Apparel News Reports on FIDM's Recent Denim Industry Event


Mother jeans founder Tim Kaeding (left) with Kingpins founder Andrew Olah

California Apparel News has a story about Kingpins + FIDM, a recent event organized by the denim development tradeshow Kingpins and the college, held on the top floor of the Cooper Design Space in Los Angeles.


Speakers included Tim Kaeding, former creative director for 7 For All Mankind and founder of Mother denim brand; FIDM Graduate Joie Rucker (pictured, left) and Caroline Calvin, designers and founders of Calvin Rucker; denim legend Francois Girbaud, currently at J Brand; and Ben Talley Smith, a denim designer and consultant. 

The denim industry veterans and visionaries gave students advice on all aspects of the business, including breaking rules. "If you believe there are rules, you probably won’t be able to take anything to the next level,” said Rucker. 



Merchandise Product Development Grad Jordan Lausch Lands Job at Urban Outfitters Headquarters in Philadelphia


Name: Jordan Lausch

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Grad Year:
June 2014

Urban Outfitters (URBN Inc.)

Product Development Assistant

Tell us a little about yourself:
I'm inspired by the ocean and the great outdoors in general. I'm an avid antiquer. I make dream catchers in my spare time.

Where are you working?
I work at URBN Inc. Home Office in Philadelphia, PA. I am currently working for the Urban Outfitters brand as a product development assistant for both men's and women's sweaters. Every single day is different and inspiring at Urban. Most of my time is spent communicating directly to our vendors overseas about yarns that we are sourcing, styles that are being developed, and costing. This information then gets translated back to our design, production, and buying teams.

How did you find out about the job opportunity?
I began working with URBN at a store level when I started at FIDM in San Diego. I started as a sales associate at Anthropologie in La Jolla and was quickly promoted to the position of resident personal shopper. I then made a move to Los Angeles to finish my time at FIDM which lined up with an opportunity to be part of the opening team of BHLDN (Anthropologie's bridal sister brand) in Beverly Hills. It was through the store opening that I was able to pick the brains of several Home Office employees and I was later introduced the the Product Development recruiter at URBN. The rest is history.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now?
My past classes at FIDM translate directly into my position now. FIDM has also granted me with the skill set to fully understand the design and garment construction processes. Connections made with instructors were (and continue to be) very important to me as I navigate this industry.

How did you decide on your major at FIDM?
I chose Product Development because I wanted the opportunity equally learn the business and creative sides of the industry. Product Development is an extremely well-rounded major. 

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you?
Sourcing materials is a large part of my job here at Urban and I find myself referring back to my Production and Sourcing Strategies class that I took during my last quarter at FIDM. I also keep my Textile Science swatch book on my desk for easy fiber and stitch reference.

Any advice for current FIDM Students?
Work, work, work. Even if that means flipping burgers at In-n-Out (I miss you, In-n-Out!!). A full resume always trumps an empty one.

What is your biggest goal right now?
My biggest goal right now is to furnish my new, historic apartment in Old City Philadelphia, and to continue to grow with URBN.

Anything else you’d like to share?
See what inspires me and scenes from the office by following me on Instagram (@jordlausch) or by taking a gander at my blog,



San Francisco Interior Design Students Design Office Space For Start-Up Tech Company VIROOL


San Francisco start-up tech company Virool contacted FIDM San Francisco's Career Center seeking interior design services for their new office space at 88 Kearney. Virool promotes You Tube videos to targeted audiences and works with musicians, filmmakers, game developers, startups, Kickstarter campaings, and non- profits. This exciting project was incorporated into the Commercial Design Concepts class spring quarter.


Interior Designer and FIDM Alumnus Jason Wong acted as a mentor to the class during the development of the design. Jason, along with instructor Kerry Roussellot, worked closely with the class throughout the process. The students developed floor plans, furniture layouts, graphic designs, furniture and fabric selections, as well as a full set of specifications. After the final presentation, Virool was left with a full package of conceptual design ideas.

A group of students from the class will work in an internship capacity under the direction and supervision of Jason to bring the design to life. Contract negotiations with Virool are taking place this month.





Alyssa Casares Holds Fall 2014 Collection Preview at FIDM SF


Last week, Alyssa Nicole designer and Alumna Alyssa Casares held her Fall 2014 collection preview on the balcony of FIDM's San Francisco campus. Her ethereal and feminine women's label was founded in 2010 with her mother Sonia Casares and has evolved into a demi-couture collection handcrafted in San Francisco and Los Angeles. 


Alyssa Nicole has been featured in Women's Wear Daily, WGSN, Refinery 29, Racked SF, Daily Candy, and Teen Vogue, among others. 

Alyssa Nicole Fall 2014 from Alyssa Casares on Vimeo.




Just Accepted Transfer Student Is Pursuing His Dreams of Being a Product Developer



First and Last Name: Joshua Oswalt

Age: 18

Hometown: Artesia, California

Previous College: Mt. San Jacinto Community College

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? She helped every step of the way, from offering information about the school and how to go about getting my financial aid set up, to helping prepare me for my interview.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Some of my interests are music, reading, hiking, and spending time with my friends. My inspiration is to be successful working on something I love.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Switching lanes and getting accepted

What made FIDM right for you? I wanted to go to FIDM when I was a senior in high school, but got discouraged because of tuition fees and such, so I decided to try community college for a year. During that year I started a job working with elementary school disabled kids as well.

After my year at the community college I decided I wasn't getting enough out of my school and I loved my job, but it wasn't the career I'd be happy showing up to for the rest of my life. So I decided I wanted to start working towards a career I can enjoy and am proud of. That's when I got in touch with Shirley and began the enrollment process.

What are your career goals? To get my degree and become a product developer for a company I like here in southern California. It's not as much for the money, but that I want to enjoy my life while I'm young and I feel that getting a good job doing something that interests me is the best way to start.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? The ins and outs of the industry, how to use a wide range of tools to do my job, how to predict/create what the customers want, and everything else I need to know to be a professional and experienced product developer.



Join Us For the 5th Annual Innovative Materials Conference


The FIDM Library and Alumni Association invite you to "Recycle, Reuse, Reinvent" in celebration of the 5th annual Innovative Materials Conference, curated by FIDM Textiles & Materials Manager, Kristine Upesleja. 

When: August 18, 2014 to August 22, 2014, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Where: FIDM Los Angeles Annex, Room A 332, Standard Oil Building, 605 Olympic Blvd.

Exhibit: See the latest innovations in the textiles and materials industries along with designer Janet Hansen’s LED clothing.

Tours: Sign up classes for a tour with the Textiles & Materials department team; RSVP to

Guest Speaker: On Thursday, August 21, 2014, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., hear from Costume Designer Janet Hansen, who designs for Britney Spears, Daft Punk, and the Rockettes. Janet will discuss her LED costumes and clothing among other topics. Enjoy refreshments and network with FIDM Alumni and industry professionals. RSVP by August 19, 2014 to




Just Accepted Apparel Industry Management Student Is Pro Surfer



Name: Robbie Merrell

Age: 18

Hometown: Ormond Beach, Florida

Previous College: Northeastern University

FIDM Major: Apparel Industry Management

FIDM Campus: Orange County

Admissions Advisor: Marilyn Moore

How did your advisor help with the process? She was just amazing and led me step-by-step to being accepted to FIDM.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I’ve been in the competitive surf world since I was nine years old, so surfing is probably my biggest hobby you could say. Besides that I have a whole list of things I do on a regular basis: skating, wakeboarding, playing music (guitar, piano, and bass), fishing, fly fishing, painting, and any other kind of art project I can get my hands on. I raced motocross from age three to 11, so thats pretty much the other half of my life.

My biggest interests lately have been in artistic short films and just meeting new, interesting people. I’ve been inspired by a few different short film producers to bring an artistic background into a couple recent surf films I am currently editing.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I don’t really look at my surfing results or publicity as accomplishments, so I guess my biggest accomplishment so far is just meeting all the great people I have met and having an amazing time with all the people I love. I prefer going on surf trips with my friends and making a video about our adventures over winning any surf contest. My perspective on my sport is different than most, but I enjoy what I do so I guess it's working.

What made FIDM right for you? I really enjoy designing clothing and would love to make a career of it, so if there's anywhere to learn how to do that I feel like it’s FIDM.

Describe your entrance project. I printed out five photos of shirt templates that I created and put them in a binder. I didn’t really have any style to aim for, so I was a little nervous on which designs to use. In the end they seemed to have liked what I made so it all worked out.

What are your career goals? In a perfect world I would like for my brand to take off, even though that's a pretty massive goal. But in the mean time, I’d say my career goal is to design for another brand.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I hope that the instructors can help me turn the creations I make into something that the public would want to buy.

