Social Ambassador Christina Walker Is Living Her Dreams at FIDM


Name: Christina Walker

Age: 22

Hometown: Wilmington, N.C.

Major: Merchandise Marketing

What do you love about attending FIDM? My experience here at FIDM has been a miracle that I worked long and hard on manifesting. As an older student, I had the opportunity to gain experience in the industry while dabbling in community college before I discovered the call to further my knowledge in fashion. I know that in this lifetime I have massive plans I will accomplish, and I reached a point where in order to do so I needed the very best education I could get that was also in a place where I could optimize my networking opportunities. 

It didn't take long before I realized the next chapter of my life would be written in L.A., and specifically, at FIDM. Within a few months of classes I earned a position as Fashion Director of MODE, built some incredible friendships, and began feeding my insatiable hunger for everything fashion. 

We hear you are interning with FIDM Grad, style expert, and celebrity stylist Lindsay Albanese. How did your internship come about? I actually found my internship through a Facebook post. The contact who had posted about the position with Lindsay was actually a connection I had made at a workshop, The Styling Institute, in which I was awarded admission to FIDM. After a quick email exchange and phone interview with Lindsay, I quickly realized she was exactly the person I needed to work with and learn from.

What is it like working for a celebrity stylist? Working for a celebrity stylist was an actual dream of mine, and I still oftentimes have to take a moment and realize that I made it happen. To say that my job is cool would be a supreme understatement. Just the other day I was in the styling studio organizing Charlotte Olympia clutches, color coordinating pieces from BCBG's Fall Runway collection, and classifying Vita Fede bangles--I have actual hands-on experience with some of the most delicious labels in our industry. I also had the opportunity to work on the set of E! News' style segments as well as visual merchandise the set for Lindsay's YouTube channel, Lindsay's Latest, where you'll find her weekly style videos.

Working with Lindsay is a very aspirational experience for me because she is truly a happy, bubbly person while still maintaining her total self-made, "girl boss" persona. She accomplishes this by being very direct, clear, and unafraid to voice her opinion in any and all circumstances. This strength and confidence is perhaps what I admire most in her, and what I strive to translate into my own business repertoire in the future.

What are your career goals? In the immediate future, I plan to continue assisting Lindsay Albanese in building her brand and being her right-hand gal on photo shoots, film sets, and daily tasks involved in the styling world. I will also pursue a position under the Conde Nast umbrella at Glamour working as an assistant to the West Coast Editor. My future is so bright and I will be forever grateful to FIDM for polishing and equipping me with all the tools I need to tackle and pursue any desire I set my mind to.

Keep up with Christina on Twitter



Merchandise Product Development and Business Management Grad is an Assistant Designer at bebe (Interview)


Name: Freshtah Hamidi

Major: Merchandise Product Development, followed by Business Management

Grad Year: 2013

You began your career at bebe with an internship. How did the internship come about? I came across the design internship opportunity at bebe on the FIDM Career Network online. I applied on the job search portal and submitted my resume. I was invited to interview with the Director of Design Operations at and was offered a spot in the company’s Spring Internship program. 

How did this internship turn into a full-time position? While interning at bebe, I was given the opportunity to learn about the process of creating a collection. I was exposed to every stage of the development process, from putting together trend concepts to presenting prototype samples, to merchant teams. Through my dedication and eagerness to learn, I was able to extend my internship. I completed my internship in the last quarter of my coursework at FIDM.

During the internship, I expressed my love for the company culture and interest in joining the design team. A couple of weeks after I graduated, I received a call from the HR department at bebe about a new position opening up. The Director of Design Operations recognized my hard work and dedication to the company, and a new position was created for me as the Design Product Librarian.

What are your responsibilities? As the Design Product Librarian, I coordinated all samples in the studio and served as a liaison between all departments. Additionally, I assisted the Design Team with CAD, Web PDM input, tech packs, and prepping for style out presentations. Within a year, I was promoted to Assistant Designer, the position which I currently hold.

I work with the Senior Design Director, who oversees the Related Sportswear and Jumpsuits categories. I assist with sketching, tech pack setups, vendor communication, Web PDM input, and style out preparation. I also function as the Design Team trainer and manage the Design Internship program.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM helped me prepare for my career by providing me with the tools I needed to not only function, but also grow in the industry. I utilize coursework knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator, and Web PDM on a daily basis. While at FIDM, I worked under strict deadlines, while juggling multiple projects at school. As a result, I learned strong time-management skills that allow me to meet the demands of a fast-paced work environment.

In addition, I often had to collaborate on group projects, teaching me how to work well in a team environment. I am constantly collaborating with others at work, both with the design team and with cross-functional teams, such as our internal merchant and production teams. I have gained immense knowledge throughout my studies at FIDM and I am able to utilize all of the tools I learned in the development of my career. 



Former Fashion Club President and FIDM Grad Chigo Ikeme Lands Paid Internship at NastyGal and Gets Accepted Into IMPD Program


Former Fashion Club President, Chigoziri Ikeme graduated last month from FIDM with her degree in Merchandise Product Development and just got accepted into the prestigious one-year IMPD program. She credits her Brand Portfolio class with Ms. Hahn for helping her land her paid internship at Nasty Gal Inc. in fabric research and development.

Tell us a little about yourself: I'm a recent MPD grad and a recently accepted IMPD student who has a slight obsession with textiles and thrift shopping. I've been involved in the fashion industry since I was 16 and I'm happy to have discovered my passion for fabrics and product development while at FIDM

When did you find out that you got accepted into IMPD? It was on the evening of March 4th, I opened up my acceptance letter and immediately tears of joy streamed down my face and I was screaming with excitement. I'm extremely grateful to FIDM and the IMPD selection committee for choosing me to part of this prestigious program. I know that this venture will be a great stepping stone towards pursuing my dream career. The program begins this summer and I can't wait to find out which brand we'll be collaborating with.

What do you hope to learn in IMPD? I hope to learn more about all the different aspects that go into creating garments especially in the area of fabric sourcing and development. I also hope to make valuable connections with my colleagues and the industry partners we work with.

Tell us about your paid internship at Nasty Gal: I saw the internship opportunity posted on Nasty Gal's website and I knew I needed to apply. The next day after submitting my application, I had a mock interview for my Brand Portfolio class and my teacher, Ms. Hahn, brought in a Nasty Gal recruiter as the interviewer. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. The recruiter was very impressed with me and my portfolio and that same week I had a formal interview at their headquarters and a week later I was hired as their Fabric R&D intern.

What are your responsibilities? As the fabric intern I assist the fabric team with putting together fabric spec sheets, souring fabrics, and creating fabric boards for the design team. I just started but already I've learned that fabric plays an important role in Nasty Gal's designs and they strive to create high quality on trend garments.

Any advice for someone who is just starting at FIDM? Network, network, network! As a student, this word is engrained in our heads because it's so important. Don't just network with fellow students but also with your teachers. My teachers helped a lot in telling me about various job opportunities that I wouldn't have known about otherwise and they're flowing with knowledge that will help you in your life and career. 

