Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Has Degree in Psychobiology From UCLA



Full Name: Katherine Rohm

Age: 24

Hometown: Orange, CA

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Summer 2014

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



UC Riverside Sophomore Transferring to FIDM OC to Study Merchandise Marketing



Full Name: Linda Chae

Age: 20

Hometown: Riverside, CA

Current Year in School: Sophomore transferring from UC Riverside

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: OC, Spring 2014

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



Full Name: Kameron Goldman

Age: 17

Hometown: Eastvale, CA

Current Year: Senior

FIDM Major: Graphic Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA Campus, July 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Just Accepted High School Junior Has a YouTube Following



Full Name: Destinee Nicole Johnson

Age: 17

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Current Year in School: High School Junior

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Summer 2015

Admissions Advisor: Steve Aaron

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



FIDM Alumni Association Hosts 'State of Social Media' Workshop


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

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

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

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



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



Full Name: Danielle Agrums

Age: 19

Hometown: Yorba Linda, CA

Current Year: Sophomore transferring from Cal Poly Pomona

FIDM Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing

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

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



Full Name: Doubara Eporwei

Age: 25

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

FIDM Major: Jewelry Design Professional Designation

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA, Summer 2014

Admissions Advisor: Seung Kim

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



Full Name: Sophie Bernard

Age: 17

Hometown: Los Angeles

Current Year in School: Junior

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

Start Date: Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Roxy DeGuzman

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

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

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

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

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



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



Full Name: Omar Cisneros Nunez

Age: 18

Hometown: Cape May, New Jersey 

Current Year in School: Senior

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: San Francisco, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

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

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

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

What made FIDM right for you?

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

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

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

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



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Has Her Own Inspirational Lifestyle Brand



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



Industry Notables Celebrate FIDM Designers at DEBUT Gala & Runway Show


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


FIDM Debut Designer Tylor Purcell presents his first fashion collection 

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


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


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


The gala event benefited the FIDM Scholarship Foundation


FIDM Debut designer Mohamed Salaheldin presents his first fashion collection.



FIDM Student Advisor Honored as 28th Congressional District 'Woman of the Year'


FIDM Student Advisor Christy Schilling was recently honored as 'Woman of the Year' by Congressman Adam Schiff, who represents California's 28th District. Christy was recognized at a special luncheon in Hollywood for her advocacy work for animals. A longtime volunteer, Christy has also been a fundraiser for the YMCA child care programs and works with a local guild of Children's Hospital Los Angeles. 

You may read Rep. Schiff's commendation here



Just Accepted Beauty Grad Has a Degree From Fort Lewis College



Full Name: Kimberly Smith

Age: 29

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Previous College: Graduated in 2006 from Fort Lewis College with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Marketing.

FIDM Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, July 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Susan was the best!  From the moment we met I just knew she would be a great advisor and I am so happy that I got the opportunity to work with her throughout this whole process.  She is easy to talk to, always has a smile on her face, and is very supportive. She always replies back to my emails within minutes of them being sent and thoroughly answers all of my questions. 

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am really excited to live in LA and I can't wait to explore the city and meet new people. Some of my hobbies include tennis, yoga, biking, going to the beach, hiking, snowboarding, and traveling.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Graduating from college and working as a skin care rep for the past five years and now being accepted into FIDM.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM was the perfect choice for me because I am very interested in learning about the design and product development side of the beauty industry. The networking and internship opportunities are also another big reason why I wanted to come to school here. 

Describe your entrance project.  The company I created for my entrance project was called Global Glam Cosmetics. The concept behind the line was to create various collections and looks for different parts of the world. The location I decided to showcase was Hawaii, so I designed four essential products that I felt would be best suited for this beautiful place. I then wore the makeup look at my final interview while I presented my portfolio. I also created a display as well (pictured).


What are your career goals? Upon graduating, my goal is to already have my dream job lined up whether my internship becomes full time or I go to work for another company. A couple positions that I aspire to have would be a buyer, brand manager, creative director, beauty editor, or possibly being the owner of my own beauty line someday. 

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I want to learn about all aspects of the beauty business so I can choose the right career path. I am also really excited to network with industry professionals and listen to the guest speakers who visit the school. 



Meet the Winner of the 2014 FIDM/DECA Challenge (Interview & Video)


FIDM received more than 80 entries from 49 DECA chapters for the 2014 DECA/FIDM Challenge. DECA members were asked to translate a seasonal fashion trend into a "look" depicting a researched fashion forecast for Back to School 2014. They submitted their projects via video presentations on YouTube. We recently caught up with the winner, 18 year-old high school senior Alaina Aylward, of Blue Springs High School in Missouri. 

How did it feel to win the FIDM/DECA Challenge? I was ecstatic! I was just so surprised and excited, especially because I had to submitted my video a month earlier. The waiting time until I found out how I did was killer! Now, I just feel very happy that my work is valued and appreciated by others.
You have entered the competition in the past. How did you hear about the FIDM/DECA Challenge? I entered last year and was awarded 3rd place at Internationals in Anaheim. I learned a lot and decided to try to do even better this year. My DECA teacher, Mrs. Fowler, originally told me about the FIDM/DECA Challenge. No one at my school had ever done it before, but she thought I should give it a go.
What are your future goals? I plan to major in Fashion Design in college and work as a designer. Although I can't plan the exacts of my career, I think the sky's the limit. Some of my goals include seeing an uber-chic woman walking down the street in my design, showing at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, launching my own fashion brand, opening my first store, attending the Met Gala, meeting Tim Gunn... I could go on, but I’ll spare you!
What was your favorite part about the challenge and the Folkloric trend? I loved sourcing my materials, forecasting the trend, and designing what I was going to make. My favorite part of the Folkloric trend is all the textured details and culture involved. I was captivated by all the different textiles, patterns and embroidery different cultures use and how they different they are. It's very colorful, lively, fresh, and inspired.

