10 Recent FIDM VisComm Grads with Great Careers in Fashion & Entertainment

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A Visual Communications degree from FIDM can go many places in the fashion and entertainment industries. Here are just a few examples of the opportunities open to recent FIDM Grads.

Abigail Valentine Gallen (pictured above) is a Costume Assistant on Grey's Anatomy.

Tiffany Royston is a Junior Buyer at Shasa boutique.

Lotta Luolamo is an in-demand entertainment industry Stylist.

Jordan Fox has launched e-commerce site Novus Pulchra.

Sivan Vardi and her partner have launched Styled by Noir, a unique online styling and e-commerce site.

Janinna Figueroa has her own line of bridal designs, featured on The Knot.

Alicia Romo started her own fashion boutique.

Brittany Bush is a Visual Manager for Free People.

Chanelle Kerr has launched e-commerce site SaVous.

Kaitlyn Wood's work as a Hollywood Set Decorator has appeared in feature films The Artist and Hitchcock.



From the Intern's Desk: How to Dress to Go Shopping


Have you ever gone shopping and after the first store realized that you’re tired of trying things on? Constantly undoing the zippers, the straps, the buttons and buckles can get pretty messy and tiring. Not only do you have to have a plan for where you’re going and what you want, but you also need to be prepared with what you’ve got on. Follow our simple hints and you’ll be a shopping professional in no time.

Start Underneath 

Depending on what you are shopping for, plan on wearing the appropriate undergarments for that item. If you’re buying a pencil skirt for work, the perfect boyfriend jeans, or even a formal backless gown, you’ll want to know exactly how it’s going to look and fit before you bring it home.

Stay Simple

Stick with neutral colors to be able to envision the ideal look that you are trying to achieve. For instance, if you are buying pants, wear a plain white top or navy top. The most important thing to remember is to wear items that are easy to throw on and off. Pull-over tops, simple cotton-stretch dresses and skirts (short or maxi length) that slip on work well too. Also, if you are shopping for a dress that needs heels, bring the heels you will be wearing, so you can see the full effect right in the dressing room. Keep your handbag small and hands-free and wear comfortable slip on shoes! 

Prepare for No Fitting Rooms

If you are shopping around in a place that does not have a fitting room (consignment, thrift stores, vintage stores), then prepare by configuring a “base” outfit that allows you to try on clothes efficiently without getting fully undressed. You can either wear a slip dress or any thin fabric dress that lets you try on anything over it. Another good option is black leggings and a black tank top. 

Ship It

Let's say you are on a fabulous vacation and are shopping in boutiques that are unheard of in LA. Rather than worrying if you will be able to pack everything in your suitcase to bring back home, consider asking the retailer if they ship items. Most likely they do, and occasionally it’s tax free. It will be at your doorstep waiting for you right when you come home. 

Coming to you from the intern's desk,

FIDM Student, Mariya Dondonyan

Follow Mariya on her personal blog, The Gracious Lady



Denim Study Tour Meets with FIDM Alumna Joie Rucker

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About a dozen FIDM Merchandise Product Development Students spent three days this spring learning Los Angeles's premium denim industry on an insider's tour of companies ranging from a small wash house to global brands 7 for All Mankind and Guess. Thanks to Instructor Estel Hahn and Chairperson Eva Gilbert for curating a fascinating, instructive tour!

Our last stop on Day One was like a jolt of pure energy. At their small headquarters in Vernon, industry veterans, FIDM Alumnae Joie Rucker and Caroline Calvin took us inside their 2-year-old company Calvin Rucker and explained the thought process behind their premium brand.

The partners, who met at Levi's about 20 years ago, shared their vision for casual couture—a Los Angeles look that mixes high/low, male/female, and couture fabrics with boyfriend jeans and perfect T-shirts and tops. The line is being carried by about 180 top shops including Fred Segal.

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After a walk through their small factory (everything is made in L.A.), they took questions from the next generation of FIDM entrepreneurs. Joie, who started the eponymous Joie and Rich & Skinny told students: "Save time, money, and heartache by getting experience before starting your own company." She was VP Design at GUESS and Caroline was SVP Global Design for Levi's before they took the plunge. As for premium denim, the two founders agreed: "Fit is the most important factor in designing denim."



Ginnifer Goodwin Weds 'Once Upon a Time' Co-Star Josh Dallas in Monique Lhuillier



Ginnifer Goodwin wed her Once Upon a Time co-star Josh Dallas in Los Angeles over the weekend. The bride wore a custom designed Monique Lhuillier wedding gown for the intimate sunset ceremony. The couple are expecting their first child this spring. Goodwin has been a longtime fan of the FIDM Alumna. She has worn Lhuillier creations to numerous red carpet events, including last year's Vanity Fair Oscar Party (pictured above.)

View the Monique Lhuillier Spring 2015 Wedding Dress Collection here



FIDM Students Grow a Red Wine Dress in Fermented Fashion Workshop


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


Impressive final projects from participants included garments, lampshades, a clutch purse, and jewelry made from the fermented fabrication, and a living house and a diorama offering a narrative of innovative materials. The event was organized by Textile Science Chair Amanda Starling and FIDM LA Library’s Textiles & Materials Manager, Kristine Upesleja. The achieved goal of Cass, Starling, and Upesleja was to inspire students to pursue innovation.

Written by Jennifer Blue, Textiles & Materials Specialist




Alumna Chloe Asseo Joins Family Business at L'Aventure Winery


Visual Communications Alumna Chloe Asseo has recently joined her family's L'Aventure Winery as the new sales, marketing, and communications director. She previously worked in Paris and Bordeaux with boutique and luxury brands. "I am excited to work with my father to bring to life his passion, motivation, and hard work of making great wines," she says. 

Read more about Chloe and L'Aventure in the Paso Robles Daily News



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Has Degree in Psychobiology From UCLA



Full Name: Katherine Rohm

Age: 24

Hometown: Orange, CA

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Summer 2014

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? Cathy could not have been more helpful with the admissions process. From the first time I spoke with her on the phone, I knew that I was in good hands. She was so friendly and extremely approachable, always letting me know I could call or email her at any time if I had questions or concerns.

During my first meeting with her, she took her time to explain every detail about the admissions process, answering all my questions, really making me feel comfortable and confident with the approaching steps ahead. She even called me on a Saturday just to see how everything was coming along! I could not have asked for a better person to guide me through it all, because thanks to her, I am now a FIDM student!

Tell us a bit about yourself. I graduated from UCLA in 2012 with a degree in Psychobiology. Thinking I was headed in the direction of a medical profession, it wasn’t until after graduating that I really got to thinking about my true passions. I’ve always had a creative side to me that finds so many aspects of design intriguing – interior design, event design, fashion, all things crafty, etc.

I also absolutely love to travel, and have found that no matter where I am, design inspirations can come from so many different aspects of life – the people you meet, the natural scenery, varying types of architecture, the food, and the fashion. I cannot wait to turn this passion of mine into a career by majoring in Visual Communications at FIDM. Aside from this new endeavor in my life, you can often find me spending time with my friends and family, doing anything active such as running, hiking, or yoga, traveling, cooking, and just trying to enjoy as much about life as possible.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Graduating from UCLA, because it taught me so much about time management and balancing of my academic and social lives to find a happy and rewarding medium. Aside from everything I learned academically, the friends I made and experiences I had are something rare and to be cherished for a lifetime. I wouldn’t trade those four years for anything.

What made FIDM right for you? Knowing how stressful and difficult an application process can be, I immediately felt at ease with the guidance I had through FIDM’s process. That feeling of approachability and security stayed with me through my interview and has made me feel like there could not be a better option out there than FIDM. I have no doubt that I will continue to feel this way throughout this next year. With strong guidance and my enthusiasm toward becoming knowledgeable about Visual Communications, I could not be more excited about all that FIDM has to offer.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project consisted of three assignments. The first was to create a basic design using only triangles, circles, and squares. I decided to use this as an opportunity to work with different textured and different colored papers, rather than try and draw something by hand. I cut out the shapes in various sizes and created an ocean/mountain/moon scene.

The last two assignments of the project were to create an exterior window display and an interior display. I enjoyed these parts of the project much more than the first, and really felt my creativity come to life. The window projected a bright, fun, and eye-catching display so that a store could advertise new prints (large floral and patterned prints) for their spring/summer line of women’s clothing.