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal right now is to be the best fabric intern Nasty Gal ever had and also to learn all that I can from the IMPD program in order to ensure that I have the career I want when I graduate.

Anything else you’d like to share? As a recent FIDM grad I can say that I learned the most from the classes that challenged me the most. I used to dread my textile classes and now I'm in love with the fabric industry. Always have an open mind and don't be afraid to take risks. 



MPD Grad and Current Menswear Student Scores Summer Internship at Nordstrom (Interview)


Name: Devon Figueroa 

FIDM Degree: Merchandise Product Development

Current Major: Menswear (Advanced Degree Program)

How did the internship opportunity come about? The creative director of Nordstrom, Melanie Owen (a FIDM Alumna), visited us here on campus. I was lucky enough to listen to her speak during the the Premier Product Developers group and during an Advanced Program meeting on the same day. She was very excited that FIDM had just launched the Advanced Study Degree in Menswear and encouraged us to apply for the internship. I have always loved Nordstrom, so I immediately jumped at the opportunity. The hiring process started off with a simple online application, then a second recorded video interview, and finally a live video interview.

What will your internship program entail? What are you most excited about? We definitely get a good understanding of “The Nordstrom Way” and from what I hear, it is an awesome company to work for. I will be working directly under the Product Developer of Men’s, Scott Darlington (also a FIDM Alumnus), who oversees every Menswear brand that Nordstrom creates, with exception to footwear. I am definitely most excited to be a part of Scott’s team and working in Menswear since it is definitely a passion for me. Working under a former student will just add to the experience.

How are you enjoying the Advanced Menswear program at FIDM? Joining the Advanced Study Program has been amazing. I came to FIDM knowing I wanted to do this program, but had to complete MPD beforehand. Product Development became an extreme passion of mine and being able to concentrate that in Menswear has been a dream come true.

What are your future career goals? Right now I'm taking everything day by day, year by year. I used to have so many goals and dreams, but seeing how many great things have popped up for me has been truly amazing. Right now I have been working hard in every opportunity that comes my way. If I had to claim at least one future goal, it would be to be a creative director for a label I am passionate about. I can only work towards it and hope for the best.



This IMPD Grad Landed a Paid Internship at GUESS? Find Out How.


Recent International Manufacturing & Product Development Graduate Kimberly Poquiz has accepted a paid internship at GUESS? We recently chatted with the new alumna to learn more.

How did the GUESS internship come about? I first saw the posting for the internship online through the Career Network. A few days later, my Career Advisor visited my class and spoke about various internships that were available to us. At that point, I decided to apply for the internship.

What will you be doing at GUESS? How long is the internship for? I will be working at GUESS as a Product Development intern for their GUESS Factory division from June until August. I would like to start my career working as a product developer. Eventually, I'd like to start my own apparel business.

How do you feel FIDM has helped prepare you for this internship and your future? My experience at FIDM has definitely played a crucial role in molding me into the person I am today. While I was in the International Manufacturing & Product Development program, I was able to participate in industry events and meet notable people in the denim industry. I also gained so many hard and soft skills in addition to my education. After everything that I've learned and experienced at FIDM, I feel very prepared for my internship and my future.



MPD Student and FIDM Social Ambassador is Interning at Sue Wong


FIDM Social Ambassador and Merchandise Product Development Student Alexandrea Neil is currently interning at Sue Wong. We recently caught up with the June 2015 future graduate to learn more. 

How did your internship at Sue Wong come about? Since I am getting into my last few quarters at FIDM, I really wanted to gain more experience in the industry. I actually was searching online for product development internships and I came across the opportunity to intern with Sue Wong. It was exactly what I had been looking for so I pursued the position and now I am lucky enough to intern there.

What are your roles/responsibilities? I assist the Product Development department in maintaining the swatch library and color standard library, performing quality checks on sample dresses, design research, sketching, and assisting with photo shoots and their upcoming fashion show.

How are you enjoying your role as a FIDM Social Ambassador? I love being a Social Ambassador for FIDM. It is awesome to represent the school in such a fun, new way and I have met so many amazing and talented people along the way.

What are your career goals/plans? I feel like I have learned so much in these two years at FIDM so I am very eager to go out into the industry and use my skills. I would love to be a designer or product developer for a great company, or even freelance. I also have a huge passion for trend forecasting so I am very interested in pursuing that as a career choice as well. After I have enough experience in my career I would love to start my own company designing my own contemporary line.



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.



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.



Paige Denim Graphic Designer and FIDM Grad Simone Garcia Visits Premiere Product Development Group at FIDM

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Paige Denim Graphic Designer and FIDM Grad Simone Garcia recently visited her alma mater to speak at a meeting with the Premiere Product Development Group—an elite group of FIDM Students earning degrees in Product Development.

Simone graduated in June earlier this year with a Merchandise Product Development Professional Designation Degree from FIDM.

She advised the students to do internships. "It's 100% important to have an internship." In fact, that's precisely what led Simone to Paige Denim. Back in March, Simone was sitting in the very same seats that the students were sitting in when Laura Jenkins from Paige Denim was the guest speaker for the Premiere Product Development Group at FIDM. Simone and Laura, also a graduate of FIDM, connected that day,and Simone followed up for an internship. Simone's first day was on April 18th, her birthday. She interned for a few months before she was hired full-time in September as a Junior Graphic Designer.

"I encourage you guys to go for it, and get out there!" the recent FIDM Grad announced.

When asked what set her apart from the other candidates in the job interview process, she said it was her portfolio. Simone did very well in Estel Hahn's Brand Portfolio class at FIDM. "During my internship, I showed my boss my portfolio and he was impressed." She was offered the job before she was even finished with her internship.

Ultimately, Simone wants to be a buyer and have her own business. In the mean time, she said one of the biggest perks of working at a premium denim label is building relationships with others.

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Paige Denim Graphic Designer & FIDM Grad Simone Garcia holding a pair of Paige Blue Galaxy Coating jeans.



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.



Theatre Costume Design Students Take Master 3D Class

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Students in the Advanced Study Theatre Costume Design program attended a Master Class in 3D Rendering taught by costume artist Salvatore Salamone. Industry partner J & M Costumers, where the class is interning this quarter, brought in Salamone to describe the latest techniques to Alan Armstrong's theatre costume class.

According to FIDM Instructor Armstrong, Salamone discussed computer generated patterns and measurements and shared samples of his work in foam, headdresses, and jewelry. Salamone, who has created pieces for Lady Gaga, San Diego Zoo, Universal Studios, and Planet of the Apes, advised the students to get an education in the fundamentals at FIDM before attempting to learn these very advanced practices—techniques that are passed along at very few places. J & M owner Leo Salas expects excellent sewing and precision skills before designers can attempt 3D work according to Salamone, but in the internships they may get to work closely and pick up some of the master's techniques.



L'Oreal Internship Program Recruits at FIDM LA

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Executives from L'Oreal, the world's largest beauty company, visited FIDM today to kickoff recruitment for their prestigious Summer Marketing Internship program. About 100 students attended the meeting with VP Talent Acquisition Sumita Banerjee and Marketing Recruiter Michelle Corbett, who laid out the steps of applying for the paid internship in New York, Summer 2015 and generously answered one-on-one questions after the presentation.