Hear directly from Alaina and see her entry in this short video:




Durango High School's FIDM Fashion Club Hosts Fashion Show


Ten girls and five boys modeled dresses and tuxedos during a fashion show hosted by Durango High School's FIDM Fashion Club. The new club, which is only four months old on campus, was founded by president Jennifer Welbourn, a senior who is planning a career in fashion and merchandising. Their adviser, Kurt Zeiner, noted that a number of Durango High School graduates are studying at FIDM. 

The Durango Herald has the full report. 

To learn how to start an official FIDM Fashion Club at your high school, go here.



Just Accepted Interior Design Student Has a Degree From UC Santa Barbara



Full Name: Juliette Mutzke-Felippelli 

Age: 27

Hometown: Newport Beach, California

Previous Degree: Graduated from UCSB in 2008

FIDM Major: Interior Design Professional Designation

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, April 2014

Admissions Advisor: Angela Tomei

How did your advisor help with the process? Angela was fantastic in explaining the program and all the great benefits of studying at FIDM (like the amazing library or how Tim Gunn films his new show on campus!) She has been a great mentor through the process, answering all my logistical questions and putting me in touch with the right people.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Outside of my passion for art and design, I am also one half of the DJ duo Fox N Feel. My husband and I began DJing together when I lived in Rio de Janeiro and since then, we have DJed at some of the top clubs and parties in Los Angeles. I also do a lot of writing my free time, primarily for the UK-based magazine MIXMAG, where I cover electronic music, as well as for the Orange County-based art gallery Great Over Good, where I cover all things art and design.

I also manage a personal blog dedicated to the local electronic music scene called The Electronic Camp. When I'm not writing or DJing, I'm restaurant hunting with my husband. For the past two years our New Year's resolution has been to try one new restaurant a week and we have stuck to it!

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I am most proud of my ability to take chances in life, whether it was moving to a foreign country, learning a new skill, or making time to start my own blog. I respect how I have followed my passions.

What made FIDM right for you? What I love about FIDM is the collaboration between the departments and incredible opportunities to meet with top industry brands and personalities. The LA campus is beautiful and right in the heart of the Fashion and Arts District.

Describe your entrance project. I created a floor plan and color scheme for my entrance project that took inspiration from combining art deco elements with psychedelic prints. I titled it 'Art Deco Meets Purple Haze.'

What are your career goals? I want to create spaces that amplify human experiences, whether it is a dynamic corporate office or a playful hotel lounge. In all of my future projects, I want to incorporate sustainable design practices. The great Philippe Starck is definitely my design inspiration and his career spanning interior design, industrial design and architecture is one I admire.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to gain the tools necessary to be a standout interior designer.



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Is Junior at Villa Park High School



Full Name: Brooke Harrington 

Age: 17

Hometown: Orange, California

Current School Year: 11th grade 

FIDM Major: Visual Communications 

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Irvine, 2015 

Admissions Advisor: Sheryl Lewin 

How did your advisor help you with the admissions process? Sheryl was the absolute best advisor. She went above and beyond to make sure I had everything I needed to be successful in the admissions process. 

Tell us about yourself. I am a junior at Villa Park High School. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family. One of my proudest accomplishments is getting into FIDM of course! 

Describe you're entrance project. My project had three parts to it. First, I had to make something using only squares, circles, and triangles. I decided to do something I've never done which is jewelry making and I made a necklace using those shapes. The second was a exterior window design and I made a store called The Revolving Door, which was a thrift store that contained a moving door in the front. The third was a interior store design and I based it off the same store as the outside with a vintage contemporary feel. 

What are your career goals? To become a magazine stylist  

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? Everything I'll need to know to be successful in my job field. 



Film & TV Costume Design Students Collaborate With Lacoste For Costume Designers Guild Awards


For the second year, Film & TV Costume Design Students participated in the Lacoste display at the Costume Designers Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton on February 22nd and the Symposium of Costume Designers on February 23rd. The students were challenged with designing a contemporary tuxedo shirt for an iconic movie character. Below are the students' descriptions and inspirations for their designs. 


Loaren McFarland: My tuxedo shirt takes inspiration from the dark and scary family man known as Don Vito Corleone from The Godfather. With a modern twist, he shows off his money making ability by dressing in the finest of treasures. Gold, diamonds, and the finest of silks do not even scratch the surface of the power he holds over many.

Lena Lollis: While designing the updated Mademoiselle Amy Jolly from the film Morocco for Lacoste, I focused on the essence of the character: a woman who is daring, seductive, and doesn’t bother herself with the opinion of others. Her confidence is exuded in her tuxedo shirt using sheer and opaque fabrics to reveal – but not too much.

Julia Laftsidis: The iconic film character I chose was Ren McCormack (played by Kevin Bacon) from the popular 1980s movie, Footloose. When thinking of who Ren would be today in the 21st century, I landed upon the idea of making him into a male exotic dancer. His late night persona is a bad boy who comes on stage as your rock n’ roll fantasy prom date. “Ren Sensation” leaves you with thinking that life really is a beautiful sport.

Alexandra Serna: My Lacoste design for Louis de Pointe du Lac from Interview with The Vampire, is a reimagined take on Louis’ nostalgic, yet classic, 1780 vampire character. The wine and blood he so somberly drinks is displayed metaphorically across his blouse through the vintage detail and contrasted color scheme. Even in today’s world, Louis cannot simply hide his character, for he proudly displays the bites he’s taken along his journey through the centuries.

