewing list. The short documentary The Artist Is Absent, which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival this week, illuminates the progressive art of Maison Martin Margiela and the mystique he created through his deference for the spotlight.  The film will premiere on April 27 on www.yoox.com.  Dior and I captures the inner mad workings of the Christian Dior fashion house. The film is out now at independent and Arclight theaters across the city.

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Maybe it’s part of the intense wave of '90s nostalgia trends, or America’s love for comfy, un-pretty novelties  (like Uggs or Crocks) but these babies are back and selling. This time it’s hipsters, not campers, who are buying.  A current overall love of chunk, led by the comeback of puffy platform shoes and  Adidas  must have signaled an ideal time for Teva’s re-branding.  The U.S born sports shoe company has successfully turned its trademark ‘dad sandals’ to ‘ party/poolside comfort shoes’. Contemporary colors and metallics paired with big buckles and straps accentuate the revamped sandals’ dorky/ cool silhouette and newly heightened wedges resemble raver-kid-shoes. Collaborations with NastyGal and Opening Ceremony ensued and Teva’s seem to be the summer sandal at Urban Outfitters. Teva’s have made recent runway appearances via Christopher Raeburn's SS15 collection,  and  Style bloggers and festival goers like Jamie Chung are making it known that it’s cool to be comfortable.

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Gladiator sandals are also back in the ring for summer footwear and this round, they more dramatic than ever.  The ancient Roman inspired shoes with its criss-cross laces, which saw it’s original revival in the '60s and then again in 2004, now wrap much higher up the calf to just below the knee for a fiercer, boho-warrior look. Unlike the low ankle wrapping, jewel embellished gladiators hit the streets with gusto a few years back , the new incarnations kick it up a notch in more elegant, thinner designs in black, authentic browns and disco golds so folks can really feel their inner Xena. 

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The sunglasses of Coachella can tell us a few things about the current staples of summer eye-wear. We have  moved away from squarish Ray-Ban type frames and in exchange for rounder, thicker and groovier deigns.  Mirrored lenses have taken over and hues of green, red and blue, add a stylish splash of mystery for the eye-hidden wearer. But, nowhere, nowhere, in those rainbow reflective lenses is a glimpse into the true and bizarre history of sunglasses. You’ve got to read it to believe it: The first ever sunglasses were created by Chinese judges in the 12th century who used the early contraption to shield their eyes in order to appear emotionless and objective in court.  The tinted glasses made their way across oceans to Europe, where they gained a vision-improving reputation, often colored green and mostly marketed for the elderly.  Then in the 19th century,  young people, especially those afflicted with syphilis made light-sensitive by the STD, began to sport small round framed sunglasses along with attachable metal nose coverings that hid their symptoms of nose deterioration. From then on, 1920’s movies stars began the true glamorization of sunglasses while protecting their eyes from the magnesium filled flashbulbs of the cameras of the time and hiding from the paparazzi. All this, so that California’s could get their most important accessory!

Apr

22
2015

Interview: Mad Men Costume Designer Branches Out

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Costume Designer Janie Bryant is expanding her brand. In an interview with the New York Times, the indefatigable Bryant describes her plans, post her award-winning work on Mad Men. Saying that the deals that are coming her way tend to call for more mid-century modern designs, like her line of shoes for Shoes of Prey, she says she is ready for a change. "I'm waiting for a different period. French baroque. Romantic," says Bryant whose goal is to expand into areas outside of fashion to ultimately become a lifestyle brand.

photo credit: New York Times

Apr

22
2015

Paul Hernandez to Create Dress Forms Inspired by Works From San Diego Museum of Art

ArtAlive

From April 24 to April 26, the San Diego Museum of Art will be transformed into a vision of art and flowers as more than 100 floral designers bring the Museum's renowned Permanent Collection to life during the 34th annual Art Alive fundraiser. In addition to the floral exhibition and other special events, fashion designer, San Diego native, and FIDM Graduate Paul Hernandez will create one-of-a-kind, draped dress forms inspired by four works from the Museum’s Permanent Collection. 

This year’s floral exhibition will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26. General admission is free for members, $20 for nonmembers, and free for children age 6 and under. In addition to viewing the annual floral exhibition during Museum hours, Art Alive 2015 offers three full days of events, activities, and celebrations. 

Apr

21
2015

Interior Design Grads Create Rooms for 2015 Pasadena Showcase House

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Interior Design Graduates Casey Mason and Ruben Marquez of Jennifer Bevan Interiors designed the library and an adjoining bath for this year's Pasadena Showcase House. "We used a combination of Dunn Edwards Muslin, Reclaimed Wood, and Barnwood Gray to create over-scaled Greek key panels as a play on wainscoting and to give the space a sense of history. There were bookcases and a faux fireplace on the south wall that were not original to the home, so we removed them to enhance the square footage of the library and allow us to create an intimate seating area," explains Casey. "The Kravet fabrics that we chose for the furniture and drapery are a perfect mix of textures and we fell in love with the abstract art piece over the sofa by Bryan Ricci, a local LA artist, and we felt that it perfectly juxtaposes the traditional elements in the room."

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The adjoining bathroom takes cues from a gentleman’s suit, starting with a Walker Zanger mosaic that seamlessly combines marble and porcelain. "The textured wall covering by Dillard Pierce is the perfect marriage of drama and dimension," she adds. "The gorgeous faucet, sink, and vanity legs from Sherle Wagner fell in line with the idea of a gentleman’s area, since stately architecture motivated the design of the fittings. The modern, cubic Christopher Guy mirror is definitely meant to be a statement piece. Polished nickel lighting add a flawless finish, creating a handsome-looking space."

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The 2015 Pasadena Showcase House of Design is open through May 17, 2015. Tickets are available for purchase here

Apr

21
2015

Just Accepted Fashion Design Student Is U.S. Navy Veteran Who Will Study at FIDM San Diego

 

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Name: Anna Harvey

Age: 23

Hometown: Eden, UT

Previous College: Master at Arms (MA) United States Navy

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: San Diego July 2015

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? I've known Susan since 2009, when I first fell in love with FIDM, and I couldn't of asked for a more supportive and helpful advisor. She's always taken the time out of her day to talk whenever I had a question or just want to catch up. We've stayed in contact throughout my navy career and she's always been encouraging.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I've always admired and looked up to Leonardo Da Vinci who inspired me to broaden the spectrum of hobbies and interests. I've enjoyed spending my time painting, drawing, sewing, doing theater, learning the electric violin and to speak Japanese, barrel racing on horses, ballet, roller derby, snow boarding, shooting, and more. Leonardo Da Vinci has inspired me to grow and have an eagerness to learn. Alexander McQueen was the first person that made me truly appreciate fashion as an art. I remember the first McQueen design I saw I was enthralled and wanted to know more. I love dramatic and whimsical fashion with attention to detail. I'm also an avid reader, especially for science fiction and fantasy.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I specifically joined the Navy to go to FIDM. I'm very proud of my time in the navy being military police for four years and through those years always receiving the highest evaluation and awards such as good conduct, letters of appreciation, and patrol officer of the month. I was challenged by the tasks presented to me and I had the privilege of helping people on a daily basis. I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to protect and help those who protect the United States.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is the best option for me for both professional and personal reasons. I love the variety of people in Southern California and how expressive and artistic people can be. I love that you can be on the beach or drive a few hours north and go snowboarding. As far as academics go, FIDM Los Angeles is in the heart of the film industry and costume design is what I'm passionate about. I've done a lot of research on different fashion schools and the talent that comes from FIDM is unprecedented. I'm excited to go to school and be around students who appreciate art as much as I do. I love being around people who are passionate and excited about what they do. I think FIDM will push me to express my artistic abilities better than any other school.

Describe your entrance project. For my project, I sketched six costume designs that flow as a collection. My inspiration page was filled with pictures from various movies such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Moonrise Kingdom. I included pictures from books, music, and even video games because those are also places I derive inspiration. For my swatches I attached a lot of rich fabrics such as silk, satin, and velvet. I wanted to create statement pieces that people would remember.