Corbett explained that L'Oreal chose FIDM for a recruiting visit because it was searching for "colleges that attract a creative, trend-following student body." The Advanced Study Beauty Industry Management program caught her eye. UCLA was the only other LA college they were visiting on their quick trip. "As we acquire more West Coast brands like Urban Decay and NYX, we want to be truly national and expand our searches in the West," she said.

Go to for more information and to apply. Application deadline is Nov. 9, 2014. The program is open to all third-year students.



Recent Merchandise Marketing Grad Working at Zappos' Headquarters (Interview)


Name: Ja'Shae Jones

Major: Merchandise Marketing

Graduated: June 2014

How did your Zappos paid internship come about? I learned about the Zappos internship through the FIDM Career Network. I applied for the position, and proceeded to follow up through email. I was then was prompted to create a virtual interview video where I had to answer various questions and record myself. I also had to complete a challenge project on the future of consumer shopping.

After the first round I was asked to have a few more phone and Skype interviews with some members of the merchandising team from Zappos. I was soon after offered the position as a merchandising assistant intern.

Where are you based? Did you have to relocate? I am originally from Ohio, but I went to the FIDM Orange County campus my first year, so I lived there for a year then I proceeded to move to Los Angeles where I finished my Merchandise Marketing Degree at the LA campus. For the internship, I had to relocate to Las Vegas, where the Zappos headquarters are located.

What does your internship entail? As a merchandising assistant intern I wear many hats. In addition to normal buying and merchandising responsibilities, I assist in order writing, inventory analysis, inventory management, product selection, product categorization, invoice reconciliation, vendor communication, and marketing discussions. As an intern I also get to shadow other departments and categories, other than fashion merchandising, to really get great insight on how the business is run from start to finish.

What are your impressions of the company so far? Zappos is known for the unique company culture, and it really is an incredible experience. Every day has been a new adventure, and I am constantly surrounded by the most amazing people. Each day gets even better and better. 



Beauty Industry Management Student Focuses on Skin Health

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Jessica Fernicola chose to continue for a third year Beauty Industry Management degree after graduating with an Associates degree in June 2014.

What made you decide to go on for the Advanced Study Beauty Industry program?

I am the type of person that likes to be fully prepared before starting a new task or opportunity. It just wasn’t for me to end at an AA degree (in Beauty Industry Merchandising and Marketing). I want to learn more because I know when the time comes, and I am sitting in that office, I will be more confident because I continued my schooling and learned everything that FIDM had to offer.

What are your goals in the industry?

I truly believe makeup is to enhance, not to fix or change. I believe that as a society we should help one another and that does not include telling young girls that they must cover their skin with makeup to feel beautiful or to fix a problem. My goals are to guide young girls and boys in the right direction, which involves educating them on how to take care of their skin and bodies! I do have a skincare/lifestyle brand in the works that might get me one step closer in helping spread the word.

Any interesting internships to tell us about?

Currently I am interning for a candle company that is just starting up. All of our candles are soy and double as body oils when lit. Since I  just started, I am still learning, but it is exciting to grow with a young company because it feels more personal. I feel my sense of creativity is being used every day and that is something I really enjoy. 

Trends that you see taking off in beauty?

The trend that I have been noticing has not only affected the beauty industry but almost every aspect of a person’s life is health. I’ve noticed that individuals are getting more and more keen on going green and using wholesome ingredients, not just in food but on their skin as well. The word “vegan” can be seen on cosmetic packaging these days and I think it’s for the better! I love seeing the world become a healthier place and giving consumers wholesome products to put on their skin.



Beauty Industry Management Student Interning in PR

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Brhea Harper got her Associates degree in Beauty Industry Merchandise and Marketing in June. She chose to continue at FIDM for the Advanced Study Beauty Industry Management program.

Why did you decide to stay at FIDM for the third year?

I simply LOVED my major. I graduated in June 2014 and the exact next day I was off to New York City for the Beauty Tour. Going there and visiting companies such as: Estee Lauder, Temptu, Coty, and Inglot; I realized how much love I had for this industry! I can’t see myself doing anything else with my life other than working in beauty.

What is your career goal?

Being in such a large industry requires so much experience. My main goal is to really get in there and figure out exactly what I want to do while showing people my passion. Overall, I do want to work for a big parent company such as L’Oreal, Estee Lauder, LVMH (Louis Vuitton-Moet Hennessy), or Shiseido. I would prefer to work in the product development or marketing areas of color cosmetics or skin care. Eventually I would like to climb my way up the ladder to a high position.

Any internships?

Currently I am interning at a celebrity PR firm called Michele Marie PR in Beverly Hills, and I absolutely love it. Some days I’m sending out clothes to celebrities or their stylists. Other days I’m searching for boutiques in different cities. It’s a fun, busy environment, and I can tell I’m learning so much.

What beauty trends are you watching?

I see the pops of color in makeup coming up as a trend: extreme blush with a nude eye, navy blue winged eyeliner, or bright yellow lip color. Some people are afraid of color when it comes to makeup because of society, but once this trend becomes bigger you will be able to see everyone’s real personality.



Grad is Co-Founder of Michele Marie Public Relations Which Employs Three FIDM Interns


“FIDM was crucial in the shaping of my career in many ways," says Michele Marie PR's Sara Andréasson. "Due to FIDM's fantastic Career Center and extensive connections, I was able to land an internship with an amazing company, where I eventually got hired, and then I opened my own fashion PR firm--the career of my dreams!”

Sara, who currently employs three FIDM interns, has worked in public relations at Hugo Boss, John Varvatos, and Da-Nang, where she was Director of PR. Michele Marie PR is a full-service public relations agency specializing in editorial, celebrity, and event driven press in the fashion, beauty, and lifestyle industries. 



Merchandise Marketing Alumna Working at AG Jeans After Internship


After working as the Retail Department Intern at AG Jeans, Merchandise Marketing Alumna Victoria Sparks was offered a full-time position as the Retail Assistant at the denim label. "There are so many different aspects that I love about my job," says the June 2014 graduate. "I really get to dabble in all the different parts of the Retail Department, from Retail Operations, to Allocations, to Visuals, and my favorite, Buying."

Victoria, who found the AG Jeans internship through FIDM's Career Network, says she spends 80 to 90 percent of her time with the Buyer, which suits her just fine. "I love that I get to have an impact on so many different parts of the department and really become a well-rounded professional individual. I also love the people I work with; they are all so helpful, friendly, and intelligent, which I believe is extremely important when just starting out on a career," adds Victoria, who also interned at Halston while studying at the college.

"FIDM helped prepare me for my career, from the math and buying courses, to technology for merchandise buying, to allocations, to merchandising, and organizational behavior. Each taught me something I actually use at my job." 