Portageese from Peninsula Holding Company on Vimeo.




Two FIDM Students Named Semi-Finalists For NRF Foundation's Ray Greenly Scholarship


Today, the NRF Foundation announced 25 semi-finalists for the Ray Greenly Scholarship, an award that provides financial support to students pursuing a degree in fields most relevant to the rapidly-growing careers in digital retail.

FIDM Business Management Student Sarah Bitticks of Pasadena, California and Merchandise Marketing Student Bailey Blakkolb, of Redlands, California, are vying for the scholarship, along with semi-finalists from FIT, Northwestern University, Parsons The New School, and University of Pennsylvania, among others. 

A panel of retail and executive judges will interview the five finalists on September 28 at the Summit in Seattle, selecting four $10,000 recipients and a top recipient of the $25,000 scholarship. In 2013, FIDM Student Katherine Aguilar won the Ray Greenly Scholarship.



Lifetime Orders Teen Fashion Competition Show 'Threads' Featuring FIDM Scholarship

ThreadsVanessa Simmons will host Threads, a new teen fashion competition show for Lifetime, according to The Hollwood Reporter. Project Runway alum Christian Siriano, Seventeen Fashion Director Gina Kelly and Accessories Editor Jasmine Snow, and YouTube style guru Ingrid Nilsen will serve as judges. Each week, three contestants will compete to set the new standard for the future of fashion. 

The winner will receive $10,000 to be used at any Jo-Ann’s Fabrics & Crafts store or, a scholarship to FIDM, and a top-of-the-line sewing and embroidery studio courtesy of Brother International Corporation.

Special guests this season include television personality and host Kelly Osbourne, actress, singer and dancer Zendaya, and actress and model Jaime King.



After a Degree From UCI This Future Vis Comm Student Is Pursuing Her Childhood Dreams



Name: Reina Tan

Age: 23

Hometown: Hong Kong

Previous College: University of California, Irvine '13

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: OC/LA, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? I had not considered attending FIDM for another two to three years because of my lack of confidence and insecurities in my creative abilities. As I sat down with Shirley, all I had to offer was my honest self in how I am at a crossroads in my life, and I was struggling in pursuing a graduate degree in Psychology verses a professional degree at FIDM. Shirley sought out who I truly am as a person and asked me questions that opened my eyes to an unknown passion within me. Because of her, I decided to take a leap of faith and trust in what she sees in me and pursue a degree at FIDM.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I have worked at Trumpet Behavioral Health as a Behavioral Therapist. For many years, my mind and heart resided in a very dark place of constant contemplation of self-destructive thoughts and ways to punish myself. My heart ached at the sight of people living in the streets, families struggling to raise their children in impossible situations, and innocent children becoming victims of neglect and abuse. I pursued a Psychology degree, volunteered consistently at homeless shelters and street outreach, and spent every summer in a different third-world nation to appease that pain within me. By pouring my heart and soul into “helping others,” I discovered in the process I have destroyed myself.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Taking the steps to pursue Visual Communications at FIDM is honestly my proudest accomplishment by far. Realizing that I can use my creative outflow to make a difference in this world has changed my perspective in life. Great fear still resides in my heart due to my complete lack of experience and knowledge of the fashion industry, but the courage that took me to take this step is what I feel most proud of.

What made FIDM right for you? In the four years at UC Irvine, I did not get to know one professor, hardly interacted with my classmates, and experienced a lack of motivation to do my best academically. When I was sitting in the office with Shirley, she shared with me the small class size, the personal mentorship, and the countless opportunities that FIDM has to offer which awoke a spark in me to pursue studies at an institute like FIDM.

Since I was a little girl, I have a great passion in fashion, but I never allowed myself to entertain the thoughts of pursuing such a career. For the first time in my life, I see a hopeful possibility to do what I love and allow creative freedom to flow out of me. FIDM will teach me skills that I lack through classes such as Perspective Sketching and Computer Graphics to better prepare me to become a successful and marketable Visual in the fashion industry.

Describe your entrance project. There are three projects required in the entrance portfolio for the Visual Communications major. The first one is the Circle, Square, and Triangle project. I decided to make a hanging mobile made out of a used lampshade from Goodwill. I wrapped it with burlap and yarn and hung strands of different colored shapes that dangled giving it flowing effect.

The second one is an exterior window display. I wanted to display a vibrant set of colors that would bring life to people as they walk by. I created paper windmills all across the backdrop and decided to have a countryside look to it. I hung the clothing display on a clothesline adjacent to a glass cup holding dried leaves and flowers to give my display a consistent flow.

The last one is an interior store display. I displayed the clothes against a red-laced table and pole in order to bring out its soft floral patterns. Additionally, I created a background using burlap to hang vintage displays. As I completed all three projects, I decided on one theme: free spirit.

What are your career goals? I desire to start by working for companies such as Anthropologie to gain creative experience whether its doing their window displays or styling their photo shoots. On the side I want to volunteer my time in the creative team at my church doing their backdrops and visual displays. Eventually if I start a family, I want to freelance and do weddings, special events, fundraisers, and fashion shows. My goal is to live a life that gives hope to others in pursuing their creative freedom.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn skills I do not possess and become confident in my abilities in the field of Visual Communications when I graduate. Besides the technicality of education, I look forward to collaborating and getting to know my fellow classmates and teachers in what inspires them, how they’ve struggled, and who they are as real people.



FIDM Los Angeles Photo Featured in L.A. Times


The Los Angeles Times has featured a photo of a hallway at FIDM Los Angeles, snapped by David Patrick Valera, taken while his daughter was participating in a workshop.

"He managed to capture the hallway scene, with a figure walking the halls and students' work from last year displayed in the case on the left side of the frame.

As Valera says: 'I have a camera with me at all times even when I'm taxi dad running them all around town.'"



New FIDM San Francisco Students Get Acquainted With The City


A group of 24 new FIDM San Francisco Summer Students joined Student Activities on a San Francisco city bus tour following Orientation. The three-hour tour helped the students get the lay of the land, visiting landmarks such as Golden Gate Park, North Beach, the Marina, Haight Street, Alamo Square, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Union Square (pictured, above.) 



National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay Delivers FIDM Commencement Speech


NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay delivered the FIDM commencement speech to 2,000 FIDM Graduates at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles on June 21. posted Mr. Shay's speech in its entirety, included below. Please visit for the complete article.

Thank you for that kind introduction. As Alan Simpson, the former U.S. Senator from Wyoming, once said when taking the stage after a particularly flattering welcome, “Thank you for that kind introduction. My father would have enjoyed it, and my mother would have believed it!”

So thank you, Barbara, and thank you to President Hohberg, Department chair Marlene Dunn, the FIDM board of directors, faculty, staff and all the students who have made me feel so welcome here on campus.

And to the graduating class of 2014 – congratulations! Congratulations to all of you, for making it to a day that many of you thought would never come (I’m talking to you, parents!). I know it hasn’t been easy. Many of you have worked full-time while earning your degrees. In fact, I bet some of you are supposed to be at work right now! You have survived countless all-nighters (and I don’t mean the kind you will pull tonight while you’re celebrating!). Some of you are even celebrating your second graduation here at the Staples Center. So congratulations to you all!

It was just a few days ago that President Obama delivered the commencement address at UC  Irvine, and I’m sure that when FIDM announced that this year’s commencement speaker was “a 52-year-old President from Washington, D.C., who is highly involved in the political process,” many of you naturally thought you were going to get “the other President.” Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you. But as my kids say, you did get the “President of Shopping!”

So thank you for giving me this honor and inviting me to be here today. 

It’s an honor because you had your choice of many other qualified speakers. And it’s an honor because of the incredible reputation of FIDM and the 55,000 graduates it has produced during the past 45 years. But mostly, it’s an honor because of the opportunity to spend a few minutes with the class of 2014 and your families and friends on such an important day in your lives.

And because it’s such an important day, I wanted a member of my family here with me too, so I’m joined by one of our three children, our eight-year-old daughter, Pearson. Pearson is pretty excited to be here for at least two reasons. First, when she was just three years old, she was already dressing herself for preschool, putting together these crazy outfits that somehow managed to match. I knew we were on to something when the preschool teachers would say, “Oh look, here comes Betsey Johnson!” So Pearson loves fashion!

But she may have been even more excited because she got to skip her last day of second grade, escape the heat and humidity of Washington, and see Universal and Disney. I’m just happy to have her here with me to be part of this special day.

