DEBUT Grad Samantha Sneed Featured in Rockwall Herald Banner


Advanced Fashion Design Graduate Samantha Sneed, who showed her first collection at DEBUT 2015, is profiled in her hometown paper, the Rockwall County Herald Banner. “I learned so much about sewing, and new techniques I hadn’t learned before,” she said. She describes her womenswear designs as "classic American meets modern equestrian clothing, with a fun campy twist." See her collection below:




MPD Alumnus' Pladra Brand Hosts Pop-Up Shop in San Francisco's Hayes Valley


Merchandise Product Development Graduate Jeff Ladra's outdoor lifestyle brand, Pladra, has a pop-up shop in San Francisco's Hayes Valley. Located at 573 Hayes Street, the store is stocked with the brand’s signature flannel shirts for men and women, made from the world’s softest Portuguese 100% cotton flannel accented with whimsical nature prints used to face the collar and cuffs.

The pop-up shop is now through September 30, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. 



FIDM Students Attend Fashion Industry Trade Show MAGIC in Las Vegas


Top left: Brett Bushell; Group shot, left to right: Ho Sze Wah Michelle, Jose M. Hernandez, Miriam Silva Tapid, and Stephanie Crompton; Center: Amrin Stewart; Right: Chris Cortez. 

Twenty-five FIDM Students, along with Career Advisor Simona Williams, Department Chair Roni-Miller Start, and Instructor Kenneth Chang recently attended MAGIC, the fashion industry trade show (which is celebrating its 20th anniversary) that was held in Las Vegas from August 16 to 19, 2015. 

"This historical and educational convention was beyond expectation for the FIDM Students," said Simona. "We had access to all shows and seminars: Sourcing at MAGIC, Footwear Sourcing, WWD MAGIC, Project, The Tents, Project Women's, FN Platform, WSA@ Magic, PoolTradeShow, The Collective, CurveNV@Magic, and Playground."



FIDM Designers Starring on Project Runway's 14th Season


FIDM Graduate Blake Patterson (second from left, top row), FIDM San Francisco Student Candice Cuoco (seated, center), and FIDM Instructor Jake Wall (seated to Candice's left) are on the new season of Project Runway. They are among 16 contestants vying to win the fashion competition series and show their collection at New York Fashion Week in September. Watch Project Runway Season 14 every Thursday on Lifetime, and follow @FIDM for our weekly live tweeting of each episode.



Catching Up With FIDM Social Ambassador Kun Guo


Name: Kun Guo

Hometown: Beijing, China

Major: Fashion Design

How did you first hear about FIDM? I heard about FIDM from one of my friends who lived in L.A. so I visited the campus and I loved it.

What is it like being an International Student at FIDM? People at FIDM are friendly. There are students who come from around the whole world--it's quite fun to experience the different cultures.

What are your career goals? I hope to work and live in a place surrounded by fashion people. I'd like to have my own brand (like every fashion student wants). 

What do you enjoy about being a FIDM Social Ambassador? It is really exciting to work with FIDM Staff to help promote the college. I feel that being one of FIDM's Social Ambassador is a really important part of my life in Los Angeles.

Learn more about Kun here



FIDM Grad Launches San Antonio Fashion Awards


San Antonio-based style maven Burgundy Woods is "probably the most stylish woman in S.A. you've never heard of," according to a recently article posted by mySA. This FIDM Grad has launched the San Antonio Fashion Awards, which will be presented on October 10, 2015, at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. Burgundy wanted to recognize the city's hair, makeup, and design innovators who often work for free out of their passion for the industry.   



Interview: Hedi Slimane Likes West Coast Creativity

Slimane copy

Saint Laurent's media-shy Creative Director Hedi Slimane discusses the advantage of opening his design studio in Los Angeles in an in-depth interview for Yahoo Style. Great reading for couture and creativity fans.

On California as a creative home:

The shift of global creativity toward the Pacific might have happened over the last seven years. The influence of California is now at so many levels, besides the entertainment industry. In fashion, the perception towards the city seems to have changed recently in a positive way.