Brionna M. Rowe: In 1988, Prince Akeem from Coming to America was a humble African prince who travels to America looking for love. Today he is still a hopeless romantic but he has become proud in his fashion sense. The 21st century is all about acceptance of culture and owning who you are and he has taken on that mindset. To showcase this, I infused African themes with traditional tuxedo shirt designs and incorporated traditional African basket weave in the bib, as opposed to pleats or ruffles. I think any American girl would fall for him in this tuxedo shirt, though I may be biased.

Didda Scheving: Redesigning a shirt for a memorable character in the 1980s, who is also musically inspired was an obvious choice for me. I chose to construct a tuxedo shirt from a Lacoste polo for Duckie Dale from Pretty in Pink. Duckie’s style is influenced by his musical idols, rockabilly, as well as his own creativity.

Lucy Li
: The Great Gatsby was my favorite book growing up because of the romantic sentimentalist, Jay Gatsby. The modern day Gatsby is a billionaire underground drug dealer who has gained his fortune by participating in fraudulent activities. Gatsby is new money, thus his wardrobe is flashy and fashionable. The tuxedo shirt I designed for him is luxurious, reflecting his lavish Hamptons lifestyle. I showcased his life lived in excess by using custom embroidery, gold piping and imported Indian silk.




Red Carpet Trends and Fashion Show With Nick Verreos at FIDM


Fashion Designer, Alumnus, and Instructor Nick Verreos, most recently seen on Lifetime's Project Runway: Under the Gunn, and business partner David Paul hosted a Red Carpet Trends and Fashion Show event at FIDM's Los Angeles campus. The intimate presentation, held at the Museum & Galleries, premiered the designers' latest collection of red carpet gowns for their couture label Nikolaki and guests enjoyed a Champagne reception. 


Read Apparel News' coverage of the event. 


The Bachelorette star and Alumna Desiree Hartsock with FIDM's Barbara Bundy

Photos by Alex J. Berliner / ABImages




Business Management eLearning Student Owns Bridal Boutique in Grand Rapids, MI (Interview)


Name: Katia Agius

FIDM Major: Business Management

When and why did you open your bridal salon? BIANKA Bridal started as a dream and goal. Everything that I did while in high school or at FIDM was centered around the concept of being an entrepreneur in the bridal industry. After graduating with my AA in Merchandise Marketing, I was presented with the opportunity and didn't think about it twice. Grand Rapids, MI needed a bridal makeover and we were ready to introduce exclusive designers at different price points. Our opening day was January 13, 2014, and four brides said "yes" to their dress. That day I knew everything had fallen into place; I had reached my goal and was living my dream.


How do you balance going to school while running a business? Time management is key! I literally have a schedule that I live by, otherwise I would be all over the place. Being a web-only student is definitely a plus, even though it can be hectic. I organize my study hours based on the flow of the week and mainly do the "heavy loads" on Sundays. The skill of time management is definitely something that I progressed into during my AA studies in FIDM San Diego. An additional factor that also helps me balance is my passion for fashion and business. I have been blessed with the opportunity to blend both aspects everyday!

What led you to choose FIDM? The combination of both fashion and business. I had always been interested in high European fashions and accounting/economics, but I also had strong interest in being my own boss. Merchandise Marketing was definitely the introduction of both industries, and so is the Business Management Program. I highly reccommend FIDM to build a network, gain self-knowledge, and have awesome experiences!


How are you enjoying the Business Management program? I love it! It's definitely different than my previous degree; there is more in depth analysis of economics, marketing concepts, and history. If everything goes as planned, I will graduate in June of 2015. 



Beauty Student's Internship at GLAMGLOW Becomes a Full-Time Job


When Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing Student Louie Lopez moved to California from New York City he wasn't sure if he would find success. But thanks to a little help from FIDM, he acquired an internship with GLAMGLOW, and seven weeks later, he was hired as a full-time Product Marketing Coordinator at the beauty brand. 

Louie, who will be graduating from FIDM this year, says, "I am most excited about being offered the position before I even finished school. I feel very honored that they recognize my hard work and wanted to grab me before I eneded up with another company. I look forward to a long and exciting career in beauty." 



Beauty Student's Internship Turns Into a Job at Josie Maran Cosmetics


Name: Rachelle Pons

Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing 

Graduating: June 2014

Company: Josie Maran Cosmetics 

Job Title: Social Media/PR Assistant

How did your new job come about? I was at a trend show and was networking with Smashbox Cosmetics for an internship. The company was taking a while to contact me back and I'm a very impatient person, so I went to my Major Director and she gave me a contact at Josie Maran Cosmetics. I went into the interview and was offered an internship that day. Now, after nine months at the company, I am a Social Media/Public Relations Assistant and happier than ever. 

What are your responsibilities? Each day changes, but some staples of what I do are competitive analysis, answer interviews, work with bloggers/vloggers, keep the social media accounts updated, work with products, send outs, campaign ideas, and event planning, but the list goes on and on. 

What are you most excited about? Everything I do is exciting and a learning process. I think the most exciting thing I cannot wait for is when I graduate, I will be a full time Public Relations Coordinator. Working in the field I want and in the specific section I've always dreamed about is a dream and I have to thank to my mentor and boss, Taryn Aronson, who is also a graduate of FIDM. 



Nearly 60 Fashion Fans Attend Saturday Intro to FIDM Class on Fashion Collection Development


On Saturday, nearly 60 fashion fans gathered at FIDM's Los Angeles campus for a Saturday Intro to FIDM Class on Fashion Collection Development, taught by the Product Development Assistant Chair, Estel Hahn. The students, who ranged in age from one 8th grader and a handful of high school freshmen to working professionals with higher degrees, experienced what it's like to be a student at FIDM for the day.

