Just Accepted MPD Student Has a B.A. in Studio Art From UC Irvine



Name: Teresa Lou

Age: 23

Hometown: Corona, CA

Previous College: University of California Irvine

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

Start Date: Winter 2016

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? I was very fortunate to have met Susan the very first time I stepped foot onto the FDIM campus. She was so welcoming and definitely made me feel at ease knowing that I was in good hands with her guidance. Not only did she help pinpoint the right major for me, but she also helped me clarify future career goals. Together we were able to smoothly work through the application process. With the confidence that she’s given me, I hope to make her proud with my performance at FIDM.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Ever since I can remember, I have always been keen in fashion and design. After graduating with a B.A in Studio Art from UCI, I immediately jumped into the family business. Growing up, my mother owned a plush toy manufacturing company, since then we have grown from carrying toys to now clothing, accessories, and even food for pets under our own brands. Working from part-time plush toy designer to full-time merchandising after graduation I continued to notice my efforts in fashion and want to take things into my own hands with my existing experience and resource. With an education from FIDM I hope to create and brand collections of my own.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM was the right choice for me because it offers a lot of hands-on courses that is very rare to come by. It is also located in the heart of Downtown LA, a fashion destination. Most importantly, it is a career-oriented school that helps students pursue their dream career.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project I took a series of couture menswear clothing and designed their corresponding womenswear version. The goal was to create a more affordable brand that has the high-street couture look and feel without losing originality.

What are your career goals? To become a fashion buyer and a fashion brand owner.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? To both have the ability to be a great sourcer/buyer and to have the appropriate design knowledge and skills to create brand of my own.



FIDM Grad is Founder and Creative Director of Westcomb Outerwear (Interview)


Name: Alan Yiu 

Company: Westcomb

Title: Founder and Creative Director

Responsibilities: My primary role is designing and developing the men’s collection as well as overseeing the creative direction and strategies relating to the brand and product offering.

What was your path since graduating in 2001? After graduation, I returned to work at the contract manufacturer I was employed at prior to attending FIDM. When work no longer felt meaningful I took the opportunity to work on my business plan, and launched Westcomb at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City in 2005, with the mission statement to enhance human-powered adventures through innovation.

What do you enjoy most about your career and why? I think most of us can agree that seeing product ship to customers is very rewarding as it is the culmination of 16 months of sweat and dedication. Sitting on a ski lift and seeing the guy next to you who isn’t a friend or family member wearing your brand to me is a testament that you did something right. That feeling simply can’t be beaten.

Aside from the end game of selling, the product creation is equally rewarding. Every season you have new materials, new colors, and new objectives. I love the challenge we face as designers to distill a myriad of information from trends, style performance, customer feedback, etc., into a collection that is relevant and delivers on all objectives.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? Prior to attending FIDM I had already worked in the industry for a number of years after my undergraduate degree. One of my greatest frustrations at that time was not having what I viewed as “textbook” knowledge relating to apparel manufacturing. The factory experience while great wasn’t enough for me. Not knowing the proper construction techniques, terminology, and processes left me with a huge learning curve. FIDM was instrumental in bridging that gap.

What are your ultimate career goals? I feel extremely fortunate to have launched my own brand which fulfilled one career aspiration. The next collective goal I share with my team is to have Westcomb recognized as a leading apparel brand recognized for innovation, craftsmanship, and for being manufactured locally.



Just Accepted Interior Design Student Comes From a Family of Design Entrepreneurs



Name: Anna Giannulli-Chavez

Age: 19

Hometown: Newport Beach, CA

Previous College: Irvine Valley College

FIDM Major: Interior Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA Campus for Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? I would like to start off by saying that Susan was absolutely amazing. She was incredibly influential in my decision to apply to FIDM. Prior to researching interior design schools online, I thought that FIDM was only for fashion students. I scheduled a meeting with a counselor to learn more about the school and what it offered. Susan was so patient and really helped me understand the different majors at FIDM. She took me through the curriculum and each of the course descriptions for the interior design major. I felt comfortable asking questions and immediately knew that FIDM was the perfect fit for me.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Growing up in a family with endless creativity, my passion for design began before I can remember. My parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are all successful entrepreneurs in the design world. As little girl, I would sit in my grandpa’s garage and watch him sculpt blocks of clay into intricate busts. He would tell me stories about the “treasures” (junk) that filled his garage and shed. Surrounded by this creative energy, I was encouraged to be original.

As one creative hobby bled into the next I found a true passion for designing interiors. I love having the ability to express myself through the spaces that surround me. Today I spend most of my time shopping at flea markets, taking photos, painting, sewing, arranging flowers, and working with a local animal rescue. I am so lucky to have a family who not only supports my ingenuity, but also understands it first hand.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? There are three major accomplishments that I am the proudest of. The first is leasing my own car at the age of 16. I am a very driven person and am confident that if I set my mind to something, I can achieve it. At the age of 14, my parents told me that if I wanted a car when I got my license, I had to work for it. I spent my summers as a cashier in a local donut shop until I had saved enough for the down payment. I will never forget the rush of pride that came over me when I sat in my Volkswagen for the first time.

The second accomplishment that continues to bring me pride is my involvement in animal rescue. I started by fostering a litter of puppies that was going to be euthanized and instead, found them loving homes. The feeling that I had actually made a difference was indescribable. To date, I have rescued over 40 dogs on my own, and countless others through assisting non-profit organizations. Today, I am the events coordinator for a local K-9 Rescue called Stella’s Hope. My third and final proudest accomplishment is my acceptance to FIDM. I am honored and excited to be following my dreams through such an amazing education.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM offers exactly what I was looking for in terms of curriculum. The school allows you to learn the basics, the intricate details, and the real world experience necessary to succeed in your field.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project was to design a mountain view living space with three main focal points. I had to incorporate a TV, a fireplace, and a mountain view into the design. I chose to go with neutral palate and keep the space light. Selecting large dark aluminum windows and reclaimed wood beams was my first step. Next I chose a bright white paint color and soft linen furniture. I also included an over-dyed rug in a grey tone and a fiddle-leaf fig to bring life to the room. I went with a crisp fireplace and indigo bohemian accent pillows. Overall I felt that the space was inviting and serene.

What are your career goals? My career goals are to ultimately become an interior designer and own my own business. I want to be in love with my work and create beautiful spaces.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect a rigorous curriculum including computer rendering, hand sketching, and effective communications. I am looking forward to learning the ins-and-outs of the interior design field from industry professionals themselves.



Fashion Design Grad Launches Trend Fashion Forecasting Service (Interview)


Name: Jaime Peck

Company: trnd

Degree: Fashion Design

Grad Year: 2008

What was your industry experience prior to launching trnd? I worked on both the merchandising and design sides of the fashion industry. At Tilly’s HQ I was responsible for putting together seasonal forecasts for all departments including Junior, Mens, Girls, and Boys. Following my experience at Tilly's, I worked (work) as a Trend Analyst/Designer for add-black, a creative design agency. There, I contract as a designer and work on swimwear for Target and other brands and lines.

What made you start the business? The launch of trnd was due to my acknowledgment that there wasn’t any other trend service offering customized reports for specific markets. Businesses were needing to hire me in-house to interpret the reports other services were publishing. trnd now offers Junior market reports as well as a Contemporary-level analysis of runway shows.

What separates trnd from other forecasting services? trnd strives to focus on key seasonal trends by category and creates mood boards using imagery that inspires and gives clear direction. While other services tend to offer vague or conceptual forecasts, our reports are specific to certain markets so we analyze past, present, and current trends to be as specific as possible when formulating our predictions.

We hear that you employ another FIDM Grad. Yes. Lauren Pettigrew is currently our Trend Representative.



Apparel Industry Management Student Spotlight: Sergeant Trinidad Garcia III


Name: Sergeant Trinidad Garcia III

FIDM Major/Grad Year: Apparel Industry Management/Summer 2015

Tell us about your military service. I enlisted September 2, 2008, in the United States Marine Corps, and am still on active duty. I'm currently serving on Inspector Instructor Duty for a Reserve Unit 2/23 Golf Company in Pico Rivera, CA. 

Did you utilize any military student/veteran services at FIDM? I utilized the GI Bill and am serving as President of Student Veterans of America FIDM Chapter. The veteran services are outstanding; Patricia Martinez and Cheryl Ianello have been very instrumental on developing a support system for veterans on campus. I am very proud of the FIDM Chapter which was selected as Chapter of the Month in September 2014, out of over 1200 schools nationwide. We did this by making a positive impact in the community.

What is your current title and responsibilities? My Military Occupational Specialty is MOS -0331 Machine Gunner. I am the Machine Gun Section Leader for 2/23 Golf Company. I train Machine Gunners and am also in charge of the Armory, Communication, and Tactical Vehicles. On this tour of duty our missions are: 1. Honor the Fallen 2. Prepare for War. 3. Community Relations. I do funeral honors, live fire exercises, Toys for Tots, and color guards. Somewhere in between I make time to study.

How has FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM has allowed me to follow my dream of owning an apparel company. It has been extremely challenging given my active duty status. FIDM has given me the resources to thoroughly research and plan my business and transition into civilian life. I have been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to get an education in the industry I want to enter. This rarely happens on active duty and especially in the infantry. FIDM has helped me realize the fashion industry is a tangible industry that is not out of reach. My professors have been very supportive in pointing me in the direction I need to move in. I feel FIDM has been setting me up for success.

What are your ultimate career goals? My goal is to establish a socially responsible, American made, apparel company in order to hire veterans and students. I will achieve this goal by launching a menswear line. I am building a mobile store/barbershop which will be complete by early summer. I bought a 26-foot vintage 1968 Airstream Trailer that has been completely rebuilt from the interior by myself and a group of my Marines. My goal is to go direct to the consumer and have the line distributed through selected retailers. I want to create domestic jobs and continue to serve the community.



Links We Love: The Billboard Music Awards, Dwell on Design L.A & More


It’s safe to say that Taylor Swift’s stunning white, cut-out, Balmain’s jumpsuit alone was the highlight of the night for most people watching the Billboard Music Awards, not to mention the eight trophies the singer took home with her. Onesies must have been in the air;  actress Molly Ringwald as well as hosts model Chrissy Teigen and Ellen Pompeo all opted for glamorous rompers over gowns. It was a good night for French luxury brand Balmain;  Olivier Rousteing announced the brand’s collaboration with H&M along side entourage Kendall Jenner and Jourdan Dunn who modeled a few of the new collection’s pieces.The announcement was exciting news for fans of the fashion house who can soon find the label’s signature bead entrusted jackets and satin draped formal wear at H&M price points this November. 


For every awards show, there is a rebel willing to put their foot out in the name of fashion. At the Billboard Music Awards, that special person was Cameroon born musician Dencia who rocked a full-body rainbow studded jumpsuit, that depicted a creaturely face, mismatching sparkly platforms and a reflective visor. The altogether wacky and futuristic looks sent critics in a tailspin but, hey, someone’s gotta do it. 


Rihanna’s much anticipated Dior campaign is finally out, much to the joy of most all fashionistas ever.  This is the pop star’s first high fashion campaign and she is Dior’s first ever black spokesperson. And what else is there not to love? The “Secret Garden IV” video is a moody, blue lit couture fairy tale in which Rihanna struts around Versailles Castle in a jaw-dropping silver sparkled gown, a fur vest and a red silk dress.  The video was also a teaser for the singer’s new album, and once it drops her fans can really live happily ever after.