What are your career goals? Ultimately, to design costumes for major motion pictures. I want my designs to help tell a story and assist directors in character portrayal. I look forward to having a job that allows me to express my creativity and work with a diverse group of people. I've always enjoyed theater and have always found assisting in the creative process of telling a story very rewarding.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? What I want to learn most is to take an idea I have in my head, put it on paper and create a well-tailored quality costume, suit, dress, etc., and to obtain the tools and skills to become a successful costume designer. Also, to learn from people who are as passionate about art as I am. I expect to be challenged and pushed far beyond my present capabilities. To say I'm looking forward to begin this journey would be an understatement.

Apr

21
2015

Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Is Singer Who Has Traveled the World Performing

 

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Name: Jazz Madison

Age: 23

Hometown: Corona California

Previous College/Work: Fullerton College, Royal Caribbean International

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA, Summer 2015

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Susan helped me find and decide on the major that fit me best. She also gave me so many great resources and information about the school and what its about and what they offer. She is very accommodating and helpful in deciding what is best and planning your future at FIDM. She is so willing to help in any way she can. She is definitely a big part of my successful admission process. Consider yourself lucky if she is your advisor; Susan is an absolute gem.

Tell us a bit about yourself. My passion is singing and performing. I have been performing since the age of three. I recently got back from traveling the world with Royal Caribbean as a singer. I got to see some beautiful places and meet some amazing people.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Traveling the world and getting to do what I love and headlining at the Roxy on Sunset Boulevard at the age of 16.

What made FIDM right for you? Having such a vast array of career paths, connections, and resources. Being able to nurture a creative soul and accommodate those of us with different and individual ways of learning.

Describe your entrance project. The window display I created a store called Leela and J , which represents my younger sister's and my names. It is a fun California girl-inspired store. My interior store design was a 1950's vintage store selling all pieces from that era.

What are your career goals? I would love to be doing something in the entertainment industry whether it be performing or behind the scenes.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to obtain the tools and skills necessary to secure a successful career in this business. I also look forward networking and just meeting creative cool and inspiring people.

Apr

20
2015

Fashion Knitwear Design Grad is a Technical Designer at Alternative Apparel (Interview)

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Fashion Knitwear Design Graduate Marisol Aguirre has a new job at L.A.-based Alternative Apparel as a Technical Designer in the men's department. After finishing her degree in 2007, she worked for more than four years at Forever 21, in the girls department, and freelanced for Multee. We recently chatted with Marisol to learn more about her current job and future goals. 

What are your responsibilities at Alternative Apparel? I’m responsible for all fits, from development to pre-production. My job is to ensure each garment's fit represents the aesthetic view of the company. I fit once a week on a live model and submit fit comments to vendors in a timely manner to ensure all deadlines are met. I also, must keep track of all samples and maintain all logs that pertain to my styles. Being organized and having the ability to communicate efficiently are a must in my position as I must ensure our vendors received sufficient and correct information to provide us with quality production.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM prepared me for my career by providing courses that I continue to use in my current job. One of my favorite classes was, Stitch, Color and Surface Design with Instructor Robin Wagner. We learned the particulars of color and texture created by an assortment of stitches. I’m thankful and grateful to Robin Wagner and Anne Bennion for providing me with knowledge and support that I have utilize throughout my career.

What are your ultimate career goals? I enjoy and appreciate the responsibilities that come with being a Technical Designer. However, now that I’m a mother to a baby boy, my goal to one day teach children art and knit has resurfaced. My background as a playground worker/tutor at an afterschool program called LA’s BEST (which I worked for in my twenties as I attended FIDM) would come in handy. But at this point in my life my personal goals are to be the best mother and wife. And as for my career goal, it is to be the best Technical Designer I can possibly be.

Apr

20
2015

10 Top Fashion Videos For Prada, Chanel & More

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Need a quick jolt of visual inspiration? In addition to the current or soon-to-be-released feature films on Dior, Yves St. Laurent, and she of the big accessories, New Yorker Iris Apfel, Business of Fashion has compiled their top 10 designer videos of the season. Top picks include Chanel with Pharrell Wiliams and Cara Delevingne, and Kendall Jenner for Dazed & Confused. The Dior video was shot in that exotic fashion locale—the Los Angeles suburbs.

Apr

20
2015

From the FIDM Library: Textiles & Materials Quarterly, Eco Leather

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This month the FIDM Library reports on ecological advances in making leather as more fashion and interior design companies seek out sustainable and organic alternatives.

Conventional leather processing involves the use of chrome and heavy metals—methods that create soft, pliable hides at the expense of the environment. Also, the leather industry uses the by-products of the meat industry for their skins. With Eco-friendly leather the cows are raised humanely in open pastures. The tanning process uses bio-degradable materials such as bark and plant tannins, and is free of heavy metals. 

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Modern Meadow is a company working on alternate methods for producing leather. Their tissue-engineering technique called "biofabrication" follows the same principle as cultured products such as beer or yogurt to brew a quality leather from bovine skin cells obtained from biopsies that do not harm the animals. It currently takes the company 6 weeks to make a square foot of fully finished leather. Conventional methods take two to three years to obtain, care for, and feed an animal. Modern Meadow's goal is to eventually meet the global demand for leather goods without using water, chemicals. or animals.

by Cynthia Aaron, FIDM Library

Apr

20
2015

Join FIDM MODE in Celebrating the Magazine's 9th Edition

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FIDM MODE is having its bi-annual launch party for the release of MODE Magazine's 9th edition, “Fearless." 

On next Thursday, April 23 at 5 p.m., the launch  will be held at The Well in DTLA, featuring food, drinks, music, party favors, raffles, flash tattoos, prizes and more. Tickets are now on sale in Student Activities (Room 425) for $10, and for $15 at the door. Don’t miss out!

**This party is for current FIDM Students only.**

Apr

20
2015

Find Out How FIDM Is Helping Student Dércia de Vilhena Achieve Her Career Goals

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FIDM Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing Student Dércia de Vilhena recently participated and blogged about her experience in the Denim Study Tour, so we caught up with her to find out more about her and her career goals.

Tell us briefly about yourself and what brought you to FIDM? I'm from Angola, an African country with so much potential but weak in the beauty and fashion industry. I've always had a passion for beauty and my necessity to learn more about it triggered my creativity. As a full time management student at University in Cape Town, South Africa, I also studied makeup. I started working as a freelance makeup artist and eventually started my company, DVmakeup. After losing my father unexpectedly I was scared of “tomorrow,” so I decided to visit the U.S. for a week. I found out about FIDM's Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing degree and loved it. The next thing I knew, a year later I graduated from University and moved to Los Angeles—with one bag, two pairs of jeans, a bag with makeup, and unlimited dreams.
 
Why (as a beauty student) did you find it important to attend the Denim Study Tour? I love to explore my options and expand my knowledge. I believe that the more you know, the more you will earn. Regardless of the major, as a FIDM student we should take advantage of all the opportunities here because you never know what tomorrow holds. There is so much you can learn from different industries and adapt it to your major. Beauty is everywhere. Most businesses these days have beauty lines. Diesel has fragrances in which the packaging design is made out of denim.
 
What are your career goals? I don't know what the future holds, but I hope to grow my company, DVmakeup, have a lifestyle line, or work with a well known company and become the bridge between the U.S. and the rest of the world. Investing in Africa is definitely in my plans.
 
How is FIDM helping you achieve your career goals? FIDM is a source of inspiration. There is always something going on every single day—e.g., tours, guest speakers, movies—anything you can think of, FIDM has it. The fact that I am able to meet and talk to people that started brands that I have admired for so long is mind blowing. All these opportunities help me to learn more about the beauty industry and also, about myself as a businesswoman. Every day I meet new people and I get inspiration from students and lectures with different backgrounds, ages and career goals.

Apr

19
2015

Day 3 of Denim Study Tour: California Wash House, Seven For All Mankind

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FIDM Student Dércia de Vilhena shares her three-day Denim Student Tour experience: March 31 - April 2. Read about Day 1 and Day 2.

The final day of the Denim Tour started early at California Denim Wash House. Our hosts Phil Shaheen and Jessica (a graduate of FIDM) greeted us in their creative office and explained to us their daily routine while showing different denim styles. Students had the opportunity to have a tour of the facility in which Phil explained in detail each process and the tools and machinery they use. 