Attendees traveled from all over California, including Carlsbad, Orange County, and Barstow, and out of state families came from Tucson and Las Vegas. Estel led students through an inspiration exercise in which students analyzed the classroom ceiling in room 319 and shared their design ideas and the elements of the ceiling that inspired each idea. She also covered how a fashion apparel line is developed and  how to choose colors, fabrics, and silhouettes around a defined theme. 

Here are some quotes from attendees:

"This was just what I was looking for!  I loved how we talked about the business side of things."

"I really enjoyed the instructor.  She was very smart and fun and kept my attention the whole time :)"

"Great information.  I am so excited by what I'm learning.  Inspiring!"

"I loved the workshop.  Very informative and gave a great feel for FIDM classroom environment." 

"I really enjoyed the campus.  It opened my eyes to a different world."  

Learn more about FIDM Events here.  



Watch Highlights From a Special FIDM DesignLab at Westfield


Last fall, Westfield Topanga and Westfield Valley Fair hosted Fashion DuJour, a fashion exhibit featuring Emmy-nominated costumes, a special FIDM Design Lab, and curated displays by fashion tastemakers. Five FIDM designers were invited to participate in a live draping event. The winner, Angela Avanesyan, received $2,500 and the chance to display her gowns at Westfield Valley Fair for an entire year. 

Watch a short video showcasing the Design Lab contest and hear industry notables talk about FIDM below:




Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Transferred From SFSU



Full Name: Celine Honig

Age: 18

Hometown: Yorba Linda, California

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, July 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Susan was very helpful by giving me and my family a thorough and informative tour of the Orange County campus and explained in detail the FIDM program and its curriculum. Susan was also instrumental in answering my questions about transferring credits, deadlines, and set up a tour of the LA campus for me and my family.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Fashion has always been my inspiration and hobby. From the age of three, I knew exactly what I did and didn’t want to wear, and I had a strong point of view about how fashion impacted me. When I’m not changing clothes, I love spending time with my dog Lola and taking her to the dog park.  

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? One is the work I completed as an Assistant Stylist during several photo shoots. I learned so much about the fashion industry and it was one of my first steps into the fashion world. I recently completed a semester at San Francisco State University.  Being away at college helped me to learn more about myself and become the person I am today.

What made FIDM right for you? I first toured FIDM at age 10, and fell in love with the school. I could easily see myself in the classes learning about fashion and enhancing my skills. FIDM is right for me because it will help me enter the fashion industry which has been my lifelong goal.

Describe your entrance project. I created a store including the demographics of my customers, the environment of my store, and a carefully chosen name. I created five separate looks that I would sell in my store based on the price point. My style is very modern and I like highlighting one piece in the outfit. I based all five of my looks on this theory.

What are your career goals? I aspire to become a buyer or CEO for a large company such as Nordstrom's or Bloomingdale's. I am very interested in the financial and psychological aspect of fashion so I hope to be working with both of those elements.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn the foundation elements of fashion including, business, marketing, and trend forecasting. These are all subjects that will help me to obtain my goals!



SF Students Design and Install Three Brooks Brothers Windows


Students in Roy Kunkle's Design Installation course designed and installed three Brooks Brothers windows on campus during the Fall 2013 quarter. The windows featured Red Fleece for Men, Red Fleece for Women, and the new Black Fleece for Men and Women designed by Thom Browne. 

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The special project began with a tour of the new flagship store in Union Square and during the design process, the Visual Coordinators from the store visited FIDM SF to offer the students feedback.

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The final presentation of the windows took place at the end of the quarter and was attended by Store Manager Alonzo Williams, and his two Visual Coordinators, Michael Kaihe (a graduate of FIDM) and Brian Chan.

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Study Says Typical College Students Most Regret Not Gaining More Work Experience While in School


According to a story in The Atlantic, 50 percent of college students most regeret not gaining more work experience while in school. Twenty-nine percent of respondents also regret their choice of major. "What students really need is experience putting their knowledge to practical use while they're still in school," writes senior editor Eleanor Barkhorn. 

At FIDM, we strongly believe that internships and part-time work go hand-in-hand with classes taught by professionals who work in the industry. The dedicated Career Center Staff works with FIDM Students and Alumni one-on-one to ensure a targeted and efficient job search.

Of the eligible graduates actively seeking work, over 90% of graduates in all majors and programs found employment within six months of graduation. And FIDM Students and Graduates have access to a network of industry leaders, FIDM Faculty, and nearly 55,000 influential FIDM Alumni. 



Try FIDM for a Day With Our Fashion Collection Development Class on February 22 in LA


Have you ever wanted to know what it's like to be a student at FIDM? Our Saturday Intro to FIDM Classes are an invaluable opportunity to experience a class, taught by FIDM Instructors and Staff.

On February 22, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., FIDM is offering a Fashion Collection Development class at the Los Angeles campus that will give an introduction into how a fashion apparel line is developed and how to choose colors, fabrics, and silhouettes around a defined theme. 

RSVP required. Admission is $25.



Join Us For a Fashion Club Workshop Event in Los Angeles on February 17


You're invited to join us on Monday, February 17, 2014, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., for an exclusive Fashion Club Workshop Event featuring workshops on Fashion Shows, Trend Forecasting, and Fashion Club Meeting Ideas. You'll be able to meet FIDM Grads working at top brands like ModCloth, as well as former Fashion Club Presidents. Come with your Fashion Club or bring a friend! 

If you are not an Official FIDM Fashion Club, you can explore what it's like to start one at your high school, meet other students, and receive helpful tips on completing a successful Admissions Application by the priority deadline of March 15th. 

