Merchandise Product Development Students Present Final Designs to Zara

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In a collaboration that started in the beginning of the quarter, ten FIDM Merchandise Product Development students presented to Zara their final Spring 2015 designs targeted to the Zara customer. Working in teams of three and four, the students applied the techniques they learned in Estel Hahn's Classification and Line Development class. 

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The students presented their Powerpoints to Zara Regional Manager Alejandra Fernandez (above left) and Zara DTLA General Manager Justyn Kuzel (above right), mirroring a potential real life work situation.

The first team—Ashley Rainaldo, Mariana Santos, and Susan White—presented their Zara Man collection of jackets and woven and knit tops. Second up was Chigo Ikeme, Stephanie Horn, and Leslie Portillo designing dresses and woven tops for Zara Women. And lastly was the TRF designers, Maria Alejo, Kailee Ackman, Marilyn Bailey, and Tina Vo, showing woven tops, jackets, dresses, and denim.

Each team covered color, fabrication, and silhouettes, in addition to an explanation of how to merchandise their designs. Students cited major designers as inspiration including Prada, Balmain, Chloe, Alice by Temperley, Alexander Wang, and Givenchy.

Alejandra and Justyn both provided an honest assessment of the student work explaining what they did well, and suggestions for how they could approach it differently. Alejandra encouraged one group with, "The dress with the mesh would be great for our customer," while Justyn said to another team, "I think the denim pieces are really successful, and many of the dresses are very Zara."

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Zara DTLA General Manager Justyn Kuzel gives one-on-one feedback to FIDM Students in the first meeting earlier this quarter.

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Group shot of MPD Students visiting Zara's DTLA store early on in the collaboration



Lauren Conrad Weds in Gowns by Badgley Mischka and Monique Lhuillier



FIDM Alumna Lauren Conrad recently wed William Tell in a rustic ceremony in Santa Ynez, California, wearing a custom-made, fitted lace Badgley Mischka gown. For the reception, she chose a strapless mermaid-style silhouette from FIDM Graduate Monique Lhuillier. "I don't know that I have ever been as happy as I was walking down that aisle," the LC Lauren Conrad for Kohl's designer gushed to Us. "It was amazing!"


Read more about her wedding looks in the new issue of Us Weekly and at Hollywood Life



Merchandise Product Development Student Chigo Ikeme Credits Fashion Club For Getting Accepted Early at FIDM


Name: Chigoziri (Chigo) Ikeme

Which high school did you attend? Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, CA

When did you graduate? I graduated in June of 2013

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

Tell us a little about yourself: I'm a huge fashion enthusiast who loves all things chic. I'll be going into my 6th quarter at FIDM this fall and it's a bittersweet feeling to know that I'm almost finished with school. I've known about FIDM since elementary school and it was really a dream come true when I got accepted. FIDM is basically my life and I'm enjoying every second of it!

What are your career goals? I hope to one day work in the product development field of a high-end women's contemporary label such as Theory, 3.1 Phillip Lim, or Acne Studios. Next to design, product development is like the bread and butter of every brand. Product developers get to see everything from the initial concept to the final product and they're actively involved with sourcing, costing, and bringing the design idea to life.

How did Fashion Club help you get to where you are now? As a former Fashion Club president, being apart of FC helped me get my foot into the FIDM door early on. With all the additional information I received about FIDM through the Fashion Club program I was able to apply and get accepted to FIDM as a junior in high school. Fashion Club helped me grow my leadership skills and gave me an outlet at school to be able to share my love of fashion with my fellow classmates.

What's your favorite Fashion Club memory? I have two favorite memories. The first one was being able to produce two fashion shows at my high school. We had an African fashion show during intercultural week and the following year we had a spring trends show in collaboration with StylesForLess. It was fun to see my members strut their stuff down the runway and be an inspiration to our audience. The second memory was having FIDM alumna and current fashion designer Angela Dean of Deanzign as a guest speaker and a mentor to my fashion club members and myself.

Any advice for current Fashion Club members? My biggest advice would be to stay active and involved within your club and always bring your ideas to the table. Also, utilize the great resources that Fashion Club has to offer like providing your club with guest speakers from FIDM and being awarded exclusive scholarships.

What is your fall fashion must this year? My fall fashion must this year is anything suede, fur, or leather. You can never go wrong with a great pair of suede boots, a "look at me now" fur vest, and a wear with everything leather handbag.

Which fashion or beauty trend should just go away?! Surprisingly enough, I'm really loving all of the trends that keep recurring in fashion because they're being reinterpreted in a high-fashion way. Take for instance the Birkenstock sandals, either you love them or hate them but they've become a huge fashion statement across all levels of the fashion world.

How did you choose your major? I chose my major because of how versatile it is. Merchandise Product Development truly teaches you all aspects of the industry and that is a huge advantage because it makes your career opportunities endless.

What's your favorite class at FIDM so far? My favorite class at FIDM so far was my Trends and Fashion Forecasting class. It helped me fine-tune my trend spotting eye and further think outside of the box when it comes to analyzing and predicting trends.

Do you have an internship? Yes, I'm the Women's Product Development intern at VINCE, a contemporary brand known for their minimal yet luxurious aesthetic.

What advice do you have for someone thinking about going to FIDM? My advice would be to go for it. If you're really passionate about the industry and you find a major at FIDM that fits you to a T, apply. Don't second guess yourself or feel that you're not at the level you think you should be at, because FIDM is here to help you learn, grow, and become the best you can be in your desired field of study.

Anything else you'd like to share? My journey at FIDM has been very fun, rewarding, and challenging. It allowed me to see my strengths and my shortcomings and is continuing to help me shape myself into the individual I want to become. Make the most you can out of FIDM, explore all the resources and don't be afraid to let FIDM help you in achieving your goals. Never lose sight of who you are and know that knowledge is power, but creativity is a superpower.