The prints and patterns used to make the clothing were enlarged and stretched over long rectangular canvases that were hung behind each mannequin wearing that specific print. The interior display paralleled the spring/summer theme of the exterior window display. The mannequins were arranged to look like flowers, with their legs propped up by large flowerpots, leaves by their feet, and large tissue paper flowers in place of their faces. A potter’s table and hanging rack were included to further display jewelry and easily access the clothes. The mannequins were wearing brightly colored patterned outfits, just as those in the window display did as well.

What are your career goals? It is my goal to be well-connected in a career field that I feel confident and passionate about pursuing. Whether that be as an Event Coordinator, a Visual Merchandiser, or both, I know that with the skills and competence provided by my education at FIDM, I will be fulfilling my goal of pursuing a career that is both successful and rewarding. I aspire to be a professional who is not only passionate about the work I pursue, but also confident that the outcome of that work will inspire others to appreciate the beauty found through visual communication.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I have no doubt that FIDM will supply me with the skills and knowledge to become a strong, capable, and well-connected individual in the design world.



Beauty Alumna Is Associate Marketing Manager at Hourglass Cosmetics


As the new Associate Marketing Manager for Hourglass Cosmetics, Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing Alumna Grace Lim works closely with the VP of Marketing to ensure that all collateral has their stamp of approval and is on brand. "We're constantly creating/refining presentations, writing and updating our marketing copy, designing print ads, and unit carton packaging," she explains.

"I also oversee the workload of our design team and handle all collateral requests that come through, from sales and education, to product development, operations, and regulatory." Grace, who was previously the Marketing Coordinator at Hourglass and held the same job at Boscia Skincare prior to that, also works closely with their retailers to set-up new product launches and support them with any marketing needs they may have. 

"I always tell people that without FIDM, I never would have gotten my foot into the beauty industry. It's a tough one to enter without any strong connections, so FIDM was such a crucial and key player in my success," she says. "Through the instructors and classmates, internship opportunities, and netowrking events FIDM provided me, I have always managed to be employed." 



Congratulations to Oscar Garcia-Lopez and Nick Verreos, Winners of Project Runway: Under The Gunn

UTG Winners

Congratulations to designer Oscar Garcia-Lopez and his mentor, Nick Verreos, as the winners of Project Runway: Under The Gunn!

Oscar Garcia-Lopez won the $100,000 grand prize, plus a 2014 Lexus, magazine fashion spread, and a trip to Paris. (See Oscar's winning designs below, images courtesy of Lifetime.)

In the Lifetime television show, Tim Gunn, one of FIDM's Advisory Board members, oversaw the work of three Project Runway standouts: Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-Chee, and FIDM Instructor and Grad Nick Verreos (a Fashion Designer and Red Carpet Commentator) as they mentored 15 designers. 

The series, which premiered in January, was filmed at FIDM in November and December in Los Angeles.

Watch the season finale on






UC Riverside Sophomore Transferring to FIDM OC to Study Merchandise Marketing



Full Name: Linda Chae

Age: 20

Hometown: Riverside, CA

Current Year in School: Sophomore transferring from UC Riverside

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: OC, Spring 2014

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? Cathy was extremely helpful and kind throughout my application process. She answered my emails quickly and called almost daily to check up on me to make sure I was not lost. She always made sure everything was correct, and all of my questions were answered. Her friendly and kind attitude throughout the whole application process made me feel comfortable and excited about FIDM even more.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Shopping for clothes, makeups, shoes, bags, and accessories is my absolutely favorite therapy. On my free time, I like to cruise around and visit the malls or small boutiques around my town and find inspirations and new trends. Something that I recently got into that I love as much as shopping is going on food adventures. The idea of exploring unfamiliar food and restaurants sounds so exciting and fun to me.

I like to search for well-reviewed restaurants on Yelp, and visit them with family, friends, and sometimes even by myself. I believe driving miles to try a well reviewed restaurant is well worth it. After the food adventure, I would shop around in the unfamiliar city. I cannot wait to try all the restaurants around the OC campus soon.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Through some mistakes and poor decisions, I grew up to become a stronger person who seeks a goal and motivation leading to success. I am proud of myself for pursuing what I have dreamed ever since I was young. I can say my proudest accomplishment thus far is realizing what I want for my future.

What made FIDM right for you? As soon as I heard about FIDM at my high school career fair during my senior year, I knew it was the path that I wanted to take. However, coming from a family with a medical and education background, it was hard to convince them that I wanted to go into the fashion industry. Due to my parents' disagreement with my choice of career, I had to go to UCR instead simply because it was a UC school.

After a year at UCR as an undeclared major, I realized that it just wasn't for me. My grades from UCR suffered reflecting my lack of interest and motivation. One day, my mom came home with the FIDM application and told me she went to check out FIDM. I finally got to convince my mom that I wanted to pursue what I was passionate about: fashion.

Describe your entrance project. I came up with a store and five casual, business, festival, party, and beach outfits. They were all the looks that I could closely relate to, targeting independent girls in their 20s. I had so much fun putting the looks together and it was the most fun college application process I have ever done.

What are your career goals? I dream of opening up my own boutique one day and becoming a successful businesswoman doing what I love.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn the business side of fashion, from how all the big clothing companies work to how to open up my own fashion-related business. I expect to be able learn how to think outside of the box and more creative surrounded with all the artsy environment at FIDM.



Tips for Fashion Bloggers: Instagram Video

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As a blogger, you've learned how to Conquer your Instagram Feed when posting photos, here's is how to conquer the Instagram Video and use it as your personal online ad. 

Instagram chose to go with 15-second video clips (versus Vine’s 6-seconds) so that users can tell a deeper story. It’s no coincidence that 15 seconds is also the length of a short online video ad. Now, you can sharpen up your 15-second stories with better descriptions of your #OOTD and help give your Instagram followers some moving context behind your latest post.

Editing and Filters

Instagram allows you to edit while you film. It's no iMovie application, but it allows for a perfect instant video of shooting quick clips of your latest outfit post, reports from runway shows, or if you have new shoes, wearing them and showing them in motion will make your followers smile. And much like Instagram's photos, you are able to choose a filter to add more character and color to your video.


Cinema is a feature Instagram’s rolled out for video, which stabilizes your clips while you film. This feature paves the way for much more polished, professional video clips. As prospective brands look beyond your blog and check your social media sites, Instagram is often a place where they’ll observe what you’re sharing with your followers. Stable, compelling and concise videos could lead to getting on your favorite brand’s radar and grabbing their attention.

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Cover Frame

The initial image you give your followers is ver important. Much like your Facebook page, Pinterest boards and Google+ profile, the first image your followers see ultimately helps them decide whether or not they'd want to pursue the post. 

This is the perfect opportunity to include some branding in any videos you take to promote your blog. Including a screenshot of your blog homepage, or your blog URL neatly handwritten on a piece of paper, at the beginning of each of your videos makes for consistent brand messaging and reminds your Instagram followers where to go to read more and direct them to get more page views. 

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Yes, you can measure and track the impact of your Instagram video clips. Simply Measured has a report. If you’re regularly posting video clips to promote your blog, it’d be helpful to have an understanding of your stats and to include them in your media kit for a potential collaboration. 



Just Accepted Graphic Design Student Taking Self-Taught Passion to New Levels



Full Name: Kameron Goldman

Age: 17

Hometown: Eastvale, CA

Current Year: Senior

FIDM Major: Graphic Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA Campus, July 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Susan really made it easier than I thought. She's a very positive and uplifting person and she made me feel very confident going through the admissions process. I feel lucky to have had a great adviser. Susan is absolutely amazing!

Tell us a bit about yourself. I'm a pretty chill person, very laid back. I've been into graphic design and photography for a few years now. I taught myself how to use Photoshop. I like going out and taking my own photos, especially if I have someone to model for me. I like putting together projects for people because it makes me feel accomplished as a designer. I'm really into music as well. If I'm not out with friends or taking pictures I'm in my room with my guitar. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment was being accepted into FIDM. I was so happy when the director shook my hand and welcomed me in.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM's reputation really drew me in. I loved seeing all the different success stories and accomplished alumni. I figured one day that'll be me.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project I created a retail store called Midknight. I created the logo, a magazine cover, and the catalog cover all on Photoshop and Illustrator. For the magazine cover I had one of my friends model for me and I used the picture to create a realistic magazine cover. 

What are your career goals? My goals are to either work at or own a successful design company. I want to create something people will remember for a long time.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to enhance my skills in designing and learn how to make things that will really amaze people.



