Seven For All Mankind Designer & FIDM Grad Tells Us the Secret to the Amazing Fit of Seven Jeans

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Seven For All Mankind Fashion Designer and FIDM Grad Kristin Vander Ark recently visited the students in the Premiere Merchandise Product Development Group in Los Angeles for a group discussion about her career success and experience at FIDM.

Kristin graduated from FIDM in 2007, studying mostly on the San Francisco campus and finishing her final semester in Los Angeles. As a student, she interned at Paper magazine. Then, as a result of an introduction from FIDM Instructor Estel Hahn, Kristin was hired at Koos Manufacturing, a company that does vertical integration of denim—wash house, dye house, production, sewing. She was an Assistant Designer responsible for sketching and doing tech packs. She said she learned all of the aspects of the company and it was a "great experience."

After working at Koos for four years, she was hired at Seven For All Mankind, starting as an Assistant Designer. She was soon promoted to Associate Designer, then Designer. She designs a wide variety of product, from denim bottoms to dresses, skirts, and bags. She said one of her favorite parts of the job is developing fabrics and washes.

When asked, "Where do you get your ideas for silhouettes?" Kristin replied, "The runway, looking at blogs, Pinterest..." Twice a year, she travels to Europe for research, attending the Premiere Vision show in Paris and the Denim Premiere Vision in Barcelona.

The students had an opportunity to ask Kristin all kinds of questions about her career and she left them with one final thought, "The good thing about your major [Merchandise Product Development] is that you can go into so many different directions. It just depends on what you want to do."

There was one last question, though. "What's the secret about the amazing fit of Seven jeans?!" Kristin simply replied, "Two hours of fittings every single day. We're very detail-oriented in our fittings."



Industrywatch: WWD Goes Weekly

Wwd cover

Women's Wear Daily, the venerable 105 year-old industry trade fashion publication, is becoming a weekly by the end of April. What does that mean for fashion's news junkies? Subscribers will receive a weekly print edition with global fashion and retail news, juicy features, photography, and "spirited coverage" of the industry. Focus on breaking news and deeper editorial content will switch to the beefed up website WWD.COM. Subscribers will receive a curated digital daily; more global news offices in places like Brazil and China will feed the beast. Access to WWD is available to students and faculty through the FIDM Library.



Links We Love: The Future of Athleisure, Coachella Style & More

Nikexsacai dance

These days, it seems like every other celebrity is in warrior one pose on a mountain top in their own brand of skin-revealing athleisure wear. Last year, health goth was a thing, and Diesel just rolled out its Jogg Jeans ad campaign. That’s right anti- Lululemon crowd, jeans you can jog in. Ready, set, go; the reinvention of athletic wear is in full sprint. 

Even sportswear empire Nike is feeling the heat. In London last week, the iconic brand launched its groundbreaking collaboration with Japanese designer Chitose Abe of sacai. This is no special sneaker gimmick.  As master of custom fabric and code-breaking design, Abe, formerly of Junya Wantanbe and Comme des Garçons, has successfully brought Nike and  maybe sportswear as a whole, to a new threshold of elegance.  This is what happens when Nike classics are transformed through Abe’s playful Tokyo sensibility : the Windrunner jacket becomes a gem-toned, flowy pleated skirt and the AirMax 90 sneaker is liberated from laces and ascends to a sleek two-toned slip on.  Abe’s master hacking of traditional silhouettes has all together produced a strikingly ultra-modern line. Matching in innovation was the new line’s Cirque du Soleil-worthy presentation. Choreographed by FKA twigs associate Ryan Heffington, the dancers whooshed around a laser-lit stage with acrobatic skill in a passionate demonstration of fashion and sport. 

Tokyo Fashion Week Mexican pointy shoes

Fashion can be a cultural bridge and last week at Tokyo Fashion week, Japan met Mexico in an an unexpected and fantastic way.  Mexican pointy boots, with elongated tips of cowboy boots, have now jumped borders and were spotted via a street style fashionista. The Dr. Suessian-proportioned  trend is thought to be birthed in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí and spread across the country through local competitions and its dance affiliation with tribal-electro club music. To see these majestic home-made creations yourself, check out Vice’s amazing mini-documentary.  


Can you feel the vibes? It’s festival season and retailers everywhere are cashing in on Boho-perfected looks just in time for Coachella. For years, fashion companies have used the festival as a branding opportunity and this year is no different. Pandora Jewelry will host four private runway shows at the Parker Palm Resort that feature Siwy Denim, Plenty by Tracy Reese, Nanette Lepore and Whit throughout the first weekend of the fest. It is rumored that famous celebrity stylist and designer Rachel Zoe will host her own high-end event-the details of which  have yet to be divulged. Louis Vuitton has also heard the call of the desert. Nicholas Ghesquière, designer of Vuitton’s AW15 show will be staging a resort show in Palm Springs on May 6. Ghesquière is a master of vacation wear and his designs impressed last year at Louis Vuitton’s Cruise show that featured unique floral prints, sophisticated pastels and bright lurex jackets


H&M, a six-year festival sponsor, may be taking the cake for its men and women’s H&M Loves Coachella collection, an adorable desert inspired line that is already selling out online.  In stores, shoppers will find bold printed tanks for dudes (my fav being one dotted with cacti) and a jack pot of fringe, crocheted dresses and lacy tops for the girls. The company will also hold a pop-up shop on the Indio fair grounds. If you are looking for the right concert or summer ready outfits, Free People, Mango and REVOLVE clothing are also owning festival wear right now. For those who do rock out in the desert, here’s the what-to-wear overview: Crop tops are still a staple but trade in last year’s floral head and over-the-top skin tight ensembles for a few classier, more durable staples like vintage shorts, breathable hippie-print fabrics, comfortable suede booties and a cute jacket. You are, after all, withstanding an unforgiving sun and chilling night breezes.


The Tony awards, through unmatched in prestige and rich in riveting performances, has never been known as the most fashionable of shows. Anna Wintour is determined to change that.  American Theatre Wing chair and costume designer William Ivey Long has sought the expertise of the notorious Vogue editor in lieu of last year’s fashion faux pas ridden red carpet.  After last year’s award’s show, fashion critics went to town on dissing the myriad of bad disco glitter, unfitting dresses and lack of styling on the red carpet. Of all the 2014 Tony Award’s nominees and star studded audience members, only three designers laid  public claim to dressing show goers. Wintour will serve as an unpaid consultant to help revamp the red carpet experience and ensure the fashion notes hit the right pitch.


Marc by Marc Jacobs, the wild little sister brand of its main name label, will be no more. The 14- year- old brand, known for its youthful market and lower price range, will be merging with Marc Jacobs to become a singular entity.  Beloved by the fashionable public and young starts alike but not affordable to many,  Marc by Marc had a starting prince range of a few thousand dollars below the main brand.  Jacobs made comments that he aimed to incorporate the ending line’s market to WWD, but the future price range of the brand is yet to be seen. While fashionistas mourn the loss of Marc by Marc, they remember their favorite memories of the brand that stood out from the rest with its edgy ads and awesome collaborations. In its famous #CastMeMark campaign, the brand took to the fashion lovers of Instagram in place of professional models to catapult the fresh look of its SS2015 line.  Dear Marc, we will miss all the grungy rainbow dipped hair, eye-popping designs and dreamy teenage moods. Don’t take them out completely, okay?


Council of Fashion Designers of America president Diane von Furstenberg has announced this year’s Fashion Award nominees. Of note in the honoree categories: The ever-whimsical Betsey Johnston will receive the Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Award and crazy hat hottie Pharrell Williams was deemed as the Fashion Icon Award winner. The awards will take place on Monday June,1 at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, NYC. 


Paris and Milan get all the press but Istanbul can hold its own at Fashion Week.  Turkish designers made some bold moves and big impressions as the shows wrapped up last weekend.Mercedes-Benz presented Istanbul based designer Gülçin Çengel who is known for her  elegant dresses. This year, Cengel found inspiration from the Perito Moreno glacier in Patagonia. Traces of the ice appear in the silky white and majestic blue fabric with cascades of sparkle  and geological shaped textured panels. The mountains also spoke through a unique layering of  chest and waists buckles reminiscent of antique lederhosen. Sportswear savant Les Benjamins brought his A game to the runway. There were skin tight leggings, ultra-modern leather accents and avant-garde printed hoodies for men and leather shifts and shimmery bomber jackets for the ladies. Turkish fashion favorite Zeynep Tosun played with thin, bondage style chokers and chest harnesses that showed under satiny art nouveau cutouts and prints in her 1920’s inspired haute couture line.  Another reason to pay attention to Istanbul? All the wonderfully bizarre new make-up and hair trends of course!


Next time you pull up your favorite pair of undies, think about this: a few centuries ago women strapped themselves into gut squeezing corsets, stomach belts and panniers that extended their skirt width by several feet. The technology and extravagant styles that went into these severe undergarments of yore are mind boggling. A new exhibit at the Bard Graduate Center in NYC “Fashioning the Body: An Intimate History of the Silhouette, showcases an array of mechanized reconstructions and original garments from 1700’s bustles to the current day push up bra. Exhibit goers can even try on  garment replicas. The history of tightening, shaping and exaggerating bodies is not solely a female one. Don’t forget, men wore girdles too!



Find Out Why Grad Loves Her Job as Social Media Manager at Kofax


Name: Saehee Kim

Title: Social Media Manager

Company: Kofax 

Previous Work: Social Media and Digital Marketing Specialist at Oakley; Social Media Coordinator at Young Company - Creative Marketing Communications 

FIDM Degree: Visual Communications Professional Designation 

How did FIDM help prepare you for working in the industry? Like any other FIDM Student, I attended FIDM to become successful in something I was passionate about. The only problem was that I was a little confused to what I really wanted to do. FIDM really helped guide me to try different things until I found my passion in marketing.

FIDM makes it really easy to sign up for different opportunities and I think that really helped me get started on trying new things. I took advantage of all the resources available to me during the year (the Career Center, the Job Board, volunteer opportunities, library, instructors, and internships) to see what I was excited about. I ended up falling in love with marketing -- specifically digital marketing.

What do you enjoy about working in social media? The best part of being a Social Media Manager is that it's never boring and that I'm just as close to the customer as I am to the company internally. Social Media is constantly evolving as a whole, but so are my relationships with our fans and followers. That's what keeps my job interesting everyday. Being the "voice" of a company is a great responsibility, and with that responsibility comes a great deal of visibility in the company.

Even though there are many other individuals and teams who make important decisions, and still many more executives above me, I always feel like I'm in the "know" of things and it makes me feel important at work.

Learn more about FIDM's new degree program in Social Media



Tweetup with NBC’s “Fashion Star” Contestant, PEOPLE en Español Nominee & Fashion Designer Johana Hernandez on Apr. 14


On Tuesday, April 14 from 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. PST, FIDM is hosting an online Q&A Tweetup with FIDM Merchandise Product Development Alumna Johana Hernandez. Nominated for PEOPLE en Español magazine’s “Most Influential Latina” Award in 2014, the fashion designer also appeared on the second season of NBC’s Fashion Star. Hernandez is the head designer of fashion label GLAUDI by Johana Hernandez, a Los Angeles-based collection with gowns that have won best dressed at the Latin GRAMMY Awards.