The city of Los Angeles was for me a perfect observatory of popular culture and inspiring sub-cultures. Not to talk about the Internet community, which transformed California, and exported its spirit and ingenuity.

On looking back at analog:

I would now rather explore an analog world, that could bypass the botoxed-digital revolution, an alternative aesthetic that feels emotional, moving and warm, slightly wrong or chaotic at times. Anything but a deadly digital flat screen world.



FIDM Grad Jene Park Is Now Creative Director of Thomas Wylde



Jene Park is the new creative director at Thomas Wylde, the Los Angeles-based brand that is favored by stars such as Sienna Miller, Cameron Diaz, and Charlize Theron. Known for high-end leather jackets, silk caftans, and skull-printed scarves, the label is getting a makeover as well as a diffusion line with Park at the helm. 

Read more in the Los Angeles Times



FIDM IG Takeover: PAM & GELA


Join FIDM on Instagram, from Wednesday, August 19 – Friday, August 21, as we host an exclusive Instagram takeover with Gela Nash-Taylor and FIDM Grad Pamela Skaist-Levy, the founders of Juicy Couture and PAM & GELA.

Instagram Takeover Details

Over the course of three days, you will get the chance to go behind the scenes of fashion empire PAM & GELA. The dynamic duo has curated a series of photos for FIDM’s Instagram page, featuring fun facts about the fashion moguls, as well as valuable advice to carry you through life and business. Pam & Gela will also answer questions from our audience during the takeover, in a live Q&A on @FIDMCollege’s Instagram.

To participate in our Instagram takeover, be sure to follow @FIDMCollege and @PamandGela on Instagram. Get to know Pam & Gela below, and check out their website.

About Fashion Moguls Pam & Gela

Pamela Skaist-Levy was born in Los Angeles, CA, and grew up a “skateboarding Valley girl” in Encino. She is a graduate of the FIDM and a former costume designer.

Skaist-Levy and her business partner of over 15 years, Gela Nash-Taylor, were the maximalist masterminds behind the extraordinary Juicy Couture brand. They created an unapologetic world where “more” was fun. Their unique take on everyday luxury and irreverent fashion expression served as an inspiration to a whole new generation of young designers and paved the gilded way for progressive, up and coming ready-to-wear brands. Now, they are back for seconds with their new brand PAM & GELA, which brings back their unique take on casual luxury. 



Society Fashion Designer Arnold Scaasi Dies

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Arnold Scaasi, designer to New York and Washington high society, and Hollywood royalty, died in New York at 85. Known for his love of bright colors, ruffles, bows, and beads, he told the New York Times: "Clothes with some adornment are more interesting to look at and more fun to wear." Among his famous looks was the sheer, beaded, bell-bottomed pants suit Barbra Streisand wore to the 1969 Academy Awards and Barbara Bush's blue, puff-sleeved inaugural ball gown in 1989.



Student Spotlight: Tomy Huang, Advanced Fashion Design


Name: Yongjian Huang (Tomy)

Major: Advanced Fashion Design

How are classes going? Taking classes here at FIDM is a joyful experience--I'm learning something useful and inspiring. All the courses covered many skills and techniques that could help students quickly enter into the world of fashion and design. I love taking classes at here and learned so much in most of the classes and could easily use them in work.

Why did you choose FIDM? The reason I chose FIDM is not only because it combined both design and business courses together, but also because DEBUT can help me to learn so much and provides me a stage in front of the industry and market. I would like to debut my design and spirit through the DEBUT stage. 

What are your career goals? My career goal is to establish one fashion business that could not only function as a professional business, but also provide great and never before seen visual design for costumes.

If you could give advice to future FIDM students what would it be? To succeed at FIDM means to succeed in your future job and the industry. However, success at FIDM is not easy at all. Don't be late or lazy, and always keep looking for the new ideas.

