Seven Graduates Honored at Reception and Exhibition of Their Menswear Collections


Seven graduates were recently honored at a reception and exhibition of their menswear collections, celebrating the first graduating class of FIDM's Advanced Study Program in Menswear. Over 200 menswear industry associates, family and friends of the graduates were in attendance to review the display of the graduates’ work at the L.A. campus.
















An illustrious judging panel named two winners: Devon Figueroa – Most Innovative Collection Zachary Hall – Most Marketable Collection (pictured, above). Each winner received a men's dress form, valued at $900, from Fashion Supplies Inc. and all seven graduates were given a $100 gift certificate to the store.




The judging panel (pictured, below) included: Joe Knoernschild, Co-Founder, Hurley and Billabong USA; Ilse Metchek, President, California Fashion Association; T.J. Walker, Vice President, Cross Colours; James Costa, Design Director, JACHS NY; FIDM Menswear Instructors. 


Photos by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages 



Trendwatch: Wealthy Shoppers Prefer Bricks 'n Mortar

Gucci copy

Affluent shoppers prefer to "walk around a store and see things up close... and many insist on advice from living, breathing humans," says the latest survey by Luxury Institute as reported in Bloomberg Business. The only exceptions are men shopping for expensive watches and women buying makeup. Reasons are that male aficionados can research deeper online, and women replenishing favorite beauty products know exactly what they want.



Industrywatch: Donna Karan Focuses On New Endeavor

D karan copy

One of the major American designers with a namesake label—Donna Karan—has announced that she is leaving her fashion house to focus on new endeavor Urban Zen, reported the New York Times. Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton, the label's owner will continue to focus on the moderate label DKNY. The announcement in the Times includes a cool timeline of the trendsetter's fashion story.



Student VLOG: Whitney Visits Oscar de la Renta Fashion Show, Los Angeles, and FIDM OC

  20150604-183019 (Resized)

There are many benefits that come along with being a student at FIDM, just ask Merchandise Marketing Student and Social Ambassador Whitney Sutherland. Whether she’s volunteering at an Oscar de la Renta fashion show, or sifting through our Vogue Archives at the FIDM Library, Whitney knows a thing or two about getting the best out of her FIDM experience. Follow along with Whitney in her new YouTube video, as she takes you through the fascinating life of a student at FIDM.  


More about Whitney:

Whitney was born and raised in a little town outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. At the age of 18, she moved to California to attend FIDM Orange County as a Merchandise Marketing major. Whitney has previously worked for Kate Spade New York, and hopes to one day work in entertainment marketing. 
Whitney is very passionate about her health and well-being. She has suffered with body image issues in the past, and wants to help other girls who have been through it as well. She hopes to grow her YouTube channel by promoting a positive body image, as well as posting fun videos about fashion/beauty, pop culture, and of course, FIDM.

Connect with Whitney: 

Twitter: @FIDM_Whitney


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



Brand New MPD Grad Is Design and Trend Researcher at Avery Dennison


Recent Merchandise Product Development Graduate Radhika Parsana, who previously studied biotechnology in India, already has a job as a design and trend researcher at Avery Dennison, a global leader in pressure-sensitive label technology serving the global markets for food, beverage/beer, wine, home and personal care products. 

"FIDM has groomed me for the industry. Having a background in biotechnology, excelling in an extremely competitive fashion industry was challenging. The international student advisor helped me understand and navigate the international laws for my internships," explains Radhika, who interned at Kellwood and Sue Wong while studying at FIDM.

"It is exciting to have found my calling and work with a wonderful organization that invests in my growth and exposes me to high-impact projects. All of this would not have been possible without the support of the FIDM faculty and Career Center. They have motivated me at every step and all I had to do was give my best and leave the rest up to FIDM." 



Links We Love: Resort Wear, Dog Models & More


Givenchy-resort 16

Resort Wear’16 got weird with it. But maybe it’s the strange shapes and kooky cutouts that are making this in-between season just that more interesting. Givenchy and  Alexander Wang for Balenciaga employed expertly placed slitted cutouts to create airy peep holes of skin that are more artful than risky. Wang and Givenchy also both placed special emphasis on shoe wear to complete their collection’s overall look.  Romantic, billowing blouses and ruffled skirts in muted hues of mint, rose and white, are the centerpieces of Givenchy’s collection. But, if you look closely at the models’ matching boots and platforms, you will see the stiletto thin heel that jets out from the block-heels and throws the entire picture off kilter. 


Alexander Wang for Balenciaga stuck with elegant neutrals, splashed with the occasional pastel for his collection that also included swimwear.  The negative space made from the triangle cutouts seen on many of the dresses can be spotted just below in its positive form on triangular covered heels. 

Stella-mccartney- resort 16-

Creative wrapping is another trend that has tied up a few runways. Stella McCartney swaddled her oxford dresses with a sumo wrestler like wrap just below the hip, while Italian brand MSGM’s pleated skirts took to the side-tie. MSGM’s line reflected yet another trend; oversized and elongated silhouettes that slouch and sag in new ways that may even be cool. Tops that go several inches too low and track pants that drag on the floor are further evidence of the current moment’s friendly welcoming of looseness. Varieties of fashion JNCOS, giant pants that swept the floor circa 1992, were brought out by Alexander McQueen and Rosie Assoulin while Jonathan Saunders and Versace took on 70s flared, shoe-covering trousers. 


Grandma may not have been amiss when she sought comfort in her quilted housecoat. Un-homely versions of the quilted coat were seen this season on Gucci, Fendi and Louis Vuitton runways. We may have to wait until fall, or maybe longer, to see which weird and playful trends catch on.

Cupcakes and cashmere clothing line

Beloved blogger, Emily Schuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere, showed teasers of her new clothing line that will hit Nordstrom and Shopbop on July 6. The forty plus pieces of the collection reflect three different Californian fashion landscapes; the professional prep of San Francisco, the urban edge of L.A and the trendy, beachy vibes of Malibu. The preview included peeks of delicate lacy shirts, a striped shift with woven pockets, solid floral prints and soft, zipper-less leather jackets in caramel and black.  Fabric samples with names like “poppy,” “oatmeal,” and “antique ivory,” reflect Schuman’s taste for classy, polished style. The line is tagged at  $80 - $180, minus the pricier leather jackets, which are also offered in a vegan alternative. 

Bodhi Menswear NY Times

A furry friend has joined the ranks of Menswear, and no, he’s not human. A five-year-old Shiba Inu named  Bodhi,  known simply as the menswear dog, became an internet sensation after his owners,Dave Fung and Yena Kim, got bored one day and dressed up their pup in men’s clothes. And he loved it.  The NY couple posted Bohdi’s (un-photoshopped) pictures on Facebook, then created the Menswear Dog blog and stardom followed. Designers like ASOS, Coach and Salvatore Ferragamo saw the handsome dog’s dapper, fox-like face and enlisted him as a paid model for their brand. This week, Bodhi modeled key mens regional summer wedding looks from the Atlantic North East,  Paris and the California coast.

Lady Gaga's dog for Coach

It’s been a canine kind of week:  Lady Gaga’s dog was announced to be the new face of Coach handbags. The pop-singer’s French bull dog Asia, will join on the Ariana Grande's beagle-chihuahua mix, Toulouse, in the campaign. 

Chinatown Summer NIghts

All summer long, Los Angeles will come alive with music, really good, free music, thanks to KCRW. Chinatown Summer Nights is a neighborhood celebration, complete with food vendors and Chinese cultural activities, which open at 5pm.  The Summer Nights event series is a favorite freebie of Angelenos so you can expect a large, hip and happening crowd.   

Grand Park Fireworks

No plans for the 4th? The fun continues at the 4th of July Block Party at Grand Park in downtown. The giant party begins at 3pm and goes until 9:30, with food trucks, an evening full of KCRW DJs topped off with a fireworks show. Taking the metro is highly recommended.



2013 FIDM Grad Amanda Bickert Now Working With Creative Director at PJ Salvage


Amanda Bickert graduated in 2013 with her degree in Merchandise Product Development. She's now working with the Creative Director at PJ Salvage as an Assistant Technical Designer, creating tech packs and facilitating communication of design details to vendors.

Tell us a little about yourself: I grew up in Arizona with a love of art and all things creative. I remember being constantly inspired by nature and interesting buildings. Sewing became a hobby of mine in middle school, and one day I thought about how wonderful it would be to make a career out of it. I attended FIDM San Diego straight after high school and then moved to the LA campus for my last year, where I interned and ended up getting hired at Perry Ellis International for my first job in the industry.

Where are you working now? I recently got hired at PJ Salvage as the Assistant Technical Designer. I will be working with the Creative Director putting together tech packs and communicating design details to vendors, as well as assisting the tech team. I am excited to grow my knowledge in garment construction and technical details to round out my professional experience.

How do you feel FIDM has prepared you? FIDM was awesome in preparing me for the industry. They taught me how to interview well, make myself stand out, and to ALWAYS send a thank you letter/email. All of my instructors prepared me for the "real world" in one way or another. I loved hearing about their experiences in the industry and their advice to myself and other students. I still keep in contact with my Brand Portfolio teacher who has been a great contact since graduation.

How did you find out about FIDM? When I was in high school, a family friend of mine attended FIDM, and one day my best friend and I got a hold of a CD full of videos about FIDM. My best friend ended up being my roommate for two years at FIDM.

How did you decide on your major? I chose Product Development over Fashion Design to end up in a less competitive environment after graduation. I love designing and coming up with new concepts, but at the time I did not want to compete or have to prove that my designs were the best. I think everyone's vision is amazingly unique and intriguing. Turns out, I love product development and am so thankful this is the path I chose!

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Public Speaking, all three fabric classes, Concept & Line Development, any class with Photoshop/Illustrator.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Take advantage of all the resources FIDM sets you up with—from the Library to your instructors to the awesome Career Center. Continue to use them and keep in contact after you graduate!

What is your biggest goal right now? My goal right now is to keep learning and broadening my knowledge of the industry. I want to know everything about it down to the last button, in hopes of growing to be in a leadership role where I can use my experience to strengthen all aspects of the product development process.

Anything else you’d like to share? FIDM has been a great asset to my career and is very well known throughout the industry. I am proud to share with people that I am a graduate of FIDM!



Just Accepted Beauty Student Dreams of Launching Her Own Skincare Line



Name: Adrienne Murphy

Age: 18

Hometown: Choteau, MT

FIDM Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Alissa Dixon

How did your advisor help with the process? The admissions process was seamless because of all of Alissa’s help. She would always get back to me and she was super easy to talk to about questions I had. She made me feel right at home the first time I visited the FIDM campus.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I come from a very small town so there isn’t much to do. During high school I was very involved in clubs like FCCLA, which taught me leadership skills which will be very helpful in my desired career. I was also a cheerleader all throughout high school and we cheered for every sport throughout the year. We practiced daily, cheered for games, decorated the school, and planned and cheered at pep assemblies. Even with this busy schedule I managed to stay focused on academics. Any free time I had during high school I spent traveling and hanging out with my friends and my family.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Getting into FIDM as a junior and my academic achievements. I worked really hard on my entrance project to get into FIDM and I had to balance my busy schedule at school while focusing on my entrance project. I graduated from high school with honors and also made the Academic Hall of Fame. During my senior year I was selected as Student Achiever and featured in the local newspaper for the month of March.