Tweetup Details

To participate in our virtual Q&A, be sure to follow @FIDM and @GLAUDIJohana on Twitter, and submit your questions using the hashtag #AskFIDMJohana. Then check back at 4:00 on April 14 to see if Hernandez answers your questions! Read more about Hernandez below:

About FIDM Alumna Johana Hernandez

At age 22, Hernandez became the head designer of Seven7 Jeans, designing for all categories. The FIDM Grad has also worked for Isaac Mizrahi Jeans, Elie Tahari, and Disney through which her collections have been carried worldwide at mass retailers, including Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Lane Bryant, Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Target, and many more.

At age 24, Hernandez launched her own collection, GLAUDI by Johana Hernandez, created to raise funds for kids suffering from poverty in Latin America. From humble beginnings, Hernandez never anticipated that GLAUDI would become a luxury brand– GLAUDI gowns have been dubbed "best dressed" at the Latin GRAMMY Awards, and the label now has a strong celebrity following. Further, Hernandez' dream of helping others has led to designing for elite red carpet events and global celebrity tours, as well as for the Gloria Trevis Tour, Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark, Lucero, and many others.

In addition to her business ventures, Hernandez is also a fashion trend forecaster and red carpet expert, and has been featured on various outlets, including Telemundo, Univision, CNN en Espanol, and Telefutura. For her first runway show during LA Fashion Week, Johana was sponsored by Motorola, launching their new Bluetooth device alongside her collection, further establishing GLAUDI as a leading fashion brand.

Photo information: (top, left) photos courtesy of GLAUDI, (bottom, left) actress Gina Rodriguez of CW television series "Jane the Virgin" dressed in GLAUDI for Cosmopolitan magazine; (right) FIDM Alumna Johana Hernandez photographed by Francis Bertrand, hair by Steve Romero, makeup by Mariam Neri. 



Theatre Costumes from LA Opera on Sale

  Opera costumes
The Costume department of the Los Angeles Opera is hosting its biggest sale ever on Saturday, March 28 from 10:30 am to 4pm. With prices ranging from $25 to 650, sale items include over 1,000 costumes plus dramatic accessories like handcrafted hats, unique shoes, masks, theatrical jewelry, period wigs, gladiatorial armor, and slave cuffs. If that's not enough for theater buffs, a "Diva Rack" will hold costumes worn by opera stars like Kiri Te Kanawa and Placido Domingo. Sale is open to the public in the parking lot at 330 South Alameda.



SF Vis Comm Students Design Colorful Installation For Macy's Flower Show


On Macy's third floor overlooking Union Square in San Francisco is a colorful installation by FIDM San Francisco Visual Communications students in honor of their Flower Show. The Macy's Visual Team participated in their Design Installation class by challenging students to create mannequin displays inspired by the works of famous artists throughout time. The designs, created by FIDM students using recycled and alternative materials, are featured in the Art in Fashion Gallery.



The Macy's Flower Show is on view during store hours through April 4, 2015.



Alumni Panel Gives Tips on Starting a New Fashion Business


When three uber-successful FIDM Grads return to campus for a panel on new business best practices, you can bet there will be a rapt audience on hand to listen to their advice. Beau Lawrence of Ace Rivington, Reese De Luca of de la COMMUNE, and Michael Kuluva of Tumbler and Tipsy visited the LA Campus on Thursday, March 12 for a panel moderated by Alumni Director Bill Cliatt to discuss their professional paths and what it took to turn their passions into thriving businesses. See our event calendar for upcoming events



Links We Love: The New Era of Men's Wear, South by Southwest & More


While men in skirts are not the new norm, gender barriers have been broken over the past few seasons. Recent developments in men’s wear have proven what the fem side of fashion has known all along: that clothes do not define us, but allow us to try on our identity of the moment without changing our core self. We could wear jeans and an old tee one day, a sparkly mini dress the next. The attitudes behind what we wear are variable and as fluid as expressions of gender. Since Street Wear is now luxury, the experimental and daring presentations of urban cultural movements now have the influence of high design. This concept is not new, but  a handful of millennial designers and style icons are making it so. 

From the mid 2000’s flamboyant excesses of Kayne West and Pharrell to the self-made stylists of our millennial generation, Hip Hop has converged with men's high fashion in unprecedented ways.  The maverick and showy nature of the genre has styled its way out of its formerly heteronormative confines. Shanye Oliver, the 27 year old designer behind Hood By Air, has employed his time in New York club scene and hip hop and skateboarding cultures to manifest a new, and highly sought form of uni-sex edginess made queerer by transexual models. Rapper Asop Rocky has been deemed as high fashion savant, know for both his hipster weirdness and gentlemanly sleek ensembles. Rocky talks about fashion with as much passion as his get-money rhymes.  And by the way, Givenchy does have a tough looking leather men's skirt, made famous of course, by Kanyne West.


Such innovations are not just artistic, but highly lucrative. As regular blokes pay more attention to their looks, they indeed pay. In just the past two years, men’s retail sales have grown 4.1 %, outdoing the small 2.8 % step up in women’s wear and is expected to grow another 8.3% by 2017 according to research by Euromonitor. Retailers across the globe are making big moves to accommodate these new casually dapper men. Southern California has become a capital of men’s wear, driving urban trends across the market. Tankfarm & Co, new to the Americana in Glendale is a prime example of a specialty, all-in-one stop for hip men who don't have high shopping stamina. The era of the fresh dressed dude has prompted brands like J. Crew to revamp their designs and provide a smaller and more curated selection.  Have you heard the new term YUM? It stands for young urban males, a new style conscious group classified by under-30 bachelor induced wealth. And the luxury retail industry is hungry for them.


Speaking of men, 33 costume pieces of Mad Men, and their female counterparts, are now on display at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York. The wardrobe, script notes, and mood boards as well the show’s immaculately historical sets make up the exhibit’s installations that reflect the fashion changes of the 1960’s. For show fans as well as nostalgics, pieces of note are character Megan's "Zou Bisou Bisou" mini-dress, 60’s era cosmetics and advertisements that would make anyone want to jump in a time machine.


Fans knew that Fashion Police would never be the same without its top officer, the late and great Joan Rivers. In January, ultra raunchy queen of comedy Kathy Griffin stepped up to replace River’s throne of sass, but after only seven episodes,  announced last week that she is leaving the show.  In a reflective twitter post, the feminist and LGBTQ rights advocate comedian citied the unattainable body images and intolerance the show promotes as reasons for her leave. This is comes as a third blow to the E! show following public scrutiny of cast member Giuliana Rancic’s racially insensitive comment about young African American actress Zendaya Coleman during an Oscar recap. As a result, Kelly Osbourne turned in her FP badge in February after five years as co-host. The show, known for its snarky Mean Girls-esque critiques of celebrity style, announced its hiatus on March, 17 and is said to return for a fresh start in September.


For 28 years, musicians, filmmakers and businesses have flocked to Austin’s South by South West music festival in hopes of being seen. This year, the fest, recognized for its stylish South Western cow boy boot wearing fans, got serious about fashion. Returning SXSW partner Decoded Fashion, a global event series that fosters partnerships between fashion and technology, began a new initiative SXstyle that offered mentorship programs and networking opportunities for emerging designers. Throughout the festival, a select number of startups had a chance to gain insight on marketing and messaging from executives in top companies such as Swarovski,Top Shop, Neiman Marcus and Google.  Judged by a expert panelists, the chosen top ten startups were then showcased onstage for an audience of press and inventors and qualified for a cash prize. Decoded also hosted a speaker sessions that discussed the future of wearable electronics, new manufacturing technologies and e-commerce. The corporatization of SXSW has been much discussed over the past several years. This year, the amount of space designated for startups doubled in size and international entrepreneurial participation is on the steep incline.It’s clear that SXSW will never be able to go back its local roots but there will always be the music, and good old fashioned fashion blogger’s festival photos! Well, you know what we mean.


Who could take their eyes off FKA twigs? The British singer’s opening performance for Alexander McQueen’s retrospective London show Savage Beaty was a match made in freaky genius heaven. Like McQueen, the musician/film maker/ choreographer has blown up conventions of artistic control and is heralded as a fashion messiah in her own right. At the opening party, Twigs aka Tahliah Debrett Barnett wore a gasp-inducing rainbow feathered ensemble designed none other than McQueen. The gala teemed with celebrities and socialites including Kate Moss, who also sported a McQueen original of sheer lace. Had McQueen and FKA twigs had a chance to collaborate in person, one can only fathom the unworldly creations they would have gifted us.


Need a Spring trend refresher? Go ahead, little bunny, it doesn't take a egg hunt to find the hottest looks of the season. Folk prints, netting, and stripes, oh my!


France could join ranks with Spain, Italy, and Israel with a health law that would prohibit the use of underweight models.  If passed, the bill would demand modeling agencies to prove their models have a body index of no lower than 18 or face fines and potential prison time. The bill would also require models to get regular checkups, and ban pro-anorexia websites. In 2007,  French model Isabelle Caro became the face of eating disorder awareness when the model posed nude for a shocking anti-anorexia campaign before her untimely death at age 28. Eating disorders affect an estimated 70 million people world wide and the fashion industry continues to grapple with the responsibility it has in setting beauty standards. 


Get ready, it’s fashion week in Tokyo! From the Harajuku city known as the capital of wild street style, comes a few fresh faced designers who are imagining the future of fashion through scientific and anthropological means. Consider Thai designer Ek Thongprasert whose second line, “2Q15” sprung from the idea of a future world in which Africa was the dominant world culture. One could easily imagine Thongprasert’s creations walking the streets of a new age. Native prints on tailored pants paired with gorgeously draped wrap-inspired jackets. Saturated colors that allude to traditional dyes and  3-D face decorations complete the elegant, if somewhat casual, tribal look. Former Marc Jacob’s pattern maker and current designer for Hanae Mori , Yu Amatsu, made his own brand’s debut through a geological approach. Aptly named A Degree Fahrenheit, Amatsu’s collection took inspiration from the heat-induced optical mirage seen most commonly above asphalt on a summer’s day. Amatsu stuck to grey, white and black tones to create light weight, form-focused garments that spoke of futuristic silhouettes through thoughtfully displaced zippers and unique use of drapery.  Exciting? The shows just got started. 

Ek Thongprasert




This IMPD Grad Landed a Paid Internship at GUESS? Find Out How.


Recent International Manufacturing & Product Development Graduate Kimberly Poquiz has accepted a paid internship at GUESS? We recently chatted with the new alumna to learn more.

How did the GUESS internship come about? I first saw the posting for the internship online through the Career Network. A few days later, my Career Advisor visited my class and spoke about various internships that were available to us. At that point, I decided to apply for the internship.

What will you be doing at GUESS? How long is the internship for? I will be working at GUESS as a Product Development intern for their GUESS Factory division from June until August. I would like to start my career working as a product developer. Eventually, I'd like to start my own apparel business.

How do you feel FIDM has helped prepare you for this internship and your future? My experience at FIDM has definitely played a crucial role in molding me into the person I am today. While I was in the International Manufacturing & Product Development program, I was able to participate in industry events and meet notable people in the denim industry. I also gained so many hard and soft skills in addition to my education. After everything that I've learned and experienced at FIDM, I feel very prepared for my internship and my future.



