RSVP For Free 'Fashion Club Day at FIDM' at All Four California Campuses



Open to all high school students and Fashion Club Advisors, FIDM is offering its next Fashion Club Day at FIDM event on Presidents Day, Monday, February 16, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m.

Join us for a free day of fun and informative workshops at FIDM’s four California campuses. Lunch will be provided. You'll learn about careers and important trends in the industry, meet former Fashion Club Presidents who are now FIDM Students, and get tips on how to run an official FIDM Fashion Club.

Connect with other high school students in FIDM Fashion Clubs, find out about unique scholarship opportunities, and enjoy hands-on workshops taught by FIDM Staff. Fashion Club Members will receive credit for two meetings just by attending. Campus tours and Admissions Advisors will be available to assist prospective students.

Fashion Club Day at FIDM will be held on all four campus locations. Space is limited and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis, so RSVP today. We hope to see you there! 

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FIDM Student and Career Ambassador Interning at Vera Wang (Interview)


Name: Brandie Rose Ribeiro

Major: Fashion Design

Grad Date: June 2015

How did the internship at Vera Wang come about? Maril Delly from the Career Center gave me the information to contact the manager at Vera Wang who is a graduate of FIDM. I sent the manager a detailed email along with my information. The manager from Vera Wang then contacted me and scheduled an appointment for me to interview. The initial interview was to review my resume and get to know me.

I was contacted again by the Vera Wang manager who scheduled a second interview with me, which consisted of a written exam. Lastly, I was contacted once more by the Vera Wang manager in which she scheduled a final interview with me which was an oral presentation of a pin alteration and stitch test. A week later I received a phone call stating that I was selected to be a Vera Wang intern. I am very thankful to be one of the chosen among many applicants.

What are your roles and responsibilities in the internship? My role as an intern is to assist the master seamstress and tailors in the alteration department. My assignments are to sew bra cups, baste seams in place for fittings, and bead gowns and veils. In addition, I sew bridal buttons, add bows, sew ribbons for bustles, remove and prepare zippers, and organize fabrics and supplies. Throughout my experience they have taught me special sewing techniques which I consistently apply to my school work and my own bridal orders.

How did you become a FIDM Career Ambassador? The Career Center approached me to see if I would be willing to participate and become a Career Ambassador, representing the Career Center by reaching out to FIDM students. In order to become a Career Ambassador for the Career Center at FIDM, one must have a 3.0 GPA or higher.

In addition, I had to go through an in-depth training with each Career Advisor on certain subjects that apply to one’s career journey. The training sessions prepared  my fellow ambassadors and I to reach out to all FIDM students and share with them the crucial skills necessary to succeed in our competitive industry.

What is your role as a Career Ambassador? As a Career Ambassador, I brainstorm ideas for our meetings. I research, prepare, and host meetings. Our meetings are held at the Career Center during lunch on selected scheduled Wednesdays and lunch is provided for all the attendees. Our meetings consist of activities, speeches, and sharing with FIDM Students (socials bios, networking skills, how to dress for an interview, interviewing techniques, and resume presentation and writing.)

What are your career goals? Prior to entering FIDM, my goal was to become a bridal gown designer. Upon graduating from FIDM, my five year plan is to design for Vera Wang’s bridal house and reside in the real world of business, gaining practical experience. Approximately five years later, I will brand myself as many designers do, gaining a broad perspective customer base, and will launch my own bridal line.

Over the next 10 years, I plan to work my business plan to where I am one of the top competitors in the bridal industry. Upon my name being highly established, I hope to extend my design skills into lingerie and resort wear for the honeymoon. Once I achieve these goals, I will make new goals and continue to follow my dreams.

How do you feel FIDM is preparing you for the industry? The Fashion Design program at FIDM has taught me everything it takes to brainstorm a design for a target customer, sketching on both paper and Adobe Illustration, deciding whether to drape my design or go straight to pattern-work, sourcing suitable fabric, and knowing what is appropriate for certain seasons. I'm also prepared when it come sto making the garment, doing fittings, and creating tech packs that are presentable for an interview or a prospective client.

I arrived at FIDM with amateur sewing skills, and the FIDM Fashion Design program has given me the confidence and knowledge to become a polished professional bridal gown designer. Recently I was accepted into the Bachelor of Science Business Management Program. This education will provide me the skill set to create and efficiently run a business. The program will give me the knowledge to go forth with my dream and create a well-lit path to achieving my goal and creating new goals.



Just Accepted Vis Comm San Diego Student Has a Degree From Cal Poly State



Name: Andie Miller

Age: 24

Hometown: Bend, Oregon

Previous College: California Polytechnic State University

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus/Start Date: San Diego, January 2015

Admissions Advisor: Christina Haynes

How did your advisor help with the process? Christina made the best first impression. When I initially called FIDM for information Christina was very honest about what major would be the best for my interests. I am all about first impressions and she set the tone on how fun my admissions process would be.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Some of my favorite hobbies include snowboarding in the Sierras, going on long runs, and attending music festivals. I grew up with Mt. Bachelor in my backyard, so most of all my free time was spent on the mountain. Earlier in the year, I completed my first half-marathon with my cousin and have plans of completing a full marathon in 2015. I find that most of my inspiration comes from the slightly bizarre. A lot of my design aesthetic is classic with a Tim Burton twist. I love design that tells a story.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Obtaining an undergraduate degree at my first-choice school was a huge accomplishment, and using my degree to work at a tech start-up in event planning right after graduation was the cherry on top. Working in the industry helped me to focus my interest more towards Visual Communications. I take pride in being accepted into FIDM knowing that I will learn what it takes to thrive in my future career.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM allows students the ability to translate imagination. I cannot stress enough how important it is to encourage a creative mind and I am confident that FIDM will allow that creative freedom in the curriculum, especially Visual Communications.

Describe your entrance project. The only obstacle I found while working on my entrance project was making a final decision on what to create as the guidelines left room for so much creativity. For the basic design project, I created a repeating pattern of coffee mugs. My inspiration for the project was a result of staying up late to finish part one after work and realizing just how tired I really was. The title “I Need Coffee” says it all.

For the second design project, I found inspiration by bringing perspective back to the classic fairy tale in my “The Real Story of Cinderella” campaign. Cinderella never asked for be saved by Prince Charming; her wish was for a night off and an awesome dress. I used watercolor and White-Out as a part of my idea board. I decided to create an interior display with a dark side for my third project. The “Bad Luck, Bag Luck” campaign showcases mannequins surrounded by other symbols of misfortune such as a black cat prop and, as the superstition goes, walking under ladders bring bad luck. I am inspired by the boldness and simplicity of monochromatic color schemes. 

What are your career goals? I want to have a career that feels like home. Ultimately, success for me comes down to liking how I do things and focusing creativity into my every day. I want to be moved to create campaigns for companies that tell stories and make people smile whether it is from happiness or amusement.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I plan to learn how to develop and integrate personal creativity into a career after a FIDM education.



Just Accepted MPD Student Wants to Become Trend Researcher/Product Developer



Name: Kayla Rivera

Age: 18

Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles; Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Susan spent a little over two years discussing my future with FIDM. She was so helpful and always made sure that I was up-to-date with events that I might be able to attend. Recently, when we were making all decisions final, we would have long phone calls discussing majors and my interests. She also took a lot of time to help and explain to me all the requirements I would have to complete before my final call with the Director of Admissions. I am so glad that I had her to help me along the way.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am currently in my fourth year of being a manager of our school's wrestling team. I have enjoyed being apart of our wrestling program because its a sport that is very competitive, and takes a lot of strength and effort. Its an amazing experience to watch our fans who support us come alive in the stands.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? To me, one of my biggest accomplishments was getting into FIDM. FIDM is the college of my dreams and I am absolutely thrilled that I was able to be accepted to such a wonderful school.