What made FIDM right for you? The fact that I will be getting a hands-on education from instructors who actually work in the industry was a huge factor in choosing FIDM. I have always been interested in skincare, but more specifically, product development, and FIDM is one of the only schools that offers this degree. I actually first learned about FIDM from Lindsey Hughes on her YouTube channel and I knew I would be a great fit for me.

Describe your entrance project. I designed a concealer that will cover acne and also heal the blemish while you have the concealer on. Although I enjoyed the business side of the entrance project, the best part was getting to be creative and develop a completely new product.

What are your career goals? My dream is to work for Benefit. They have such amazing branding and I think I could bring something positive to their skincare line. I would love the opportunity to travel and test out ingredients for new products. Having my very own skincare line is my dream and I believe I have the creativity and determination to make that happen. All in all I want to be happy and with an education from FIDM I know I will have an amazing future.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn what makes beauty companies successful. I hope to get a very hands-on education from instructors who know the industry. I would love to continue my education after I get my Associates degree and get a Bachelor of Science degree from FIDM so I can have a well-rounded education which will give me my best chance at being successful in Beauty Industry Product Development.



10 FIDM Merchandise Marketing Grads with Great Careers in Fashion


A Merchandise Marketing degree from FIDM is a great starting point for a career in the global fashion industry. Here are 10 examples of opportunities for Merchandise Marketing Grads. 

Allison Molinatti just opened her second boutique in Napa Valley. 

PR executive, stylist, and designer Anita Herrera works in the business side of fashion.

Katherine Daou launched the San Diego-based Daou Denim Co. earlier this year. 

Phoenix-based Nicole Arend is a top wedding and event planner.

Kathryn Giarratano recently launched the jewelry line, Amour Absolu.

Fashion blogger Nikki Dror has interned for Nylon magazine. 

Ja'Shae Jones works in merchandising at Zappos. 

Entrepreneur Erica Thomas has a successful e-commerce and VIP drop-off business. 

Brittney Glenn is a buyer at Windsor Fashions.



New York Times Calls L.A. "Paris Amid the Palms"


A recent New York Times story highlighted L.A. as a fashion destination and source of inspiration for top designers such as Louis Vuitton artistic director Nicolas Ghesquière (who recently hosted the 2015 cruise collection in nearby Palm Springs and an impressive installation in Hollywood earlier this year), Dior creative director Raf Simons, and Hedi Slimane of Saint Laurent, who moved most of the iconic fashion house from Paris a few years back.

The article goes on to mention that the French chain L'Eclaireur will open it's first location outside of France in L.A., while Vuitton opened its renovated Rodeo Drive flagship recently. And it's not just the French designers getting in on the action. Burberry held a "London to Los Angeles" show for its fall 2015 collections at the Griffith Observatory. 



L.A. Times Profiles FIDM Grad's Swimwear Label Velvet Sphinx


The L.A. Times recently featured six L.A. swimwear brands who are at the surf's edge of fashion. The roundup included FIDM Grad Bettina Ivanovich's label, Velvet Sphinx, which was founded in 2014. 

The Look Plenty of whimsical and downright wacky prints. Think sportier cuts such as sports bra style tops and deep v-neck one-piece suits emblazoned with colorful pizza, dog, snake and toucan prints.

"I wanted to bring something different to the market, something bold that would have people doing double takes," says Ivanovich, who is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. "The prints, styles and names are all derived from elements of my everyday life and from my childhood growing up in the '80s."

The Hook Ivanovich's bold take on bathing suits recently caught the eye of pop star Rihanna, who wore the pizza print Spicoli bikini during a Hawaiian vacation. The designer says she will be sending the singer additional statement-making styles in hopes she might be seen in more of Velvet Sphynx's splashy suits.

The Goods Ivanovich creates five to eight styles each season, and each comes in three to seven prints and colors. All styles are manufactured in Los Angeles and range from $58 for a top to $88 for a bottom and $180 for a one-piece suit.



Meet Social Ambassador Jeremy Sandoval


Get to know FIDM Social Ambassador Jeremy Sandoval, a Visual Communications Student at our San Diego campus. Follow Jeremy on Twitter @FIDM_Jeremy for live updates about his life as a FIDM Student. 

Q&A with Jeremy  

Hometown: San Antonio, TX 

Describe your style: I am the "art nerd." I love everything about fine arts, and I apply it to my personal style. 

Currently listening to: Anything that's on the radio. 

Favorite brands: GUESS, H&M, and Topshop 

An icon who inspires you: Lady Gaga. She inspires me because she's not the average celebrity who wants to gain fame by doing things that people tell her to do. She is also very artistic and creates music that she feels good about. 

Favorite place to eat in SD: Dragon's Den, right across the street from campus. Their Ramen is amazing! 

Dream job: To be a set decorator/special effects makeup artist for Universal Studios & Disney.

Best advice for FIDM Students: Take advantage of all the resources that FIDM offers you, don't procrastinate, and handle your class assignments as if they were projects from a client. 

SD's best kept secret: Many people don't know that [San Diego residents] are very artistic.  

Your FIDM experience in three words: Professional, creative, interactive.

You know you went to FIDM when: You own the signature "Rollie" backpack, and take it everywhere with you. 

More about Jeremy:

I have traveled my whole life, and have seen many different cultures growing up. I came to the States in 2013 from Okinawa, Japan. I originally wanted to open my own studio and do freelance artwork. Fine arts has always been a passion of mine. I love to paint, draw, and do special effects makeup. However, once I heard about FIDM and all the classes they had to offer, I completely changed my mind. I am now interested in becoming an "Imagineer" for Disney, as well as working for Universal Studios in their makeup department during Halloween Horror Nights. Overall, I love to participate in many activities, including Student Council, FIDM MODE, and the Social Ambassador program at FIDM. I can't wait to see what FIDM Los Angeles has to offer! 

Connect with Jeremy:

Twitter: @FIDM_Jeremy

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.



Just Accepted MPD Student Studied Fashion in Singapore Prior to Moving to the U.S.



Name: Aijing Wu

Age: 25

Hometown: Guangzhou, China

Previous College: LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA, October 2015

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Susan explained everything I needed to know such as the difference between Merchandise Marketing and Merchandise Product Development since I wasn't sure, and she gave a lot of good suggestions without any pushing. Besides her professional advice and help, she is the one who helped me build up my confidence.

Tell us a bit about yourself. My family has held a textile business since the very beginning of the fashion industry in my hometown. One of the most important decisions that I have made was pursuing higher education overseas. I graduated with a B.A degree in Fashion Design & Textile from LASALLE College of the Arts in Singapore. After that, I worked for couture dresses company where I met with customers, designed, communicated with suppliers and couturiers, did fittings, merchandising, and more. I have my dream to fulfill and I realize I must keep learning. FIDM is the top choice for me.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My design was sponsored and shown in the Swarovski’s Design Exhibition in Singapore. My creation featured alongside renowned international designers including Georg Baldele, Hussein Chalayan, Jason Wu, and Prabal Gurung.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is WASC accredited and it provides a good environment, updated facilities, and expert instructors. Furthermore, FIDM doesn't just care about knowledge and theories but also the practical skills. FIDM firmly believes hands-on experience is an integral part of education. The Professional Designation degree will equip me with the knowledge and problem-solving skills necessary to become a well-trained and productive professional in tomorrow’s fashion world.

What are your career goals? To become a designer shop and fashion brand owner

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I must learn a lot of practical skills, knowledge, and gain real world career experience that I can apply in the real fashion industry with my ideas and creativity. I am eager to improve my communication skills, networking skills, and time management while I study at FIDM.



Links We Love: High Schoolers Get Fashionable in Math Class, London Men's Fashion Week & More

  Hawthorne High School

Since California public schools adopted Common Core learning standards in 2010, administrators and teachers have been thinking of new ways to teach the basics and are looking to the arts as inspiration. This spring, geometry students at Hawthorne High School put fashion to the test and reaped awesome results.  Math teacher Ding-ay Tadena had no previous experience teaching art when she was asked to incorporate visual and performing arts techniques into her curriculum, but chose fashion design as a way for her students to think critically about geometry in connection to real life. Students worked together in teams on  mathematical logistics for several weeks to make garments out of recyclable materials like newspapers and CDs.  In May, students modeled their outfits at a fashion show in the school’s cafeteria. Ninth grader Erika Gonzalez wore a plastic cup mini-dress that she said was initially a big challenge to create.  

“I was proud to wear it,” she said of the dress, ”It felt like all my team had worked on this one design that I got to put on.” According to arts integration specialist Susan Riley, California is leading the way with incorporating arts into the new learning criteria. Some proponents of Common Core believe that such creative lesson plans could bolster funding for arts education programs that have suffered from recession budget cuts.


Summer is a time of fantasy, so it’s no wonder that London’s Mens Spring/Summer ’16 collections are ripe with stories, one even, from out of this world.  Designer J.W. Anderson looked to outer space, and a future generation of young men who would inhabit it, for his new line.  And just what clothing would a band of adolescent space boys make themselves? The answer looked like 2001: A Space Odyssey meets the lost boys of Peter Pan. Creamy calico and dark denim pleated trousers, reminiscent of 1940s French work pants expressed a boyish naiveté in the otherwise esoteric line. Words like “stellar,” “orbital,” and “flight,” read on several denim pants and shirts. In place of earthy accessories were hand-held metal frames hung with keys and other small tools that shimmered with meaning. Anderson, who is known for his obscure references, may have struck a fine balance between ground control and complete loss of gravity. 


Sarah Burton envisioned a nautical kind of story for her new Alexander McQueen line.  Tightly tailored suits printed with navigation motifs and sea creatures proved to be the anchors of the collection. Sailor boy sweaters came in mismatching stripes and unexpected rows of frill that lent a romantic touch. Proper navy buttoned jackets in hues of brilliant blues and on-deck trench coats completed the lost-at-sea look. Models’ hair looked perfectly sea-swept in a disheveled, moody way that perfectly captured London’s young dudes. 


 Craig Green escaped into utter abstraction for his Spring/ Summer ’16 line. Women and men walked the runway in a monochromatic array of  quilted uniforms that resembled deconstructions of martial arts and utility wear. Several men’s shirts were given knotted breast details that expressed a blending of genders.  Green subverted practicality and form through intricate layering. Scarves cascaded under chest holes on sweaters that suggested an outpouring of bodily functions.  Form then lost all function, when models walked hidden behind rectangular swaths of fabric help up by wooden frames. The color blocks came with razor thin eye slits and midriff exposing cutouts, a surrealist display of Green’s brand of playful humor.  