Just Accepted High School Junior Has a YouTube Following



Full Name: Destinee Nicole Johnson

Age: 17

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Current Year in School: High School Junior

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Summer 2015

Admissions Advisor: Steve Aaron

How did your advisor help with the process? My advisor was an enormous help throughout my application process. He is so full of knowledge and made sure to share as much as he could about FIDM with me. He made frequent phone calls checking on my progress and sharing new opportunities he had found to benefit me. He repeated questions and statements to ensure I understood everything, and answered any questions I had with great depth. Steve Aaron opened so many doors for me that I never knew existed, and made this process a walk in the park.

Tell us a bit about yourself. For as long as I can remember I've been a girl of many dreams. I wanted to do anything and everything! As time passed and I grew older my number of "passions" dwindled, and I was left with a few I'll hold forever. The sport of cheerleading has played a big role in my life. For the past few months I have been making beauty, fashion, and lifestyle videos on YouTube. It has become a huge part of my life, and has brought me so many opportunities I would have never gotten otherwise.

With the success of my YouTube channel, I've recently launched my own blog, and it's been a blast. Talking and writing about fashion take up a good portion of my life, but I am also very passionate about music. I have been singing and writing my own music since I was about five years-old, and will do so for the rest of my life. I don't plan on becoming a mega pop star or anything. I just do it because I love it!

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I've accomplished a lot in these 17 years of life, but I'd have to say that being where I am today has got to be the greatest. I get to upload videos for thousands to see, and it's given me the opportunity to work with amazing companies, and even be partnered with StyleHaul. Then I have my blog I just launched that been an amazing experience itself. I never knew I'd enjoy writing about my life so much.

And last but certainly not least, getting accepted into FIDM as a Junior. I have not always gone down the right path, and there were numerous times when I felt I'd amount to absolutely nothing. Getting accepted into my first choice college as a junior in high school is a feeling I'll never forget.

What made FIDM right for you? After studying the FIDM website for hours, I knew this was somewhere I had to look into. I was amazed by all FIDM had to offer: the people and brands the school is networked with, and all the success stories. When I had my first phone call with my advisors and he said the words "I am here to make your dreams come true," I knew FIDM was right for me.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project I was to create a store, write a brief description of the average customer, and put together five full outfits including brands and prices that could be found in my store. I decided to base my project of my personal dream, to own my own children's clothing store. "Pinky Promise" was a little girls boutique inspired by middle class Southern Californian mothers and daughters.

For every item purchased, that same item will be given to a child in need in hopes of inspiring them to follow their dreams no matter where or what they come from. Because it is something I am so passionate about, the whole process was such a good time.

What are your career goals? Upon my graduation from FIDM I plan to be a buyer for a top name brand, and eventually work to starting my very own children's boutique. Like anyone else, I want to be successful, but in anything I ever achieve in my career I want to give back and inspire as many lives possible.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn all there is to know about the business side to fashion. Following my graduation, I hope to have a tight grasp on merchandising and marketing to be come a successful buyer and eventually run my own company.



10 Reasons Why Project Runway: Under the Gunn Is Filmed at FIDM (Infographic)


Don't miss the final episode of Lifetime's Project Runway: Under the Gunn series this Thursday.   

Experience the FIDM Campus for yourself

When you visit FIDM, it’s easy to see why Project Runway’s Under the Gunn chose our creative campus as their location. Here are a few ways to experience what it’s like to be a student at FIDM:



Trendwatch: The Platform Shoe--Are You In? Or Out?


The wedge sneaker trend came and went (Isabel Marant may continue for the early adopters), and for today, casual shoes, flats, and sneakers are on the rise. A few trends right now: slip-ons, espadrilles, sneakers of all sorts, and now...drum roll please....the platform shoe.

The common denominator here... women want comfort! We don't like the pain that comes with heels,  and are seeking options to look stylish, and feel powerful at a meeting. Maybe platform shoes are stretching it a bit, but only when you say the words. Take a look at what your options are, and you'll find a way to wear these with your culottes or mid length skirts this summer.

What do you think? Are you in? or out? --Nalini Arora

From top left to right: Opening Ceremony, Robert Clergerie, Stella McCartney, and Kenzo.

FIDM Alumna Nalini Arora is an international footwear and accessory design consultant. Her specialty lies in women's fashion footwear, accessories, and kids shoes. 



Under the Gunn Episode 12 Recap

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On last week's episode of Under the Gunn, the designers were asked to create a look inspired by a Marvel Comics superhero. We are getting closer to the finale, all three designers are still in the show and there are four designers left. Mondo has two designers and both Nick and Anya have just one designer left. 

Screen shot 2014-04-08 at 11.27.20 AMLet's not forget when Tim Gunn became a Marvel Comics Fashion Superhero about four years ago when he teamed up with "Iron Man" For "Models Inc. : The Hero Issue" So it was only a matter of time until this became a theme for the designers! 

After having a blast in the FIDM Design Room creating these costumes inspired by the superheros, it was runway time, and this week's judging panel ultimately decided whether or not a designer would make it to the final round.

Oscar and Shan are safe this week, both creating eye catching and beautiful garments. Asha and Sam were left as the bottom two. The judges couldn't really decide who to choose to go home so they asked Mondo to decide. Mondo wanted them both to stay and so they did. 

Project Runway: Under the Gunn is filmed on location at FIDM Los Angeles and co-stars FIDM Grad Nick Verreos, the red carpet fashion expert, television commentator, and founder of his own label, NIKOLAKI, which has been worn on the red carpet by celebrities including Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Heidi Klum, and Eva Longoria.



Denim Study Tour Pays In-Depth Visit to Kellwood

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About a dozen FIDM Merchandise Product Development students spent three days this spring learning Los Angeles's premium denim industry on an insider's tour of companies ranging from a small wash house to global brands 7 for All Mankind and Guess. Thanks to Instructor Estel Hahn and Chairperson Eva Gilbert for curating a fascinating, instructive tour!

FIDM's small group was treated to a VIP tour on its early afternoon stop at Kellwood, the company that owns fashion brands Jolt, Rebecca Taylor, My Michelle, XOXO, David Meister, and until recently, Vince. Operating at their City of Industry campus, Kellwood designs, manufactures, and markets in Los Angeles.

Thanks to HR recruiter Natalie Getz, we got to see it all: a tech designer and designer conducting a fitting session with a live model; a photo shoot for Vince's website; the textile design library where a FIDM Grad oversees the design of about 1,000 new prints a month, patternmaking and grading departments. Best of all, many of the talented people who are busy making all those clothes took time from their work days to talk with us and offer advice. Many—from designers to stylists to tech designers are FIDM Grads—so they know the jump from school to career can seem daunting.

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Everyone we spoke to emphasized the speed of the industry, with new seasons occurring every 30 days, and the fact that you have to love it. Johanna, head designer for XOXO, got more specific about what she looks for in a new designer: "Get lots of experience at school. Let your passion show on the job with a can-do attitude. Say yes to everything."

Best of all, the FIDM Grad and DEBUT designer who is My Michelle's head designer, advised: "Kellwood is good at turning internships into jobs." And (HR Recruiter) Natalie mentioned that 28 current interns are from FIDM.

Next stop: Calvin Rucker 



A Look at FIDM Finals Week on Instagram


New students are beginning their first day of Orientation today at FIDM while returning students are gearing up for the first day of class on Thursday after a much needed mental break.

FIDM Students shared Instagram photos during finals week last quarter that capture the creative spirit, diligent hard work and dedication of our student body. Take a look at #FIDMFinals photos below and connect with @FIDMCollege on Instagram here

Welcome to the April quarter, FIDM Students!

FIDM Finals Photo 1

“Au chocolait break after my first final,” said Instagram user @carlyybethh

FIDM Finals Photo 2

“GREAT TURN OUT!! #FIDMfinals #designinstallation,” said Instagram user @naturalblondds_

FIDM Finals Photo 3

“Mock movie poster designs by graduating #FIDM Graphic Design/Entertainment Student Patrick Lee." Image by us, @FIDMCollege.

FIDM Finals Photo 4

“After weeks of hard work and last minute crunching, my project is done! This is my little boys collection entitled Brave New World. #fidmlife #fidmfinals," said Instagram user @spread_kindness_not_fear.