What made FIDM right for you? The opportunities and resources at FIDM will help me be as successful as I can in the fashion industry. I also love how we get to learn from teachers who have first-hand knowledge within the major. I am inspired by how successful past FIDM graduates have been.

What are your career goals? My career goals are to become a trend researcher/product developer and be able to travel all over the world.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? At FIDM I expect to learn everything from top to bottom about how to be the best trend researcher I can be. I look forward to also learning the history of fashion and how it has evolved throughout time.



FIDM Social Ambassador/Vis Comm Major Interned at Glamour Magazine (Interview)


Visual Communications Student and FIDM Social Ambassador Marisa Pressimone recently completed an internship at Glamour in New York City. We caught up with the New Jersey native to talk about the experience. 

How did this exciting internship come about? I knew I was going to be taking the summer quarter off from FIDM and returning home for the few months, and I wanted to feel accomplished when returning to school that October. I had met with my Career Advisor at FIDM a few times to discuss finding an internship for the summer in New York. I knew that I wanted to try working with a stylist more than anything since that is what I want to do after I graduate from FIDM.

After sending out copies of my resume and different variations of a cover letter, I finally heard back from one stylist's assistant asking me if I could come in that Friday. I was so bummed because I was still in L.A. and had to decline. A few weeks later, when I arrived on the east coast, I decided that it couldn't hurt to email the woman who reached out to me and see if they still needed someone. They responded almost immediately saying they did need help for the summer and they were so glad I had reached out.

I went to meet with the stylist's assistant a few days later for an interview and ended up getting the job. I went home to research the stylist I would be working for and found out that she was the fashion editor-at-large for Glamour, Laura Ferrara. 

What were your roles and responsibilities? I learned the ins and outs of the styling world and there was a lot of shopping. I got to go to the big department stores and different studios around New York and help with the pulls. I also returned a lot of clothes once a shoot was done. I got to stand on set a few times to assist and I would help with the assembly and take down of the wardrobe on set.

How did you enjoy working in the city? I'm from that area and I've grown up around it, but I've never seen the way the fashion industry in New York operates and it was amazing and incredibly fast-paced. Every single day you need to go to work more ready than the day before and coffee is very, very important.

What are your plans after graduation in 2015? I've always wanted to be a stylist so I'm going to try to make that happen. My biggest struggle would just be deciding what type of styling I would prefer, but that will come with more experience.



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Plans Career as Personal/Celebrity Stylist



Name: Marc Morales

Age: 17

Hometown: Anaheim, California

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? Cathy was like my fairy godmother, turning something that was merely just an idea into a reality. She was very patient with me especially with my hectic schedule. She always kept a smile and made me feel right at home with the environment. The difficult part of every obstacle for me is the beginning, but Cathy made it feel very effortless and simple going through everything that I needed to know and always asking if I had questions. I am very thankful to have her as my advisor and I owe her a lot of gratitude!

Tell us a bit about yourself. I grew up in Texas, then moved to California when I was twelve, and my mom and I experienced a kind of rebirth. I completely immersed myself in art, music, and fashion. Some of my other interests include sports such as tennis, taekwondo, track, cheer, and shopping, of course. I enjoy the theatre whether I am in the spotlight, or working backstage on costume and makeup. Blogging and photography have also struck my interest as I find new ways of expressing myself.

I am very ambitious, outgoing, driven, dedicated, spirited, and passionate. I thrive to keep going and never stop to look back. I love to participate in school activities such as leadership and yearbook. I am also a traveler, my mission one day is to see all seven wonders of the world and explore new and unseen places. I love to set goals for myself and meet those goals one step at a time. I am inspired by many fashion icons, but my number one inspiration is my mother.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Apart from being president of my Fashion Club at school, I have also accomplished quite few things over the span of my high school year. I won a gold medal in the Florida Junior Taekwondo Olympics, I landed my first internship working for a theatre costumer, I was elected on the executive board in my school’s student body, and I hold over 13 club board positions for this year. I was also appointed editor of the school’s yearbook, I accepted a lead role at a theatre fall production, and to top it all off, I got accepted to FIDM which was a massive milestone in my life.

What made FIDM right for you? I like to consider myself a hacker -- not the kind who sends out viruses, but the kind who tries new and innovative ideas to approach new methods to things. And FIDM offers just that: an environment where creative minds and creative people can interact with each other. I attended 3 Days of Fashion this past summer, and it was truly an unforgettable experience. I not only learned about the majors that I was interested in, but majors that one would never imagine coming out of a fashion school. I also toured the LA campus and knew right away that this is where I belonged. 

What are your career goals? Once out of college, I plan on becoming a personal/celebrity stylist and starting up my own styling consultation service. If I ever decide to step out of the styling career, or simply if I decide the career is not meant for me, I will take the many careers that FIDM and Visual Communications has prepared me for and make something out of it.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn more of the industry from the instructors and teachers at FIDM. I want to learn how to execute my vision, know tricks and shortcuts of the major, and how to make it in the industry and the real world. I expect FIDM will prep me for every obstacle that stops or blocks me from reaching my goals. I feel confident about FIDM and super stoked that I get to spend the next two or four years of my life in a school that’s produced some of the greatest people in the industry, and I want to be one those people someday.



Just Accepted Merch Marketing Student Is Graduate of Biola University



Name: Laura Wray

Age: 24

Hometown: Delmar, New York

Previous College: I graduated from Biola University in La Mirada with a BA in English. I currently work as an Assistant Buyer/Sales Associate for the boutique The Passionate Collector in Newport Coast.

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing Professional Designation

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

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? Shirley was simply phenomenal. She understood my busy schedule and found time to meet with me despite my limited availability. I truly appreciate how patient she was in guiding me through the whole process.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Fashion is a hobby, a passion, and an always-growing interest of mine. I love FashionTV, watching the newest runway shows, and reading about current fashion trends in magazines. I aspire to be a Buyer for a Department store and I hope my future job enables me to travel; I have a desire to see all the incredible international fashion, and to meet the world-famous designers.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment is beginning the journey to become a buyer in the fashion industry. Growing up, I was advised to focus on finding a job that was conventional. Despite wanting to go to FIDM, I pushed aside my dream, and settled for obtaining a practical pre-law degree. Upon graduation, I became a legal assistant, but found that I was bored and still dispassionate about law.

With the encouragement of my husband, I decided to pursue fashion, and got a job as an Assistant Buyer. For the first time I felt I was following the right path, I was following my real passion. Realizing that I could make my love of fashion a career, I was inspired to apply to FIDM for further education. I have never been prouder or happier, and I am so excited to begin classes in October.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM was the perfect fit for me because I knew I would be around people with the same passion that I have. I was so excited when I read the courses offered to someone in the Merchandise Marketing major, as they were tailor-made for the career I aspire to have. The integration of real life application, internships, and endless networking opportunities made FIDM the obvious choice for me.

Describe your entrance project. Applicants to the Merchandise Marketing major are required to envision that they own a store. This includes having to decide the demographic the store will cater to, the style of clothing, and the layout of the store, and creating five different looks that represent the store. I envisioned a store called Pluie et Fleur (Rain and Flower), a Parisian-inspired boutique that caters to women 45 to 55.