What's your proudest accomplishment since starting FIDM? My proudest accomplishment while attending FIDM is that I challenged myself to make it into DEBUT for 2016. As an international student who came from China, I was not born speaking English. Therefore, the courses, especially the business and marketing courses, are a challenge for me. I took seven classes in one quarter to be able to finish all the required courses for DEBUT and studied very hard to improve my language. It was a challenge, but I have learned a lot, and finally made it and joined the best student team among all fashion design students.



FIDM Grad Chelsie Kadota Launches Swimwear Label S.I.E SWIM

Chelsie Kadota

Chelsie Kadota graduated from FIDM in 2011 with her Product Development Professional Designation degree. She recently launched her own swimwear label S.I.E SWIM which she intends to grow into an international lifestyle brand.

Tell us a little about yourself: Before FIDM, I had a B.A. double major in Business Management and Marketing while on a basketball scholarship. I was the total opposite of a typical "jock," and after I earned my undergraduate degrees, I knew I wanted to go to FIDM to major in Product Development—to further my knowledge and experiences in the industry. I recently launched my own swim lifestyle brand called S.I.E SWIM online.  It has been a labor of love for a year in the making and I do everything from the designing to the accounting.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM opened my world to the many facets of the fashion industry and introduced me to connections that I am still in contact with today.

How did you decide on your major? After reading through all the descriptions of the majors, I knew Product Development was the perfect fit because it encompassed the skills needed to own a fashion business.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Throw yourself into the experience and gain all the knowledge and connections from FIDM. It is a very awesome opportunity that shouldn't be taken for granted.

What is your biggest goal right now? To build my brand into a international lifestyle brand.

Anything else you’d like to share? I'm thankful for all the people and teachers I met at FIDM and wish everyone well.



Catching Up With Married FIDM Grads Eiman Hamza and Michael Scarpellini


In the past, we've told you about married FIDM Graduates Eiman Hamza and Michael Scarpellini, who are partners in the My Closet chain of boutiques and the brand, Happiness. We recently caught up with the globetrotting duo, who are based in Italy, to learn about their expanding business and family.

What is new with Happiness and your retail stores?

Michael: Since we started our brand Happiness in 2007, we have added a lot of variety to our product line, which was known for its t-shirts and sweatpants. Now we have dresses, ponchos, shorts, parkas, swimwear, and a full kids collection. We just opened our first kids store in Rimini, Italy and now have 8 mono brand retail stores in Italy and Spain, which we are very excited about. Everything from the design to the product inside the store was developed by us--it was a lot of hard work, but we are so happy with the results.

Eiman: We’ve given jobs to more than 300 people and out of anything we’ve ever done since we started Happiness, this for me is the most rewarding. Everyone who works with us lives and breathes Happiness. We have all found a family and happiness in each other. I find us to be very lucky to be surrounded by such creative and powerful individuals who inspire us each and every day.

How has life changed now that you have a baby? 

Eiman: Life feels more complete now. We opened up our dream stores, the brand is retailed in some of the top 3,000 stores worldwide, and we are happily married, but there was always something missing. At the end of the day we were still empty until Zeyd came along and filled that emptiness with absolute chaos. He is so funny and crazy; he makes life have meaning and is the truest purest form of happiness in our lives. He inspires us and motivates us more than anyone can imagine.

Michael: Eiman doesn’t want a nanny so working and the traveling that comes along with work is always done with Zeyd by our side and that is not easy. Somehow we manage to make it work but its crazy.

Where do you see the future of your brand and retail stores going?

Eiman: We have plans to open stores in Tokyo and New York in the next year and I am beyond excited about that. I see us continuing to spread Happiness worldwide.

Michael: The future for Happiness is opening several direct stores plus growth in distribution and offering a wider variety in product.





Attend the FIDM Museum's Free #4for400 Launch Party to Help Save 400 Years of Fashion History


Support the FIDM Museum in #4for400, our social media fundraising campaign to acquire the Helen Larson Historic Fashion Collection, by attending a free launch party on Tuesday, August 4 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the FIDM Museum in Los Angeles. 

