Name: Chigoziri (Chigo) Ikeme
Which high school did you attend? Long Beach Polytechnic High School in Long Beach, CA
When did you graduate? I graduated in June of 2013
FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development
Tell us a little about yourself: I'm a huge fashion enthusiast who loves all things chic. I'll be going into my 6th quarter at FIDM this fall and it's a bittersweet feeling to know that I'm almost finished with school. I've known about FIDM since elementary school and it was really a dream come true when I got accepted. FIDM is basically my life and I'm enjoying every second of it!
What are your career goals? I hope to one day work in the product development field of a high-end women's contemporary label such as Theory, 3.1 Phillip Lim, or Acne Studios. Next to design, product development is like the bread and butter of every brand. Product developers get to see everything from the initial concept to the final product and they're actively involved with sourcing, costing, and bringing the design idea to life.
How did Fashion Club help you get to where you are now? As a former Fashion Club president, being apart of FC helped me get my foot into the FIDM door early on. With all the additional information I received about FIDM through the Fashion Club program I was able to apply and get accepted to FIDM as a junior in high school. Fashion Club helped me grow my leadership skills and gave me an outlet at school to be able to share my love of fashion with my fellow classmates.
What's your favorite Fashion Club memory? I have two favorite memories. The first one was being able to produce two fashion shows at my high school. We had an African fashion show during intercultural week and the following year we had a spring trends show in collaboration with StylesForLess. It was fun to see my members strut their stuff down the runway and be an inspiration to our audience. The second memory was having FIDM alumna and current fashion designer Angela Dean of Deanzign as a guest speaker and a mentor to my fashion club members and myself.
Any advice for current Fashion Club members? My biggest advice would be to stay active and involved within your club and always bring your ideas to the table. Also, utilize the great resources that Fashion Club has to offer like providing your club with guest speakers from FIDM and being awarded exclusive scholarships.
What is your fall fashion must this year? My fall fashion must this year is anything suede, fur, or leather. You can never go wrong with a great pair of suede boots, a "look at me now" fur vest, and a wear with everything leather handbag.
Which fashion or beauty trend should just go away?! Surprisingly enough, I'm really loving all of the trends that keep recurring in fashion because they're being reinterpreted in a high-fashion way. Take for instance the Birkenstock sandals, either you love them or hate them but they've become a huge fashion statement across all levels of the fashion world.
How did you choose your major? I chose my major because of how versatile it is. Merchandise Product Development truly teaches you all aspects of the industry and that is a huge advantage because it makes your career opportunities endless.
What's your favorite class at FIDM so far? My favorite class at FIDM so far was my Trends and Fashion Forecasting class. It helped me fine-tune my trend spotting eye and further think outside of the box when it comes to analyzing and predicting trends.
Do you have an internship? Yes, I'm the Women's Product Development intern at VINCE, a contemporary brand known for their minimal yet luxurious aesthetic.
What advice do you have for someone thinking about going to FIDM? My advice would be to go for it. If you're really passionate about the industry and you find a major at FIDM that fits you to a T, apply. Don't second guess yourself or feel that you're not at the level you think you should be at, because FIDM is here to help you learn, grow, and become the best you can be in your desired field of study.
Anything else you'd like to share? My journey at FIDM has been very fun, rewarding, and challenging. It allowed me to see my strengths and my shortcomings and is continuing to help me shape myself into the individual I want to become. Make the most you can out of FIDM, explore all the resources and don't be afraid to let FIDM help you in achieving your goals. Never lose sight of who you are and know that knowledge is power, but creativity is a superpower.