The last stop of the tour was the headquarters of Seven For All Mankind where the host Ryan Swift greeted us and gave us a tour of their offices and fabric, explaining the brands manufacturing steps—for example, the process to select the fabric to make jeans and their machinery. 

After the tour, students had the opportunity to purchase Seven For All Mankind apparel at their corporate store. The perfect ending for an intensive three-day tour. 

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Apr

18
2015

Day 2 of Denim Study Tour: FIDM Student Dércia de Vilhena Shares Her Experience

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FIDM Student Dércia de Vilhena shares her three-day Denim Student Tour experience: March 31 - April 2. Read about Day 1.

Day 2 of Denim Tour started at Koos/AG facilities. We were all impressed by the size, machinery and organization of the company. We saw the production site, all business departments, including relaxation areas. We learned the complete process of making denim, starting from the fabric, sewing back pockets, the story behind buttons design and logo, washing process, to the shipping process. We also had the opportunity to see how AG makes their store design and wood work in house.

After a delightful lunch at Urth Caffe, we did go to Avery Dennison and the experience was mind blowing. We had the opportunity to see collaborations they did with several companies, understand the steps of translating an idea into an actual product. We then moved on to the “Denim Room” in which we saw the latest trends in denim, the different materials, colors and designs. One of the designs that stood out the most was the reflective print. All students had the opportunity to bring their own design and put it on denim or t-shirts. 

The last stop for the day was at ISKO, where the lovely Roxanne Dennant started by giving us insight of the company and how she started working in the industry. FIDM students had an exclusive opportunity to see and touch ISKO upcoming projects for the next seasons. 

We ended the day with a group dinner where the students had the opportunity to get to know each other a little bit more and talk about their personal life and future career goals and what we learned from the tour.

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Apr

17
2015

Denim Study Tour Day One: FIDM Student Dércia de Vilhena Shares Her Experience

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The Denim Study Tour is offered each spring through the Merchandise Product Development Department. Over the course of three days, FIDM Students meet with premium denim labels, tour the companies, and learn about denim design and production in California. 

This year, a student in the beauty department, Dércia de Vilhena, participated. When asked why a beauty student would be interested in this type of study tour, she replied, "Regardless of the major, as a FIDM student we should take advantage of all the opportunities...there is so much you can learn from different industries and adapt to your major. I love to explore my options and expand my knowledge. Most businesses these days have beauty lines. Diesel has fragrances that the packaging design is made out of denim." Read her account of Day One, and check back tomorrow for Day Two. 

March 31, 2015: Day One of the Denim Study Tour

Who does not own a pair of jeans in their closet? Everybody does. We all experienced buying a pair of jeans before, but not many of us have the chance to actually see the process of making denim jeans. 

The call time on the first day of the 2015 Denim Study Tour was 8:30 a.m. FIDM students from different majors (Merchandising Product Development, Merchandising Marketing, and Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing) were on their way to the Guess headquarters.  

Tina Zhu greeted us with a lovely breakfast and showed us a short documentary about the Guess brand and its founders. Tina also gave us a tour of the amazing headquarters, explaining each department and its functions, how Guess creates trend boards as inspiration for new collections, and the design layout for the different stores.

At 11:30 a.m., we went back to FIDM and while having lunch, guest speaker Lukus Eichmann from Tortoise Jeans explained to us the business side of a premium denim company, his experience as a young entrepreneur, being featured in the most respected fashion magazines such as Vogue, the changes in his career path, and how he recycles water in his facility. 

Our next appointment was at 1:30 p.m. at Current/Elliott. There, we met Morgan Powers and the rest of the design team. They explained to us how they make trend boards and sketches, the tools they use and inspirations they have for each collection. We then moved on to the production department where Milena Morales showed us how she handles the paper work, manages the team and works with all departments. After the tour, students had the exciting opportunity to shop Current/Elliott items.

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Apr

16
2015

DEBUT and DECA Grad Is Founder of New Menswear Label J. Webster

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DEBUT and DECA Graduate Johnathan Webster worked for Oumlil, Helmut Lang, Theory, and Theysken's Theory before striking out on his own with J. Webster, a new menswear collection dedicated to bridging the gap between traditional tailoring and contemporary smart street wear. "It is my mission to give men the highest quality of craftsmanship, materials, and cut of a blazer that is accessible and affordable," says Johnathan, who spent 15 months in Rome furthering his design education thanks to the Koefia scholarship he received after graduating from FIDM in 2009. 

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Apr

16
2015

Nasty Gal's New Girlboss Grant Goes to Two FIDM MPD Grads

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After successfully funding a Kickstarter campaign in January, FIDM Merchandise Product Development Graduates Natasha Endrei and Alicia Rhodes of Aeline have begun to accept pre-orders on their website. Their patent-pending product, Pliable Pattern, is a gridded fabric that allows users to draft patterns directly onto the fabric, which can then be pinned, cut, and sewn. This innovative fabric saves both time and money. 

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Natasha and Alicia, who met while working on the private label team at a popular e-commerce company, recently received a grant from Nasty Gal's Girlboss Foundation for their innovation. Their Pliable Pattern will begin shipping in June. 

Apr

16
2015

Links We Love: Interior Design's New Romances, Makeup's Wild Moment and More

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Romantic, moody, and remixed are key words for interior design 2015, thus far. New, darkly poetic trends have ushered in a moment of rich gem tones, mixed materials, and irregular artsy patterns. Bright primary colors, predictable chevron prints, and novelty plastic furniture are so last year. 

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In some trending living room and bedrooms, rich indigo walls, dramatic florals prints, lush cushions, and Victorian accents are proof of a new romantic opulence.  A few of these fanciful details paired with demure modern furniture and blocks of muted color like grey and cream also make the case for a new kind of moody minimalism.

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The art of interiors is essentially a remix of designs, technology and styles from times old and new. Now, standard surface materials (paper, metals, glass) are being put back into the old melting pot and getting a good stir. Mixing cool and warm metals together to create electric layered pieces is brightening up new lighting deigns. Glass, too, is being magnificently muddled.  The smoky glass trend, taken straight from 70’s lighting, cocktail counters and coffee tables has made a comeback. Dark tinted glass is being used for sultry and mysterious emphasis on everything from bathroom enclosures, cabinets, and lights.

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Wall coverings have taken a greater leap from mere decoration to mixed media inspired works of art. Dutch artist Arthur Slenk uses high-tech scanners to fully render the depth of old paper clippings for his one-of-a-kind wallpaper collection. Slenk’s Remixed  collection, inspired by antique handwritten sheet music , gives a weathered and historical feeling from its artful creases and stains. Ekterina Panikanova’s reverence for the old  took her wall coverings to beautiful and bookish means; Dutch wallpaper brand NLXL discovered her whimsical paintings made on the insides of well-worn antique books and turned them into five gorgeous wallpapers.

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This week in Milan, it’s all about design. The annual, weeklong furniture trade show, Salone Internazionale del Mobile is the largest of its kind and features the most current design products and furniture from around world. Besides being an interior designer’s dream, the fair is especially known for innovations in lighting as well as for introducing some of the first waves of eco-friendly designs. To inaugurate the fair is a public installation by architect Attilio Stocchi in collaboration with Ford.  Staged inside two huge prismatic boxes FAVILLA: to every light a voice explores the perception of light through an interactive display of light’s four scientific characteristics.

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The affair between design, fashion, and 3D printers is getting more exciting every moment. In step with Milan, a group of architects and designers teamed up with footwear brand United Nude to create five women’s shoes completely on a 3D printer. Each shoe took around 24 hours to print on a 3D Systems’ Pro 60 selective laser sintering machine that used hard nylon soles and flexible thermoplastic polyurethane for the body. United Nude was itself founded by an architect; ten years ago Rem D Koolhaas took his industrial sensibility from buildings to shoes and has since made footwear known for its artfulness, new materials and extreme forms. Now on display at the Teatro Arsenale in Milan, this sculptural collection pushes tech and design boundaries to elegant extremes. Mexican architect Fernando Romero's red, fossilized sea creature inspired Ammonite shoes are featured above.  And a few of the shoe’s designers insist their creations are comfortable!

