Brown Shoe Co. VP Attends Footwear Design Student Presentation


Jeanne Zornada, the VP of Design and Development at Brown Shoe Company, recently flew in from New York City to critique a presentation of student work by FIDM Footwear Design Students. "I've been in the Footwear Industry for 20 years," said Jeanne. "The students did a fantastic job using new technology. They exceeded all my expectations."

Pictured: Jeanne Zornada (third from left) with students Katherina Vongphraghanh, Lisi Wang, and Balu Krishna



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Wants to Open a Boutique in Her Native Texas



Full Name: Jordan Stanley

Age: 18

Hometown: Houston, Texas

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Summer 2012

Admissions Advisor: Shani Hulst

Tell us a bit about yourself. In my rare spare time I love to read, browse on Pinterest, and of course, online shop.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? During high school, I managed to hold down two jobs at two different boutiques while remaining involved in clubs at school and on honor roll.

What made FIDM right for you? What made FIDM stand out from all the other schools I looked into was the exposure that the college can provide. Everything from the location, to the classes, to the students attending gives me the opportunity to grow as a fashion student.

Describe your entrance project. Creating my entrance project was incredibly fun yet extremely tedious! I gladly welcomed an assignment that involved so much room for creativity and individualism, but with the challenge of marketing oneself.

What are your career goals? After graduation I would love to work as a buyer for a couple of years to gain experience before eventually opening my own boutique back in Texas.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? To experience and to educate myself in many different aspects of the fashion world that FIDM has to offer, while having the opportunity to learn from the other students around me.



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Is Pursuing Her Fashion Dreams at FIDM




Full Name: Malia Haunfelner

Age: 20

Hometown: Saugus, CA

Year in School: Senior at Loyola Marymount University

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Summer 2013

Admissions Advisor: Kristen Choceck. Kristen was so sweet and made me feel very comfortable. She was extremely helpful and kept me motivated throughout the admissions process. I greatly valued her opinions and suggestions and more than anything, I wanted to make her proud. I feel so lucky to have her as my Admissions Advisor.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Ever since I was a little girl I have loved fashion. When I was two years old, I would insist on picking out my own outfits everyday. As I got older, my love of fashion grew and I knew that it was something that I wanted to pursue a career in. I started working in retail the day I turned 17. I knew that retail experience would be important if I wanted to work in fashion, and of course the discounts were definitely a great perk.
About a year ago, I was an intern at Dietch PR, a boutique fashion public relations firm in Los Angeles. It was a great opportunity, and provided me with my first professional experience within the fashion industry. We represented about 12 different lines, and I learned a lot about how to market and promote them to bloggers, editors, and stylists. This experience solidified my need to work within the fashion industry.
I would love to work on the business side of the industry and be able to apply the theoretical skills I have learned by being a Communication Studies major at Loyola Marymount University. The one thing that has been lacking in my education so far is creativity. I am looking forward to being able to explore my creative side, while also applying the analytical skills that I already have.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I am very proud that I chose to step outside of my comfort zone and take a risk by applying to FIDM. Instead of taking the easy way out, I decided to chase my dream and do something that I have a passion for. I am proud of being accepted to FIDM and beginning to really go after what I want.

What made FIDM right for you? I fell in love with FIDM the second that I came to the Los Angeles campus. Initially, I wanted to attend FIDM right out of high school, but my parents were adamant about me going to a four-year university. I didn’t know that FIDM had a post-graduate program until just a few months ago and I couldn’t have been happier when I found out they did. FIDM is an amazing and prestigious school and I know that it will help me reach my goals and pursue my dreams.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project, I create a booklet that was inspired by the look of a catalog or magazine. I imagined that I owned my own boutique and in this booklet I outlined what my store would be like, the target customer, and five sample outfits that would fit into the customer’s lifestyle. I created my booklet using a combination of pictures from Pinterest, blogs, and Polyvore.

On the left side of each page were images that inspired the corresponding outfit on the right side, as well as my vision for the store as a whole. On the right side were the outfits, the outfit titles, price points, and more images that inspired the particular outfit. I had so much fun putting my project together and I couldn’t be more proud of the way it turned out.

What are your career goals? My ultimate goal is to work for a fashion magazine. I would love to combine my passion for writing and fashion into one career and I think that working for a magazine would be completely ideal. However, I loved my time working at a fashion PR firm and I am definitely considering public relations as a career choice.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I know I am going to learn so much at FIDM, but I think the thing I am most looking forward to learning is how to apply my creativity and prior knowledge to the fashion industry specifically.



Just Accepted Fashion Design Student Designs Equestrian Clothing



Full Name: Ashley Noel Beim   

Age: 21

Hometown: Becker, MN

Year in School: Senior at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA, Summer 2013

Admissions Advisor: Kristen Chocek

Tell us a bit about yourself. Since I was young I’ve always loved horses, and I started showing my cousin's horse when I was around 10 years old. Not long after my first show, I was lucky enough to get a horse of my own, and I have been showing across the country ever since. To save money at this rather expensive hobby, my mom and I made my show clothes.

As we got better at it, more and more people started asking us where I had my clothes made, and before we knew it, we had a business that we called aBj Show Clothes. I’ve always loved to design things, whether it was clothes or interiors or exteriors, so I’m excited to finally be educated on what I’m most passionate about.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Designing the performance uniforms for a winter indoor drumline group heading out for their world championship competition. I was complimented by the judges for the cohesiveness of the uniforms to the concept of the show and was immediately proud of what I had done.

Another thing I’m really proud of was a project I did at my current school for a marketing research class. My project was researching iPads and how elementary students use them, and long story short, my group found several uses for the iPad and aiding special needs students in the classroom.  I was really excited to find through research something that could help a rather underserved group of students.

What made FIDM right for you? When I decided that I wanted to pursue design, FIDM became the clear choice. As a business major, I know the power of connections, which FIDM has many.  Also, with my absolute dream job of being a film costume designer, FIDM’s location and proximity to the industry made it the obvious choice. Apart from those considerations, I learned more about the staff and coursework through my discussions with my advisor Kristen, and it seemed to me that FIDM’s curriculum and staff was a breath of fresh air compared to what I’m used to through my current college.