What are your career goals? I would love to be the Senior Buyer at a department store. Ideally, I would love Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Barneys New York, or Saks Fifth Avenue. I primarily want to buy for clothing; I currently assist in buying for jewelry and handbags, and want to expand into clothing as my career progresses.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn how to be an excellent buyer, especially in the area of women’s fashion. I would love to actually learn about all the different fabrics and textiles and I am also incredibly excited for the Fashion Forecasting class. While it is fun to buy things I like personally, I know there is much more involved in buying than my personal opinion. With our world becoming ever more integrated and diverse, it is both important and invaluable to understand how to buy for a demographic that is different from yourself, and to learn how to forecast the fashions for that particular group.



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Has a 4.0 GPA and Is Captain of Her Soccer Team



Name: Leila Sadeghi

Age: 17

Hometown: Detroit, Michigan and Beverly Hills, California

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Roxy DeGuzman

How did your advisor help with the process? Roxy helped me set up my tour and then met with me when I visited the FIDM campus. She talked with me to help me decide on a major and gave me a list of all the things I needed in order to apply. She was always there to help whenever I had a question about the application, my interview, or any other concerns.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I moved to Beverly Hills from Michigan right before I started my freshman year of high school. I having been playing soccer since kindergarden and it has definitely been the longest and most rewarding passion I have had in my life. I am also very passionate about school. Education is very important to me and my family, and I enjoy learning and challenging myself. Travel is something that I also greatly enjoy, and I hope that my career in fashion will allow me to travel to many new and exciting places. I am very interested in entrepreneurship and building my own company. I am inspired by my parents who built and run their own successful business.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? One of my proudest accomplishments has to be playing varsity soccer for the last four years of high school and becoming the captain this year. I love my team and the game and I am so happy that I have been given the privilege to lead the team this year. Another accomplishment that I am proud of is my 4.0 GPA. I have worked very hard in school and I am happy that it payed off through four years on the principles honor role. Lastly, I am extremely proud of getting into my dream school, FIDM.

What made FIDM right for you? Being a creative and forward thinking person, I want to go to a school that embraces new ideas and ways of learning. FIDM’s unique and modern way of teaching students in a hands on way is a perfect way to prepare for the real world fashion industry. FIDM is also the perfect place to make many new contacts for my future fashion career. What also appealed to me about FIDM was the fact that they help students get internships and jobs during and after college. Another exciting aspect of FIDM is that it is located in the heart of the very busy and urban area of Downtown Los Angeles.

Describe your entrance project. As a Merchandise Marketing major, I had to create a project that exemplified what my ideal retail store would look. I had to thoroughly describe my intended customer including their lifestyle, job, education, income, etc. I then put together five accessorized outfits: eveningwear, casual wear, sportswear, career wear, and a category of my choosing which I chose to be swimwear. I then put all these parts together in a neat and organized portfolio.

What are your career goals? I have always loved fashion and been interested in having a career in the industry. I am interested in becoming a buyer for a retail store and then going on to start my own clothing brand. My main interest is in accessories and I would love to one day have my own shoe line. As a vegan, I also aspire to create a cruelty free brand and spread the message of animal rights through my brand.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? At FIDM, I expect to learn how the fashion industry works. I want to learn the terms and techniques that are used among people with careers in fashion. I expect that FIDM will help me grow personally, creatively, and educationally. I hope that FIDM will teach me how to properly present my ideas and how to start my own business.



Just Accepted Fashion Design Student Is Cosplay Enthusiast Who Makes Her Own Costumes



Name: Amanda Guerrero

Age: 17

Hometown: Corona, CA

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, July 2015 

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? She was very informative and helpful. I felt comfortable and prepared to go to FIDM. I am grateful for all the help she's given me. It was a relief she didn't feel weird about my style/interests.

Tell us a bit about yourself. My hobbies include watching anime, playing video games, and cosplaying. My interests are mainly anime, Quentin Tarantino movies, classic rock, 80s music, making cosplay, and anything on Playstation. I really feel that anime was the start of most of my interests. I've seen tons of cosplay at anime conventions which is costume and play into one word. It has shown me different fashion styles that aren't usually seen where I'm from such as Lolita fashion, Fairy kei, and Pastel Goth. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? When I made my first full on from scratch cosplay. I didn't have a serger at the time so I spent hours hand sewing the edges the keep them from fraying. I was very proud of my costume because I worked on everything from head-to-toe. I felt like a professional cosplayer for once.

What made FIDM right for you? Since I already made costumes and clothes all the time, I thought might as well make it into a career. And I believed FIDM was the perfect school to guide me to that path.

Describe your entrance project. My six sketches were based off a fashion line I was already working on. I was going for elegant and cute; my inspiration board was probably my favorite part of the project. I felt like there were no limits and my collage of pictures was the only way to express my style. 

What are your career goals? My goal is to become a costume designer for TV and films. Hopefully, it will give me the opportunity to travel and meet a lot of people.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I hope to learn some ways to color and sketch my designs so people can understand what I'm doing. I really want to understand why patterns have so much math involved. Most importantly, I would like to learn more about myself along the way.



Business Management Student Interning at Nylon Magazine (Interview)


Current FIDM Business Management Student Nikki Dror is a fashion blogger and FIDM Merchandise Marketing Graduate currently living in New York City. She's interning for Nylon magazine and the casting agency Socialyte while finishing her degree online. 

How long have you been in NYC? I moved to New York just three months ago, in mid-September 2014--not long after completing my A.A. degree at FIDM.

Tell us about your two internships. I'm currently interning with an "influencer casting agency" called Socialyte. This innovative kind of casting agency focuses on internet talent and social media influencers (fashion bloggers, Vine stars, influencers who have hundreds of thousands of followers on Instagram etc.). There are so many brands out there that want to tap into the audiences of such influencers, and Socialyte facilitates those deals and contracts. Socialyte was recently acquired by Nylon Media, and that's how I ended up interning in the Nylon magazine office.

What would you like to do after you finish your studies and internships? My plans for my immediate future include staying here in New York and continuing to blog actively. I've had so many opportunities here to meet other bloggers, work with amazing brands, and attend A-list events. I only hope that I continue to move in a forward and upward path, growing my blog, and chasing a career in social media marketing.

How has FIDM impacted your career? I never would have even known about the blogging industry--and I certainly wouldn't have seen social media as a lucrative marketing opportunity. FIDM is on the cutting-edge of not only fashion trends, but social and marketing trends, as well.



Love & Hip Hop Hollywood Star Amanda Secor Studying Product Development at FIDM


Amanda Secor, the Love & Hip Hop Hollywood star and owner/designer of the urban streetwear line 18K, is currently studying Merchandise Product Development at FIDM. The hit VH-1 reality series follows a group of young hip-hop stars and their as they navigate their careers and love life in Los Angeles. Amanda is the girlfriend of Fizz from the R&B group B2K. 



Just Accepted Beauty Student Is Passionate About Makeup and Art



Name: Haley Bolen

Age: 17

Hometown: Newport Beach, California

FIDM Major: Beauty Merchandising & Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: L.A. Campus, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? My advisor completely aided me in my application process, and I don't know how I would have completed the application without her help. She constantly answered any question, no matter how simple or complex, anytime I would ask and she was a key factor in my completion of my final entrance project. She was a great support system and was always there when I needed help.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Ever since I was young, I began watching as many YouTube videos as I could get my hands on, and they were basically mini makeup tutorials. I would sit at the screen of my mom’s computer, glued to the videos that taught me the individuality that makeup allows. The mix of the Internet personalities and their explanations of different products and their effectiveness is what ultimately got me hooked on the world of makeup.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am more or less of a makeup freak. My collection of makeup started when I was in the sixth grade, and has yet to stop. I am so passionate about the different brands of makeup, the ever-changing trends, and the products themselves, that I never seem to get bored. My infatuation carries over into the individual lines that are put out, from the packaging to the sales price--makeup has completely engulfed my life.