FIDM Finals Photo 9

“Our Apparel Process 1 project. Now I know all the ways not to sew together a dress #fidmfinals,” said Instagram user @missy_thatsnotmyname.

FIDM Finals Photo 7

“How me and @danigreenway get through studying for merch math.” #snacksonsnacks #fidmfinals,” said Instagram user @ryannlanel.

FIDM Finals Photo 11

This is what break time looks like with the #bestdad #nbafinals #fidmfinals #sketch #fashion #fashionsketching,” said Instagram user @resababes.



Beauty Grad Launches Elle Michelle Cosmetics Lipstick Line


"I started a lipstick cosmetic line, full of bold and vibrant lipsticks for bold and fearless women," explains Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing Alumna Lauren McCoin of Elle Michelle Cosmetics. "I wanted to start a cosmetic company that stood for something positive, and was relatable. So for one, my lipsticks are cruelty free, and two, on my Instagram page, we represent strong women and empowerment, as well as a 'no bullies allowed' statement seeing as this is a huge problem." 


Lauren says that anything from music videos to sites like Pinterest can drive her creativity, which is on high speed as she thinks up new themes for photo shoots and marketing. My lipsticks are also sold on my friend Ashley Molina's website called Shop Last Resort, which is awesome considering we went to high school together, and both graduated from FIDM.


Lauren credits FIDM with being able to help her start a beauty brand. "Not only everything I learned, whether it be from the marketing aspect, or the quality of products, but absolutely from my teachers," she explains. "I had one teacher, Sharlene Haybermeyer, who always saw the best in me and encouraged me, and Julianne Pfister, who was there for me throughout school, and well after I graduated, helped build my confidence." 



VisComm Alumna Is Costume Assistant on Grey's Anatomy (Interview)


Name: Abigail Valentine Gallen

FIDM Degree: Visual Communications

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

Tell us about your job. I currently am working as a Costume Assistant on Grey’s Anatomy. I have been with them since the start of their 10th season. What I love most about my job, besides the incredibly talented people I get to work with, is that every day is different. Since I am an assistant to the entire department my duties change depending on where I am needed most. I get to work with the Supervisor, the Designer, the Key Costumer, and the Set Costumers on any given day.

What other jobs have you had since graduating from FIDM in 2012? I did a lot of independent films and commercials. I worked a few days on shows such as Big Brother, Biggest Loser, and Nashville as an assistant. At the end of 2012, I worked as a Costumer on Burning Love, a web series directed my Ken Marino and designed by Alicia Rydings (fellow FIDM Alumni). From there I began working full time in television starting at 90210 for the second half of their fifth season. After the show concluded I moved on to CSI:NY and finally landed my job at Grey’s Anatomy in June 2013.

How do you feel that FIDM helped prepare you for your career? I cannot stress enough how important the internships I did through FIDM were in the start of my career. I got the opportunity to intern on the second season of The Glee Project as well as in the research library at Western Costume Company. Both internships taught me so much and led to many jobs once I graduated.

One skill I am so thankful FIDM taught me is how to network and sell myself as a brand. The fashion industry and especially the entertainment industry are all about networking and who you know. FIDM gave me the skills to create an impressive resume, cover letter, and portfolio as well as how to nail any interview or professional conversation to benefit my career.

What are your future goals? I am lucky to be on the path to my dreams at such a young age. For now I am enjoying working my way up and learning all the aspects of this industry. One day I plan to be a Costume Designer and have the opportunities to work with many talented directors, writers, actors, and fellow costumers. I look forward to my future within the industry and I cannot wait for what comes next.



Denim Study Tour: Close-Up at California Wash House

Wash house group

About a dozen FIDM Merchandise Product Development students spent three days this spring learning Los Angeles's premium denim industry on an insider's tour of companies ranging from a small wash house to global brands 7 for All Mankind and Guess. Thanks to Instructor Estel Hahn and Chairperson Eva Gilbert for curating a fascinating, instructive tour!

Day One kicked off with an up-close tour of California Denim Wash House, a full-service facility that specializes in "ageing" new denim to give it the premium, vintage look that retails for $200 and up. CEO Paul de Jesus generously shared his knowledge of the business and explained each step in the complicated process, including costs, allowing us to walk through the factory and feel the denim as it was treated.

Wash hs 2 copy

The rips, tears, tweaks, and stains all start with a designer and Paul emphasized that though he works with the big denim brands like True Religion, Diesel, Hudson, Joe, and Paige, he is always interested in collaborating with new designers—including FIDM grads. Recently, his work with McGuire and Asbury Park helped launch two new premium lines and he is very proud.


What's up next in the world of premium denim? Paul sees a trend towards distressed, and rip and repair—making a hole and then stitching in a patch. As for his wash house, he is looking forward to new equipment that uses less water and fewer chemicals.

Next stop: Kellwood, home of Jolt, XOXO, and more.



From the Intern's Desk: How to Stand Out in Your FIDM Admissions Interview


You've applied to FIDM, completed your Entrance Project, and landed an interview. Congratulations! Now, you know you only get one chance to impress, but how exactly do you do that? Here's how to make a striking impact at your FIDM Admissions Interview. 

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

One great way to stand out is showing that you've done your homework. How much do you kow about the school? Prepare what you'd want to say about your portfolio and entrance project, and share your story. Your stories should be concise and interesting. Make sure they have a good opening line, such as, "I'm going to tell you about a time that I designed a dress for my school's fashion club." Then, practice telling your stories so you can relay them without stumbling or sounding like a robot. Whenever possible, use one of your stories to answer an interview question.

Show Your Work

In addition to bringing your resume, high school transcripts, and completed entrance project, bring examples of your work. FIDM Admissions Advisor Kristen Chocek says, "Having actions that show your interests prove to us that your passion translates into hard work and a promising future." So if you're interested in the Fashion Design Program, present some flat sketches. Interested in Digital Media? Present a film you edited. These projects can be created specifically for your FIDM Admissions interview and it will make all the difference.

Dress Well

Yes, FIDM is a fashion college, and if you're applying because of your love of fashion, show it. Keep it relaxed, simple and professional, but let your outfit show a little personality. Be professional, but don't appear too corporate or too out of this world fashion trendy. Put the best version of yourself forward, simply and cleanly. 

Emphasize Your Potential

You are still a student and are coming to this institution to learn. No candidate is perfect, no matter your prior experience. So emphasize your potential and what you hope to learn at FIDM.

Coming to you from the intern's desk,

FIDM Student, Mariya Dondonyan

Follow Mariya on her personal blog, The Gracious Lady.



Apparel Magazine Tech Conference West at FIDM LA

Chrm charlie

FIDM's downtown Los Angeles campus hosted Apparel Magazine's Tech Conference West on Wednesday, April 2nd. The conference included educational sessions led by experts in business intelligence, omnichannel order fulfillment, the latest sizing and fitting technologies, and e-commerce.

Keynote speaker Kim LaFleur, Vice President e-Commerce at CharmingCharlie, kicked off the day with the inspiring story of how the accessories retailer grew from one store in Houston, TX in 2004 to 286 stores and a successful website in 2014. LaFleur explained how she took the intelligence gleaned from the stores, mashed it up with great editorial connections at magazines like InStyle, Lucky, Redbook, and Marie Claire, plus social media and launched a website in October 2013 that had over 1 million hits the first day. Her advice for retail website design? "Don't try to be too creative. Make pages easy to shop by following the best practices. They work." Over 120 executives from apparel brands, manufacturers, and retailers networked at the daylong event.



FIDM Alumni Association Hosts 'State of Social Media' Workshop


On Tuesday, April 15, 2014, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., the FIDM Alumni Association is hosting a helpful workshop, "The State of Social Media: Everything you shoud be doing today and what you'll need to know for tomorrow." Taught by Victoria N. Koch of A Gifted Society, the workshop will cover the do's and dont's for platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Hear about companies and people who are doing it right and how you can use social media to grow your business or brand. 

FIDM Alumni: $20; Students, Staff, and Guests: $30

FIDM Annex A332, 605 W. Olympic Blvd. Los Angeles (parking available in surrounding lots).

Spots are limited. Please email Victoria for registration and payment at



Fashion Club President at Harbor High School in Santa Cruz To Attend FIDM This Fall


A senior at Harbor High School in Santa Cruz, Kayla (Kalyani) Graff has travelled the world and is proud of her global network. She’ll be attending FIDM in the fall, and she has plans to one day have her own fashion line.