This remarkable collection of 1,400 rare objects represents 400 years of fashion history, and would serve as a one-of-a-kind cultural treasure for our communities--an inspirational and educational tool for generations to come.

Help Save 400 Years of Fashion:

*Donate $4, $40, $400, $4,000 (or any amount) by texting MUSEUM to 243725

*Share the message on Twitter (suggested Tweet: $4 could save 400 years of fashion history. Join @FIDMMuseum in their campaign!

*Attend our free #4for400 Launch Party on August 4. Enjoy food, music, raffles, and tours

*Follow the FIDM Museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates

*Share, Like, Re-Gram, and Re-Tweet #4for400 posts from the FIDM Museum

*Create original #4for400 posts on your social media platforms

*Ask your favorite celebrities and fashion industry personalities to support #4for400

Learn more at the FIDM Museum Blog. Thank you! 




Congratulations to CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Finalist and FIDM Grad Matt Baldwin of Baldwin


Congratulations to FIDM Graduate Matt Baldwin, a finalist in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund design challenge. Learn more about Baldwin

From Vogue:

Over the past twelve years, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund has granted more than $4 million to more than 30 design companies, including winners like Alexander Wang, Altuzarra, and Proenza Schouler, and runners-up like Tabitha Simmons, Prabal Gurung, and Thom Browne. 

Over the next four months, this group of ten finalists—in addition to running their businesses as usual—will participate in special design and advertising challenges, stage a runway show at the Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, and, of course, share their stories and inspirations with It all leads up to the big announcement on November 2.

The 2015 finalists are:

Baja East, Scott Studenberg and John Targon

Baldwin, Matt Baldwin

Brother Vellies, Aurora James

Cadet, Brad Schmidt and Raul Arevalo

CG, Chris Gelinas

Chromat, Becca McCharen

David Hart, David Hart

Gypsy Sport, Rio Uribe

Jonathan Simkhai, Jonathan Simkhai

Thaddeus O’Neil, Thaddeus O’Neil



What's Trending at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week


As little girls, we daydream of somehow, some way growing up to be a princess. We play out these fantasies in different ways throughout our adolescence, whether that is a Halloween costume in elementary school or a tiara and ball gown at prom. Then, we reach adulthood and that dream becomes all but a fond memory… or does it? This season at Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week, designers gave us some hope as models cascaded down the runways in two different versions of our royal fantasies.

Good Princess

From Karlie Kloss walking down the runway looking like a Grecian goddess at Atelier Versace to the simple, long-sleeved, velvet gowns at Julien Flore that were reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty, to the pale pink, silk, ball gowns and Ralph & Russo, designers were dressing models like glamorous, female heroines.

Her Medieval Counterpart

The princesses’ "evil stepsister" emerged as the edgier heir in medieval looks at Valentino and Zuhair Murad. Models were adorned with dainty headbands while wearing luxurious fabrics in dark shades, looking like they had just stepped out of a scene from Game of Thrones. It was like the good and bad princess both came to life on the runway.

Whether the trend is here to stay or not, designers did not disappoint this season. For me, and many others, Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week 2015-2016 was like watching a dream come true.

Written By FIDM Grad Randi Wood of Champagne and Couture



FIDM's New TV Costume Design Exhibition Features Costumes From Empire, Mad Men, and More


For the ninth year, FIDM's annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design exhibition is celebrating the art and artistry of Primetime Emmy®-nominated costume designers, costume supervisors, and assistant costume designers. More than 100 costumes from more than 20 shows, including Gotham, The Mindy Project, Marvel’s Agent Carter, Wolf Hall, and Better Call Saul, are on display through September 26, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, at FIDM's Museum. Admission is free to the public. 


Variety has a detailed article about the exhibition featuring interviews with some of the featured costume designers. 