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


Name: Johnae McDonald

Degree: Merchandise Product Development

Current Major: Business Management

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

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

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

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



June 2014 Merchandise Marketing Grad Interns at TJ Maxx

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Name: Gunjan Bansal

Major: Merchandise Marketing

Grad Date: June 2014

What is your current position: Intern, New Business Development, TJ Maxx

Prior School: Swami Vivekananda High School, Mumbai, India

How did you find FIDM?

After extensive research online, I discovered FIDM as a leading institution for the fashion industry. I instantly knew this was a great fit to pursue my career goals to expand from jewelry to accessories and apparel.

What was your favorite part of your FIDM education?

At FIDM I learned that research is not just an art, it's a science. Using the free library resources at FIDM truly made it an amazing learning experience. Also meeting people with different aspirations and networking was an opportunity to connect and learn.

What are your future career goals?

My short term goal is to work with a big brand in their buying department and gain the experience to effectively manage the product side of the business. My long term goal is to own a brand and sell to major retailers across the globe.



Merchandise Marketing Grad Interns at Rachel Zoe Studio

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Name: Jessica Harshman

Where did you go to school before FIDM?             

University of Colorado-Boulder, BA in History, with a minor in Ethnic Studies

What is your FIDM major?

Merchandise Marketing

Grad Date: June 2014

What is your current position?

Styling Intern, Rachel Zoe Studio

How did you find FIDM?

While attending undergrad and studying History, I was writing a fashion blog and became enamored with the global fashion industry and craved to learn more. I researched trends, kept up with bloggers, styled and shopped for my friends, devoured fashion magazines, and became known as the campus fashionista – I was even featured on Teen Best Dressed College Students in the Nation! But the major turning point was when I realized a career in fashion was a real possibility. My mother sent me a link to FIDM’s website and I took the career quiz, and matched with the Merchandise Marketing Program. I applied three days later and within a week got my acceptance over the phone. The rest is history; I cannot imagine where I would be without FIDM! Probably working as a sales associate wondering what a buyer’s job is.

What was the most rewarding part of your FIDM experience?

The most rewarding part of my FIDM experience was publishing an article for FIDM's student magazine, MODE; making Presidents Honor Roll; presenting my final megatrend project to my peers; and making it through Textile Science – I will never forget the many hours spent with my pick glass and lighter, trying to decipher if a swatch was a protein or cellulose fiber, and if it was spun or filament. Finishing every quarter strong has been an accomplishment and I’m so thankful to have had amazing, industry professionals as teachers and mentors throughout this nine-month whirlwind.

What advice would you give to future FIDM Students?

Get involved, sit in the front of the classroom, ask questions, come prepared, and look and act professional! Seek advice from your teachers; they are your biggest resources – not only for academic success but also for career advice. Ask instructors to look at your resume. Take advantage of the library and all of FIDM’s subscription services. You have some of the best trade publications at your fingertips – make use of them! Dress appropriately and carry yourself with confidence because you never know whom you could meet at any time. Get good grades but focus on extra-circulars. Time flies by at FIDM and you don’t want to graduate with any regrets. Most likely, once you graduate you won’t be able to work for free so take as many internship opportunities as possible.

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Confidence means you’re comfortable expressing what you don’t know. Credibility is built up over time but can be taken away in an instant. Be smart about which parts of your persona you show and where. But most importantly: go for it! You have nothing to lose.

How has your education at FIDM helped you in your career thus far?

My education at FIDM has allowed me to talk and write eloquently about the fashion industry. I understand what it means to be a buyer, an allocator, a wholesaler. I’ve learned there so many career paths one can choose from in this industry and my specific studies have allowed me to hone my skillsets while developing new ones. I’ve always loved writing but now I’m a sartorial writer– adding tint means adding white pigment to a color, fabrics are made of fibers, and Givenchy is pounced jhee-von-SHEE. I can walk confidently into an interview and ask the appropriate questions while staying humble and remembering there is always more to learn – but that I am an asset because I went to FIDM and can differentiate a woven from a knit, spot a fad from a megatrend, and calculate a six month plan.

What are your future career goals?  

My career goals are many because I have numerous interests within the fashion industry. My immediate goal is to work for a bi-coastal product-oriented company with which I can grow. I see my future career path as a spider web – not a ladder – because I am interested in buying, styling, trend forecasting, and writing. Ideally, I will be a stylist/personal shopper for a few select clients while I am working a corporate job. I am also going to continue with the evolution of my fashion blog ninelivesforfashion because it fulfills my creative drive and motivates me to keep-up with industry news and fashion trends.



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


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

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

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

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

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

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



Faculty Member Daryn-Reid Goodall Hires FIDM Student Interns for TV

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Set Decorator and Visual Communications Instructor Daryn-Reid Goodall has been hiring FIDM Students as interns for 14 years to help decorate the sets of shows like Shake It Up!, Party Down, Saint George, and MadTV. The key to success in the industry, says Daryn-Reid is "to have fun but believe that every day is a job interview."

"I feel good about how FIDM prepares its students to enter the entertainment industry," says the popular set decorator.

photo credit: Dusti Cunningham



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


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

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



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


Name: Rachelle Pons

Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing 

Graduating: June 2014

Company: Josie Maran Cosmetics 

Job Title: Social Media/PR Assistant

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

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

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



FIDM Student Ren Leach to Intern at Aleph Surf International in South Africa This Summer

Ren Leach

Ren Leach is studying Merchandise Product Development on FIDM’s Orange County campus. She is pursuing a career in the surf and skate industry, and this summer she’s going to South Africa for an internship at Aleph Surf International.

"At the end of this upcoming June, I'll be heading to Jeffreys Bay, South Africa to work with Aleph for five months. I'll be working with the local kids and their families to help restore their local communities. Aleph is designed to work with the kids through recreational sports, like surfing and skating. It's going to be rad as well because I get to work with Vanessa Van Zyl, a grad from FIDM, in the factory where they employ the kids' parents with jobs to support their families. Vanessa and her husband, Rehgert, run Aleph. It'll be really sick because I get to use what I learned at FIDM while I'm in South Africa. I'm so blessed and excited that I get to work with some incredibly caring and creative people as well as make a positive impact in the lives of children."

Read the entire interview with Ren Leach on FIDM's



Recent Alumna Hired as Design Assistant at Nicole Hollis Interior Design


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

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



Recent Jewelry Design Alumna Interning for Michael Kors (Interview)


Name: Leigh Sandusky

Major: Jewelry Design 

Grad Year: I finished the program at the end of September 2013; my formal graduation will be in June 2014 at the Staples Center.

Job Title/Responsibilities: I am currently a Jewelry Design Intern for Michael Kors. I create detailed jewelry designs; some of the designs I created went into sampling for Fall and Holiday 2014.  These designs are being approved right now by Michael Kors to go into production. I contribute ideas for jewelry to the design team and design jewelry renderings on Illustrator to present to buyers and higher-ups to go into production.  

I also create design mechanical and color way drawings on Illustrator to send to the factories to be sampled for future collections. I do a lot of trend researching and organization of the Michael Kors jewelry archives.