The event is free and lunch will be provided. Space is limited and will be reserved on a first come, first served basis. RSVP NOW



The FIDM Library's Virtual Scavenger Hunt #FIDMfetch Launches Tomorrow


Starting tomorrow, February 11, 2014, the FIDM Library launches #FIDMfetch, a virtual scavenger hunt utilizing Twitter and the Library catalog! Students will receive three clues per day, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, via the FIDM Library’s Twitter feed. Clues refer to a notable person within the courses of study at FIDM and also within the FIDM Library collection.

Students find the answers to the tweeted #FIDMfetch clues by using the Library catalog. The first correct answer tweeted wins a prize! Join the FIDM Library for an invigorating session of #FIDMfetch!



FIDM Students Dress Up Pasadena Stores in 4th Annual Competition


For the fourth year in a row, Pasadena Magazine has partnered with FIDM to hold a design contest for students to create merchandise displays for local retailers. Three teams of students from the Visual Communications program pitched their visions to sponsors for selection and a panel of professionals will pick the best display.

All three exhibits will be featured in the March/April issue of Pasadena Magazine and seen at Therapy, Vroman's, and Whole Foods during the first two weeks in March. 



Recent Alumna Hired as Design Assistant at Nicole Hollis Interior Design


Recent Interior Design Alumna Sophia Seiden interned with Nicole Hollis Interior Design during her last quarter at FIDM San Francisco. After interviewing with the principal designer at the end of November and receiving an offer in December, Sophia is thrilled to announce that she was hired as a Design Assistant.

"I'm so happy that FIDM offers students an extensive platform to find internships that result in actual jobs," says the December 2013 Grad. "I am in my second week of work and absolutely loving it. I'm excited that I'm getting the opportunity to work with both residential and hospitality design."



The FIDM Library Launches Virtual Scavenger Hunt #FIDMfetch


The FIDM Library is excited to announce the launch of #FIDMfetch, a virtual scavenger hunt utilizing Twitter and the Library catalog! Starting February 11, 2014, students will receive three clues per day, Tuesdays and Thursdays, via the FIDM Library’s Twitter feed. Clues refer to a notable person within the courses of study at FIDM and also within the FIDM Library collection.

Students find the answers to the tweeted #FIDMfetch clues by using the Library catalog. The first correct answer tweeted wins a prize! Join the FIDM Library for an invigorating session of #FIDMfetch!



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Is UCSD Grad, Blogger & Entrepreneur



Full Name: Tuyaymya Osuna

Age: 23

Hometown: San Diego, CA

FIDM MajorMerchandise Marketing 

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Spring 2014

Admissions Advisor: Jamie Westfall 

Tell us a bit about yourself. I recently graduated from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) with a Bachelor's in Ethnic Studies and a double minor in Global Health and Communication. Currently, I'm a social media manager, contributing blogger, and stylist for Shimmer, a San Diego-based clothing company. I've been with them for over a year and it's been an amazing experience! I've had the opportunity to direct and style a few of their photo shoots. I'm also blogging for San Diego Style Bloggers and my personal blog.

On any given weekend you can find me exploring different restaurants. I love to eat, so I spend a lot of time looking for new places to experience. If I'm not dining out, I'm spending time working on my online boutique, White Tee Black Dress

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? This last year has been filled with many milestones for me. Graduating from UCSD, as well as my acceptance into FIDM have been important accomplishments so far. Launching my online boutique has also been a growing and fulfilling experience for me. 

What made FIDM right for you? I have a creative hands-on work approach and FIDM allows me to do that. Everything from the entrance portfolio to class presentations become unique opportunities to excel. FIDM challenges its students while nurturing and refining their own creativity and work ethic. Visiting the Los Angeles campus and seeing student work displayed throughout the hallways only made me realize how right it was for me.

Describe your entrance project. It was honestly the most fun I've had applying to a school! My entrance portfolio was an extension of my boutique. I provided five different black and white looks from casual to evening wear including some pieces from White Tee Black Dress. I also added in an extra page with swatches and designs I'm currently working on for my new collection. 

What are your career goals? It feels as though anything is possible right now! I'm continuously working towards improving and expanding White Tee Black Dress. There are so many things I would love to do as a career. Anything from merchandise marketing to styling to social media management are potential careers that I'm excited by and drawn to. 

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I'm open to everything FIDM has to offer. I'm excited for the possibilities. 



Just Accepted VisComm Student Has a Degree From Penn State



Full Name: Victoria Hayes

Age: 22

Hometown: Downingtown, PA

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA, Fall 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Susan is so awesome! From the first time I visited the OC campus, she was super friendly and encouraging. She helped me work through the entrance project process, since I was really unsure of what I wanted to do. She always seemed really confident in me, which made me feel more confident in myself! I also just love her purple glasses!

Tell us a bit about yourself. I graduated from Penn State with a degree in Psychology, which looking back seems so contradictory to the direction I’m taking my life in now. I currently serve with City Year, an educational non-profit, in a 6th grade classroom in Downtown L.A. and I absolutely love it! It’s like I’m living in an episode of Kids Say the Darndest Things!

Outside of my 60-hour workweek, I run an Etsy shop called Rummage LA selling vintage clothing. One of my biggest loves is “rummaging,” to make new things out of old, overlooked items. On any given weekend, you’ll either find me scouring racks at the thrift store, scrolling through Craigslist’s “free” section, or picking up rejected items off the side of the road. There’s such a weird sense of satisfaction in creating something amazing out of something no one else is able to see the beauty in. Especially when it’s free!

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I was pretty excited when I was able to graduate from Penn State. Getting an offer to be a part City Year was another huge accomplishment, as well as a life-changing experience. Finally, being accepted to FIDM is a dream that I still can’t believe is really happening!