Brand New MPD Professional Designation Grad Already Working at Kellwood


New Merchandise Product Development Graduate Bob Zhang alreayd has a job as a Technical Design Associate at Kellwood for the Jolt brand. We caught up with the FIDM Alumnus (who just graduated on Wednesday) to learn more. 

How did your job at Kellwood Industries come about? ​I participated in the Denim Tour with the Premier Product Development Group and visited Kellwood. I ended up interning there for a quarter then I got an interview opportunity last month.​

What will you be doing at Kellwood? ​I create styles on webPDM software, web EBA, ​create tech packs, line sheets, and support designers in different aspects of product development.

Where did you go to school prior to FIDM?​ I studied accounting and business at USC prior to FIDM. 

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career?​ The overall product development process, Illustrator, Photoshop, ​pattern making, pre-production, webPDM, sewing, and fabric and trim knowledge.



Alumna Combines Passion For Fashion and Dogs Into a Boutique


Alumna Carrie Ann Sanders is profiled in the Houston Chronicle for combining her two passions, fashion and dogs, into the Carrie Ann boutique in Houston's Uptown Park neighborhood. Stocking original styles, accessories, "sophisticated West Coast collections," and dog apparel, the shop is having a relaunch party tonight featuring Bravo TV Chef Roble from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.  



FIDM Style Project: Adrianna Kinal of AA Kinal Reveals Her Must-Have Fashion Piece

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Image: (Left) Fashion artist and FIDM Grad Adrianna Aleksandra Kinal of AA Kinal wearing her must-have white shirt.

In this month’s FIDM Style Project series, we reached out to some of our favorite fashion bloggers to ask: 

“What’s the one thing in your closet that you couldn't live without, and why?”

Fashion Artist and FIDM Grad Adrianna Aleksandra Kinal of AA Kinal weighed in on the subject:

“Although the white shirt is more than ever on trend this season, it's my must-have item all year 'round. I love pairing a good quality shirt with a perfect pencil skirt or great pair of jeans. Whether it's over-sized or classic fit, has pin-tucked details or has a bow front, it's always my go-to item and you can never go wrong.”

More about Adrianna

Kinal is a graduate of FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and has worn many hats including working as a designer, creative director, photographer, stylist, graphic designer and marketing media director. Her blog, AA Kinal, is used to share her discoveries and thoughts on fashion, art, architecture and travel. Kinal has her own jewelry line also named AA Kinal which she says is “for the woman who exudes easy confidence, down to earth strength, and fearlessly living life without apologies.”

Connect with Adrianna






About FIDM Style Project

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



Fodor's Travel Lists FIDM Museum & Galleries Among World's Best Fashion Museums


Fodor's Travel lists FIDM's Museum & Galleries as one of the World's Best Fashion Museums, stating:

"In 1969, Tonian Hohberg founded the Fashion Institute of Design & Manufacturing in Downtown L.A. Faculty and staff raided their own closets to create the collection, and founding donor Betsy Bloomingdale made a generous donation of French haute couture. FIDM eventually expanded to four campuses (in L.A., San Francisco, Orange County, and San Diego). Special exhibits are free to the public, and showcase everything from folk dress to Hollywood costumes."



Trendwatch: Louboutin Nail Polish Elevates Color for a Price

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Shoe Designer Christian Louboutin is applying his refined aesthetic to nail polish with the introduction this summer of his Beaute line at Saks Fifth Avenue. The collection of "31 violently colorful nail lacquers housed in a jewel-like faceted glass bottle with a conical cap," and selling for $50 a bottle, is considered on point by beauty business analysts who see parallels to Chanel's bestselling high-priced Vamp in the 90s. The New York Times computes the actual costs and mark up of bringing the luxe polish to market.

Learn the business of beauty with a degree in Beauty Industry Merchandising and Marketing.



Vis Comm Alumna Designs Collection Benefitting Animal Organization Jaws & Paws


Phraseology founder Amber Day, a graduate of the Visual Communications Program at FIDM, is releasing a new collaboration on Wednesday benefiting an organization that helps stop shark finning, Jaws & Paws. Pop artist and animal activist Anjali Ranadive (pictured above) is the face of the new collection, which features shark tees, marine-inspired shorts, and kimonos. 




Attend FIDM's 3rd Annual FABULOUS! Soiree Fundraiser on September 20 at Style Week OC


The Daily Pilot has a story about Style Week OC, a 10-day celebration of fashion. Style Week OC features a special FIDM Fashion Museum Soiree fundraiser on Saturday, September 20, 2014 to benefit FIDM Museum Fashion Council's campaign for acquisition of The Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection.

Tickets may be purchased here

From the Daily Pilot

Wrapping up the week-long fashion celebration is "Project Runway" season two contestant and clothing designer Nick Verreos, who will return to host the Spectrum Collection Runway Show on Sept. 20 at Irvine Spectrum Center. During the show, Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising students will present their resort-wear looks inspired by Celebrity Cruises' exotic destinations. In a promotional video, Verreos said one of his favorite parts of the show is seeing the fashions under the Irvine Spectrum's Ferris wheel, because it serves as the perfect backdrop.

"I've seen the evolution really turning into one of the premiere fashion weeks of the entire country," he said.

Retailer events and runway shows will be free and open to the public for viewing. FIDM's annual Fashion Museum Soiree on Saturday, themed "Fabulous!", will be a private, ticketed benefit with a VIP reception area, refreshments and seating for the runway shows. The event benefits the FIDM Museum Fashion Council, which hopes to acquire the Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection. Tickets are $110 or $200. For information, call (949) 244-7977.