Describe your entrance project.
 For my entrance project I was inspired by the “alter ego.” I like to think that most of us have a side that not everyone gets to see, and wanted my designs to reflect that. I didn’t want it to be glaringly obvious as to what each garment’s alter ego was, but I wanted an element in each garment that was an unexpected part of the whole.

What are your career goals? I'm aspiring to be a film costume designer. As a nerdy kid, I always used to wait for movies to come out on DVD so that I could watch the special features praying they would show how they designed the costumes.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn so much from FIDM, I’m not even sure how to put it into words. The more tangible, technical skills are of course expected, but I’m sure FIDM will teach me so much more than just how to create a garment, because there is so much more that goes into it. I know I will learn where to get the best fabrics/materials, where to find inspiration, learning how to better translate ideas and concepts from your mind to the page, and  I'm sure there is so much more to learn that I haven’t even thought of yet.



FIDM Student Featured in LA Weekly For Designing Head Scarves


FIDM Apparel Industry Management Student Marwa Atik, founder of Vela Scarves, recently exhibited fashion-forward head scarves in Irvine at the Fashion Fighting Famine Fashion Show.

Marwa, who has worn a hijab since eighth grade, was profiled in L.A. Weekly:

"Shopping, she admits, can be a challenge for Muslim-American women because the fabric of hijabs often cover the designs of blouses. So Atik creates headscarves that can be the focal point of an outfit: say, pastel ruffles and pleats that hang down the front of scarves."



Wednesday's Words of Wisdom by Student Chase Vance


FIDM Instructor Angela Hicks is Creative Director for top L.A. home and garden destination Rolling Hills

Question: How do I develop relationships with instructors, faculty, and peers?

Everyone at FIDM is here to expand your network, however, it is your responsibility to take the first step. It is up to you to begin the expansion process. On the first day of classes, instructors and students will go through introductions saying things such was what they've done, why they're here, future goals, etc. Students will quickly find those who are like-minded and others who may be focusing on skills that they could work with in the future. Jobs and internships can be aquired through every medium at FIDM. Using the Career Center is one of the best places to gather new job and internship leads, but at the same time, always exercise the power of your own network.

Wednesday's 100 Words of Wisdom is a weekly series by Chase Vance, FIDM Student (IMPD) & Grad (Apparel Industry Management)



FIDM Visits Korea for Information Session and Alumni Dinner


FIDM Admissions Advisors Lisa Aronoff and Seung Kim recently paid a visit to Seoul, Korea for a prospective student Information Session and alumni dinner event for alumni living in the area. Korean students had a chance to hear from successful graduates such as Fashion Designer and actress Jun Hee Kim (pictured above, middle) and Steven Cho, a Technical Designer at Sae-A-Trading, who manages accounts for Kohl's and Target.



Let the Finals Begin... an Update from Student Blogger Janessa

Janessa_smIt's crazy to say that my first year of college is nearing the end. As cliche as this sounds, it really does feel like yesterday that I was starting my first day at FIDM. Nervous, excited, anxious and wondering how my first year experience would be and now I can finally say that it was amazing. Although there may have been some serious blood, sweat, and was so worth it! 

Hang on, I'm getting a little carried away here... I sound as though I have already finished my first year of blood, sweat, and tears when in reality I still have a week left of finals. Oh boy. Bring on the coffee.

Anyway, as many of you know the last couple weeks of the quarter are probably the craziest and most intense. Sometimes I do wish we took regular exams like most other colleges, rather than having final projects AND final exams. Right now I'm working on my final project for Computer Aided Design & Fabric ID and let me tell you... my brain is going in a million different directions. Don't get me wrong, it's fun stuff! But definitely time consuming.

And to think that's only for two classes...

I'm sure no one can go an entire day just studying and working on projects. Everyone needs to take a breather at some point. While many may go for a smoke, brisk walk, or coffee, my de-stresser is baking. So I may or may not have taken a quick break from school work and made some cupcakes :) Shh...

IMG_7947Let's just say that I'm seriously looking forward to taking the summer off and enjoying my time off! 

Good luck to everyone during finals, and congrats to those graduating! 

--Janessa Landeen, Merchandise Product Development Student



Tuesday Tour: Room 201

Alright, so here we go! We're kicking off Tuesday Tour--a new feature that gives you an inside look at FIDM's Los Angeles campus. We'll also provide some very important tips for Enrolled Students to keep in mind while they're attending FIDM.

Room 201 - This is where the Department Chairs’ offices are located.

Tip for Enrolled Students: Go introduce yourself to the person that runs your major! Let them know who you are and don’t let them forget. From the start, begin to develop a name for yourself as it will be very helpful in networking around the campus. If you ever have questions about a major--or just questions in general--FIDM has an open door policy, so you're welcome to drop in briefly at any time to ask a questio or to set up an appointment.

Check in next week for info on FIDM's Career Center.

Tuesday Tour is a weekly series by Chase Vance, FIDM Student (IMPD) & Grad (Apparel Industry Management)



Just Accepted Jewelry Design Student Has Been Fascinated With Rocks and Gems Since Her Childhood in Alaska


Name: Erin Gillespie

Age: 26

Hometown: Seward, Alaska

Previous College History: Two years of undergraduate study at Washington State University majoring in Kinesiology.

FIDM Major: Jewelry Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: October in LA

Admissions Advisor: My advisor was Susan Pope who was absolutely amazing! From the moment we had our first meeting she went above and beyond assisting me in anything that I needed. She kept in constant contact with me and made the scary prospect of going back to school a lot less intimidating. I am so grateful for her and her willingness to help and encourage me in any way possible!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I was born and raised in a small Alaskan town. Ever since I can remember I have had a passion for art, jewelry, and design. My fascination with rocks and gems came at an early age. My mom told me that she used to have to limit the amount of rocks I was allowed to bring home, otherwise, I would have brought the whole beach with me! I would spend hours walking the shoreline hunting for agate.

My mother did metal work when I was a child and observing her at her work bench was my first taste of form and the artistic process that goes into making jewelry. I used to go to my grandmother's house and play in her jewelry and sometimes sneak into my mother's room to peek inside her jewelry box, in awe of all the beautiful and sparkling items. It wasn't until about five years ago that I gave any thought to pursuing my passion. 