Social Ambassadors Attend Orange County Fashion Week



Social Ambassadors Ariadna Morales and Alex Neil had a chance to attend OC Fashion Week this year. The extravaganza was held from February 27 - March 5, showcasing A/W 2015 collections from various designers. 

 Written by Social Ambassador Ariadna Morales

Being surrounded by photographers and designers was just one perk of attending Orange County Fashion Week 2015. There were plenty of vendors with their booths ready to promote their extraordinary luxury products. A few of the booths included Manomi Handbags by Kari Adler, and handmade jewelry pieces, including headbands from What A Betty and necklaces from Senhoa. Most of the sponsors were very happy to have people who were genuinely interested in their businesses, so as a thank you for checking out their products, I received a complimentary henna tattoo, a free eyebrow threading ticket, and the occasional compliments on my outfit by the eager photographers looking for the next ‘best outfit.’


The Haute Couture Fashion Show was hosted at the Dawson Cole Fine Art Gallery in Laguna Beach. One of the designers, Marc Aaron Bright, gave me an insight on how he got the opportunity to showcase his collection at the show. His collection for the night consisted of five amazing pieces. I also got the chance to hang out with Jennifer Luna from Modern Chic Magazine, and got an insight on her lifestyle working for a magazine.  


Throughout the show, there were four designers who showcased their work: Dawn Sunflower, Marc Aaron Bright, Sharmane Joy and Kaila Methven. These up and coming designers truly have talent. I was blown away. There were some pieces that I wish I would have worn to prom and some pieces that if sold in stores, I'd be the first one in line!

 Social Ambassador Alex Neil recounted her OC Fashion Week experience:


I attended day six of OC Fashion Week at ANQI By Crustacean in Costa Mesa. Local Orange County avant-garde designers debuted their unique and eye-catching designs on the beautiful glass catwalk at the venue. There was a vast variety of style displayed by the designers. The audience saw chain mail and leather in Miranda Amelia’s edgy menswear collection, “Porter South” and cultural gowns modeled by cancer survivors in the opening “Hidden Warrior” Collection. Many of the models that were featured were from "America’s Next Top Model", including Lisa d’Amato, William Jardell, and Ben Schreen. The night ended with the upbeat and funky presentation of Steve Boi’s eyewear collection, “CR3AM”.



Visual Communications Graduate Hired as Retail Coordinator Exhibits Development Group


Visual Communications Graduate Lizanne Dooner is now working for Exhibits Development Group (EDG), which brings high-quality traveling exhibitions of art, science, and history to a broad and diverse audience. Lizanne joins EDG’s Retail Division as Retail Coordinator and "brings great enthusiasm and skills to EDG’s Dressing Downton, Beatles, Sherlock Holmes, and MythBusters stores while supporting the team in the growth of EDG’s retail presence," according to EDG. 



Industrywatch: Target Aims at Made in USA Menswear

  Target mens copy

Looking for canvas totes with a "Made in USA" backstory and leather trim, hipster stationery,  authentic hand-tooled leather belts, and mesh trucker caps with cool graphics? No need to search out the latest indie boutique. Head instead to, where the mega retailer is trying out Target Collective: its first "curated, design-focused collection for men." Partners in the limited edition assortment are: Billykirk, Owen & Fred, Taylor Stitch, Duluth Pack, Locally Grown, and Terrapin Stationers. Prices range from $10 to 270; online only.



Transfer Student Cat Worsey Shows Her Work To Oscar-Winning Costume Designers


Cat Worsey transferred to FIDM from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts this quarter to pursue a career as a costumer designer for film and TV. Originally from Thousand Oaks, California, she graduated from high school in 2013 and has already shown her work to Oscar-winning costume designers. "I have a dream and I am not going to let anything stand in my way." Read on to find out more about this inspiring student.

Why did you transfer to FIDM? I transferred to FIDM because I wanted to be surrounded by my passion—costume and design. The creative energy here is unlike anywhere I have been to. Students are here because they want to be here. Students want to strive to succeed and that mentality is contagious. FIDM happens to also be the epicenter of TV as well as film, two fields that I strive to be a part of in the near future. California also happens to be my hometown, which is a plus as an only child coming from a very close family. The college that I originally attended felt very forced. I use that choice of wording because I felt as if I just needed to push through the curriculum to achieve what I wanted. I was there for a little over a year. Even with that mind set, I still was not acquiring the skills and education to pursue my dreams and goals. In fact I was told that I could never make my entrepreneurial dreams come true because they said it was not realistic. That is not the response that I received from FIDM. I was encouraged to continue to go down that path. It may not be an easy one, but I was never shut down for just mentioning it in the first place. That was when I realized the difference. Being able to attend FIDM and be among such dedicated and creative individuals has taught me that you need to be who you are. In comparison, I had to hide much of who I was for fear of being alienated, which eventually happened anyway. I am only in week three of the first quarter and I know that I made the right decision and that the fit is also right.

Tell us a little about yourself: I was born and raised in California and I have stayed in the state for my whole life. I grew up in golden age of Disney films or, as some individuals call it, the Renaissance of Disney. The height of animation inspired me as a child to draw. It took a while but I learned how to draw my favorite characters. In my middle and high school years, I was set on being in illustration. That changed when I attended my first convention here in LA. It was Anime Expo, and no I am not embarrassed to admit that Japanese animation had and has a big role in my life. It was the first time that I had ever attended anything like it. A few of my friends from high school decided to go dressed as some of their favorite characters, so I decided to join in. At first I thought it was weird but after I attended, I absolutely loved it. The passion and creativity that goes into not only making a pre-existing character come to life but also making complex original characters as well. I adored it even though I did not make my first costume. I knew the next time I was going to try. I had never sewn before and I had taken some classes but just the basics. I put an outfit together the following year with garments that I altered. I was halfway there. Then I went to my first college. I learned a lot in one year, and the summer after I finished my freshman year I was able to make two costumes. I fell in love with the process. I spent hours, day after day, working and when it was finally over I had to ask myself, “Did I really make that?” I can't put into words the amazing impact it's had on me. That was the point in which I realized I knew which path I was going to take.

What is one of your proudest accomplishments? My proudest accomplishments have to be from a year or two ago. I could discuss that award I received in an art show but my proudest accomplishments are not necessarily tactile. When I first made my own character design into a complete costume—that was the achievement of my dreams. The pride was so overwhelming that I had to continue to ask myself if I was asleep or not. I was also able to meet a handful of costume designers from the Costume Designers Guild last year where I showed them my work and they were very impressed and loved it. That was a major wakeup call for me because I was told so many times that I was not good enough in art by multiple individuals. To get that validation from Oscar winning costume designers was amazing. I was also able to network with others in the industry. It was an amazing experience.

How did you hear about FIDM and what made you decide to go here? I feel as though irony has been knocking at my door these last couple of months. The reason is that I had FIDM actually advertised at my high school. They had a whole wall dedicated to arts colleges and I also walked past it and saw FIDM. I did not think much of it at the time because I was on a different path. I was not even aware that there was a costume program. I was set on coming here when I first visited the campus in September of 2014. It was professional and the student work was displayed for all to see. I could feel the creative energy. Every time I walk on campus for classes I am inspired. It is truly a unique environment and completely different from the college I transferred from.

How did you choose your major? It took a little while for me to choose my major because I have gone through a lot of changes. Originally I wanted to be an animator or be in visual development. As I look back on it now I would have to say that I was being very narrow minded. I only found my passion a year or so ago. I just love being able to bring concepts to life in a tactile way. It is the most fulfilling feeling in the world to be able to say, “I made that.”

What’s your favorite class at FIDM so far? The fundamentals of sketching class. I really enjoy interpreting garments and making sketches for them. It gives me a better understanding of how a garment is constructed, as well as how to draw it. When I originally just did sketches for fun I never understood how a garment could be depicted on a two dimensional character. I also enjoy the level of detail that we can incorporate into the sketches. I am a very detail oriented individual and I love the little things that push a design another step forward to a whole new level.

What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? I have two career goals—the first is that I would like to be a costume designer in the movie or TV industry. It has always been a dream of mine to be behind the scenes in the entertainment industry. My other goal is to be able to have my own boutique. Whether I choose to be in fashion or in costumes, either way I will have achieved my goals. Ever since I was a child I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and it has stuck with me ever since. I also want to keep an open mind as well because life is not black and white. I may achieve goals that I never thought possible with FIDM and I look very much toward the future.

What advice do you have for someone thinking about going to FIDM? Some of the best advice I can give to someone who is thinking about attending FIDM is three main things. First be diligent in time management. It is one of the things that I have been taught since I was in middle school. I had to juggle many things back then and time management was a key necessity to my success at school. I swam, went to an art studio, and had homework every night at the end of every day. It may be a pain to work ahead but it pays off in the long run and prevents last minute or late night panic attacks. The second piece of advice that I can give is to be you. I know that sounds very cliché but I believe it is of key importance. There are students here from all walks of life and from everywhere around the world. Everyone is different and unique. I had a hard time being myself in high school, but now that I am here I don’t feel that I have to hide things any longer. The last advice I can give to a student who is thinking about going to FIDM is very simple—it is to be passionate. I believe in order to be successful here you have to have a passion for what you are doing. That makes all the stressful situations small compared to the main goal. I have a dream and I am not going to let anything stand in my way because I love and have a passion for what I am doing. It is not something that you can prepare for but it is important to keep that in mind. 

Anything else you’d like to share? It took me some time to figure out what my true passion was. I always knew I wanted to be in some sort of art field but I was not quite sure what. I tried everything from dance to swimming to water polo to choir to orchestra and so on. Now that I have finally found my passion for design and garment/costume construction I feel that all those bumps in the road were essential. I want to someday give that joy and revelation back to someone else. That is one of the main reasons I want to have my own boutique in my hometown or even here in LA. I want to give back to students that have gone through hard times in their lives and are struggling with wanting to be an artist. I was very fortunate to have a family that supports me but I know that there are many that don’t have that support. That is one of the reasons that I someday wish to return to my high school and speak. In my mind the only one in your way of pursuing your dreams is yourself. I also write original stories in my free time and hope to get them up and running some day in stores. I also love all forms of art from sculpting, writing, cooking, dancing, and traditional and digital media.








What to Expect When Starting Your First Job: FIDM Interior Design Grad Shares Job Advice With NerdWallet


What can you expect when starting your first job after college? Four San Franciscans, including 2014 Interior Design Graduate Mallory Colin, who is an Interior Designer and Project Manager at Engage Hospitality, share their experiences in a new video for NerdWallet. Watch the clip below:





Interior Design Students Visit Famed Hollyhock House Designed by Frank Lloyd Wright


Interior Design Instructor Celeste Day-Drake of CD-Drake Design accompanied a group of FIDM Students to visit the Aline Barnsdall Hollyhock House in the East Hollywood section of Los Angeles as part of an ASID event. Originally designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as a residence for oil heiress Aline Barnsdall, the iconic home was completed in 1921, and after a recent restoration, Hollyhock House is now open for self-guided tours. 