Colleen Quen to Show 50+ Couture Gowns at San Francisco Event


Shark Tank's Robert Herjavec will host Chic Metropolitan magazine's "Fashion& Luxurious" issue release party and fashion show on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Designer and FIDM Alumna Colleen Quen will showcase over 50 gowns, including art-like pieces that have been worn by Tyra Banks and Paris Hilton. 


Tickets for the event are available here



Debut Grad Participates in Supima Design Competition During Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week


Advanced Fashion Design Debut Graduate David Lee represented FIDM in the annual Supima Design Competition, created to give runway exposure to emerging talent. Finalists from six of America's top design schools, including FIDM, were asked to create a capsule collection of women's eveningwear gowns from premium Supima denims, knits, corduroys, twills, and shirting. The collections were then shown in a fashion show held during New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center. Kent State University's Anastasia Iafrate took home the top honor. 

Supima Design Competition 2014. from Supima on Vimeo.



FIDM SF Students Featured on ABC7 News For Transforming a Family Shelter


Seventeen FIDM Students recently transformed Compass Family Shelter in San Francisco's Tenderloin District, where 22 families with 32 children live. Everything from the paint to toys for the kids were donated. "It's definitely changed my perspective a lot," said student Jillian Colin. 

ABC7 News has a full report: 




Insider's Guide to the FIDM MODE


The FIDM MODE is the fashion and lifestyle publication designed and manifested by FIDM Students from all four campuses. Let's take a quick inside look at what goes into creating this beautiful magazine. 

1. The Team

First and foremost, the executive team is chosen. The positions held on the executive board include: Editor in Chief, Art Director, Managing Editor, Fashion Director, Assistant Fashion Director, Beauty Director, and Social Media Manager. Each member on the team is responsible for different departments on the publication, ensuring tasks are being accomplished to complete the publication. These members are responsible for attending meetings once a week with the board, and once every other week for general meetings that are open to all other students. 

2. Contributors

If you are not on the executive board team, but  still want to be involved with the MODE on a smaller scale, you can be a contributor. Interested in writing an article? Being a model? Working on Graphics? Assignments are assigned to you by the appropriate board member.


3.  Brainstorming

Before anything is created, the board team creates a general theme to base all future projects and efforts on moving forward. Then brainstorming continues to deciding on the types of articles that will be published and the kind of shoots that will be hosted. Every shoot and written copy complements the settled theme. 


4. Delegation

Once assignments are created, they are assigned to be completed. Article topics are picked up by writers and guidelines and deadlines are given. Written work goes through edits by the Managing Editor and Editor in Chief and is sent back to the writer and prepared for print.

Shoots are coordinated by fashion editors, themes, style, and location is decided by the team, then delegated to contributors. Based on the theme chosen, stylists, models, hair and makeup artists, and photographers are chosen to contribute to be on set for that day. 


5. Production

Once articles have been written, and shoots have been shot and edited, it's time to put the two together. The design team is lead by the Art Director. Graphic Designers use the images from shoots and copy from the written articles to create the spreads. The Art Director then takes every page designed and puts it together in one document, ultimately creating a digital copy of the magazine.


6. Press Checks

Once the publication has been put together and has been approved by all authorities, it's time to take it to the printers! The magazine goes through a process called press checks. Press checks, simply put, are an approval process. It is when a client (in this case is me and FIDM's Art Director David) visit the printers to see the project (which is the FIDM MODE™) on the press to approve the spreads before 5,000 copies are printed. This is the opportunity for us to see the very first sheet off the press before the printers print the entire job. The designer and Editor-in-Chief sign off on each press check once we have approved how the color is shown on the spreads. To learn more about Press Checks in detail, click here. Essentially after this process, the publication is printed, folded, cut, glued, and ready to hit the stands!


7. You

All this hard work gets put into creating this publication all for you. Enjoy! 




MPD Graduate Will Perform as a Featured Artist at RAW's Axis Event in October


Merchandise Product Development Graduate Jordan Washington, who performs as Jordan Cordel, is a featured artist at RAW's Axis event on October 2, 2014. Showcasing visual art, fashion, music, film, photography, hair and makeup, and performing art, Axis will be held at Los Globos in Los Angeles, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. "It's really a blessing," says Jordan, who sings pop and R&B. "Now I have A&R's from record labels and music industry managers coming to scout for new talent. I'm grateful."



Meet L.A.'s Top Fashion Bloggers at Beverly Center Show Us Your Style Challenge


Beverly Center invites you to join L.A.'s top fashion bloggers--Aimee Song of Song of Style, Adam Gallagher of I am Galla, and FIDM Graduate Chriselle Lim of The Chriselle Factor-- on Thursday, September 18, 2014, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Celebrate fall fashion with the #BeverlyCenterStyle "Show Us Your Style" challenge hosted by the bloggers. 

AT 7:00 p.m., Los Angeles magazine Style Editor Linda Immediato will offer style commentary, followed by the announcement of the "Show Us Your Style" challenge winners. There will be a meet and greet with the hosts from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., cocktails, music, desserts, and more.

RSVP to by Monday, September 15, 2014.  



Mary J. Blige Wears White Silk Tuxedo Designed By Octavius Terry



Since graduating from the Advanced Fashion Design Program in 2013, Debut Grad Octavius Terry has designed for celebrities such as Ariana Grande, Queen Latifah, Tamar Braxton, Matt Barnes of the LA Clippers, Sean Kingston, and Nick Cannon to name a few. He outfitted Mary J. Blige in this white silk tuxedo for a recent photo shoot. 