How did FIDM help prepare you for this job? Attending FIDM for Jewelry Design was one of the best things I have ever done. I have been given many opportunities and I would not be where I am today, in my career, if I had not attended FIDM.  The Jewelry Design Program at FIDM is amazing, specifically because the Jewelry Studio is located in the heart of the Jewelry District, exposing the jewelry students to industry professionals. 

I actually got my first part-time job because I was Downtown in the Jewelry District and I was carrying a FIDM bag. I was a Jewelry Design Intern at 1928, and four of my designs went into production. FIDM helped me refine my skills as a designer, the faculty assisted me in preparing for interviews and with my resume, and the college has helped me create an impressive portfolio.

Our final project in the Jewelry Program is Sample Case. This is an opportunity for us to create and show samples of our work throughout the time we spent at FIDM. Now I have beautiful samples to show my future employer when I go on an interview. 

What are your ultimate career goals? Right now I am fresh out of school and I would like to get my feet wet. I would like to design for a brand or a company for awhile and gain experience, and have a better understanding of how the industry and the design process works. I would like to make it to be a Senior Designer for a reputable brand/company. I also think it's important to keep my creativity going by working on my own designs as a side project, while I have a stable job designing for a company.



FIDM's JustFab Dress Contest Winner Ashley Henderson is Hired at JustFab Corporate Office

Ashley Henderson

FIDM Fashion Design Grad Ashley Henderson won the JustFab Dress Contest at FIDM, and was awarded an internship at the online retailer's headquarters in El Segundo. The company hired her when her internship came to an end, and she's now an Assistant Designer in the Fabletics department.

Name: Ashley Henderson

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Grad Year: 2013

Company: JustFab

Title: Assistant Designer

Tell us a little about yourself: I'm a Southern California girl, born and raised. I've been an honor roll student my whole life. I come from a HUGE family, all full of unique characters...haha! There was never a dull moment growing up. I feel so blessed to come from a family that supports and encourages us to achieve our dreams. I am the more shy siblling out of the 5 of us. Oh, and I love Betty Boop.

Where are you working now and what do you do? I am an assistant to the Fabletics designers at the JustFab corporate office. I put together line sheets, create technical flats, and organize the samples that are stored away so that it's easier to find things when needed again. They give me design projects to do on my own and present to them, ship out merchandise, email and call people, schedule meetings—the list goes on! 

Tell us about the JustFab Dress Design Contest that you won: I WAS EXTREMELY SHOCKED! I created three dresses, and the one they picked was an asymmetrical, deep plunging, wrap dress in a royal blue color—easy to wear and great for all body types! I was literally the last person to turn in my application. I know this because I had classes that day and I had to go turn it in after class. When I went to turn them in, the office was closed! So I had to go to another floor and see if someone could get my application to the right people. I was unsure if my project even made it on time and I really had no idea what they were going to think. I was just happy that I took a risk by even doing the project, because it is so easy to get consumed by school work. After I turned it in, I was satisfied knowing that I had at least tried; I had no expectations of being a finalist. So I was in complete shock when I got that email and I ran around the house screaming and jumping lol.

Tell us about the JustFab internship that you had before you were hired full-time: The internship was a lot of fun, I started off with just a lot of organizing and research tasks that both the Fabletics and the denim designers would give me. I would also put together inspiration boards, create technical flats, and keep the design wall updated with the most current design ideas that they put together. I would also do printouts for scheduled meetings. The whole team is full of funny, smart, welcoming, and creative people. They gave (well, STILL give) a lot of amazing advice and pointers so that I gain as much experience as possible as I enter into the fashion industry. They made me feel a part of the family very quickly! I learned so much and so quickly from all of them, I already feel like I've grown so much here.

How did you feel when you were hired full-time? I was nervous at first. I knew that my internship was coming to an end, but I really wanted to stay. I was so excited to hear that they wanted to keep me.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM has definitely helped me a lot. Obviously, I wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for that dress contest they put together! But besides that, the skills that were taught in my classes, such as how to do technical sketches, how to measure correctly, how to sew, how to put together line sheets and collections, and much more, are all skills that are ESSENTIAL in the fashion industry. It all contributed to me landing the job.

How did you find out about FIDM? In high school, I did my own research and looked up fashion schools in LA and came across FIDM. And then they actually ended up coming to my high school for college day!

How did you decide on your major? I really loved the art classes that I took in middle school and high school, like ceramics, jewlery design, graphics, and computer design. I realized I love to work with my hands and to design stuff, so one day I decided I wanted to design and make clothes.

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? Computer Aided Fashion Design I & II, all the Pattern Making, Draping, and Garment Construction classes, Textile Science, Fashion History, and The Business of Fashion.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Get involved! Participate in extra things like contests because you never know what could happen. Take advantage of those "volunteers wanted" opportunities on the website to help out at tradeshows, fashion shows, etc. At first, I didn't realize the importance of it, but it really is because you meet a lot of people who are experienced in the fashion industry and can help you. Don't get consumed by just doing your homework. Listen to what your teachers are ALWAYS telling you—to take advantage of FIDM's resources, including talking to your advisors.

What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal is to work as a designer under a well known and successful company, and then eventually branch out and have my own brand. I also want to gain experience in the fashion industry by traveling!



FIDM Merchandise Product Development Grad at Disney Stores

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Noelle Barrett, 2012 Merchandise Product Development grad, loves her new position at Disney Stores. She took the time to tell us about it.

What is your title and what do you do?

I am Assistant Buyer for Disney Stores. That means I comp shop to compare our products with competitors, and manage range plan updates, item setup, and PO creation for the company database.

Did FIDM help you find the job?

Yes, I found the job posted on the FIDM Career Network. Also the faculty at FIDM is so great, whenever I needed help, they were eager to assist.

Why did you choose Merchandise Product Development?

I was able to learn about both the business and creative sides of the industry. The fast pace at FIDM prepared me for the real world.

Did you do any internships at design college?

Yes, for my last one, I was a Visual Merchandising Intern for Versace.

Want to share future plans?

Ultimately, I believe that FIDM played a major role in getting me where I am today. I am very happy where I am, and eager to see where the road takes me.



Merchandise Marketing Student Ida-Sofia Koivuniemi Talks About Conference and FactoryLA Internship

Ida-Sofia Koivuniemi FIDM

Name: Ida-Sofia Koivuniemi

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

Tell us a little about yourself: I was originally born in Finland, and spent the majority of my childhood growing up in Michigan! I came to Los Angeles from a small town, and while it was a huge transition, it has been a very rewarding one. I have gained so much experience here and am thankful every day that I decided to come to FIDM. I am currently in my last quarter of my A.A., and will be continuing on with my Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management.

Tell us about your experience at the conference in Chicago: The conference in Chicago was an extremely interesting and wonderful experience. During the student program I took advantage of the opportunity to listen to retail executives talk about why they love their jobs and what qualities they look for in candidates. I also learned about many retail jobs I did not even know existed! The whole conference really opened my eyes as to how big retail actually is, and how much more goes into it than people may think. One thing that really stood out was a presentation by Tory Burch executives. It really taught me how much effort each brand puts into their work and how seriously they think about their audience before pursuing any sort of marketing plan. Also, meeting the CEO of Uncommon Goods was a great experience. He was so humble and family-oriented and it truly made me realize the importance of working under someone who shares similar values to you.