What made FIDM right for you? As I said before, I love creating new, beautiful pieces from old junk. At first, I wasn’t so sure this was a career-maker, but more of just a hobby. When I interviewed at FIDM, I expressed my concern to Mike Mirabella, and he told me that FIDM has the ability to take all of my hobbies and interests and help me make a lot of money doing them! Can’t get much more right than that! 

Describe your entrance project. I’m really into the contrast between natural and industrial. For my entrance project, I used bits and pieces from my grandmother’s toolbox and garage and combined them with things found in nature like twigs and various plants. From these materials, I built a minimalist store interior and window display filled with succulents and pictures of style essentials from my own closet. For my basic design project, I created a mason jar that coordinated with the look and feel of my shop design.

What are your career goals? Honestly, there are so many things I would love to do as a career, from styling to event planning to jewelry design, that it’s impossible for me to choose just one! I’m hoping that my experiences at FIDM will help me to hone my skills and narrow down my options! 



Fashion Club Workshop at SD Campus Featured Alumna Whitney Francis


Fashion fans recently gathered at the San Diego campus for FIDM's Fashion Club Workshop. Attendees learned about careers in the fashion industry and how to put on a fashion show at their high school. They also watched a live fashion show and met Alumna Whitney Francis, who has her own line and works as a stylist.


Students learned about trend forecasting reports, shared ideas for their Fashion Clubs, and met current students who were former Fashion Club Presidents. Fun items including a $50 Forever 21 gift card and a 9 Heads fashion sketching book were given away as well. 




Just Accepted Beauty Student Does Special Effects Makeup and Is a Beauty Leader at Sephora Inside JCPenney



Name: Sarah Munoz

Age: 24

Hometown: San Diego, California

FIDM Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: San Diego, July 2014

Admissions Advisor: Jamie Westfall

How did your advisor help you with the process? Jamie was wonderful at providing all necessary information and details during my my application process, and she made me feel extremely comfortable and welcome from the beginning. When I first walked onto the San Diego campus I was completely blown away by how beautiful it was. Jamie was quick to offer me a personal tour and help me get acquainted with the campus.

It was so inspiring to see all the students' work and it lit a fire in me to show the creativity I had inside me and showcase my work. During my application process Jamie kept in regular contact with me and provided me with quick and detailed responses. Thanks to Jamie, I felt confident and ready to take on this new and exciting opportunity.

Tell us about yourself. As a San Diego native, I am in love with the outdoors. I love going to the beach and experiencing the natural beauty around me. Coronado is my favorite beach I could go there everyday and never grow tired of it. As a kid my grandma would take me there almost every day, and it holds great sentimental value to me as I am extremely close with my family. I have recently taken up hiking and am heavily into meditation.  

I love getting to play around with my artistic side and try to do special effects makeup whenever I can; there's nothing quite like getting to transform someone or something right before your eyes. My special effects makeup was even featured two years ago at Comic-Con San Diego in a Walking Dead promo!

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? The advances I have made in the Beauty Industry and getting to do what I love and living out my passion is something I would've never dreamed possible. Other accomplishments are graduating from Bellus Acadmey in Poway with an esthetics license and being offered an amazing opportunity to oversee my own cosmetics department and become a Beauty Leader at a Sephora inside JCPenney in San Diego.

I have gotten the chance to travel from Smashbox Studios in LA to Sephora inside JCPenney corporate offices in Dallas, Texas and have met with some of the most talented makeup artists from my favorite cosmetic brands. I absolutely adore and love my team, and I am so thankful to have the career I have.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM has always stood out to me as being the best of the best for fashion education and development. After learning through a friend that FIDM offered a Beauty Industry Program I knew I had to dig deeper. After doing extensive research and reading student testimonials, I knew I just had to be part of this amazing school. FIDM is the right choice for me for so many reasons, from their top notch instructors, to the ever-evolving curriculum that stays ahead of trends, to the fantastic internships and brand partnerships, I fell in love from the start.

Simply put, FIDM stood out to me for putting students needs and education first. They let me know that they are here for me and want all students to excel in there specific field. It was very important to me to find a school that was just as passionate and driven in this field as I was, and FIDM is exactly that and so much more.

What are your career goals? I would love to become a buyer for a cosmetics company and get to take part in giving new brands or products a chance to showcase their work and allow all kinds of clients the freedom of discovering the latest innovations in the cosmetic field. I am always fascinated to go into a store and see all the new products and marketing behind it; with so many lines on the market it's interesting to see brands evolve and change. I would love the opportunity to see what the process is like and go toe-to-toe with some of the most innovative lines in the industry.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I have already learned so much, it's hard to imagine what could possibly come next! I expect to learn more of the business and technical side of the beauty industry, and work alongside some of the top instructors who have helped shape some fantastic marketing and merchandising campaigns. I cannot wait to see what this new and exciting chapter has in store for me and I plan to take this experience and run with it, making every moment count. 



Francisco Flores Wins GUESS + FIDM Design Contest and $5,000 From The GUESS Foundation


By Susana Cualler and Veronica Whipple

Congratulations to FIDM Student Francisco Flores for the hard work and perseverance that ultimately led him to winning the GUESS + FIDM Design Contest! The collaboration between FIDM and GUESS?, Inc. was launched at the beginning of the Fall 2013 quarter with 20 semifinalists from an Advanced Fashion Design class at FIDM. It was then narrowed down to five lucky finalists chosen by GUESS?, Inc. These students were given the opportunity to present their designs at GUESS headquarters.

