Michael

Fashion Design Graduate and professional figure skater Michael Kuluva is Creative Director of Tumbler and Tipsy, the L.A.-based brand that has been featured in over 100 publications and media outlets, including Vogue Italia, People, and The Today Show

Where were you born/raised? I was born in Missoula, Montana, but I was raised in Los Angeles since I was three months old. I call myself a native.

How did you first hear about FIDM? While looking into many campuses around the U.S. that focused on my passion for a Fashion Design program plus a degree, I came across FIDM since it was a local school. I really loved the contemporary, high tech campus, and that the instructors are specialized in their field from the industry so they were teaching us exactly what was happening. There were also opportunities outside the campus for students in all majors.

When did you start Tumbler & Tipsy and how did your figure skating career influence the line? I started Tumbler and Tipsy in the Fall of 2009, so it will be six years this February. My figure skating career influenced my label in so many ways, from the vibrant neon sequins to having skating stars such as Sasha Cohen, Johnny Weir, Tara Lipinski, Sarah Hughes, Mirai Nagasu, Adam Rippon, and many others wearing Tumbler and Tipsy on the red carpets, sitting front row at Fashion Week, or even walking our New York Fashion Week runways. I have now gone on to design for professional figure skating tours in Europe and also for international competitive skaters.

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Michael pictured on the runway with Kendall Jenner

How do you feel FIDM helped prepare you for your exciting career? I feel FIDM gave me the foundation to go anywhere in the fashion industry. Being a Creative Director, I am able to expand the Tumbler and Tipsy brand with my knowledge from FIDM, which translates into our overall brand presence, sketching or drawing the new collection digitally, style forecasting, pattern making, manufacturing, hand sewing gowns, the history of fashion plus so much more. I use the knowledge I received from FIDM in my daily life as a fashion designer.

What can we expect to see for Spring 2015? Spring/Summer 2015 is exciting this year with a lot of the women's look becoming more androgynous with trends having the more "boyish" looks. Comfortable Bermuda shorts are going to be all the rage being paired with cropped printed tank tops. Expect to see a lot of the color pink throughout the season in every designers collection plus look for the "Amazon Jungle" theme coming around this summer especially in the RTW swimwear collections.

Featured Story

A Chat With Fashion Design Grad Michael Kuluva of Tumbler and Tipsy

Fashion Design Graduate and professional figure skater Michael Kuluva is Creative Director of Tumbler and Tipsy, the L.A.-based brand that has been featured in over 100 publications and media outlets,...

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Amanda-Holub

Amanda Holub is a Bay Area native who graduated from FIDM in June of last year with a degree in Merchandise Product Development. As a student, she worked a variety of retail jobs, and also designed for a local start up where she eventually went on to do production management. The recent grad is now working at Williams-Sonoma Inc. as a Product Development Coordinator. 

Tell us about yourself: In my free time I play guitar, go on hikes, spend time with my friends, and generally try to be out and about as much as possible.

Where are you working now? I currently work for Williams-Sonoma Inc., under the Pottery Barn Kids brand as the Product Development Coordinator.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? Majoring in Product development means you learn about everything that falls under the umbrella of product development. In my current position I oversee all of the samples that come in and out, assist the various designers, make design approvals, assist technical designers, and the color specialist, among many other things. In my role, I see everything that happens in the product development department and I use the things I learned in school every day. It's a really great entry level position because I'm able to assist in every aspect of product development and also get to see the roles merchants and sourcing play as well. It's a great way to see what direction and area of product development I ultimately want to end up in. Between my education at FIDM and my experience working in the fashion industry, I feel confident in my ability to move up and thrive within the product development team.

How did you find out about FIDM? When I became interested in college, my dad mentioned it as an option for me since he knew I was interested in fashion.  

How did you decide on your major? I knew I liked to design, but I also liked the business end of things. When I went in for my first interview with the school and learned about the Product Development major, I knew it would be perfect since it was a beautiful marriage of the two things I was most interested in. 

Looking back, which classes at FIDM were most valuable to you? The textile science classes have been invaluable to me, as well as the pre-production classes.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Any experience is good experience, even if you're going to school full-time, working part-time in retail is really valuable. Once you're looking for a job, be assertive about the position you're applying for, and if possible go through a recruiter.

What is your biggest goal right now? To win the giant pencil! In our office every month we all nominate someone for what is essentially employee of the month. Right now my goal is to win it! 

Featured Story

FIDM Merchandise Product Development Grad Amanda Holub Lands Job at Williams-Sonoma Inc.

Amanda Holub is a Bay Area native who graduated from FIDM in June of last year with a degree in Merchandise Product Development. As a student, she worked a variety...