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Current styles across the board are saturated with denim’s blue hues. The authentic and natural feelings denim brings are coming in strong through a multitude of vintage inspired jean dresses and overalls. These days, jeans are getting loose and even sworn skinny jean devotees are opening their minds along with their hems. In tag team with the bell bottom resurrection are wider hems of all sizes including sailor pants and a more sophisticated  ‘boyfriend’ jean. New versions of the ‘boyfriend’ cut (also referred to as the ‘girlfriend’ by some labels) is a sleeked down and formfitting update of the original slouchy silhouette.  All around, denim has taken quite a beating with more distressed accents,  frays and rough-and-tough rips than ever.

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Okay, you don’t have to get your septum pierced or stick jewels all over your face, but it does look pretty cool. Fall 2015 runways have ushered in a hair and makeup creativity explosion. Take a look at Givenchy’s gem studded models, Giamba’s faux face tattoos, and Alexander Wang’s scary wet strains in the face a-la girl from The Ring hair.  While the every-day person might feel that face painting or gold leafed cheeks aren't office ready, makeup trends have already taken a dip towards the wild side. Black and gothic purple lipstick, temporary tattoo applicators,  and painterly eyeliner have become mainstream thanks to major makeup retailers like Sephora.

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"She was blonde as hell wearing a lot of black,” said Kenneth Fearing in his book turned 1948 noir film The Big Clock.  Next week, don’t miss the illustrated lecture Femmes, Fatales, Innocents and Intrigantes: Can the Costume Design of Film Noir Tell Us the Difference? led by costume and fashion historian Kimberly Truhler at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood on Saturday, April 25. The hour long talk will start at 2:00 and be followed by a screening of Gilda, starring Rita Hayworth.  Tickets are $9 with student ID.

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As finals draw near you might be in need of a pep-talk. Mom and best friends aside, Refinery 29 drew from some of L.A’s youngest top designers for their success stories and motivational tips.

Apr

15
2015

Industrywatch: Digital Jobs Drive LA Economic Growth

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"A surge in digital entertainment jobs from new online shows on Amazon, YouTube, and other new media outlets has helped drive employment in Hollywood to the highest level in a decade," according to a business report in the Los Angeles Times. With data backed by Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., the Times reports that 8,000 new jobs were added last year, bringing annual growth to 6.5%.

FIDM's Digital Media major prepares grads for careers in digital entertainment.

photo credit: Los Angeles Times

Apr

15
2015

MPD Graduate Is Lead Studio Technician for the Global Apparel Materials Studio at Nike (Interview)

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Name: Morgan Jefferies

FIDM Degree: Merchandise Product Development

Grad Year: 2013

Job Title: Lead Studio Technician for the Global Apparel Materials Studio at Nike

Tell us about your job at Nike. I've worked at Nike since May of last year. I work across 14 categories, including both Sport and Sportswear. I work daily with category material developers and designers to create tools that give more visibility to each categories seasonal material palettes. Additionally, I am the point person on creating visual tools for our leadership teams and special collaborations such as the Olympics. Day-to-day responsibilities include managing a library of over 40,000 fabrics and trims ensuring materials are up to date and available, as well as facilitating all vendor visits to campus for both domestic and import suppliers.

How do you feel FIDM helped prepare you for the workforce? I would encourage any student to develop a strong relationship with their teachers. They know more than you might think and you can learn a great deal from them. Additionally, the variety of classes helped prepare me to have a broader skill set. Every company varies in its working style. The more corporate the company, the narrower and deeper your position becomes. The smaller the company, the more hats you wear. It's ideal to work at all different kinds so you can determine which is the best fit for you. Take as many classes as you can that pertain to digital (Photoshop, Illustrator, Excel, PDM); it's increasingly the expectation of our generation that we are efficient in these programs and you will be in a more advantageous position when applying for jobs if you are. 

What are your ultimate career goals? The sky is the limit. I'm not as focused on climbing the corporate ladder as I was when I entered the industry. Ultimately I will work in a creative role but truly my goal is to find what I can do that will make me happiest in the industry and then build from there. I'm learning as I go and I've found that the idea you have of what you're going to do when you begin your career changes dramatically with each role you take and each company you work for. Some are great, some present incredible challenges. Perseverance and having an open mind are key. Don't be afraid to move, work for a small company, or take a position you didn't think you would ever be doing. Be flexible--you might just love where you end up.

Apr

14
2015

FIDM Grad Is Fashion Blogger Behind And She Saw Stars

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Fashion Design Professional Designation Graduate LaDonna Davis is the fashion blogger at And She Saw Stars, which was started last year as a means to feature her designs, photography, styling, and writing. "I thought it'd be good to get started early rather than wait until I graduated and start working to get my name and work noticed," she explains. LaDonna recently covered Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia. "I love covering fashion and styling on my blog, but my main interest is in telling stories, which is why I got into fashion design in the first place."

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LaDonna, who has an engineering background, enjoys looking at construction, how a fabric flows, and how it makes a statement or makes someone feels is important. "In the future, I expect to have an aspect of my fashion designs that go strictly towards the development of characters in stories," she adds. "So far, my own designs have utilized recycled materials and a patchwork process/technique that I am developing. I like to work with recycled materials and hope to gain additional experience working with these materials for fashion."

Pictured: FIDM Student models Adrienne (top) and Jorden (middle)

Apr

14
2015

Recent Grad Hired at EDG Interior Architecture + Design: Hear Her Story

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Name: Thao Tu

FIDM Major: Interior Design

Grad Year: December 2014

Company: EDG

How did your job come about? I learned about EDG via a connection I made through my previous employer. I had spoken about which direction I wanted to take after FIDM, and my boss suggested I get in touch with her friend, who helped staff various firms, and we explored various the ones that fit what I had envisioned for my career. Initially, EDG had already filled a prospective position, but a few months later, I was alerted of another opportunity. Fortunately, everything worked out.

What is your title/job responsibilities? I was hired for a Jr.Designer position. My responsibilities include, but does not limit to conceptual work (source inspiration pictures, materials, palettes, furnishings), technical work (InDesign, PS, a lot of CAD, and SketchUp), as well as FF&E specifications.

How do you feel FIDM has helped prepare you for your career? There are major things, such as the intensity of exposure to various programs the industry uses. I don't think it's a waste of time to have invested so many hours fixing that sketch or CAD or SketchUp model. Every details speak for itself, but it's important not to get lost in there and forget your original intention. I discovered I love how history influenced design and the idea of story telling in design. It's a humbling feeling that I went from working on a project in a staged real-life scenario to an actual real-life project; there is never an end to the learning experience with design.

Apr

14
2015

FIDM Grad Kenya Kirkland Opens Fashion Boutique in South Bay

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Kenya Kirkland graduated in 2011 with her degree in Merchandise Product Development. She now owns and operates her own boutique in Inglewood called Shop1323. She also designs clothing and jewelry, hosts events, and manages a team—all with three kids! She says, "I'm what you call a mommy mogul!"

Where are you working now? I currently own and operate a boutique in Inglewood called Shop1323 that boasts some of LA's top brands including two lines that I design and produce myself here in LA.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM prepared me for the production side of what I do. I use a lot of what I learned, daily. But the relationships I built on campus are just as valuable as the information learned in class.

How did you find out about FIDM? I was a store manager at BCBG and one of my sales associates was a student at FIDM. She told me about the school and what she was learning and I was so intrigued! 

How did you decide on your major? My student advisor guided me to Merchandise Product Development because of my interest in both design and the business of fashion. Definitely the right choice.

Which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Looking back, I say Technical Design was most valuable because Rebecca Eliason has become a true mentor and inspiration to me.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? My advice would be to build relationships with your teachers and other students with the the same passion as you. Intern as much as possible while you're in school. Lastly, keep great notes! If you're lucky you'll need them.

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal right now is to brand my boutique as the go to destination for women in the South Bay!

Anything else you’d like to share? Your network is your net worth. 

Apr

13
2015

MPD Student Accepts Paid Summer Internship With Nordstrom (Interview)

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Name: Sydney Bright

Major: Merchandise Product Development

Graduating: June 2015 

How did the internship opportunity come about? Was it a rigorous hiring process? I applied to the Nordstrom Corporate Internship online through the Nordstrom Career Network. I had to send in my application with my resume; I also created a website for the application with a few projects I completed at school. I was asked to submit a video interview answering a few timed questions. The next and final step was then to have another interview, but this time it was over Skype.