All or nothing is the beauty message of the moment. From the start of 2015, hair and makeup went to extremes; on one end is the case for an all-natural glow, and the other of wild experimentation. Nude lips and dewy skin are trending on the runways and red carpets, but it’s no surprise that a few resort wear makeup artists ditched ‘going natural’ to let bolder looks lead the way. Makeup artist Pat McGrath certainly tasted the rainbow when he created Louis Vuitton’s Resort’ 16 look. McGrath used models’ entire face as canvas in a high-pigment homage to 80’s glam, complete with lighting bolt shapes straight from David Bowie’s Aladdin Sane cover art. 


Edgy varieties of eyeliner techniques have seen a surge since Spring’ 15, from Miu Miu’s maker-like stripes to Saint Laurent’s smoky Seventies winged lids. Versace models continued the love of liner with black rimmed eyes that popped against the Resort’16 collection’s neon color scheme. 


Makeup artist Gucci Westman designed five different eyeliner looks from retro cat-eyes to double lid V's to compliment Stella McCartney’s new Cuba inspired Resort collection. “None of the girls look the same, so why should we try to make them that way?” said Westman, who chose each look depending on individual model’s eye shape. 

 For a crash course of our decade’s beauty evolution check out I.D magazine’s micro-film Clubland: Beauty and Subculture through the Ages;  a dizzying retrospective of cosmetics from disco glitter to the natural beauty fad of today,  all captured in under three minutes. 


 Now is always a good time for art, and summer in L.A has plenty of it. Did you know that Metro, the city’s transportation authority, offers free art walks every month? Metro Art Moves is a free tour series that showcases artwork displayed in L.A’s subway stations. The tours are held from 10:30am – 12:30pm on the second Sunday of the month from June to December. Metro art docents will lead participants through art of the Gold Line, East Portal and Metro headquarters as well as to historical spaces usually closed to the public. No reservations are required, so put on your walking shoes and go underground! 

Light, Paper, Process- Reinventing Photography

 If you fancy photography, don’t miss Light, Paper, Process: Reinventing Photography at the Getty Center in Brentwood.  The exhibit is an exploration into the elemental process of image making featuring experimental work from artists such as Matthew Brandt. The show runs until September 6 and admission is free! 


This Friday, June 19th, you don't need to wander further than downtown to get a good dose of music.  Grand Performances is the free summer concert series, and on Friday night, L.A’s favorite DJ Gaslamp Killer is about to turn it up. Backed by a ten-piece band,  Gaslamp will unleash his signature concoction of psychedelic hip-hop, world music and dubstep. The concert begins at 8:00pm in the open-air California Plaza and early arrival is highly recommended to ensure a good view. 



Trendwatch: Costume Designers Cross Into Fashion

Mindy copy

California Apparel News reports that the line between costume and fashion design is blurring as designers of popular shows are being courted by retailers to translate their looks for the real world. Costume designers Deborah Nadoolman Landis, Janie Bryant, Salvador Perez, Arianne Phillips, and Lyn Paolo discussed the trend in a panel discussion organized by Los Angeles' Fashion Group International. The designers of popular shows like Mad Men, The Mindy Project, and Scandal explained that the demand for wearable fashions inspired by their costume work was brought to them in most cases by the show's producers who were approached by retailers like Banana Republic, The Limited, and Net-a-Porter. "People aspire to wear what they see on the screen," explained Perez, President of the Costume Designers Guild and Mindy Project designer.

FIDM offers degree programs in Film & TV Costume Design.



Trendwatch: Fashion Illustration en Vogue


New York Times reports that fashions' flavor du jour is old-fashioned hand-to-paper fashion sketching. "Fashion illustration is again en vogue," reports the Times, "spurred by a crop of artists who are using social media to showcase their work and appealing to brands the way style bloggers have in recent years." Katie Rodgers, Dallas Shaw, and Blair Breitenstein are among the artists making their mark on the current fashion scene.

Did you know that FIDM Instructor Nancy Riegelman is the author of fashion illustration textbook 9 Heads?

photo credit: New York Times



Just Accepted High School Junior Dreams of Owning a Clothing Line



Name: Abby Henkel

Age: 16

Hometown: Topsfield, Massachusetts

FIDM MajorApparel Industry Management

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA, July 2016

Admissions Advisor: Roxy DeGuzman

How did your advisor help with the process? Roxy was amazing; she was super friendly and willing to answer all of my questions. She helped me pick my major by sending me videos of a few different majors I was debating between at the time, and explained the differences between them. Also, she helped me by keeping me stay on track with the admissions process.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I have always loved fashion and art since I was little. I love to explore and learn about new places and cultures. Cheering has also been a big part of my life. I have been cheering since I was 8 or 9, and I have loved every second of it. I've gotten to see many places around the United States and compete in front of thousands of people.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment so far is winning a cheer competition called The Summit in Orlando, Florida. I'm very proud to say I am a two-time Summit Champion. Also, getting into FIDM as a junior is a big accomplishment for me because as we all know junior year is the toughest year of high school and trying to balance everything while doing the application was a lot of work.

What made FIDM right for you? When I came out to California for the weekend for the open house, my dad and I rented a car to drive around California so I could see what the vibe was like out there. We drove around on the Pacific Coast Highway into Malibu and stopped at Zuma Beach. Then we went to Beverly Hills and walked around Rodeo Drive. I was so in awe of what was out here that it finally felt like I was home.

When it came time to tour FIDM I was so impressed on what they had to offer. It was everything I imagined it to be and more, the faculty were super nice and informative, and when I saw students' work in the gallery, I then realized this could be me. It was the vibe in California and what FIDM has to offer that made me realize this is the place for me.

Describe your entrance project. When I was thinking of what to do for my entrance project, I wanted to do something that would set me apart from everyone else. I decided to do a larger size women's runway collection consisting of 5 cohesive outfits. I wanted my client to feel fierce, and not let her body control what she wears.

What are your career goals? My career goals is to someday create my own clothing line and own my own business.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn how to manage a business while learning to take my designs to the next level.



An Evening with Pretty Little Liars Costume Designer Mandi Line


On Thursday, June 18, 2015, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Grove's Pacific Theaters in Los Angeles, Citi cardmembers are invited to a special event featuring ABC Family's hit show Pretty Little Liars. Trendsetting costume designer and FIDM Graduate, Mandi Line, and the show's creator and executive producer, Marlene King, will chat about behind the scenes stories, inspiration for the show's storylines, and how the costumes and characters in the series have evolved each season.

Before the event, guests will have an opportunity to take a souvenir photo in front of a green screen photo booth and browse a gallery of costume displays with wardrobe featured on the show. Cardmembers and guests will also receive complimentary popcorn, refreshments, and a parking pass for the evening. See below for full schedule:

6:00 p.m. - Check in/photo booth opens (inside Pacific Theatres Lobby)
7:00 p.m. - Event begins
8:00 p.m. - Audience Q&A and prize giveaways
8:30 p.m. - Event concludes

Cardmembers can bring up to three (3) additional guests. To RSVP, please email and indicate the following in your message:

Subject: 06/18 Pretty Little Liars - CITI RSVP

Cardmember's Name
Guests Names (limit 3)
First six digits of cardmember's Citi card

Please note: Official confirmation of your RSVP will come in the form of an email sent prior to the event. If you do not receive confirmation, the event has filled to capacity. Citi guests should park at valet or self-park in the Grove garage.



Vis Comm Grad Is Style Blogger and Parade Dresser & Trainer at Disneyland (Interview)


Style Her Everyday (SHE) blogger and Visual Communications Graduate Sheela Quintain 

How did you get into blogging at SHE? I actually started blogging in April of this year and the whole idea behind the start of SHE was to showcase my styling ability. I soon found my love for photography when I launched my first project with my friend Carla for a Coachella shoot. My friends have been a huge help in the projects that I produce for my blog and it's been a great journey so far discovering my love for fashion and styling others. Plus, I get to use my editing skills I learned while I was at FIDM so that's been a huge bonus.

Tell us about your current position at Disneyland. I am a cast member at Disneyland as a dresser and trainer for parades. I am absolutely in love with my job. I started out with the Disney College Program at Walt Disney World, which I actually found through the FIDM Career Center. It was basically a paid internship for six months, which led me to apply at Disneyland after it had ended and I landed a job at the Main Entrance taking tickets in 2013. Then I ended up transferring to where I am now, which is Entertainment Costuming. 

What does your job entail? I work on the new nighttime parade at Disneyland called Paint the Night. It's been a huge blessing and absolute great opportunity to be able to open up a new parade, especially for Disneyland's 60th anniversary. This has always been a dream of mine to be able to work for the Disney company and I just love every aspect of my job. From fittings to rehearsals to the actual parade nights, every day can be the same but different in a way that keeps me on my toes.

Before I became a part of Paint the Night, my first parade home was Mickey's Soundsational Parade at Disneyland and this parade has become a home to me now and this is what made me fall in love with my job the most. Never in a million years did I ever imagine myself dressing my favorite princesses and characters. After a year on the parade I interviewed for a position as a trainer and it just made me want to pass on the knowledge and love that I have for this parade to newcomers. Parades are my home and it's been a great learning environment to be in.

What are your ultimate career goals? Attending FIDM really opened up my eyes to so many more job opportunities out there that I never thought even existed. I went through wanting to be an event planner my first quarter. Then I fell in love with set decorating as the quarters went on. While I was at FIDM I interned for a PR firm in Beverly Hills and I thought I wanted to be in that light. But then I slowly realized I was in love with styling and costumes and being on movie sets. My ultimate career goal has always been to work on movies and TV sets. My absolute dream is to work on the Warner Bros. lot in wardrobe and costume.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? I always speak so highly of FIDM because it was always a dream school for me. FIDM has opened up doors for me and I thank the college for the countless, sleepless nights trying to perfect my projects, preparing me for job interviews and how to be professional in the industry. It's also so amazing to meet fellow FIDM students and alumni at work. I feel right at home because of the support we give one another. I feel so proud and honored to be an alumna. Thank you, FIDM, for bringing out all the creative juices in me. You don't know how much I miss the FIDM life--I wish I could relive every minute of it.



Social Ambassador Selected as the FIDM Class of 2015 Valedictorian

KC Cassily

FIDM Merchandise Product Development Graduate and current Social Alumni Ambassador KC Cassily has been selected as the Valedictorian for the FIDM Class of 2015. Recently profiled in the action sports job site Malakye, KC juggled a full-time position at Roxy's headquarters, as well as her FIDM Social Ambassador membership, all while studying full-time at FIDM. KC now still holds a position at Roxy as a Merchandising & Design Product Analyst.  

How does it feel the be the Class of 2015 Valedictorian?
It's pretty crazy! The biggest thing for me is that it confirms I found the perfect major/career fit in a dream industry. I think that you only excel in a program when you are passionate about every aspect of it, and my major was such a strong fit that I was happy and willing to put in the hours to build the skills I needed. My graduation speech focuses on the inspiration I received daily from my diverse classmates, their interesting backgrounds, and their similarly specific goals. I am glad that I get to thank them for sharing their passion and vibrant dreams. I also hope that we leave the ceremony with extra excitement for the future.

What's a day in your life as a Merchandising & Design Product Analyst for Roxy? 