When I visited FIDM a few months ago, President Hohberg gave me a tour around campus. She even kept the Annual Exhibition of Motion Picture Costume Design here two extra days so I could see the dress that Keira Knightly wore in “Anna Karenina,” and my personal favorite, the skirt that Keanu Reeves wore in “47 Ronin”!

I was amazed to learn that FIDM offers students 22 different majors, ranging from Merchandise Marketing to Digital Media. The breadth of study and rigorous curriculum provide one of the best launching pads in the country for you to reach the next level of success in your careers.

But what I enjoyed most about my trip was the chance to spend some time with some of the students, just talking to them and learning about why they chose FIDM and what they’ve enjoyed about their experiences. You know, a degree from FIDM is a diploma on one side and a ticket to a great future on the other. And from the conversations that I had, it’s obvious that FIDM students are well on their way to exciting futures. 


In fact, I think you’re all well on your way.

You are poised to be leaders in an industry that supports 42 million jobs – that’s one in four jobs across America.

And retail drives that kind of economic activity because it’s a dynamic industry, an industry that’s always moving and always changing. That’s why, if you have imagination and drive, you can start out in the stockroom, or behind a counter, and wind up in a top job in marketing, management or even in the corner office.

I happen to believe that I’ve got one of the best jobs in Washington, maybe THE best job in Washington, because I have the chance to represent an industry I love and tell the stories about how the retail industry is delivering value for customers every day, creating jobs, serving communities and driving innovation. I also love it because I have the chance to work with dozens of CEOs and senior executives, many of whom have fabulous stories about their careers.

Look at Terry Lundgren, the chairman and CEO of Macy’s, who started his career right here in L.A., delivering china and tableware to local Bullock’s stores from the back of the family station wagon. And Karen Katz, who was turned down for a job at Neiman Marcus in 1985, and was named chairman and CEO of that iconic brand in 2011.

Or our chairman, Steve Sadove, who started in a marketing role with a consumer products company and rose through the ranks to be chairman and CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue.

Or Jim Wright, the former chairman and CEO of Tractor Supply Company. The day he was named CEO in 2000, the investment community welcomed him by dropping TSC’s share price from $1 to 80 cents! But hard work and vision paid off, and Jim saw the share price exceed $120 before he retired as CEO last year.

There are so many career paths in retail. Did you know that retail employs more financial analysts than Wall Street? More software engineers than Silicon Valley? And hundreds of thousands of executives in real estate and construction and supply chain and digital media?

So it’s not only the heights you can reach, it’s the unlimited career paths. That makes the retail industry a pure meritocracy. Everyone has an opportunity to succeed. Talent, hard work, perseverance and sometimes a little luck will take you as far as you want to go.


I’m bullish on the future of retail, too. Because as we enter the “second generation of the digital revolution,” it’s become clear that it’s not “bricks versus clicks.” On the contrary, it’s omnichannel retailers who are winning, retailers who have learned to embrace both online and in-store customer experiences. There’s no other industry in the world that is as consumer-centric and customer-focused as retail, and that’s what makes the future so exciting. That’s also why retail isn’t just entering the second stage of the digital revolution, it’s leading it.

Earlier this year, I spent some time with Jack Dorsey, founder of Square and co-founder of Twitter. We talked about the future of the industry, and how technology can remove the remaining barriers to payments transactions and the interaction between customers and retailers.

The entire business model at Square is based on using technology to remove one of the most stubborn obstacles in the relationship between retailers and their customers – payments. And that, in turn, is helping consumers perceive retail brands as seamless experiences across many channels – online, in-store, digital, mobile – rather than a series of individual, inconsistent, one-off experiences.

Sometime soon, we all will be able to walk into a store, pick what we want and walk out without stopping at the checkout line. Of course, some people do this already – they’re called “shoplifters.” But in the near future, with RFID chips and sensors, we will do this and still be called “valued customers.”

But of all the things to be excited about today, you know the most exciting thing about this bright future for retail? You’re going to lead it.


Let me conclude by sharing a few “Life Lessons” that I’ve learned – mostly the hard way – in the hope that as you begin your careers, I can save you a few mistakes along the way.

When I graduated from college, three of my best friends were headed to Colorado to ski for a year. As much as I wanted to go with them, my dad had already put me through college, and with a younger brother and two younger sisters behind me, I didn’t think it was fair to ask my dad to subsidize a year-long ski trip with my buddies. So I went to law school instead … where he supported me for three years!

The truth is, I wasn’t committed to law school. In fact, I spent most of my student loan money traveling to Colorado to ski with my buddies – and I finished in the bottom 20 percent of my class after my first year.

And so I learned Life Lesson #1 – When You Make a Decision, Be Committed!

I spent the next couple of years digging myself out of the hole I was in. Law school is very competitive, and no one made way for a guy in the bottom 20 percent of the class. But I worked my way onto the Law Review, improved my grades, and by the third year, I had moved into the top third of the class.

That taught me Life Lesson #2 – Clean Up Your Own Messes!

After graduation, a trade association offered me a job that paid only half of what I was offered by a law firm. And you know what? I went with my heart and accepted the trade association’s lower offer.

That’s when I learned Life Lesson #3 – Happiness Is More Important Than Money.

In my career, I have been fortunate to be mentored by some amazing people. The judge who hired me after law school, the McDonald’s executive who encouraged me to go to Washington and chase my dream 20 years ago, the group of CEOs who hired me for this job, and many others. They’ve opened doors, shown me new ways forward, pointed me in the right direction and kicked me in the rear. I wouldn’t be here without them.

All of that taught me Life Lesson #4 – Find a Mentor.

One of those mentors is a very successful entrepreneur from Houston named Doc Cohen. He has 600 retail employees working for him. Doc once looked at me and said, “The last thing that I ever did by myself was hire my first employee.”

That taught me Life Lesson #5 – No One Ever Accomplished Anything Great By Themselves.


Let me close by making a few final observations. FIDM is an institution that teaches young people to think for themselves, to design for others and to innovate for the world. That ought to come easy for you. After all, you’re Millennials. They say that in addition to being impatient and entitled, you’re generally predisposed to shake things up because you’re so intolerant of the status quo.

So I say, go ahead – shake things up. And remember George Bernard Shaw’s famous quote: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

Be unreasonable. Challenge the status quo. Make this a better place. Take some risks. Don’t be afraid to fail, or to fall flat on your face. It’s one the best ways to achieve success in life. And as Winston Churchill, who knew a little bit about falling on his face, observed, "Success is stumbling from failure to failure, with no loss of enthusiasm."

And one final bit of advice: While you’re being unreasonable and challenging the status quo, achieving success – don’t forget to have fun along the way.

To the graduating class, congratulations on your accomplishments. Thank you for letting me be a part of your celebration. And good luck in making the most of the great opportunities ahead.



National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay Advises FIDM Grads To "Be Unreasonable"


At FIDM Graduation last week at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, FIDM presented the president and chief executive officer of the National Retail Federation, Matthew Shay, with the first honorary degree in our college's history—a Merchandise Marketing Professional Designation Degree. Mr. Shay delivered the commencement speech to the 2,000 FIDM Students receiving their degrees that day.

California Apparel News asked him what he said to the graduates, to which he responded, "Simply put, I told them to be unreasonable, challenge the status quo and don’t accept 'the mess we’re in'—which is the Latin translation of status quo. Today’s graduates are some of the most talented young adults this country has ever seen, and FIDM has an extremely unique model to bring out that talent and make each person shine: FIDM is an institution that teaches young people to think for themselves, to design for others and to innovate for the world. And in speaking to the 2014 graduating class, I took immense pride in being able to tell these already incredibly talented individuals that retail offers exciting, rewarding and unique career opportunities and that where they start almost always isn’t where they end up in retail."

"Of course, I also spent some time telling them my own faults, failures and successes," Mr. Shay continued. "With that I reminded them what Winston Churchill once said about success: 'Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.'"

"I am extremely humbled and honored to have been a part of the class of 2014’s big day. It is surely something I will never forget."

Read more on California Apparel News. Matthew Shay's entire commencement speech can be found on



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student is a Performer at Disneyland



Name: Terecia Baker

Age: 24

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

Previous College: San Francisco State University 

Major: Visual Communications

Campus and Start Date: Orange County, Fall 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Talking to Susan is like talking to one of my aunts; she was so inviting and made me feel right at home and instantly part of the FIDM family. Walking in I had an idea of what I wanted to do but Susan made me more confident in my choice and more excited about becoming a FIDM Student. She's easy to talk to, outgoing, and still calls to check on me. I absolutely love her.

Tell us a little about yourself. I'm such a free spirit and have such a love for life that I can find excitement in almost anything I do! I'm always up to try new things, I love dancing and performing, and I feel so honored to get to do that every day at The Happiest Place on Earth!