Sportswear International Features Candiani + FIDM Denim Design Challenge


The Italian denim company Candiani teamed up with FIDM's Advanced Study program students in International Manufacturing & Product Development to challenge them to "think about what 'premium' means to the consumer and research back tot he times when the quality of the brand/product mattered more than its image." After investigating fabric provided by Candiani, the graduating students researched a strong concept, and exhibited a developed a merchandised collection as part of their thesis show, which we recently wrote about here.

Read more in Sportswear International



Stay Up to Date with #FIDMDEBUT 2015 on Social Media


We’re just one week away from the 2015 FIDM DEBUT Runway Show! Our signature event attracts nearly 10,000 people over three days and features designs by graduating students in FIDM's Fashion Design and Theatre Costume Design Advanced Study programs, as well as work from Interior Design, Digital Media, and Textile Design Students. The extravaganza concludes on the third night with the DEBUT Runway Show & Gala, a scholarship fundraising event attended by industry notables, FIDM Alumni, and fashion celebrities.The first show will take place on Thursday, March 19, starting at 5:30 p.m. and you may still RSVP here.

Next week, get all your behind-the-scenes details from FIDM Social Media:

  • Don’t miss a beat on all things #FIDMDEBUT 2015 by following @FIDM on Twitter for live tweets and photos.
  • Follow FIDM on Vine for runway clips and street style photos of attendees.
  • Want your photo featured on FIDM’s Facebook page or the @FIDMCollege Instagram account? FIDM Social Ambassadors will be taking photos of attendees in front of the DEBUT 2015 step-and-repeat banners. To see your photo in shining lights, “like” FIDM on Facebook and follow @FIDMCollege on Instagram, but don’t forget to use the hashtag #FIDMDEBUT to be reposted.
  • For all of you Snapchatters, be sure to follow @FIDMCollege on Snapchat! This year, we will be featuring snaps of our DEBUT 2015 attendees, as well as posting live snaps during the show.

Can’t make it to FIDM DEBUT 2015? No problem! Watch the FIDM DEBUT Runway Show Live Webcast on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 5:00 P.M. 



Students Partner with Candiani to Create Premium Denim Line

  15040j_IMPD Final Thesis_DSC9269-Edit

Last night, graduating students (pictured above) from FIDM's coveted Advanced Study program in International Manufacturing & Product Development presented their thesis project, a premium denim line. Each year, students in the program work with a different industry partner on a special intensive project that involves them in all phases of the product development cycle, from the initial concept and design through technical design, global sourcing, costing, production, and marketing to the consumer.

15040j_IMPD Final Thesis_DSC9186

This year's industry partner, Candiani Denim, challenged the nine students to research, create, design, and develop merchandise that redefines premium denim as a "retro-future" expression emphasizing the irreverent beauty of the versatile fabric. Directed study in Europe and Asia exposed the students to the latest developments influencing the international marketplace.

15040j_IMPD Final Thesis_DSC9763

Not only did students to research, create, design, and develop the merchandise, a professional photo shoot was conducted to help illustrate the lifestyle of the premium denim line as part of the marketing component (seen below). Be sure to check out more photos from the shoot on FIDM's Facebook page.





Candiani Denim

A four-generation family-run company, Candiani Denim was established in 1938 in a tiny town near Milan. Over the last 75 years, the enterprise grew to become the world's finest and most sustainable vertical denim mill, creating that gave birth to the Premium Denim Industry. Today, Candiani is known as the greenest textile company in the blue world and produces for the most prestigious names in the market.



Edelman Hosting Auction to Benefit the FIDM Scholarship Foundation


The Edelman showroom in West Hollywood is auctioning off two limited-edition, hand-painted leather tote bags by the Italian artist Selvaggia Armani, to benefit the FIDM Scholarship Foundation. You're invited to celebrate the collaboration of the Italian artist and Edelman's beautiful leathers. She will be on-site hand-painting hides and modern classics all day with a cocktail reception to follow.

Painting: 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Cocktail Reception: 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

RSVP 310.855.9355 or

Click here to participate in the auction, which closes on March 25, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.  



Links We Love: Zoolander 2, L.A Fashion Week & More

Zoolander valentino

Walk, walk ,and pose! Comedy team Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson stole the show at the Valentino Paris runway on Tuesday when the duo appeared as their Zoolander male model characters, Derek and Hansel, and strutted their stuff for a surprise finale.  Valentino’s team timed the secret sassy walk-off to coincide with the announcement of the Zoolander 2 movie sequel due out next February. After the designer’s toned-down '60s inspired line, the duo vamped on the catwalk in all their flamboyant glory. Stiller, with his best ‘blue steel’ face, sported a midnight blue coat and butterfly embroidered suit and Wilson wore silky pajamas and even threw off his coat in a moment of glamor.  “I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really good looking,” said self-obsessed Derek Zoolander, in the first parody of the fashion industry that brought fans to hysterics in 2001 . And we can’t wait for further enlightenment in the new film.


Los Angeles got up and did its thing for fashion week, which began on Saturday March 7 and ends this Saturday.  The weekend began under the shine of the disco ball; FIDM Grad Jen Awad’s bright “Dream Electric” collection brought on the sultry vibes with mid-drift bearing tops, double slit silk shifts, and metallic cocktail dresses. Awad was one of the five designers in the Concept Los Angeles showcase which included returning designer Camelia Skikos. The Bay Area Designer got techie on the runway when she incorporated demos of new panoramic photo app Fyuse, using her collection as example, in between sets of her elegant white and black designs. 

Sue wong

The original muses, the Goddesses of Greek and Roman myths, spoke to designer Sue Wong for her fall 2015 line and told her make intricate headdresses and lots of them. Wong’s gaudy designs made for a dramatic start of the Art Heart Fashion slate on Monday night. The designer’s “Mythos and Goddess” collection came down from the cloud palace above Mt. Olympus to meet mortals with floor-length draped gowns, sparkling beaded work, awe-inspiring crowns.

Sire jackson

On Tuesday, It was all about the cool kids, and I do mean kids, at the “Friends and Family,” shows at the Taglyan Complex in Hollywood.  Rapper 50 Cent watched his four-year-old son Sire Jackson model a 3-piece suit for Isabella Couture children’s collection, until the adorable little man caught a bout of stage fright and had to be escorted off the runway by his mother Daphne Joy. Other children’s designers included Shout Out  who showed fun interactive velcro letters T-shirts and Netherlands brand Jow Juniors.

Tumbler and Tipsy

FIDM Alumnus Michael Kuluva of Tumbler and Tipsy intoxicated audiences at the Taglyan Complex on Tuesday with his carnivalesque “Tres Tipsy” line. For FIDM soon-to-be graduates, the inspiration is all too real. Next week, all the hard work will pay off at the culminating Debut Runway Show on March 19 and 20th. Congrats to all the student designers!


French designer collective Le Frenchlab’s first LA showcase will help bring Fashion Week to a celebratory close on Friday with a pop-up-shop and party at ultra-hip downtown boutique The Well.  The European infused talent roster boasts tons of hot next-gen designers like Raphaelle H’Limi and Faubourg Du Temple.

Apple watch

The best way to predict the future is to create it, so the saying goes. The attention to the Apple Watch, released to the public for pre-order on April 10, says as much about the direction of wearable tech as it does the future of fashion retail.  Apple has courted the international fashion community since last September when the tech empire hosted the product’s unveiling at the hip Parisian store Colette.  High-tech is going high- fashion and retailers across the globe have taken notice. The smart watch will be on display for preview at Selfridges in London, Galleries Lafayette in Paris, Isetan in Tokyo and sold at selective stores such as Maxfield in Los Angeles starting on the April 24 release date. The watch features texting, phone calls, and numerous  apps like fitness tracking. It comes in three styles - Apple Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition - that upgrade in materials and price. Accessories also speak to the Apple’s new focus on style: stainless steel cases, three different leather bands and sports bands in five colors. Not everyone is won over by the Apple Watch’s design; Ronnie Bernheim, CEO of watchmaker Mondaine expressed defiance to  LCD-screens and pledged to create his own smart watch for Manufacture Modules Technologies that championed fashion over tech.


Tensions of time, between wild modernist vision and classical structure, marked a few of this season’s Paris Fashion Week Ready-to-Wear lines.  John Galliano’s conventionally minimalist designs for Maison Margiela were unprecedented for a brand known for its forward-looking fashion.  Dark layered garments on 20th-century silhouettes contrasted against madcap accents like fur covered shoes ( think Cousin Itt from The Adams Family)  and avant-guard clown makeup. Margiela's show was not without a dose of drama; the handful of models chosen for the neon mime look hunched and slunk down the runway with suspicious expressions, at times clutching shopping bags, like alien escapees from fashion prison. 

Saint Laurent PFW

Saint Laurent knows that visions of the bad girl might be timeless, but they cannot be softened. The brand ran the gamut of femme fatale history in its fall/winter 2015 RTW line.  Reminiscent of original punk poster girl Soo Catwoman, SL’s  fierce runway gals wore thick black cat eye makeup and red-lipped scowls.  Collegiate tweed jackets over ripped tights and Black Swan-esque ballerina tutus gave glimpses of punks all grown up, while the rest of the leather-heavy line kept the feeling of danger front and center.  Alongsideglittery dresses, the classic white and black square mod motif of the 60’s came back with a refreshing clarity . Unlike some designers who employ leather and fur jackets as an edgy afterthought to balance out tameness, the decisive severity of Saint Laurent was appreciated.  These ladies weren't  just posing, they did something bad, and they’d do it again.

June Ambrose patchwork jeans

From 70’s inspired multi-patterned bohemian pants and dresses to 90’s style of badges on denim, patchwork is leaving current trends in stitches.  Brands Ashish and DKNY began the  fever in their Spring 2015 lines with colorful collages of patches on ‘boy friend’ loose jeans. Celebrities like Riahana  and June Ambrose have since taken up the trend and added a cool kid factor to the urban throwback style. On the hippy side of life, designers like Gucci and Saint Laurent have revived the earthy, ethnic inspired patterns and blocks of colored suede that once billowed in the wind at Woodstock. Proenza Schouler took a modernist twist on patchwork with sharply cut panels of leather and textured crepe on a cotton skater dress.  Whether you race to a needle a thread or leave it to the professionals, a bit of patchwork, paired with neutral basics is an instant interest maker for any outfit.


 The L.A photographer Gray Milan has a new canvass to share his beachy visions; sneakers. Milan teamed up with original boat shoe brand Sperry to refresh the preppy staple along with  tennis shoes and slip ons. Milan’s travel-fueled photos of the sand and sea are a perfect match for the brand, whose founder Paul Sperry created the rubber soled top sider boat shoe in 1935 to prevent slippage on deck.  The four limited edition shoes feature prints taken from a helicopter of  beaches from Portugal, Cape Town and Italy. The results are dreamy; from so high up above, beach umbrellas appear as scattered blossoms of color and the foamy waves as apstract swirls and patters. Sperry has collaborated with retailers and designers like Barney’s, Extra Butter and Jeffery that have pushed the iconic brand into hipper markets.