I am the numbers person on the Merchandising and Design team. I also assist with many aspects of the planning process. We are a small team and help each other as much as possible. My job description entails analyzing sales to see what's trending, and to create reports & tools used by the Merchandisers to plan out the Apparel, Swim, Outdoor Fitness and Accessory lines. I also assist with forecasting styles and ensuring that our sales goals are being met. Outside of my primary responsibilities, I create the production catalogs for the sales team, provide prototype feedback, manage models for sales conferences, and any other projects that come up.

Did you start working full-time at Roxy while being a full-time FIDM Student?  

I started interning during my third quarter at FIDM, and applied for my current position upon completing the internship. With my analytical background and newly acquired understanding of design, my boss seemed to see a strong enough fit. Roxy made a job offer that allowed me to work part-time during my fourth quarter and full time during my fifth quarter. It was truly amazing to find a boss that would be so encouraging and accommodating, let alone at my dream company!  

Looking back, what classes at FIDM were most valuable to you?

Each class truly had a specific purpose for building a skill set. My final project for my Assortment Planning class landed me my current position at Roxy (it was a product line assortment plan). My final portfolio, a snow outerwear collection, has helped me to convey that I have a creative side. The tech packs demonstrate attention to detail, and my Photoshop and Illustrator classes taught me how to communicate my ideas more clearly. For the goals I had coming into the program, the well-rounded curriculum did not disappoint!

How has FIDM helped in preparing you for what you're doing now?

While my main responsibilities rely heavily on my past experiences, most side projects and conversations (i.e., fittings, prototype feedback, trend forecasting) rely heavily on my knowledge acquired at FIDM. I was not successful changing industries on my own, but FIDM gave me the missing skill sets to easily make the transition. FIDM helped me prove that my background can be applied in the action sports industry. Also, my boss knows that I now have a well-rounded skill set, and has come to me with requests I wouldn't have been able to conquer without FIDM. I literally couldn't sew a button on a shirt before attending FIDM, but by the end of the program I won "Best Technical Execution" in my classes. 

Any advice for future & current FIDM Students?

Find what inspires you, and keep that drive alive to power through the long nights & weekends. Also, make sure that you understand the "big picture" relevance of each class. I had an incredibly specific goal coming into FIDM that was driven by passion. The fire to make it happen really got me through the long nights, and kept me focused throughout the challenging program.




The Inspired Eye: The Donald and Joan Damask Design Collection at the FIDM Museum


Last week, the FIDM Museum hosted the opening of "The Inspired Eye: The Donald and Joan Damask Design Collection," which is on view through Saturday, December 19, 2015. The exhibition honors the Damask's generous donation of their broad design collection to the museum and celebrates an inspirational range of artists throughout the 20th century and beyond. 


Donald Damask, Barbara Bundy, Joan Beer Damask, Christina Johnson

The free-to-the-public exhibition features over 100 items including works by Cecil Beaton, fashion designs by Christian Dior and Pierre Balmain, and vintage fashion pieces from Vivienne Westwood and Prada. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 


Photos by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages



Hello Kitty’s First-Ever Supercute Live Tour


By Angelica Villegas

Even after its 40th Anniversary, Hello Kitty fever has not subsided.

Sanrio has introduced their first live North American tour: Hello Kitty’s Supercute Friendship Festival. Partnering with international tour producer VEE Corporation, Sanrio has achieved a unique multi-faceted concert stage show with a convention-like twist. Festival-goers are treated to live music and performances between two stages, along with interactive audience games. Fans of all ages may walk around the venue floor for photos at the Share a Smile booth, create origami bows at the Paper Folding station, get temporarily inked at the tattoo station, and much more.


Aside from interactive activities, one-of-a-kind Sanrio couture dresses created just for the event are also showcased. Unique reimaginings of popular characters in unexpected fabrications create looks that are a hybrid of cute and daringly fabulous. From tulle and satin to feathers and jewels, these dresses are designed to portray each of the characters’ personalities.






















As seen in last Fall’s first-ever Hello Kitty Convention, Sanrio and Hello Kitty has drawn some of the most creative and eclectically-dressed individuals, and this trend continues at the Supercute Friendship Festival. These fashion-forward fans show their love for their feline friend through girly A-line dresses with over-the-top accessories and impactful color. Bright hues and playful pastels are especially trendy—and it isn’t limited to the clothes. Most of the fans don light or multi-colored pastel hair to complete their Japanese street-inspired looks.

Looking forward to seeing all of the extraordinary outfits, games and performances in person? The Hello Kitty Supercute Friendship Festival hits San Diego next. View the entire schedule here



June Apparel Industry Management Graduate Helped Pay For Tuition With the Student Work Program



Apparel Industry Management Student Anastasia Nothwang, who is graduating this month, first heard about FIDM in high school, when she accompanied a cousin for a tour of the San Francisco campus. With dreams of owning a private label lingerie business, Anastasia enrolled at FIDM. "I learned everything I will need to start my business, and FIDM taught me how to come out of my shell, network, and establish relationships in the industry," she says. 

While most of Anastasia's schooling was paid with a Cal Grant A, merit scholarship, and family assistance, she credits the Student Work Program with helping immensely. "I had an income to pay for my needs," she explains. "I was able to work for at the FIDM Cafe. It is conveniently located on campus and is flexible around my class schedule."  



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Transfers to FIDM From Santa Monica College



Name: Ali Barkouras

Age: 18

Hometown: Orange County, CA

Previous College: Santa Monica College

FIDM MajorVisual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: October 2015

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Any questions I had she answered. She gave me a lot of feedback as to the whole project and what I needed but also gave me the freedom to do whatever I envisioned.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I love dogs and am a total beachaholic. I travel all the time and love eating new foods. I love blogging, Pinterest, styling, inspiration boards, collages, covering my walls with magazines, helping people decorate, shopping, hiking, camping, surfing, and kayaking--really anything that has to do with creativity and the outdoors.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Being on the Honor Roll Dean's List every semester in high school, receiving the Spirit Award for the Newport Harbor Tennis Team, and having three jobs by the age of 18. Also, personally styling the President of Mexico, living on my own in Santa Monica, and getting into FIDM.

What made FIDM right for you? Being able to combine my creativity and education meant everything to me. General Ed never really gave opportunity to those who work better learning visually and working with their hands so it's not only an amazing place to thrive it's an amazing place to learn.

Describe your entrance project. My first was a clear envelope, hand made from patterns of circles, squares, and triangles sticking out up against a blue background. Next up was my Swing Into Spring exterior window display that had a 70's hippie feel with boho trends and had the freshness of spring behind it. Last but not least was the denim bar. All kinds of denim and styles in one place with a fun atmosphere that will make any girl want to rock a new pair of her favorite jeans.

What are your career goals? Doing something that involves communicating with objects or people in a visual way: fashion, window displays, decor, set design, etc.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? How to make my ideas happen. How to perform under pressure. How to make miracles with my hands. Really, just how to put my uniqueness into a reality.



Meet Social Ambassador Mehanaokala Pilago


Get to know FIDM Social Ambassador Mehanaokala Pilago, a Merchandise Product Development Student at our San Francisco campus. Follow Mehanaokala on Twitter @FIDM_mehanokala for live updates about her life as a FIDM Student. 

Q&A with Mehanaokala:  

Hometown: Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Describe your style: Bohemian Tropical 

Currently listening to: Milky Way, Tropical House music such as Kygo & Gorgon City, Beyonce, and Rihanna 

Favorite brands: One Teaspoon, Chromat, Minimale Animale, Nasty Gal, Rise of Dawn, and Liberated Heart

An icon who inspires you: Australian blogger and model Mimi Elashiry. She is a unique icon of all ranges of fashion, from mass market to designer. 

Favorite place to eat in SF: Yamadaya in Japantown. I am a major foodie, so I spend almost every Saturday exploring the city finding new coffee shops and restaurants. 

Dream job: I am the owner and designer of swimwear label Khushti Kini's. This is essentially my dream job. 

Best advice for FIDM Students: Stay on task! It is so easy to tell your friends you are available to hang out on weeknights or weekends, but it is essential to not procrastinate on homework and projects at FIDM. 

SF's best kept secret: Sutro Heights. There are secret cave concerts that happen there monthly.

Your FIDM experience in three words: Stressful, Motivational, Successful 

You know you went to FIDM when: You carry your sewing tackle box on the bus and everyone thinks you're going fishing. 

More about Mehanaokala: 

Growing up in the tropics, I have lived in a swimsuit since I could walk. I decided to launch my own Brazilian swimwear label a few years back, and plan to create my own empire to create high quality, unique swimwear that embodies feminism. After traveling through Indonesia to find manufacturers and source factories, I finally began unraveling my dream of being a "girl boss" and an entrepreneur. Currently, Khushti Kini's operates online and in a few boutiques in Hawaii. My dream is to continue growing and expand fully into the wholesale contemporary swimwear market. FIDM has helped me develop my skills in Product Development and achieve my goals, as well as given me an opportunity to expand my knowledge in fashion.

Connect with Mehanaokala:

Twitter: @FIDM_mehanokala

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



Just Accepted International Student Dreamed of Studying Visual Communications at FIDM



Name: Florencia Dabney

Age: 21

Hometown: Cancun, Mexico

Previous College: Irvine Valley College

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: L.A. Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Kathi Gilbert

How did your advisor help with the process? I have been talking to Kathi since 2011 and she was always very helpful. When I moved to Orange County and told her I still wanted to go to FIDM but I was planning on attending community college to save some money, she was very supportive and told me what I could to to maximize those savings and transfer to FIDM as quickly as possible. I certainly wouldn’t have been able to do this without Kathi’s help and interest.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I was a dancer for 14 years, and even though I don’t do it as often, it is still a big part of my life. I love meeting new people of different cultures; I come from an international school, so I have friends from all over the world and I love it. A morning at the beach and evening drinks with friends, with some Netflix, or painting in between will describe my perfect day.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I would say making the decision to move to the U.S., getting an A.A in Fine Arts, and finally getting accepted to my dream school would be it. It was such a big step moving out here and leaving my family and friends back; I have work to hard at FIDM and to know that I finally made it and that I was able to get an Associate Degree in the process is more that I was expecting. And I know this is just the beginning.

What made FIDM right for you? Everything. In my two years of community college, I looked into other options for transferring, and even though I did got excited with some of them it was never FIDM. At the end of the day, I would get back home and I knew in my heart that FIDM was the place I wanted to be. The Visual Communications Program is so well-planned and has absolutely everything that I want. 

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project was inspired in an Urban Outfitters display from 10 years ago. It was my first time at the store and I fell in love. I remember there where chairs and pieces of chairs all over the walls and I loved it. I used that as inspiration to create a minimalistic design for a window and in-store display that also has a DIY feeling to it.

What are your career goals? Ultimately I would love to work as an Art Director for TV, film, and photography. Also, I want to have my own styling business on the side.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I believe FIDM will give me all the tools and opportunities to achieve my goals, accompanied with lifelong relationships.



16 FIDM Graduation Caps That Will Make You Want To Laugh, Smile, and Create

FIDM Grad Cap 2

Whether you're a student at FIDM looking for mortar board inspiration for the 2015 graduation ceremony or a current #FIDM Student just looking to kill time, these 16 creative graduation caps, designed by FIDM Graduates throughout the years, are a must-see.