What are some of your proudest accomplishments? Having the courage to finally take the dream of the 15-year-old girl in me and not only apply to FIDM, but see it all the way through and commit to the process. Sometimes when I want something so bad I get scared and back out, so I'm beyond proud of myself. Even auditioning for Disneyland multiple times before getting it and living in SoCal without my family got discouraging, but I'm surprising myself more and more and it's such a great feeling.

What made FIDM right for you? From the moment I walked through Susan's glass office doors, I knew this was going to be home for me. Her excitement for FIDM made me excited. When she shared with me all the of the great success stories of past and current students, I knew I wanted to be there. The comforting fact that I don't have to be an expert in my major or and amazing sketch artist is so exciting. I'm going to be in an environment where I can share and express ideas visually and freely and that is how I know and knew FIDM was right for me.

Tell us about your entrance project. For my circle, square, triangle project I had a shadow box where I made little girl hangers into those shapes with some fun yarn. For my display window and interior design, my focus was on little girls so in the window I had a little girl looking in the mirror after dressing herself up and the interior with her going from station to station until you saw her final look and the interior included a nail painting station and other fun things for little girls to do.

What are your career goals? For my career I see myself doing multiple things: I want to work with celebrity styling, work on Broadway shows with costumes, as well as TV and film. With all that Visual Communications has to offer, I look forward to trying things I thought I wouldn't be interested in.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I'm hoping to expand knowledge in sketching and computer skills. I'm looking forward to learning to be more confident in my work and trust myself and ideas more as well as expanding my knowledge in world trends. I'm hoping to be pushed and most of all just enjoy learning and diving right in -- hands and feet!



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Has Worked as a Marketing Coordinator at a Fortune 500 Company



Name: Shane’a Edwards

Age: 25

Hometown: Long Beach, California

Previous College: Long Beach City

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Summer 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Susan was tremendously supportive and patient. She stayed in contact with me for nearly a year, while I aimed to discover the perfect major. Susan made my experience with FIDM remarkably memorable.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am a personable person who isn’t afraid to try new things at least once in my lifetime. I love to paint, volunteer, cook, and entertain. In high school, I was a member of the Madrigals Honor Show Choir and breakdancing team. Our Honor Choir was exceptionally amazing and traveled often for various gigs in Chicago, Seattle, and throughout California.

After high school, I began working as Marketing Coordinator and enjoyed every minute networking with new people. Each year, I have coordinated over 20 successful events with seven to 200 guests, including Angel’s Stadium, Richard Nixon’s Presidential Library, and the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment thus far would have to be when I moved up in a Fortune 500 company. In 2008, I temped as their receptionist then gradually moved into a position I had no experience in, Marketing Coordinator. Within in a couple years, my hard work and dedication aided our region to rank #1 for Marketing.

What made FIDM right for you? Out of the other schools that I visited, FIDM was the only one that had an inspiring atmosphere, specialized in this major, and provided more hands-on experience with professional companies.

Describe your entrance project. For my interior and exterior views, I focused on women’s summer apparel, jewelry, handbags, and shoes. For my circle, triangle, square project, I chose to make a working clock and paint an image that embraced the beauty of a sunny spring day. Time is such a valuable commodity and I wanted to grasp each minute with an image of my favorite past time.

What are your career goals? To attain knowledge in the Visual Communications major and share my artistic attributes with a professional company as their Visual Director or Public Relations Event Planner.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? While attending FIDM, I expect to learn techniques that will improve my sketching abilities, knowledge in worldwide trends, and exposure to the industries. These skills will help me implement my artistic ingeniousness into a professional and entertaining vision.



Upcoming MPD Graduate Is Already a Store Manager of Two Corporate Stores for Billabong


Name: Jordan T. Morano

Age: 24

Hometown: Orange County

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

Graduating: June, 2014

Tell us about your experience in the action sports industry. I started off as a sales associate with major action sports retailers such as PacSun and Element. Through my experience working in these stores, I developed an understanding of the market and the consumer which then led to a larger curiosity. How can I make these clothes not only easier to sell but also appeal to more customers? And with this question, I went to FIDM. I have been working full-time since I was 18 years old and did not stop even during my schooling at FIDM.

What jobs have you held while at FIDM? At the start of my education, I transferred to Billabong's corporate store in Irvine, CA as a supervisor. I am now the store manager of two corporate stores and have used this time to make connections and friends with people all throughout Billabong and its family brands. I was able to work closely with the Element Eden brand in between school and work which only solidified my choice to enter this industry.

How did FIDM help prepare you for the industry? FIDM gave me some of the missing pieces such as budgeting, line development, and production that will help me answer questions I have had since I was just a sales associate.



Just Accepted Vis Comm Transfer Student Is Singer and Dancer Who Has Toured Italy



Name: Kyle Dallapè

Age: 19

Hometown: Newport Beach, California

Previous College: Concordia University for one year.

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, Fall 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? She was incredibly helpful. She gave me practical advice while stimulating my excitement to attend FIDM by helping me find exactly what major was right for me.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I have been involved in the performing arts my entire life, specifically dance. I have been trained in jazz for 10 years, and tap for eight. I also have been trained in voice having performed in numerous shows and sung with a number of choirs. I returned about a month ago from touring Italy with one of those choirs.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment so far was co-directing and co-choreographing (as well as acting in) my high school's musical my senior year, Anything Goes, which went on to win many awards, and was even asked to perform at the MACY Awards, which takes place at the Segerstrom Center For The Arts every year. I was also selected to perform in the opening number of the MACY's that year alongside my best friend and a handful of the most talented high school students in Southern California.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM felt like home. From the second I stepped in I felt immediately like I belonged, and after meeting with Susan Pope I finally had a direction and knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Describe your entrance project. For my circle/square/triangle project I created a dream catcher using the shapes that were given to me. For both the window display and the store display I was inspired both by the opulence of late 18th century French court fashion, and my favorite holiday, New Year's Eve. I stuck with a major color scheme of black and gold, but incorporated pastel colors as seen in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, which is my favorite movie.

What are your career goals? As Rachel Zoe has always been one of my biggest inspirations, I'd love to go on to someday be a celebrity stylist such as herself. I would also potentially love to be a part of a show like TLC's What Not To Wear, because I'd love to use my expertise to help others look better and thus feel better about themselves.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to be challenged to sharpen my abilities in the fashion world not only by the highly accredited faculty, but also by my peers.



New MPD Student is a Former FIDM Fashion Club President Who Has Her Own Clothing Line



Name: Christiana Jimenez

Age: 17

Hometown: Lake Elsinore, CA

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, July 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Susan is such an amazing woman! I've heard from several friends who currently attend FIDM that Susan is the best and would be so helpful, which she truly has been. I always look forward to her phone calls because she is such a delight. She was able to explain everything to my parents and answer all of our questions. Whether it was the admissions process, financial aid, or registration, she was always right there to help me.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Since I was 14, I couldn't wait to graduate high school and start my college education and career. Family is everything to me. I have the most loving and supportive parents who constantly remind me to follow my dreams. I love reading, music, and exploring new places. During my senior year, I was the President of the FIDM Fashion Club I started at my school, as well as being involved in ASB. I was also a Link Leader, helping incoming freshmen transition to high school as easily as possible. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishments so far would include being accepted to FIDM, starting an official FIDM Fashion Club at my high school, and most importantly starting a clothing company with my sister, Hannah. One day we just said, "Hey, we should start a clothing company." So we did. Within three months, touched Clothing's Summer 2013 line was created and ready to be sold. She designed our logo and continues coming up with new designs.


I decide what fabric, colors, and styles we produce, as well as how much we sell our clothing for. I keep inventory, re-order when we're running low, run our online store and website, I do our bookkeeping, packaging and shipping. It was so much work, and now a year later it still is, but it has been the best experience. I'm learning new things everyday and we have a long way to go, but you gotta start from somewhere, right? My sister and I were so lucky to have our parents' support in starting this, without it, touched Clothing would still be just an idea. I can't wait to take what I will learn at FIDM as a Merchandise Product Development major and use it to expand and improve our company to be the best it can possibly be.


What made FIDM right for you? I have wanted to go to FIDM since I was 10 years old. I was at a college fair at the local high school with my girl scout troop in 6th grade when I was first introduced to FIDM. I fell in love the minute I stood at the booth hearing about this incredible school where you could study and become educated about fashion. My mom still talks about how I came home that night with so many brochures and handouts telling my parents about this amazing school.

Eight years later, here I am, moving to Los Angeles, starting at FIDM in four weeks. When I walked onto that campus at the first Open House I attended, I knew that's where I was meant to be. I had no doubt in my mind. FIDM has the best resources and instructors straight from the fashion industry itself. It has so many opportunities to offer. I honestly cannot wait for classes to start.