Dwell on Design

Do you ever fantasize that the editors of Dwell magazine could appear like fairy-design-parents and curate your life into a sleek modern dreamscape? A part of that dream will come true when Dwell on Design L.A,  the largest American design show, returns to the L.A Convention Center May 29-31. The event is bigger than ever. In celebration of the magazine’s 10th year in print,  thousands of curated home products including Furniture and Accessories and International Design will be on display along with walk-throughs of complete pre-fab homes and landscape creations. Tickets are $30 if purchased in advance. 

 The eye candy continues: At $ 90-100  per neighborhood, Dwell offers glimpses into the most magnificent homes in Los Angeles and feature architectural feats from renowned names like Pierre Koenig and Doug Ewing. Architects behind these masterpiece homes will discuss their visions at Meet The Architects on two Thursdays, May 21 at the Ace Hotel downtown and on May 28th at The Millwick from 7-9 p.m for $25. Tickets for both events are available on  More than 250 speakers will present throughout the three-day convention center event on topics such as Design for Humankind, Smart Tech, Resiliency and Energy 360. Of local importance is author John Dutton of New American Urbanism: Re-forming the Suburban Metropolis who will speak of his ideas to green L.A freeways. The seminars are key opportunities for students and alumni to hear from leading experts in their field.


When artist Nao Bustamante learned that women in the Mexican Revolution did not sit on the sidelines but were army cooks, suppliers and also fighters, she wanted to create a garment that would have protected them on line of combat.  The result was both conceptual and practical- a historically accurate Soldadera dress made completely of bright yellow, bulletproof  Kevlar material. The life saving aspect of the garments has two meanings, Bustamante has also  resurrected these fierce women’s forgotten roles in history. Along with four other dresses, Bustamante will exhibit multi-media installations, sculpture and archival artifacts at her solo show “Soldadera," that runs May 16-August 1 the Vincent Prince Art Museum at East Los Angeles College.

Gosha rubchinskiy

Russia Fashion week occurred in March this year, but it’s high time for a review, Da? Gosha Rubchinskiy is certainly the name to know these days.  The 30-year-old designer/photographer/ video artists takes inspiration from his days as a skater in post Soviet Russia and his affinity for youth and street-based culture is a thread through all his work. The designer’s four collections are rife with playfulness and tension. Dilapidated Stalinist architecture and Orthodox religious relics are the background of many of his fashion photos of young ruffians.   As a child of the 80’s, Rubchinky has perfectly pinpointed the subcultural aesthetics from his youth, and with subtle effects, lets them connect and build new narratives in unexpected ways; the dandy skinhead, the working class raver, the sports wear punk.  The designer has collaborated with brands like Supreme, COMME des GARCONS and most recently footwear label Camper for a Spring/ Summer’ 15 sneaker.  Stay worldly and click here and here for further reading on Russia and Ukraine’s leading and upcoming designers. 

Vuitton Palm Springs Cruise

And what about all you soon-to-be graduates! All that hard work has sent you off to an incredible start, and according to the N.Y Times, you are in the perfect place to be. Huge fashion events are happening in California more than ever before. This year alone saw Raf Simon’s for Louis Vuitton cruise collection in Palm Springs, the brand’s retrospective exhibit in Hollywood as well as Burberry’s “London to Los Angeles” runway show at the Griffith Observatory to name a few. California has long been cast aside in favor for NYC’s bright lights by industry professionals but now the greater fashion world has descended with gusto upon our state’s bohemian heritage, vintage treasures and chill vibes. Everyone want to be here now and here you are-talented, skilled and ready to take on the world!




Industrywatch: Fashion Designers Adore Los Angeles

Palm springs show

"Los Angeles is an incredible city and in the midst of a creative explosion right now," says Christopher Bailey, Burberry's CEO and Chief Creative Director, in yet another homage to Los Angeles's status in the fashion community at the moment. The New York Times's fashion feature gathers quotes from couture designers like Nicolas Ghesquiere of Louis Vuitton, Raf Simons of Dior, and Saint Laurent's Hedi Slimane, all attesting to the desirability of our sun-drenched city for photo shoots, fashion shows,  inspiration, and livability. "I wouldn't mind moving there right away," says Simons of Dior, who visits L.A. several times a year. The consensus among designers is that New York and Paris are circling "the black hole," while L.A. is alive with culture and ideas.



Meet 5 Fab Stylists Working in Hollywood and Beyond


We're often asked which FIDM major leads to a career as a Stylist, and the answer is there are several. Here are just a few examples of grads from different majors with amazing careers as Stylists. 

Daniel Musto, a Visual Communications program grad, has styled everyone from Giuliana Rancic and Jenny McCarthy to Gabourey Sidibe and Kendra Wilkinson, and worked on TV shows such as Extra!, Fashion Star, and American Idol

Celebrity stylist and Visual Communications Grad Victor Michel (pictured above) has worked with GQ and Rolling Out, along with actors Brian White and Tahj Mowry, and NBA stars Kevin Durant and Reggie Bullock. 

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Bear Brandegee is a by-appointment personal stylist for Worth New York. She graduated from FIDM's Merchandise Marketing program. 

Stylist, trend expert, and Merchandise Marketing grad Leslie Christen has been featured in Locale magazine, Riviera, and Palm Springs Life, among others. 

Lindsay Albanese is a celebrity stylist and Fashion Design grad who has worked with Naya Rivera, Sarah Hyland, Bella Thorne, Derek Hough, and Shay Mitchell. She's regularly on TV and in magazines as a style expert. 



Meet 15 New Members of the #FIDMFamily


From high school juniors and seniors to international and transfer students and college graduates, FIDM's latest crop of admitted students are passionate about their futures. Learn more about 15 new members of the #FIDMFamily.

Ally Crocker is a self-described theatre geek and sci-fi fan. 

Transfer student Daniella Chila wants to be a graphic designer. 

Shanghai resident Yoomi Ren comes from a fashion family.

Alexandra Cornwell is transferring to FIDM from Fullerton College. 

Millersville University graduate Janelle Biehl has a degree in chemistry. 

Casey Sampson hails from Peterborough, New Hampshire. 

Future Fashion Design student Anna Harvey is a U.S. Navy veteran. 

Jazz Madison has traveled the world performing as a singer.

Fall 2015 student Zoe Heath is going to FIDM to help her family business. 

Scot London is an actor on the Nickelodeon show Instant Mom.

Orange County native Bella DeGuzman will pursue her dreams at FIDM SF next fall. 

ASU graduate Chris Finical is excited to become a graphic design guru. 

Future Vis Comm student Richard Moore is an accomplished singer/songwriter. 

Nanor Momdjian is a vintage boutique buyer and social media manager. 

Fall 2015 Beauty student Elizabeth Porter wants to work for high-end beauty brands.  



Industrywatch: Old Navy Sails Into Stylish Future

Old navy copy

"Everything starts and ends with product," says Global President Stefan Larsson, the man credited with turning Old Navy into Gap's most profitable line of business and biggest driver of revenue. As the company's other brands struggle, Larsson has brought verve, low-cost style, new designers, and pixie pants to the bargain brand. Larsson's approach was honed at fast fashion powerhouse H & M—where low price is no obstacle to high style. New York Times story explores the business formula for turning around this established retail brand.

photo credit: New York Times



KTLA Films Segments at FIDM OC in Honor of Military Appreciation Month


KTLA's Gayle Anderson filmed multiple live segments at FIDM's Orange County campus in honor of Military Appreciation Month. Graduate, veteran, and member of the US Army Reserves Poto Leifi's "Freedom's On Me" exhibition, featuring poster art of fallen U.S. soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan, is on display at FIDM through May 29, 2015 (Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.)




KTLA also featured Trinidad Garcia, U.S. Marine Sgt and FIDM Apparel Industry Management student, President of the FIDM Chapter of Student Veterans of America, and Laura Herzog, Founder & CEO, Honoring Our Fallen. 

You may watch all four KTLA segments here



MPD Alumna Launches Stefana Style Jewelry Collection


Merchandise Product Development Graduate Stefanie McKim launched a fashion and beauty blog, Style by Stefana, about a year ago, and has recently launched a jewelry line to connect further with her readers and followers. Stefana Style, based in Los Angeles, offers fashion-forward, affordable jewelry, all hand-picked by Stefanie. 

Unnamed3"Being a Product Development major made me well-versed in different aspects of the fashion industry," she says. "I have worked with multiple companies in the last five years and have had the opportunity to work in marketing, creative direction, art direction, and social media. FIDM helped me become well-rounded."




Just Accepted Fashion Design Student Is Self-Described "Theatre Geek" and Sci-Fi Fan



Name: Ally Crocker

Age: 24

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Previous College: California Lutheran University

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA Campus, Summer 2015

Admissions Advisor: Roxy DeGuzman

How did your advisor help with the process? Roxy was such a blessing. She really helped me understand how FIDM works differently from other colleges, especially as an older student with a previous degree, who already experienced the craziness of a higher education. Just talking with her, I was able to let myself relax and really show who I am as a person and as a designer. She encouraged me to self-reflect and to grasp onto the things in my life that have inspired me, which helped me develop my entrance project.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am a theatre geek. I majored from CLU with a Technical Theatre Degree focusing in Costumes. I love working backstage as much as I love watching theatre. I also feel at home with a camera in my hands. With lots of actor friends I have become their go to headshot photographer. The three major inspirations in my life have been Star Wars, Star Trek, and Tolkien. They helped develop my love of science fiction and fantasy. I even got the opportunity to visit New Zealand and geek out as I toured with fellow Tolkien lovers. I swear there’s magic in those mountains. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishments have definitely been the ones to push me out of my comfort zones the most. Getting into FIDM has recently been added to said list. Even though my family has been super supportive, they live a few hours away and so this process I have gone through entirely on my own. I feel like I’ve leveled up in the adult world.

What made FIDM right for you? I knew I had some gaps in my fundamental skills that needed to be filled. I didn’t want to go to grad school because it just didn’t feel right for what I wanted to gain. I’m all about the hands-on learning experience. When looking at grad schools, I didn’t feel like they were focused enough on the types of skills I was hoping to acquire. I also felt like I needed to be surrounded by like-minded and artistic people. Additionally, I wanted a place to help me jump into the industry head-on.

Describe your entrance project. With all this talk about people moving to Mars really got me thinking about how close we are getting to actually morphing into the worlds of Star Trek and Star Wars. One of the first things I do for a creative project is to find concrete and conceptual research. The first image that really stuck with me was two images of the moon: one the stereotypical black and white moon next to a more vibrant and colorful moon. It got me thinking that when most people think of space they think of this cold everlasting darkness, but in reality it is this beautiful gorgeous realm full of endless wonders. So I designed colorful futuristic clothing that still possess that dark and mysterious element. 

What are your career goals? I just want a steady career that will satisfy me artistically. As of this moment I see myself in the field of costumes, but you never know where exactly you will end up until you get there, so I’m always up for following paths that I never considered.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I hope to improve my skills in construction and illustrating, and add new skills like draping and textile knowledge. But most of all, I hope to learn how to become a professional. I want to be able to go into the industry lacking nothing and I think FIDM is the perfect place to achieve this.