1) The cap whose owner carried FIDM in their heart...and on their head. 


13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3330


2) The cap that reminded us to paint our future bright! 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3339


3) The caps that were twinning. 


  13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3436


4) The cap that reassured us there were no limits to style and wisdom. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3444


5) The cap filled with faith & hope. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3896


6) The appreciative cap. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3473


7) The metaphoric cap. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3529


8) That cap that made all FIDM Students & Alumni chuckle at first sight. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_4046


9) The ambitious cap. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3672


10) The cap that measured up to our expectations. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_IMG_1787


11) The cap that reminded us to stop and smell the FIDM Graduation roses. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_4310


12) The cap that made us want to grab our ears and head to Disney World. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3859


13) The reflective cap.

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3827


14) Cap's got your tongue? 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3828 


15) The UP-lifting cap. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3843 


  16) The cap whose owner is living the life she truly wanted after FIDM. 

    13036j 2013 Graduation_DSC_3588

Written by: Kayla Coleman 



Allison Beilharz Says Her FIDM Degree Has One Hundred Percent Prepared Her For Her Fashion Career

Allison Beilharz graduated from FIDM in 2011 with her degree in Visual Communications. She's now working as the Brand Coordinator for Rosie Pope Maternity in New York, NY.

Tell us a little about yourself: I grew up in Phoenix, AZ and I went to a private college prep high school. I applied and got into FIDM during my junior year—my teachers thought I was crazy to go to fashion school. I moved out to Los Angeles and started at FIDM one month after high school graduation. One month after I graduated from FIDM, I moved to New York for an internship with Kenneth Cole. Six months later, I moved back to Los Angeles and started doing visuals at Rosie Pope Maternity. Two and half years later, Rosie Pope moved me back to New York to be their Brand Coordinator—and here I am, a year later! 

What do you do at Rose Pope Maternity? Everything. Okay, not everything, but close. To sum up my job, I do everything you see: store windows, store design, interviews with Rosie, Instagram, etc. I have a say in all of that and do most of it. I think one of the benefits of working for a small company is that you can mold your job into anything you want because, in most companies, the need is there. Also, when you shine, you’re actually noticed.  

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM was probably the best decision; it has 100 percent prepared me for my job. Managing all the projects and getting used to spending hours upon hours (all the while, on a deadline) making sure something looks just right, has definitely prepared me. Also, since most of the teachers are/were in the industry, you have to pretend that they are your boss. You can learn what their expectations are and in turn what the expectations of your boss will be. Treat FIDM as practice for a real job. 

How did you find out about FIDM? I found out about FIDM my freshman year of high school. We were researching colleges we wanted to go to (never too early!) and I was at a college fair, looking at different schools in California. I came across FIDM’s brightly colored booth and a rep started asking me questions, “Do you doodle on all your papers? Do you color organize your closet? Do you like fashion?” Yes, yes, yes! That was the moment I knew I had to go to FIDM. 

How did you decide on your major? Shortly after I decided I wanted to go to FIDM (the day after the college fair) I began thinking of majors and because I thought it's all there was, I chose Fashion Design. To prepare for my major (like I said, never too early) I took a sewing class. I quickly realized that wasn’t for me, and I gave up on that idea. I went back online to look at what other majors FIDM offered and saw Visual Communications. When I read the potential job list and descriptions, everything was exactly where I saw myself in the future. Visual Communications was it! 

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Every class was really valuable, honestly. There are three that really stick out though. Drafting was one of my favorite classes. My teacher turned out to be my absolute favorite. Drafting was where I learned to be precise on projects (measure twice, draw once) because she expected nothing but perfection. The other class would be Materials and Props/Window Design—I am lumping them together because you built and honed your skills in both. I learned the most useful, hands on, skills for my current job in that class: faux painting techniques, molding, prop design, prop building (measure twice, cut once). Besides learning those skills, they were fun classes! 

Any advice for current FIDM Students? As cliché as it sounds, get involved. Really. FIDM can be a very solitary place and it is so easy to get sucked into your own world because you are working on project after project, alone. Carving out a part of your day to go to Student Activities, join a club, or just to talk to the other people in the office, really makes a world of difference. The other advice I’d like to give is something my Portfolio teacher told my class. He said, remember that other people don’t think like you. It’s easy to get discouraged at a place like FIDM with so much talent and creativity in one spot; you start to think you aren’t that unique. But you have to remember that out in the “real” world, most people aren’t that creative and need unique minds like yours to be on their team. 

What is your biggest goal right now? Ahhh… this is forever the question. My biggest goal right now is to figure out how to keep growing and which way I want my career to go. 

Anything else you’d like to share? Again, it’s a cliché, but enjoy it! FIDM is a really awesome school and you truly get out of it what you put in. 



Meet Social Ambassador Caroline Estrada


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

Q&A with Caroline:  

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

Describe your style: Casual, comfy, and chic

Currently listening to: My music preference is very versatile. I could be listening to genres from Alternative and Hip Hop, to Pop and Techno Club music. 

Favorite brands: Anthropologie, Forever 21, Uniqlo, and Express 

An icon who inspires you: Michelle Phan inspires me the most. She is not only a successful entrepreneur in cosmetology, but also wants to help women and girls express themselves. 

Favorite place to eat in San Francisco: The Cheesecake Factory in Walnut Creek, Happy Sushi, and Naan n Curry in Concord. I couldn't choose just one. 

Dream job: To be an entrepreneur. I'd like to have a studio for video editing. 

Best advice for FIDM Students: Never give up. You can get lost sometimes if the work gets really intense, or you may lose inspiration. 

San Francisco's best kept secret: You can access four BART stations close to where I live. 

Your FIDM experience in three words: Unique, fun, and unforgettable

You know you went to FIDM when: You try to analyze every window display. 

More about Caroline:

I want to be an artist in all its forms. My major is Visual Communications doing everything I love, from graphic design, photo shoots, installation, and creating spaces. I am 21 years old with two brothers that I adore with all my heart, and they are my inspiration for my projects. I strive for the best as well as keeping a positive attitude in any situation that I encounter, especially homework deadlines. Disney has a huge impact in my life and in projects as well. My family has taken me to Disneyland since I can remember, so I hope to work for their company one day in graphic animation. I enjoy making others smile, especially with being a dancer. It has given me the pleasure of entertaining and showing the craft of dance. I am passionate and analytical in everything I do because I never want to give 40%. I always give my 110% towards my work. My hobbies include cosmetology, reading, photography, and drawing. 

Connect with Caroline: 

Twitter: @FIDM_Caroline

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



Meet Social Ambassador Valeria Ponce-Jiminez


Get to know FIDM Social Ambassador Valeria Ponce-Jiminez, a Visual Communications Student at our San Diego campus. Follow Valeria on Twitter @FIDM_Valeria for live updates about her life as a FIDM Student. 

Q&A with Valeria:  

Hometown: Fallbrook, CA

Describe your style: I'm all over the place when it comes to my style! It really all depends on how I'm feeling any given day. 

Currently listening to: Every Other Freckle by alt-J 

Favorite brands: I'll shop anywhere from thrift stores to Nordstrom, but my all time favorite brand is Steve Madden. I have a slight shoe obsession. 

An icon who inspires you: Shay Mitchell. I just love everything about her.

Favorite place to eat in San Diego: Estrella's Mexican Cantina. It's hands down the best Mexican food I have ever had.

Dream job: There's so much I want to do! I want to dabble here and there, but the goal is to be a creative director for a magazine. 

Best advice for FIDM Students: Don't let fear hold you back from chasing your dreams. 

San Diego's best kept secret: The Water Hole. It's literally an oasis hidden in the mountains.

Your FIDM experience in three words: Best decision ever. 

You know you went to FIDM when: your tote bag isn't even big enough to carry all of your supplies! 

More about Valeria:

I’m sort of the clichéd definition of a small town girl wanting to get out and “make it big,” but I was so afraid to follow my dream. I've always loved fashion, even if I didn’t show it through my horrendous outfits. I knew with all my heart that I wanted to attend FIDM, ever since a representative from the San Diego campus gave a presentation about it in my English class sophomore year, but I still didn’t apply. I decided to go the traditional route with the hopes of making my parents proud of me, their little girl that they've sacrificed so much for since they arrived to this country. I was unhappy. I felt like I was living a lie and I wondered how I expected myself to be successful if I hated what I was doing. I ended up leaving, and since making the decision to attend FIDM, I have yet to look back. I love it when people ask me about my school now because I am so obsessed with it! Every class that I have taken, every activity that I have participated in, and every person that I have met during my journey at FIDM has added so much light, joy, and pure happiness to my life. Now that I’m where I’m supposed to be, there’s nowhere else to go but up. 

Connect with Valeria: 

Twitter: @FIDM_Valeria

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.



Zumiez Private Label Product Development Manager Ciel Kullman-Glover Visits FIDM on Her Way to Asia


FIDM Grad Ciel Kullman-Glover visited her alma mater recently as a guest speaker for 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.

Ciel graduated from FIDM in 2001 with a degree in International Manufacturing & Product Development. She's now the Private Label Product Development Manager at Zumiez and the FIDM Alumni President of the Seattle Chapter. In fact, Ciel was on her way to Asia on a business trip and stopped off in Los Angeles just to speak with the students.

She started off telling the students, "You can tell a graduate of FIDM over others as you are so industry ready. You're all on the right track for sure!"

She gave a little background on herself. She switched majors at different colleges before she came to FIDM. She was shopping at The Bon Marché (an historic department store founded in Seattle in 1890, now defunct) when she came across a Rampage clothing tag with FIDM's name on it. That was her first introduction to FIDM.

She studies Merchandise Marketing at FIDM and was shy about the math, but FIDM "spoke her language." She said she knew it was where she was supposed to be. The work ethic at FIDM translates into the industry. She let the students know, "You will work very hard [in the industry] just like you do here at FIDM. You are passionate about what you do—that's what makes you different from everyone else!"

Kevin Keele was her Career Advisor when she was a student at FIDM. He helped her get a Product Development internship at Adidas, and she said it changed the course of her career. She describes PD as a "happy medium of designing and production."

After graduating from FIDM, she worked at Mr. Rags as a private label designer. Then she moved over to Joe's Jeans (the parent company) and worked in brand development where she wore many hats. She did tech packs, overseas sourcing and costing, and she continued to get promoted. After five years at Joe's, she moved back to Seattle to work for Zumiez.

"It's very challenging and very exciting," she said. At Zumiez, she works with compliance teams, production teams, and designers. "Your people skills become amazing. From everything, you learn—and you take that with you wherever you go." 

Ciel works in private label at Zumiez. She told the students that Zumiez has 12 private label brands. It's a $160 million business. Among other things, Ciel manages tech design teams, product compliance teams, materials development, and the denim wash program. She manages the "A to Z of the product cycle, from concept to consumer."

Toward the end of her talk, Ciel explained to the students the objective of her upcoming business trip to Asia. She advised the students to pay attention in their Textile Science class as it's incredibly important information. She was headed to Asia to work with agents to create a virtual trend direction board—to review their fabric library and trims. 