Describe your entrance project. I had to find five pieces off the runway, and alter them in some way to be different, but keeping the main trend shown. I decided to pick designer black dresses so I created a collection of different "little black dresses." I was inspired by Coco Chanel and got a little glimpse of how it will be at FIDM. It was so nice, working on a project that was all about my passion and what I love to do!

What are your career goals? I hope to work for a major clothing company as a brand manager or product developer as well as own my own successful clothing line.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn more than I could ever imagine at FIDM. I know they will teach me exactly what I need to know to be successful in the fashion industry.



MPD Alumna is Thriving While Pursuing B.S. Degree in Business Management


Name: Johnae McDonald

Degree: Merchandise Product Development

Current Major: Business Management

Tell us about the internships and jobs you've had since arriving at FIDM. My very first internship took place at women's contemporary brand Nation LTD, as a design intern. I did a bit of everything, from providing assistance at fit sessions and photo shoots, to running errands to the showroom and sample makers. Then I spent about six months interning at Bebe in their Fabric R&D and Design departments. The internship with Bebe was definitely the best that I've ever done, because I got a feel of what it's like to be a designer on their team. I would attend meetings, create trend reports, and help the design team at style outs and presentation set ups. The highlight of the internship was when they let me create my own design and had a sample made.

After that I scored a job at PhaSHEN Inc. as an Assistant Product Developer. The company is a full-package vendor whose clients include GUESS and Splendid/Ella Moss. It was a great experience in a sense that I got a chance to see what it's like to work on the vendor side, and learned more about the import business. Then I started interning at a company called NuORDER as a Sales Development intern. It's an online wholesale platform that streamlines the ordering process for brands and buyers. It's basically e-commerce for wholesale. 

What was it like to recently speak to a class at FIDM? I was honored that Susan Spencer asked me to speak, because I'm only 19, and I'm still a student myself! Overall it just felt great to share my experiences in the industry with my peers.

How are you enjoying the Business Management Program? I love it! I feel that I've learned so much between the Merchandise Product Development and Business Management programs, and it's given me the confidence to eventually start my own business.



Sony Pictures Television Media & Talent Relations Manager Speaks to FIDM Students


Visual Communications Students in Pat Turner's Entertainment & Fashion PR class were recently treated to a visit from Robyn Harney, Manager, Media & Talent Relations at Sony Pictures Television. As a guest speaker, Robyn shared insight about her day-to-day responsibilities and emphasized the importance of participating in industry internships as a student before beginning a job search.


She also stressed the importance of writing skills, building relationships in the industry, doing research, being prepared, and treating everyone nicely. Some of Robyn's responsibilities include interacting with executive directors, talent, and journalists on a day to day basis.

"The students all had so many positive comments," explains Pat Turner, "from saying how young she was to have had so much amazing experience, to her broad knowledge of both PR and the total entertainment industry. One impressed student referred to Robyn as an encyclopedia of knowledge."



Just Accepted OC MPD Student Is Assistant Manager at PacSun



Name: Michael Barton

Age: 23

Hometown: Corona, CA

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, July 2014

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? Cathy was awesome; she pointed me in the right direction with my major choice, by taking all my interests and finding the right melting pot for them. She was just a phone call away with any advice on my project to reminders to ensure I had all my requirements lined up for the big day. Cathy is genuine, she wanted to know what makes me, me.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I'm a very outgoing guy, I very much walk to the beat of my own drum. Whether that beat is country, hip-hop, or trap, I always keep the beat going! I'm a can be pretty easy going, I like going out with friends, baseball games, and Vegas trips. Currently I am an assistant manager for PacSun in Orange County. If you can't find me at work, you can at the gym, hanging out with my bulldog, or in a tattoo shop getting more work done. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? So far my greatest accomplishment has been becoming a manager at 19, and continuing to grow in three different companies along the way as I get ready to soon take my own store. Another one is staying true to who I am, from overcoming tough times that bent me backwards to snapping back, picked the pieces up and moved on. All the while finding my style, grew a passion, and brought me here.

What made FIDM right for you? I feel my story isn't part of the norm. Recently I made the decision to check out and apply. I wanted to become a Graphic Designer who would in time produce a street wear label. That's when I looked up FIDM, because I knew students who had attended as well as co-workers. But I needed to be here for myself and experience it. FIDM is right for me because it holds all the necessary tools, networks, and people to nourish and grow my ideas, fuel my passion, and allow me to establish myself in the fashion industry.

Describe your entrance project. For my project I designed five jacket silhouettes for Pink Dolphin. My inspiration came from Louis Vuitton's Men's Summer 2014 collection. I created the bomber, the letterman, varsity, the flak, and the daily jacket. Each jacket was a unique blend of the iconic logos and color swatches that Pink Dolphin has been known to use. 

What are your career goals? To establish myself by working for such companies as Pink Dolphin, or making the transition into PacSun corporate as a in-house product developer, all the while sharpening and molding a line of my own that I want to launch, a brand that was birthed at my stay at FIDM.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I'm going to expect the unexpected. As simple as it sounds, I just want absorb everything and any thing that I will be taught here. Ask me this question on graduation, I can tell you all the things I didn't expect to learn, but was happy I did!



Just Accepted San Diego Vis Comm Student Is FIDM Fashion Club President



Full Name: Lindsay Botticelli

Age: 17

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Current year in school: Senior

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: San Diego, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Arti Martinez

How did your advisor help with the admissions process? Arti is so amazing. She truly put all of her efforts forward in order for me to accomplish my dream of attending FIDM. I am the third child and, therefore, my parents are already in debt from my two older, college attending sisters. Arti aided us in figuring out all of the finances and helped to make my attendence possible. Without all of her assistance and encouragement, I would not be pursuing what I am meant to: fashion.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am currently President of the El Capitan High School FIDM Fashion Club. We meet every Thursday and always have fun activities planned. We discuss the latest trends, take an Outfit of the Week photo for our club's Instagram, and even have guests teach us things like how to knit. We recently went on a field trip to visit the Los Angeles campus. We took a tour of the facilities, got to eat at chic downtown restaurants, and visited the Diane von Furstenberg "Journey of a Dress" exhibit.

I am also ASB Publicity, Class of 2014 Vice President, Really Loud Gold Crowd Treasurer, a V-Crew leader, a Peer Leader, and more. I balance all of that, as well as my part-time job as a Brandy Melville sales associate/store model. At Brandy Melville, I set up visual displays, tend to the needs of customers, and model store apparel.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Being chosen to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. Only one boy and one girl were selected from my school, after a rigorous interview process. This three day conference was eye opening. It is the kind of thing that when the three days are up, you wish you could just stay longer with these new friends.

What made FIDM right for you? I knew FIDM was right for me at a very young age. My oldest sister was going on college tours when I was in middle school. She had heard about FIDM and wanted to get a better feel for it. She, along with the whole family, went on a tour of the Los Angeles campus. She fell in love, and so did I.

Describe your entrance project. I created a design for a window display, floor display, and a picture using only circles, squares, and triangles. The window display had a "Rock & Roll" theme and even had a drum set in the middle of it. The models had funky volumized hair and were sporting classic band tees. The floor display had a desert festival theme and featured Jen's Pirate Booty clothing, a bronze cactus, and a stand made to look like the desert floor. For the third project, I redesigned a picture my father took of "Mirror Lake" using only circles, squares, and triangles.

What are your career goals? My sisters and I plan to move to Los Angeles together next year. We want to start our own freelance styling company, as well as our own online clothing boutique. Ideally, I would love to have a career like Rachel Zoe's: celebrity stylist-turned-fashion designer. I absolutely love her.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I have an eye for styling, but my skills are still a little rough around the edges. I hope that FIDM can teach me to hone in on my skills and really refine my talent. I know FIDM can open doors for people; I have seen it happen. I just need to get a step ahead in the industry, and I know FIDM can help to get me there.



Future Vis Comm Student Has a Deep Passion For Art, Fashion, and Photography



Name: Vivian Laurence

Age: 17

Hometown: Palo Alto, California

Current year in school: 12th grade

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Jennifer Clark

How did your advisor help with the process? My advisor, Jennifer, was unbelievably supportive throughout the admission process. First and foremost, her focus was making sure that I had all the resources I needed to succeed with FIDM's application. She gave me the guidelines, then let me run free with the three major-specific projects and my personal essay. Jennifer still checks in often to see what I'm currently working on and I am always grateful for her critique and encouragement. Her faith in me is unparalleled.