A Chat With LRG CEO and FIDM Graduate Robert Wright


FIDM Fashion Design Graduate Robert Wright '94 has been the CEO of LRG, the lifestyle apparel and accessory company for women, men, and kids, since 1999. We recently caught up with the Orange County resident to chat about his start in the industry, time at FIDM, and why LRG has continued to be one of the biggest labels around. 

Do you remember how you first heard about FIDM? I had a friend who was attending FIDM and I happened to be with them when they stopped by the school to grab something that they had accidentally left at the school. I was wearing a pair of jeans of my own design and one of the counselors stopped me in the hall and asked about the jeans. I told her I made them and she said something like "Oh, you're a student here." I said "no" and then she asked me, "Why not?" I ended up enrolling at FIDM about a week later.

How did your interest in fashion and design begin? I have early memories of my mother making clothing and customizing existing clothing. I started customizing and designing some of my own clothing when I was 14 or 15 years old, as a way to individualize my clothing or to create something that I couldn't find in the marketplace. Truthfully though, I had never connected the dots and thought of fashion design as a career option until the day I was approached at the FIDM campus.

Which campus(es) did you attend? I attended the OC campus for my first year and the Los Angeles campus for my second year.

What did you do between graduating from FIDM and co-founding LRG? After graduating, I got a job as a design assistant at Ray's Apparel Group and was promoted to designer within my first couple months at the company. We designed clothing for mass retailers for their individual private label brands. In 1996, I got a job at Quiksilver Inc as a designer for their private label division which entailed designing men's and women's clothing in all categories for mass retail private label programs for accounts like Target.

When they closed down the division, I was hired by the La Jolla Group as a designer for the O'Neill brand. I designed the entire board short and knit categories until 1998. After that I designed for Planet Earth Inc overseeing design of the Katin brand. During this time I also freelance designed for a variety of companies in all categories from technical snowboarding outerwear to denim to woven and knit tops. In 1998, I started working towards starting LRG and by early 1999 we had our first offices and were producing our first collection.

Why do you think LRG took off so quickly and has maintained such a high level of success and brand awareness? I think that there are a lot of different things that have to line up for any brand to be successful. In the case of LRG, we bought a fresh and unique perspective to the market. Up until that time brands were mostly just a name on a shirt, LRG brought a mission statement and thought provoking messages throughout our product and advertisements which really seemed to resonate with people.

In 1999, the market was very separate between so-called "urban" apparel and action sports apparel. LRG was the first company to really successfully bridge those two different youth markets. That crossover market and various distribution channels in many ways created the foundation for what brands call "streetwear" today. I also believe that customers could sense the honesty and truth in the product in that, we were making products that we loved and wanted to wear ourselves. We were not designed for a market, it was just a product that represented who we were and what we were into.

What or who are some of your design influences? My biggest design influence is my mother, whose love of creativity and art set the foundation for me to become a clothing designer. My other biggest influence is my partner Jonas with whom I elevated my design game as a result of our competitive nature and passion for the LRG brand.

How did FIDM help prepare you for the industry and running your own company? FIDM gave me the skill set to be able to achieve my goals of being a fashion designer. Through the Career Center, FIDM helped me land my first design position in the industry. The rigorous schedule at FIDM gave me an appreciation of the importance of hitting deadlines which is something I have carried throughout my career.



Just Accepted Student Is Transferring to FIDM to Pursue Her Goals of Becoming a Graphic Designer



Name: Daniella Chila

Age: 20

Hometown: Newport Beach, California

Previous College: University of Kansas

Major: Graphic Design

Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles Campus, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the admissions process? If it wasn't for Shirley, I would not have been as successful as I was throughout the application process. She really was such a great support system and helped me jump through every hoop that came my way.

Tell us about yourself. My favorite things to do are play guitar, explore new places, draw, photography, and I love to eat. I am inspired by the presentation of food and I’m constantly trying to find new restaurants to try.

What is your proudest accomplishment? Aside from getting into FIDM, earning an internship in Madrid, Spain. After crazy back and forth Skype sessions with a company in a foreign country, I received the opportunity to intern in Madrid for a PR company called Open Ideas this upcoming summer.

What made FIDM right for you? Leaving The University of Kansas was a very hard decision for me to make, but I decided that FIDM was the best place for me because of the opportunities. As a student pursuing a career in Graphic Design, FIDM is the place that will make sure I have full knowledge in that field being that it is a design school. This will give me a leg up from students at a other colleges pursuing the same degree. I love the idea of being surrounded by peers who want the same outcome as me and professors who have already accomplished the things I wish to succeed in one day.

Tell us about your entrance project. I designed a retail store that sells contemporary women’s clothes. I was asked to design a catalog cover, an advertisement, and a shopping bag. I used palm trees as my inspiration and used tools like overlay and different photo editors to express my ideas.

What are your career goals? My main career goal is to become a package, logo, and label designer, or work for a company like Google.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn the hard work it that it takes to be successful in the design world. I cannot wait to become an expert in Photoshop and InDesign and use them to advance in my career.



Fashion Design Student Receives Scholarships From the Cooper Design Space and Gen Art


Fashion Design Student Duston Jasso recently received the Cooper Design Space Fashion Start Award and The Gen Art Future Entrepreneur Award for the gown he presented for Chairing Styles at DEBUT 2015. "I was so lucky to be able to work with such an amazing textile, designed by Kaileen Shanahan," says Duston, who is going on to be a 2016 DEBUT designer in the Advanced Fashion Design Program. "These scholarships will be put towards creating my DEBUT collection, which I am so excited to begin. I could not be more blessed."

Duston says he has dreamed of showing at DEBUT since the first time he attended the show, as a high school junior. "I remember seeing the whole show, taking it all in and thinking, 'I want that to be me; I want to go up there and show my vision as an artist,'" he says. "And now, a few years later, to have all my hard work, sleepless nights, and dedication pay off, it is truly a dream come true. I can’t wait to show my groundbreaking collection and show the fashion industry the artist I have become."

Duston adds that FIDM has opened his eyes to what it is really like in the fashion industry and has offered him numerous opportunities. "FIDM has given me strength, confidence, and life skills to be successful in the fashion industry," he says. "I am so appreciative of FIDM supporting me along the way, from the amazing staff to all the resources provided. FIDM was the best decision I have ever made in my life--it unlocked the door to a career I love and I can’t wait to see what will happen next."



BCBGeneration Creative Director Joyce Azria Offers Expert Advice to Product Development Students

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BCBGeneration Creative Director Joyce Azria visited FIDM today, specifically as a guest speaker in a meeting of the Premiere Merchandise Product Development Group—an elite group of FIDM Students who because of their outstanding scholastic achievements, qualify to attend special networking events. The first thing she made clear to the students is that she hires graduates from FIDM. In fact, her executive assistant is an alumna.

Joyce Azria is the daughter of Max Azria—designer, chairman, and CEO of the BCBG Max Azria Group. Max Azria started the company 26 years ago. One of six children and the eldest female, Joyce is the only one who entered the family business.

She always had a particular flare for the business of fashion. At the age of nine, her father was consulting her opinion on BCBG store interiors. She grew up in a fashion family, but she said she was the only one who "showed up." She expressed interest. At 19 years old, she was hired as the creative director of BCBG's swimwear line. Having been raised in the business, she knew all things fashion, including how to make a pattern, sew, and put together a runway show.

She was married at 20 years old and started her own fashion company, JOYANN, which she ran for three years. She then started a family and left the fashion industry for a time, before coming back to run BCBGeneration as the creative director—where she has been now for five years.

As a person with a lot of experience in the fashion business, she offered some excellent advice to the students that they can start using now.

"Stick through the discomfort," she said. The fashion business is hard; you have to stick it out and follow things through. Just because things get difficult, it doesn't mean you stop trying. You will be a better employee if you can survive a bad boss, for example. You will learn how to be a good leader. It's all about a strong work ethic and consistency. She said she does not look fondly on a job candidate whose resume clearly shows they've had four different jobs in two years, for example. Longevity shows loyalty, which is something she holds in high regard.

The second piece of advice Azria gave is to keep perspective of the market to know where you're situated. Max Azria essentially launched the Contemporary clothing market because he noticed there was a need for it. Contemporary was born in the late '80s because of perspective. 

Thirdly, Azria said humility and being of service is key. "Be humble all the way to the top. When you're humble, you're heard."

Lastly, she told the students that they must have passion for what they do. "Fashion is a business of love. It's a business of heart." As a young man, her father moved from Tunisia to Paris and started off selling peanuts. He then moved to selling pens, and finally into denim and clothing. His commitment, dedication, vision, and passion have gotten him to where he is today.

She said she loves to give back. Each student was given a gift bag with a cute BCBGeneration tee and dollar in an envelope that said, "Let kindness be your superpower today." Azria said the students should pay it forward and give the dollar to someone in need.

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Links We Love: Frida Kahlo's closet, Resort Wear & More

Dior Cruise

Resort wear is fashion’s most elusive and versatile genre, outfitting island hoppers, those in their own back-yard oasis and warm-weather fellows all year round. But who can resist the summer fantasy? The vacation-ready runways reached new heights of escapism when Dior held its Cruise Collection show at the other-worldly bubble house of fashion designer Pierre Cardin’s outside of Cannes.  The space-age , cliffside, domed abode surrounded by tropical plants and blue pools served as an charming contrast to Raf Simons neat A-line plaid dresses and easy-going separates.  In place of gaudy details, the collection was marked by robust textures, exaggerated pockets, and shiny geological prints. Layers of netting and mesh alluded to a cruise-worthy oceanic connection. Karl Lagerfeld brought on the summer fun for Chanel’s Resort ‘16 show in Seoul with fruit-colored,  geometric prints, and revamped tweed. The candy-hued collection held an exciting element of play, with surprising touches of leather, baby-doll make-up and braided hair pieces as homage of K-Pop fashion. 

Kim Jones India

If wanderlust is in your heart, Kim Jones understands. The Louis Vuitton Men’s Style Director traveled to Rajasthan in northern India for inspiration for his latest line. Vuitton’s trademark luggage makes it a natural travel brand and Jones sought a further connection to the trunks the brand made for the Maharajas of Jaipur and Jodhpur. The locals and surrounding terrain left a mark on Jones whose collection celebrates the modern Indian man; a determined and elegantly dressed man, poised for success despite his impoverished country. The region’s rich color palate, ancient palace architecture and the regal garb of the Maharajas all influenced Jones’ Spring/ Summer 15 line, and its beauty will send your eyes on a much deserved vacation. 


Something miraculous has happened. It’s something you’ve always wanted and didn't even know you wanted it:  one photographer finally captured the contents of Frida Kahlo’s closet and the photographs of the artist’s / fashion icon’s intimate belongings are holy relics indeed. Photographer Ishiuchi Miyako didn’t just open up a storage room, but a time capsule. Locked away in a bathroom by the artist’s famous husband Diego Rivera after her death,  Kahlo’s things sat completely untouched, upon Rivera’s requests; the door was not opened until 2004. Miyako’s work can be found in book form Frida, and he exhibits his work in London at the Michael Hoppen Gallery this week until July 12. 