The students gathered around her at the end of her presentation, asking her questions and exchanging business cards.



Find Out What Affliction Product Developer Hraché Novruzyan Learned at FIDM

15084j PD_Speaker_Hrache Nuvruzyan_DSC_4458

Affliction Apparel Product Developer and FIDM Grad Hraché Novruzyan visited her alma mater yesterday as a guest speaker for 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.

When she first started at FIDM, she said she noticed that many students said they wanted to own their own fashion lines, but as the quarters went on and students learned more and more about the breadth of the fashion industry, they changed their minds. The students found out about other career paths they didn't know about before. "Your goals are going to change," she told the students. 

Ever since she could remember, all she ever wanted to do was to have her own brand as a women's activewear fashion designer—to "become the next Billabong." But, she shifted her focus when she was hired at a small company doing both design and product development for menswear after she graduated from FIDM in 2010. After that, she was hired at Affliction as a Product Developer for menswear. She's been there for two years now and she absolutely loves it.

She advised the students to become friends with everyone including instructors, advisors, and fellow students. "Network as much as possible. And continue networking." It can only help you in your career.

When it comes to internships, she said students should be selective. They need to make sure they're signing up for a "legit" internship. She warned against some companies out there who just want free labor. She said to make certain they have the proper paperwork in order to get credit at FIDM. She herself interned at OBEY in graphic design. "Internships really help. Meet people and network!"

In FIDM's Merchandise Product Development Program, students learn how to do line plans, calendars, costing, sourcing, tech packs, 6 month financial plans, and Illustrator and Photoshop for flat sketching, among other things.

"I have a little library at home that I still refer to all the time. Never throw your FIDM reference materials out." Hraché said she especially uses her textile fabric swatch book.

"As a developer, you guys need to realize that you are the masterminds behind the curtain." Designers can go overboard, creating a garment that would be too expensive to produce. So, developers offer educated alternatives to make the piece less expensive. Choosing different fabrics, trim, or buttons—or suggesting a modified silhouette can cut costs. "You get to be creative."

"I learned from FIDM that criticism is a good thing. When your work gets criticized, allow yourself to cry for ten seconds and then move on. Just don't make the same mistake again," she said. "Don't hold grudges."

Her last bit of advice? "Take any job that's a foot in the door. You'll be surprised at what you'll learn and the experiences you will have." She now travels regularly to China, Korea, and Japan for work. "Being a Product Developer is one of the coolest jobs out there."

15084j PD_Speaker_Hrache Nuvruzyan_DSC_4481



Meet Social Ambassador Kyle Dallape


Get to know FIDM Social Ambassador Kyle Dallape, a Visual Communications Student at our Orange County campus. Follow Kyle on Twitter @FIDM_Kyle for live updates about his life as a FIDM Student. 

Q&A with Kyle:  

Hometown: Laguna Niguel, CA  

Describe your style: California casual with a grunge-like edge. I try to keep my color palette limited to black, white, denim, and soft pastels. 

Currently listening to: My "PCH" playlist, which is mostly made up of Fleetwood Mac, Lana Del Rey, Marina and the Diamonds, and ABBA. 

Favorite brands:  Moschino, Marc Jacobs, Acne Studios, Zara, and Topshop.

An icon who inspires you: Victoria Beckham is my biggest inspiration. When I watched Spice World for the first time as a small child, Posh inspired me to be completely myself and not to hold anything back when it comes to personal style. 

Favorite place to eat in OC: Taco Bell for sure.

Dream job: I would absolutely love to be a personal stylist to Lana Del Rey, or run social media for a company like UNIF or Nasty Gal. 

Best advice for FIDM Students: Be nice to each other! 

OC's best kept secret: Our beaches! I live right next to Laguna Beach and there are so many tiny, beautiful cove beaches that aren't overpopulated with tourists, and that are perfect for just kicking back & relaxing with a few friends. 

Your FIDM experience in three words: Absolutely, beautifully insane.

You know you went to FIDM when: You buy Vogue instead of dinner, because you feel it feeds you more (Disclaimer: This is a Sex and the City quote, but it's just SO applicable). 

More about Kyle:

Kyle is a California native, and has lived in Orange County his entire life. Although he currently attends FIDM's OC campus and plans on pursuing a career in social media, he previously attended Concordia University in Irvine as a theatre major, before realizing his true passions lie in fashion. He is excited to move to Los Angeles in the summer and to continue his education at FIDM LA in the fall. Kyle loves dogs, Lana Del Rey, and Taco Bell, and he dreams of one day being honored with the privilege of petting Choupette Lagerfeld, Karl's beloved cat.

Connect with Kyle: 

Twitter: @FIDM_Kyle

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.



Links We Love: The CFDA Awards, Summery City Events & More


Behind the glamour of this year’s Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Award Winners are touches of genius, a mountain of innovation and an infinite display of hard work. Fashion’s finest walked the red carpet, with model or celebrity plus-ones in toe, to the Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center ceremony on Monday June, 1st.

Of the 11 prestigious categories, power twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s brand The Row took the gold for Womenswear followed by Rosie Assoulin who won the Swarovski Award for Womenswear.  Tom Ford championed the Menswear award and Shayne Oliver for Hood by Air received the Swarovski Award for Menswear. Valentino creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli took home the International Award.

The seven years since the team took the reins after Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti, stepped down from their label, the brand transformed its luxury philosophy into a more feminist and down-to-earth approach seen most in their free-flowing hippie inspired designs. Chiuri and Piccioli brought Valentino into the current era with grace and with humor; how could we not honor the label that organized Ben Stiller’s and Owen Wilson’s Paris Fashion Week walk-off to announce the Zoolander sequel?


Original rock’n’roll design goddess Betsey Johnson was honored with the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievement Award. The 72-year-old designer is as youthful as ever and did the splits on stage as she accepted her award.

Pharrell Williams, the skater-boy/hip-hop artist who gifted the world many mad-hatter style moments, won the Fashion Icon Award. “I’m not a style icon. I’m just inspired. I am other, and I am O.K. with that,” said Mr. Williams in his acceptance speech.

Though a few of the awards were repeats (both The Row and Tom Ford won awards last year in different categories) there was plenty of room for surprises. 


The West-Kardashians both presented and as always, the couple couldn't help but steal the spotlight. Upon congratulating Williams with his award, Kanye West gave one of his signature rants much to the delight and confusion of the audience. Despite adding to his long list of incomprehensible quotes that currently circulate the web, West was clear about his admiration for Williams: “Fashion had to be the hardest high school I ever went to, but at least I had a big brother,” he said.

West’s wife, the newly pregnant Kim blew everyone away in a custom Proenza Schouler sheer, eyeleted dress with feathered epaulettes. Jack McCollough, one of designers of the duo label, admitted that Kim’s red carpet look was an unprecedented move since his label’s avant guard designs usually cloak more alternative stars like Grimes. It was entirely perfect for selfie-queen Kardashian to present the Media Award to Instagram founder Kevin Systrom. 

Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner, formerly know as the Olympic medalist Bruce Jenner (Kim Kardashian’s step-father) revealed her much anticipated transition as a woman on the cover of the newly released Vanity Fair. Ms. Jenner wowed supporters and members of the LGBTQ community across the world with her gorgeous portraits, captured by Annie Leibovitz.

In the photos, Jenner looks like a pin-up bombshell, appearing on the cover in a creamy, old-Hollywood inspired corset and another in a red-hot Donna Karan jersey dress seated in an equally fiery Porsche. Her Twitter page gained one million followers within its first four hours, outdoing President Barack Obama for the record. The attention for Caitlyn’s transformation comes at a crucial time in lieu of several recent murders of trans women in the U.S as well as an increased visibility of trans people in fashion and the media.

Tavi at Vulture Fest

Last weekend, at the pop-cultural bonanza known as Vulture Fest, Tavi Gevinson, 19-year-old editor of Rookie magazine, spoke to New York Magazine about the love for fashion that sparked her explosive success. Gevinson recalled her earlier days as a burgeoning 12-year-old fashion blogger, a time when she could recite her favorite designer collections back to the '80s. The writer and recent Broadway actress also addressed negative comments Scott Schuman, founder of The Sartorialist, made about her young age. “Why would a middle-aged man's opinion on fashion be more relevant than a teenage girl’s….fashion does not start at a certain age.” We think our students and Fashion Club members would certainly agree!

Samantha Elauf

On June 2, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Muslim woman Samantha Elauf, who sued Abercrombie and Fitch after the company denied her a job on the basis that her headscarf violated their look policy. Elauf, a Palestinian-American, initially filed the law suit with representation from Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) when she was 17 years old and living in Oklahoma. Elauf was told her hijab didn't fit with was the brand’s preppy college student aesthetic. Abercrombie will have to deal with the notoriety of job discrimination for years to come. That Islamophobic rejection never shut down her fashionable dreams; Elauf is now a merchandiser for Urban Outfitters and a fantastically hip blogger.

Glossier Pop-up

I know you can feel it! All the summery events coming your way, I mean! Au naturale skincare company Glossier will host a pop-up at  Nasty Gal Santa Monica from June 5-7.  All the beauty brand’s goods are created based on recommendations from makeup artists, models and everyday women. The results are simply packaged products with a lot of punch. Plus, face masks do make for amazing selfies. 

Contemporary craft fair

This weekend, the Contemporary Crafts Market is going down in Pasadena! Don’t miss this chance to peruse one-of-a kind artwork, jewelry, decorations, textiles, furniture, and home goods, June 5-7 on Friday, Saturday from 10-6, and Sunday from 10-5 at the Pasadena Convention Center. Admission is free with a printed postcard

Make Music Pasadena

After you get your craft on, head over to downtown Pasadena for Make Music Pasadena, a free, all-ages music festival! From 11am- 11pm, you can catch 150 performers on five main stages and 30 additional venues that span 20 blocks through the city. Talent includes Nick Waterhouse, Sir Sly and Lydia Ainsworth. You worked your tail off and now it’s time to shake it!



Meet Social Ambassador Lauren Hartman


Get to know FIDM Social Ambassador Lauren Hartman, a Visual Communications Student at our Orange County campus. Follow Lauren on Twitter @FIDM_Lo for live updates about her life as a FIDM Student. 

Q&A with Lauren:  

Hometown: Mission Viejo, CA  

Describe your style: Versatile. I base my outfits off of two things: what planned activities I have that day and what mood I'm currently in.

Currently listening to: My guilty pleasure (not really guilty at all) will forever and always be One Direction—I have a thing for boy bands.

Favorite brands: I am very fond of Kate Spade. I worked there for a bit and absolutely fell in love with everything about the company. I love how classy, vibrant, quirky and chic every collection is. A few of my other favorite brands are Sephora, Topshop, and Forever 21. 

An icon who inspires you: Julie Sarinana (a.k.a. Sincerely Jules).  She's a fashion blogger and FIDM Alumna that I discovered on Instagram. I love how she is able to inspire me and so many others just through posting pictures of her life. 

Favorite place to eat in OC: Urban Plates in Irvine, CA. They have the best grilled salmon and brussel sprouts around! 