MPD Student Already Has a Job at PR Consulting LA (Interview)


Name: Erin Locke

Major: Merchandise Product Development

Graduating: September 2014

How did your job at PR Consulting LA come about? I have been an intern at PR Consulting LA since November. Because they had just opened last August, I worked with them on everything from the showroom and handling stock, to press and trafficking, and also events like the Acne Studios opening in Downtown. I was able to grow and work wherever I was needed and because of that I grew to become a big part of the team. Last June they offered me a position. Since there are only three of us currently we don’t have official titles, but unofficially I am the Showroom Manager.

How has FIDM helped prepare you for the industry? When I applied to be a student at FIDM, I was more interested in boosting my knowledge in fashion than working in pure Product Development. I have a real interest in the editorial and marketing aspect of publications. FIDM has shown me how to appreciate well-made clothes. The courses that I took gave me a well-rounded look at the fashion industry. The classes I learned the most from were the Trends and Fashion forecasting class because it allowed me to be able to look at the world around me and absorb tons of information, filter it and then turn it into a viable idea of what is coming next.

I also learned a lot about fabrics which is a completely different way of looking at clothing because it is all materialistic, but it is incredibly important to know your fabrics. Lastly, I think the technical design and pre-production classes help you understand the way clothes are meant to fit and the details that are meant to be involved in creating a garment. These classes have helped me with PR because I am able to talk to stylists about why clothes didn’t work out as well as see why certain samples weren’t trafficking well. While this seems like a small part of PR, our office focuses on red carpet events and dressing talent.

Being able to report back on why certain styles aren’t trafficking well helps the brand see what may not sell in the season to come as well as adjust their marketing strategies. Adjusting strategy is very important because you take what has happened and work with the brand to get where they want to be. Overall, FIDM has taught me to appreciate clothes as well as important technical aspects.



Advanced Study Theatre Costume Design Student Featured in Kiki Magazine


FIDM Advanced Study Theatre Costume Design Student Erica Williams, who we featured here back in December, is profiled this month in the girl's style/DIY magazine, Kiki. Erica is featured alongside three other design students from other colleges, and a model is shown wearing an outfit inspired by one of Erica's designs. 


As the profile states, Erica has already assisted with costume design for independent films and a private fashion label, designed shoes for L.A. Clippers Arena Hostess Traci B., and worked on TRON-style costumes for AT&T. This year, she won a $10,000 scholarship for her Chairing Styles coat. 

Erica is also one of FIDM's Social Ambassador and you can keep up with her @FIDM_Erica.



Grad is Co-Founder of Michele Marie Public Relations Which Employs Three FIDM Interns


“FIDM was crucial in the shaping of my career in many ways," says Michele Marie PR's Sara Andréasson. "Due to FIDM's fantastic Career Center and extensive connections, I was able to land an internship with an amazing company, where I eventually got hired, and then I opened my own fashion PR firm--the career of my dreams!”

Sara, who currently employs three FIDM interns, has worked in public relations at Hugo Boss, John Varvatos, and Da-Nang, where she was Director of PR. Michele Marie PR is a full-service public relations agency specializing in editorial, celebrity, and event driven press in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle industries. 



FIDM Recognized As Student Veterans of America's Chapter of the Month


FIDM is honored to be selected as Student Veterans of America's Chapter of the Month. Student Veterans of America is a 501(c)(3) coalition of student veterans groups on over 1,000 college campuses, including FIDM, across the globe. These member chapters are the "boots on the ground” that help veterans reintegrate into campus life as they transition from combat to college.


The over 1,100 chapters that make up our thriving nationwide network are critical to connecting student veterans to the hectic and sometimes overwhelming campus lifestyle. “SVA chapters are also instrumental in bridging the gap between the veteran students and the administration,” says Cheryl Iannello, chapter advisor to the FIDM SVA.

This chapter embodies that notion in a big way, raising awareness of the contributions and sacrifices made by the campus’ student veteran population through informative spaces, events, and celebrations.

By allowing the more ‘traditional’ students to pay due diligence to their veteran counterparts through recognition of the two major ‘military holidays’ - Memorial and Veteran’s Day - this chapter initiated the dialogue crucial to meaningful on-campus relationships between these two groups, often divided by a lack of understanding and an inability to relate.

According to Iannello, through community outreach, SVA chapters can “provide these students a chance to make positive changes through volunteering and fundraising events,” and this chapter excels at affording its veterans an opportunity to give back.



FIDM SF Entrepreneurship Class Visits Furniture Start-up

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Students in San Francisco instructor Mychelle Fitzgerald's Entrepreneurship class took a tour and met with the founders of Move Loot, an online furniture consignment business. Founders Bill Bobbitt, Jenny Morrill, Ryan Smith, and Shruti Shah discussed the business model they are currently testing in S.F. Move Loot's clients can purchase affordable furniture online, get it delivered, and returned hassle free. Fitzgerald was thrilled that one of her students was offered a position after the field trip!



FIDM San Francisco Students Tour Tote Bag Factory

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Students in FIDM San Francisco Instructor Mychelle Fitzgerald's Production and Sourcing Strategies class got a personal tour from company founder Mark Dwight of Rickshaw Bags, a maker of high quality totes and bike bags. Dwight took time to walk the group through the factory, explaining each process and answering several questions—a great opportunity to see firsthand the manufacturing systems students are studying in class. The enthusiastic owner shared the story of his next new product launch, a bike bag with reflective threads that glow at night.

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Mark Dwight previews his latest release—a reflective bike bag he is justly proud of.



Military Grad Starts Her Own Apparel Company

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Veteran Lindsey Robinson started her apparel company Reason4Riot upon graduation from FIDM in Summer '13. Here is her story:

What was you major?