What will your internship program entail? What are you most excited about? I am going to assist the Product Development department for the Junior's and Kid's divisions. I am most excited about learning what goes into creating the Nordstrom Product Group and seeing how all of the different departments at headquarters work together.

How are you enjoying the MPD program at FIDM? I absolutely love the program. I get to learn everything from design to production. I feel as though with my major I truly could work in any job in the fashion industry.

What are your future career goals? I hope to learn as much as I possibly can this summer at Nordstrom and hopefully get into a training program. I would love to work for Nordstrom.

Apr

13
2015

Attend the Beauty Product Development Panel in Los Angeles on April 21

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On Tuesday, April 21, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., in Room 500 at FIDM L.A., find out what Product Development in the Beauty Industry is really like from experts and FIDM Grads at the Beauty Product Development Panel. Panelists include ORLY & SpaRitual's Elyse Piwonka, Smashbox's Kia Ragland, Arbonne's Robyn Turner, and Stila's Caitlin Woo. 

Apr

09
2015

What to do in LA: April-May Events for Students in the City

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This city is big. Really big. Between studying, projects, interning, and work, it can be way hard to keep up with everything that’s going on. That’s why we're here to here to help you stay on top of the most interesting, inspiring and downright fun activities of the month.  With downtown as base and student friendly freebies in mind, there’s no excuse not to leave your bubble and explore! 

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If you haven't scoped the Central Library, located close to campus on W. 5th Street, it is an architectural must-see of the city and an amazing resource center.  Besides infinite stacks of books, the gilded domed library also hosts the free ALOUD Lecture Series and special exhibits. This month in April, as always, ALOUD will host a diverse array of journalists, authors and artists.  Coming up on Tuesday, April 21 is a  conversation with journalist/author Sandy Tolan about his new book Children of Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land- a true story that reaches across the Israel/ Palestinian conflict. Children follows a young  Palestinian refugee violinist  who accomplishes his dream to create a music school with help from Israel musicians. The interview begins at 7:15 and is free. It is highly recommended to reserve a space online as they do go fast.

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While at the library, you cannot miss the  L.A music photo exhibit “From Pop to the Pit,” that captures the scene from 1978-89.  Portraits include your city’s rock and roll favs like The Runaways, The Go-Go’s, X  and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Punk rock photographer Edward Clover will speak about his iconic mages and the unique musical time they encapsulate on Saturday, April 18 from 2-4pm at Mark Taper Auditorium inside the library. Tickets are free and can be reserved online.

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If you still need more rock god(dess) inspiration, head to the Skirball Center for Billboard USA: when rock took over advertising’s roadside monoliths.  In 1967, The Doors were catapulted to fame with help from one of the first Rock’N’Roll billboards and the rest of the music industry followed suit.  In the late 60’s and 70’s, the Sunset Strip became an outdoor art gallery of album art. Record labels’ pursuits to garner public attention gave way to edgy campaigns that were both controversial and highly original. On Tuesday, April 21, at 8 pm you can hear photographer Robert Landau and billboard painter Enrique Vidal discuss their careers. General museum admission is $7 with student ID and the discussion tickets are free and can be reserved online. The exhibit is on display until August 16.

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Throw on all your costume jewelry and invoke your inner glamorous grandma! Here is the awe-inspiring fashion documentary you’ve been craving: Iris, directed by the non-other Albert Maysles, documentarian of Grey Gardens will special preview at USC’s Ray Stark Family Theatre,7:00 P.M. on Wednesday, April 29th. Maysles, who passed away just last month, always had an eye out for fashions outsider stars.  After gifting the world the haunting tale of the stylish shut-ins in Grey Gardens, Maysles found Iris Apfel- the geriatric  fashion icon of our time.  Born to a fashion boutique owner father in 1921 Queens, Iris, now 93, became recognized  for her textile innovations, vast couture jewelry collection and world-wide inspiring bold style . Admission is free with RSVP and the screening will follow with a Q&A with Iris herself!  You really can’t get better than that, darling!

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Any Angeleno knows that nothing compares to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.This USC campus-wide event that runs April 18th and 19th really has something for everyone.  Besides hundreds of booksellers, publishers, museums, theaters and cultural organizations showing their wares, the festival is a prime opportunity to hear free music, see your favorite authors and performers, watch live art and eat great food. Artist and author readings and interviews include cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz, poet Victoria Chang and punk icon Billy Idol.  Don’t miss the incredibly fun  LA native Cumbia punk band Thee Common’s performance on Saturday at 11:00 am on the LA Sound stage.  General admission is free as well as the majority of discussions and readings.

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Photography is taking over the city this April. In collaboration with Month of Photography Los Angeles, galleries across the city are exploding with incredible images and artist talks. Kick off your Thursday night, April 9, with the MOPLA group show at Arena 1 Gallery at Santa Monica Art Studios from 6-9pm. Openings and events are scattered throughout this month and most are free! 

Willhelm

If you haven't yet seen MOCA’s Bernhard Willhelm 3000: When Fashion Shows The Danger Then Fashion Is The Dangerthen Saturday, May 9th is the perfect day.  At 3 pm the designer himself will lead a walk through commentary of the exhibit.Along side contemporaries like Alexander McQueen, Wilhelm has exploded notions of conformity in the fashion and art world. Through  chaos-wielding installation, photography and video, the exhibit offers an important look into the future of fashion and commerce itself.  You cannot miss this delicious display of cultural commentary, light-up mannequin heads and possibly the most insane outfits you have ever seen.  Admission and artist tour are free but there is limited space and you must RSVP at moca.org. The exhibit runs until May 17 at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.

Amoeba

Amoeba Music store in Hollywood is great go-to for free shows. Not only do they happen regularly, but you can easily catch your favorite touring bands. This month, check out L.A’s indie folk band The Wild Reeds on April 14th at 6:00pm and adorable singer- song writing duo The Weepies on April 28 at 6pm. Get there early to secure a good spot since the room fills up fast. 

Healthebay

Go green for Earth Day with a few city-wide events. To learn about sustainability practices including free gardening and composting demos and free plant giveaways, go to downtown’s Grand Park and The Music Center on April 22 from 9am-2pm. If you feel like getting your hands dirty in honor of Mother Earth, head to the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium and join Heal the Bay in a beach clean up on April 20th from 10am-12pm.  Picking up trash will earn you free admission to the aquarium, where aquatic friends, games and a photo booth awaits.

There you have have it , you studious bunnies. The city is your carrot!

Apr

09
2015

Former Fashion Club President and FIDM Grad Chigo Ikeme Lands Paid Internship at NastyGal and Gets Accepted Into IMPD Program

Chigo-ikeme

Former Fashion Club President, Chigoziri Ikeme graduated last month from FIDM with her degree in Merchandise Product Development and just got accepted into the prestigious one-year IMPD program. She credits her Brand Portfolio class with Ms. Hahn for helping her land her paid internship at Nasty Gal Inc. in fabric research and development.

Tell us a little about yourself: I'm a recent MPD grad and a recently accepted IMPD student who has a slight obsession with textiles and thrift shopping. I've been involved in the fashion industry since I was 16 and I'm happy to have discovered my passion for fabrics and product development while at FIDM

When did you find out that you got accepted into IMPD? It was on the evening of March 4th, I opened up my acceptance letter and immediately tears of joy streamed down my face and I was screaming with excitement. I'm extremely grateful to FIDM and the IMPD selection committee for choosing me to part of this prestigious program. I know that this venture will be a great stepping stone towards pursuing my dream career. The program begins this summer and I can't wait to find out which brand we'll be collaborating with.

What do you hope to learn in IMPD? I hope to learn more about all the different aspects that go into creating garments especially in the area of fabric sourcing and development. I also hope to make valuable connections with my colleagues and the industry partners we work with.