"I learned about Fashion Club by being involved with FIDM, and being accepted as a junior. I wanted to take the opportunity to teach and inform others about how amazing the fashion industry is. I will be attending FIDM next fall down in LA! I love what FIDM stands for and the opportunities it offers. Running an official FIDM Fashion Club has really opened my eyes to endless opportunities. This is the first step to my career in the fashion industry. Thank you, FIDM!"

Read her entire interview on FIDM's



From The Intern's Desk: Creating a Great FIDM Entrance Project


One requirement when applying to a major at FIDM is to complete an entrance project that is related to the major you are applying to. Here are some tips to help you through your project and make it stand out. 

1. Make a Great First Impression

The most important factor next to the actual content of your project is how it's presented. It's the first impression your project has on the interviewer. Your work is reviewed for your creativity and the quality of your presentation, so having a clean presentation is extremely advantageous. 

2. Think Creatively

Each entrance project comes with very specific rules and expectations for how it should generally look. While staying within the lines of the projects requirements, think about how yours could be different. 

Don't take things too literally. If you are creating an inspiration board, don't only show images of fashion sketches or jewelry. A great example is recently accepted FIDM Student Doubara Eporwei who applied to FIDM’s Jewelry Design program. When describing how she created her inspiration board, she said, "I used non-jewelry images to communicate my interests and what inspires me. This was a very interesting experience because it allowed me to open up my mind to things that weren’t directly related to jewelry but somehow influenced me knowingly or unknowingly." 

 3. Do Your Research

Most of the projects ask you to describe your target demographic. Really ask yourself who you are marketing your collection, video, or window display to and make sure you know everything about your customer. Not only demographic facts such as where they live, age and gender, but their psychographics as well. What is your target market’s favorite store? What are their interests, hobbies, and personalities like?

4. Go the Extra Mile

Recently Accepted FIDM Student Kimberly Smith applied to study the Beauty Major at FIDM. For her entrance project, she created an example of her own makeup line and in her interview, she wore the final makeup look. This is a great way to go the extra mile with your project and show that you put a lot of thought into creating it. 

 5. Show Your Process 

Showing not only your finished work, but the thought process that went behind it is a nice addition to your project. What inspired you? It's okay to take Admissions through that journey of your story from start to finish. They will not only get a better sense of your craft and talents, but also how your mind works and processes information. 

6. Have a Focused Vision and Theme

Your entire project should revolve around the same brand image. Your project can have multiple sections and categories, but they should all relate back to your bigger picture and be cohesive. 

Coming to you from the intern's desk,

FIDM Student, Mariya Dondonyan

Follow Mariya on her personal blog, The Gracious Lady.



Self-Proclaimed 'Beauty Junkie' Transfers to FIDM From Cal Poly Pomona



Full Name: Danielle Agrums

Age: 19

Hometown: Yorba Linda, CA

Current Year: Sophomore transferring from Cal Poly Pomona

FIDM Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: FIDM Orange County, Fall 2014

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? Shirley took me and my family around the FIDM OC campus for a tour and sat us down and told us everything we needed to know about the school and my major. She was so nice and especially helpful when it came to prepping me for my admissions interview. 

Tell us a bit about yourself. Right now I am working full-time at a beauty boutique called Planet Beauty as the assistant manager. I absolutely love my job; we are like a mini Sephora, and it is where I really realized my passion for beauty. When I am not at work, I love to sit at home on my computer and watch YouTube tutorials and hauls done by my favorite beauty gurus (Jaclyn Hill, Nicole Guerrieo, MissMaven, and HeidiCupcake). 

I also spend hours doing research on and obsessing over different beauty products that are out on the market or that are launching. I am definitely a self-proclaimed “beauty junkie.” When I am not doing something related to cosmetics, I am either at the gym working out or in spin class, or at home binge watching my favorite TV shows.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment thus far has been getting promoted at work to assistant manager.  All my hard work and dedication to my company has paid off and they see potential in me in the beauty industry. And of course, getting accepted into FIDM was a huge accomplishment as well

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM was the right choice for me because I have always dreamed of going to this school. When I was younger I thought I wanted to go to FIDM for fashion, but as I got older and realized my true passion in life, FIDM was still the perfect fit for me. FIDM is one of the only schools that offers my major in the entire country and FIDM's Beauty program is said to be just as intense as a graduate program. 

The high intensity and the fact that the major is so concentrated on the beauty industry really appeals to me. Also, I really like that you learn all the aspects of the industry, from hair care, makeup, and body care to skin care, and fragrance.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project I created a mock beauty product called TighTan. TighTan is a cellulite treatment that tones, firms, and tightens sagging and dimply skin yet also provides a beautiful bronze, sun-kissed tan that lasts for 7-10 days. I came prepared with a poster and printed out a brochure with all the product information on it. I used a glass bottle with a cork to package the product because I felt like it gave the product a beachy look, which also went along with the theme of the photos I chose for my campaign/brochure.

What are your career goals? I would absolutely love to work in either the marketing, merchandising, or advertising departments for a well-known cosmetics company. My dream employers would be Urban Decay, Lorac, Too Faced, or Tarte. I also would love to work for hair care brands like Enjoy or Pureology or skincare brands such as Dr. Perricone or Rodial. So basically, any professional career in the beauty industry where I am behind the scenes on the business side would make me the happiest girl alive.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to further my knowledge of the beauty industry at FIDM. I already have a great repertoire of product knowledge under my belt, but at FIDM I am expecting to learn so much about business, marketing, advertising, and social media as they pertain to the beauty industry and I couldn’t be more excited. I am also looking forward to all the networking I will be able to do because of FIDM’s amazing connections with some of the most prominent brands in the business. 



Tips for Fashion Bloggers: Develop Your Personal Presence


When starting a personal blog, you want your personality to be able to shine through so people can begin to connect with you. This might be a challenge in the beginning while trying to find your voice and communicate a brand over the internet, but with these steps, that process is simplified. 

Determine How Visible You Want to Be

Decide how much of a presence you want on your blog. Do you want people to know your name or your blog's name? Do you want to be recognized by your face? Or you can choose to remain anonymous and solely focus on your content. 

Determining how visible you want to be will help you lay out the groundwork. Depending on your own comfort levels, be sure to be honest with yourself. Don’t feel pressured to become public because you think everyone wants that.

Be Honest About Your Motivations For Visibility

Ask yourself what your motivation behind this effort is. Are you searching for validation? Do you want to be internet famous? Do you want respect or credit? Your motivations are what powers you through the tough times. 

Create a Clear About Page

Be honest about who you are and share that with your community! Simplify the way for others to read about you, learn who you are and what you want this blog to be.

Have a Unique Take on Your Posts

Find that one 'thing' that will make you stand out. You have a unique perspective on the world already, home in on that. Blogs like Fashionista publish news as quickly as they can, The Man Repeller uses humor, etc so find your unique perspective for creating content! 

Make Sure It Feels Like a Human Runs Your Blog

The best and most important for last. If you want to make a personal presence on your blog, make sure it feels like there is a human writing the posts. Don't be afraid of letting your personality shine! Engage with your readers, respond, add a personal story here and there. Be human. It’s not only ok, it’s what we want.

Coming to you from the intern's desk,

FIDM Student, Mariya Dondonyan

Follow Mariya on her personal blog, The Gracious Lady.



Find Out Why This Student Left the Computer Industry to Pursue a Passion for Jewelry Design



Full Name: Doubara Eporwei

Age: 25

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

FIDM Major: Jewelry Design Professional Designation

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA, Summer 2014

Admissions Advisor: Seung Kim

How did your advisor help with the process? Mrs. Kim was extremely helpful and always responded to my emails on time. She helped make the admission process quick and painless, something I really appreciated.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I have always loved to make stuff so looking back now, choosing a life in Jewelry Design makes a lot of sense. I have a background in Computer Science and Information Systems and have written a ton of code and a paper for the IEEE community. Aside from jewelry making, I love to read books, play video games, cook, teach, and travel. I have a big interest in education and would love to build state of the art libraries and schools across Africa one day.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Learning to step out of my comfort zone and actually be the change I want to see in the world and taking the risk to walk away from one of the "hottest" industries to chase something I am passionate about. Chasing this love for Jewelry Design and education has also allowed me to provide literature books for libraries into two different African countries, which is something I intend to do more of.

What made FIDM right for you? A number of things attracted me to FIDM, but some stand outs were the small class size of my program, the deep connection to the fashion industry, and FIDM's alumni network.