The most beautiful of Kahlo’s items are the pieces she made-was forced to make- herself.  The Mexican artist was first a victim of childhood polio and subsequently survived a bus accident that left her disabled and in severe chronic pain for the rest of her life. Polio had originally  left her right leg thinner than her left, hence the artist’s signature use of long, colorful, Tehuana style skits. Then, at age 45, her lower right leg was amputated due to gangrene and to compensate for her missing appendage, Kahlo designed a stylish red lace-up boot, decked out with Chinese flourishes and small bell to cover her prosthetic. As seen in a few of her self-portraits, Kahlo often painted and collaged her body casts and medial corset bodices that protected as well as imprisoned her fragile torso. The body cast found in the locked room is work of art; attached to a parrot-red skirt, the cast is adorned with small mirrors, pictures of animals and a large painted hammer and sickle.  At the stomach, there is a large hole that the artist cut out herself. Perhaps meant as a playful peephole for her belly, it now appears as a kind of opening from which her soul is released.


Rachel Antonoff’s working woman-inspired collection, made with H&M’s designer offshoot brand & Other Stories, is right in time for early election season. Taking the idea of the campaign in both fashion and politics seriously, the collection is marketed with a suffrage aesthetic. Brandishing slogans “ We Try Harder” and  “It’s Time,”  sweatshirts and T’s invoke hopes for a female president and a hip and quirky one at that. That vision is realized in the collection’s sweet fashion film made by cool-girl Lena Dunham in which Zoe Kazan portrays “Audrey”- a presidential hopeful going door-to-door in her quest for votes. The line is a smart blend of dreamy pastels, fresh prints and crisp, office-ready shapes;  a practical response to Chanel’s Spring/Summer ’15 feminist runway protest and ideal for millennial professionals who want a contemporary, polished look.  Altogether, the peter-pan collared dresses, flouncy blouses and mono-chromatic scheme are reminiscent of director Wes Anderson’s use of color in his films as well as his impeccably dressed and slightly off-beat female leads.  Might as well rule the oval office, or just your own, in style.

Eileen Ford

 A new biography on Ford Models founder Eileen Ford will be adapted for a television series. "Model Woman: Eileen Ford and the Business of Beauty” by Robert Lacey is set for release on June 16 this year, but "Mistresses" creator K.J. Steinberg knew to snatch up a good story when she saw one.  After WW2, women’s place in society was overwhelmingly domestic but Ford defied all norms of her day when she began the Ford Modeling Agency with her husband and placed her entrepreneurial ambition front and center. Ford was a shrewd businesswoman and fierce when negotiating better working conditions for her models, who were often treated as family in the agency.  Along with her husband Jerry , Ford revolutionized the industry by advocating for pay by usage modeling in place of an hourly wage and hence sparked the creation of the supermodel.  Could this series be the lady-power response to “Mad Men”? From the agency that catapulted the likes of Suzy Parker, Brooke Shields and Naomi Campbell to fame, there is more than enough glamour for the small screen to capture.


The #Girlboss theme continues: Diane von Furstenberg has chosen as Paolo Riva as her renowned brand’s new CEO.  Furstenberg has searched for a heir to her throne for two years  and sees Riva, who has worked as an executive for Valentino, Ferragamoto and Tory Burch LLC, as the ideal leader to bring DVF into a new age.

Rebel Wilson

Favorite funny girl Rebel Wilson of “Bridesmaids”and just out “Pitch Perfect 2” announced that she has partnered with plus-size clothing brand Torrid to design a holiday collection due out this November. Since she entered the spotlight, the Austrian actress/ singer has been an advocate for curvaceous bods , bringing humor and visibility to an often stigmatized topic. “Yep, I'm bringing out a clothing line in November!”, tweeted Wilson, “ and if you're too skinny for it, you can buy the bag.”



EXPRESS Partners With Universal Pictures and Pitch Perfect 2 For Dual-Gender Collection


Retailer EXPRESS, Inc. just announced their partnership with Universal Pictures and Gold Circle Entertainment's Pitch Perfect 2, in theaters May 15, 2015. Beginning this month, EXPRESS will debut a dual-gender collection based on looks from the film and handpicked by the movie's costume designer, Salvador Perez. Expect tropical florals, vibrant summer dresses, and statement accessories for women. The men's collection features denim, crisp suiting, and the brand's bestselling 1MX dress shirt in a limited-edition ombre design.

The collection is available exclusively online



Alumni Association Hosts Film and TV Costume Designers For Panel


Last week, the FIDM Alumni Association hosted a panel, Making It Work! Costume Designers in Entertainment, moderated by Alumni Director Bill Cliatt. The panel, which was held at the FIDM Annex in Los Angeles, featured FIDM Graduates:

Mikael Sharafyan, film and TV Costume Designer who was winner of the LA Cinema Festival Best Designer Award in 2011.

Amanda Hosler, lead Costume Designer at Maker Studios for commercials and videos.

Lynn Restelli, Costume Specialist in Disneyland's wardrobe department, working on high profile theme park shows.

Greg LaVoi, Emmy-nominated Costume Designer for 105 episodes of the Closer and Major Crimes. He recently resurrected the legendary American couture house, Irene


The illustrious panel discussed a day in the life of a costume designer on set, how they developed and maintain their careers in this fast-paced industry, and the psychology of working with high profile celebrities.


Photos courtesy of Meher Kourouyan / Reel Light Pictures.



Catching Up With Designer Leanne Marshall (Interview)


FIDM Graduate and Project Runway Season 5 winner Leanne Marshall has seen her business explode in recent years. The in-demand designer's line is now in over 40 global locations and she just launched two collections. We caught up with the Advanced Fashion Design Graduate to learn more. 

Tell us what you've been up to lately. Life is an incredible whirlwind for me right now. I just launched two collections: my New York Fashion Week collection, 42 looks which were inspired by the tragic life of Adele H., the daughter of author Victor Hugo, and my new bridal collection. I've also had some pretty remarkable women wearing my designs recently, including Carrie Underwood, Julianne Hough, Andie MacDowell, and Mena Suvari. It is so exciting to see this but I am actually so busy that I only have time for a short pause to enjoy it.


What continues to excite and invigorate you about design, particularly bridal? The only limits to design are the limits of the imagination. I find that invigorating. Nothing is more exciting than some new bolts of fabric, a clean, sun-lit room, my dress form and some peaceful quiet. I am always inspired by fabrics and the architecture that can be created, but my main goal, with weddings and design in general, is to make women look and feel incredible.


What are some of your fond memories of studying at FIDM? I was awarded a Levi's Dockers scholarship and was able to attend my first year free. That was such a huge help. There was a lot of homework! So much homework that I don't really remember anything else. 

How do you feel that the college helped prepare you for working as a designer? I learned a variety of skills, particularly pattern making and draping, which have allowed me to be a very self-reliant designer. I do every step of my design process now; I sketch, I sew, I drape, I create all the patterns and technical packages. FIDM taught me the basics and I was able to take those skills to the next level myself.

What are your future goals for your company? Right now, bridal is the primary focus, but I am making the turn toward ready to wear. With the attention my collections are getting from celebrities and editorial, I think a full launch will be in the near future.



FIDM Grad Kim Thomas Launches Footwear and Accessory Design Consulting Business in Los Angeles


FIDM Footwear Design Grad Kim Thomas is the co-founder of Jen + Kim Shoes, a custom shoe company she started in 2007 with her business partner, Jen Bonopartis. Every pair is custom and made to measure here in California. Since we last caught up with Kim five years ago, she launched a consulting business, Kim Thomas Consulting, to help new and existing brands design and develop their footwear and handbag collections both domestically and abroad.

What do you love most about consulting? Consulting is great because I am constantly working with new brands so I am always being challenged with new projects. It requires me to maintain and evolve my contacts both here with American manufacturers and suppliers as well as with those located overseas. I also love that each client requires different skills from me; some need me to take them through the whole process from design to production (this can include sourcing, color direction, packaging, etc.), while others need just a portion of that offering.

Where do you go for design inspiration? Generally, I start with materials. So whether it is a material show, a trip to the fabric market downtown or attending a trend seminar, new materials and color palettes often lead to some great ideas. 

What are going to be the hottest footwear trend this summer? It seems like this summer has a wide array of trends so the hot trend is a pretty vast world. My personal favorite though is the mule. It is a classic but the twists on it for the current season elevate the silhouette to a whole new realm.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Work as many different places within your intended career field as possible. If you want to get into footwear, work on the sales floor in the shoe department, intern with a designer, get involved at a factory, work at a leather store—the point is to gain a wide skill set so that you bring not only your FIDM education to your first job, but abilities and experiences that will make you an asset to any company.

What is your biggest goal right now? To take Jen + Kim Shoes to the next level. We are working to re-brand the company and offer our customers an easier way to customize our collection. In owning a small business, I wear a lot of hats, but in the end, the goal is to increase sales.



Is Social Media the New Background Check? Employers Give Insight on Social Media's Role in Pre-Employment Screening at Industry Expo


This year during FIDM Career Center’s Industry Expo, we asked recruiters from BCBG, PacSun, Quiksilver, Zappos, and Kellwood a series of questions about their strategies in employment selection. Among these questions included the role of social media in pre-employment screening. While there are still some talent acquisition professionals, like Darlene from the VF Corporation, who interviews candidates “based on skill and not by what they do on social media,” many recruiters are taking it a step further by checking their candidate’s social media profiles. The question is, what is it that they’re looking for?

One of the most important things employers look for in the hiring process are red flags, so what better way to do that than with social media? “Your social media portfolio gives a true picture of who you are. You can present who you want to be in an interview, but your Instagram is going to tell me something different," Zappos recruiter Ashley Rather says. Oftentimes, job candidates walk into an interview rehearsed and prepared with what to say, so pre-employment screening through social media is a way for recruiters to see the real you. It gives them a chance to “dig a little deeper," as Kellwood corporate recruiter Brooke Sexton would say.

You can tell a lot about a person just by viewing the “About” section of their Facebook profile, the topics that they tweet about, and the content of their Instagram page. Stephanie Sherwood, the College Relations Specialist at BCBG, cites that she views her candidate’s profiles to “understand their own personal brand,” and by personal brand she means their “creativity, sense of style, hobbies, and overall personality.” In other words, if you’re in the running for an open position at BCBG, and you're wearing an oversized hoodie, a pair of baggy sweatpants, and Nike tennis shoes in your profile photo, there’s a slight possibility that BCBG would pick another job candidate over you. Sherwood also states, “[Social media] is a fun way to see if [candidates] are a good fit for our brand.”


You also have actions sports brands like Quiksilver who are “more lenient” with students when it comes to their profiles, but it’s important to stay mindful of what you post. Brands like Hot Topic and Pacsun have different reasons as to why they poke around a candidate's social scene. Recruiter Maria McCarthy of Hot Topic believes that it’s only necessary if they’re hiring someone for a social media-related position, while the recruiters of PacSun check mainly for styling positions.

Although social media is a place for individuals to express themselves, it’s important to be careful of what you post, because you never know whose looking. Your social media presence could either be the recruiter’s deciding factor on whether to offer you the position, or not. 