Tell us about your paid internship at Nasty Gal: I saw the internship opportunity posted on Nasty Gal's website and I knew I needed to apply. The next day after submitting my application, I had a mock interview for my Brand Portfolio class and my teacher, Ms. Hahn, brought in a Nasty Gal recruiter as the interviewer. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. The recruiter was very impressed with me and my portfolio and that same week I had a formal interview at their headquarters and a week later I was hired as their Fabric R&D intern.

What are your responsibilities? As the fabric intern I assist the fabric team with putting together fabric spec sheets, souring fabrics, and creating fabric boards for the design team. I just started but already I've learned that fabric plays an important role in Nasty Gal's designs and they strive to create high quality on trend garments.

Any advice for someone who is just starting at FIDM? Network, network, network! As a student, this word is engrained in our heads because it's so important. Don't just network with fellow students but also with your teachers. My teachers helped a lot in telling me about various job opportunities that I wouldn't have known about otherwise and they're flowing with knowledge that will help you in your life and career. 

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal right now is to be the best fabric intern Nasty Gal ever had and also to learn all that I can from the IMPD program in order to ensure that I have the career I want when I graduate.

Anything else you’d like to share? As a recent FIDM grad I can say that I learned the most from the classes that challenged me the most. I used to dread my textile classes and now I'm in love with the fabric industry. Always have an open mind and don't be afraid to take risks. 

Apr

09
2015

Trendwatch: Emojis Effect on Graphic Design

Obama copy

Are they a universal language that will bring us all together or a form of communication that will end in a world without words? Not sure, but trendspotters at WGSN say that emojis have gone mainstream as the digital age hurtles towards an increasingly visual language. With big brands like Coke, Ikea, President Obama, and McDonald's using self-styled emoticons in advertising, signage, and text campaigns, futurists see a time when simple pictograms will instantly communicate across the globe. Graphic Designers are "responding to the need for clear visual sign-posting," says WGSN with the Flat Design movement—and fewer words.

Apr

09
2015

Trendwatch: Messy & Minimalist Manicures on the Rise

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As nail polish and nail art grew more complex over the last few years, it was just a matter of time for a backlash. Trendspotters at WGSN report fashion types moving towards a more disheveled even nude look. Purposely smudged nail polish was on display on Rodarte's runway models, as well as chipped and streaked as a look. Negative space—color only applied to tips or cuticles—was noted on the runway at Creatures of Comfort. And Kate Spade is showing a nude nail with one tiny feature, like a metallic strip or small silver dots for that little jolt of surprise.

Apr

09
2015

Meet Social Ambassador Angela Bautista

Angela-bautista-fidm-social-ambassador

Get to know FIDM Social Ambassador Angela Bautista, a Visual Communications Student at our San Diego campus. Follow Angela on Twitter @FIDM_Angela for live updates about her life as a FIDM Student. 

Q&A with Angela: 

Hometown: San Diego.

Describe your style: Versatile. I'm always trying new things.

Currently listening to: Hawaiian Reggae.

Favorite brands: Roxy and Anthropologie.

An icon who inspires you: Cara Delevingne. She is a beautiful model who seems to never lose sight of being herself and enjoying her career.

Favorite place to eat in San Diego: Lotus Thai. They have the best Coconut Ice Cream with Sticky Rice.

Dream job: Personal stylist or set designer.

Best advice for FIDM Students: Take everything that we are learning to heart, because it will allow us to reach our dreams.

San Diego's best kept secret: Our urban jungles. They are hidden spots in the city full of street art.

Your FIDM experience in three words: Exciting, Fulfilling, Unique. 

You know you went to FIDM when: Your Instagram becomes a journal of all your school projects.

More about Angela:

Apart from the classes at FIDM, I really enjoy participating in the many on and off-campus activities related to my field. Being in Student Council, I've had the opportunity to plan our end-of-the-quarter bonfire, promote the Cupcake Wars contest, and decorate our student lounge for our annual Halloween party.  As a personal stylist and model for FIDM MODE Magazine, I have contributed many ideas for photo shoots.  I have also volunteered as a dresser on two occasions: the San Diego Convention Center's Bridal Bazaar Show and the Carlsbad's Cover Girl Show. I'm also looking forward to producing the stage for the Cinderella Attic '80s Prom Gala, where we help make prom night special for underprivileged girls. These activities are exposing me to the kind of work I may be doing once I graduate from FIDM.  I'm excited to find out what the future holds for me.

Connect with Angela: 

Twitter: @FIDM_Angela

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

Apr

09
2015

Meet Social Ambassador Gigi Jirapolchet

Gigi-Jirapolchet-FIDM-Social-Ambassador

Get to know FIDM Social Ambassador Gigi Jirapolchet, a Business Management Student and Apparel Industry Management Graduate at our Los Angeles campus. Follow Gigi on Twitter @FIDM_Gigi for live updates about her life as a FIDM Student. 

Q&A with Gigi:  

Hometown: Bellevue, WA

Describe your style: Chic, comfortable, and flattering. 

Currently listening to: I enjoy listening to R&B, hip-hop, and country music. 

Favorite brands: J. Crew, Alternative Apparel, Ted Baker, and Rag & Bone. 

An icon who inspires you: Michelle Obama really inspired me, everything from her movement to empower women to the way she uses her ability to help others make an impact. 

Favorite place to eat in DTLA: It's a long, long list. I love exploring new cultural dishes and restaurants.

Dream job: To travel around the world with the Peace Corps.

Best advice for FIDM Students: Utilize the library as much as possible. There are so many cool books and materials that you can read and learn from. 

LA's best kept secret: Ricky's Fish Taco Truck on Melrose and Virgil. 

Your FIDM experience in three words: Exhilarating, challenging, and fun.

You know you went to FIDM when: You can predict what will be in trend two years from now.

More about Gigi:

Gigi moved to Los Angeles at age 17 from Seattle, WA, and has stayed here since then. Gigi’s first job in Los Angeles was as a Sales Specialist for Bloomingdales.  She then moved onto coordinating Apparel Manufacturing positions, and soon after, Gigi graduated with her Associates degree. Gigi wanted to gain more experience in the fashion industry, which led to her internship at ABS by Allen Schwartz. After her internship period, Gigi was hired as the E-commerce/Marketing Coordinator.

Although Gigi’s career path and goal is to work in the fashion industry, her passion is with non-profit organizations. She has directed and/or coordinated four different non-profit organizations and is continuing to do so. The Colors of Life non-profit organization was one of the four that Gigi has started; the organization collects art supplies to help schools in-need in Thailand. More recently, she has been involved with The Urban Belize Foundation which gears towards supplying sports attire, material and supplies needed to maintain basketball and soccer programs for students. 

Connect with Gigi: 

Twitter: @FIDM_Gigi

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

Apr

09
2015

Meet Social Ambassador Ashley Podrebarac

Ashley-Podrebarac-fidm-social-ambassador

Get to know FIDM Social Ambassador Ashley Podrebarac, a Fashion Design Student at our Los Angeles campus. Follow Ashley on Twitter @FIDM_Ashleyp for live updates about her life as a FIDM Student.  

Q&A with Ashley: 

Hometown: Pasadena, CA.

Describe your style: My style changes constantly. I love to mix simple pieces with something bold.

Currently listening to: Anything country! 

An icon who inspires you: Christian Dior and Dolce & Gabbana. 

Favorite place to eat in DTLA: Famous Dave's BBQ.

Dream job: Having my own brand and building my own company. 

Best advice for FIDM Students: Open yourself up to try many different things. 

LA's best kept secret: Syrup Desserts!

Your FIDM experience in three words: Inspiring and challenging.

You know you went to FIDM when: You forget how to wear flats.

More about Ashley:

I am a Fashion Design major in my first year on the FIDM LA campus. I may be young, however, I am outgoing and passionate about everything I do in life. I understand that nothing in life is handed to you, and I find joy in working hard for anything I set my mind to. I've had the opportunity to be on Nordstrom's Fashion Board, be a president of a FIDM Fashion Club I started at my high school, intern with three designers for LA Fashion Week, work with GUESS, Inc. and work as a tour guide on the FIDM LA Campus.

Connect with Ashley: 

Twitter: @FIDM_Ashleyp 

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

Apr

09
2015

Grad Opens Farron Elizabeth Boutique in Atascadero, California

Boutique

The Paso Robles Daily News has a profile of FIDM Graduate Farron Day, who recently opened the Farron Elizabeth boutique in Atascadero. 