Little shop

 Who doesn't love sweet treats and flowers? If you are looking for something special to do in L.A this month, check out The Little Shop of Flowers, a Tokyo pop up shop, that opens in L.A on March 14th from 1:00 AM to 4:00 PM with soba snacks for everyone!  The Japanese based shop will  drop its roots at artist Adam Silverman’s studio in Glendale for the month and host two workshops: one on fresh flowers and apothecary workshop on Saturday and Sunday March 21-22 and another on Japanese sweets on Saturday, March 28.  Romantics and green thumbs alike will be delighted by The Little Shop’s playful and naturalist approach to flow



His Goal? Grow From Business Grad into Graphic Design Guru



Name: Chris Finical

Age: 27

Hometown: Mission Viejo, CA

Previous College: ASU, 2010, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

FIDM Major: Graphic Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA, Spring 2015

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? Shirley was super helpful in giving me the information I needed to make the right decision. She kept me organized and on track through the admissions process. Based upon my conversations with Shirley I feel extremely prepared for my program to start and taking full advantage of what FIDM has to offer.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Mission Viejo is where I have been fortunate enough to call home. It's where I was born and based upon my experiences growing up, Mission Viejo has shaped me into who I am today. I lived in Arizona for about five years, during which time I graduated from Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business. Both of these locations offer awesome weather year-round, something that I took full advantage of by getting outside as much as possible.

If I am not in the ocean, surfing, or free-diving, or hiking my own trail off the beaten path then you can usually find me doing some art or design project. In the past week I have done the following activities: DIY tile coasters, refinished furniture (for the move to FIDM), hiked, snorkeled, skateboarded, surfed, and snowboarded.

What made FIDM right for you? I have always wanted to involve myself within the retail and action sports industry. FIDM gives me the ability to network with the top professionals in those industries and earn an internship to further my experience in the marketing and graphics field. Also, going back to school to further my education, in general, has always been on my mind. Now, after working in sales for over three years and trying to get my foot into the marketing side of the business, I have realized I need to take an alternative approach.

I have always loved drawing and art, but was afraid to make it my career with the risk of losing a passion of mine by making it work. Then it hit me that to get to where I want to be I need to use my artistic talent and will probably have a lot of fun doing so. Earning a degree from FIDM in Graphic Design puts me in an excellent position to be part of a marketing or creative team. A second degree will just separate me that much more from the competition.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project, I decided to make my own company, Ground Roots. Ground Roots is a lifestyle brand that is also looking to redefine today's traditional “Board Shops” and help promote other local businesses. A lot of retail stores are very niche oriented and I wanted to make sure that I appealed to a large demographic so I designed my store to not only include my merchandise, but a couple retail areas for small local companies/pop-up shops that would target females.

This gives the local companies a cheap platform to sell their merchandise and instantly grows the appeal of the store to a different demographic. I was able to increase foot traffic by serving an everyday item incorporating a local coffee or juice shop inside the store. I also came up with a logo to put on a bag, a catalog cover, and an advertisement.

What are your career goals? Upon graduating from FIDM, I will have more than three years of sales experience in online marketing and social media. I will be looking to work for a top-rated company while helping them grow their business through graphic design and online marketing. My goal down the road is to be the Creative Director or Marketing Director with a six-figure annual income. The skills and experience I will gain at FIDM will provide me the ability to start my own business on the side where I would help small businesses flourish and grow successfully.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I am expecting to learn how to build and code websites. At the same time, I want to really build my skill set when it comes to the Adobe Suite on the graphic design side. Then I will have the ability to build a brand, logo, and advertisements for a business and make sure that the advertisements are linked to the website to be as efficient as possible.



Grad Designs Womenswear in Shanghai, China After Working For Lanvin and Kenzo


Debut grad Richard Tzu Fang Chan has been busy since graduating from FIDM in 2008. He worked in Paris as an assistant designer at Lanvin and Kenzo before moving to Shanghai, China where he is now at Meters/Bonwe, China's largest retail group. "It's a challenging opportunity but the rewards are substantial," he says. "I cover four seasonal collections annually where I design the luxury capsule that is focused on using high-end fabric to create chic, wearable, and affordable designs for women in the workplace." 



See Jen Awad's Fall 2015 Collection From LA Fashion Week


FIDM Graduate Jen Awad's Fall 2015 collection, shown at Los Angeles Fashion Week, is featured in Women's Wear Daily

After two seasons of pursuing minimalistic designs, Jen Awad upped the novelty factor via zippy separates that evoked the Sixties and Seventies. She used jewel-toned suede for biker jackets and miniskirts, sheer metallic lamé for party dresses, ostrich feathers for coats and bronze-tinted paisley brocade for cigarette pants, cropped tops and drop-waist minidresses. But her selection of sleeveless silk dresses seemed too unimaginative — and out of place — in an otherwise fun, youthful collection.



Phoebe Dahl's Faircloth & Supply Now Carried at Urban Outfitters


Designer Phoebe Dahl, the granddaughter of famed children's author Roald Dahl, started sewing as a teenager. After attending FIDM and the London College of Fashion, she assisted Dutch fashion designer Jackie Villevoye of Jupe by Jackie before returning to Los Angeles in 2013 to launch her own collection, Faircloth & Supply, which is handcrafted Downtown. The women's label is now being stocked at Urban Outfitters, among others. 

The Los Angeles Times has a full report. 



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student and Singer/Songwriter Has Performed Around Albuquerque



Name: Richard Moore

Age: 17

Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico

FIDM MajorVisual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Seung Kim

How did your advisor help with the process? Ms. Kim was there to advise me every step of the way during the FIDM admissions process. She guided me through which major would be right for me to pursue, spoke with me countless times before my admission, and immediately before and after my final interview. Ms. Kim has really made me feel confident and comfortable about the entire process it takes to actually get me out to FIDM.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I've played piano for 14 years now, I've also been singing for around 10 years. I love music more than anything, and I have performed around my local Albuquerque countless times, usually doing covers and original music, some of which I've recorded both alone and with my band. I love Amy Winehouse, Nirvana, Lady Gaga, The Wonder Years, and Perfume Genius, among many others. Besides music, I also love to draw, read, and write.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? In my junior year of high school, I placed first in New Mexico DECA's Sports and Entertainment Promotional Plan event by creating a complete brand redesign for the entertainment company LiveNation. Besides that, I finished high school as number 14 in my class of 900, and was admitted into FIDM, which I still have trouble believing.

What made FIDM right for you? I had always wanted to move to Los Angeles following my high school graduation since I was always drawn to the music and fashion scene in the area. Originally I had planned on attending UCLA, before I decided to instead pursue my interests in art and marketing. FIDM was the perfect school both in terms of curriculum and location, and because I was especially interested in combining my artistic vision with my business sense.

Describe your entrance project. I first had to design a visual layout using circles, squares, and triangles in an appealing way. I took a very subjective approach to the project, and arranged a black and white design of triangles around a dual-toned circle; they seemed to sort of explode from the center, which I meant to represent the conflicting logical and emotional sides of all of us.

As for my outer store display, I took my inspiration from nineties grunge and modern day street wear styles, and designed an exterior window set up of three ensembles, in a really chaotic and industrial way, and centered the entire design around my projected theme of "Come As You Are." My final section was the interior woman's display window, in which I included a mannequin on top of a variety of suitcases, sporting a yellow sundress and floppy hat in a nod to the new spring season.

What are your career goals? I plan to work within the entertainment industry in some way, perhaps as a visual designer or marketing executive.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? At FIDM, I expect to learn new means to express myself visually and artistically through other mediums, and improve my real world business and marketing skills to industry standards.



From the FIDM Library: New Slide Collection Now Available

Library slide copy

Good news for students looking for inspiration resources! The Media Library at the Los Angeles Campus has processed and made available for study a collection of color slides from trend forecasts, lectures at FIDM, and textile manufactures.

The FIDM Library Slide Collection houses hundreds of slides stretching across the decades from 1960-2000. A large part of the collection consists of slides from trend forecasting companies that would accompany the forecast book. These slides are of runway shows, street wear, and other supplementary information included in that season’s trend forecast. These images are invaluable when it comes to learning about work from designers and popular trends throughout the decades.

Want to see Japanese street fashion from 1984? Or fabric design examples from the 1970s? The Slide Collection houses these images and others relating to costume history, art history, and past lectures from FIDM Instructors. It is a wonderful tool to access and view fashion history. Interested? Visit the LA FIDM Library for an exclusive peek at this fabulous resource!



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Is Vintage Boutique Buyer and Social Media Manager



Name: Nanor Momdjian

Age: 21

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Previous College: Pasadena City College

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles; October 2015

Admissions Advisor: Alissa Dixon

How did your advisor help with the process? Alissa guided me through every step during the application process, and she kept in contact with me on a weekly basis up until my interview. She answered all my questions and provided me with very helpful tips for my interview.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Music and fashion are a huge part of my life. Whenever I’m not busy songwriting or performing, I keep up with my favorite fashion and lifestyle blogs and flip through the latest issues of Vogue, Elle, and Harper's Bazaar. On my days off, I like to go vintage or thrift store shopping to find unique pieces for my collection.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I’m most proud of landing my job at a vintage boutique as a buyer and social media manager. My manager from my previous job opened her own spot in Eagle Rock, Top Knot. We built such a close bond that she wanted me to work for her. I’ve been at Top Knot for about a year now and I love every minute of it. I learn something new every day, and I look forward to opening my own vintage boutique someday.

What made FIDM right for you? At first, the creative environment at FIDM is what attracted me the most. But when it came to working one-on-one with the admissions advisor and meeting the kind and helpful staff, I knew FIDM was a place where I belonged. Plus, being in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles is also very convenient and central—the location is the perfect place to network and meet people within the fashion industry.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project, I needed to pretend to be a store owner and describe my customer base, as well as put together five different outfits. I named my store “Luxetique,” luxe meaning luxury and the “-tique” is a nod to the word boutique. Luxetique carries numerous high-end designers such as Givenchy and YSL, as well as vintage. Additionally, I put together five vintage-inspired outfits from some of my favorite artists from past decades like, Cher, Aaliyah, Sade, Madonna, and Blondie.

What are your career goals? Working for a vintage boutique as a buyer has really inspired and motivated me to work towards opening my own vintage boutique someday. I want to buy and curate my own collection of rare vintage finds and sell them to people who are really passionate about vintage and appreciate the history of the clothing.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn the ins and outs of the fashion industry, as well as strategic business and marketing tactics that will benefit me in my future endeavors as a business owner.



Just Accepted Beauty Student Wants to Work in High-End Beauty Brands



Name: Elizabeth Porter

Age: 17

Hometown: Clinton, Utah

FIDM Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Seung Kim

How did your advisor help with the process? She was so helpful. She got me all of the information that I needed for the application process very quickly. Any questions or concerns I had I knew I could call and she would help me. She also talked to me on the phone a couple of times, and I would ask her all of my questions and she always had an answer. Once I finished my project she helped me make sure it was all correct. And when I came to visit the campus she planned our whole day so we could see everything the school had to offer.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am the captain of my drill team at my high school. I have been on the team the last three years, and I absolutely love to dance. I also really enjoy reading and shopping. Since junior high, I have been in love with makeup. I love to buy it, use it, try new things, and learn about it. My love for makeup came through watching YouTube videos. I plan to start making YouTube videos very soon.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Getting the Sterling Scholar award for dance at my school (based on your academics and also your dancing). I am also very proud of being chosen for the captain of my team. I worked so hard to get to where I am today and it definitely paid off. And of course getting accepted to FIDM is probably the accomplishment I am most proud of.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM was the right school for me because it offers the Beauty major, which you cannot find anywhere else. I've loved makeup my whole life and its the only thing I really wanted to work with in my future. I'm also very excited to be surrounded by people with the same interests as me.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project I created an eyeshadow palette that was directed towards teenage girls for the perfect prom look. It included 16 colors that could create any prom look. The packaging was a square shape that is white with black designs around the outside. On the left it says Prom Perfect in purple metallic letters, and on the right side there was a drawing of a girl in a prom dress. The palette would be about $50, which is a great price considering the makeup is high end and you get 16 colors.