I am also constantly inspired by the art found in the world around me. I pull many of my inspirations in life from street art that I see when I frequent cities like New York or LA. When I first visited London, I was amazed at how completely different the culture was, but also at how similar the need for art was in this city. Now, whenever I travel to a new city or town, I am inspired by the artwork that I see all around me, and it inspires my own art as well.

What made FIDM right for you? When looking at applying to FIDM, I saw the perfect balance of academics and art, something I struggled to find anywhere else. The Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing major appealed to me the most, because it embodied all of the expectations that I had for my schooling. I feel that FIDM will allow me to grow not only as a student, but as an individual based on the environment that this school offers. In the future, I hope to work alongside major beauty companies and hopefully start a business on my own that allows my ideas to flourish on an even greater level.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project, titled Skyline, was inspired by the strength and individuality found in the skylines of different cities around the world. One of my favorite things to do is to travel, and every new place that I have been has completely inspired me throughout many aspects of my life. The makeup line that I created was sleek and individualized, much like that of the different cities that each product was named after. I think that the production of my entrance project came easily once I found a muse and something that really captivated my attention.

What are your career goals? In the near future, I hope to work in the design and development area of the beauty industry. I think that there is a need for new innovative products and I am excited to hopefully be able to do that one day. My overall goal is to one day own my own beauty company.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I am extremely excited to start my courses at FIDM. I am most looking forward to the evaluate trends and market opportunities, and how individual products can either impact or be impacted by these factors.



Three Graphic Design Students Are Finalists in NRF Holiday Card Contest


Graphic Design Students Alexander Sales Rivera, Emily Cooper, and Lilyan Urbanczuk (pictured with Karla Maldonado, Elizabeth Poteracki, and Amanda Villa who you'll learn more about below) were all awarded as finalists in the NRF's Holiday Card Contest and will be traveling to New York in January for "Retail's Big Show." The winning design will be mailed to more than 20,000 NRF members worldwide, along with their photo and college information featured on their winning card. 


And in other NRF/FIDM news, a team of Business Management Students - Karla Maldonado, Elizabeth Poteracki, and Amanda Villa (pictured below) - made it to the second round of judging in the national NRF Student Challenge. For an entire semester, they worked to create a product idea and prepare a 10-page business plan, along with a 90-second video presentation to convince the CEO of a U.S. retailer of their choice how and why their product should be brought to market.



FIDM Alumnus Israel Valencia Launches Two Fashion Labels Since Graduation


Israel Valencia, FIDM Grad and owner of fashion brands In My Air and Happy Hour, visited the Los Angeles campus today to meet with the Premiere Product Development Group, an elite group of FIDM Students with access to guest speakers from the fashion industry sharing their inspiring stories of success.

The young entrepreneur graduated from FIDM with a degree in Merchandise Product Development in 2010 and has already launched two labels. His original intention when he started at FIDM was to pursue a career in menswear, but he changed his mind. He said to the students, "With the education that we get at FIDM, we really can do anything."

Well-received by the fashion community, In My Air has been featured in Cosmopolitan, InStyle, and Nylon. The high-end label has been styled with iconic brands including Louis Vuitton, Rag & Bone, and Hermès, and worn by Hannah Simone who plays Cece on TV show New Girl.

"We built a fan base," Israel said, "But it wasn't moving the way I wanted. It came down to sales." He decided to move In My Air to an online-only retail business, and launch a label with a lower price point to test that market. It's working.

He is already on season two of Happy Hour and now has 30 accounts including ModCloth.

What is the secret to his success? He said, "It's about putting in the work, using your skills, and not being afraid. That's the biggest one—not being afraid." Just being in his presence for two minutes, it is clear that he is a person who lives his life with conviction and confidence.

He credits FIDM for preparing him for his fashion career. "The amount of work FIDM gives you is perfect because you're going to have to do more," he jokingly warned the students. "I've learned how to be professional and how to be organized." 

Three years of internships were critical in his career preparation, as well. He advised the students to intern in factories so they can truly see the process with their own eyes and gain invaluable experience. Networking with sewers, cutters, and patternmakers provides a whole dimension to an education in fashion that you don't necessarily get exposure to in the classroom. He added that learning does not end with your degree in hand, either. "I'm still a student. Every day."

When asked what he wakes up every day thinking, he replied, "How fortunate and lucky I am, and how amazing my life is that I can do this."

And you know what else. When he is frustrated and needs to clear his head, he said he walks over to FIDM from his studio offices in the Fashion District and he sits in Grand Hope Park, back to his roots—where it all began. "These kids are inspiring. This place is inspiring. I come here and I know it's bigger than me. These floors. The courage and the bravery of the students. I feel the energy of it. It's a way to get grounded and balanced. FIDM is a symbol of my life. The goal is here."

HAPPY HOUR COLLECTION SS 2015 from Tim Jieh on Vimeo.



Just Accepted Fashion Design Student Hails From Dubai, UAE



Name: Rima Varghese

Age: 17

Hometown: Dubai, UAE

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Alissa Dixon

How did your advisor help with the process? Alissa was key to my acceptance to FIDM. She spent hours going over my hundreds of emails, answering every question I could come up with and poring over every detail of my application. She was also a huge source of confidence during my application process. FIDM was my dream school but after meeting Alissa I knew this was exactly what I wanted. She was honestly one of the most helpful and supportive people I had met and I owe her a lot.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Growing up in Dubai I was always surrounded by people and cultures from around the world which has been a source of inspiration for me throughout my life. I've also spent a lot of time traveling with my family in Europe, South Africa, Australia, and South East Asia. I also spent a lot of my childhood learning competitive equestrian related sports which was sparked by my love of horses and my innate country girl nature.

As I got older, music became a part of my life and I would take any opportunity to showcase it. I also actively spend any of my free time fighting for animal rights and their protection because even they deserve a voice. One of my biggest inspirations in life would be my mother who is one the most hardworking women I know. She has dedicated her life to my brother and myself and I would like to believe that I got my determination and hard-work ethic from her. Another one of my inspirations would be my dad, who through the the life he lived taught me the importance of compassion and love. To this day I've never met anyone who can live up to the legacy he left behind and it makes me strive towards being someone like him.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM has a curriculum that I knew would keep me challenged every day and would make me the best designer I could be. Also, all the internships available to students really builds up your contacts and experience which is essential for my career post-graduation. I know that FIDM will get me where I need and give me the future I want.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project consisted of 5 figures -male and female- in outfits created solely by me, based on the 1980's. I had chosen the 1980's because I felt that it was a period of time that fashion was really coming into its own and was the most unusual, so that gave me a lot to work with. I was able to showcase how much of 80's fashion still inspires designers today.

What are your career goals? My goal is to work as a designer (maybe even a head designer) for a fashion powerhouse that I love such as Alexander McQueen or even a company I adore like Free People, Micheal Kors, or Jeffrey Campbell. And my dream is to one day start my own fashion house.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? At FIDM I'm expecting to learn how to bring my designs to life on a runway from my sketches on paper. Also I hope, the skills that I would require to work as a head designer and maybe eventually start my own fashion house someday.



SF MPD Student Wins Cotton Inc.'s Demands of Denim Scholarship


Merchandise Product Development Student Heath Owen, who attends the San Francisco campus and will graduate in Fall 2015, is the winner of Cotton Inc.'s Demands of Denim Scholarship. "To enter, I had to design a product made completely of cotton," explains Heath, a Phi Theta Kappa member, student council secretary, and Mode magazine model. "After coming up with the concept, I had to design a portfolio to present my idea. Included in the portfolio was an essay all about my garment, a swatch of my garment, and a technical flat of my design." Entrants' portfolios were judged in Los Angeles, and then the top ten finalists were announced.