Day’s goal is to make clothing that is flattering to all body types. sizes and ages, all the while being affordable. The Farron Elizabeth line ranges from $10 up to about $50.

Day went to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, graduating when she was 20. She went on to work for a T-shirt company for nearly three years, before she started her own company. For the last 10 years she was doing wholesale manufacturing.

“I wanted to cut out the middleman and sell directly,” Day said. Now, the Farron Elizabeth line is only available in the Atascadero store and online. “It allows me to cut my prices.”

Apr

08
2015

Art Director at Ad Agency and FIDM Grad Angelique Felice Carrisal Tells Us Which Classes Were Most Valuable To Her

Angelique

Angelique Felice Carrisal graduated from FIDM in 2010 with a degree in Graphic Design. She's now working as an Art Director at Media Matched, an advertising agency in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Alex Gardos' Design I and II classes were always the best. I also enjoyed Digital Photography. Motion Graphics from Ryan Nellis is actually what led me to pursue Visual Effects and Animation at NMSU. And it's not a class, but my internship in the Publications Department at FIDM was also key.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM taught be to always be learning, even outside of the classroom. All of that knowledge will escape you if you're not constantly absorbing anything and everything. You absolutely have to keep studying and be on top of the latest trends, or else you'll fall behind.

Tell us a little about yourself: I grew up in what I like to call "The Dirty Southwest." I started
learning the technical side of graphic design at 16 by sneaking into college classes, and got my first internship at 17. I moved to LA to go to FIDM at 18 and completely gave it my all. When I graduated at 19, I felt there was more I could absorb, so I went for my Bachelor's in Visual Effects and Animation. That hard work paid off, because at 23 I got my first full time design job at Albuquerque the Magazine, which led me to my current position at only 24!

How did you find out about FIDM? My cousin was flipping through the school catalog when it was time to start deciding where to go to college. I loved the catalog design and location...then the tour sold me!

How did you decide on your major? It was actually a tough choice between Graphic Design and Digital Media, since I also have a background in multi-media (I have a student Emmy from a PSA I wrote/shot/edited), but I always knew that Graphic Design could take me far if I let it.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Observe everything, meet everyone, and go everywhere. It will lead you to great places. Also, if you're like me and went to Los Angeles for school, don't waste the great experiences you'll have. My only regret was not enjoying non-school life more. I feel it could have inspired me and helped me with creative blocks.

What is your biggest goal right now? Move back to Los Angeles and have more fun! But, after I spend some time at my current company. I love it here, and they love me! :)

Anything else you’d like to share? Yes. The best advice I ever heard from my first internship. From an employee who taught me to always "raise my worth" in the workplace.

Apr

08
2015

Fifteen-Year-Old Kate Miles Shows Collection at Vancouver Fashion Week, Aspires To Attend FIDM

Kate-Miles

Kate Miles is only a sophomore in high school and she's already an accomplished fashion designer. She just showed at Vancouver Fashion Week after winning Portland Fashion Week's Emerging Designer contest and was recently featured on the Huffington Post. She is in the process of starting an official FIDM Fashion Club at Scio High School in Oregon, and she plans to one day attend FIDM.

Tell us about Vancouver Fashion Week: My experience with VFW was incredible! I seriously could not have had a better week. It was so rewarding for me to get to see all of the gowns that I have been slaving over for months all on models ready to walk the runway. I got to meet some extremely talented people who have been in the industry for years and kind of get some feedback and helpful tidbits from them. There was an Opening Gala on the first night where all of the designers got to send one look down the runway. That was really fun because everyone got to get a real sample of what was going to be shown that week. It was all so eclectic and fascinating! Then of course there was my show on the third night, which was a super magical experience. The rest of the week we poked around the city and I did a few interviews here and there where I got to meet some more really sweet people. I really enjoyed attending some of the other shows and just getting to mingle and talk to my new fashion friends too. It was so much fun.

What do you love about fashion? I love the way it is forever changing. People have been using their bodies as a canvas of expression since the dawn of time, but this self-expression is always new and exciting. I also really love how broad fashion is. Seeing hair/makeup artists, photographers, models, designers, and stylists all put their passions together to create something is a concept that I think is truly beautiful. We are all one big team in fashion, and that is one thing I really love.

Tell us a little about yourself: I was born in a little desert farming community in Central Oregon, where my grandmother taught me to sew when I was four years old. When I wasn’t helping out on the farm I spent my time sewing doll clothes and eventually started selling them in fifth grade. When I was 12 I sold my first wedding gown to a bride who had fallen in love with the designs I had come up with for dolls. When my father was killed in a farming accident, my mother and I moved to Western Oregon. I started repurposing old prom dresses from vintage stores for girls in my town, and three years ago I started my business, Kate’s Couture. Since then I have traveled around apprenticing for the Set Stylist for Matilda Jane Clothing, co-designed costumes for a marketing video, was featured as Portland Fashion Week’s Emerging Designer, and just recently showed 16 designs at Vancouver Fashion Week in British Columbia. I love the life I have been blessed with. I love that I can get on a horse and go move cows one day, getting completely covered in dust and mud, and then turn around the next day and go play fashion designer internationally. I am so grateful for having the opportunity to grow up on a farm, but to still get to experience the excitement and energy of the city.

What is one of your proudest accomplishments? In the summers I go home to the family farm to work for my brothers. My main job is to feed six 20-year-old boys. That in itself is hard, but the closest grocery store is two hours from our farm, along with any sign of a restaurant. I get up every morning at six, sometimes after a whole night of driving tractor, serve breakfast, and spend the rest of the day taking care of the laundry (six boys working in the dirt all day make a lot of laundry), and keeping up the one and a half acre yard/flowerbeds, delivering lunch, and making dinner. Bread, cakes, pies, and pasta is always from scratch because that’s what the boss likes. All I can say is that it’s a big job, especially if your stove breaks. My proudest accomplishment is making it through an entire summer on the farm with no stove—I had to get by with a roaster oven and a hot plate!

Do you have plans to attend FIDM? Yes! I have been saving up for college since I sold my first baby calf that I raised when I was five years old. I got to come to the LA campus in February and I instantly fell in love. I want to keep my options open and check out a few other schools just in case I can’t get in, but FIDM is definitely on the top of my list. I just love the friendly vibe I got the moment I walked through the doors. Everyone I talked to was super helpful and I could tell they genuinely cared about my future and goals. I’m working on getting my associates degree from Linn Benton Community College right now so I can go straight into the Fashion Design Advanced Program and finish up with a business degree.

What’s a fashion trend you’re loving right now? Being an “all things vintage” girl, I am loving the freedom in mixing and matching that I’ve been seeing lately. I love paring prints and colors that you wouldn’t normally see together and accenting it with simple jewelry to tie it together.

Who do you follow on Instagram and Pinterest, for fashion inspiration? Having been raised out in the middle of nowhere on a farm for most of my life without TV or Internet, I have had to gather inspiration from the things that I have had in my daily life. Color and light has always been the main inspiration to my fashion sense. Now that I do have Internet, I do enjoy occasionally watching Elie Saab on Pinterest.

Are you in an official FIDM Fashion Club? I am actually just now working on getting one passed in my high school. My advisor paid her way through college selling custom bridal gowns, and is the school Home Ec teacher. She really knows her stuff. It’s going to be so much fun! We are planning a trip to go check out Nike headquarters in Portland later this spring.

What are your career goals? My "goals" are pretty crazy, but I figure that as long as I aim high I've got nothing to lose. My dream is to make enough money producing my designs to set up my production in Cambodia. I'd probably focus on ready-to-wear, because that is easier to produce than haute couture. I know some people there who work with an orphanage that I would like to get involved with. I'd like to go into the school and teach young girls how to sew. Right now there are little to no job opportunities for young girls coming out of orphanages there other than the sex trade, so I want to go into the schools, teach them how to sew, and give them jobs producing clothing. Then in my spare time, maybe I could design a little haute couture on the side. Call me crazy, but this is my dream.