I got an A.A. in Merchandise Product Development, and took some Business Management courses after graduation.

How did you find out about FIDM and when did you decide to go?

A rep visited my high school in my senior year. I went directly into the U.S. Navy after school, knowing that the apparel industry is where I really wanted to be. I enrolled at FIDM as soon as I got out of the Navy. A Career Advisor on the San Diego campus suggested the MPD major. I always knew that I wanted to create things. I wanted to be the brains behind the masterpiece.

Did you use the Career Center?

Yes, they were very helpful! They never left any questions unanswered. They offered more than enough information to guide students.

Tell us about Reason4Riot.

I am working very hard to build it where it needs to be. Right now the line includes streetwear  T-shirts and caps.  Within three years, I'd like to be in quite a few online and brick and mortar shops. Within five years, I'd like to have my first flagship store.

Any advice for other military college students?

Stay focussed on your overall goals, but always keep an open mind when it come to your career.



How To: Make The Most Out Of a Group Project


At FIDM, students quickly learn that group projects are a preferred project grouping choice for most classes. This is designed to help prepare you for the industry and teach you to work with multiple creatives on one project.

Here's how you can make the most out of working in a group: 

1. Get to know each other

Getting to know each member in the group will help give you a better understanding of the talents and skills each member possesses. Learn if one member is more visually creative and is better at PowerPoints, or if someone prefers researching. This knowledge will be beneficial when dividing the tasks and getting the best work done.

2. Create a time line

Make a list of everything that must be done to successfully complete the project and delegate at the first meeting. This will ensure that every task requirement is being met and everyone has a job to do.

3. Do your part

Remember, that if you miss meeting with your group, you may not have any input into a certain portion of the project. Also, it's important to do your part in a group project and ensure each task is being completed as necessary. This is make for a smoother group project experience.

4. Lastly, keep your connections

Sometimes the teacher places you in random groups with people you may not initially know. This is a perfect opportunity to meet peers in your class you might not have had the opportunity to otherwise. If you find that you work well with another student, stay in contact and you might find each other in the industry again after you graduate. 



Deborah Lippman Shares Nail Polish Success Story

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Nail polish entrepreneur Deborah Lippman shares tips on making it in the competitive business of nail beauty in an interview on Fashionista. Known in the industry for her signature chunky glitter—pink-based Candy Shop is the bestseller—the celebrity manicurist credits Cher and Bobbi Brown for giving her the boost she needed to launch her company in 2009.

Turn your beauty idea into a business with a degree in Beauty Industry Management from FIDM.



FIDM Style Project: Glenda Harrison from So What to Twenty Reveals Her Must-Have Fashion Piece


Image: (Left) Fashion Blogger and FIDM Grad Glenda Harrison of So What to Twenty and a vintage Maidenform bra advertisement.

In this month’s FIDM Style Project series, we reached out to some of our favorite fashion bloggers to ask: 

“Name one thing in your closet that you couldn't live without and why?”

Fashion Blogger and FIDM Grad Glenda Harrison of So What to Twenty weighed in on the subject:

“My answer is a good bra. Yep, that's it. Having the right foundation is essential to having a good fit and feeling comfortable in your look. Having a pulled-together look must begin with the essential element of having great under garments,” says Harrison who cites Lilyette as her favorite intimates brand."

More about Glenda

Harrison is a graduate of FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising and enjoys incorporating her passion for the fashion industry with writing by encouraging her followers to explore their personal style and femininity through fashion. Harrison also believes that “true beauty is not so much about how the clothes can make you feel on the outside, but how beautiful you are on the inside.” 

Connect with Glenda

About FIDM Style Project

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



Founders of Custom Perfume Company Pastiche Speak in Fundamentals of Fragrance Class

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Husband and wife founders, Dana and Bill Knees, of the custom perfume company, Pastiche, visited FIDM last week as guest speakers in André Barnwell's Fundamentals of Fragrance class. They spoke with beauty students about their brand and how they market their custom fragrances. André wanted his students to learn about this example of a California fragrance launch, as opposed to a New York launch.  

Tell us about your company, Pastiche: We’re the first national custom perfume company. Our fragrance designers host parties and events where guests design their own signature scent and perfume bottles. We’re based here in Southern California, launched just last November and are growing very quickly.

How did you get started in the fragrance industry? I’ve always attributed my success to the power of connections. Out of college my cousin was working as a Regional Sales Manager for Chesebrough Ponds who owned global cosmetic and beauty companies like Elizabeth Arden, Erno Lazlo, Calvin Klein and mass market brands as well. He got me an interview and I nailed the job! 

What did you demo to the FIDM Students? Pastiche is a husband and wife team. We come from the corporate world – including marketing and sales experience at companies like Unilever and Coty. Bill presented the business model of our company; I gave a demonstration of how our parties work. We smelled some of our amazing perfume blends from our beautiful fragrance bar. 

How did you develop your fragrances? We worked with a master perfumer, who hired me at Robertet Fragrances. There are only about 500 master perfumers worldwide. We are fortunate to be working with one of the elite few.

Why isn’t this being done at retail?  It actually is at places like Saks Fifth Avenue. The problem is that it is too expensive in that environment. Plus perfume parties with other people are just more fun than doing it alone. Our process is also very fun – like designing your own ice cream sundae.

How do you hire your fragrance designers? Actually anyone can be a designer, simply by purchasing one of our starter kits. We train them and they typically make $200 or more at each party they supervise.