I started work as a makeup artist in a department store and started taking gemology classes through the Gemological Institute of America and obtained my Accredited Jewelry Professional certification. I liked my job, but I also knew that jewelry was where my heart was. About six months after moving to Orange County I met a girl who was a student at FIDM studying fashion. We started talking and I told her about my passion for jewelry and she suggested that I check out FIDM's program. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I am blessed and privileged to be able to be a daughter, sister, and friend to my family and many outstanding people I have met in my life. I take pride in my design work and included my portfolio in my entrance project as a supplement. I spent a summer commercial fishing in Alaska with my uncle, cousin, and my mother on the Miss Melody, a purse seining boat, owned by my uncle. I worked harder than I ever had and had a life experience that I will never forget.

Also, conquering my fear of failure and making the decision to apply to FIDM and being accepted as a student has been an amazing and joyful accomplishment. My whole family is very proud of me for following my dream because they see the passion I have for jewelry and the determination I have to be successful.

What made FIDM right for you? I love the specialized areas of study and the classes that are offered. I like that the course study for Jewelry Design not only includes hands-on bench work, but also history and computer aided design (CAD). I have been really impressed with the way the program is laid out and how it really covers all bases of study so that students are prepared and informed about the latest trends and technology currently used in the industry. I love the small class sizes too.

The instructors are active members in the industry and have a lot of experience. This was really attractive to me because I wanted a teacher who not only studied the area that they teach, but that has lived it as well, so they can relate to me as a student who wants to pursue jewelry after graduation. FIDM was right for me because they have an amazing reputation across the board.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project drew direct inspiration from the summer that I spent commercial fishing. I was really nervous starting out on this project but as I progressed, it all just came naturally. The piece morphed in a beautiful statement necklace that held so much symbolism for me. My inspiration journal included pictures of my family, quotes, a card from my grandmother and elements from the ocean and of my Alaskan Native heritage.

What are your career goals? I hope to learn and take as much as I can with me into the practical workplace from my education at FIDM. I want to grow as an artist, designer, and as a female involved in the fast-paced jewelry industry of today. If I can design pieces that are symbolic, meaningful, and treasured to the wearer, I have achieved success. I want to create a business for myself and a name that represent beauty, passion, drive, and industry awareness.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I know that this experience will be a whirlwind of complete immersion into the field. I expect to learn all the different facets that go into being successful in the industry whether it's sales, design, fabrication, or marketing. There is such a diverse student population at FIDM that I know I won't only be learning from the course work as much as I will be learning from other students. FIDM is the total package that is going to ready me for a great future.



Meet IMPD Student and Apparel Industry Management Grad Chase Vance

Grad Chase Vance sharpened his talent for apparel design and pattern making for many markets including action sports, denim, swimwear, technical gear, and accessories while studying Apparel Industry Management at FIDM. Now he's been accepeted into FIDM’s prestigious third year Advanced Study program in International Manufacturing & Product Development (IMPD) where he and his fellow students will be working with Bebe execs on all phases of the production process, from concept to consumer. Chase is a recipient of scholarships from PAC SUN and Signal Products.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I grew up in Utah where my initial goal was to become a professional freestyle skier, but when I moved to California several years ago, it was much more difficult to reach the local resorts. This is where my interest in designing winter sports apparel began at just 14 years old. I followed that goal and since then I've graduated from Apparel Industry Management and been accepted into FIDM's International Manufacturing and Product Development 3rd year advanced program. I am now working as a freelance pattern maker with focus in streetwear, denim, and action sports pattern designs while also in the process of building a men's style website.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far?
The opportunity for so much involvement with the college. I knew I wanted to get as much as possible out of FIDM, and it seems to grow with each quarter. Because I got so much out of the school, I wanted to explore any area I could to give back. I have since had the opportunity to serve as the Student Council President and participate in all the clubs.

What made FIDM right for you?
I toured a few colleges my over my junior and senior years of high school but none of them came close to what FIDM offered in getting me to where I wanted be; designing apparel for winter sports. In the time I've been here, I've gained so many connections and broadened my interests to many more options than I would have experienced at traditional universities.

How did you choose your major?
I met with my advisor to discuss my goals and through the process of analyzing my personality and focus, my advisor placed me in Apparel Industry Management. After having completed the program there's no question that major was perfect for setting me in the right direction. My eventual goal is to have an action sports lifestyle brand that is geared towards surf, skate, and snow sports consumers with subtle nuances that set it apart from competitors.

Why did you decide to get a second degree from FIDM?
It really came down to what I learned in my first degree in Apparel Industry Management. After completing it, I felt more than prepared to step foot in the industry but I still wanted to deepen my knowledge. I learned of International Manufacturing and Product Development early on in attending FIDM and gathered more information about it over time by speaking to current students in the program and faculty around the college. After gathering all the information possible, I began looking at how I could adapt the curriculum and experiences to my career. I did everything I could to prepare myself for the highly competitive spaces available for the 12 students accepted into the program. 

What has been your favorite class so far and why?
I couldn't narrow it down if I tried! Because Apparel Industry Management was the best major for me and I enjoyed it so much, every class came together as an ensemble; each one was as important as the last. However, there were a few that I felt highly applied to me with my interest in designing technical apparel for winter sports, so I found a strong interest in the textile science courses and pattern making.

What are your career goals?
In the time I've been at FIDM I was exposed to so many future options which all are possible but my main few are to own an action sports lifestyle brand, a fashion-forward men's contemporary line, and one day, a ski resort. We'll see about that last one! But, I feel FIDM has equipped me to accomplish any goal I may set in this industry.

How do you think your FIDM degree will help you accomplish them?
On the first day I started class in the Summer of 2010 I could feel myself getting closer to my goals. I was applying every lecture and assignment towards myself and the company I want to own in the future which was also one of the main reasons I chose FIDM. Rather than just doing assignments for the curriculum, you're doing them for you and what you want to accomplish in the industry. From instructors and staff to my peers, I have met so many driven people that love what they do and go out of their way to help the next generation. Therefore, the ability to accomplish one's goals are drastically assisted and the network allows students o reach those goals in a much shorter amount of time for those who know exactly what the want to do. 