Tell us a bit about yourself and all of your endeavors. Since I was a little kid, I have been drawn to all things related to fashion and art. I began my style blog at the beginning of my sophomore year in high school. I love chronicling my personal evolution when it comes to fashion and style aesthetic. This blog, along with my mother's move to Nadi, Fiji, led to an internship during my sophomore and junior year summers. I worked in Fiji with fashion designer Alexandra Poenaru-Philp for a month at a time. She was my first mentor in the fashion world and with her guidance, I learned about the design process and experienced first-hand all of the hard work that goes into creating a collection.

At the beginning of my senior year, I walked as a runway model in Fiji Fashion Week for over 13 designers, including L.A. designer and FIDM Graduate Kevan Hall and Australia's Kookai. Most recently, I have been working in partnership with San Francisco-based designer Maryam Moraveji to build Myara, a fashion design company bringing hand-drawn Persian miniature art to life. In addition to my love for fashion and modeling, I have a deep passion for photography.

Most of my senior year has been dedicated to the creation of my AP Studio Art portfolio. My concentration has been rooted in self-discovery and surrealism, visually describing the complex journey of self-awareness and acceptance. Above all, I value collaboration. Being involved in a variety of projects keeps me on my toes. From each experience, I gain something different and challenge myself to be better.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I recently published a personal project that is really important to me. It is a movement I titled The Soulfie Project, combining a series of self-portraits with a written call for emotional honesty and the liberation of personal truth. I received overwhelming positive feedback and I was so humbled. Also, my two co-editors and I just published the 2014 edition of [proof] Magazine, our high school's art magazine. I had never done graphic design before, so it was a phenomenal learning experience. We created the magazine in two days and stayed at school until 5:00 a.m. one night to finish it. I had never worked that intensively before and the final result was so rewarding for our entire team.

What made FIDM right for you? To me, FIDM signifies endless possibilities. I have a vast array of interests and passions, all of which FIDM will allow me to study and pursue. I already feel very welcomed by the FIDM community and I really believe I'll gain the knowledge I need to excel in whichever path I choose to take.

What are your career goals? Ultimately, I want to found my own collaborative creative company. A group of passionate voices is much more powerful than a single voice alone. My aim is to bring together an ever-expanding team of open-minded individuals eager to express their values and opinions. Using team work and collaboration, I hope to challenge social and global issues through many mediums of artistic expression.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn about the artistic industries in depth and gain a much deeper understanding of their structures. I am looking forward to working with faculty, mentors, and peers who will challenge my thinking and urge me to widen my perspectives.



Vis Comm Student Has Set Design Internship With IFC's 'The Birthday Boys' (Interview)


Anja Thy Mogensen was recently hired as an intern on the upcoming IFC television show, The Birthday Boys. We recently caught up with the busy Visual Communications Student to learn more.

How did this exciting internship come about? Through great industry connections and teachers, I was recommended for the internship at The Birthday Boys. I was so honored and happy that all my attempts to connect with the industry professionals and teachers finally paid off and such a great opportunity came to me and not the other way around. I will be working directly with the set designer in order to build and fabricate props, as well as working on the production days on sets and off sets.

You also have an internship at FIDM as well. I was chosen to work on a special project within my major in the Winter Quarter 2014 at FIDM. The 3rd year IMPD Program held an exhibit showcasing their finished products. I worked with Peter Lam, the Visual Merchandiser at FIDM, and five other students, to create the visuals for the exhibit. My work at this project was how I got my internship at FIDM, working with Peter Lam. I am currently working on re-designing the major windows on the 4th floor and am very excited to see my design and work being displayed for a longer and more permanent time at FIDM.

How has FIDM helped these internships come to be? From the beginning of my studies at FIDM, I made sure to have great connections with my teachers and advisors at FIDM. That turned out to be very helpful and meant I started my first credit-eligible internship through FIDM at Rolling Greens Nursery in the beginning of my second year. 

What are your plans after graduation? I graduate in June and am trying to make all the pieces for what to do after, fit together. I am an international student, so I applied for my OPT so I will be eligible to work for the first year in the U.S. However, my husband from Denmark is living here with me, and wishes to be able to get a working permit as well, so we can stay here together and work for a few years.

So if everything goes as planned I will be staying in the U.S. for the next couple of years working and gaining as much experience as possible. My internship at the Birthday Boys runs through the middle of August, so I will be working full-time with them after graduation and hopefully get some contacts and be able to get a full-time job in set design. If I do have to go back to Denmark after graduation, I will be looking for jobs in Copenhagen and will start my career as a set designer and production designer there. My big dream is to work as a set designer on some of the bigger movie productions and eventually be able to run my own freelance, visual design-based company.



SF Start-Up Betabrand Features FIDM Fashion Designs from Students


Sarah James, Director of Betabrand's ThinkTank division, recently approached FIDM to see if students from the San Francisco campus would want to be part of a crowd voting and funding opportunity. "Because Betabrand is a successful start up company who is creating a brand new business model, I wanted our students to experience this exciting opportunity first hand," explains Fashion Design Coordinator Janice Paredes.


Graduating Fashion Design Students Allegra Buch, Kristen Carter, Teresita Ferro, Dorothy Gilprin, Jessica Gonzales, Elizabeth Irwin, Audrey Kim, Mary Lee, Maihien Nguyen, Nicole Spyt, Aracely Tejeda, Jazmin Van Vynckt, and Wendy Vong all participated in the design challenge under the direction of Alumna and Instructor Tracy Campbell. If a submitted design shows promise, then the concept becomes a crowdfunded prototype.


Vote and comment on your favorite FIDM Student designs through June 12, 2014



SF Students Create Windows Featuring Past Trends That Are Current Again


Last quarter, Roy Kunkle's Design Installation class in San Francisco created windows featuring trends from the past that are now current again.


Each team was asked to research the trend they were assigned and create a window display that would tell a visual story of the history of trends.


The students worked with garments from the FIDM Costume Collection to represent the past and then sourced a current dress that went with their trend. 




Saturday Intro to FIDM Class: Fashion Buying


On Saturday, more than 50 fashion fans enjoyed taking a Fashion Buying class at FIDM's Los Angeles campus. They learned all about the in-demand career from former Vice President at Hot Topic and FIDM Trend Instructor Karen Kiefaber and FIDM Alumnas Kate Donohew and Danielle DeGeorge, who simulated a buying experience at a showroom appointment.


Students also heard about discovering the next hot trend, uncovering a brand's target market, and learned about linesheets, deliveries, and the relationship between the retailer and wholesaler. 

Our Saturday Intro to FIDM Classes are an invaluable opportunity to experience a class and be a student for the day. 



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Transfer Student's Story Will Inspire You



Name: Jazzline Jewell

Age: 19

Hometown: Louisville, KY

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: FIDM OC; January 2015

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? Mrs. McDonald has been such a blessing to my journey. She has given me the best advice and counseling possible. She’s very attentive, supportive, and an all-around friend. She gives me honest feedback that is always very beneficial to my decision to move to FIDM.

We hear you have creative fundraising ideas for college. I buy vintage items and make them new, trendy, and desirable. Currently I am working on hosting my very own fundraiser fashion show. I have collaborated with local designers, models, and entertainment companies to help run this event. I’m using the admission sales to help fundraise for my college tuition. Meanwhile, I am using the money that I receive from styling and coordinating photo shoots locally.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am am outgoing, driven, and usually the one who sticks out in crowds because I let my clothing express my personality. I like to encourage and inspire everyone who is around me. I involve myself with anyone who is trying to better themselves. I do what I can to help others make their dreams happen so that I can get that in return. Although, I still hang out with my friends and go to museums, skate parks, fashion shows, and of course shopping is always on the menu.

I try to stay focused now that I am finally pursuing what I love to do. I left nursing school because as little as I can remember, fashion has been instilled inside of me. From dressing up and pretending to model, style, and host events to actually growing up and doing it in reality. Right now I am focused completely on funding myself for further education.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I am proud of myself for having enough courage to recover from a horrible loss and still continue to pursue my dream. I am proud of myself for listening to my heart and having the mentality to press forward. I have styled countless photo shoots, I’ve been a spokesperson and model for local companies and designers since I was 16. I’ve started a clothing line last year by the name of Blame Society in collaboration with a company by the name of Ooh la la Boutique.

I’ve successfully hosted a fashion show last year on Louisville’s most noted road, Bardstown. While in high school, I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. I had the pleasure of becoming president of the Beta Club and treasurer of the National Honors Society. Furthermore, the very most thing I am proud of myself is being able to get accepted into FIDM.