The illustrious group received an all-expenses paid trip to North Carolina to tour Cotton Inc., Dystar Corporation, VF Corporation, and Cone Mills. After their trip, the top ten had to create their garments for a panel of industry judges. "My design was a cross between a denim vest and a puffer vest," Heath explains. "The vest is made with recycled denim insulation (the same insulation used in low cost housing such as houses by Habitat for Humanity). My idea was to have a garment that could be a face for the concept of recycling denim, as recycling is something that I am very proud of."

When Heath was announced as the winner of the $10,000 scholarship, he says he was "in utter disbelief" since the other designs were executed so well. "I am proud of all of the contestants and hope to maintain a friendship with them all," adds Heath, who hopes to continue his work as the creative director and partner in his company, "I also would love to create my own brand of women’s dresses." FIDM Student Robyn Sarile came in second place and Ron Rong Ma was recognized as Most Innovative. Congratulations to all of the finalists!

Photo Credit: Cory Maryott



Experience Pre-College at FIDM This Summer and Earn College Credit


High School Students:

This summer, New Worlds Emerge invites you to join the premier fashion and design college on the west coast, FIDM/Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, to develop your passion for fashion design, graphic design, filmmaking, trend spotting, styling, and merchandising. For those interested in film and fashion, there is no place like Los Angeles: the motion picture capital of the world, the number one center for fashion manufacturing in the United States, including the film and television costume design, action sports, sportswear, and premium denim industries.

FIDM’s immersive hands-on workshops offer students an opportunity to learn fashion from prominent FIDM instructors at the visually stunning L.A. campus. Starting to zoom in on your fashion direction? Be part of an exclusive fashion program that will bring you closer to your dreams.

Featured Experiences:

Housing: Live at UCLA Experience what it’s like to live on campus at a top public university like UCLA.

History of 20th Century Designers Spend each morning studying 20th century fashion designers and their impact through the decades in couture and ready-to-wear, analyzing how key figures in fashion design have influenced the styles and trends in line development of each decade since 1850, with an emphasis on the last 30 years of the 20th century.

Art of Fashion Illustration Renowned FIDM Instructor and author Nancy Riegelman will teach her signature hands-on, one-day drawing method for rendering the nine-head fashion figure. The author of definitive textbooks 9 Heads: A Guide to Drawing Fashion and Colors for Modern Fashion, Riegelman turns novices into quick sketch artists – an indispensable fashion industry skill.

FIDM Museum & Galleries Tour Tour the renowned FIDM Museum & Galleries to view an exhibition in the making: the highly anticipated 9th Annual Outstanding Art of Television Costume Design Exhibition featuring Primetime Emmy®-nominated costumes from popular television shows. During a behind-the-scenes tour, gain an understanding of the details of preparing a museum exhibition and also view costumes from the historic Hollywood Costume Collection, followed by a tour of our award-winning college campus.

Disneyland at Twilight Use the morning to relax and work on your business plan. Jump on board as we head to Disneyland, the happiest place on earth! Spend the afternoon on rides or walking around the shops of Downtown Disney. View the nighttime show and firework spectacular.

Santa Monica Pier Wander along the beach of Santa Monica as you venture up to the pier, a 100-year-old landmark. Have fun on the Pacific Park rides, enjoying magnificent views from the iconic Ferris wheel. Venture over to the world-famous alfresco 3rd Street Promenade for shopping at national stores, name brand clothing, and boutiques in the heart of downtown Santa Monica.

Trend Spotting/Trend Forecasting A dynamic industry professional and FIDM Instructor will lead a lively discussion about the way trends migrate from haute couture, to fast fashion, to street style. Be introduced to the methodology for trend tracking, forecasting and analysis used by the global fashion and design industries.

Los Angeles Fashion Trends Tour Apply your knowledge to real-world scenarios on a tour of Melrose Avenue, visiting Fred Segal and other notable fashion destinations in Los Angeles for an afternoon of trend spotting and retail marketing research.

Learn more about New Worlds Emerge Pre-College at FIDM



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student to Attend FIDM OC to Pursue Action Sports Industry



Name: Kendra Hudiburg

Age: 17

Hometown: Lewes, Delaware

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Susan has been so helpful with everything and I couldn't have done it without her! She was always prompt and easy to reach by phone or email if my mother or I had any questions. She was also very informative, but what I truly appreciated the most was her encouragement and support. I was already excited about FIDM and knew it was the perfect school for me, but she made me even more excited and left no doubt in my mind.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I believe it's important people truly understand where I am from and why I have chosen FIDM. I have grown up on the East Coast in a small tourist influx beach town, which is what has sparked my interest in pursuing a career in the action sports industry.

My town is filled with little surf shops and small, higher end boutiques, which has truly influenced and inspired me. Although Delaware is no fashion headquarters, I am surrounded by the major east coast cities of New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, which I not only visit often, but get to see fashion through some of the seasonal residents who visit in the summer. Other than my love for fashion, I also enjoy arts and crafts and cooking in my spare time. I am constantly doing different projects and trying new recipes. I am definitely a creative and artistic person.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment by far is getting accepted to my number one college, FIDM. By being accepted, I now know that all my hard work and dedication has paid off and it's only motivated me to work harder.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is right for me because of the challenging curriculum, the many internships opportunities, its instructors who work in the industry, and its location in Orange County, California, which is home to many of the action sports company headquarters. FIDM will put me right where I want and need to be.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project, I coordinated five different ensembles for different occasions using photos of clothes from my favorite stores and brands. To put together my outfits, I used Photoshop to crop, edit, and display them, and then wrote a brief description and costed out each item. I targeted high-class, wealthy women and used expensive higher-end merchandise from stores and designers such as Free People, Michael Kors, Steve Madden, and numerous others.

What are your career goals? I aspire to work for one of the major action sports companies as a buyer, retail and merchandise coordinator, or perhaps even a merchandise planner. I want to keep my career options open because I know FIDM will help me decide which would be the best fit for me.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? At FIDM I expect to grasp an advanced understanding of how to buy, promote, and sell clothing, as well as acquire professional skills needed to lead a team at an executive position or even start my own company. I foresee being able to market myself and gain contacts with industry professionals. Most importantly, I hope through internship opportunities I am able to obtain a job while still in college, and if not, immediately upon graduation.



Just Accepted Beauty Student to Study at San Diego Campus



Name: Ninah Echeverria

Age: 17

Hometown: Santa Rosa, California

FIDM Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: October of 2015 at the San Diego campus.

Admissions Advisor: Joleen Harris

How did your advisor help with the process? Joleen was my guide throughout the entire application process as well as a great person to help with ideas about my project. She was a fabulous motivator and was always super smiley and sweet which made me feel comfortable when I was really nervous for my interviews. She was always there when I had a quick question and made the entire path to my acceptance crystal clear.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I’m a fiery, free-spirited, and ambitious girl who loves makeup. It's safe to say that since my first mascara application, I've been passionate about makeup. Not only do I love to apply it and create different looks, but I love collecting products. I love watching YouTube and I plan to start my own channel where I will post makeup tutorials. FIDM is my dream college and I can’t wait to start!

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Honestly, being accepted to FIDM is the thing I am most proud of at the moment. I went from someone who dreaded the idea of “being bored all the time in school” to being hyped about it.

What made FIDM right for you? Finding a school that would allow me to merge my creativity and artistic side with my passion for cosmetics and my hunger for a business degree seemed daunting. Who knew that there was a major that was exactly what I was looking for? FIDM made me realize there actually is a place for people like me who choose a career out of both passion and logic.