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After two months of dedication, the five finalists presented their final garments to the GUESS?, Inc. panel and Francisco Flores was chosen to have his design -- a coated denim jacket and side-tie denim shorts -- featured and sold at in the Spring of 2015. As the winner, Francisco receives a $5,000 scholarship from the GUESS Foundation and the honor of being named the GUESS + FIDM Design Contest winner. Congratulations, Francisco! 

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Current Product Development Student Featured in Action Sports Magazine BL!SSS


Merchandise Product Development Student Jonathan Teller, who is one of the founders of Refl3ct clothing, is featured in the January issue of the action sports magazine BL!SSS. The southern California-based menswear company counts pro surfers Conor Mckenna, Charlie Hawthorne, and Dana Tuttle as team riders. 



Under the Gunn, Filmed at FIDM, Premieres Tonight at 9/8c on Lifetime



The new fashion competition show Under the Gunn, filmed at FIDM's Los Angeles campus, premieres tonight at 9/8c on Lifetime. Project Runway's Tim Gunn, also on FIDM's Advisory Board, will oversee the work of three Project Runway alums: Mondo Guerra, Anya Ayoung-Chee, and FIDM Instructor and Graduate Nick Verreos as they mentor 15 up-and-coming designers. Judges include celebrity stylist Jen Rade, designer Rachel Roy, and fashion editor Zanna Roberts Rassi. 



FIDM Students Take 2nd Place in NRF Foundation's Student Challenge Scholarship Competition


As one of three teams of finalists, a group of FIDM Students recently receieved a stipend to travel to New York City to compete in the final round of NRF Foundation's Student Challenge and attend Retail's BIG Show. The FIDM team, who placed 2nd in the competition, will receive a $1,000 scholarship for each team member. 

Watch the short clip below to hear directly from FIDM's team:




Just Accepted Product Development Student Runs Her Own Vintage Clothing Etsy Shop



Full Name: Emily Elizabeth Hedrick

Age: 17

Hometown: Yorba Linda, California

Current year in school: Senior

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, July

Admissions Advisor: Margaret Berger

Tell us a bit about yourself. I run my own online vintage clothing Etsy business called Starcrossed Vintage. I love thrifting, which was a part of my inspiration to start the business. A huge passion of mine is fashion and film photography. I also love going to concerts, small local shows, and exploring southern California with my friends. I've been playing guitar since I was around eight years old, and over the years I learned to play bass and ukulele. I feel so lucky to have been raised in such a creative and supportive family.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My most recent proud accomplishment was definitely getting accepted into FIDM as it has been my dream school since my sophomore year, and I was extremely happy to accomplish my goal of being accepted! My other proudest accomplishment is probably opening my vintage Etsy business.  I just love how it started out as an idea, and I took the initiative to bring it to life. Last year my business was featured in an awesome magazine called Local Wolves, which I was also really proud of!

What made FIDM right for you? The location and the opportunities given at the school made the college right for me. I was born and raised in California so I love that I get to live in my favorite city, but still not be too far from my family. Other than that, I can't wait to attend FIDM for the amazing internship opportunities, the networking, and most of all being surrounded by people with the same passion as me in my favorite city!

Describe your entrance project. For the Merchandise Product Development entrance project, I had to select five related garments from a magazine or on the internet, and modify them to target a certain customer. I chose five dresses from the Free People brand, and redesigned the dresses for a more affordable look. I decided to name my brand Ivy & Gold, after one of my favorite songs by the band Bombay Bicycle Club. I was really proud of my outcome and was so excited to show my project to the admissions advisors!

What are your career goals? I'm really interested in brand management, social media marketing, fashion journalism, and fashion photography. I'd like to keep my options open at FIDM and experiment in different fashion careers to see what career I like the best.  

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn the behind the scenes of product development, how to market to a certain group of customers, how to be a professional in the fashion industry, time management, and how to network.

Your Mom is a graduate of FIDM. Did she inspire you to attend? My mom has always been an extremely creative woman, and has inspired my sister and I to work hard and be creative since we were born. I grew up seeing my mom sell vintage clothes on eBay, and she also runs a vintage Etsy business herself. When I first started showing interest in fashion, my mom suggested the idea of going to FIDM and getting a job in the fashion industry and I fell in love.  

My mom has definitely inspired me to go to FIDM. It has really helped me having a mom as a VisComm Alumni, because she has already taught me a lot about the fashion industry through stories of her own experiences. She has taught me how important networking and marketing is, has told me all about the reality of the fashion industry, and gives me tips on how to become successful in the fashion industry. I am so thankful to have such a creative, supportive, and insightful Mom, and I definitely would not be where I am today without all of her support and love.



Meet GUESS + FIDM Design Contest Finalist Ji Yeon Lee


Written By FIDM Students Emma Dermody, Alex Yates, Bonita Chen, Nisha Mirani, and Emerald Lee
Do you remember the moment that you knew you wanted to come to FIDM? Ji Yeon Lee does. She is an international student from Korea and three years ago, while on vacation visiting her sister, she realized that he world was a big place, and wanted to make her impact on it. Drawn to the West Coast because of its relaxed vibe, she found herself at FIDM as a Fashion Design Student.

Now, in the second year of her education, Ji is one of five finalists in the GUESS + FIDM Design Contest and is competing to have her design produced and sold via the Guess website come spring 2015. Inspired by iridescent and holographic patterns and fabrics, her designs stand out with their unique combination of masculine and feminine styles.


When asked about her design process, she said that she doesn’t put restrictions on her designs because “if a designer has restrictions the creativity would not come out.” She wants to be known for making “beautiful and creative” clothing for women and thinks a woman's style should be “fun and creative,” which is apparent in her design aesthetic.