How to Clean up Your Image on Social Media

  • Make sure your profile photo is an authentic yet professional representation of who you are. Switch out the photo of you partying with your best buds for a clean-cut headshot, or a stylized full-body portrait
  • Delete any past photos, status updates, or comments that might be inappropriate to the public eye
  • Think before you post. If it's something you don't want your boss to know, then it's best to just keep it off social media

FIDM thanks the many employers who were present at the 2015 Industry Expo: 

  • 24 Seven Talent
  • BCBG
  • Bebe
  • Bloomingdales
  • Burlington Stores
  • Cotton On
  • Dashmalchi LLC
  • Fourth Floor Fashion Talent 
  • Hot Topic Inc. 
  • Kellwood
  • Laurel and Wolf
  • L'Oreal Luxe
  • Next Level Apparel
  • Onestop Internet
  • PacSun
  • Perry Ellis International
  • Quiksilver
  • Sephora
  • VF Action Brands
  • VF Contemporary Brands
  • Zappos



MPD and Business Management Grad is an Assistant Designer at bebe (Interview)


Name: Freshtah Hamidi

Major: Merchandise Product Development, followed by Business Management

Grad Year: 2013

You began your career at bebe with an internship. How did the internship come about? I came across the design internship opportunity at bebe on the FIDM Career Network online. I applied on the job search portal and submitted my resume. I was invited to interview with the Director of Design Operations at and was offered a spot in the company’s Spring Internship program. 

How did this internship turn into a full-time position? While interning at bebe, I was given the opportunity to learn about the process of creating a collection. I was exposed to every stage of the development process, from putting together trend concepts to presenting prototype samples, to merchant teams. Through my dedication and eagerness to learn, I was able to extend my internship. I completed my internship in the last quarter of my coursework at FIDM.

During the internship, I expressed my love for the company culture and interest in joining the design team. A couple of weeks after I graduated, I received a call from the HR department at bebe about a new position opening up. The Director of Design Operations recognized my hard work and dedication to the company, and a new position was created for me as the Design Product Librarian.

What are your responsibilities? As the Design Product Librarian, I coordinated all samples in the studio and served as a liaison between all departments. Additionally, I assisted the Design Team with CAD, Web PDM input, tech packs, and prepping for style out presentations. Within a year, I was promoted to Assistant Designer, the position which I currently hold.

I work with the Senior Design Director, who oversees the Related Sportswear and Jumpsuits categories. I assist with sketching, tech pack setups, vendor communication, Web PDM input, and style out preparation. I also function as the Design Team trainer and manage the Design Internship program.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM helped me prepare for my career by providing me with the tools I needed to not only function, but also grow in the industry. I utilize coursework knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator, and Web PDM on a daily basis. While at FIDM, I worked under strict deadlines, while juggling multiple projects at school. As a result, I learned strong time-management skills that allow me to meet the demands of a fast-paced work environment.

In addition, I often had to collaborate on group projects, teaching me how to work well in a team environment. I am constantly collaborating with others at work, both with the design team and with cross-functional teams, such as our internal merchant and production teams. I have gained immense knowledge throughout my studies at FIDM and I am able to utilize all of the tools I learned in the development of my career. 



Just Accepted MPD Student From Shanghai, China Comes From a Fashion Family



Name: Yoomi Ren

Age: 18

Hometown: Shanghai, China

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, July 2016

Admissions Advisor: Seung Kim

How did your advisor help with the process? I would never have achieved my success on my admission process to FIDM without Seung's generous help. She answered all of my questions patiently and efficiently, she walked me through the whole applying process, from the very beginning of introducing FIDM to me, to the end of responsibly handling all my admission materials. After I got accepted, she put her feet in my shoes to actually help me picked a much better and suitable major. Seung is such a great and sweet person. Although I have never met her in person, I can be certain that she is going to be a good friend on campus.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I grew up in a family of fashion. My parents are both fashion designers, and I am influenced by their creativity every day. Painting and drawing were my best friends through my childhood, and they are my ways to express my emotions and thoughts, even now. After I entered high school, I discovered my passion for body figure photography. The pursuits of fashion and beauty are my ultimate enjoyments.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment is definitely getting accepted from my dream college FIDM as a junior in high school. It is the biggest payback for all of my endeavors in the field of art and design. I think it's such a great blessing for me to have the opportunity to do the things I am most passionate about every single day, and hopefully continue this passion into my future career.

What made FIDM right for you? I have known my dream and life goal when I was really young: to become a fashion designer and merchandiser. That makes FIDM as my dream school ever since. FIDM is located at the heart of fashion and entertainment industries in the country, and the vast internship opportunities and special connections with many big retail companies make FIDM stand out from other schools in a unique way. Most importantly, FIDM is the perfect place for me to pursue my passion, and make a living out of it.

Describe your entrance project. The store I created for my entrance project focus mainly on merging and unity between western and eastern fashion. The overall color tones of the store are pastel, neutral, and earth tones. I find it fascinating that many Asian designers do not fear expanding possibilities within simple colors: Rei Kawakubo, Hiroko Koshino, and Yohji Yamamoto are all perfect examples to represent the uniqueness in eastern fashion. The core insistence of the store is to present a clean and unique fashion style, promote an international view, and understanding of fashion.

What are your career goals? My career goal is to become a fashion designer as well as a fashion merchandiser, and inherit my father's fashion brand in Asia. I want to bring eastern fashion style into western market, at the same time, make new designs in Asia by combining western sense of fashion.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? Merchandise Product development is a perfect major for me, it gives me skills to not only become a designer but a buyer. I expect to learn and experiment as comprehensive as I can through my first two years in FIDM, and continue my education into advanced course and bachelor degree.



Get the Inside Story on Beauty Product Development at Orly, Stila, Smashbox, and Arbonne

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Photo | L to R: Robyn Turner, Elyse Piwonka, Caitlin Woo, Kia Ragland

Students in the Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing program were recently treated to a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear it straight from the mouths of experts in beauty product development, what it's actually like to be a product developer for beauty giants including Orly, Stila, Smashbox, and Arbonne—all companies headquartered in Southern California.

It was an all-star cast serving on the beauty panel. All FIDM Grads and all experts in beauty product development. First there was Stila Director of Product Development Caitlin Woo. Next up was Orly & Spa Ritual Sr. Product Development Manager Elyse Piwonka. Third was Smashbox Global Product Development Assistant Manager Kia Ragland. And rounding out this impressive lineup was Arbonne Sr. Product Development Manager Robyn Turner.

When asked if product development is part of marketing or research and development, the panel answered, "Both." They said that product developing is usually an arm of marketing.

"You need to know your consumer. You need to know your brand," said Caitlin Woo who originally came to FIDM to study fashion. After she started at FIDM she realized that fashion didn't peek her interest as much as the beauty industry, so she interned at Stila and never looked back. She advised the students to take their internships seriously.

Elyse Piwonka added that product development is still part of sales, really. "You have to be able to sell to marketing, the sales teams, and the customer," she said. She told the students that she recently gave a presentation to Target about polymer nail polish. She works directly with the chemists at ORLY, and she knows the product well.

Always having been passionate about beauty, Elyse Piwonka said she fell in love with product development during her time at LORAC Cosmetics. "The idea of creating something is such a beautiful thing." After five years at LORAC, Elyse went to ORLY where she is now the Sr. Product Development Manager. "It's a small industry and it's a beautiful thing to be part of."

Kia Ragland interned at Smashbox when she first started at FIDM. Then she interned at Stila, and once she graduated she was hired. Two years later, she moved over to Jouer Cosmetics doing product and package development, and it wasn't long before she landed back at Smashbox. She's now the Assistant Manager of Global Product Development.

Robyn-Melissa Turner started off saying that the one thing everyone on the panel has in common is "the passion and the ability to network." Robyn knew at a young age that she wanted to work behind the scenes in the beauty industry. She remembers her mother working for Avon, and Robyn used to help her send out orders. She could tell when a formula had changed or the packaging had been redesigned. But, it wasn't until she participated in the NY Study Tour at FIDM that she learned about product development, and she fell in love with the fragrance process.

Turner wanted to do luxury fragrances, and she went to work at DayNa Decker. She went on to work for ORLY, Markwins International (Wet n Wild), and now Arbonne where she has been for almost three years as a Senior Product Development Manager of color cosmetics at their Irvine headquarters. She is what in known in the industry as a cross category developer.

"You have fabulous instructors at FIDM," Turner said as she looked directly in to the audience of students. "You have an amazing opportunity at this college. It's about showing up and being professional." She also added that it's helpful to find yourself a mentor as you grow in your career. "Surround yourself with people who are experts."

Business cards were exchanged as well as information about upcoming internship opportunities.



FIDM Grad Toni Sandoval Working on Fashion Collection Using Sustainable Materials From Iceland


Toni Sandoval graduated in 2012 with a degree in Fashion Design. He's now the men’s denim and streetwear designer for Sunrise Brand’s private label division, and he runs his own private design on the side working with independent musical artists and artists of multiple other mediums. He said FIDM prepared him for the technical and fast-paced nature of the fashion industry.

Q: How did you decide on your major? 
A: I’ve always been about self-expression and have always wanted to create and embody that motto. It was a no-brainer that Fashion Design was for me.

Q: Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you?
A: Creative Development & Portfolio Preparation were very crucial classes for me. It was the first time I critically thought about the design process and developed the talent and techniques required to put into design.

Q: Any advice for current FIDM Students? 
A: Utilize the resources available to you at FIDM. Spend a good portion of your week in the library, explore the fabric room, and review all the trend forecast publications that FIDM offers. They are valuable pieces of information that you won’t find anywhere else. 

Q: What is your biggest goal right now?
A: I am currently working on a collection of garments, bags, and jewelry that are being produced using natural and sustainable resources from Iceland. I plan on having the first sneak peak by the end of this year, so definitely stay tuned for that.



Nasty Gal VP of Design Sarah Wilkinson Reviews Merchandise Product Development Student Collections

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Students in the Merchandise Product Development Program are designing spring 2016 collections for Nasty Gal this quarter. This week, they had the golden opportunity to present their designs to VP of Design Sarah Wilkinson and Nasty Gal Recruiter Chloe Polanco.

The students were divided into two teams at the beginning of the quarter to design two distinct collections. This week, less than one month later, they presented to Nasty Gal their first draft of design ideas: Team 1 with "Cutting Edge" and "Global Rokker," and Team 2 with "Walking on Stardust" and "Smoking Seduction," complete with fabric swatches and vintage fashion inspiration pulled from the FIDM archives (see photo above). Each student was responsible for designing and presenting a certain part of the presentation: skirts, tops, denim, rompers, trims and embellishments, etc.

Team 1 students include Elisa Panik, Montena Dillenberg, Carrie Durrant, Annabelle Lee, Grace Lee, Lizzy Burke, and Xzavia Brady. And Team 2 is Taylor Thompson, Karynne Allbee, Becca Cochran, Asmita Guntermann, Maya Kenderes, and Anna Heffernan.

Wilkinson offered constructive feedback, both positive and negative, on the collections—much like a real world design situation. 

She suggested that Team 1 consider designing more denim silhouettes, and that Team 2 could balance the silhouettes more, and sprinkle in some "easy wardrobe builders." She said it would be good to "create three outfits that are essential" for the season. And make sure the team members all come to a mutual consensus and together sign off on the looks.