Describe your entrance project. I used non-jewelry images to communicate my interests and what inspires me. This was a very interesting experience because it allowed me to open up my mind to things that weren’t directly related to jewelry but somehow influenced me knowingly or unknowingly. In my project, I made some jewelry sketches and included a piece of lava rock I got from a trip to Hawaii.

What are your career goals? I aim to make Jewelry Design my life's work. I would love to combine jewelry and technology in a unique way that would bring enormous value to customers.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to get lots of hands-on training in jewelry making and learn more about the various categories of the jewelry industry (fine jewelry, fashion jewelry, etc.). I expect to learn how to really tap into my creative ability, run a jewelry business, learn from other students, and build lasting relationships. I am also excited about internship opportunities and taking my skills to the next level.



Vis Comm Advisory Council Member Harry Cunningham Wins Prestigious Markopoulos Award


FIDM Visual Communications Advisory Council Member Harry Cunningham, Senior Vice President of Store Planning, Design, and Visual Merchandising at Saks Fifth Avenue, has won the prestigious Markopoulos Award. He is the 18th person to receive the peer-awarded honor, created by design:retail (formerly DDI) magazine. A profile on Harry (who has spoken to Vis Comm Students in the past) and the award mentions the partnership between Saks Fifth Avenue and FIDM for the Student Window Challenge. 



Aroche Designer Profiled in Washingtonian Magazine


FIDM Alumna Elsa Arcila of the just-launched fashion brand Aroche is profiled in a Designer Q&A with Washingtonian magazine, along with co-designer Alvaro Roche (who previously worked for Gianfranco Ferre). Their new D.C.-based collection features affordable minimalist flats, patterned clutches, and customizable totes. 

"At FIDM, I was exposed to new technologies and multichannel marketing. It helped me envision the strategy that Aroche would take as a brand. I also learned that e-commerce was the future of marketing and retail," Elsa told the magazine. 



Tips for Fashion Bloggers: How to Approach Companies You Want to Work With


Once you have a steady flow of your own blog and you feel it's time to start collaborating or contributing to some of your favorite brands or blogs, here's how!

To Whom It May Concern

Start by first finding out who you should address your email to. Make the effort; Google it, search on Linkedin, call the headquarters and ask who you should address your email to. Send this email specifically to this person, not to everyone hoping to receive a response from anyone.

Elevator Pitch

Think of your email as your two minute elevator pitch. Keep it short, sweet, and straight to the point. Tell them who you are, what you do, what you want to do at their company, or why you'd like to do a collaboration. Always include an example of your reasons. Attach your resume and a PDF of your top five pieces. You should only give them a taste of your work, not only to not overwhelm them, but also if you score an interview, you will have more things to show them.  

Here's an example:

Hello ____!

My name is Mariya, and I am a freelance writer and photographer in Los Angeles. (the company) inspires me every single day with its inspirational aesthetic and clean design. It would be an honor to present you with some of my recent work. You can find samples of my editorial work for FIDM, and the MODE, and some more fun that might interest you here on my blog.

Working with you would be a dream, and I would love if you considered teaming up in the future.

Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day!
(insert your logo signature/contact info/resume/a few examples of your best work)


Visuals are incredibly important, it serves as the backing proof for the words you present to them. It also makes it easier for the company to have a more clear vision of your strengths, style, and aesthetic and makes it easier for them to ultimately decide if you will be a good fit for them to work with.

Coming to you from the intern's desk,

FIDM Student, Mariya Dondonyan

Follow Mariya on her personal blog, The Gracious Lady.



Under the Gunn Episode 11 Recap


In this week's episode of Under the Gunn, “The Benefit of Fashion,” the designers are paired with clients who have specific fashion needs. With only five designers left, the show begins with burlesque dancers coming down the runway. Tim is there to explain the relevance as he introduces this week’s guest, who is Global Beauty Authority for Benefits Cosmetics, Annie Ford Danielson. The challenge begins! 

Sam and Blake are up for elimination during runway time. The judges say that Sam's design doesn’t have the wow factor and it's been seen many times before. Is was too playful for the boardroom but too boring for the bar. Blake's comments from the judges were that his client is more sophisticated than the fabric he chose which was too playful. Blake ultimately went home. 

Shan won the challenge this week, the judges said that the design was the ultimate of “quick-fix” which is what Benefit is about. It was modern and had that wow-factor. 

Project Runway: Under the Gunn is filmed on location at FIDM Los Angeles and co-stars FIDM Grad Nick Verreos, the red carpet fashion expert, television commentator, and founder of his own label, NIKOLAKI, which has been worn on the red carpet by celebrities including Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Carrie Underwood, Heidi Klum, and Eva Longoria.



Student Spotlight: Nikki Dror (Merchandise Marketing)


Why did you choose to study Merchandise Marketing at FIDM?
I sometimes joke that Merchandise Marketing is the major for people who know they want to work in the fashion industry but don't have artistic skills. It's like a fashion degree for people with an academic, business-oriented mindset. When I decided to study fashion, I knew I wanted a degree from a top fashion institution--so I, naturally, chose FIDM.
How do you combine your education in Merchandise Marketing and your passion for journalism into your work/life?
Well, I think that a background in marketing gives me a competitive edge in targeting my writing topics to my readers. Marketing is all about knowing your audience and communicating with them, and that plays really well with my writing career. I can write about topics all I want, but if it's not what my reader is interested in then it'll fall on deaf ears. My degree in marketing helps me keep my writing relevant.
What are some of your proudest FIDM accomplishments thus far?
For my Promotions in the Merchandising Environment class, I had to create an entire Integrated Marketing Campaign (IMC) and present it in class. I put so many hours into working on it--this project was like my baby! I got a perfect score on both the written report and the oral presentation. The instructor even emailed me after class to let me know how impressed he was with it. That was one of the proudest moments of my FIDM career, for sure. Another highlight was the day I turned in my Retail Environment quarter project. I gave the entire thing a magazine-like layout, complete with pictures of everything I referenced. This was not required, but it definitely made an impression. I feel the most proud of my work when I've gone the extra mile.
What has been your experience like writing and working for Annex Magazine? What kind of exposure are you getting?
I got my foot in the door at Annex as an editorial intern. I began blogging and creating web-content for them, and then it wasn't long before they invited me to write for print. I've had my own bylines and even a couple of cover stories. I'm literally living my dream, and I have Annex Magazine to thank! My favorite thing they have me do is write interview questions for all the celebrities that they feature in their print edition. I don't get a byline for that work, but I enjoy picking people's brains and fishing out the information our readers are most curious about. It's a lot of fun.
Wanting to be a writer, do you have your own blog? What kinds of posts do you share with the blogosphere?
I think any aspiring writer should have a personal blog. It's a way to inexpensively publish and spread your work. My own blog is called Four Eleven (named after my height, and it's a place where I share my experiences living in LA and my adventures in the fashion industry. It's a lifestyle blog with an emphasis on my personal style. Four Eleven also has a really fun Instagram account, @fourelevenblog, that has it's own original content.
What is your goal with your blog? Is it just a fun side project, or do you hope it will be an important asset for your career?
Four Eleven is a project that I never expected to last longer than a couple of months. I really only created it because I was having a hard time breaking into the magazine industry, and I figured having a blog would help showcase my writing and social-media-management skills to employers. But it sort of took on a life of its own and generated a small following without me even marketing it at all. Plus, running it turned out to be so much fun! Maybe one day I'll put some effort into publicizing it and taking it to the next level. Who knows?
What do you love about journalism?
People trust print. An article in a magazine can genuinely shape your view of anything and everything. I guess it comes down to wanting my thoughts and opinions to be influential in a way. Also, it's basically a thankless job. For example, you might read a feature on a big celebrity and not even notice the writer's name in the byline. You probably don't know the names of many editors, nor would you recognize them on the street, but you are definitely familiar with their work. I don't want to be famous by face or name, but I want my work to touch as many people as possible. I want to be influential in the humblest of ways, and to me that's journalism.
What is ultimately your dream job?
I've been saying this for years: I'm going to be the EIC of Cosmopolitan Magazine. Look out, Joanna Coles, I'm after your job!
Do you have any advice for students who are currently in the process of choosing a major and/or a career path?
Just remember that everything is flexible. When it comes to choosing a major or a career, nothing is set in stone. I mean, I first applied to FIDM as a Fashion Design major, and now I'm a writer! You never know where your experiences and opportunities will lead you. You are entitled to change your mind and alter your course as many times as you please! And as Natalie Goldberg said, "Trust in what you love, continue to do it, and it will take you where you need to go."