Describe the difference between top, middle, and base notes: We don’t really go into top, middle and base notes at Pastiche. We talk more about our fragrances as blends. We are about presenting a blend and determining if you love it. We keep things simple. I either like it or I don’t and move on. We also make it simple to put things together, in order not to overwhelm the person who is smelling. We often compare our process to tasting food. I like it or not, I like it more if I add this or that. Simple yet fun. Not complex.

Why are department store fragrances so expensive? There is overhead for retail space and salaries to be paid. Like everything, prices go up every year. Large companies are concerned about the bottom line profit. It needs to be a money maker so often they take steps to reduce quality.

Any advice for students pursuing careers in beauty? Network, network, network. Be genuinely interested in people. Ask what they do and be curious. This will help you to figure out what interests you. Never forget to ask how you can help them. Success in life comes from people who who help one another. It's not all about me. Get as much actual, pertinent job experience as you can. Relevant work experience is key.



California Boosts Tax Incentives for Film & TV Productions

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The California legislature passed a bill that will increase funding for the state's film incentives to $330 million a year—a boost from the current $1 million a year currently allocated. The bill will also allow subsidies for keeping big budget movies, new network dramas, and TV pilots local, according to the Los Angeles Times. 

photo credit: Los Angeles Times



How To: Make a Lasting Impression with Your Professor


Professors at FIDM are talented professionals who are currently working in the industry, so they make great networking connections for our students. 

If you're a current or future FIDM Student, here's how to take advantage of this opportunity:

1. Introduce yourself

Your teacher will know you as a name down a roster during the first class, but take it a step further and make a proper introduction before or after class. Talk to them about what you're excited to learn in the class and what you want to do after graduating. They might offer some great insight or give you connections on how to make your goals possible.

2. Participate

Teachers never want to stand before a classroom that doesn't participate. It's a two way street and a better experience when students are actively listening and involved in discussions.

3. Be Timely

Respect a teachers time. Don't arrive to class late, and try to submit your assignments when they are due. 

4. Take advantage of office hours

Almost every teacher has office hours, and they will be sitting in their office between those times whether students decide to show up or not. Don't leave them hanging: go visit your teacher during this extra time outside of class and ask questions. 

5. Ask questions

Ask good questions and make eye contact to show your interest in the class material. 



Merchandise Marketing Alumna Working at AG Jeans After Internship


After working as the Retail Department Intern at AG Jeans, Merchandise Marketing Alumna Victoria Sparks was offered a full-time position as the Retail Assistant at the denim label. "There are so many different aspects that I love about my job," says the June 2014 graduate. "I really get to dabble in all the different parts of the Retail Department, from Retail Operations, to Allocations, to Visuals, and my favorite, Buying."

Victoria, who found the AG Jeans internship through FIDM's Career Network, says she spends 80 to 90 percent of her time with the Buyer, which suits her just fine. "I love that I get to have an impact on so many different parts of the department and really become a well-rounded professional individual. I also love the people I work with; they are all so helpful, friendly, and intelligent, which I believe is extremely important when just starting out on a career," adds Victoria, who also interned at Halston while studying at the college.

"FIDM helped prepare me for my career, from the math and buying courses, to technology for merchandise buying, to allocations, to merchandising, and organizational behavior. Each taught me something I actually use at my job." 



Grad Designs Titles for Guardians of the Galaxy and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Interview)


Name: Justin Hamilton

Major: Digital Media

Title: Lead VFX Designer

Company: Greenhaus GFX

Tell us about your role as Lead VFX Designer. That means that anytime we have to be on set to supervise a shoot involving VFX I'll be there. I'll also coordinate and complete any work that must be done in post. When we aren't working on a job with VFX I'm always excited to jump in on the design phase of any campaign we work on. In my case, this usually involves creating a healthy amount of 2D and 3D elements that I can use to create some initial style frames. Some recent highlights are designing the Guardians of the Galaxy and Maleficent main titles. 

We hear you recently worked on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles titles as well. For the animated title sequence at the end of TMNT, I designed the initial style frames and animation that were approved by Director Jonathan Liebesman, Michael Bay, and the rest of the crew behind the film. I couldn't have done it without my team here at Greenhaus and the beautiful illustrations based on the film done by Rudi Liden. I was about to get married, so fellow FIDM Grad and Art Director Kyle Brosius took the reigns from there to see the project through to completion. I was beyond impressed with the final piece when I returned!

What do you enjoy about this type of work? For design work I love coming up with looks, concepts, and ideas that can work to help push a project artistically or from a marketing standpoint. In our field, we are always creating the most beautiful imagery possible in an artistic and technical sense and it's a blast to find that look that marries perfectly with the project. In the case of TMNT, I was stoked to nail down a look and animation style for the team so that they could use that as a guide to create the rest of the piece while I was away.

For VFX work, the joy is usually creating something that blends so perfectly with footage that the viewer cannot tell that it was added in post. I have a side that is creative/artistic and another side that is more technical/scientific and this type of work allows me to bring those together.



Johana Hernandez Nominated as One of the Most Influential Latinas for PEOPLE Espanol


FIDM Alumna Johana Hernandez, who appeared on Fashion Star and designs the label GLAUDI, is vying for a spot on PEOPLE Espanol's list of most influential Latinas for 2014. If Johana receives enough votes, she will be featured in the magazine and receive prize money that will be donated to a school that she helped build in El Salvador. Johana was nominated by prominent Spanish journalist Myrka Dellanos and TV personality Raul De Molina. 

Vote for Johana here



What's In Your FIDM Tote? Our Favorite Posts From Twitter and Instagram


In preparation for the various supplies and other items FIDM Students carry to campus each day (and to share our school spirit), FIDM provides each student with a FIDM tote bag during the first quarter of their program. 