She encouraged the students by saying that she was quite impressed with their work and that their stories were really strong. In her British accent, she said they were "bang on trend" with the '70s influence. In fact, Wilkinson just traveled to New York on a vintage shopping trip for Nasty Gal and said that it was very similar to what the students pulled with their vintage Halston piece they showed her.

Wilkinson really liked "Walking on Stardust." She said the fabric selection was really great, and she loved the muses and icons. She cautioned the students, however, to modernize the designs and make them relevant for today, and not to literally translate a '70s design. She said "Smoky Seduction" was good but the rich, dramatic, deep jewel tones in the fabrics looked more like something for October or holiday, not spring.

Regarding "Cutting Edge," she said the tops didn't always look like they went with the bottoms. She loved "Global Rokker" and said the palette was "insane." She was also very impressed with the head to toe styling and excellent embellishment ideas.

She did say that both teams have a great eye for color. They picked great muses and inspiration, as well as really strong research. She left them with one last bit of advice: "Get together as a team before you start sketching. Design together. In team collaboration, the work is always richer."

The students will meet with Nasty Gal a total of about five times throughout the quarter. Early in the quarter, they visited the Santa Monica retail location where they met with Heidi Kinsella, the Senior Manager of Visual Merchandising who oversees all Nasty Gal stores. They also visited the Nasty Gal headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles (group shot below).

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Links We Love: Met Gala Highlights, Silicon Valley Fashion Week & More

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Dragons, royal reds, and embroidered silks flooded the red carpet on Monday’s Met Gala. The most important fashion event of the year, the gala is where industry stars and celebrities of every caliber wine and dine to fundraise for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, and show off their stuff while they’re at it. Since 1999, Vogue Editor Anna Wintour has transformed the benefit from a well attended socialite event to a celebrity-centered media frenzy and corporate power house capable of raising hundreds of millions. The dress code is based each year on the Met’s current exhibit, and this time around gala attendees interpreted “China: Through the Looking Glass” to both subtle and dramatic ends.  The impact of Chinese culture on Western fashion is the show’s theme, and Chinese designers like Vera Wang, Phillip Lim, and Christopher Bu, along with their creations, were at the gala to prove it.  

Rihanna stole the show when she arrived wrapped up in a massive trailing, fur trimmed, yellow gown by Chinese designer Guo Pei. It took two years for the designer to hand make the queen-sized, intricately embroidered masterpiece after the pop-star commissioned him to make her a golden gown. The Oriental imperial sentiment also came through in a series of headdresses and crowns, the most theatrical being Sarah Jessica Parker’s towering flame headpiece by Philip Treacy. Anne Hathaway opted for a different kind of head-piece statement, with a gold Ralph Lauren column hooded dress that gave a touch of mysterious glamour in lieu of more costume-based looks. 


J-Lo, Kim Kardashian, and Beyonce created their own curvy category when the three divas wore ravishing, sheer dresses embroidered with barely-there fancywork . Mrs. Lopez brought fierceness to the night's theme with her sheer, beaded Versace gown. Some rebels skipped the dress code in favor of unique designs of their own conception. Stars of this category include Dakota Johnson who wore a stunning black and white metallic sequined mini cocktail dress by Chanel. FKA twigs,as always, took the cake for originality with her Christopher Kane body-parts collaged dress. The designer/ model dream team of the night was Cher and Marc Jacobs; the iconic singer, not seen at the gala since 1997 , appeared fabulously bedazzled by a shiny red and silver Jacobs’ original and arm in arm with dress’s proud designer. 

Christos Bridal

Monday, April 13, was a nice day for a white wedding when the bridal shows took to the runway. Christos Costarellos presented an especially relevant Spring 2016 line that traded its classic silhouettes for free-flowing and truly bohemian designs.  With the '70s back as a leading trend period, there is no better time than the present to embrace the era’s romantic earthiness . The result has an almost Renaissance effect. The sheer lace dresses are gorgeous. It’s as if the delicate, under-layers, usually hid from view under heavy frills, came out and showed themselves in all their ghostly beauty.  Galia Lahav and especially Vera Wang mined inspiration from lingerie to produce slip-like dresses, hemmed with lavish layers of tulle. Alternatives to the white dress came from Theia in form of a white wedding power suit, with a plunging neck line and crisp flared pants that is both sensual and empowering. By far, Houghton presented the most innovative and experimental line, with flouncy 60’s and 20’s shapes embroidered with fur and fringe for the brides and oversized shirts and elegant baggy, pants for the grooms. Exquisite use of color; silk expresso brown, hues of pink and cream along with playful florals broke up the genre’s placid sea of white.  Last but not least,  Houghton might have given the bridal world something entirely new: white lace overalls.

Silicon Fashion Week

When you hear “Silicon Valley,” you may think mostly of power suits at best and men rocking socks and sandals at worst. But with all the current hype surrounding wearable tech, industry moguls have taken the next step and created tech’s own fashion week. Silicon Valley Fashion Week? (the question mark included in its title especially for its skeptics) will debut in San Francisco on May 12-14. Each day of the three day event at The Chapel concert venue on Valencia Street will focus on an a particular theme: movement and lighting, wearable tech and crowd-funded fashion designers. Event host Betabrand, a crowdfunding  fashion app company, has said it will have drones, not models, float its garments down the runway.  The time for such an event is right and tickets have sold out. Remember, San Francisco may be simply following it fashion lineage, because beside being home to Levi’s and Gap, it is a home to the future of tech. 

Seasonal Shapes

Every season has its shapes, and at the moment, they are especially bold. The lady power suit has had a facelift thanks to Acne in form of a print-coordinated body con dress over skinny flared pants. Babyghost’s ready wear Fall 2015 line made the case for long hippy dresses with melting hems paired with saggy cardigans for a new heavy hemline cool. Banana Republic’s fresh take on the classic pleated skirt and blouse combo gives an old classic modern hype.  The new set is a mono-chromatic combo: a boxy top over above-the-knee pleated skirt is perfect for both work and play.

Lucky Brand HQ

You can see Lucky Brand’s enormous art-deco style building headquarters if you pass by Santa Fe Ave in downtown L.A’s Arts District. The So-Cal company put down its roots in Feb 2012 and since has further molded it’s OG vintage-wash jean brand into a complete showcase for So-Cal boho style. For those thinking about an ideal post-grad work space, check out the Racked L.A photo tour of the office. Inside the tiled and wood-floored offices are the sample racks, airy cubicles and bulletin boards pinned with inspirational cut-outs. The two story building is flanked with greenery and complete with an outdoor patio and a company bike rack for quick rides around the industrial hip neighborhood. Corporate yet conscientious, the company will also re-launch its non-profit Lucky Brand Foundation that provides paid days for employee community service and free employee yoga classes. Lucky Brand is also poised to open its biggest store yet; a 6,000-square-foot flagship that will open this August in El Segundo at the new high-end outdoor-shopping mall, The Point.

Echo Park Craft Fair

Mother’s day is on Sunday and there is no better place to find an original gift for her (and yourself) than this weekend’s Echo Park Craft Fair.  More than 70 local vendors will exhibit their their indie wares at Silverlake’s Max Sennett Studios and the goodies go beyond wearables. This year the fair boasts a curated selection of delicious eats as well as a beauty and wellness lounge. Perfect for Mom will be the Mother’s day portrait studio and  flower bouquet’s by renowned florists Moon Canyon Designs.  You can bet that the So-Cal style will be top-notch, so expect lots of cacti, crystals, leather, pottery, eco-friendly clothes and jewelry.  With gems by Dream Collective, handmade shoes by fair founder Beatrice Valenzuela and textiles by Heather Taylor, there is almost too much to be excited about. Limited free parking will be provided at Children’s Hospital on Sunset, as well as a quick shuttle ride to the fair. Tickets can be purchased for $8 online at


Networking can be fun, especially on a rooftop overlooking the downtown skyline surrounded by a slew of fabulously talented women. On May 11 at 11 a.m., get your inspiration on at a one-of-a-kind professional weekly mingle fest hosted by The Working Women’s Club at the Ace Hotel in downtown. The WW Club was founded in 2014 by super-smart Londoner Phoebe Lovatt who saw a need to provide spaces to connect working women world-wide. The work party is held every Wednesday and is free! Bringing your laptops, sketchpads and resumes/ business cards is recommended. RSVP.



Fashion Design Grad Brit Cameron Launches New Self-Titled Formalwear Label


Fashion Design Graduate Brit Cameron's new self-titled formalwear label, based in Salt Lake City, Utah, debuted in early 2015. After graduating from FIDM in 2002, Brit began working in ready-to-wear, formal wear, and eventually for famed bridal designer Maggie Sottero, where she spent 10 years until the company's prom line, Flirt, abruptly came to a halt. "It was very disheartening losing a career you've put your heart and soul into for 10 years," Brit says. "But I trust that everything happens for a reason, and knew a new adventure was out there for me. I just didn't realize it would be to finally start the line I always dreamed of."

View the 2015 collection here



Interior Design Grad is Dedicated to Her Design Career (Interview)


Interior Design Grad Tanvi Bhatia was offered a full-time position as an interior designer prior to graduating from FIDM in 2014. She is also launching her own business and is working on a residential project in Orange County at the moment. We chatted with the busy alumna to learn more. 

Tell us about your job at DIJ Group. I work as an interior designer focusing on technical design for DIJ Group. My responsibilities range from the designing of the hard finishes of the high-end residential property we are developing to also the sourcing of materials needed in the architectural build of the house. Being the head designer's assistant, I shoulder a lot of responsibility for the technical drawings for the layout of the house and details of custom features throughout project. I also have to keep all ends tied together with tremendous organization because there is a lot that goes into developing a property from ground up-from the landscape design to the lighting design to the aesthetic of the hard finishes inside the house to the finishes of the exterior of the house while staying true to the original vision of the architect.

We hear you are launching your own business as well. I am planning on launching my own business, De'Zaina Interiors, as well. I have been working on the design of a private residence in Newport Coast (approximately 5,000 square-feet) alongside my job at DIJ Group. The management of a full-time job with DIJ and working on a full house project on the side during my free time has been very challenging. I am very dedicated to both jobs and would like to yield the best results for both. I enjoy transitional design immensely as it creates the perfect blend of the coziness that radiates from traditional styles and the clean, crisp look of contemporary design. My focus with my business is currently on residential sector of the market, however, we will see where I go with the commercial designing in the future.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM has been a fantastic school for my education during my time there and after graduation as well. I was part of Chairing Styles 2015 and was able to showcase the design of my chair, La Liberte, during DEBUT. FIDM helped me prepare extremely well for presenting myself and my work. There are three people in the faculty at FIDM that have always supported me through all my ups and downs and have ensured that I set my goals up high and do my level best to reach them: Dina Morgan, Rosemarie Ribeiro, and Paolo Volpis. Their support and guidance has gotten me where I am today.



From the FIDM Library: Spring 2015 Style Report

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The style report is prepared by Cynthia Aaron, Textile & Materials Specialist, FIDM Library.