Describe your entrance project. For my project I created an eyebrow product which was a pomade with a powder center. The way it was formulated with the two different products put together in one package is unlike anything currently on the market. I put diamonds all over the packaging with the logo I came up with and made sure it was super unique. I also put info on the product on a professionally arranged poster board to use in my presentation.

What are your career goals? I had always dreamed of creating a cosmetic line that would revolutionize the industry. I have always wanted to design and create cosmetics that could be branded and mass marketed and really make a difference in the standards of quality products. Even working for a cosmetic company and being the one to come up with the latest products formulation idea and design would be so cool. I want to walk into a Sephora one day and be able to watch someone buy something I made.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? From going to school at FIDM I hope I will obtain the knowledge and connections necessary to work for a large well-known cosmetic company or maybe one day even have my own. I want to learn every step in the product development process like the back of my hand.



Attend Fashion Club Creativity Workshops at FIDM LA and SD


Join us for a day of Fashion Club Creativity Workshops at FIDM Los Angeles and San Diego on Tuesday, November 11! Meet and network with Fashion Club Members from other High Schools and receive credit for two Fashion Club Meetings just by attending.

Workshops include Fashion Styling, Event Planning, Fashion Club Ideas, and Design Inspiration and are taught by FIDM Instructors and Staff.

Cost: Free
Lunch will be provided.
RSVP is required for each attendee.
SPACE IS LIMITED and will be reserved on a first-come, first-served basis.

RSVP for Los Angeles.

RSVP for San Diego.



Meet WSA/FIDM Scholarship Winners Anthony Robert and Michael A. Davis II


WSA@MAGIC and FIDM recently hosted the Footwear Design Scholarship Design Contest 2014. Entrants had to submit one footwear design sketch in the Junior/Contemporary and Evening/Fantasy categories for the Spring 2015 season. The two winners, recent FIDM Graduate Anthony Robert and Footwear Design Student Michael A. Davis II (pictured with Footwear Design Program Coordinator Kathy Bailon), were each awarded $2,350 scholarships at the WSA@MAGIC Show in Las Vegas. 

Anthony is featured on MAGICONLINE's Footwear Blog, where he chats about his inspiration for a career in fashion, citing issues of Vogue, designers such as Marc Jacobs and Alexander McQueen, and watching Sex and the City


"My plan and dream is to work for one major brand or if I get the opportunity I’d work for many so that I can gain great knowledge that will help me mature in the industry," he said. "I would love to work for brands like LAMB, Steve Madden, Rag & Bone, Elizabeth and James, Stuart Weitzman and many more. I would truly enjoy working for a brand that I could call home, grow with it and hope to move up within the brand and the industry. With the hard work and dedication that I always put into everything, I dream of having my own line that represents me and the qualities I stand for as a shoe designer. Maybe I’ll even see my shoes in Barneys New York one day."

A veteran of the U.S. Navy and second generation designer (his father attended FIDM in the 1980s and designed for Cross Colours and Dada), Michael began designing custom shoes for celebrities while pursuing a degree in marketing after his enlistment ended. 


He told the MAGICONLINE's Footwear Blog: "My focus is to work for a brand that I value and could make history with, either through design, management or marketing," says Michael, who has created athletic shoes for Kanye West, Common, Usher, and Nick Cannon, among others. "One of my dreams is to take the basketball division of Under Armour, Li-Ning, or BrandBlack and help them create products that resonate with customers while dominating the market segment the way Nike does." 



Just Accepted MPD Student Manages Social Media for Jack's Surfboards



Name: Kristina Dougherty

Age: 20

Hometown: Corona Del Mar, CA

Previous College: Irvine Valley College

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, April 2015

Admissions Advisor: Marilyn Moore

How did your advisor help with the process? Marilyn first helped me by getting my Mom on board with FIDM. My Mom and I sat with Marilyn for about an hour and discussed different majors, campuses, and degrees. From there, Marilyn and I emailed back and forth about any little question I had, and we met a few times before my product review. She has been an amazing help.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am an adventurous and determined woman. If I am not working, you will most likely find me at the beach. I just recently picked up surfing and cannot understand why I did not start sooner. I've worked for Jack’s Surfboards for the past four and a half years. I now manage our social media sites, which includes taking and editing pictures, as well as communicating with companies to work together.

The surf industry is amazing and definitely where I want to expand my career. A friend of mine gave me jewelry making tools for Christmas last year, and I started making and selling my own jewelry. My brand is called Buddha Beads and I am currently selling my pieces at Jack’s Surfboards in Corona Del Mar as well as on Etsy.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Starting Buddha Beads as well as the time I have put into Jack’s Surfboards. I have wanted to start my own line since about the 5th grade. So actually creating a mini line of jewelry and selling it was really exciting. My Jack’s Surfboards career has been so amazing. I started out as a shy little 16-year-old girl working dressing rooms and keeping to myself. I then graduated early from high school and started working more. The more I worked the less shy I was.

From there I moved to cashier, then to manager, then to key holder. Throughout that journey I have met some of the most amazing individuals and have had some great times. As we all move on and grow up we all still stay in touch and I am sure we always will. The surf industry makes me happy so why would I leave?

What made FIDM right for you? The environment, the major, and the classes I cannot wait to start. I love the vibe at FIDM. Just seeing the diversity of students walking around campus is fun to be around. Product Development is exactly what I want to major in. I cannot wait to learn everything and see where life takes me with it.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project was five different swimsuits by Rip Curl, Beach Riot, Tavik Swimwear, Kovey, and L*Space. I altered each of their original pieces to make them my own, including different fabrics for different uses.

What are your career goals? To develop a line for Jack’s Girls or a similar brand in the surf industry. Further down the line I would decide if I want to create my own line.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn everything I need to produce the best product. I also expect to learn from the experience of others.



Fashion Design Student Hired to Work on Samsung Commercial


The Career Center recently hosted wardrobe supervisor Amy Wallenberg, who was working on a Samsung Fashion Week commercial. She viewed the work of eight students and hired Fashion Design major Ally Parel. "They called me in to work on-set and I did illustrations for them," Ally explains of the upcoming spot. "I also made makeup templates for the set as well as model spec sheets and cards." 




Quiksilver, Vans, and Tilly's Among Companies at FIDM OC Alumni Event


Action sports and fashion industry website has a recap of the first FIDM Alumni Shmooz event that was held at the Orange County campus on October 2nd. More than 100 graduates, guests, and employers such as Quiksilver, DC, Roxy, Tilly's, Vans, Reef, and Michael Kors were in attendance for the event, co-produced with and conceived by FIDM Alumnus Gregg Garcia, Talent Acquisition Manager at Quiksilver.



New OC Vis Comm Student Dreamed of Attending FIDM Since Sophomore Year in High School



Name: Sydney Q. Le

Age: 19

Hometown: Garden Grove, California

Previous College: Fullerton Community College

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? Without Shirley, it would have been impossible to get into FIDM. She was there guiding me through the whole process. She helped me figure out which major was the one for me, she told me everything that there is to know about FIDM, and she helped me a lot with all my financial aid and loans.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am very open person and I see myself quite accepting of new people and ideas. I truly believe in giving everything a chance, even when it’s tough to in the beginning. I'm all about fashion, art, creativity, ideas, and design. Growing up, I’ve always had an eye for fashion and putting together the perfect outfit. To me, being creative or organizing a visual message for display isn’t a job -- it's fun, relaxing, and stress-free. 