FIDM's Social Media department recently challenged current students to show the world the contents of their illustrious FIDM tote bags. Scroll down to check out some of our favorite posts from the ongoing challenge. If you would like your tote featured here, tag it #FIDMTote on Twitter or Instagram. 

For more information on becoming a student at FIDM, click here.

(Above) Post by Instagrammer @NicoleChristiana



Industrywatch: Tech & Teen Dollars

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Business analysts, trying to understand the slump in the teen apparel market, point to two trends: fast fashion and tech gizmos for taking teen dollars. "You try to get them talking about what's the next look, what they're excited about purchasing in apparel, and the conversation always circles back to the iPhone 6," John Morris, a retail analyst for BMO Capital Markets tells the New York Times. "A phone keeps you much more entertained," explains teen model Nicole Myers (pictured above). "It's a better distraction than clothing."

Teen apparel accounts for 15% of retail apparel sales.

photo credit: New York Times



FIDM Goes International. Is Your City Next? #FIDMVisits.


This fall, get your questions answered by an Admissions Advisor and learn about FIDM’s majors, financial aid, the admissions process, and more when FIDM visits these cities. (For U.S. cities and dates, go here.): 

FIDM Visits Brazil

August 30 - September 4 at FEIRA EDUCATIONUSA, BRAZIL

To schedule an appointment: e-mail 

August 30 in Brasilia, Brazil 

Hotel Melia Brasil 21

Sat: 14:00 - 18:00

September 1 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Hotel Windsor Atlantica

Sun: 17:00 - 21:00

September 4 in Sao Paolo, Brazil

Hotel Intercontinental

Sun: 17:00 - 21:00

FIDM Visits Asia

To schedule an appointment: e-mail 


September 10-12


September 16-17, 22 & 24


September 18-20


September 21


September 26-30


October 9-12


October 14-19


October 18-20


October 21

Schedule your appointment today! Email Lisa Aronoff at 



Student Spotlight: Amanda Daucher, Visual Communications and YouTube Star


Name: Amanda Daucher

Major: Visual Communications

How are VisComm classes going?

They are going great! It is sad to think they are coming to an end soon in March 2015. I have learned so much. I see the world in a whole new way now. For example, learning about architecture in sketching classes, I now notice all of that when I walk around the city.

Why did you choose FIDM?

It all started when a FIDM representative came to my high school (James Madison in Vienna, Virginia) in my fashion merchandising class during junior year. I was very interested and got in contact with an advisor. I have always loved fashion and was doing a fashion/beauty YouTube channel at the time, plus a fashion design class in senior year. I really knew I wanted to go to FIDM when I attended 3 Days of Fashion, I felt safe at the campus, the teachers knew so much, and it was a nice change in my life since I had never been on the West Coast before.

How is your YouTube channel going? How has it evolved since becoming a FIDM student?

I just hope from my YouTube channel that I help people with the knowledge I have learned on my life journey. A lot of people have been into my "FIDM advice videos," where I state my experience and thoughts. I also give out my email,, for people to contact me if they have questions about FIDM or anything really. I have gotten many emails from girls who are interested in FIDM. I even met up with one girl at FIDM and she is now a friend of mine and is coming October 2014.

What are your career goals?

I have a lot of things I want to do and try. I have always wanted to be a stylist for people on a budget. I feel I am a super shopper when it comes to deals -- I find the best items for less. I learned it all from my mom! I also would love to get into visual merchandising because I love styling. It would be so much fun to visualize a store or window displays. One goal I would love to do is get into the entertainment business. Since I have my YouTube channel, I talk a lot in front of a camera. I would love to be a fashion host of something like Giuliana Rancic. There are so many other things I want to do but those would be my top three.

If you could give any advice to future students what would it be?

My advice would be to get your homework done right away. I know a lot of people procrastinate and I do too sometimes but when I get home from class and just start on my homework I feel so much better. By the weekend I am usually done with all of my homework, so I can just relax and not stress too much.

Any proudest accomplishments since attending FIDM?

Being on honor roll at FIDM is one. To know that my work has paid off makes me proud of myself. My YouTube channel in general is always my proudest accomplishments. I love seeing myself grow and doing what I love. Helping others is my entire goal for my channel. Ever since I started FIDM, I have helped so many people learn about the college and a lot of my viewers end up wanting to know more or even attend. 



Your City Is Next. #FIDMVisits.


This October, FIDM will visit cities all over the U.S. Get your questions answered by an Admissions Advisor and learn about FIDM’s majors, financial aid, the admissions process, and more in these cities: 

10/11 & 12


10/18 & 19



Las Vegas






Raleigh Durham

10/23 & 24


10/25 & 26


10/25 & 26


10/25 & 26




10/25 & 26



Register to attend an event in any of the above cities.

We hope to see you soon! 



Trendwatch: Teen Market Moves to Fast Retailers

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Teen fashion followers are leaving former favorites—Abercrombie & Fitch, Aeropostale, and American Eagle—in droves. Where are the heading? According to a business report in The Washington Post, "Advantages are going to stores that use novel approaches to assure that a design can be made in response to Internet buzz and then taken from a factory floor to a suburban mall in a matter of weeks." Fast retailers like Forever 21 and H&M are mentioned as riding the trend.



Hypebeast's Head of U.S. Brand Partnerships Speaks to FIDM Students


Huan Nguyen, the Head of U.S. Brand Partnerships for the popular menswear online magazine Hypebeast, recently spoke to students in Susan Spencer's Contemporary Business Strategies class. "FIDM is a great place to learn about the fashion industry from the ground up, and in my experience, the students have asked great questions and showed a genuine curiosity about the work I do," says Huan, who encouraged students to persevere during their time in school and after graduating. "It's a competitive industry and the only way to stand out is through networking and showcasing your skills."