What made FIDM right for you? From the time I applied to this school I have had the pleasure to work with the best advisor who has given me the very best advice and expertise to help me along my career journey. FIDM is involved with their students and their community and I am all for networking, growing, and building others while progressing myself. FIDM is where I need to be because I will have such a better opportunity to be around others who simply get fashion.

Growing up in Louisville, it has been fun and a great learning experience, but with opportunities that are limited it is little more difficult to pursue fashion as a career. At FIDM, I will be able to talk to new people with similar ideas and visions. I will have the opportunity to travel and see fashion in a global aspect. FIDM is meant for me because this town just isn’t big enough for me and FIDM has the tools that I need to succeed!

What are your career goals? I plan to climb the corporate ladder and become a Buyer for companies that embody similar fashion trends to mine. I plan to coordinate fashion shows for these companies, I wouldn’t mind becoming a Merchandise Coordinator for a urban skateboard shop such as Zumiez. I plan to travel and once I am financially stable I would like to open a thrift store and use some of the profit to start a organization that helps aspiring artist pursue their dreams. I have so many ideas.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn far much more than I know about Merchandise Marketing, hands-on training, and the self-growth in my field. I plan to use my creativity while in college and I expect FIDM to enhance my knowledge and ideas to further my career.



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Inspired by Travel and Culture



Full Name: Camille de Vela

Age: 18

Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA

Current year in school: Senior

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles Campus, Fall of 2014

Admissions Advisor: Alissa Dixon

How did your advisor help with the process? She helped every step of the way. She guided me through the application process and was always there whenever I had a question. Even after I was accepted, Alissa still continues to stay in touch with me -- she's great!

Tell us a bit about yourself. I love traveling. That's when I get the most excited because there's so many great things out there to explore and discover, and that's where I get most of my inspiration.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Making the decision to go to school at FIDM, sticking to it, and getting accepted.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM had me when I visited the campus and felt how much creative energy was emitting from the students as well as in the atmosphere.

Describe your entrance project. For my project I had to create a store as well as its merchandise. I chose to give it the name "Culture" since that's what I believe is essential for igniting imagination, inspiration, and creativity. With that in mind, the clothing in my store was bohemian, comfy, breezy, and loose with a lot of global, cultural inspirations in the design as well as in the interior design of the store.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? To understand how to express my creativity and ideas to successfully communicate with an audience and to see what I'm capable of achieving.



Business Management Student Launches Fitness Website (Interview)


Merchandise Marketing Graduate Ida-Sofia Koivuniemi, who was a DECA high school student, is currently purusing her Business Management Bachelor of Science degree at FIDM. 

What led you to start Fit SidekickI was inspired to start Fit Sidekick because when I started my own fitness journey I found myself longing for a friend to be there for me through this time in my life. I wanted someone who would come to fitness classes with me and someone to share my results with. I want to be that fitness friend for people because going through this alone can be tough! It also helps to hold you accountable for reaching your goals and helps you get in shape faster. If my website can motivate at least a few people to start living an active lifestyle, I will feel as if I have done something right.

How are you enjoying the Business Management program? I like the B.S. program a lot. I am doing it fully online which gives me more time to focus on my job at Flywheel Sports (an indoor cycling studio) and my website. The classes are very comprehensive and I'm learning a lot of new stuff that I was not taught in the A.A. program.

What are your career goals? After graduation I hope to find an entry level marketing position, or even get a promotion within the Flywheel community. I hope to somehow blend my love for fitness and marketing and create a job out of it. Of course, I hope my website becomes successful as well and will find me job opportunities.



FIDM Nominated in Four Categories For Downtown News' "Best of Downtown" Readers Choice


FIDM has received four nominations in total from Downtown News for their annual "Best of Downtown" Readers Choice for Best Museum (FIDM Museum & Galleries); Best Art, Craft & Design Store and Best Womenswear Boutique (FIDM Scholarship Store); and Best Gift & Stationery Store (FIDM Museum Shop).

Voting begins this Saturday, May 10, 2014 and ends Friday, May 30, 2014



Nick Verreos Participates in Discover Los Angeles' "What's Your L.A. Story?" Instagram Campaign


Over the weekend, alumnus Nick Verreos participated in a photo shoot with photographer Michelle Yam (who also attended FIDM) for a Discover Los Angeles' campaign entitled "What's Your L.A. Story?" for Instagram. Nick posed with red carpet gowns and some budding fashion designers who were visiting FIDM with their parents. 


Read more on Nick's Blog



Hank Pola Scholarship Presented to Textile Production & Development Student


On April 17, California Fashion Association President Ilse Metcheck presented a $5,000 scholarship to FIDM Fashion Design Graduate Shayna Goldberg in honor of her late husband Hank Pola, who was a longtime member of the textile and apparel community. Shayna will begin pursuing FIDM's Associate of Arts Advanced Study Program in Textile Production & Development this summer.

California Apparel News has the full story. 



President and CEO of National Retail Federation Matt Shay Meets With FIDM Students


Matt Shay, the President and CEO of the National Retail Federation, the world's largest retail trade association, along with NRF Senior Vice-President and NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis, were on campus on Monday to meet with students from the Merchandise Marketing, Merchandise Product Development, Visual Communications, and Business Management majors, to name a few. "It's amazing to see the creativity, and feel the energy here at FIDM,” said Mr. Shay, who will be a commencement speaker at graduation. 

“It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to meet Mr. Shay and discuss their futures, in addition to hearing his passion for the NRF’s ‘This is Retail’ campaign with two new initiatives: ‘Retail Across America’ and the ‘This is Retail Summer Roadtrip,’” said Marlene Morbitt-Dunn, Chairperson for Merchandise Marketing, Graphic Design, and Digital Media. “Our FIDM NRFSA chapter looks forward to being a part of the campaign when they hit California, one of the five states chosen to participate.”

Elizabeth Poteracki, who won a $10,000 Next Generation Scholarship from the NRF, Katherine Aguilar, who received a Spring 2013 Ray M. Greenly Scholarship from the NRF Foundation, and Amanda Gebran and Sarah Bitticks, who took second place in the NRF Foundation’s Student Challenge in New York as part of a team from FIDM, were all in attendance.

Karla Maldonado, who is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Business Management, said, “I attended the NRF Big Show in New York in January as a member of the NRFSA, and it was great to see my experience come full circle. Mr. Shay really cared and was interested in what each of us was doing.” The students, who are working at companies such as Bloomingdale’s, Kellwood, Levi’s, and Halston while pursuing their degrees, are all members of the NRF Student Association.

Amanda, also pursuing her bachelor’s in Business Management, added: “I was honored to be in a board room with Mr. Shay and Ms. Davis as it provided me with the chance to closely interact with them. Thanks to what they do on their jobs I know and believe retail is an industry that drives innovation and offers leadership opportunities. No words can describe how grateful I am for their time and FIDM for providing another wonderful experience!”

The NRF just released a helpful video, 'Five ways to make the most of your career,' featuring FIDM Advisory Board member and Macy's, Inc. CEO Terry Lundgren:




Beauty Student Lands Job at BH Cosmetics in Time For Graduation (Interview)


Name: Cherry Thongthavikiat

Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing

Graduating: 2014

Tell us about your new job: I am currently the Product Development and Marketing Assistant at BH Cosmetics. I assist the product developers and marketing executives in different day-to-day tasks as well as help out in the wholesale department when needed.

How did you get the job? FIDM actually helped me get this job by just simply being on my resume. Some people don't realize it, but just being from FIDM will get you very far in the beauty and fashion industry and just showing that you are a student there who will graduate is quite impressive for most beauty and fashion companies.

How has FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM prepared me by helping me create and correct my resume, teaching me how to network, and the importance of terminology and enhancing your computer skills. FIDM also taught me that you need to learn to work in a group environment because at any job you are going to meet new people and work with people you barely know but have to still be able to make it work no matter what and think on your feet.



Students Produce Samples of Boxing, Dance, and Equestrian Sportswear for Cotton Inc. Just Design It Competition


FIDM Students from various majors competed in Cotton Inc.'s Just Design It competition during the last two quarters. Students worked in groups of three to research a specific sport activity and the fiber properties, technical construction, and consumer needs required for success.


Teams attended workshops to increase their knowledge of cotton fabrics and how they can be used to enhance activewear products. The groups produced one sample each from their product lines, which were judged by industry experts.


First Place: Boxing - IMPD Students Linda Solano Diaz, Brodie Silver, and Amanda Ziegler. 

Second Place: Dancewear - Business Management Students Amanda Gebran and Imani Steiner and Interior Design Student Danny Lucero.

Third Place: Equestrian - Business Management Students Leslie Seo and Helen Ton and Graphic Design Student Patrick Pin-Tsung Lee. 





Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Is FIDM Fashion Club President



Full Name: Colleen McGuire

Age: 18

Hometown: Corona CA

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, Fall 2014

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? My advisor was such a helpful, supportive mentor who was very understanding and patient with me. We had two meetings, both regarding the acceptance project, financial aid options, and FIDM's expectations and criteria. I was in love by the first two seconds of walking onto pink flooring at the Orange County campus, and Shirley made it seem more and more possible.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I'm definitely one-of-a-kind. I never really fit in with others as well as most people would. I've always stood out in crowds and strived to inspire rather than follow the same path as others. I've been involved in fashion for five years now, but always had a passion for it ever since I put on my first Disney princess dress when I was two. I love to sing, dance, sew, swim, model, surf, and shop, of course.

But besides basic hobbies, in everything that I do, I always take a great leadership role to help others, inspire, and perfect anything that I do. Some of my main inspirations would be my grandmother, mother, my high school fashion teacher, my best friend, and now FIDM. All in all, I've a very easy going person, with a wide sense of humor and a passion for fashion. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I am the President for two fashion clubs, Titan Fashion for Temescal Canyon High School and the FIDM Fashion Club. I've made over 15 completed assembled garments in the last four years, hosted three fashion shows, modeled for agencies and runway shows, performed in dance shows and singing performances, experienced the beauty of the Dominican Republic before I was 18, fell in love, and graduated high school.

What made FIDM right for you? The school is where I'm meant to be for the next four years of my life. It's somewhere I can fit in, relate to new people, get the connections I need to go far in the industry, be given hands-on training, and get the privilege to have one of the biggest fashion industries in the world right down the street from my school.

What are your career goals? My desired career would be an executive buyer for a popular retail or department store, where I would be able to travel around the world to runway shows and international showrooms. I'm also very interested in fashion show coordinating and advertising.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect and hope that I learn to be a better speaker, gain patience in working with other people, figure out trade secrets, gain connections with designers and job opportunities, and strive to accomplish my dream through my dream college.



Just Accepted MPD Student Inspired By DEBUT to Attend FIDM



Full Name: Leslie Xiomara Montoya

Age: 17

Hometown: Sylmar, California

Current year in school: Senior

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Steve Aaron

How did your advisor help with the process? He guided me every step of the way and encouraged me to make an outstanding portfolio. He went out of his way to help me choose the right major that will suit me best.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am currently attending Concordia High School and enjoying the last few days I have. I enjoy spending time with my friends, family, painting, playing basketball, and cheerleading. Getting new clothes and just spending time at the mall looking at all the latest trends is my favorite way to spend time. I've always had big dreams for myself when it came to fashion. I remember thinking as a little girl that I wanted to be a fashion designer and be someone in life.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Finishing up high school and getting accepted to FIDM.

What made FIDM right for you? I got the opportunity to attend two DEBUT Runway shows. As I was in the audience, I pictured myself being part of that. Since I attended the Los Angeles FIDM Open House I knew this was the right school for me. I remember driving into the parking lot I started getting butterflies. As I started asking for information and being very interested in everything that they had to tell me, I was forgetting how shy and nervous I was.

Describe your entrance project. I had to present five related garments and then draw them at a modified version that I could sell at my store. I had to know my customer and list the prices. My store was called Everlasting Fashion.

What are your career goals? My career goal is to be someone big in the fashion industry and have my own clothing line.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I want to learn anything I can about Merchandise Product Development. From all the basics to learning how to plan, develop, and present product lines.

A painting by Leslie



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Is Graduate of UC Irvine



Name: Charmitra Wickramaratne

Age: 27

Hometown: Kandy, Sri Lanka

FIDM Major: Merchandising Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County and L.A., July 2014

Admissions Advisor: Joleen Harris

How did your advisor help with the process? I first came to see Joleen in 2011, right after graduating from UC Irvine. She was very helpful and informative, but for some reason I decided to take the traditional route and do something related to my field. Three years later, I wasn’t satisfied with the career path I chose even though my job was very rewarding. I then decided to contact Joleen and she walked me through the process again. She was very nice and helpful, which made it lot easier for me to follow through with the admission process. 

Tell us a bit about yourself. After graduating from college with a Psychology degree, I had a difficult time deciding which career to pursue. I researched my options and even began applying for jobs that are related to my major. Furthermore, I began to study for GREs as I was thinking of going to grad school. I always knew my degree wasn’t enough, and wanted more. Even though I have heard about FIDM many times, I never had the chance to look into the programs.

One day as I was researching, I began to see all the student stories, the amazing Advisory Board, and all the remarkable opportunities that I might to be able to come across. The more I began to read about it, the more I wanted to find about the school. Some of my hobbies are traveling, going to museums, and giving others a helping hand. I believe traveling broadens one's horizon, and opens up the mind to all the things the world has to offer. My special interests are taking dance classes, in which I find relaxation and satisfaction.

What made FIDM right for you? I believe FIDM gives me the opportunity to express myself in a creative matter and offers the chance to grow and learn.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project was to create five different looks for a specific customer. I dug into my closet and created the outfits from my own clothing and accessories. I created a daily casual outfit, musical festival attire, a date night look, a special occasion wear, and something to throw on for the beach. First I styled myself in them and I asked my brother to take pictures of my looks and put them in an album. I’m very thankful for my brother, otherwise my dream wouldn’t have become a reality.

What are your career goals? One of my goals in life is to use my skills, abilities, and knowledge to their fullest measures, whilst taking it one day at a time and savoring every moment. I want to be able to love what I do. I hope to enjoy my career as well as use it as a tool to inspire others with similar goals and interest. Some of my goals upon my graduation from FIDM are to gain experience from well known stores, to eventually have my own business, enjoy what I do everyday, and share my knowledge while inspiring others to follow their dreams as I pursued.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn a lot about the field I’ve chosen. I anticipate becoming far more knowledgeable in business marketing to aid my future endeavors. Since FIDM offers the chance to express my creativity, I plan to use that to my advantage; in addition, I wish to take that opportunity and use it towards self-growth in my field.



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Was Inspired By Daughter to Go Back to School



Name: Madelaine Leigh Weber

Age: 20

Hometown: Pleasanton, CA

Major: Merchandise Marketing

Campus and Start Date: Orange County, October 2014

Admission Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help you with the admissions process? Cathy was absolutely amazing. She helped me find a major that I was interested in and excited about. She was always so upbeat and helpful. She showed me around the campus and explained how the school works, which really reassured me that FIDM is the school for me. I couldn't have asked for a better advisor!

Tell us about yourself. I am a young, single mom going back to school all on my own. My daughter, Paisley, is 11 months old and an absolute joy. I never thought I would be in the position that I am in, but sometimes that's life and I'm trying to make the best of it and better myself for her. She is my motivation to go back to school to give both of us a better life and to make her proud.

What are your proudest accomplishments? My daughter is the best thing that ever happened to me and I couldn't a prouder mom. And I am so proud of pushing myself to go back to school and getting accepted into FIDM.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is the perfect fit for me because it's not a traditional school. It allows me to be a full-time student, work, and be home enough to be a mom for my daughter. I love that I can stay focused on my goals as well as being in a positive and creative environment that makes you want to be there and excites you when you walk in the door.

Tell us about your entrance project. I coordinated five outfits for five different occasions. I decided to do it all in children's clothes using my daughter as the model. As I was shopping for the outfits, I began to gravitate to a vintage look that was still baby-friendly. I ended up with an amazing project that I am so proud of.

What are your career goals? I'm not exactly sure what I want to do when I graduate, but I love all my options of being a buyer or seller. I may even decide to look a little outside the traditional box and go with more of a styling career path.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I'm hoping to learn all about fashion, trends, and how to become a part of the industry. I'm not sure exactly what FIDM has in store for me, but I cant wait to find out!



FIDM Students Grow a Red Wine Dress in Fermented Fashion Workshop


During the first week of April, select FIDM Students from a variety of majors seized an opportunity to participate in a Fermented Fashion workshop with Australian scientist Gary Cass. Cass discovered a way to grow a cellulosic fabrication from fermented wine and also works extensively with DNA. He shared his processes with students on the LA campus, followed by hands-on creation and manipulation of the fermented wine fabrication in a laboratory setting.


Impressive final projects from participants included garments, lampshades, a clutch purse, and jewelry made from the fermented fabrication, and a living house and a diorama offering a narrative of innovative materials. The event was organized by Textile Science Chair Amanda Starling and FIDM LA Library’s Textiles & Materials Manager, Kristine Upesleja. The achieved goal of Cass, Starling, and Upesleja was to inspire students to pursue innovation.

Written by Jennifer Blue, Textiles & Materials Specialist




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.

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