Educators Attend FIDM's Educators Day and DEBUT Runway Show


Last weekend, a group of educators attended FIDM's Educators Day 2014, where they enjoyed a tour of the "Art of Motion Picture Costume Design" exhibition, a luncheon at the Millenium Biltmore Hotel, a lecture on trend forecasting and a meet and greet with host Nick Verreos. They also attended DEBUT 2014, held at Santa Monica's Barker Hanger, featuring the collections of FIDM's graduating students in the Advanced Fashion Design and Theatre Costume Design programs. 


"We met other educators and artists, saw a wealth of creative images, shopped, and took photos of nearly everything we saw," said Educator Eileen Doktorski. "The runway show - the cuminating thrill of our day - was relived again and again as we shared photos with each other from the comfort of our bus seats heading home." 




Just Accepted High School Junior Angela Collier Wants To Become Costume Designer

Angela Collier

Seventeen-year-old Angela Collier knew that she wanted to be a FIDM Student after high school graduation so the junior didn’t waste any time applying. The future Fashion Design major and Sicklerville, New Jersey native will begin her college career in the summer of 2015.

"I know that once I enter the Fashion Design Program at FIDM, I will improve my knowledge of the fundamentals of fashion. I already plan to continue into the Advanced Study Program after I graduate and take another major in Theater Costume Design. After seeing the work of students in past DEBUT Runway Show events, all I could think about is how I wanted to make costumes like that."

Read the entire interview on FIDM's



Enter Cotton University Contest for Chance To Job Shadow a Designer at Fruit of The Loom Headquarters in Kentucky

Cotton University's Fruit of the Loom Design Contest

Cotton University, a division of Cotton Incorporated (an official FIDM partner), has a new contest open to college students. The Cotton University Fruit of the Loom Design Contest calls for entrants to create design illustrations for a complete stay-dry cotton look for a family. 

The winner will be flown to the Fruit of the Loom company in Bowling Green, Kentucky to job shadow a designer for a day. Flight and hotel expenses included. Winner will also receive a $200 Visa card to cover all other travel related expenses.

The deadline to enter is Monday, March 31.

Get all the details and enter on



Just Accepted High School Junior Works as a Fashion Stylist and Head of Social Media for Fashion Brands



Full Name: Sophie Bernard

Age: 17

Hometown: Los Angeles

Current Year in School: Junior

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

Start Date: Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Roxy DeGuzman

How did your advisor help with the process? Roxy has helped me every step from the very beginning. She contacted me in my sophomore year after hearing my early interest in the school, and we planned to meet during my time at 3 Days of Fashion. We met and created a game plan of how I would take the steps to create my entrance project over a period of time. Roxy would check in often to see my progress. Without Roxy, I don't think I would have stayed on task. 

Tell us a bit about yourself. In my spare time, I'm usually on Tumblr, posting for my social media job, or at work. I work at a store called LF on Abbot Kinney in Venice as a fashion stylist and in marketing. I also work as the head of social media at a couture brand called Max Fowles. I will post on their Instagram, Tweet, and Tumblr for them any chance I get. My inspirations come from brands such as Marc Jacobs, Brandy Melville, LF, etc. I tend to go towards the modern California casual look. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I feel that getting into FIDM early as a junior, and having all of these internships that I have found for myself really makes me feel like I can accomplish a lot on my own if I put my mind to it. 

Describe your entrance project. I actually made two entrance projects. I created my first project to take high-end dresses and translate them into a dress that Brandy Melville would make for the  California casual girl. My second project did the same thing, but with jackets for a spunky girl who would wear Nasty Gal apparel.

What are your career goals? Hopefully into the future, I will be a fashion forecaster or the head of product development at a brand I create with a group of people, or a brand already created.



FIDM Thanks TOMS and All Sponsors of Fashion Club Gift Bag at DEBUT

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Each year, Fashion Club members look forward to attending the DEBUT Runway Show at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. The Fashion Club Pre-Party in the tent is legendary and the party-goers love the offerings: faux lash applications, photos with Fashion Designer, Alumnus, and Instructor Nick Verreos, the chocolate bar, the DJ, photo booth, and the step and repeat photo ops. They also love the Fashion Club gift bag they are presented with just before they take their seats for the DEBUT Runway Show.

FIDM would like to recognize the incredibly generous donations from our wonderful sponsors who made the gift bag possible this year, donating more than 600 units of their product at the Fashion Club DEBUT Pre-Party:

TOMS Eyewear
FIDM Grad and TOMS Eyewear Product Developer, Erik Soto attended the event, met and greeted party-goers at a booth in the Fashion Club tent, and personally arranged the incredibly generous donation of over 600 pairs of beautiful TOMS sunglasses.

Caché modeled their latest prom styles at their booth, and donated over 600 pairs of earrings for the gift bags, plus raffle prizes and special discounts to party-goers. This year, they're also sponsoring FC's Fairy Godmother Contest, and a special prom contest to win one of two $4,500 scholarships to attend FIDM. See for contest details.

James Wolfe, who attended FIDM in the recent past, donated 600 hoodie cell phone holders from Hoodiebuddie, where he came up with the idea to manufacture high-end hoodies with built-in earbuds in the drawstrings.

Stila donated 600 Smudge Stick waterproof eye liners for the Fashion Club gift bags.

The owner of Puretergent personally delivered to FIDM, 600 packets each containing three different samples of Puretergent, an all natural laundry detergent.

Sexy Hair
Sexy Hair donated 600 units of their Get Layered Hairspray.

OPI donated a manicure set that included a zip pouch, nail polish, nail filing tools, and lotion.



Apparel Grad Worked With Justin Timberlake at William Rast Prior to Launching Shade55 Denim (Interview)


Paul Hagopian is the designer and founder of the new premium denim line Shade55, which is sold at Nordstrom and Robert Redford's Sundance Catalog. We recently caught up with the Apparel Industry Management Graduate to learn more. 

Tell us a bit about your family history in fashion. My family history is deep rooted in fashion -- it runs in the blood. My grandfather was a custom tailor. My father created his own brand called Cotton USA Inc. It was a missy womens resort wear brand, all made in the USA. His operations were completely vertical, which gave me tons of hands-on experience in all aspects of the business, from order entry, to pattern making and grading, to cutting, garment dyeing and even shipping. My earliest childhood memories are of me tinkering with machines 10 times my size in his factory. I loved it then and I love it now.  

What jobs did you hold prior to founding Shade55? During my time at FIDM, I continued to work in the family business, from design, the pattern making, to production, cutting, and even mixing dyes together to run huge 120 pound machines. It was a great experience. After FIDM and combined with my experience, I was able to get an assistant production manager position at the parent company of such brands like Joe's Jeans, Antik Denim, Henry Duarte, Fetish, and Shago.

There I worked closely with the designers and the production manager in coordinating samples and production. It was a fast-paced and cut throat, but I loved every minute of it. During my time there, I was recruited to head production and operations for William Rast and People's Liberation. This was an excellent opportunity for me as I got to showcase all of my talents, both in denim and knits. It was tons of fun working with Justin Timberlake on creating the line and watching it go from a simple concept to a world wide brand.  

After my time there, I was once again recruited to be the brand manager for a very popular knit brand called Primp. Primp was very celebrity driven and stood for being and feeling young in quality driven comfortable knits. My last stop before creating Shade55 was the brand manager for Dylan George.

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What led you to start your own brand? My one dream in life was to one day have a successful brand of my own; I always knew I wanted to do it. I wanted to create a brand that truly reflects my experiences and my story, a brand that sets a new standard for quality and integrity in men's fashion.  After working for the various different brands, I noticed that none of them, nor anyone else, had a true focus on a classic, American made men's brand; their primary focus is women's. I want to change that as men needed their own go-to brand that they can rely on for a great fit and unmatched American quality.  

Shade55 encompasses and reflects everything I stand for, which is quality, integrity, and attention to the smallest detail. Shade55 is all American made. The fabrics that I select for each collection use American grown cotton from Texas and the Mississippi Delta. The name Shade55 comes from the actual shade or color of indigo I use for my denim. From my experience throughout the years working with different roll/shades of denim, I have always believed that the rolls marked shade #55 had the truest, deepest shade of indigo and best base of color for a true vintage wash, in my opinion. 