You will never catch me without a smile on my face. I want to influence others with my love and passion for art and fashion. Hopefully my time at FIDM will allow me to convey my most wonderful skills and enlighten others around me. I love fashion and real-world projects more than anything, and I hope everyone can see that through my hard work and dedication here at FIDM.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment so far would absolutely be getting into FIDM. Sophomore year, a speaker came into my class and told me all of the wonderful things that FIDM had to offer and I knew from that point on it was the school for me. Growing up in an Asian family and also being the youngest, my parents always expected a lot from me and had always hoped for me to become a doctor. I still wanted to make them proud of me so I told them that I would give regular college a try, but after a year at Fullerton Community College, my dreams of attending FIDM still had not changed.

My boyfriend, Jimmy, pushed me to apply here even when my parents weren’t so supportive of my decision. As I was going through the interview process, my parents saw how hard I worked on my entrance project and how seriously I took it. That’s when they realized how badly I wanted to get attend FIDM and they slowly started to accept the fact that I was going to attend a fashion college. My hopes and dreams are is to be successful in whatever I decide to do and just to make my parents proud.

What made FIDM right for you? As soon as I stepped foot onto the Orange County campus I knew it was the school for me. I love the vibe that the school has and everyone is just so stylish and friendly. Another thing that I love about FIDM is that they only require you to take the classes that will benefit you in the future. Unlike a typical college, you’re required to take all these unnecessary classes that have nothing to do with your major. You won’t waste time here at FIDM and you’ll be able to graduate in two years.

What are your career goals? I would love to one day become a well-known stylist; working around clothes and celebrities has always been a dream of mine.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? What I expect to learn at FIDM is all of the necessary information I would need to know to become a successful stylist.



Celebrity Stylist Hires Advanced Fashion Design Student and Theatre Costume Grad With Help of FIDM Career Center


After reaching out to the FIDM Career Center, celebrity stylist Johnny Blueeyes (pictured, left) was recently on campus to interview a group of handpicked students to assist him as a paid intern on a Los Angeles film shoot for Drive, She Said. The London-based, award-winning stylist and costumer is known for his work with clients such as Lana Del Rey (pictured, right), The Guillemots, Charli XCX, and Cocknbullkid. 

Johnny hired Advanced Fashion Design Student Zahra Marchand based on her sewing skills and professionalism. In her new paid position, she will help with story boards, assist with designs, and source and redevelop vintage costumes. The famed stylist and costume designer also hired FIDM Textile Design and Advanced Theatre Costume Design Graduate Chloe Bentz for the film shoot. 



Just Accepted MPD Student Was Exposed to Fashion and Retail From an Early Age



Name: Richard Zack

Age: 26

Hometown: Laguna Beach, CA

Previous College: Bachelor's degree from University of Kentucky

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development Professional Designation

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? She was very helpful in guiding me through the admissions process and she made sure that I was selecting a major that would polish my skills and help me achieve my long-term goals post graduation.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I have been involved in fashion for a majority of my life.  My family was a huge influence in my choice from an early age, and I was exposed to fashion and the fast-paced retail store environments. I grew up in Columbus, Ohio where companies like Express, Victoria Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, as well as the Limited Brands are all headquartered. My mother works as the Executive Vice President of Stores & Operations for Express so I knew that fashion and retail offered endless possibilities and future plans.

The action sports industry has also been a big influence on my fashion interest. I grew up skating and snowboarding and now surfing which I feel retail, style and creativity are all huge parts of what make this industry so great. I had a lot of support and valuable insight going into college at the University of Kentucky where I obtained my bachelor's degree in Merchandising, Apparel and Textiles, but I felt likeI needed more in depth fashion schooling to reach my goals.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishments thus far are graduating from the University of Kentucky, traveling as much as possible and gaining new insights, meeting new people, and trying new experiences. The world is full of so many different ideas and perspectives and by pushing myself out of my comfort zone I have opened up so many new doors for my future plans.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM has a much more in-depth fashion curriculum than the general Merchandising degree I obtained from the University of Kentucky.  I also worked a year in San Francisco for Gap Inc. after obtaining my bachelor's, but I wanted more in-depth training and fashion exposure to certain areas in my field. While working at Gap Inc. I realized where my strengths lent themselves and where I needed to improve to meet my goals.

Describe your entrance project. I had to imagine I was a product developer of private label merchandise and I was asked to identify my customer by what she or he wears and how I could modify the styles to make them exclusive to my company. I found five pieces off the runway and recreated them while still maintaining the trend shown. I chose a few outerwear pieces that consisted of styles like mixed media jackets, bombers, and parkas and I put my own special touch on them by sketching my new modified versions.

What are your career goals? I'd like to obtain a design or product development position with a major retail company post graduation.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? My general studies of fashion in college along with my internship experience and my position prior to obtaining my degree all helped determine my decision to go back to school for a more in depth learning experience. I was exposed to the real working world and I now see where I am confident and where I need to improve. I believe FIDM will help me apply my knowledge and passion because of the in depth learning environment they provide along with the real life exposure to the Los Angeles area for fashion and manufacturing. I want to create a portfolio that I can be proud of and also I want to gain more in depth skills that can help me in my future career positions.



The Fashionable Side of Wearable Technology Featured in DECA Direct


DECA Direct has an article entitled "The Fashionable Side of Wearable Technology," in their current issue, featuring FIDM's Textiles & Materials Manager Kristine Upesleja and the Innovative Materials Conference that she curates each year. The article features cutting-edge wearable technology such as 3-D printed garments, LED fashion, wearable devices like Google Glass, and biodegradable apparel. 



Merchandise Product Development Students Present Final Designs to Zara

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


Name: Chigoziri (Chigo) Ikeme

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

When did you graduate? I graduated in June of 2013

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Advanced Study Theatre Costume Design Student Featured in Kiki Magazine


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


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

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



Student Spotlight: Amanda Daucher, Visual Communications and YouTube Star


Name: Amanda Daucher

Major: Visual Communications

How are VisComm classes going?

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

Why did you choose FIDM?

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

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

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

What are your career goals?

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

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

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

Any proudest accomplishments since attending FIDM?

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



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


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



Just Accepted 16-Year-Old Merchandise Marketing Student Is Already Taking College Courses



Name: Natasha Le

Age: 16

Hometown: Lake Forest, California

Previous College/Work: I have taken courses through Irvine Valley College during my high school years so that by the time I start FIDM in the fall of 2015, I will have attained my AA degree and be able to shorten my time at FIDM through the Professional Designation Program. I have worked as a copywriter and have interned as a styling assistant with WiShi and as a writer for Better Than A Cupcake (which also stands for Bold Talent Aiding Charities).

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA, October 2015

Admissions Advisor: Marilyn Moore

How did your advisor help with the admissions process? She guided me through the application process by going over what was required and showing me examples of portfolio projects that previous applicants had submitted. We met and communicated several times during this period to check on my progress and to clear up any confusion I may have had regarding FIDM and the application process. She was extremely helpful.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am ambitious and very dedicated to my passions, which include fashion, music, and writing. When I can, I write and come up with various sci-fi or slice of life plots or I find new music for a blog that I run. I am also involved with several multicultural clubs and academic clubs that include the California Scholarship Federation in addition to my high school's Orange County Academic Decathlon team, where I have been secretary and where I will be president this upcoming year. Asides from this, I occasionally dabble in psychology and foreign languages. I find most of my inspiration from certain films, art, music, and quotes.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Remaining in the Top 20 (ranking) of my class, writing and completing a novella, and knowing what I want to do and where I want to go with my life.