The future is now, but it’s not what we expected. From loud and in-your-face, to quiet and Zen-like, extremes are the future. A shift from a “me” to a “we” sensibility is taking place. Collectives are working together to design new processes and new materials as a catalyst for change. New pathways to design and manufacturing include being aware of our carbon footprint. Incorporating science with tissue, lab-grown leather is making strides. In the future, lab-grown meat, chicken and fish may change the way we look at and consume food. Maker groups and workshops forming worldwide are a DIY reaction to 3-D printing and coded processes. Sewing classes, knitting groups, and GIY (grow your own) kits utilizing thistle, mushroom mycelia or straw are gaining importance, as our world continues to change and new, more sustainable practices are needed.  Technology, art, and design are integrating to create new innovations. Our spoken languages are morphing into Emoji emote-a-con visual language that people of all nationalities can recognize instantly. An instant world but a maker world: the extremes are infinite.


On a macro level fantasy plays a part as designs take on fantastic shapes and dimensions, but retain functionality. The powerful combines with the ordinary in survivalist military details such as hip and chest pockets, layered and faux fur collars, and zippers and plackets with snap closures. An industrial work style informs a relaxed and retro look, in tailored shapes with a homespun feel. In another mood, history influences clothes as armor, taking its cue from the Japanese samurai warrior in wide-legged pants and kimono shapes. A dramatic and opulent mood sees a romantic, historical past of the Renaissance in thick and padded textures, and cloaked and hooded shapes. Colors range into deep shades of purple and black and textiles are aged to look time-worn and classic. The dramatic carries through in sci-fi details of strange shapes and alien-like forms.

Knitwear is seeing a transforming of the traditional into 3-D whimsical and architectural designs. Chinese red and blood red gain the spotlight and suggest passion. DIY details hinge on either a punk story incorporating rips and tears, and safety-pinned details or an intricate embroidered and embellished look. Textiles are also covering extremes—high tech and sleek or layered and plush.


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Androgynous is now the norm, as men and women are dressing more alike. Both genders can choose fashions in a variety of shapes: trapeze, maxi, cropped, full, ultra-wide or flared. An artisan, oversized silhouette utilizing up-cycled and craft-inspired materials creates a DIY feeling. Re-worked classics such as the herringbone overcoat or the military-inspired bomber coat lends a vintage appeal. Hybrids, such as the hooded anorak looks futuristic in hi-tech fabrics, while providing protection from sun, wind and rain. Forties vintage-feel biker jackets are updated with shearling details, and military looks in wool have a tactile mood.  Relaxed lounge suits in knits for both men and women with company branding details (logos) puts a new angle on “casual.” The casual mood supports loosely-tailored wrapped and oversized coats that can be tied with fabric belts, and roomy joggers cut in luxurious materials. Funnel-neck textural sweaters become tunics, and ponchos create a sporty yet soft layering. Denim is used in its raw, un-processed and rigid state in ultra-wide trousers. Beautifully tailored components, such as checked blazers, high-waist cargo pants, minimal suits and woven T-shirts are timeless pieces not soon replaced, but kept as ageless pieces for years.


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Aging techniques give materials a timeworn and historical aesthetic which translates into objects that look like they have a past. Weathered copper used for furniture, accessories, and housewares and darkened wood suggest the texture of antique objects. The opulent is toned down to produce a faded and worn appearance, which in turn looks relaxed and inviting. Decorative objects have a metallic patina resembling organic substances in their blue-green and burnt orange color spectrum.  Designers’ branding on surface textures for products such as small electronics (toasters and blenders), and luggage take brands to a new level, where company logos or custom materials help to increase recognition. This kind of branding extends into the automotive and architecture realms, as well. Bamboo for furniture, accessories, and raw materials, is showing up from discount retailers to high-end design houses. Mix and match tiles lend a collage-like look to bathrooms and kitchens which focuses on flooring and wall surfaces in a playful way. A holistic approach to lighting-that of using it to promote wellness- is seeping into interiors. Color is jumping over boundaries and going into areas of custom color, and invention of new colors. The next frontier looks to be that of ‘growing’ color.        




Entrepreneurship Class Visits SF Start-Up Move Loot

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FIDM San Francisco students from Mychelle Fitzgerald's Entrepreneurship class visited start-up Move Loot's headquarters this quarter. Founders Bill Bobbitt and Jenny Morrill shared their successful business plan for an online used furniture site that links up buyers and sellers, then transports the furniture to its new home, hassle free. The group of 28  Merchandise Marketing students spent the day at the Market St. headquarters getting to know the founders and learning about the logistics of starting a business from the ground up.



Textile Design and Debut Grad Receives Scholarship From California Fashion Foundation and Textile Association of L.A.


Recent DEBUT Graduate Willis Park, who also studied Textile Design at FIDM, recently received the Betty Baumgardner Award for Best Use of Textiles from the California Fashion Foundation (CFF) and the Textile Association of Los Angeles (TALA). "I showed some pieces of my children's wear I had designed for the DEBUT 2015 show, and they loved my use of knits, painting, prints, and hand weaving," he explains. "This award helped me get an amazing job--and I paid my rent." 

Willis says that he learned a great deal from his mentor, Textile Chair Anne Bennion, who shared opportunities with him. Immediately after DEBUT, he became the head fashion designer of an emerging New York-based clothing label, PRMITV WORLD. "I am now affiliated with Gen Art and I will design my collection (women's and men's ready-to-wear and accessories) that will be shown in New York Fashion Week," he says. "Thanks to the Textile Design Program, I am also designing the prints that will go along with my garment designs as well. I'm very happy that I pursued my major at the right time."



NY Times Style Section Notes LA's Rising Arts Scene

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Watch out New York! According to the New York Times Sunday Style section, "Los Angeles is enjoying a renaissance with a burgeoning art, fashion, and food scene that has become irresistible to the culturally attuned." The lead story reports on the livability of Eastside neighborhoods like Silver Lake, Echo Park, and downtown and the boom of frozen Brooklynites moving in. "Los Angeles was once just a city of jeans, but it is quickly becoming a high-fashion town," notes bi-coastal stylist Joe Zee, currently of Yahoo Style. Saint Laurent, Rodarte, and Band of Outsiders are mentioned as evidence of L.A.'s rising fashion cred.

photo credit: New York Times



Links We Love: Trash Couture, Luxury Tech, Sydney Fashion Week & More


New Deli artist Vivan Sundaram is a mad magician. He has transformed trash into haute couture and mannequin parts into archeological artifacts. Making Strange: Gagawaka/ Postmortem, open now at UCLA’s Fowler Musuem, is the first museum exhibit for the renowned Indian artist and it should not be missed. The show is really two complete works in one, though interconnected, since the two projects inform each other. In Gagawaka, soles of shoes, plastic tubing, and dirty leather, make up Sundaram’s clothing’s “anti-aesthetic.” The sculptural garments are designed with such extreme detail and care that they become reflections of the more outrageous silhouettes seen only in the most prestigious houses of fashion. Outfitted in fantastical forms that hint of mysterious functions, the mannequins themselves become archeological evidence of a possibly future world.  In Postmortem, Sudaram then dove deeper into his scraps. Leftover remnants from Gagawaka,  unwearable clothing pieces, mannequin parts and dissected medical models are dramatically posed, sometimes in unsettling  ways, that point to questions about the human condition. The show runs until September 6 at the Fowler museum, located on UCLA campus in Westwood.


A clutch of independent, up- and-coming designers rocked Sydney fashion week last week.  Young brands like Romance Was Born, Dyspnea, and Don’t Want No Scrub are taking big risks and receiving a lot of attention Down Under.  A psychedelic rainbow tribe of nymphs and shamans is one way to describe Romance Was Born’s exciting new line. The brand, founded in 2005, takes inspiration from myth, surrealist fantasy and the Australian outback to create high-end, otherwordly designs whose freshness has no match. Dyspnea debuted its signature brand of 90’s funky luxury tastes with floral embroidered mid-drift showing separates dotted with charming puffs of fur.  Former rave-kid Joshua Davidson funded Don’t Want No Scrub from Kickstarter . His new dark line is perfect for a goth club and included metal-link embellished leather skirts,harnesses and  fishnet bodysuits.  No Scrub female models wore platinum, cyber-punk baby-bangs and wild mullets, taken straight from Yolandi of rap-rave group Die Antwoord, to complete the edgy look. Gail Sorronda is a seven year fashion week veteran and her spiritually minded “Holy Water” line, a sensual mix of black and white drapery, was a show of one of Australia’s finest talent.  And we can’t forget about the street style. Despite being a full two seasons ahead of us (it is Autumn there) Aussies style stars brought out their bright prints, strappy heels and bell-bottoms to strut the streets in-between shows.

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The place of technology in high-end products was the point of discussions at the very first Conde Nast International Luxury Conference that took place in Florence on April 22-23. Industry giants like Karl Langerfeld, Antoine Arnault (CEO of Berluti) and Michele Norsa, (CEO of Salvatore Ferragamo) all had something to say about the limitations and freedoms luxury brands face in the current digital revolution. Designers of Apple’s new smart watch, Sir Jonathan Ive and Marc Newson, along with Vogue international editor Suzy Menkes, opened the conference. Apple’s new watches symbolize  a future where high-end  jewelry and accessories will compete with luxury tech. Speakers had differing opinions on tech’s new fashionable direction. Jonathan Ive, the VP of design at Apple, does not believe that Apple Watches are competing with deluxe timepieces but Albert Bensoussan, formerly of Cartier and CEO of watch/ jewelry brand Kering, questions the wrist-worn computer’s longevity.  Representatives from traditional and ancestral  jewelry empires like Repossi and Tiffanys discussed how their brands’ authenticity are an asset in an age inundated by digital information. Caterina Occhio of SeeMe jewelry said she believed ‘fair luxury’ rooted in empowering manufacturing practices and fair trade is a major new trend for high end business.  Whether we are looking at our smart watches or classic time pieces, time will tell how the future of luxury business unfolds.

Swimsuit trend

Summer is around the corner and the hunt for swimwear is heating up. And perhaps it is time for an update. Bikinis aside, this season designers are thinking outside the sandbox for swimsuits and beach wear. Unique cut-outs, mesh embellishments and mixes of neon are very in this summer. These current beachy ideas are not only cute but super practical.  Athletic two-pieces allow skin-baring without compromising the ability to play fun outdoor sports. The Pacific is not always the warmest and a surfer-cool, short wet suit or a light, cropped sweater could protect from the cold and ward off the ever-threatening sunburn.

John-galliano-Vogue Festival

Vogue held its annual festival April 25 and 26, at the Royal College of Art in London. Participants included the likes of  Bobbi Brown, Alexa Chung, Jean Paul Gaultier, Roksanda Ilincic and Christian Louboutin, who shared their entrepreneurial expertise in the two-day talks that also featured the well-being and beauty industry. At the festival’s new Masterclass, a series of round-table tutorials, industry stars like Simone Rocha and John Galliano offered fashion newcomers valuable advice on how to get ahead in the business.  Festival attendees also participated in fun activities like speed styling, make-up tutorials and trend talks.

Clown Pants

 A new fashionable item made its way into the spot light at the Vogue festival. Clown pants; airy, wide legged and most often stripped trousers are becoming a signature of the season. The graphic trousers are fresh off the catwalk of Balmain’s Autumn/ Winter’ 15 line and can be found in wonderful high-waisted version at Top Shop.  These bold colored pants are statement pieces but there doesn't have to be anything funny about them. Worn with a plain, color coordinated top and traditional sandals and simple flats make for a urbane look indeed. These pants do hail from the 70’s and disco platforms or boots would accentuate the original era.