TUESDAY TOUR: Beginning tomorrow, Chase will be writing our new feature Tuesday Tour. Each week, he'll introduce you to a new FIDM spot and give enrolled student tips for being a successful student. Be sure to check back tomorrow to read his first Tuesday Tour post!



SF Student and Olympic Skeet Shooting Hopeful Ali Chiang Featured in Gentry Magazine


FIDM SF Student Ali Chiang is profiled in the June edition of Gentry. The 23-year-old started competing at age 11, and is now vying for a spot as an alternate for the U.S. Olympic Team. "With my dad, we share shooting, but with my mom, we share shopping," she tells the magazine. "I've always had a passion for business, and with shooting I've learned a lot about the outdoor apparel industry."



Just Accepted Interior Design Student is a UCSC Grad and Freelancer for


Full Name: Shannon Malone

Age: 25

Hometown: Ojai, CA

Previous College History: Graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California Santa Cruz

FIDM Major: Interior Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: San Francisco, Fall 2012

Admissions Advisor: Laurie Wright

Tell us a bit about yourself. I love writing, photography, and of course interior design. I get to combine those three passions as a freelance writer and photographer for the home design website I scout out interesting homes and homeowners, interview them about their home, their design process, decorating philosophy, etc.

photograph their home and then write a home tour along with the photos to be published on Houzz. It has been great, I've seen some amazing houses, and met some really great people in the design industry. I've done a few interior designers houses, some architects and builders, a color consultant, and home decor boutique owners.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Definitely graduating from UCSC and getting a Bachelor's Degree, although it wasn't what I want to do career wise, it was a great experience -- a lot of hard work and it taught me a lot. Also, deciding to pursue my dream and getting accepted to FIDM!

What made FIDM right for you? The Professional Designation Program is perfect for me because I already have a degree. The classes look amazing, and are a good balance between the technical and creative aspects of interior design. Visiting the beautiful San Francisco campus and meeting my advisor made it all even more perfect!

Describe your entrance project. I did a floor plan and chose a color palette, furniture, and textiles for a mountain view room. I drew inspiration from living in Santa Cruz. It is a town up against mountains and Redwood forests, but it is also a beach town, so I went with a more beachy color scheme with very natural, light and airy textiles.

What are your career goals? I'd like to open my own residential interior design business, but also a retail furniture and decor store, and design some of my own furniture.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? Everything!



Film & TV Costume Design Student Works on AFI Film

Jill Sorensen FIDM gradSalt Lake City, Utah native Jill Sorensen is studying Film & TV Costume Design on the Los Angeles campus, and just finished working as an assistant costume designer on an AFI film called 113º. 

"Officially I was the assistant costume designer and my classmate, Melissa Himawan, was the lead costume designer. I helped with prepping a few days before filming, and worked as a set costumer for a week during filming. The level of creativity and professionalism on this film was unsurpassable. The movie is set in space, in the future, while the space ship is breaking down. If that is not intense then I don't know what is. The costumes were fantastic and extremely well thought out. Most of the garments were hand-dyed by Melissa and adorned with custom-designed patches..."

Read the entire interview on FIDM's




Film & TV Costume Design Student Lands Coveted Internship With Television Academy

Film & TV Costume Design Student Alyssa Gudino was just awarded a prestigous paid summer internship in Costume Design with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. This internship is hailed as one of the top 10 in the country. In the four years that Film & TV Costume Design Students have been entering the national competition, FIDM has had finalists all four years and a winner three out of four years.



Just Accepted Business Management Student is 2nd Gen FIDM Fan



Name: Kaitlyn (Katy) Jean Weprin

Age: 22

Hometown: Studio City, CA

Previous College History: Courses completed at University of California, Merced and will be graduating from FIDM with a Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing Degree in June.

FIDM Major: Business Management B.S. Degree

Why did you decide to continue your education at FIDM? I know that the knowledge and skills taught in this program will foster my abilities to reach my goals. I also understand that the privilege of higher education is something no one can take away from me. Advancing my education does more than simply build my resume; it expands my wisdom to become a more judicious and diligent woman in society.

Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Summer Quarter 2012.

Admissions Advisor: Kathi Gilbert

Tell us a bit about yourself. I love to be outside in the fresh air camping, hiking, and gardening, but my true passion is dance. Before I came to FIDM I was training to be a professional dancer and it will always be a part of my life. I work part-time at Bare Escentuals, a mineral-based cosmetic and skin care company, as a Beauty Ambassador. Here, I turned my passion for art and painting into makeup artistry.

I’m also interning at Just Fabulous, an online fashion boutique, in their Social Media Marketing Department. Finally, I recently began interning for Pop Beauty, a fun and edgy cosmetic line. They are a relatively new company that hired me to take over their social media marketing. Since I started work there, I’ve instigated two new social media platforms, written press releases for all of their Fall and Holiday products, and developed a process to monitor social media marketing’s weekly impact on brand awareness and sales.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Growing up, I was heavily involved in Scouting. My proudest accomplishment was completing my Gold Award, the highest achievement given in Girl Scouts. I wanted to reach far beyond my local community to make a difference globally to underserved countries. So, in 2008, I initiated a local drive to collect technological equipment, to aid the Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF) in Sironko, Uganda. I collected over 20 laptops from local corporations, as well as monetary donations, for YTF, and arranged to ship them overseas.

Being the Co-Event Planner and Director of Communications for FIDM’s 2012 Road to Beauty event is another proud highlight of mine. By presenting an impressive panel of beauty industry leaders, we wanted to raise awareness to other students about the major taught at FIDM. My next proudest accomplishment will be to graduate with a bachelor’s degree from FIDM and obtain a full time job.

What made FIDM right for you? After high school, my original career goal was to be a Sports Medicine Pediatrician. In school I loved the sciences, but I also always had some sort of creative outlet to balance the left and right sides of my brain: dancing, drawing, painting, and playing the cello. I slowly realized medicine was not the right field for me. I took some time off from school and worked non-stop. I was a LAUSD Teacher’s Assistant at a middle school, a math and science tutor, and the Assistant Manager at a privately owned gym, all at once.