Dream job: I dream of working in the entertainment industry. I would love to be a celebrity stylist or work on the set of a television show as a set designer/stylist. 

Best advice for FIDM Students: It's so important to get involved while attending FIDM. Take advantage of the many amazing connections & opportunities the school has, and constantly check the FIDM Career Network

OC's best kept secret: Black Star Canyon. Many people haven't heard of it if they're not from the area, but most people around here know the scary stories that come with Black Star.

Your FIDM experience in three words: Fabulous, rewarding, inspiring

You know you went to FIDM when: Your bedroom becomes a full blown craft supply store by the time you graduate.

More about Lauren:

Hi! My name is Lauren Hartman and I’m currently an 18 year old Visual Communications student at FIDM OC. I was born and raised in Orange County and I can’t wait to see where my journey at FIDM takes me! I played competitive softball my whole life up until I was 16. When I realized I didn’t want to become a collegiate athlete, I wanted to pursue my dream of attending a school for what I love, a very creative world filled with fashionable human beings. Choosing FIDM was definitely the best decision I could have ever made. My dream is to end up somewhere in the entertainment industry, whether it be a celebrity stylist or a TV set designer. I am so interested in the whole “LA/Hollywood lifestyle.” I love spending time in Los Angeles and going to some of the hottest hang out spots & restaurants. I’ve run into some pretty cool people, one of the coolest being fashion guru Rachel Zoe! My friends and I always find it fun to see who we can run into. As I tell you about myself, I thought, what better way to get to know me than for me to just list a few of my favorite things in life…so here I go! I absolutely love breakfast food and think it should be served all day, every day. There’s nothing better than a nice brunch by the ocean. I think flowers are the most beautiful thing, and I’d love to have my house decorated with just hundreds of vases of flowers. Every day that includes a bright and bold lipstick is a great day, and last but not least, I have a secret obsession with One Direction, but it’s not a secret at all, everyone and their mother knows it. Thanks for reading a little bit about me!

Connect with Lauren: 

Twitter: @FIDM_Lo

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.



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student is a High School Junior Who Speaks Hebrew and Chinese



Name: Dani Gross

Age: 16

Hometown: Beverly Hills, CA

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Fall 2016, Los Angeles

Admissions Advisor: Kathi Gilbert

How did your advisor help with the process? Kathi was amazing. We met last summer and she encouraged me to apply as a junior. She was incredibly positive about my background and the opportunities that FIDM could provide to me. We completed the admissions process over my spring break. I’m set for an amazing senior year with my college plans in place. 

Tell us a bit about yourself. I have played soccer since elementary school and have served as the captain of our school team in addition to playing AYSO. One of my most exciting moments was to play on the Los Angeles team in the Maccabi Games, which are the Jewish Olympics. I take an active role in our school's FIDM Fashion Club and will serve as the President of the Club for the year ahead. With all the major stores close by, we are looking forward to a wonderful year in the Club and an amazing fashion show on our campus.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I am one of approximately 100,000 girls adopted from China and a very small percentage of girls that attend Jewish Day School. I speak English, Hebrew, and Chinese. I am proud of my unique heritage and am involved in projects and charities that work to strengthen Israel.

What made FIDM right for you? I was searching for a program that would provide me strong marketing and merchandising skills. FIDM offered me that unique mix of business creativity tied to fashion and retail.

Describe your entrance project. I utilized my home town and created a fictitious, but fabulous store in Beverly Hills called Daniland, which was a boutique and candy store. I also took great outfits and set them on the backdrop of Los Angeles including the beach and Rodeo Drive.

What are your career goals? My family owns a small retail chain of pharmacies and office building gift shops in Beverly Hills, Century City, and Irvine. I have worked at Mickey Fine and hope to take the knowledge I gain to help drive the growth and expansion of our family business. In addition, I continually work to import products from Israel and have made it a priority to build business ties between the US, Israel, and China.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I am excited to learn the fundamentals of business, merchandising, and marketing. I also love fashion. Who knows, Mickey Fine could even expand into the fashion business with new stores.



Fashion Incubator SF Hosts Blog Branding Event

Sartori copy

"Using Blogs to Build Your Brand," is the topic for next Wednesday's event hosted by Fashion Incubator S.F. Speakers include fashion bloggers from j'adore couture, Stylenik, and A Pile of Chic and moderator Tony Bravo of S.F. Chronicle Style section. Admission to the downtown event is $10 for students. Learn more.

photo credit: The Sartorialist



Meet Social Ambassador Whitney Sutherland


Get to know FIDM Social Ambassador Whitney Sutherland, a Merchandise Marketing Student at our Orange County campus. Follow Whitney on Twitter @FIDM_Whitney for live updates about her life as a FIDM Student. 

Q&A with Whitney:  

Hometown: Knightdale, North Carolina 

Describe your style: My style changes when my mood does. Some days I am feeling preppy, hipster, or lazy! It all depends on what I am feeling. I definitely cannot put it into one category.

Currently listening to: I am obsessed with Coldplay. I also love Lorde, George Ezra, and Arctic Monkeys. 

Favorite brands: Zara, Kate Spade, Target, Forever 21, and Topshop

An icon who inspires you: Emma Watson is a huge inspiration. Not only is she unbelievably stylish, but she also stands for equal rights for women. Her #HeforShe campaign & speech were completely incredible. 

Favorite place to eat in OC: I am vegan, so I am obsessed with any kind of vegan restaurant. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE acai bowls, smoothies, and juices. 

Dream job: I really want to make an impact on the world. I don't want to be stuck in an office, and I want to gain a following on social media in order to inspire others to be confident & love themselves. I also want to travel the world & blog about my experiences. 

Best advice for FIDM Students: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPPORTUNITIES FIDM PROVIDES YOU WITH. The FIDM Career Center opens up so many incredible experiences. Students have to utilize this resource. Also, don't stress too much. Everything that you're doing now is part of the bigger picture.

OC's best kept secret: Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is the absolute best place to hike. The view of the mountains and the ocean will take your breath away. 

Your FIDM experience in three words: Creative, Unique, Event-filled

You know you went to FIDM when: Your teacher puts your handbag on a chair because "it's too expensive and pretty to be on the floor."

More about Whitney:

Whitney was born and raised in a little town outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. At the age of 18, she moved to California to attend FIDM Orange County as a Merchandise Marketing major. Whitney has previously worked for Kate Spade New York, and hopes to one day work in entertainment marketing. 
Whitney is very passionate about her health and well-being. She has suffered with body image issues in the past, and wants to help other girls who have been through it as well. She hopes to grow her YouTube channel by promoting a positive body image, as well as posting fun videos about fashion/beauty, pop culture, and of course, FIDM.

Connect with Whitney: 

Twitter: @FIDM_Whitney


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



Meet Social Ambassador Fanny Ramirez


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

Q&A with Fanny:  

Hometown: Vista, CA 

Describe your style: My style is greatly influenced by mood and music tastes. However, I do have more of a tomboy style, with a hint of girly, and a dash of laid back rocker/bohemian. It's honestly everywhere. 

Currently listening to: Robert DeLong, The Smiths, alt-J, Bad Suns, Arctic Monkeys, Nirvana, Beyonce, Iron Maiden, Childish Gambino, Sia, The Doors, The Beatles, and Bon Iver.

Favorite brands: Kate Spade, Obey, Vans, Vera Wang, Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, and Adidas.

An icon who inspires you: Emma Watson. 

Favorite place to eat in San Diego: The Yellow Deli. It's such a cute little place, and their waffles are amazing! 

Dream job: To be a set designer for Wes Anderson Films. 

Best advice for FIDM Students: Don't let pressure or stress get the best of you.

San Diego's best kept secret: We're all beach bums here that love and live by the sea. 

Your FIDM experience in three words: Stressful, Rewarding, Indescribable.

You know you went to FIDM when: "The struggle is real" is an applicable phrase to any & every conversation walking through campus. 

More about Fanny:

Hello, hello! My name is Fanny Ramirez. I’m a Visual Communications major at the lovely FIDM San Diego campus. Right off the bat I’d like to declare my love for everything film and Dave Franco related. The reason why I say this is because 1) I almost went to school for film, and 2) That Dave Franco smile could solve world hunger, sweet Neptune. I am not the average FIDM Student that has been longing to eat, sleep and breathe fashion, solely because I am an individual focused more on a spiritual relationship with myself. At the same time, who wouldn’t love a Carrie Bradshaw closet filled with designer labels? I feel that I’m a very positive person and I like to laugh a lot (it gives me a killer ab workout). I came to FIDM because I wasn't happy at the university I attended beforehand, and knew that I wasn’t doing something I loved, nor was it challenging me in any way. I’ve always been a creative person and I realized that my love for art didn't have to be a hobby. I essentially had to make a big decision (which I’m sure most people do sometime in their lives), and drop my idea of a stable career. I’ve never been happier than I am right now as a student at FIDM. 

Connect with Fanny: 

Twitter: @FIDM_Fanny

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



Industrywatch: Nike Ranked Most Valuable Global Apparel Brand


Nike has been named the most valuable apparel brand in the world by advertising company Millward Brown in its 10th annual BranddZ rankings. Other top 10 apparel brands include Zara, H&M, Ralph Lauren, and Hugo Boss. According to industry watchers, Nike's top position—the first for an athletic company—is all about the importance of athleisure wear to today's bottom line.



Just Accepted International Student is Excited to Attend His Dream School This Summer



Name: Rodrigo Navarrete

Age: 27

Hometown: San Miguel, El Salvador

Previous College: Escuela de Comunicación Mónica Herrera (Santa Tecla, El Salvador)

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

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

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? Since the beginning, Shirley helped with everything. I am very thankful to her because without her ongoing assistance, my dream of entering to FIDM wouldn’t have been possible. She showed me the OC campus, and I attended the free sketch class that FIDM offers on Saturdays.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I enjoy dancing for long hours; there is nothing like connecting my body with the beat of the music. I like meeting people from different backgrounds and love learning about new cultures as everyone has a different story that can be inspiring. I’m always smiling and like being surrounded by happy people. Right after high school, I moved to Canada for one year to learn English and love being independent. My biggest inspiration are my parents as I wouldn’t be where I am without their support, but I also wouldn’t be here without my uncle and aunt who have adopted me as a son.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Getting accepted to FIDM, my dream school. Prior to moving to the U.S., I finished an undergraduate degree in Communications integrated to Marketing in El Salvador, which made me feel accomplished and rewarded as I know that having this degree will help me down the road as I continue paving the road of my dreams.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM offers everything I need for my career in fashion design. From the curriculum to the best professors and the experiences I will carry with me for the rest of my life, there isn’t any other institution that could offer me a well-round program. I am very excited about the classes, the projects, the people I’ll be meeting, and mentors whose experience will be of great value for my career.

Describe your entrance project. For my project I had to do six sketches and one inspiration board. The inspiration board came to life from my visit to San Francisco as I find the architecture of certain buildings in the city very inspirational for their clean lines and minimalistic aesthetics. The colors that I chose were based on paintings from two Salvadoran local artists. I enjoyed doing this project as I had the opportunity to mix contrasting worlds, and different locations, into one idea.