If her design is chosen she plans to give the prize money to her parents who she credits for always being devoted and supportive. She hopes to make her parents proud and achieve her dreams of being a designer here in the United States. Be sure to check in with the FIDM blog for more information on your favorite finalists. Good luck designers!



FIDM Student Is Finalist for $25,000 NRF Scholarship


The National Retail Federation created the Next Generation scholarship this year to recognize outstanding students who are pursuing retail careers at NRF partner schools. FIDM Student Elizabeth Poteracki is one of five finalists for the scholarship program, which will offer $25,000 to the winner and four $10,000 scholarships to the remaining finalists.

All of the finalists will travel to New York for Retail's BIG Show this month, where they will interview with a panel of retail executives to determine the winner. The recipients will be honored during the Retail Industry Awards luncheon on January 13. Other FIDM Students like Patrick Lee, who recently was the winner of the NRF Holiday Design Contest, will also be in attendance. The BIG Show gives students the chane to hear from CEOs from visionary companies such as Birchbox, Macy's, Inc., and Urban Outfitters, among others.



To Prep For the Modeling World Tyra Banks Visited FIDM's Library


Tyra Banks recently penned an essay for the Chicago Tribune where she spoke about becoming a high fashion model while still a Los Angeles teen. A French modeling agent who was scouting for Paris Fashion Week discovered Tyra, who quickly booked 25 shows and became a supermodel. Prior to leaving for Paris, the America's Next Top Model host visited the FIDM Library to brush up on all things fashion at the age 17. She writes,

"So I went to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising library in downtown Los Angeles. I asked the librarian for every French fashion magazine she could dig up. Once she realized my goal, over the course of two weeks, she sat me down and showed me the right way to look at the photos to determine the aesthetic of each designer. She also dug up tapes from every major designer that had presented their lines in Paris the previous year. She taught me to focus not just on the style of the clothing, but also the ways each designer differentiated through the use of hair and makeup.

As I watched, I noticed the same models appearing over and over again; each had a signature walk (though they didn’t call it that back then). Some walked aggressively. Others were on their tippy toes, like princesses. Determined to figure out my own way of doing things, I designed my walk alongside the world’s most helpful librarian, right there in the middle of the FIDM library."



South Korea Native Is One of Five Finalists in the GUESS + FIDM Design Contest


Written by FIDM Students Maggie Heberle, Ryan Lynch, Caroline Persohn, Annie Dooner, and Camille Kern

As the final weeks of the GUESS + FIDM Design Contest come to a close, we begin to dive more into the personal lives of the final contestants. Three years ago, Jung Eun Lee moved 6,000 miles in pursuit of a dream: to become a morally upright and influential fashion designer. Born and raised in South Korea, 25 year-old Lee, a second year Fashion Design student at FIDM, was already a loyal brand ambassador for the iconic all-American Guess brand. When given the task of reinventing the Guess image, Lee drew inspiration from the brand roots.

“To me, Guess has always been a fashion icon in a young, sexy, and beautiful aspect,” she says. Her approach was to make a woman feel sexy and beautiful with pieces that could be integrated into her eclectic wardrobe. She created four designs, including a denim jacket, denim skinny pants, a chambray shirt, and a denim bustier. She aimed to make the design as practical as possible to appease the "Guess Girl" and focused more on silhouettes and linings, which emphasized more on trims and details.

This creatively demanding competition will consume most of her time, but thankfully for Lee, she is supported by friends and family who support her every step of the journey. “I am blessed to have my family and friends who can help me with emotional support and even giving me a hand while trying to juggle all these things in my life,” she explains. Lee plans to attend a university upon graduation to attain her bachelor’s degree. She hopes to use this competition as a stepping stone to jumpstart a fruitful career in the fashion industry. “Above all, this experience will be memorable throughout my career," she adds. 



Guess Contest Finalist David Wang Puts the "Boyfriend" Back in Denim


David Wang Puts the Boyfriend Back in Denim

By FIDM Students Mariah Massey, Claire Eberle, Teagan Sanchez, and Bibianna Pina

FIDM Student David Wang recently entered the GUESS + FIDM Design Contest where he made the final five. Wang’s “Boyfriend” design floored the judges with his storyboard, energy, design aesthetics, and vision. David created a story around the “all-American” blonde bombshell who is transfixed by a clean-cut mystery man.

He will compete against four other students in the GUESS + FIDM Design Contest in hopes of winning a major prize that, just years before, he could only dream of. With not much more than a dream, Wang moved to Los Angeles from Taiwan in 2010, to pursue Fashion Design here at FIDM. What he thought was merely a last-minute school project unexpectedly became the opportunity of a lifetime. If David is lucky enough to bring home a win, his ultimate dream of opening up a design house could become reality.



Entrepreneurship Class Takes Field Trip to Rickshaw Bags in SF


Instructor Mychelle Fitzgerald's Entrepreneurship class recently took a field trip to visit Rickshaw Bags in San Francisco. Mark Dwight, the CEO and Founder of the company, gave students a tour of his factory and chatted about how to manufacture in the U.S. while still turning a profit. "The students asked lots of questions and learned what it takes to start a new business," said Mychelle. "He has a great success story." 



These Families Needed Santa's Helpers. Find Out How FIDM's Scholarship Store Got Involved.


On Sunday, a team from FIDM's Scholarship Store helped out at the annual Sheriff's Department 999 For Kids charity event.


The Scholarship Store donates toys, clothing, and accessories to help families in need and act as Santa's helpers at the event, giving the merchandise away. 


999 For Kids was created in 1985, through a joint effort of the L.A. County Sheriff's Department and the County's Department of Children and Family Services. The organization aids physically and mentally challenged children who are victims of the most severe cases of child abuse, neglect, and family violence. 


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