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Trish Summerville, a graduate of FIDM, is nominated for the 17th Costume Designers Guild Awards for her work on Gone Girl, in the Excellence in Contemporary Film category. Trish, who is known for her work on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, most recently worked on Westworld, a sci-fi western TV series starring James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood, and Anthony Hopkins. 

The Costume Designers Guild Awards, presented by Lacoste, will take place on February 17, 2015, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. 

Featured Story

Trish Summerville Nominated For Costume Designers Guild Awards for 'Gone Girl'

Trish Summerville, a graduate of FIDM, is nominated for the 17th Costume Designers Guild Awards for her work on Gone Girl, in the Excellence in Contemporary Film category. Trish, who...

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Winners

On Sunday evening in New York City, the National Retail Federation Foundation held its first gala, celebrating imagination, inspiration, and innovation. The foundation honored FIDM Founder, President, and CEO Tonian Hohberg (pictured, third from right) by naming her to The List, which recognizes 25 people who are shaping retail's future. 

This is the first time in the NRF's history that they have chosen the leader of an educational institution for this honor, and FIDM is incredibly proud of this distinction. Martha Stewart was a presenter at the gala and handed the FIDM President her award. Ms. Hohberg's reply, when asked how to build a successful institute: “Surround yourself with the smartest team you can find, who understand the secrets of intelligent, unselfish leadership, sprinkled with a sense of humor.”

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FIDM Alumna Margarita Arriagada (pictured, below), Sephora's Chief Merchant, was also honored as a Power Player. The inaugural gala raised nearly $1.2 million to support the next generation of retail talent. Congratulations the NRF Foundation and all of the evening's honorees. 

The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association whose board of directors includes industry executives from Saks, Inc, Neiman Marcus, Crate and Barrel, The Container Store, HSNi, Ralph Lauren, and Macys. The NRF hosts annual conferences that are considered epicenters for reporting on the most cutting edge innovations in digital retailing, dynamic and strategic marketing and other key retail trends such as "Shop.Org" and "Retail's The Big Show."

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Featured Story

Martha Stewart Presents FIDM President Tonian Hohberg With NRF Foundation Award

On Sunday evening in New York City, the National Retail Federation Foundation held its first gala, celebrating imagination, inspiration, and innovation. The foundation honored FIDM Founder, President, and CEO Tonian...

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Brenda

Business Management Student Brenda Torres recently won the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund award for the second time. In addition to the $5,000 award, Brenda received a trip to New York City to attend the Geoffrey Beene National Scholarship Awards Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

"I feel so honored to have won the YMA Fashion Scholarship for a second time," she says. "I had a great time in New York, and I was able to network with people who work at companies such as Converse, PVH, Perry Ellis, and Levi's." Brenda also got to meet with her mentor, Aaron Ledet, who is the VP for U.S. Manufacturing for VF Corporation. "I also attended the internship/career fair and I feel that hard work truly pays off; it felt so good to be a YMA Scholar again," she adds. 

In order to win the scholarship, Brenda had to take on a challenging case study. "It involved creating a new marketing strategy for Lululemon, a renovated product line, a six-month buying plan, a pricing analysis, and an advertising campaign," she explains. "I really dedicated so much time doing this. I am grateful for having Roni Miller Start introduce me to such a great opportunity."

Congratulations, Brenda!

Student Life

Business Management Student's Lululemon Case Study Wins Her a 2nd Scholarship

Business Management Student Brenda Torres recently won the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund award for the second time. In addition to the $5,000 award, Brenda received a trip to New York...

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Versace boots 2 copy

Winter 2015 footwear trends are bold, sensuous, earthy, and fun. Pops of red abound, providing much needed contast to pale neutrals and greys. Shades used by the old masters such as deep reds, smoked rosin, coral orange, and gold moss accentuate a painterly feel. A playful blend of color, texture, strappy and guard-like details, graphic patterns, and cut-out shapes create the tone—rich, elegant, vibrant.

A new direction encompasses distressed, scorched, mended, patched, and greasy surfaces. Leather looks rusted and battered, and fabrics with a lurex sheen dress up casual wear. Effects resembling moss, weathered finishes, and wood grain, present a tactile quality as forest and floral themes converge.

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Tactile layers of fur, suede, and embroidery create a soft effect. Heels and platforms go beyond the boundaries of fashion, and carve out sculptural silhouettes.

by Cynthia Aaron/Textiles & Materials Specialist/FIDM Library

The Latest Trends

From the FIDM Library: Textiles & Materials Quarterly

Winter 2015 footwear trends are bold, sensuous, earthy, and fun. Pops of red abound, providing much needed contast to pale neutrals and greys. Shades used by the old masters such...

read more
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