Describe your entrance project. I had to construct a customer profile based on five outfits that I styled (careerwear, eveningwear, etc.) and coordinated for my own line or boutique. The general look of my project was modern, sharp, and geometric with a lot of blacks, whites, and occasional splashes of color. The apparel and other items I included were primarily marketed towards upper-class consumers.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM facilitates connection-making because of its experienced faculty members and general renown, while its location is ideal because it lies in a very vibrant and expressive city that will allow me to fully immerse myself in art, literature, and all of my other inspirations. I've lived in the suburbs all my life and although I do not necessarily dislike it, I find the suburbs a bit stale in comparison to what the city has to offer. FIDM is also one of the few schools that offer the Merchandise Marketing major that I'm pursuing.

What are your career goals? I would like to someday be a creative professional who handles projects such as styling, contributing to magazines, coordinating shows, consulting, etc. I would not like to limit myself to one or two projects, but many as I find that more fulfilling.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I believe that I will learn more about the complexities and nuances of the fashion industry that an amateur would not typically be aware of. I will learn how to work with a team of professionals and how to apply my passion for and interest in fashion.



FIDM Alumna and Monique Lhuillier Senior Fit Technician Paige Rangel Visits FIDM

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Monique Lhuillier Senior Fit Technician and FIDM Grad Paige Rangel visited the Los Angeles campus recently as a guest speaker for the Premiere Product Development Group, an elite group of FIDM Students with access to special guest speakers.

With a B.A. degree in Communications and Business from Arizona State, Paige Rangel came to FIDM to pursue the Professional Designation degree in Merchandise Product Development. She worked in retail during the one-year program at FIDM, telling the students that she didn't have time for an internship but she wishes she did. She encouraged all of them to do an internship if they can.

When she graduated, she started looking for work and landed her first job as a design assistant at the U.S. Apparel Group, a company that specializes in licensed apparel. It was there where she realized she really enjoyed technical design. She loved writing the fit comments. In fact, a fit model informed her about a job opportunity at Robert Rodriguez. Paige inquired about the position and was hired as their technical designer.

Soon thereafter, Robert Rodriguez was acquired by The Jones Group, and Paige was promoted to managing the work of four technical designers. She found that she was moving away from doing fit comments, and moving more in the direction of management. She worked there for four years, and she said she loved it, but once Jones bought them the environment shifted into more of corporate atmosphere, and she found that it wasn't for her anymore.

Through the Apparel News, Paige found out about an opportunity at Monique Lhuillier. She submitted her resume, interviewed, and was hired. She's been working there now for two years and loves it.

When asked what she looks for in technical design new hire, she joked and said, "Someone who does NOT want to be a designer," making the point that technical design is not about creative design but about coming up with creative solutions. She said she looks for problem solvers and motivated candidates.

Monique Lhuillier is a small company located in downtown Los Angeles. It's only herself, an assistant, and six pattern makers. There is no factory in China. Paige said they make everything downtown. 

She explained to the students that once the design team is finished with a line, they walk the runway with it or do a presentation. The line comes back to the pre-production team. All photos and notes are taken, then the tech packs are then set up. Once that's finished, then they start on patterns. Paige uses the pattern and creates the garment in muslin first. She tries to keep each garment to three fittings, with an objective of getting a perfect sew by sample.

Paige goes to every single fitting and all the production meetings. "I babysit these samples until they're perfect," she said.

Finally, Paige presents the final sew by sample to Monique Lhuillier.

The students flooded Paige with questions about the industry and the challenges and rewarding parts of her career. The meeting ended with networking and the exchange of business cards.

Read more about FIDM Grad Paige Rangel on her blog: The Love Designed Life.



SF Vis Comm Students Visit Benefit Cosmetics Headquarters


Yesterday, San Francisco Visual Communications Students in Teresa Lehane’s Business of Social Media Marketing class took at trip to Benefit Cosmetics where they had the opportunity to meet Valerie Hoecke, the Senior Vice President of Digital, who oversees Benefit's websites (in 32 different languages), email blasts, and social media.







Students learned about their social media strategies, recent campaigns, and user-generated content, and met Graphic Design Alumna Tiffany Matthews, who is currently doing in-store graphics and point of purchase displays for Benefit.



GUESS Scholars Program Awards Two Scholarships to FIDM Students

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Furthering their commitment to future leaders, the GUESS Foundation and FIDM have launched the GUESS Scholars Program that awards two outstanding students with one year of full academic tuition. Congratulations to this year's inaugural winners, Fashion Design Students Quinton Lovelace and Duston Jasso on their exciting award!

"The story of the Marciano brothers and their success is an incredible inspiration to anyone that is pursuing the American dream, including me," says Quinton. "Receiving a scholarship from GUESS is a feeling that is almost too amazing to fully articulate." Duston adds: "Becoming a GUESS Scholar has opened a door that will allow my dreams to flourish and become reality. I feel such gratitude that GUESS is investing in my future as a young artist and fashion leader, by believing in my raw talents, passion and dedication." 

And we're happy to report that GUESS + FIDM Design Contest winner Francisco Flores' Cold-Shoulder Cropped Denim Jacket and High-Rise Side-Tie Denim Shorts are now available on the GUESS website




Recently Accepted Fashion Design Student Wants to Inspire Others With Her Designs



Name: Jacklyn Dewenter

Age: 21

Hometown: Chantilly, VA

Previous College: Attended Liberty University and Northern Virginia Community College

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? From day one, Susan put in so much effort to help with the whole admissions process. She would call and e-mail to check up on me and made sure I was caught up with the application. I have never met an advisor as helpful and cheerful as Susan.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Drawing, painting, and designing have been hobbies of mine since I was very young. My family has many artists; without them I probably would not have started drawing at such a young age. Many different people have inspired me. Lee Alexander McQueen and Tim Burton have influenced me to take risks and to not be afraid to express myself. Michael Kors and Anna Wintour have influenced me to not exclude myself from designing other forms of fashion design.

I used to design strictly special occasion, but they have motivated me to experiment with different styles. My greatest supporters would have to be my parents. My Mom has always pushed me to put as much effort into my work as possible. My Dad has always has given me the best advice, to always have an open mind, and to think outside the box when it comes to designing. I have many other friends and teachers who have always been such great motivators -- I could not be where I am today without them and I could not be more grateful.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Being accepted to FIDM would be one. I always loved fashion but never had the courage to really pursue fashion design. With the help of my parents and teachers I gained enough confidence to pursue this career and they really made me realize that I was meant to be in this industry. Not many people have others supporting them to pursue their dreams. I truly am blessed to have people support me with fashion design.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM has classes that are very career oriented and hands-on, which is the best kind of learning experience for me. While visiting the Los Angeles campus I couldn’t help but feel very excited for what is in store for me. The Library has so many resources; I can see myself spending all day there! Internships, job fairs, and other events that FIDM provides make it very easy to network. Talking with some of the students, they seem so passionate about what they are doing and studying. Being in that environment is exactly what I have been looking for.

Describe your entrance project. Traditional Asian culture is very fascinating to me. For this entrance project, Chinese culture and architecture was the inspiration. Most of my designs in the past have been theatrical and centered towards special occasion. For this collection, I designed clothes that were more wearable. I used a contrasting color theme that included shades of red, gold, and black and white. Each garment has a Chinese character or symbol incorporated into the design as well as silhouettes, shapes, and textures that I found appealing in pictures that were part of the inspiration.

What are your career goals? I always wanted to have a good influence on people who may admire my designs. I want to be able to inspire young women to dress with modesty in mind as well as find beauty in what some people find not attractive. I have always struggled with finding beauty in myself and I know many other women struggle with the same issues. I want to be able to show beauty in all forms of body shapes, nationalities, etc. and still be able to promote a healthy lifestyle.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I plan to learn as much and everything I can at FIDM to be the best designer I can be. Whether it be just attending every class or lecture or spending all night studying at the FIDM Library. FIDM has everything that I need to learn to be successful in what I want to pursue.



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.

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