How did you hear about FIDM and what made you decide to go here? I originally heard about FIDM through my marketing class in high school. I went to a high school that was very active in DECA, so FIDM was promoted through DECA at my school. My main reason for deciding to come to FIDM was because of their great connections in the industry. They made me feel really confident about my future in the fashion industry and they have not let me down!

Do you have an internship? I am a marketing assistant/intern at FactoryLA, a new retailer/showroom/incubator that opened in Downtown Los Angeles in recent months. We work exclusively with designers who manufacture here in Los Angeles, in hopes to eventually bring more jobs to our wonderful city! Because we are a multi-faceted company, I get to see so many sides of the business. I handle a lot of our social media marketing and any other send outs we create and promote. I also assist with their events. No day is the same—really! It's a great job and I am learning so much and could not work for a better company or boss. 

How did you choose your major? My decision on what major to choose was pretty simple. I had been an active member of DECA in high school and it was there that I realized I really had a knack for marketing. Merchandise Marketing was the perfect blend between fashion and marketing for me.

What is your favorite class so far and why? My favorite classes so far have been my trend forecasting classes. They really introduced me to a side of the industry I never truly realized existed... at least in such a big way! They were very eye opening classes and taught me so much about the fashion industry. They were also very fun! All of the projects really brought the class to life.

What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? My career goal is to eventually become a marketing director or CMO of a fashion company. FIDM has provided me with so many connections to help me get there. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to work and intern during school and gain that experience that is so necessary in the real world. I think FIDM has really taught me to be an outstanding candidate for jobs, and have no doubt that in time I will find the perfect job for me that will lead to my ultimate career goals.

What advice do you have for someone thinking about going to FIDM? If you're serious about wanting a career in fashion, this is the school for you. It's a lot of work, but in a good way. You will love what you do and look forward to hearing what your teachers have to say. And ultimately, you will end up doing what you love for the rest of your life!

Anything else you’d like to share? School is as rewarding and exciting as you make it out to be. Do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and do something that scares you—that's where the magic happens!



MPD Alumna Is Assistant Designer at GUESS (Interview)


Merchandise Product Development Alumna Kelsey Ferrar, who transferred to FIDM from NYU, has an exciting career as an Assistant Designer at GUESS, where she started as an intern while in college.

How did you end up transferring to FIDM? As crazy as it sounds, GUESS was the reason that I applied to FIDM. After a year of studying Media & Communications at NYU, I wound up shadowing the design team at GUESS, Inc. I had no idea what went into the design process, but always a fashion-obsessed photographer and fine artist, I saw my life flash before my eyes when I first stepped into their design room.

From the intricate mood boards and color palettes to the perfectly rendered sketches that hung upon the walls, I instantly knew that I had to be a part of the design process. After a week of shadowing the talented designers behind the GUESS label, I immediately set up my interview at FIDM, and went on to transfer out of NYU and into FIDM for the upcoming Fall quarter.

How did your internship at GUESS come about and what were your responsibilities there? After a year of hard work at FIDM, I found myself on the Denim Study Tour with the Premier Product Development Group, and once again, in the design room at GUESS. That's when I decided to apply for the Summer 2012 internship program. During my internship I learned more that I ever could have imagined. It was such an amazing experience being able to apply what I had learned in the classroom to my projects in the office, and vice versa.

I was lucky enough to get a very well-rounded experience as an intern, from helping develop mood boards and color palettes, to sketching and CAD rendering, to helping with various design categories including knits, dresses, and denim. I would create trend boards, set up tech packs, and develop seasonal line packets which included mood, color, and key looks for each season.

How did you transition to being an Assistant Designer? What is your role? After a year as the women's design intern, and upon my graduation from FIDM, I decided that it was time to take the next step in my career and finally become an Assistant Designer. The timing could not have been better. Just as I was making my transition, a new concept team was developed, called "Guess What's Next?" I immediately knew that I wanted to be a part of the concept team, which creates the seasonal mood, color, trend, and print stories.

As the Trend Assistant Designer, I have been working with the Director of Concept as well as the Chief Design Officer, to build the story for Fall 2014. Each day has been a little different, which keeps things extremely exciting. With a constant flow of in depth trend research and pulling from trend forecasting books, online trend services, hundreds of magazines, blogs, street style, as well as shopping and inspiration trips, we have been building our mood boards and color palettes for the season.

I have also been responsible for meeting with print vendors, sending out colors for lab dips, getting the color dips approved and named, and of course, keeping my team and the design team updated on whats trending and hot right now.

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? Upon enrolling into FIDM, I began working interning with various companies so that I could get a feel for every side of the industry, and I found the Career Center to be a key part of my experience at FIDM. From working at showrooms and seeing the sales and buying aspect to interning for stylist Taylor Jacobson, my experiences were all over the map. The school has so much to offer, including the most incredible and inspirational instructors, but you really have to put in the effort if you want to succeed, because it is a lot of work!

I love that the instructors have such strict standards on deadlines and presentations, because it really does reflect the industry. I also loved that there were opportunities to go on study tours because it was such an amazing experience to be able to see what the inside of all of the companies' headquarters looked like, and to really start understanding how each job in the design process works.



FIDM Alumna Marisa Giraudo Lands Internship at Athleta in the Bay Area

Marisa Giraudo FIDM Alumna

Marisa Giraudo graduated from FIDM with a Merchandise Product Development degree and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management. She’s now interning at Athleta in the Bay Area, working with the Merchandising Accessory team.

"I was informed about the position at Athleta through my FIDM Career Advisor and former teacher, Jim Masciocchi. At Athleta, I assist with the Merchandising Accessory team. We determine the final assortment or collection of accessories and footwear from both third party vendors and Athleta branded merchandise. I personally help coordinate all the accessory samples with vendors, stylists, and the retail visual and web teams. I am pretty much working with several different departments at all times, which is pretty cool."

Read the entire interview with Marisa Giraudo on FIDM's



FIDM Student Nicole Guerboian Lands Design Internship at Guess Inc.

Nicole Guerboian

With FIDM Degrees in Merchandise Product Development and International Manufacturing & Product Development, Nicole Guerboian is currently earning her Bachelor of Science in Business Management Degree on the Los Angeles campus and interning on the design team at Guess Inc.

"I came fully prepared with samples of my work from IMPD along with hard copies of my past design collections. It is so beneficial to practice and be prepared for interview questions, which can be unpredictable at times. Thankfully, I didn’t have to wait too long for a call back, because I was offered the job within two days."

Read the entire interview with Nicole Guerboian on



New MPD Graduate Is a Paid Intern at Fossil (Interview)


New Merchandise Product Development Graduate Tshaia Edwards recently began a three-month, paid internship at Fossil. We recently caught up with her to get the details.