Eventually I realized that none of those things sparked passion and excitement for a career. I knew that I had to go back to school to search for that passion. My mom, herself a graduate of FIDM, suggested we attend the FIDM Open House and when I encountered the Beauty Industry major, I had this overwhelming feeling in my gut that I had just seen my future. In the last year and a half, I’ve learned so much about the industry and myself.

What are your career goals? My long-term career goal is to become the VP of Marketing or Product Development for a beauty industry company. Hopefully this will also involve a move to a new city, like New York or San Francisco -- hot spots for large beauty corporations. With the knowledge I gain from FIDM, perhaps I will happen upon a bright idea that will inspire me to pioneer my own business one day.

Since I am seeking a management position in the near future, this program will facilitate the executive tools that I need to succeed. I’m also excited to attain “technical, analytical, financial, and entrepreneurial skills” to better evaluate and problem solve common and uncommon issues that may appear in my field of work.

Follow Katy on Twitter @kayjean_



Fashion Design Student is Author of New Book


Fashion Design Student and Canadian native Tamara Itani completed a 300-page manuscript for a book called Marble, at the age of 14. "I sent out query letter after query letter, and after receiving many rejection letters, I finally received word from a publication house in California that was keen on publishing my work," she explains. After two long years of editing, Marble became a reality, and it is now available on Amazon:

"15 year old Penny Kensington is about to take a journey that will reshape her entire life. Bored out of her mind, helplessly in love with a school heartthrob, and lost to the world, Penny appears the average teenage girl. In reality, that’s not anywhere near the case. Pursuing an eccentric, globe-trotting lifestyle with her grandmother and groaning pet chicken (chick actually), Penny receives a mysterious letter from her long deceased grandfather. She learns her grandfather’s dying wishes are for her to safeguard a strange, bejewelled lamp. Penny wonders who would play such a cruel trick on her. (But it’s no trick.) The lamp throws Penny into an unexpected, magical adventure that will have her meet some fantastical characters and propel her a decade into her future."

"It is the most rewarding feeling in the world to have your biggest dream realized into a tangible reality," she adds. 



SF VisComm Students Make It Work at Tim Gunn Runway Event


Visual Communications Students Ashley McPherson, Joseph Bordi, and Gillian Dunn recently worked backstage at Tim Gunn's "Make It Work" Spring 2012 Runway Show at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California. The live show featured the spring collections from Juicy Couture, Kate Spade New York, and Lucky Brand Jeans.



SF Students Tour Old Navy's Flagship Store Remodel



Talk about a sneak preview! FIDM Merchandise Marketing and Visual Communications Students received a special tour of Old Navy's flagship store led by Megan McAndrews, Lead Remodel Coordinator. Located in the historic Pacific Building and just down the street from FIDM San Francisco, this store is in a high traffic tourist mecca making it one of the most important 'billboards' for the brand. A test space for high-volume, low-capacity fixturing and layout, it employs twenty Visual Merchandisers who do everything from opening the stores, organizing merchandise, and helping customers to daily planning and sales floor upkeep.

FIDM Graphic Design Students have been asked to create a design for a product that can be given to the VIP guests at the big reveal when the store reopens this coming August.



Just Accepted OC Campus Apparel Industry Management Student Is Passionate About Hip Hop, Sneakers, and Streetwear

PhotoJust Accepted Apparel Industry Management Student Bryan Morales will start pursuing his dreams of starting a clothing line this fall at the Orange County campus. Inspired by hip-hop, skateboarding, streetwear, and sneakers, Bryan hopes to one day have his own store and collection.

"I want to create a line that caters to the hip-hop and skateboarding community. I hope to fulfill my dream of owning a store in Los Angeles. I long for the day when music artists, skaters, actors, actresses, and athletes come in to my store to shop. Expanding my clothing internationally is a goal of mine as well. To open up stores in countries across the world is something I have dreamed of for quite a while. But for the most part, I want my clothing line to be successful enough to give back to my entire family."

Read the entire interview at FIDM's Daily Blog.



Just Accepted Visual Communications Student is Inspired by Rachel Zoe and Wants to be a Stylist

Picture 1Just Accepted Visual Communications Student Caitlan Szabo already has a successful career working at Nordstrom, where she is passionate about helping clients look and feel their best. Her passion for fashion and desire to work as a stylist (her idol is Rachel Zoe!) led her to FIDM.

"The atmosphere at FIDM caught my eye. After touring and meeting people at FIDM, I got an immediate 'at-home' feeling. I fit right in with the other students and that’s an amazing feeling. FIDM has so many more things to offer me than your standard college; it feels like the sky’s the limit here.  I’m inspired, hopeful, and excited!"

Read the entire interview at FIDM's Daily Blog.



IMPD Grad Continues Her Studies with Bachelor of Science Degree

Ariel pictureWhidbey Island native Ariel Carroll just graduated from FIDM with a degree in International Manufacturing & Product Development (IMPD). She is continuing her studies at FIDM with plans to finish her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management by March 2013.

"This program was the best. I made so many connections and friendships, and gained so much knowledge that I can take with me throughout my educational journey and career path. My teachers have been absolutely amazing, and traveling to Europe and Hong Kong has given me a new perspective on research and manufacturing."

Read the entire interview on FIDM's Daily.



Trade Mag VMSD Covers Vis Comm Students' Roundtable with Saks Exec

Vis Comm Advisory Board member Harry Cunningham

Anne DiNardo, Editor of VMSD, a resource for retail designers and store display professionals, came along when FIDM Visual Communications Students visited Saks Fifth Avenue’s flagship store as part of their New York City Study Tour. Harry Cunningham, Senior VP, Visual Merchandising and Store Design (and FIDM Vis Comm Advisory Board member), put together a roundtable discussion with his team of experts. "They shared their career paths, missteps and advice for getting a dream job," writes DiNardo. Read the article.