Cristy Guy Styles Pro Soccer Players For New 7UP Campaign


Fashion Design Alumna Cristy Guy was the wardrobe stylist and groomer for 7UP's "Kick It Up" soccer campaign. "What an experience, what a crew, and what talented athletes I had the pleasure of meeting," she says. "This job took me from shooting with professional USA Soccer Goalie Tim Howard in Memphis, Tennessee to Porto, Portugal working with Mexico's Central Midfielder, Hector Herrera. It was a whirlwind adventure never to be forgotten." 



Supima Design Competition Finalists Includes DEBUT Grad Leetal Platt


The Supima Design Competition, which includes finalists from seven prominent fashion schools, is celebrating its eighth year with fashion designer Bibhu Mohapatra as its new mentor. The competing designers, including recent FIDM Advanced Fashion Design DEBUT Graduate Leetal Platt, will create capsule collections of clothing using Supima cotton fabrics. They will show their designs at a collective runway presentation at New York Fashion Week in September and Paris Fashion Week in October. Leetal, who won Best In Show at DEBUT 2015 and received the Koefia scholarship, will already be in Europe studying at the Koefia Academy in Rome this fall. 



Fashion Design Grad Is Director of Product Development for Appalatch Outdoor Apparel Co.


Name: Allyson Ansusinha

Title/Company: Director of Product Development for Appalatch

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Grad Year: December 2011

Tell us a little about yourself. I'm always itching to create and to work with my hands. I love textiles and clothing. I love being a maker of style, or as I like to say, a facilitator of communication. Style is communicating your personality to the world and I love being a part of that. I love walking outside and watching the wind blow through the trees, doing yoga, reading fiction, and weaving fabric. I try to be optimistic and always look on the bright side.

What is Appalatch's mission? Our mission is to make high-quality, honest, accessible clothing in America. We want our clothing to have a wider reach than expensive luxury brands, but with the same quality. We create clothing with sentimental value, because we want it to be passed down through generations. We design with lasting style and quality to make that happen.

What is a typical day like for you as Director of Product Development? A typical day will have me bouncing all over the place. Working at a start up means I wear many hats. Things are constantly changing, and I roll with the punches. I may start by thinking about design and meditating on a concept before diving into conversations about our direction with assistants. Once the mood is set I like to start with textiles; I work with the Stoll Knitwear software to program a knit design that's in my head, and knit a sample. Usually I have to edit and repeat that step a few times. Once I'm satisfied with the textile, I either drape or flat pattern the garment design. Being the Director of Product Development means that I design all of our products and think through exactly how they're going to be made. It's like a puzzle, and I love it.

What is your favorite aspect of your job? I love how rewarding the finished product is. My creative process tends to be chaotic--ideas, fabric swatches, and garment samples pile up. Sometimes I feel like I have to swim through the studio. But when a collection is finished and I see all of the the beautiful textures, graphics and silhouettes I created with the help of my team I feel so satisfied. 

How has FIDM helped you in your career? FIDM gave me an amazing foundation for working in this industry. My pattern making and sewing skills became super polished at FIDM, I learned to make tech packs (so important), and I learned how much work it really is to take the concept of a garment into reality.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Work your butt off. You really have to be ambitious and put forth the effort to better yourself and grow. Listen to your intuition and don't let anyone take advantage of you. Oh, also, sleep. It does your body, mind, and spirit good.



FIDM Grads Showed Their Geek Couture Designs at the Her Universe Fashion Show at Comic-Con


FIDM Graduates Leetal Platt and Erica Williams, both 2015 DEBUT Graduates, and 2012 Alumna Kelly Cercone showcased their Geek Couture fashion designs at the Her Universe Fashion Show 2015 at San Diego Comic-Con. 


Leetal's dress, "Usagi's Transformation," (pictured above) was inspired by Sailor Moon. "I gravitated specifically to the art and themes that appear when the character Usagi goes though the transform to become Sailor Moon," she explains. "I made a nude illusion gown and tacked 40 yards of pink ribbon on the bodice. For the skirt half, I sewed on 2,000 feathers over five days as a throwback to the seasons where wings would appear during her change or her costume started to gain wings." Leetal, whose dress won the competition, created a second look and a runway "transformation" by creating two inner linings to the dress that were pulled out and wrapped around the waist, containing the dress, and a tailored, upscale version of the sailor suit shirt.