How did this internship come about?
I was contacted by Kevin Keele that a new paid internship had come about, but it would require me to move to Texas for three months, and that I should apply for the position especially since it was for product development. Kevin knows that I am always looking for an internship or job that would allow me to relocate since I have no problem doing so. On my bucket list I have to live in every major city around the world so this would be number three.

What are your roles and responsibilities? I was hired as a product development intern at Fossil for Fossil Watch and Jewelry, which I started in July. I will be working under my Product Managers, working with the product development and design teams. Some of my responsibilities will be researching current and future fashion trends, competitive research and analysis, preparing presentations, and assisting in production work.

What else have you been up to since graduating? Well after I graduated in March, I pretty much just caught up on the hours of sleep I missed and traveled, but if offered a permanent position or to extend my contract as an intern at Fossil I would completely relocate myself to Texas.



Current MPD Student Goes to Milan With Thom Browne


Merchandise Product Development Student Lance Jubel recently returned from New York where he was interning for the acclaimed designer Thom Browne.

How did your internship with Thom Browne come about? I was attending FIDM last year at the LA campus, but knew I wanted to eventually work in New York. My internship came about by word of mouth. I was put in contact from a friend at Barneys New York. I first did an informational interview with Brody, the Sales Director, over the phone. From there, I told him I would be coming out to New York the following month to interview at a few places and would love to meet him. When there, I guess you could say we had an informal interview over coffee.

What were your day-to-day responsibilities? My responsibilities at Thom Browne were that of an account executive. I would stay in contact with buyers, conduct sales reports, product knowledge meetings at stores, write orders, and fulfill reorders when needed.

What were the highlights working for a top designer? It was a great opportunity to learn under the Thom Browne crew. Working for a smaller company enabled me to interact with many different people and not just do the same task day in and day out like most do while at larger companies. My favorites memories would have to be meeting Thom Browne, going to Milan for their Pre-Fall sales campaign and writing orders with buyers, and meeting people within the industry while living in New York.

Tell us  more about going to Milan. Milan was one of the best experiences I've had. I learned a tremendous amount and it was interesting to see buyers from around the world come in and write orders. Seeing how some pieces in Asia would be very popular while American buyers would buy a complete different assortment. Since then, I've had the opportunity to go to Florence and Paris as well. I can't stress enough about meeting people and making connections. I always say, that random person standing next to you in the elevator could someday get you a job, you never know.

What are your plans after graduating? After FIDM I plan to move to New York. My main priority is to work for someone whom I share common interests with. I want to be passionate for the clothing I will be putting on each morning and repping.

Photo Credit: Youngjun Koo for GQ



Student Presents Case Study Vera Wang Footwear Designs to Brown Shoe Company


Footwear Design Student Esther Chung, who will be graduating next weekend, is currently working full time as the Design Supervisor at SWYT Culture, a women and children’s footwear company. Her role involves designing and developing each collection as well as the creation of PR/Marketing graphics. We recently caught up with Esther to learn about her path to this exciting career.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I’m 24, born and raised in Southern California. My interest in footwear began a bit spontaneously while I was traveling in Asia. Being exposed to fashion in different cultures opened my eyes to the possibilities of design and somehow gave me the epiphany that I wanted to design shoes. Although I have always been interested in different forms of art I found that designing for shoes brought the most creativity out of me and was worth pursuing as a career path. 

Did you have any previous college experience before FIDM? I have a BA in Film and TV from New York University.

How did you decide FIDM was the right college for you? FIDM stood out to me for its Footwear Design major.  I wanted to apply to a program that I knew would challenge me and give me the intensive training that I was looking for. I had insecurities about going back to school in the beginning, especially since I had no drawing experience, but I knew I was passionate about footwear and would fully commit to it.  


How did you decide to apply to the Footwear program? I did a lot of research before applying and was really inspired by alumni testimonials and the work they produced during school. I wanted to get to that level and learn from professionals in the industry.


What was your favorite experience in the program? Presenting our Vera Wang Collections to Brown Shoe Company. Yes, preparing for this presentation involved many stress-ridden days, but I found that those weeks really pushed me to grow as a designer and create work that I was proud of. And of course the Italy trip was an amazing, eye opening experience to the production side of footwear.

Did FIDM help you land your internship/job? Yes. In my first week of the Footwear program, I visited Kevin Keele in the Career Center where he gave me SWYT Culture’s job lead for a paid internship. Thank you, Kevin, if you are reading this!

The Footwear Design Advanced Study Major is now accepting applications for the program that begins Oct 2013. Please contact Kathy Bailon at or Denise Delgado at for more information.



FIDM Student Lizzy Singleton Lands Internship at TOMS


Lizzy Singleton, a Merchandise Product Development student on the Los Angeles campus, just landed an internship at TOMS

"I will be working in the textile department. Some of my responsibilities include organizing the materials library, communicating with the TOMS China materials team, creating seasonal material range plans and artwork for designs, and doing competitor research. I think it will be a job that uses all of my strengths and abilities, and pushes me to become even better at what I do."

Lizzy has also been accepted into FIDM's Advanced Study Footwear Design program for Fall 2013.

Read the entire interview with Lizzy on FIDM's



Film & TV Costume Design Student Lauren Howard is Finalist for ATAS Internship

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FIDM Film & TV Costume Design Student Lauren Howard is one of four finalists selected for the prestigious annual internship for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation for Costume Design for 2013. Lauren was chosen out of a field of forty submissions as judged by members of the Costume Designers Guild, making 2013 the fifth consecutive year a student from FIDM has been part of the final four.  In three of the four previous years our students won the internship, and we wish Lauren the best of luck in winning this year's competition! 

Photo Caption: Lauren Howard with her Lacoste design, which she created for Lacoste's "polo shirt of the future" competition



Alumni Advice: WGSN Assistant Editor Chris Tsuyuki

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Chris Tsuyuki graduated from FIDM in 2011 with a degree in Merchandise Product Development, and is now an Assistant Editor at WGSN, a major fashion trend forecasting publication in the industry.

Her advice for someone who want to become a trend forecaster?

"Intern, intern, intern. School is important but job experience is invaluable. Ask questions, be observant and go beyond the bare minimum that is asked of you. I interned with an independent designer for the year that I was at FIDM, which gave me hands-on experience with the design process, from mood boards, fabric sourcing, line development, and fit sessions to New York Fashion Week, meetings with buyers, shooting the lookbook, managing press, and shipping orders. Specifically for trend forecasting, it’s important to be observant and it’s not enough to just know fashion. Educating yourself and keeping up to date with art, music, technology, science, social, economic trends, along with knowing fashion and design history, is paramount. All these things feed into and influence apparel trends." - Chris Tsuyuki

Alumni Advice is a new series on the FIDM Blog featuring advice from FIDM Grads on everything from internships and FIDM resources to networking and risk-taking.



MPD Student Designed Prototypes for Steve Madden During Internship


With the help of Career Advisor Eliza Kitsinian, Merchandise Product Development Student Jennifer Carrick recently interned at 3 Dee International, where she researched the latest trends and created a shopping and trend analysis for the spring/summer 2014 season.