From the archives: Saks Senior Vice President Harry Cunningham Inspires FIDM Visual Communications Students



FIDM Student and Project Runway Hopeful is "Skip The Casting Line" Talent Search Winner

LookTV, in conjunction with Project Runway producers, recently held the first ever "Skip The Casting Line" Talent Search. Designers from all over the country were asked to submit videos of themselves and their designs for a chance of receiving a spot at the L.A. Closed Castings of Season 10 Project Runway. FIDM Fashion Design Student Blake Patterson was the lucky winner and hopes to be selected as a competitor on the show's 10th season!

View a short video of Blake with Nick Verreos below!

Nick Verreos has a full report on his blog.




Meet Digital Media Student Devonte Glover

Name: Devonte Glover

Campus: Los Angeles

Major: Digital Media

Tell us a bit about yourself:
I am an inspiring digital media artist specializing in photography, motion graphics, editing and videography. A San Diego native, I just moved to Los Angeles about a year ago.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far?
My proudest accomplishment so far is landing my internships with FIDM as well as my internship with Mandate Records, which is based in San Diego. My team, The Creative Captivators, won the recent YouTube challenge at FIDM, which meant getting to work with youtube and google +. I was also very proud that my video for the challenge, which, in fact, was my first time ever shooting and editing video, received over 1100 views within the first week it was posted.

What made FIDM right for you?
Actually, I didn't know FIDM was right for me until I got here and actually started my major. Once I began to get deeper and deeper into the program, I discovered that I really had an undiscovered talent in the Digital Media industry. I also realized I had a unique style that would be greatly needed in this industry.  

What is your favorite class and why?
My favorite class is my photography class, because my main passion is photography. I love being able to tell a story through one picture.

Are you interning/working in the industry?
I'm working with Mandate Records as a photographer, videographer, and motion graphic artist intern. I'm also working with FIDM as an editor.

What are your career goals?
My career goals as of now are to ultimately work as photographer and videographer for live events, as well as get into post production for a major network.



Just Accepted Fashion Design Student Wants to be a Designer With a Purpose

DSCN1427Just Accepted Fashion Design Student Grace An is an upcoming graduating high school senior who loves 1980s pop culture, dancing, and design. She already has experience creating apparel and hopes to one day be a designer with a purpose of helping others along the way.

"I got to be a part of the O'Neill Gen Next design competition, which was really cool. Although I partook in such a huge event, I'd say my proudest accomplishment was completing a small clothing line each year for our school's fashion show. That definitely took a lot of my effort and it was through that experience that I realized where my best interests for the future were."

Read the entire interview at FIDM's Daily Blog.



FIDM to Issue Adobe Creative Suite 6 to All Students This Summer


One of the many perks of studying at FIDM is continuous access to the latest and greatest innovations in design technology. This Summer, FIDM has announced that all new and currently enrolled students will receive a licensed copy of the latest version of the Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium.

The suite, which is set to release in June, includes Photoshop CS6, Illustrator CS6, and InDesign CS6, among many others. In addition to this, all students in the Graphic Design and Digital Media programs will also receive the Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection which includes Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, After Effects CS6, and Flash Builder 4.6,  just to name a few.  These suites will be included in the students' supplies and will help properly equip them to perform at a professional level.

"This software is at the heart of what we do," explains first year FIDM Digital Media Student Devonte Glover, from El Capitan High School in San Diego. "Now we'll have access to everything we need to work on projects for school and our career anywhere, at anytime."



Just Accepted Visual Communications Student is Competing for Miss California

529934_3625545637823_1691080238_nJust Accepted Visual Communications Student Heidi Uzelac is a Senior at Beverly Hills High School where she is president of the FIDM Fashion Club, cheerleads, and serves as a peer counseler.

"I love making art, following fashion blogs, designing clothes, watching movies, participating in pageants, and planning events. I am currently Miss Bel Air and am running for Miss California, USA next March. My platform is to raise awareness for heart disease which is the number one killer of people in Los Angeles. I became inspired to advocate for the American Heart Association after my mother suffered from cardiac arrest this past October."

Read the entire interview at FIDM's Daily Blog.



San Diego Computer Engineer Pursuing Passion for Graphic Design at FIDM

DanielleEastbergFull Name: Danielle Marie Eastberg

Age: 27

Hometown: Minnetonka, MN

Current City: San Diego, CA

Previous College History: I hold a B.S. in Computer Engineering and an M.S. in Systems Engineering. Time to change things around! I'm looking forward to being more creative.

FIDM Major: Graphic Design (Branding Track)

FIDM Campus and Start Date: I will be commuting between Orange County and L.A. beginning this Summer.

Admissions Advisor: Christina Haynes

Tell us a bit about yourself. I love photography, cooking, yoga, traveling (small towns, big cities, abroad), I get inspired by cooking/lifestyle blogs, nature walks, camping, and reading fiction. I also know the Thriller dance.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I made the decision to leave my very stable corporate job and make a complete life transition in order to come to FIDM and pursue a career in the arts. It's the boldest move I've ever made, and I know it will be rewarding.

What made FIDM right for you? I want to start my own business designing websites and FIDM had the right blend of courses to give me the tools and structure for that. I also was floored by the students' final design projects and the successful careers I've seen coming from FIDM Alumni. I want all of that too!

Describe your entrance project. I designed a blog (header, social media buttons, layout, etc.) for a "Mixed Tape Project." This was a fictitious start-up I created where my client wanted to introduce a drag-and-drop playlist that included retro vector graphics of cassette tapes - where you could 'gift' playlists to friends. I designed the website to draw in a target market who would have respect for the vintage feel of an old mixtape, while embracing new technology. It was a blast!

What are your career goals? I 100% want to start my own business designing websites and e-book covers for bloggers and companies. I also draw comics, which would be fun to turn into a business if possible. Everything I want to do will benefit from understanding design theory and becoming a graphic designer.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? A friend once told me that "design school teaches you how to see." I expect to start paying closer attention to design in the world. I want to be able to have a critically trained eye to know what I like and what I would improve on. With these skills I want to start a business creating my own designs for other bloggers.



Just Accepted Visual Communications San Diego Student is Passionate About Art and Design

9Just Accepted Visual Communications Student Charmaine Lim will pursue her dreams at the San Diego campus this fall. The 18 year-old is an active Polynesian dancer, writes poetry, paints, sketches, and plays the guitar. She also has a YouTube Channel that has received more than 27,000 views!