"On the runway, my model Chloe Dysktra pulled two tabs to let the skirt fall and unfold, creating a short to long reveal," she explains. "Both my model and I were shaking because we feared something might go wrong, but we rehearsed for hours, and it went off without a hitch. We were just so happy we pulled off the look itself, that the win was just an unexpected topper to the night." Leetal's prize is to design a collection with Her Universe to be sold in Hot Topic stores next year. 


Erica's design (above) was inspired by Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones. "I am a dedicated fan to both the book and TV series, and I chose Daenerys as my main source of inspiration for this Geek Couture design, focusing on her rise from the flames and into the Mother of Dragons," she explains. "I decided to feature a strong feminine silhouette emerging from a train of flame-like chiffon, a dress fit "for a Khaleesi."

There is nothing I love more than bringing an idea to life and watching it walk down a runway, and this show in particular has a special place in my heart," adds Erica, who has degrees in Fashion Design and Theatre Costume Design from FIDM. "The HerUniverse Fashion Show gave me the chance to combine both of my degrees into a single design. Geek chic is definitely paving its way into the fashion world, and I am elated to be a part of it." 


It was Kelly's first time showing with Her Universe and attending San Diego Comic-Con so she was happy to see fellow FIDM Grads. "We chatted a bit online, before the event, but met for the first time during rehearsal," she explains. "It was really great; backstage we reminisced about our favorite instructors and DEBUT. All of our looks were so unique that it was a very non-competitive environment." Kelly's design, The Joker, was the Judge's Choice Winner which means that she will also work with Hot Topic on a future collection. 




Fashionista Calls Atelier Delphine a "Label to Watch"


Fashionista has a feature on Atelier Delphine, the label "stocked in all the cool-girl stores" founded by FIDM Graduate and Japanese-born designer Yuka Izutsu. The women's label was founded in 2011, out of a desire to craft romantic loungewear for the modern woman.


Discover muted colors and high-quality fabrics that are meant to serve as a sanctuary from trend-driven fast fashion. Atelier Delphine is currently stocked at Steven Alan in New York, Olive in Austin, Myrtle in L.A., and online at Anthropologie and Of a Kind, among locations. 



Seven Graduates Honored at Reception and Exhibition of Their Menswear Collections


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
















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




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


Photos by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages 



10 FIDM Merchandise Marketing Grads with Great Careers in Fashion


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

Allison Molinatti just opened her second boutique in Napa Valley. 

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

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

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

Kathryn Giarratano recently launched the jewelry line, Amour Absolu.

Fashion blogger Nikki Dror has interned for Nylon magazine. 

Ja'Shae Jones works in merchandising at Zappos. 

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

Brittney Glenn is a buyer at Windsor Fashions.



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


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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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



Trendwatch: Costume Designers Cross Into Fashion

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

FIDM offers degree programs in Film & TV Costume Design.



Trendwatch: Fashion Illustration en Vogue


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

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

photo credit: New York Times



Hello Kitty’s First-Ever Supercute Live Tour


By Angelica Villegas

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

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


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






















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

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



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



Name: Rodrigo Navarrete

Age: 27

Hometown: San Miguel, El Salvador

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

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

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

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Fashion Design Grad Launches Trend Fashion Forecasting Service (Interview)


Name: Jaime Peck

Company: trnd

Degree: Fashion Design

Grad Year: 2008

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

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

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

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



Industrywatch: Fashion Designers Adore Los Angeles

Palm springs show

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



Meet 5 Fab Stylists Working in Hollywood and Beyond


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

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

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

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

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

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



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



Name: Ally Crocker

Age: 24

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Previous College: California Lutheran University

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA Campus, Summer 2015

Admissions Advisor: Roxy DeGuzman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

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

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



Alumni Association Hosts Film and TV Costume Designers For Panel


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

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

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

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

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


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


Photos courtesy of Meher Kourouyan / Reel Light Pictures.