"I used my trend and shopping reports to sketch some footwear design ideas for Steve Madden," explains Jennifer, who will graduate in September. "My design ideas were selected and approved, a prototype was constructed, and then the design specs were submitted to the manufacturer as a prospective shoe design for next year."

Jennifer said that seeing her design come to life was "like a dream" and that she will never forget the experience. "It gives me the extra motivation to keep striving to be a footwear designer and one day develop my own shoe line," she adds.



JustFab Dress Contest Winners Announced!


FIDM and JustFab are thrilled to announce the winners of the JustFab Dress Contest. Six FIDM Students were asked to design a dress inspired by a JustFab shoe. The creations were then voted on by fans of the JustFab Facebook Page.

First Place: Fashion Design Student Ashley Henderson (design pictured above)

Second Place: Fashion Design Student Carol Wong

Third Place/Fan Favoite: Merchandise Product Development Student Ria Daniels

Ashley will receive a $1,000 FIDM scholarship and an internship with JustFab!



New FIDM Industry Partner St. Pucchi Bridal Hires Grads and Students


New FIDM Industry Partner St. Pucchi Bridal recently hired Fashion Design Graduate Melinda Iler and Apparel Industry Management Alumna Rebecca Evans. The bridal brand also recently hired a FIDM Student for an internship. President and designer Rani Totman founded the avant-garde couture line in 1985. Today, St. Pucchi gowns are available throughout North America, Russia, the Middle East, Japan, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.



FIDM Grads and Assistant Buyers at Love Culture Visit FIDM Students

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Love Culture Assistant Buyers and FIDM Alumni Tammie Jeon and Anne Kitagawa visited FIDM yesterday to speak with students in the Premier Merchandise Product Development Group. They gave an overview of what it's like to work as a Stylist and an Assistant Buyer for a big retailer such as Love Culture.

Tammie Jeon graduated with a Merchandise Product Development Degree in 2012, and started her career at Love Culture's downtown Los Angeles headquarters in Visual Merchandising. She soon transitioned into a position as a Stylist and an Assistant Buyer for the retail chain. She gave excellent insight into what hard work it is to be a stylist. She is responsible for hiring models, as well as styling each head-to-toe look for the site. They shoot 150 styles in a 6 1/2 hour time period, and they produce an average of 4 photo shoots a week.

Tammie said she learned a lot about how to best manage her time in the MPD program, which is a great skill to have for any career in fashion.

Anne Kitagawa, a 2011 FIDM Fashion Design Alumna, knew ever since she was a child that she wanted to attend FIDM. She started at Love Culture as an intern, and once her internship was finished, she was hired full-time to work in Visual Merchandising. After two years, she was brought onto the accessories department as an Assistant Buyer. Anne advised the students, "Internships really help, even if you're not getting paid. Jut getting the experience makes it worth it."

FIDM's Premier Merchandise Product Development Group has special access to guest speakers and networking opportunities throughout the year. Academically superior students qualify to join this exclusive group.



FIDM Student Johauna Mani Interns For FIDM Alumna and PLL Costume Designer Mandi Line


Washington state native Johauna Mani is pursuing a career as a costume designer in the entertainment industry. She is studying Visual Communications on the Los Angeles campus, interns for FIDM Alumna and Pretty Little Liars Costume Designer Mandi Line, and has a full-time job as a manager at a restaurant, all while maintaining a 3.8 GPA.

"I interned first for Rachel Zoe but realized that the world of styling photoshoots was not for me. While there, I started wondering what it would be like to dress these amazing clients for their TV shows and films. Then I started doing research. On IMDB, I looked up my favorite shows and wrote down all the names listed for the costume departments. I emailed each person on my list telling them who I was and what I was hoping to learn from them. I got a couple of responses, but nothing really helpful. For my Marketing Events class we had to go to an event, so I chose Fashion’s Night Out. I found out that actress Lucy Hale was hosting it, then looked deeper and discovered that Mandi Line, Costume Designer for Pretty Little Liars, was going to be hosting a fashion show at Macy’s. So that is where I went. I didn't go to the opening show or any of the stores. I walked straight to Macy’s when I arrived at the Beverly Center to get a seat at her show. Afterward, I literally ran after her (along with a bunch of 13-year-old girls) and said, 'My name is Johauna. I am a student at FIDM and currently interning with Rachel Zoe. I would really like to get your contact information so I can tell you more about myself and see if there is any way I can intern for you.' She gave me her Facebook and that was the start."

Read the entire interview with Johauna Mani on FIDM's Daily.




Business Management Alumnus at TJX

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Matthew Hulsey went directly for his B.S. in Business Management, after completing the A.A. program in Merchandise Marketing at FIDM. When his Career Advisor suggested a posting for an internship at TJX, he went for it. Now he is in a full time position as Merchandise Assistant at the world's largest off-price retailer—the parent company of TJMaxx, Marshalls, Homegoods, and others.

"A Merchandise Assistant is basically the step before becoming a full buyer at our company," explains Matthew. With a specialized Bachelor's degree already under his belt, Matthew hopes to move from Buyer to upper management in the future.



Merchandise Marketing Student Interning at For Love & Lemons

Hermantown, Minnesota native Andrea Sega began interning at the women's clothing label For Love & Lemons in March. "One of the owners, Laura Hall, is from my hometown and the other owner, Gillian Mahin, is a Graduate of FIDM," says the Merchandise Marketing Student. "I am passionate about their clothing, but also extremely inspired by their hard work, drive, and innovation." 
Andrea says that her duties change with each day. "Whatever they need me for, I am there to help," she explains. "Their line is effortlessly stylish and once you slip on their clothes you radiate a cool vibe." 



MPD Student Interning at J Brand Jeans


Merchandise Product Development Student Shirley Zheng recently began working at J Brand Jeans as an intern on the design team after a job lead from her Career Advisor Kevin Keele. "I'm very excited to be working for such a great company that I admire," she explains. "I'm already working with tech packs and hand sketching a lot of garments. I am really applying what I've learned at FIDM."

Shirley says that exploring the inner workings of a top fashion company is exciting and inspiring. The Millburn, New Jersey native hopes to one day be on the design team for a premium denim company. "FIDM was very helpful in the process of getting this internship," she adds. "I actually had another job offer on the table and Kevin guided me through the process. He's a terrific Career Counselor."



MPD Student Interning at Sue Wong After Networking at Career Connections


Merchandise Product Development Professional Designation Student Lily Baldwin recently attended Career Connections, the annual networking event held on campus, and made some valuable contacts. After meeting and speaking with someone from Sue Wong, Lily wrote a thank you note and followed up to inquire about internships. "Luckily they were interviewing for fall interns so I went in and am now working with their Product Development team," she explains. "I started with them while they were doing fall fashion shows so there was a lot to help with."

Lily, who holds an undergraduate degree from Emerson College, is currently working with the team on the Spring 2013 season organizing swatch books, samples, and helping with pattern revisions. "I think most FIDM Students agree that the Career Center is an amazing tool for all students to get internship opportunities," she adds. "The experience offered during an internship is a fantastic way to put skills from FIDM to use."

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