"I am quite proud of myself for being accepted as a student at FIDM. I am proud that I am not afraid to pursue my goals and turn my dreams into my reality. I am proud that I was given this opportunity and that I took advantage of it, I am also proud that I am creating this process (because education is something you have to want) so that I can not only make myself proud in the end, but give thanks back to both of my parents who deserve a lifelong appreciation."

Read the entire interview at FIDM's Daily Blog.



FIDM Students/Grads to Meet With Three-Time Oscar-Winning Costume Designer

A special group of 15 FIDM Students and Graduates have been selected to get a first look at three-time Academy Award-winning costume designer Colleen Atwood's first-ever apparel collection. They will also get to spend time with the famed designer.

The 12-piece capsule collection, inspired by Universal Pictures' Snow White and the Huntsman, will be sold on HSN during a one-time multi-platform Shopping Event on May 30, 2012. Atwood is the costume designer behind films such as Snow White and the Huntsman, Alice in Wonderland, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Chicago.

Read an interview with Colleen in Harper's Bazaar UK.

Find out more about FIDM's Film & TV Costume Design program.



Just Accepted FIlm & TV Costume Design Student is a Talented Costumer and Cosplay Enthusiast

383660_200866506656924_143246695752239_441279_870751064_nFull Name: Avery Lynn Faeth

Age: 26

Hometown: Anaheim, California

Previous College History: AA in English from Fullerton Community College

FIDM Major: Film & TV Costume Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles campus, July 2012

Admissions Advisor: Sheryl Lewin

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am an avid costumer and clothing designer inspired by a range of media and genres. I have always been interested in creating my own looks and clothes, and that collided with my niche interest in what might be referred to as "subculture": sci fi, fantasy, cult classics, and horror. I love to take iconic costume pieces and make them into wearable, real-life items. 

This quickly translated into an interest in cosplay (costume play), which is replicating a character costume (typically from a video game or fantasy reference) for the purpose of display, competition, or recreation. Conventions for video games, anime, comics, movies, and television provide the perfect forum to show off a costume; and a worldwide community has grown out of these crafty fanatics.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest moment has been winning the Blizzcon 2011 costume contest. At the annual convention for video games produced by Blizzard Entertainment, I designed and created a costume based on one of my favorite characters in Starcraft and Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty. The Adjutant, a computer control center for the protagonist forces in the game, presented many unique design challenges that utilized my years of cosplay along with the technical trade skills I already possessed. 

The look of a half-woman, half-machine tested my creativity and innovation to pull off a look that was both convincing and wearable. As opposed to previous costume efforts, I tackled every aspect myself, from fabrication to engineering to makeup. The overwhelmingly positive response to the costume was especially poignant, since fans are usually the harshest critics and I won the approval of an entire convention. This was the first experience I had with costuming where the general consensus was that I had found my calling.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is an environment that will nurture my creativity while still treating it with the discipline necessary to turn it into a career. I have always wanted to do something creative for a living but the reality of managing that sometimes looked bleak. I kept myself busy in school and with job goals that were oriented with my interests in literature, but it was never particularly fulfilling. 

When I realized that there was an entire school based around honing my talents and letting them bud from a hobby to a life goal, I knew I had found the perfect fit for my education.

Describe your entrance project. My inspiration board was a collage of styles, images, and themes that have influenced me my entire life, not just in my design and fashion. My interest in a dark aesthetic, mortality, and the macabre definitely shapes my personal views as well as the way I like to present myself. Artists like Edward Gorey and Stephen Gammell were featured, over a backdrop of Renaissance anatomical sketches. 

Stylized character drawings from some of my favorite Disney films and Star Wars, represent my ideal of taking the character design to a personal level. I included pictures of anime characters whose costumes I have worked on or have in progress for conventions, as well as concept art of the three characters I have cosplayed as for Blizzcon. My sketches represented many different looks and styles. 

What are your career goals? My dream is to design and create costumes and makeup effects for sci fi and fantasy films and TV. I would love to be able to attach my name to designs that might possibly inspire future geeks like myself. The impact of a character's look or signature is so important, especially in media so dependent on visual styles such as comic books and movies. 

Beetlejuice's striped suit, Lilly's evil wedding gown from Legend, Wednesday Addams' collared dress -- these looks have become iconic and part of our collective subconscious, and they began with fashion and costume designers bent on thinking outside the box.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn more of the actual hands-on skills I will need to improve my craft and sculpt it into a lifelong career. I look forward to the immersion into new ideas and styles, so I can further inspire my own creativity. I want to be able to bring my talents from the level of an amateur fan to that of someone who can do justice to the characters and images others have created. 



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Has Been Teaching in Japan for Two Years

456713_10150634801102891_531202890_9362227_491496076_oFull Name: Misty Ahmadi

Age: 23

Hometown: Laguna Niguel, CA

Previous College History: B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley

FIDM Major: Professional Designation, Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA Campus, October 2012

Admissions Advisor: Joleen Harris

Tell us a bit about yourself. Like so many others, fashion was always been an interest of mine. I loved playing dress up, which lead to my interest in sewing. I also spent a lot of time sketching and painting. 

These hobbies led way into following designers, trends, and, eventually, marketing campaigns. While at UC Berkeley, I was able to take several classes on different aspects of marketing and I was instantly hooked. I owe a lot to my marketing professor for believing so much in a non-business major student.

Right after graduation, I moved to Japan to teach English. I have been so fortunate to call Japan my home for the past two years. I’ve had a truly amazing time living abroad and meeting people from so many countries. My students are hilarious, mischievous, and lively, to say the least! By living in Japan, I have been able to witness a foreign consumer market first hand. 

It’s been really interesting seeing retail companies such as UNIQLO trying to branch out globally, much like GAP or H&M has done. I owe to this experience my desire to continue working in a foreign environment. I’m a big collector of specialty magazines and photo books.  Inspiration can come from pretty much everywhere and I love having reference material from around the world.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Getting accepted to FIDM definitely ranks high in regards to my proudest accomplishments. It’s extremely reassuring to get accepted into your dream program! I’m also extremely proud of my participation in the JET (Japanese Exchange and Teaching) Programme. I’ve been teaching English to adorable elementary and junior high school students for the past two years in Kobe, Japan. 