What are your career goals? I'm still not exactly sure what I want to be doing in the future, but I know that I want to work with beauty companies to create, sell, advertise, etc. I hope to work with a high-end company such as M.A.C, Benefit, Tarte, and many others.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? At FIDM I expect to learn all about everything I will need to become successful in the Beauty industry. I hope to learn how to market items, and also how to know which items will sell. I would also like to learn about colors and trends.



Phillies Relief Pitcher Mario Hollands Earns Merchandise Marketing Degree Online From FIDM


Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Mario Hollands recently earned his Merchandise Marketing through FIDM's eLearning Program. The News Journal has a full report:

Hollands typically had four online FIDM classes each quarter, and the classes varied from group projects that required giving presentations through an interactive classroom online to a final in his merchandise math class that was timed and allowed for only one attempt. Some of Hollands' classes required a mix of both 10-week-long projects and tests.

"I had to grind it out, really," Hollands said. "It was very hard, a lot harder than I thought it was going to be."

Hollands wants to use his merchandise marketing degree after his baseball career is finished, finding a job as an assistant merchandiser or assistant buyer to start off. Although he completed his last class in December, Hollands isn't anticipating a low-key offseason this year. He plans to have an internship during the offseason, hopefully in New York, Philadelphia or somewhere in California, and expects to begin applying for internships in June.



Links We Love: Milan Fashion Week, What to Do to This Week, Fashion Films, and More

 Dolce & Gabbana's womens show

Goodbye London Town, Ciao Milan! Fall/ Winter Fashion Week season is on full tilt and there’s no stopping the country that brought us sumptuous names like Pucci, Valentino, Versace, Prada, Armani, and Moschino.

Mama Mia indeed! Like the supple and serene depictions of the Madonna that adorn the Vatican walls, Dolce & Gabbana invoked a romantic and rather holy vision of motherhood in its women’s fall/ winter 2015-2016 line. This is by no means a maternity line;  complete with real bebe’s in their arms, the runway mamas struck an effortless balance  between pastoral home life and the sophisticated glamour of 1950’s Rome. Everyday is Mother’s Day for D&G, as proclaimed by the adorable children’s drawing prints and embroidered  text ““ti voglio bene mamma” (I love you mama) that marks many of the designer's pencil skirts, dresses and coats. La dolce vita of the line continues in a loving embrace of black and red with classic tailored dresses, lace, fur accents, lavish rose motifs and images of the virgin herself; an altogether immaculate conception. 


At Milan Fashion week, the next generation continues to show their fresh faces, even through the established Italian brands. The delightfully quirky Vivetta Ponti, has proved her revelatory talent as the guest designer for Giorgio Armani’s fall 2015 line. The Milan- based Vivetta brand only began in 2010 and has since become a favorite of A-list celebrities and artists everywhere. Her first big arena runway show at  Giorgio Armani’s Teatro on February 28 was a milestone for the designer whose playful, surrealist creations  are now attracting a greater public. Inspired by a Marianne Faithfull on psychedelics’ concept, Vivetta’s Armani collection was dosed with plenty of neatly embroidered collars ( some of which were hands)  tucked under wildly heady prints, swinging sixties coats touched with fur and fantastical silhouettes. The effect sent viewers through the looking glass along with Alice.

Vivetta for Armani

 Thanks to the designer gods, and a tip off to L.A Sheriff’s Department , Lupita Nyong’o’s pearl strung $150,000 Calvin Klein gown was potentially found after the Oscar appearance dress was taken from her unattended hotel room.  The unknown perpetrator apparently dumped the Francisco Costa designed dress in a bathroom at the West Hollywood London hotel, where the actress had been staying. An investigation continues to determine if this pearly masterpiece is indeed the one Nyonog’o wore and not a copy.  From Marilyn Monroe’s missing jewels to the Saks Fifth Avenue employee heist of last year, the fashion world is laced with mysterious crimes.

Saks employee heist

Alexander McQueen’s exhibit Savage Beauty will make its first tour to Europe, much to the joy of Londoners. Known for being one of the most innovative designers of our time, McQueen wowed and provoked audiences across the world with his unearthly imagination and startling performances. The retrospective show at the V & A presents the entirety of his work from his MA graduate project to his 2010 collection , left unfinished due to his untimely death.

Savage Beauty

 Yes, Los Angles sets your clocks forward, Spring is near! Wait, did it ever leave? To be fair, the rain has made it a bit chilly, by Angeleno standards. Leggings are a go-to cozy comfort and the wardrobe staple has recently received classy upgrades. Pull a  sheer or fridge skirt over those stretchy things and you’ve gone from basic to dressy. Rodarte might have crafted the sophisticated ideal leggings in its fall 2015 collection: tight leather, high waisted and lace-lined.

Rodarte leggings

While the debate continues whether or not leggings count as pants, the world of bottoms have gotten rather flared. The mix of denim from the 70’s and 90’s rages on as designers and fashion forwards take on the challenge of the perfect bell bottom. The results seem to strike the right balance of groovy: too dopey hippie kid, not too understated. Paired with platform boots, a big rimmed hat and some fur accents, the flower child has gone sleek.

Flared-jeans trend

Mark your planners, this week is spotted with fashion events.  On Thursday, March 5, head to a party for See Eyewear at the brand’s Americana at Brand’s store hosted by Project Runway winner Mondo Guerra  for music, food and swag.  If you love vintage and a natural hand dyed, on the way to Big Sur look, don’t miss Stash Style’s pop up store that will remain for the month of March at Das Shop in Venice.  The worldly jewlary company Jet Set Candy opens a trunk show at Bloomingdales in Century City, Santa Monica Place and the Beverly Center March 12-14. Impassioned by the wonders of travel, Jet Set Candy features unique souvenir inspired tokens make from quality silver, 14k vermeil and solid gold.


Speaking of our busy city, who knew Los Angeles darling, writer/ director/ actress/ app creator,  Miranda July designed a purse? In October of last year, July teamed up with leather designer Welcome Companions to create a bag as brilliantly uncanny as her art.  The inside pockets of the red boxy bag reveals a survival kit  every lovable neurotic could want; a small bottle of homeopathic calming pills, one almond for low blood sugar, an emergency nightgown and a deck of “multi-purpose cards,” that entitle the holder one free item from the store of their choice and lend agency in other surrealist situations. This limited edition bag, sold only at Opening Ceremony, is a work of art that plays with ideas of consumerism and the emotional lives of objects.

Miranda bag

Hungry for more? This weekend, sit back and prepared to get inspired by a delicious spread of fashion films. These spellbinding and need to know films are hand picked by the highly acclaimed fashion critic, video journalist and first ever fashion blogger Diane Pernet  who single handedly catapulted the new medium into the public eye and popular use. Pernet’s blog A Shaded View on Fashion, and her subsequent A Shaded View on Fashion Films festival have long been coveted resources for the industry’s evolution into the digital age. The cutting edge genre has released the fashion world from the physical confines of the runway to the curated experience of a whole world. While show rooms, ads, and fashion shows do evoke emotion, fashion films have restored narrative and performance art to fashion in a crucial way. ASVOFF has collaborated with some of the most important artists and designers of our time including Yves Saint Laurent, Miu Miu, Alexander McQueen, photographer Nan Goldin, song writer Leonard Cohen and filmmaker Chris Cunningham. Thanks to Pernet, Fashion PR is forever changed; the accessible and short format has given new designers the ability to transcend industry barriers and promote the essence of their creations without the runway costs and are increasingly a choice of expression for insiders. Take a few moments and get acquainted with these films and note- the possibilities are endless.

Amante by Paul te Riele fashion film



Lauren Conrad Designs Disney Cinderella Collection for Kohl's



FIDM Alumna Lauren Conrad has designed a whimsical Disney Cinderella collection for Kohl's, under her LC Lauren Conrad line. The 24-piece collection includes dress, skirts, sweaters, and knits, including a glass slipper sweater, a layered tulle skirt, fawn heels, an organza-bow back dress, and a tea-length skirt. The new collection, which is in Kohl's stores now, was released in conjunction with Disney's Cinderella film, out March 13, 2015. 



Merchandise Marketing Grad Opens Her Second Boutique in Napa Valley



Allison Molinatti, a graduate of FIDM's Merchandise Marketing Program, has opened her second boutique (the first is in Manhattan Beach, California) in the Napa Valley. Allison [in wine country] carries women's clothing and accessories, along with children's apparel and gifts. “There was a real need for children’s items in St. Helena as there is no other store in town that carries children’s clothes,” Allison told the Napa Valley Register. “We wanted moms, grandparents and tourists to be able to pick up clothes for their little ones.”



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Dreams of Working as Fashion or Beauty Editor



Name: Emily Long

Age: 16

Hometown: Savannah, Georgia

High School: I am currently a junior at Fleming Island High School in Fleming Island, Florida.

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles Campus; July 2016

Admissions Advisor: Christian Moralde

How did your advisor help with the process? Christian was absolutely unsurpassed when it came to encouraging my creativity and explaining the entire application process. He walked me through every little detail and saved me a ton of stress.

Tell us a bit about yourself. When I was 13, I dipped my toes into the fashion industry by signing to a modeling agency in Miami, Florida. I loved it so much and decided to pursue my dreams even further by becoming an intern at Bridal Beauty Magazine. After sacrificing several weekends, I became Junior Fashion Editor and I had the privilege of attending New York Bridal Fashion Week. I had the time of my life running around from fashion show to fashion show in a city that I absolutely adore.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Attending New York Bridal Fashion Week has definitely been one of my proudest accomplishments. While I was there, I spoke to the director of London Fashion Week and acquired London Fashion Week invites for everyone at the magazine. I think that experience really aided me in the discovery of my interest in public relations. Also, three days after I got accepted into FIDM, I was accepted into an 8-day business program at an Ivy League school. I have had much fortune in my endeavors, and it goes to show that if you persist in your desires, your dreams will become a reality.

What made FIDM right for you? When a FIDM representative visited to give my design class a presentation, I fell in love. I appreciate how hands-on each program is and I know that if I attend this school, I can pursue my dream career in a location that I love.

Describe your entrance project. For my project, I had to create a store, describe my target consumer, and then pick five outfits to represent the brand I was going for. I developed an innovative boutique named Poteré (which translates to “power” in Italian). While this store carries designers from Alexander Wang to Stella McCartney, it also has its own private line with a more affordable priceline. For every outfit purchased from this line, a duplicate outfit will be sent to an unemployed or underemployed woman to wear to job interviews. The Poteré woman exudes confidence, and walks with it too.