Anything else? Every day when my head pops off the pillow I know a new adventure is about to unfold. I get the privilege of meeting other people with passions similar to mine that understand how my brain is wired. I must say that at the end of the day, the most satisfaction comes with creating a garment that a woman can step into and feel beautiful and confident in within its seams.

Kates-Couture1

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Kates-Couture4

Photography | Kimberly Adams

Apr

08
2015

Attend the Educator Workshop in Social Media at FIDM's L.A. Campus in May

La

FIDM is proud to introduce the Educator Workshop in Social Media designed with the high school and college instructor in mind. Join us for this unique and creative opportunity to earn six professional development units at FIDM Los Angeles on Friday, May 1, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The day will include:

• A hands-on, skill-based learning experience in the marketing of businesses through social media

• A Certificate of Completion for 6 professional development units

• A tour of our state-of-the-industry campus and FIDM Library

• The fabulous exhibition "Opulent Art: 18th-Century Dress from the Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection" in the FIDM Museum & Galleries

• Lunch with your local educators and FIDM College Representatives

Taught by an instructor at FIDM, an industry professional, this workshop will familiarize you with all aspects of social media in the business-marketing environment. You will learn about the different social media channels and how brands use the various channels to implement their strategies for driving business and engaging their customers.

Instruction will include a balance of lectures and interactive exercises in which attendees will explore and analyze successful social media strategies. In addition, you will have the opportunity to learn about the newest Bachelor’s and Associates Degree programs that continue to keep FIDM on the cutting edge of the dynamic industries we serve.

The cost to participate in this special program is $50 per educator, which includes workshop supplies and lunch. You will also receive a set of instruction materials for use in and outside of the classroom. Please note that space is limited due to the nature of the workshop.

Reserve your space for the Educator Workshop in Social Media here. If you have questions, or would like more information regarding this event, you may contact Mayra Rubio at mvrubio@fidm.edu/ 800.262.3436 x1726, or Charissa Mathis at cmathis@fidm.edu/ 800.262.3436 x1723.

Apr

08
2015

Current/Elliott Assistant Designer Heather Espinoza Says FIDM Education is Top Notch

Heather-Espinoza

Heather Espinoza graduated in 2012 with a degree in Merchandise Product Development. She's now an Assistant Designer at Current/Elliott, a premium denim label.

What do you do? My daily duties range from building line sheets (no joke—a bible for everything Current/Elliott every season) to CADing my hand sketches and those of my designers for upcoming seasons, to going through 50 emails from import vendors across the world. It's a lot of work and effort, but at the end of the day we are all working together toward a product we are proud of. 

Tell us a little about yourself: I'm 22, and come from a very tight knit Hispanic family. I went to FIDM right after high school. After I earned my Product Development degree, I joined 24seven and was placed at C/E where I covered for the new assistant for three weeks. After that, I worked with the salesman sample team for five months, then moved to pre-production for two months. Then my supervisor said there was an opening either with her or with design. I chose design. It was the hardest and best decision I've made in my time at C/E. That was 2.5 years ago and I can honestly say it's been such a great experience to work with such an incredible team. 

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? The education FIDM offers is top notch. Everyone knows that FIDM's workload is intense. You have six different deadlines for six different projects, but in reality you're going to have twice as many deadlines and twice as many projects all due within a matter of days. I feel that is what FIDM did best in terms of preparing me—I learned how to manage every second of my time to get everything done. 

How did you find out about FIDM? FIDM visited my high school every year, and one day I finally decided to fill out the contact form. Best decision I ever made. 

How did you decide on your major? At first I thought I was going to major in Fashion Design. It was what I imagined everyone wanted when they walked through the door. My advisor explained that Merchandise Product Development encompassed the creativity of Fashion Design but also had the business aspect. I felt that was what was going to make me most marketable. I would learn about tech packs and what specs I needed to pay attention to—things like that are what convinced me to go into PD. 

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Illustrator/Photoshop. Without a doubt. I cannot express how invaluable those two things have been. I live on Illustrator. I'm proud of how comfortable I've gotten with those tools. It will really make you stand out if you know how to CAD. Yes it's important to know how to hand sketch, but for you to be able to translate a beautiful hand sketch to a beautiful and accurate CAD—it's done deal. You're hired. 

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Be nice, hard working and adaptable. I can't express how stressful this industry can be, but if you do it with a smile on your face and are still treating people with respect, you'll be the one person that's remembered and recommended. As for hard working, anyone can do this. It doesn't count on the quantity of work you get out within a day. For you to be able to get things done correctly and promptly, it'll get you places. Lastly adaptable—if you're asked to do something, do it. Everything is a learning process, if you're not willing to do it once, I can assure you you'll never learn how to do it properly. Your superiors will thank and respect you for having that "hands on attitude" that your professors have been lecturing you on since you started school.

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal right now is to learn as much as possible and grow as a designer. I've learned so much at C/E during these past couple of years and I continue to learn every day, whether it's a computer shortcut or new jargon. It's really satisfying to have a conversation with someone and know what's going on without having to google it later. 

Anything else you’d like to share? One thing I'd like to share with students is to take their work seriously. Yes it's a fun job, as anything you're passionate about should be, but when you're at work, be at work. Don't let foolish things get in the way. You'll make many friends along the way, friendships to last a lifetime, but the best friendships in this industry are the kind that are valued on mutual respect. The kind of friends that know they can count on you to get the job done without having to ask you countless times to do it. Take it from someone who is the 'baby' in our company, no one will judge you on your age. They'll judge you on your work ethic and what you bring to the table. It's an amazing industry to be in, and we're all lucky to be a part of it.

Apr

07
2015

FIDM Grad and Product Developer at Affliction Says Networking is Key in the Fashion Industry

Hrache

Hraché Novruzyan

 graduated in 2010 with a degree in Merchandise Product Development

. She is now working at Affliction
 as a Product Developer and travels to Hong Kong on business

 (pictured above on recent trip).

Tell us a little about yourself: I was born and raised in Orange County where I still currently live. My mother is the one I thank every single day for introducing me to this industry. I remember being very young when she was taking fashion classes at a local college. There was always something about her projects that I found so interesting. I didn't hesitate once when the time came for me to choose a career.

Where are you working now? I'm currently working at Affliction in Seal Beach as their Product Developer. I work with an incredible group of people who challenge me every day and keep me on my creative toes!

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM taught me that it's healthy to be competitive in this industry. I learned how to be professional and organized. The variety of classes taught me about each of the components that go into one single garment which helps me every single day.



How did you find out about FIDM? FIDM Alumni came to speak to my Fashion Design class when I was a junior in high school. It was like love at first sight!

How did you decide on your major? I think I spent the entire first year telling myself I had made a mistake and that I was giving up being creative and innovative to learn the business aspect of the industry and was completely freaked out. I thank each of my instructors and advisors for talking me into this major. I didn't want to draw for a living; I wanted to know more about the business and industry and how it all comes together while at the same time still being creative.  Although I lost sleep over it for my first few quarters at FIDM, I'm incredibly happy with my decision.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? All of them. I'm not just saying that. After working in the industry for a few years now, I can definitely say that each class was useful. My father gave me advice when I was starting my career. He said, "Don't ever ask someone to sew on a button for you if you yourself don't know how to sew on that button." I may have laughed and shrugged it off back then, but he couldn't have been more right. Learning how to make patterns, sew, draw or how fabrics are made and dyed have all helped me so much. Each aspect is so incredibly important and beneficial to your career. The further you get into your career, the more you'll realize that some classes are more beneficial than others depending on your career, but in the end each one has helped in its own way. 

Any advice for current FIDM Students? It's simple. It's the one thing I don't think I did enough when I was at FIDM. NETWORK!!! I've become queen bee of the networking world and although I wish I had done it more during my years at FIDM, I'm still glad I realized how important it was earlier on in my career. 

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal is to leave a decent dent in the apparel industry. I'm not talking about being the next Coco Chanel, although that would be amazing—I'm talking about making a difference in the companies I work for and having a positive influence on the people I work with.

Anything else you’d like to share? Don't be afraid to take a job you never thought you'd like. You're the rookie once you graduate FIDM. You can't afford to be picky. Take any job that's offered to you in the industry and be eager to learn. You'll be surprised where it might lead you. Who knows, you might end up on a path you never even knew existed.

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