This weekend, escape the city grit and head over to Malibu for the earthy Mercado Sagrado, a day of artisan goods, healthy food, spirituality and music. The fair takes place on Saturday, May 2nd (11am-6pm) and Sunday, May 3rd (11am-7pm) at an oak grove in Malibu Canyon. Your inner hippie will rejoice at Lookout & Wonderland’s organic dyed textiles , wilderness perfumes distilled by Juniper Ridge, superfood smoothies by Moon Juice and esoteric books from The Bodhi Tree. Tickets are $20 online and parking/ shuttle service is available two miles away from the fest at 901 Encinal Canyon Road.



Social Ambassador Attends Lookbook Live, Hosted by Style Experts from Glamour & GQ





On April 18, Merchandise Product Development Student & Social Ambassador Desiree Kose spent the day at The Shops at Mission Viejo to attend Lookbook Live, an event hosted by style experts from Glamour and GQ, to showcase fashion trends and provide the everyday customer with style advice. She gave us a glimpse of her experience at the event. 

Written by Social Ambassador Desiree Kose:


Each hour during the event, the stylists showcased various looks, and had a styling competition thereafter. Out of two looks the audience chose a winner who received a $100 gift card. There were three FIDM Students who participated and walked away with some closet cash.

IMG_9008The best part about Lookbook Live was the fact that attendees could try on the different looks, take photos, and then receive an email with all of the product information. 


There was also a great "Think Pink" Breast Cancer Awareness runway show, that showcased breast cancer survivors in new makeovers, to shed light on the Think Pink Breast Health Wall of Honor. 



Meet Social Ambassador Chloe White


Get to know FIDM Social Ambassador Chloe White, a Graphic Design Student at our Los Angeles campus. Follow Chloe on Twitter @FIDM_Chloe for live updates about her life as a student at FIDM. 

Q&A with Chloe: 

Hometown: Williston, Vermont

Describe your style: A little bit of everything! My style used to be a bit more clean-cut and minimalistic, but California weather has brought out my earthy, bohemian side.  

Currently listening to: James Bay and The Kooks.

Favorite brands: Urban Outfitters, Free People, and Anthropologie.

An icon who inspires you: My mother, she's a superhero. 

Favorite place to eat in Los Angeles: There's this amazing new coffee shop called Verve a few blocks from FIDM, it's my favorite! 

Dream job: I would love to work for a blog or a magazine! 

Best advice for FIDM Students: Network with peers, teachers, guest speakers...and take risks!

Los Angeles's best kept secret: It's no secret, but Runyon Canyon is always an awesome hike when I want to get out of the city and be in nature. 

Your FIDM experience in three words: Exciting, unpredictable, and gratifying. 

You know you went to FIDM when: You've gained strength from carrying around your bags and supplies! 

More about Chloe:

I'm a small town girl from Vermont, and I began my journey as a fine artist upon leaving high school. It was during my first year at a traditional art school studying graphic design that I made the decision to chase my dreams from the green mountains to the city of angels. I knew there were great things waiting for me at FIDM; I haven’t been proven wrong, and I’ve had some incredible experiences. While attending school, I balance two part time jobs. I work at an adorable store called Lou & Grey in Old Town Pasadena, and I also work for FIDM giving tours to new and incoming students. In whatever downtime I get, I love to go to coffee shops and hang out, take photos and write for my blog, or spend time with friends at the beach. I love everything from extreme sports to high fashion. I cannot wait to work in a field where I’m completely inspired by new projects and people every single day, and I know that's where my path is heading! 

Connect with Chloe: 

Twitter: @FIDM_Chloe

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



FIDM Grad Launches Shopping Journeys Around the World (Interview)


Name: Sheena Dersidan


FIDM Major: Interior Design

What led you to start your new global shopping adventures? I’ve always been fascinated with other cultures and how people express themselves through their art, traditions, fashion, and adornment. I also have a deep love for bazaars, treasure hunting in foreign lands, chatting it up with shopkeepers over a cup of tea, and the friendly dance of haggling back and forth for one of kind items you can’t go home without. My life, my home, and my wardrobe are filled with items I’ve purchased in different countries and they each tell a story. I wanted to design journeys that provided the traveler these unique adventures and the opportunity to connect on a more personal level with the country they are visiting.

Tell us a bit about your background with exploring new cultures. I’ve worked in the travel industry and traveled internationally for the last 15 years and am quite fond of exotic destinations. I’ve traveled to 30 countries, been on 20 cruises, and have lead groups to Kenya and Egypt. I love exploring new cultures through the food, simply strolling the streets, talking with locals, discovering handmade arts and crafts, and most of all, by leaving room for the spontaneous. Some of my most memorable experiences were the unplanned ones that allowed me to connect with the local culture in ways I never imagined.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? Attending FIDM gave me a foundation in interior design, which is greatly influenced by history and world culture. The attention to detail I learned at FIDM, along with the creative outlet it provided, have translated into the skills I use on a daily basis as an entrepreneur and in designing these journeys. Beyond my graduation, the FIDM Alumni Association has been an invaluable resource for networking, continued education, and support, for which I am grateful.

What can people expect for your journeys to South Africa, Thailand, India, and Morocco? I’ve designed these journeys to include the major sites as well as unique, off the beaten path, non-touristy experiences. For example, in South Africa, we’ll not only go on traditional safari, but a jazz safari as well, through local musicians’ homes where we’ll break bread, learn the musical history, and dance the night away to live music. In Thailand, we’ll dine on the rooftop, 61 stories above Bangkok with a panoramic view of the city. We’ll see the process of making Thai silk from the silk worm to finished product and we’ll release our cares into the sky with a traditional Thai paper lantern ceremony.

In Morocco, we’ll spend the night in a Bedoin camp and wake early to watch the sun rise over the Sahara. We’ll stroll the medina, shopping for leather goods, rugs, and fantastic silver jewelry, as well as meet with painters, artisan cheese makers, chefs, and musicians. India is such a vibrant country that holds a special place in my heart. It is a mecca for shopping from textiles to jewelry to spices to home goods. In between riding elephants, having sunset tea in the shadow of the glorious Taj Mahal, and taking a jeep safari through desert villages, we’ll visit many markets where you can stack your arms with bangles and pick up the perfect sari.



Casting Call Deadline May 4: Project Runway Junior is Looking for 14-17 Year Old Designers

Project Runway Junior

The producers that bring you the Emmy-nominated show Project Runway are now searching for the next big names in fashion.

Project Runway Junior is looking for 14 to 17 year old designers to be on their very own season. The winner will receive cash prizes and a college scholarship to FIDM.

Find out all the details about how to enter on The application deadline is May 4.

If you have any questions, please email



Goal of Nasty Gal Senior Technical Designer and FIDM Grad Sandy Novak is To Make People Feel Beautiful, Empowered, and Loved

Sandy Novak NG

Sandy Novak graduated with a degree in Fashion Design from FIDM in 2003. Now a Senior Technical Designer at Nasty Gal in Los Angeles, she visited her alma mater last week to share with the students what's it's like to be a technical designer. She said, "I have come to the conclusion it was never about the clothes. It was always about the people wearing the clothes and how I wanted to make them feel—beautiful, empowered, and loved."

We caught with her to find out more about this inspiring designer.

Tell us a little about yourself: I have been working in the Los Angeles fashion industry for over 10 years and started out as a fashion designer. After working as a design assistant for two years, I started my own clothing line with one of my fellow classmates. We were both designers, so I ended up taking on more of a production role and realized I still had a lot to learn about running a clothing line. We closed the company and I decided to switch careers from design to technical design. The past six years as a technical designer has made me a much better designer. So when people ask what I do, I tell them I am a designer because even though I am a technical designer at Nasty Gal, I still design all the time. 

Tell us about what you do at Nasty Gal: I am a technical designer which means I am in charge of the fit of the garment.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM was the start of my fashion education—my first taste at the Los Angeles fashion industry. When Los Angeles had their first Fashion Week, FIDM Students volunteered to dress the models. One of my first fashion shows was for designer Jennie Kayne whom I followed throughout school and where I ended up with my first job out of college. Even though school was always hard work, there was always the glamour of the fashion industry that I loved and that fueled my desire. FIDM not only taught me the basic skills to be a designer, but also allowed me to keep dreaming big while I was in school.

How did you find out about FIDM? FIDM is one of the few fashion schools in San Diego where I am from. I started school there and ended in Los Angeles.

How did you decide on your major? I think I have always known I was a fashion designer because I was designing Barbie clothes with my mom when I was five. I was the creative director and she was the seamstress. I would pick out the fabric; she would ask me what I wanted to make; and then she would sew it. I also played with my Barbies until I was 18. Not because I loved barbies but because I was obsessed with making outfits for them. I know that sounds silly but am sure other designers can relate.

Fast forward a couple years I started working in retail and kept thinking how I should be designing these clothes. I never even considered a major in Fashion Design—I was sure I would end up as a Business major. But the desire kept growing, so then I finally decided to go fashion school.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? The pattern classes were definitely most valuable. but to be honest my favorite classes were always art history.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Best advice is to find a really good internship. Your internship could end up being your first employer if they feel that you are are valuable. So it's important to choose one that you would like to work for. Also don't worry if you are not the best illustrator or pattern maker right now. Employees will always hire you based on your work ethic and personality and I believe talent comes second. No matter what, you are going to get better over the years.

What is your biggest goal right now? I have two goals right now: 1) make sure I continue to help Nasty Gal grow, and 2) work on my own nonprofit t-shirt line, Project Parallel. I feel like I finally have the knowledge to build a successful company and it has manifested in me wanting to give back to future designers and artists. The nonprofit t-shirt line is its infancy as far as clothing companies go, but sometimes the beginning is the most fun.

Anything else you’d like to share? I am so lucky that I have a job that was always a dream of mine. I have been both successful and failed in this industry, but I have never wanted to give up. I have come to the conclusion it was never about the clothes. It was always about the people wearing the clothes and how I wanted to make them feel—beautiful, empowered, and loved. So it really doesn't matter what you do for a living, in the end it will always circle back to what it is you would like to give back to everyone.



Iris Apfel Q&A Follows Screening

IRIS copy

Fashion and film collided Monday night, at the screening of Iris, the new documentary about New York's fabulous google-glassed Iris Apfel. Presented by Film Independent at LACMA in the Wilshire district, the movie, directed by Albert Maysles, pays tribute to the oldish "It" girl, whose zest for life, clothes, home decor, and over-sized accessories shows no signs of letting up, as she passes 90. She appeared for Q&A after the film, telling a full house when queried about her fashion philosophy, "No rules, please. Just follow your instincts!" She wore a taupe leather midi-dress from the '70s and stacks of huge Chinese beads around her neck. And very large glasses.

photo credit: Iris Schneider



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


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. 



Interior Design Students Visit San Francisco Design Center


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.



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



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. 



Trendwatch: Google Data Pinpoints Top Fashion Trends

Trend skirt copy

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.



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



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!



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



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.

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