What are your career goals? I’ve always known that the fashion industry was right for me, so when I met the senior buyer at Saks Fifth Avenue, I definitely looked into becoming a buyer. While that sounds appealing, I would love to become a fashion or beauty editor for a magazine such as Cosmopolitan or Elle.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to accumulate knowledge on all the ins and outs of marketing within the fashion industry. I would absolutely love to take classes based on learning how to market goods, make contacts, and build leadership skills.



Just Accepted Graphic Design Student is a Graduate of UCLA



Name: Alexander Jimenez

Age: 23

Hometown: Fountain Valley, CA

Previous College: UCLA

FIDM MajorGraphic Design Professional Designation

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Spring 2015. 

Admissions Advisor: Margaret Berger

How did your advisor help with the process? Margaret was super helpful. She walked me through FIDM's background, many of its programs, and set me up on multiple tours. This was all when I knew nothing about FIDM, but she was able to show me how it was just what I was looking for.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I really like to draw characters, but I have a hard time with backgrounds and setting. Currently, I'm most inspired by Hayao Miyazaki for his animation philosophy, and by the guys who made Avatar and Legend of Korra because they definitely developed their own pan-American-Asian combo style that is top-notch. I like to read a lot; science fiction and fantasy are my favorite genres in fiction, but mostly I read books about design, economics, physics, and geography. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment was getting my fraternity to turn up for the 2013 Dance Marathon at UCLA. It was a big deal since we'd never done it before but we ended up with the biggest team and I think we still have the record for most money ever raised by a fraternity at that event, and they still go to it each year, which is even better since I know other guys were inspired to keep it up. That being said, I also got into salads last year, which I personally associate with finally growing up. That's something to be proud of right?

What made FIDM right for you? I can tell FIDM is right for me because it intimidates me. That means there's a lot to accomplish. And I'm a little too competitive in most things, but FIDM seems like the kind of place where it's okay to go overboard.

What are your career goals? I'd like to run my own studio at some point in the future, and preferably before I'm old and wrinkly. As of right now there are just way too many cool things that I've seen and read about but don't know how to do yet that my short time priority is to learn, no matter what I'm doing. 

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? Just about anything that comes my way. If I had to pick some priorities I'd really like to learn how to sew, improve my digital painting, and get into web design.




FIDM Students Receive Scholarships to Three-Day Styling Bootcamp


The International Style Institute, which recently hosted a three-day styling bootcamp at the Grove in Los Angeles, generously offered FIDM Students scholarships (the event normally costs $1,900) to attend the event. "Students submitted a 500- to 1,000-word essay to me on why they wanted to be a stylist and why they should be chosen for this scholarship," explains Student Activities Director Caitlin Madden. "All students with a 3.0 or higher GPA qualified for this opportunity and they selected five to attend."

Those students (pictured above with celebrity stylists Louise Roe and Anita Patrickson) were Kimberly Douglas, Amanda Daucher, Alejandra Palma Galindo, Christina Walker, and Taylor Dini. The students were all placed on teams to create individual looks. They met with their clients, shopped for them, and styled everything from the garments to the hair and makeup. Guests at the event included Julianne Hough and Kelly Atterton, West Coast Editor for Allure.


The participating students also walked away with a binder full of contacts in the styling industry, professional photos of their styled looks, and a massive swag bag full of everything a stylist might need (tape, safety pins, adhesives, lint rollers, etc.), along with makeup, the new Essie nail collection, and more.




FIDM Instructor/Department Coordinator Lisa Hoffman Installs Public Art in Bay Area


Lisa Hoffman, FIDM Instructor and Department Coordinator for Graphic Design, Visual Communications, and Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing at the San Francisco campus is also a visual artist. Her recent work, PopDots, features bold graphics printed on vinyl and heat adhered to the surface of utility boxes. Buttons and Zippers are located in downtown San Leandro at E. 14th Street and Estudillo, while Lightning is a few miles away alongside La Piñata.




Just Accepted Social Media Student Wants to Express Her Creativity in the Entertainment Industry



Name: Stephanie Christopoulos

Age: 16

Hometown: La Quinta, CA

FIDM Major: Social Media

Campus and Start Date: LA, Fall of 2016

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help you with the process? She was very encouraging the entire time, and was a very positive influence. She made me feel like I could accomplish my goals, which I am very grateful for.

Tell us about yourself. I enjoy hanging out with friends and family, but I really enjoy interacting on social media (e.g. Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, Instagram etc.)

What are your proudest accomplishments? Right now, it would be the early acceptance into FIDM, especially because I'm only a junior right now.

What made FIDM right for you? Before hearing about FIDM, I really wasn't excited about college because I didn't know what I wanted to do. I've always known that it was important and I would have to go, but I wanted to find something I was passionate about. Once I heard about FIDM, and saw the Social Media degree, I knew that it was right for me. I'm always on social media anyways, so why not make a career out of it? Another great thing I like about FIDM is the part were I get to show my creativity and work with people in the industry through internships. 

Tell us about your entrance project. I had to create a blog for a company and touch on different demographics about my customer. After getting the project, I decided to create my own company called FanMaster. Another hobby of mine is listening to music; I have become very dedicated to a few artists/singers in the past. My idea with this company was to eliminate scalpers, and sell tickets at the affordable face value price to the dedicated fan. The key to the website, is social media (Twitter and Tumblr).

If you are a dedicated fan like I was, you would have what's called a fan account. In order to use the website, you would need to link your fan account to the FanMaster website, and from there it will determine wether or not you are a true dedicated fan. Ticket prices are outrageous when put in the hands of scalpers because they inflate the price so much. It's not fair to teenagers and young adults, but FanMaster would help solve that issue.

What are your career goals? My career goal is to work in the entertainment industry, whether it be at YouTube or somewhere else. I want to have a job that allows me to travel and be my creative self. I want to be able to go to different events and/or award shows and interview famous people, and write up a blog about it after. My ultimate goal is to show the world who I am, with my creative abilities.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn the tools I need to succeed in social media such as how to target a specific customer range, or how to successfully engage a customer using a social media platform to buy a certain product.



MPD Alumna and Business Owner Shares Her Success Secrets


Name: Jordan Inglebright

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

Company: ESEF Apparel

Tell us about your company ESEF ApparelESEF Apparel started when I was 17, with a group of friends, originally as a graphic t-shirt company. I would rent out venues, hire bands, and charge a $10 entry fee. With entry to my events you were given a "free" shirts. This is what I was doing during my time at FIDM. The clothing company at the time was more of a fun thing that I enjoyed doing. While at FIDM I learned how to use Illustrator, and Photoshop very fluently. I really utilized the experience I had finding resources to bring down the cost per unit and how to maximize profit from FIDM.

After FIDM, I attended UC Berkeley and majored in Media Studies. Coinciding with my time at Berkeley, ESEF Apparel turned into a screen printing company. I enjoyed the process of creating t-shirts. By nature I am a relationship builder, I love connecting with people, and creating new friendships. At Berkeley, I was able to connect with many of the sororities, school organizations, and local businesses. Many of those first clients are still my current customers.

Since Berkeley, ESEF Apparel has really grown. We have more than tripled in business every year. We finished last year completing 805 screen printing and embroidery jobs. The growth is explosive, excited, exhausting, and scary all at the same time. I now have eight employees and run a full-service garment embellishment facility. This business truly started in the garage and now is in a fairly large warehouse.

How did FIDM help prepare you to run your own business? At FIDM you are given what feels like 150 hours work of work and have to figure out how to do it in 20 hours. This is real life. This is how FIDM makes you successful -- they prepare you for the real working world. Everything you learn can be directly applied to how to work.

Where do you see your business headed in the coming years? Hopefully we will go back the basic foundation of where ESEF started and create an original clothing line. Also, I would like to start making shirts for major corporate companies. Right now we are forecasted to produce 200,000 units this year. Hopefully we will reach around 1 million in the next five years.

Esef Apparel | Feeling Funky from Esef Apparel on Vimeo.




How Do You Empower Women Through Fashion? This Student Is Determined to Do It!



Name: Maria-Adelina Eftenoiu

Age: 27

Hometown: Laguna Beach, CA

Previous College: The Academy of Economic Studies – Bucharest, Romania

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA Campus, Summer 2015

Admissions Advisor: Margaret Berger

How did your advisor help with the process? My advisor has been amazingly helpful in the admission process. During this period we have met and constantly communicated in order to check my progress and also to eliminate any confusion I may have had regarding the application process.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Fashion has been appealing to me since I was a child. I grew up in a country that had just come out of Communism and was back then – and still is – struggling through a transitional economy. As soon as I came to the U.S. I was mesmerized by how things work here and first and foremost by people’s attitude – very encouraging and positive and friendly – and also by the nature of this environment, where I soon realized that opportunities are absolutely endless if you are willing to work hard. Since working hard was not new to me, I decided to pursue my passion even though that would mean to start from scratch.

My hobbies include horseback riding, piano playing, and martial arts; I am a brown belt in Korean karate and working toward getting my black belt. I am also very interested in learning and getting to know as many cultures around the world as I could during my lifetime. Another special interest of mine and life goal is to empower women and children in underdeveloped countries to be able to live a life of purpose rather than merely surviving. 

What made FIDM right for you? Choosing FIDM came as a natural decision to me after visiting the Orange County campus a few times and being in contact with my advisor. Also, participating in the “Sew Like a Designer Workshop” with Ferdos Maleki, who was an absolutely amazing instructor for the workshop, gave me a different perspective on FIDM and really solidified my decision to be a student here. At this workshop I have learned in about seven hours how to make a skirt from scratch and it was very motivating and exciting for the next steps I had to take toward admission.

FIDM’s partnerships with fashion industry companies was highly appealing to me as well, as was the Career Center that seems like an exceptional resource to help connect students with companies that fit their interests. In addition, FIDM promises to give a hands-on experience in the fashion world through internships and that was a major part that I considered in my decision.

Describe your entrance project. I had to pick 5 pieces of clothing and modify them and make them affordable for my kind of customer. I put so much energy into this and made it from scratch rather than using a binder to put everything together. I used materials like cork and imitation leather for the cover and fabric instead of paper for each page. This was a very exciting project for me since it allowed my creativity to express itself.

What are your career goals? I am extremely drawn to fashion design and to making beautiful clothing items available to most of the people out there. Designers like Cristóbal Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen have been of great inspiration to me over time and have fueled my dreams about fashion with their remarkable clothing items and their truly enchanting fashion shows. I consider wearing a beautiful piece of clothing empowering and inspiring especially for women and I want to be a part of their empowerment.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? Beside design, I expect to learn the business aspect of fashion, such as trend analysis, strategic planning, line development, and preproduction planning.



Tech Fabric Could Slim Down Outerwear

Skiwear copy

Voormi, a tech start-up in Colorado, has created the technology to produce a waterproof, breathable textile with only a single layer of material—an advance that would revolutionize sports action apparel design, according to a report in Wired. Introduced at the Snowsports Industry Association tradeshow the fabric "could eventually replace those stiff, bulky weatherproof shells and conventional layering systems in favor of garments that have multiple, customizable properties—wicking and waterproofing, or insulation and windproofing—all while remaining thin and light." The outerwear market in the U.S. is $1.5 billion a year.