Catching Up With Designer Leanne Marshall (Interview)


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

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


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


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

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

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



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


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

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

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

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

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



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


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

View the 2015 collection here



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

Sandy Novak NG

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


The Jakarta Post has a profile of Miranda Mazuki, a 2012 Graduate who just launched her first ready-to-wear line, Mazuki, in Jakarta. While at FIDM, Miranda assisted in the visual department of Yves Saint Laurent in Beverly Hills and after graduation, she moved to New York and interned for Jill Stuart International and worked as a freelance knitwear consultant at Opening Ceremony. 

Her first collection, entitled "Comfortable Solitude," features structured silhouettes and comfortable fabrics such as Egyptian cotton and silk and wool blends. Based in Jakarta, Mazuki is producing men's and women's collections. 



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



Blake Lively wore Monique Lhuillier twice in one evening for the premiere of her new film, The Age of Adaline. The actress, who famously does not use a stylist, donned a leather-trimmed red lace gown with a full skirt. For the after party, she chose a spangled sheer bodysuit that was paired with a black blazer. 



See Masked Muses from the Art Forms Fashion Collection by FIDM Alumnus Paul Hernandez at San Diego's Art Alive


Fashion Designer, FIDM DEBUT Graduate, and San Diego native Paul Hernandez debuts his Masked Muses from the Art Forms Fashion Collection during the Art Alive 2015 celebrations at The San Diego Museum of Art. The Art Forms Fashion Collection is comprised of four dramatic fashion installations, each inspired by a different piece of art in the museum.



• Masked Muse I: Inspired by the painting, Wooded Landscape with a Waterfall, by Jacob van Ruisdael.


• Masked Muse II: Inspired by the painting, Flower Garland with the Holy Family, by Daniel Seghers.


• Masked Muse III: Inspired by a jali screen by an unknown artist from India.


• Masked Muse IV: Inspired by the sculpture, Bather, by Jacques Lipchitz.

The collection will be on display throughout the Art Alive celebrations, from Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26, 2015.

Photos by Alex J. Berliner/ABImages



Paul Hernandez to Create Dress Forms Inspired by Works From San Diego Museum of Art


From April 24 to April 26, the San Diego Museum of Art will be transformed into a vision of art and flowers as more than 100 floral designers bring the Museum's renowned Permanent Collection to life during the 34th annual Art Alive fundraiser. In addition to the floral exhibition and other special events, fashion designer, San Diego native, and FIDM Graduate Paul Hernandez will create one-of-a-kind, draped dress forms inspired by four works from the Museum’s Permanent Collection. 

This year’s floral exhibition will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26. General admission is free for members, $20 for nonmembers, and free for children age 6 and under. In addition to viewing the annual floral exhibition during Museum hours, Art Alive 2015 offers three full days of events, activities, and celebrations. 



Just Accepted Fashion Design Student Is U.S. Navy Veteran Who Will Study at FIDM San Diego



Name: Anna Harvey

Age: 23

Hometown: Eden, UT

Previous College: Master at Arms (MA) United States Navy

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: San Diego July 2015

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? I've known Susan since 2009, when I first fell in love with FIDM, and I couldn't of asked for a more supportive and helpful advisor. She's always taken the time out of her day to talk whenever I had a question or just want to catch up. We've stayed in contact throughout my navy career and she's always been encouraging.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I've always admired and looked up to Leonardo Da Vinci who inspired me to broaden the spectrum of hobbies and interests. I've enjoyed spending my time painting, drawing, sewing, doing theater, learning the electric violin and to speak Japanese, barrel racing on horses, ballet, roller derby, snow boarding, shooting, and more. Leonardo Da Vinci has inspired me to grow and have an eagerness to learn. Alexander McQueen was the first person that made me truly appreciate fashion as an art. I remember the first McQueen design I saw I was enthralled and wanted to know more. I love dramatic and whimsical fashion with attention to detail. I'm also an avid reader, especially for science fiction and fantasy.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I specifically joined the Navy to go to FIDM. I'm very proud of my time in the navy being military police for four years and through those years always receiving the highest evaluation and awards such as good conduct, letters of appreciation, and patrol officer of the month. I was challenged by the tasks presented to me and I had the privilege of helping people on a daily basis. I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to protect and help those who protect the United States.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is the best option for me for both professional and personal reasons. I love the variety of people in Southern California and how expressive and artistic people can be. I love that you can be on the beach or drive a few hours north and go snowboarding. As far as academics go, FIDM Los Angeles is in the heart of the film industry and costume design is what I'm passionate about. I've done a lot of research on different fashion schools and the talent that comes from FIDM is unprecedented. I'm excited to go to school and be around students who appreciate art as much as I do. I love being around people who are passionate and excited about what they do. I think FIDM will push me to express my artistic abilities better than any other school.