Many of the men and woman who built this wonderful country did so in a pair of rugged denim  jeans and we want to homage to that era with a modern twist on the perfect pair of jeans. 



FIDM Style Project: Glenda Harrison of So What to Twenty


Above Left: Glenda Harrison, Fashion Blogger for So What to Twenty

In this month's FIDM Style Project series, we reached out to some of our favorite bloggers to ask about the historical design or fashion era that influences their work or personal style. This is what Glenda Harrison of So What to Twenty had to say...

"The 1950s greatly define my fashion style. I'm always attracted to silhouettes that compliment or enhance the woman's physique, rather than playing against the natural curves of the woman's body. I also appreciate how designs were constructed with such careful attention to detail, and how accessories played such an important role in the making of a complete look. It was a time when femininity was embraced and celebrated. There are two really good posts that show my love for the 1950's era: Styled by Freddy and Mellow Yellow."

Glenda Harrison is a full time lover of fashion and style, mother of two, wife to her husband of 21 years, lover of life and all things artsy. She graduated from FIDM in 1986 with a degree in Marketing/Merchandising, and has worked in the fashion industry for many years, in retail management, visual merchandising, as a stylist, as a fashion and style newspaper columnist, and now as a fashion and style blogger for So What to Twenty.

So What to Twenty is a fashion and style blog for the style curators flavored with time. Its mission is to show a fashion and style viewpoint from a 40+ perspective. Glenda Harrison invites you to visit So What to Twenty and enjoy the world of fashion and lifestyle through the eyes of a forty-something.

About FIDM Style Project

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



Just Accepted Student Dreams of Designing for Lady Gaga and Daphne Guinness



Full Name: Omar Cisneros Nunez

Age: 18

Hometown: Cape May, New Jersey 

Current Year in School: Senior

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: San Francisco, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Susan was an amazing advisor. She was really interested in my application and would always be in a fabulous mood when we chatted. Being a high school student, and not really knowing how college works, Susan would always thoroughly explain each step of the process, and give me peace of mind when I had any questions. 

Tell us a bit about yourself. Living in Cape May, I really love warm weather when we have it, and as a result I love to swim and go out to the beach; in general I really love to go out and experience new things and meet new people. I also love art, nature, science, and of course fashion, with special adoration for Alexander McQueen and Donatella Versace.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Being accepted into FIDM! Also, acceptance into honor societies, finishing a gown, and joining the school play. 

What made FIDM right for you?

 I have always wanted to visit San Francisco, so the campus was perfect, and the weather is a plus. I have also seen FIDM on Project Runway, and thought that the association to the show would provide an edge to get ahead of the competition.

Describe your entrance project.
 My entrance project was a manifested clash of cultures from 19th century conquistador mentality and Mexican indigenous lifestyle. My project showed how Western European culture depicted uncivilized people, and how theirs customs penetrated the culture of indigenous folk. It highlights both civilizations in a more modern take while at the same time telling the story of Spanish-Mexican assimilation. 

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What are your career goals?
 My ultimate goal in life is to start my own line of clothing and to dress people like Lady Gaga and Daphne Guinness, and to live in a fashion capital like Paris or New York. To get there, I plan to intern at companies like Vivienne Westwood, Alexander McQueen, or Versace, and eventually branch out into my own line of clothes. 

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I want to learn everything I can about the technical aspects of fashion, textiles, trends, and pretty much anything that will make me succeed in the future. I am really looking forward to listening to the guest speakers, interning in corporations, and maybe even traveling abroad to get as much experience as I can in order to launch my own line of clothes.



OAK Opens First LA Store in Downtown

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Fashion retailer OAK NYC has opened a flagship store at what is becoming a retail hot spot—9th and Broadway—just steps away from FIDM's downtown campus. OAK, an avant-garde high fashion retailer from New York, joins Acne Studios, Tanner Goods, Aesop, A.P.C., and the Ace Hotel in redefining downtown hip. Stay tuned for Tarina Tarantino's Sparkle Factory set to open this summer at the same downtown corner.



Industrywatch: Google Glass Gets Stylish

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In a collaboration that should speed up the adaptation of wearable devices, Google announced a partnership with Luxottica, the Italian eyewear company responsible for fashion brands Oakley and Ray-Ban among others. The rumored date for a consumer rollout of more fashionable computing eyewear is end of 2014,  according to a report by TechCrunch. The companies will team product designers, developers, and engineers to "create iconic wearable devices" that consumers will want to put on their faces.



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Has Her Own Inspirational Lifestyle Brand



Full Name: Ranya Batal
Age: 25
Hometown: Los Angeles
FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing
FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Spring 2014
Admissions Advisor: Joleen Harris
How did your advisor help with the process? Joleen was an extraordinary help with the admissions process. She is very sweet and supportive and a true believer in helping students such as myself achieve their goals. 
Tell us a bit about yourself. I am a big advocate of traveling and getting out of my comfort zone, trying new things, traveling to new places, and trying new foods. It has opened my eyes to different cultures around the world. 
What are your proudest accomplishments so far? TICDA (Today I Can Do a Anything), the company I founded with the intent of changing people’s lives for the better. I started an inspirational lifestyle brand that gives consumers the motivation to live their dreams from a desire within and an inner commitment to overcoming self-imposed barriers. 
What made FIDM right for you? I am at a point in my life where I appreciate and understand the value of a college education and that it will provide me with opportunities and insights that were previously beyond my understanding. Now, as a creative person in business I firmly believe that the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising will help me achieve that goal. 
Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project I created a presentation of a TICDA customer and compiled a look book consisting of selected inventory for men, women, and youth.
What are your career goals? My career goals are simple and based around my personal growth as an entrepreneur, the growth of my company, a chance to provide opportunity, create long term jobs, and change people’s lives for the better.
What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I am looking to broaden my personal and business horizons in the fields of Business, Marketing, Management, Finance, and Creative Management.



Learn More About San Clemente High School's FIDM Fashion Club


San Clemente High School's FIDM Fashion Club is known around school for its annual end-of-the-year fashion show and helpful Advisor Lisa Yancey, who has a background in fashion. "My favorite part of having a Fashion Club is getting to meet people from school who have the same interest in fashion," says President Kenley Cummings. "I love being able to hear all of the different ideas my members have on topics that we discuss in the club -- and Mrs. Yancey has given us lots of helpful advice about the industry." 



Industry Notables Celebrate FIDM Designers at DEBUT Gala & Runway Show


DEBUT 2014, FIDM’s annual Fashion Gala featuring Advanced Fashion Design and Theatre Costume Design Graduates, drew more than 800 people to Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on Saturday night. (Pictured above: Gown by FIDM Debut designer Blake Patterson.) 


FIDM Debut Designer Tylor Purcell presents his first fashion collection 

The high profile event was attended by Mad Men Costume Designer, Janie Bryant, (pictured below); The Mindy Project Costume Designer and President of the Costume Designers Guild, Salvador Perez; architect Clive Wilkinson; designer and FIDM Graduate Karen Kane; Congressman Buck McKeon; and many other notables.


More than 100 garments and other design projects were presented in a four-part runway show, illustrating the work of FIDM Students graduating in the Advanced Fashion, Theatre Costume, Interior, and Textile Design Programs. Students work over a nine-month period to create the featured looks and collections that are shown on the runway. 


The evening also spotlighted “Chairing Styles,” a collaboration of 30 students across three disciplines, as well as Cadillac Couture, a segment of the show that featured elaborate gowns inspired by automobiles and car parts. 


The gala event benefited the FIDM Scholarship Foundation


FIDM Debut designer Mohamed Salaheldin presents his first fashion collection.



Under the Gunn Episode 10 Recap


Last week's Under the Gunn episode begins with the team of designers meeting with the chief merchandiser at Francesca’s. The winner gets to have their design featured in the store. Working in teams, the designers paired up and started their challenge. 

We said goodbye to Natalia. Nick has truly supported her from the very beginning and continues to encourage her to pursue her dream. Tim tells her how talented and creative she is. She gracefully makes her departure and the team wishes her all the best. 

Guest judge Sei Jin Alt chooses one piece from Shan and one from Oscar so that they each win the competition this week and each get a piece to be sold at Francesa's!

Project Runway: Under the Gunn is filmed on location at FIDM Los Angeles and co-stars FIDM Grad and Instructor Nick Verreos. 

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