Lourdes Chavez Designer Trunk Shows Occurring Throughout the U.S.


FIDM Graduate Lourdes Chavez is a Los Angeles-based fashion designer who produces two collections each year and specializes in couture. Her label is currently being hosted throughout the U.S. at a series of designer trunk shows, from North Carolina to New Jersey. 

The colorful and charming Spring 2015 collection features Swiss cotton piquet, Italian polished cotton original prints, Geneva silk faille dresses, jackets and separates, floral cut-outs and embroidery, elegant French silk jacquard and brocade cocktail dresses, sophisticated mother-of-the-bride dresses, and glamorous evening gowns. All designs are adaptable to meet the client’s discerning taste and style wishes.



Just Accepted Graphic Design Student Is UCLA Graduate



Name: Alexander Jimenez

Age: 23

Hometown: Fountain Valley, CA

Previous College: UCLA

FIDM Major: Graphic Design Professional Designation

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Spring 2015. 

Admissions Advisor: Margaret Berger

How did your advisor help with the process? Margaret was super helpful. She walked me through FIDM's background, many of its programs, and set me up on multiple tours. This was all when I knew nothing about FIDM, but she was able to show me how it was just what I was looking for.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I really like to draw characters, but I have a hard time with backgrounds and setting. Currently, I'm most inspired by Hayao Miyazaki for his animation philosophy, and by the guys who made Avatar and Legend of Korra because they definitely developed their own pan-American-Asian combo style that is top-notch. I like to read a lot; science fiction and fantasy are my favorite genres in fiction, but mostly I read books about design, economics, physics, and geography. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment was getting my fraternity to turn up for the 2013 Dance Marathon at UCLA. It was a big deal since we'd never done it before but we ended up with the biggest team and I think we still have the record for most money ever raised by a fraternity at that event, and they still go to it each year, which is even better since I know other guys were inspired to keep it up. That being said, I also got into salads last year, which I personally associate with finally growing up. That's something to be proud of right?

What made FIDM right for you? I can tell FIDM is right for me because it intimidates me. That means there's a lot to accomplish. And I'm a little too competitive in most things, but FIDM seems like the kind of place where it's okay to go overboard.

What are your career goals? I'd like to run my own studio at some point in the future, and preferably before I'm old and wrinkly. As of right now there are just way too many cool things that I've seen and read about but don't know how to do yet that my short time priority is to learn, no matter what I'm doing. 

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? Just about anything that comes my way. If I had to pick some priorities I'd really like to learn how to sew, improve my digital painting, and get into web design.



Links We Love: London Fashion Week, Oscar Fashion Recap & More

Pugh copy

The opening days of London Fashion Week smelled like teen sprit and looked like a whole lot of girl power. Strapped in all black leather armor, helmets and epic floor-length gowns, designer Gareth Pugh’s warrior women marched down the runway and into battle. The uniform red painted across each model’s face set a very tribal tone that alluded to a distinctly female and historical kind of heroism. 


The young and ever-poetic Simone Rocha impressed with her signature dark and romantic designs, presenting women as holy vessels of history.  Rocha’s extensive line was marked by sculptural dresses of black velvet and Victorian prints and lace and whimsical  floral visions of a mid- summers night dream, all  delicately carrying the idea of the feminine muse.  


Molly Goddard’s grungy prom inspired autumn/ winter line left many critics in a dream state, lullabied into an artsy high by her nostalgic palate and careful frills. The popular collaborative brand Sibling uplifted Brit punk legacy to grrrlish heights. The brand's new line toyed with tension between teen subcultural disguise and the devil-may-care air it yearns to present. Sibling’s 80’s bright colored mix of latex and exaggerated knits was a homage to all our favorite bad girls who strut their fluffy neon mohawks in a night club world where only attitude matters.


The late fashion professor Louise Wilson of the renowned Central Saint Martins and mentor to top Brit names like Christopher Kane, Roksanda Ilincic, and Simone Rocha,  knew that true innovation does not come mildly. Burberry, Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood are now as much British staples as biscuits with tea. To follow in Wilson’s brazen footsteps, these new bold gems could very well be the next crown jewels of UK fashion.

Lupita 2

You saw the gowns, but do you know the facts? At the Oscars, Lupita Nyong’o  glowed like a modern Aphrodite in a custom Calvin Klein halter neck gown  adorned with 6,000 pearls. Tunisian designer Azzedine Alaïa made his first Oscar appearance via Lady Gaga, who sported not one, but three of his custom looks. Gaga announced her dedication to the designer over social media and divulged that her first red carpet gown took a Paris team of 25 people and 1600 hours of embroidery. Gaga’s unusual gloves were hand dyed and the orchids in her hair hand painted by Lorraine Schwartz, who also created the signer’s diamond earrings. And the award for most unique dress went to Naomi Watts who wore an graphic Armani Privé black and silver embellished gown that showed some skin with thin 90’s straps and a black bandeau.


This year’s Oscars has been deemed the ‘whitest’ awards show we’ve had since 1998. When the company  Big Group released a photo montage last year of the dresses worn by every Best Actress Winner since 1929 , it just about proved it.  Missing from the fashion archive were actresses of color, who despite their wins, were not included because of the collection’s tight guidelines requiring many years of attendance. February is Black History Month. The legacies of black Americans, and their influence on fashion and design are being celebrated throughout communities and campuses, if not in Hollywood.   Annual black history month fashion shows, often led by black student unions, were held at schools like Columbia University College of The Holy Cross, Pensacola State College and many more. and The L.A Times complied inspiring photo lists of black style icons that includes the first African American super model Naomi Sims, Prince, Erykah Badu X,  70’s bombshell Pam Grier, Bille Holiday, Tina Turner, and of course, Beyonce.

Foxy brown

Is L.A the new New York? Or is it Paris? Long cast as the beach bum sibling of serious fashion cities, L.A is definitely having its fashion coming- of-age. Tom Ford, following suit after Louis Vuitton and Bernhard Wilhelm has christened this moment by hosting his fall 2015 show here in the city of angels and not London. Our city has always been home to the stars, and with the of recent influx of celebrities turned designers (Kayne) and their super famous entourages that line runway front rows,  L.A is poised for a new era of fashion. Though Ford’s show was the same week as London Fashion Week and the Academy Awards, top models, A-listers and editors flew in to to catch the rose-petal doused parade of leather fringe , denim skirts and jackets patched with fur and bright velvet and of course, a sparkly array of evening gowns.


Beyond Hollywood and into studios and laboratories across the globe, there has been a lot of talk lately about tech-smart fabrics. Makiko Minagawa was featured by Metropolis magazine for not only her work with designer Issey Miyake, but her mastery of speciality textiles in her own right. Minagawa, who was born to a family of kimono dyers and designers, creates with the hands of traditional craft and an eye to the cutting edge of contemporary. Inspired by the fine details of everyday life like Japanese lanterns and the fuzzy debris inside a vacuum cleaner,  Minagawa’s designs often go through an old world series of spinners, weavers and traditional dying techniques. Her brand HaaT, which sounds like heart and means market place in Hindi,  incorporates textile customs from from the around the world, especially India. For lovers of both tech and design, Minagawa’s ancient/ futuristic genius cannot go unseen.  


Remember the days when you thought the man in the mouse suit was really Mickey Mouse? This weekend, such dreams come back to life;  a private collector will be auctioning Disneyland costumes worn by its park employees and performers. Collectors will big high for wearable and antique items such as uniforms from the Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World and Autopia. Special vintage items of note are the 1955 Tomorrowland souvenir fabric, embroidered employee uniform patches and a plethora of tropical items that belonged to “The Enchanted Tiki Room.”




FIDM Grad Victoria Hultquist Working at FASH UNITED—Official Partner of the United Nations Trust Fund


A Southern California native and Merchandise Product Development '14 Grad, Victoria Hultquist is now working as the Outreach and Events Coordinator at FASH UNITED, an official partner of the United Nations Trust Fund (UNTF). Their mission? To unite the fashion and design industries through strategic campaigns for fund development and increased awareness of human rights and equality internationally. Victoria is currently working on her Bachelor's degree from Vanguard University.

Tell us about your work at FASH UNITED: We are currently working on celebrity/designer collaborations and live events to fund the UNTF. I work on the communication that is related to designer/retailer collaborations, celebrity campaigns, sponsorships and overall outreach efforts. I also create the designs and layouts for our merchandise, social media, e-mail marketing and overall campaigns. 

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now?  FIDM prepared me in more ways than one. FIDM creates such a unique learning experience for all of their students and I would say that is what prepared me the most. FIDM taught me how to do everything in the fashion industry that was related to my major with a very hands on experience. They taught me how to learn from my mistakes and turn it into something better. Everything that I studied at FIDM prepared me for what I am currently doing in my career and the amazing jobs that I had while studying at FIDM.

How did you find out about FIDM?  I found out about FIDM my sophomore year in high school. They came to one of my classes and I was immediately intrigued. A year later I had an admissions interview, applied, and got accepted to FIDM within two weeks. And two weeks after high school graduation, I started school at FIDM.

How did you decide on your major?  I decided on my major through the application process.  I went through an extensive questionnaire to help determine my major. I originally wanted to study makeup/beauty, but I realized that I already knew how to use those products and wanted to study something I hadn't learned yet. After obstacles of finding on-trend clothes for my plus size curves I decided I wanted to learn the design/development side of things so that I could cater to every plus size woman out there.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable? The classes that were the most valuable to me were my Illustrator/Photoshop classes, my pattern drafting/sewing classes, and of course Brand Portfolio Development. Those six hour classes were long, but well worth it. Everything that I am doing in my career uses Photoshop/Illustrator. I may not be sewing or drafting patterns at my current position, but I know that some day when I am designing plus size apparel, I will use those skills. In the mean time, I use those skills to create my own clothes. I feel that Brand Portfolio is every FIDM student's most successful class. That is what every student is gearing up for. Everything that we learn is represented in this amazing book of our own creativity.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? I could go on for days with advice for current FIDM Students. But, as cliche as it is—don't give up on your dreams. And don't ever let ANYONE tell you that you can't do something. You can do ANYTHING if you set your mind to it. We all choose FIDM because we know exactly what we want to do with our careers. Trust and believe me that when I say it gets harder, it really does, but there is nothing more rewarding than finishing that portfolio and walking across that stage at the Staples Center. After all, only a student at FIDM knows what it's really like.  :)

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal is to finish my Bachelor's degree from Vanguard University and go into law. My overall career goal is to become a fashion attorney. Once I have reached that goal, I want to design plus size apparel. But for now, I am going to school and working at the dream job so that I can reach those goals in the next few years.  

Anything else you’d like to share? You can do it!!! There will be times when you want to give up, but you will get through it. The fashion industry is very glamorous. There are very amazing, talented people out there who will help you, and others who are the complete opposite. Don't let anyone get in your way. Learn from your mistakes and turn them into something better. It is your life, you get to make your own journey, so make it a good one!

Visit to find out more about their campaigns, including End Violence Against Women.

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