Describe your entrance project. For my project, I sketched six costume designs that flow as a collection. My inspiration page was filled with pictures from various movies such as Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and Moonrise Kingdom. I included pictures from books, music, and even video games because those are also places I derive inspiration. For my swatches I attached a lot of rich fabrics such as silk, satin, and velvet. I wanted to create statement pieces that people would remember.

What are your career goals? Ultimately, to design costumes for major motion pictures. I want my designs to help tell a story and assist directors in character portrayal. I look forward to having a job that allows me to express my creativity and work with a diverse group of people. I've always enjoyed theater and have always found assisting in the creative process of telling a story very rewarding.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? What I want to learn most is to take an idea I have in my head, put it on paper and create a well-tailored quality costume, suit, dress, etc., and to obtain the tools and skills to become a successful costume designer. Also, to learn from people who are as passionate about art as I am. I expect to be challenged and pushed far beyond my present capabilities. To say I'm looking forward to begin this journey would be an understatement.



Fashion Knitwear Design Grad is a Technical Designer at Alternative Apparel (Interview)


Fashion Knitwear Design Graduate Marisol Aguirre has a new job at L.A.-based Alternative Apparel as a Technical Designer in the men's department. After finishing her degree in 2007, she worked for more than four years at Forever 21, in the girls department, and freelanced for Multee. We recently chatted with Marisol to learn more about her current job and future goals. 

What are your responsibilities at Alternative Apparel? I’m responsible for all fits, from development to pre-production. My job is to ensure each garment's fit represents the aesthetic view of the company. I fit once a week on a live model and submit fit comments to vendors in a timely manner to ensure all deadlines are met. I also, must keep track of all samples and maintain all logs that pertain to my styles. Being organized and having the ability to communicate efficiently are a must in my position as I must ensure our vendors received sufficient and correct information to provide us with quality production.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM prepared me for my career by providing courses that I continue to use in my current job. One of my favorite classes was, Stitch, Color and Surface Design with Instructor Robin Wagner. We learned the particulars of color and texture created by an assortment of stitches. I’m thankful and grateful to Robin Wagner and Anne Bennion for providing me with knowledge and support that I have utilize throughout my career.

What are your ultimate career goals? I enjoy and appreciate the responsibilities that come with being a Technical Designer. However, now that I’m a mother to a baby boy, my goal to one day teach children art and knit has resurfaced. My background as a playground worker/tutor at an afterschool program called LA’s BEST (which I worked for in my twenties as I attended FIDM) would come in handy. But at this point in my life my personal goals are to be the best mother and wife. And as for my career goal, it is to be the best Technical Designer I can possibly be.



10 Top Fashion Videos For Prada, Chanel & More

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Need a quick jolt of visual inspiration? In addition to the current or soon-to-be-released feature films on Dior, Yves St. Laurent, and she of the big accessories, New Yorker Iris Apfel, Business of Fashion has compiled their top 10 designer videos of the season. Top picks include Chanel with Pharrell Wiliams and Cara Delevingne, and Kendall Jenner for Dazed & Confused. The Dior video was shot in that exotic fashion locale—the Los Angeles suburbs.

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