What are your career goals? Ultimately, I’d like to be staging my own runway shows to showcase my collections for the contemporary woman. I also want to mentor aspiring designers as a way to give back and share my knowledge with newer generations.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to challenge and push myself outside my comfort zone in order to achieve the best results. I know that FIDM has the tools to get me to the next level and I am confident this experience will be enriching and I can’t wait to see the final outcome of this new endeavor.



Links We Love: The LVMH Awards, Macy's Downtown Renovation & More

Marques’Almeida LVMH Awards 2015

Writers have the Pulitzer, actors have the Oscars, and since 2014, new designers have had the LVMH awards. The Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy luxury conglomerate began its foundation in 2013 and awarded its first Young Fashion Designer Prize the following year. And on Tuesday, May 22, after a vote by a star-studded jury that included Marc Jacobs and Karl Lagerfeld, it was Portuguese designer duo Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida who won the €300,000 first prize.  The prestigious award is not just about monetary support; the team also received a year-long mentorship from LVMH members. Delphine Arnault, Executive Vice President of Louis Vuitton, congratulated the London-based team on their energetic and colorful fashion house where denim is at the forefront of expression. Marta Marques expressed excitement to I.D magazine about the brand’s new international recognition and said the prize will allow the fashion house to expand and find its true voice. Marques’Almeida were followed in second by Simon Porte Jacquemus, known recently for his surrealist Fall’15 collection, who won the Special Prize of €150, 000.

Emily Blunt at Cannes

If the shoe fits, wear it. But maybe not at the Cannes Film Festival.  The French festival  is considered by many to be the most prestigious film awards event in the world,  and the invite-only guests are expected to dress the part. But when a few attendees,  including actress Emily Blunt, were turned away from a red carpet screening because of their heel-less footwear, a controversy sparked over fashion and feminism.  

"Everyone should wear flats, to be honest. We shouldn’t wear high heels,” Blunt stated when asked about her experience at a press conference for her new police thriller film, Sicario. “That’s very disappointing, just when you kind of think there are these new waves of equality.” Cannes director Thierry Frémaux, responded on Twitter that heels are not a mandated part of the formal dress-code. But, the de facto lady-like rule proved to be ableist,  as a few of the flat wearers had medical conditions, one of which was a partially amputated foot.  Perhaps just as the art of film redefines itself to represent the concerns of the current age, the art of glamour must too.

Hanneli Mustaparta

Going casual is not only for comfort sake. Creativity can take the lead when we allow ourselves to let loose. That kind of self confidence has a lot to do with a few new trends these days. Bulky Teva- styled sandals are the reigning summer footwear.  So it makes sense that sandals with socks are the perfect fashion faux pas companion to this ‘ugly’ trend.  The always unique Chloe Sevigny along with former model/ photographer/stylist  Hanneli Mustaparta, have been recently caught wearing socks with sandals, and in Mustaparta’s case, it looked like she was having a lot of fun doing it. The 70’s revival is in full swing and pants have gotten airy, colorful and bold. For those who cling steadfast to their dark skinny jeans, know it takes guts to sport gigantic fashion JNCOs  but the fashion payoff is fabulous. The upscale version of the huge, flowy flared pants were made famous by Delpozo and are predicted to appear on red carpets next year. Even the 90’s skater brand JNCO that originally created the cartoonish  silhouette is set for a rebound collection. Other recent rule-breakers like Kayne’s man skirt and awkwardly, above-the-ankle cropped pants craze provide a lesson: confidence= bold moves = what keeps fashion moving forward.

Pulse on Onyx Creative

The current choices for e-commerce are endless but L.A native Angela Afifi still felt something was missing.  In contrast to NastyGal’s big brands and of the moment trends, Afifi created her new company Onyx Creative as a platform for handmade and artisanal designers, whose unique work goes typically unseen outside of their boutiques.The site prides itself on offering mostly organic quality clothing, beauty products and home goods made outside factory doors. While the site has an overall minimalist aesthetic, its features a world-wide diversity of artists and designers. Touting Aztec leather shoulder bags, geometric jewelry, men’s hipster button-ups and all natural face masks, Onyx Creative may just be the new bohemian ‘place’ to be.

Mercedesbenz NY_fashion_week

You won’t be hearing “Mercedes Benz” before “New York fashion week” any longer. The auto-empire sponsor that had supported the event since 2009, has pulled out and left NYFW  in search of a new partnership. Although no replacement has stepped in yet (after rumors of interest from Cadillac) this transitionary time for NYFW may prove to be a positive change. After a lawsuit won by parks activists, February marked the last time NYFW  would be allowed to use Lincoln Center as its runway location.  Its many years on the Upper West Side may lead NYFW organizers to find a new downtown home. No matter where NYFW ends up , the fashion world will surely follow.

Macys Plaza

The new hole in the downtown L.A. Macy’s plaza roof is no accident. Renovation of the 7th-Flower St. mall (known as the Bloc) into an open-air shopping plaza began on Tuesday, May 23, and is set for completion in November. The new building plan is intrinsic to the strong wave of gentrification and uptick of city planning downtown has seen over the past few years. How this new influx of consumers experience their  everyday surroundings is of great importance to builders and mixed-use developments are what’s hot .

"We no longer want to see fortress-like buildings,” City Councilman Jose Huizar told the L.A. Times on Tuesday.  In place of the concrete and brick walls that lined the old plaza will come new shops and restaurants including food-truck born  American concept  TLT Food , frozen desert makers Popbar and a nine-screen Alamo Drafthouse Cinema that serves beer and food to accompany their new and indie films.  Among the makeovers of the plaza’s Sheraton Hotel and office building, Macy’s will not disappear but evolve into a flagship location. A new underground walkway will link the 7th St/ Metro Center Station to the plaza and is the first of its kind to lead into a private development.

Arts Deli

In light of what’s new in town, let us not forget to pay homage to the old. As young and expansive as our city is, L.A has an incredible history worthy of protection. On Monday, June 1 at 7:30-9:30 pm, join KCRW and Zócalo Public Square at the plaza in Olvera Street for talk “Is L.A’s Past Worth Saving?”  The free discussion is in part a celebration launch of HistoricPlacesLA, a new online preservation initiative that maps L.A’s most important cultural treasures. KCET arts and culture columnist Lynell George along with four other speakers will re-ignite your passion for the city. Because despite the traffic and smog, come on, we love L.A.



Footwear Designer and FIDM Grad Lindsay Fontenot Travels to China for 3Dee International Two Weeks Into the Job

Lindsay Fontenot

Lindsay Fontenot graduated in March with her Professional Designation Degree in Merchandise Product Development. Just two weeks into her new job as an Assistant Footwear Designer/Product Developer at 3Dee International, a footwear agency in Long Beach, she went on a business trip to China to plan upcoming seasons for clients, develop new styles, and tour footwear factories. She even got to see one of her designs being made right in front of her.

Tell us about your recent trip to China: I started work a month after I graduated from FIDM. I work at a footwear agency in Long Beach called 3Dee International. I help create and develop new styles depending on our customer needs. I work closely with our office in China to develop and correct these styes in the most efficient way possible.I was working at 3Dee International for about two weeks when they sent me to China. I was there for two weeks where I had meetings with different clients where we planned their upcoming seasons, developed new styles and corrected prototypes hand in hand. 

I also had the opportunity to tour one of our footwear factories, which was a really cool experience. You never realize how many people touch a shoe while it’s being made. I was also able to work closely with our sample room, learning how each individual shoe is made and to point out if any problems arise and quickly solving them.

One of my favorite days was the day I went to the open-air market, where you literally find everything you would need in the apparel/footwear industry.

Overall, it was a great learning experience and I am so appreciative to my company for sending me. I took classes both at FIDM and LSU about China and doing production overseas, but you never realize how different it is until going over there and seeing first hand how the business works. It was such a great trip. 

Tell us a little about yourself: I am from Louisiana. I graduated in 2014 from LSU. My major was Fashion Merchandising and I have a minor in Business Administration. I moved out here in July to go to FIDM. I am a huge history nerd so I get my inspiration from museums, old movies, and thrift shops. I love the idea of updating existing classic styles into modern fun ways. I also love painting, hiking, and hanging out with my dog, Molly.  

How did you get into footwear design? I always wanted to be a buyer until I took a costume history class at LSU and fell in love with footwear design. So, I decided to attend FIDM after I graduated to learn more about the product development process.

Describe a recent design of yours: One of the cool things about going to China was that I actually got to see one of my designs being made right in front me and was intricately involved in the sample process. I created a wedge mule for one of our customers with fun uses of prints and colors. Mules are very on trend right now and I think the customer really appreciated it. 

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? I feel very indebted to FIDM for all that I do now. FIDM and all my professors encouraged me to be creative and go against the norm. I learned so much about the industry, the technology, the terminology and so many things that I will continuously use throughout my career. I loved my time at FIDM and would recommend it to anyone looking to passionately follow their dreams. 

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? I would have to say that my Photoshop, CAD, Line Development and Brand Portfolio classes were the ones that got me to where I am right now. At least in the footwear industry, those are the skills that I use everyday. I am constantly asked to sketch a new concept up, look out for the latest trend or even photoshop a different color onto a shoe. These are skills that will only get better with time, but FIDM gave me the basic foundation that I needed for my career. 

Any advice for current FIDM Students? I would tell any FIDM student to learn as much as you can, be creative as you can and try to improve yourself as much as you can before entering the workforce. It’s in those times that you find who you really are and what you’re really passionate about. And on a side note, I would say get close to all of your teachers. They are the best resources and are so knowledgable and helpful. I can honestly say they really do want to see you succeed and will help you in any way they can. In fact, my brand portfolio teacher is the one who helped me out with getting this job. 

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal right now is to learn as much as I can in the footwear industry. I hope to be promoted from Assistant Footwear Designer to Footwear Designer soon. For now, I am trying to learn as much as possible with my new job. Every day is a new adventure and it leaves so many opportunities for the future!

Anything else you’d like to share? I would also like to tell fellow FIDM students to enjoy their time there. Graduation comes too soon and you’ll actually miss going to that beautiful building everyday and being the most creative you can be! 



10 Awesome Action Sports Jobs Held by FIDM Grads


From surf and skate to snow and streetwear, FIDM Graduates are working in all aspects of the ever-growing action sports industry. Keep up with the latest here

Gregg Garcia is the Sr. Talent Acquisitions Manager at ASICS America. 

Lindsay Keller is a Buyer and Merchandiser at RVCA

Alan Liu is the Founder and Creative Director of Westcomb Outerwear.

Alicia Sanibanez is Design & Product Manager at Billabong

Robert Wright is the CEO of LRG

Kelly Knaggs is a Design Assistant at Pac Sun. 

Daniel Kasidi Nyaggah is the Founder of Rastaclat

JT Akers is the former Senior Product Manager for Basketball at Adidas, now working as a Private Consultant in Hong Kong.  

LauraJean Corideo is a Technical Designer/Production Coordinator for DQM

Brian McDonell is Co-Founder and President of Melin



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.

twitter facebook tumblr youtube feed