Lauren Conrad Appears on Cover of Martha Stewart Weddings With New Bridesmaid Dress Collection



Lauren Conrad, formerly a student at FIDM, has designed a collection of bridesmaid dresses for her label Paper Crown. Conrad and five of her bridesmaids model the ethereal and bohemian-style gowns for Martha Stewart Weddings. The bride-to-be says:

I don’t think it has to be too cohesive,” she explains. “It’s too difficult to take a group of girls and put them in the same color and silhouette; everyone has their own style.” So she’s choosing a few hues, then letting her friends pick from “all the different shapes” in her line. “I don’t mind if there are a few girls in the same dress, or if people are all in different ones,” she says.

People Style Watch has the full report. 



FIDM Students Celebrate the Latest Issue of FIDM Mode

Mode Picture of Ashley and Marie

Image: (Left) Ashley Wiley, Beauty Director for FIDM MODE and Marie Kramal, PR and Social Media Manager for FIDM MODE.

Downtown LA was buzzing with excitement as more than 100 FIDM Students celebrated the latest issue of student-produced magazine, FIDM MODE on Thursday, August 7.  The red carpet event featured a DJ, and delicious appetizers.

Working on FIDM MODE can be a very satisfying and exciting experience according to Marie Kramal, FIDM MODE PR and Social Media Manager, who says working on the publication is extremely rewarding.

“I enjoy being able to use my talents to contribute to a vision I believe in," she says. "I also really love the 'fearless' concept, which is what this issue is all about.”

FIDM MODE is a magazine created by FIDM Students for FIDM Students promoting awareness on design, student life, and current events. Published bi-annually and produced on the Los Angeles campus, students from all majors and campuses interested in expressing themselves through creative writing, graphic design, and photography are encouraged to pitch, write, and photograph editorials. Topics include everything from fashion and beauty, to student projects and job-searching tips.

FIDM MODE gives students the opportunity to build upon their classroom experience and apply it to the real world once they graduate.

“Working on FIDM MODE made me more outgoing in my industry in terms of networking because I have to talk to people for MODE,” says FIDM MODE Beauty Director Ashley Wiley. “It also makes me more aware of trends.”

Fashion Blogger and FIDM Merchandise Marketing Alumna Rachael Dickhute of the fashion blog Everything Hauler agrees.

“[This issue of the FIDM MODE] is going to bring in the editorial side for FIDM Students. It’s something for them to relate to and it’s a great outlet for trends as well,” said Dickhute.

Mode Picture of Rachael

Image: Fashion Blogger and FIDM Grad Rachael Dickhute of Everything Hauler at the FIDM MODE launch party wearing pants by Ms Scandal, top by Cotton On, and jacket by LuLu’s.

The professional look of the magazine also caught the eye of fashion blogger and FIDM Student Nikki Dror of the fashion blog Four-Eleven. “I love the cover! There’s a lot more content and the photo shoots are very professional,” said Dror.

Mode Picture of Nikki

Image: Fashion Blogger and FIDM Student Nikki Dror of Four-Eleven at the FIDM MODE launch party wearing jacket, shorts and shirt by H&M and shoes by Choies.

To learn more about FIDM MODE or to read the current issue for Spring/Summer 2014, click here. See more photos from the MODE launch party on the FIDM Facebook page here.



Monique Lhuillier Dresses Kaley Cuoco and Louise Roe for 66th Annual Emmy Awards



The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco donned a Resort 2015 pink and red strapless gown with lace applique and a tiered tulle skirt from FIDM Grad Monique Lhuillier at last night's 66th Annual Emmy Awards in Los Angeles. Fashion expert Louise Roe opted for a more conceptual look from Lhuillier's Spring 2014 RTW collection. 



FIDM Grads Working As Costume Designers on The Mentalist


FIDM Graduates Amanda Friedland and Suzy Magnin are the Costume Designer and Assistant Costume Designer, respectively, on CBS's The Mentalist. Both Amanda and Suzy have worked on the show for Season 4, 5, 6, and are currently working on Season 7. 

"We love the collaborative aspect of working with creative writers and directors on an episodic basis," says Suzy. "You really get to know your characters having worked with them for so many years. Costuming is a visual form of storytelling that we both enjoy."

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2014 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved



Industrywatch: Tory Burch Appeals Across Generations


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Fashion brand Tory Burch is cited in a Women's Wear Daily special marketing report as being one of the only companies that successfully caters to women across all age groups. In a survey of consumer experts on capturing the neglected baby boomer fashion market, Peter Hubbell, CEO of BoomAgers says, "If you look at a brand like Tory Burch, you've got every generation of woman out there embracing what Burch is all about." A major theme of the study is that boomers (ages 50-65) want to look and feel current—not defined by age or loose fit.



FIDM Grad and "Bachelorette" Desiree Hartsock Teams With Maggie Sottero to Launch Wedding Dress Collection



FIDM Graduate Desiree Hartsock, who gained fame as The Bachelorette and dreamed of becoming a bridal designer, has teamed with award-winning fashion designer, Maggie Sottero to launch her debut wedding dress collection. Desiree and her fiance, Chris Siegfried, are on hand today in Hollywood at the Couture Bridal Market hosted by The Knot to celebrate the launch and talk about their upcoming nuptials. 


"I'm simply ecstatic to see this dream come true," Desiree announced as she reviewed her collection recently in Salt Lake City. "The dresses reflect my personality: free spirited, but with a passion for glam, as seen in the soft, flowing fabrics and the Art Deco beadwork. I haven't decided yet whether my own wedding will be in a church or outdoor setting, but I love that the dresses in my collection are perfect for either and so are the dresses I've designed for myself."

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