It was very unnerving to move to a foreign country where I knew no one and didn’t speak the native language. Luckily, this job has been so much fun and I’ve been able to meet so many interesting students and teachers. Living abroad has definitely made me more independent, more culturally aware, and more determined to achieve my personal goals.

What made FIDM right for you? Simply put, FIDM matches my expectations of a marketing program. Professionals currently in the field teach classes and others who share similar types of passions surround you. There are a lot of opportunities for hands-on learning. The locations of the campuses are ideal for anyone who is interested in fashion.

The faculty, staff, and students I have had the pleasure of interacting with so far have all been so pleasant and it just really sets the stage for a fantastic program.

Describe your entrance project. I had to act as a store owner, describing not only the typical customer, but also five complete ensembles that the store would carry. Inspired by my time abroad, I created a shop that carried fashion collections inspired by different countries. I focused this particular collection around Japan. Each of the looks in the collection were inspired by famous cities in Japan and each ensemble was made up of brands that were famous in both the US and Japan, or specially made in Japan. 

The “typical customer” I was buying for was heavily inspired by where I saw my female friends being in a few years time: powerful professionals, working in urban settings, reflecting back on their time abroad, and looking for ways to keep their connections between countries strong.

What are your career goals? I want to work for either an international brand/retail store in the marketing or buying department or work at an international advertising agency in the future. The idea of marketing on a global scale is so exciting!

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I want to gain knowledge in current marketing trends, terminology, practices, and business relations. I want to be immersed in both the fundamental terminology and business practices of marketing, but I also want to be exposed to the quickly changing world of fashion. I’m looking forward to some really interesting and thought-provoking presentations from FIDM’s faculty.



Just Accepted Apparel Industry Management Student Owns Urban Wear Line R-me

412559_10150747854607398_377857712397_9439589_1993980595_oFull Name: Damir Gajiani

Age: 23

Hometown: OC/LA

FIDM Major: Apparel Industry Management

Previous College History: Cal State Fullerton

Admissions Advisor: Rose Mendez

Tell us a bit about yourself. At a very early age I was introduced to urban fashion companies such as Akademics, Sean John, Karl Kani, and many others. In the sixth grade my dad bought me an Akademics signature brown and orange color scheme t-shirt which sparked my interest in the field. Soon, I began shopping in stores buying more clothes similar in style. I wear these brands because they offer a special look and style that adequately expresses my individuality.

However, I realized fashion was more than just nice clothes. It is a way to be more comfortable in your skin as well as represent a lifestyle. My fascination evolved from buying and wearing clothes to acquiring certain shirts solely as collectibles. One of my most admired collectibles is a shirt by LRG, which depicts a silhouette of a man reaching out to a microphone. The shirt embodies a message that if one desires something in life they have to reach out and try to grab it. That is the way one can make a dream into a reality.

My hobbies include listening to hip-hop/rap music, reading magazines, playing basketball, hanging out with friends, and shopping for fly clothes. My interests are everything to do with hip-hop culture and looking fly (wearing nice clothes and learning about style). Everything is a inspiration to me but the biggest ones would be music, life experiences, and art.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishments to date are getting my brand, R-me, in the hands of respected people in the music industry such as Lupe Fiasco, Dj Quik, and Mac Miller, plus many more. I'm also proud of creating the Mic Ring (pictured), a jewelry fashion piece that demonstrates music and fashion being parallel to one another.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is well known for providing students with the education and skills needed to succeed in the fashion industry. Pursuing a fashion career has always been my dream and I know FIDM will give me the skill sets necessary to achieve this goal.

Describe your entrance project. It was line sheets of my clothing line, calibrations I have done (Rock Da Bells official concert t-shirts, KIIS-FM book covers, etc.), and promotional products such as flyers, stickers, posters, and promo t-shirts. It featured all of the accomplishments I have achieved in my clothing line and future goals.

What are your career goals? After graduating from FIDM, I hope to use my education to manage and design my clothing brand and also continue to grow my father’s manufacturing company to its full potential. I want to take my brand from graphic t-shirts to a full line of apparel including knits, jeans, jackets, jewelry, and more.

I want to combine art and fashion together in a way that attracts people to my brand as one of their favorites, and to supply my brand to retailers. I also want to use my brand to sponsor concerts, skate events, musicians, athletes, and art galleries to raise awareness of pressing issues in society today. My goal is to get the proper education needed to successfully design my clothing company and take it to the next level by hopefully making it a strong part of street culture and hip-hop.
What do you expect to learn at FIDM? The education to run and structure my clothing line so it is set up for success. I expect to learn new technology that can be used to innovate.

Follow R-me on Twitter @rmeclothing



Just Accepted Interior Design Student Wants to Host Her Own Show on HGTV

Picture 2Full Name: Gwyn Salcedo

Age: 28

Hometown: Newport Beach, CA

Prior College: Cal State University, Fullerton

FIDM Major: Interior Design Professional Designation

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Summer 2012

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

Tell us a bit about yourself. Growing up in a strict Vietnamese household, I wasn’t allowed to do much outside of the house, so at a very young age, I found myself thinking of new ways to improve my interior living space and make it reflective of my personality and taste.

I didn’t have much freedom to do what I wanted, but I was fortunate that my parents allowed me to paint and decorate my room however I pleased. I didn’t realize it at the time, but they allowed me more freedom than I gave them credit for; they allowed me to use my bedroom walls as a blank canvas, and designing and decorating became my form of self-expression.

Although I’ve always enjoyed interior design, I never thought that I could make it a career for myself. I started college with my parent’s dream of becoming a doctor, only to quickly realize that I was not a fan of being a science major, and it clearly didn’t like me, either. So after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Psychology, I accepted a job in business marketing because it was the perfect mix of business (a.k.a. financial stability) and creativity. 

But after spending seven years of working in the marketing industry, I realized that it wasn’t enough of a creative outlet for me and I needed more. I believe everything happens for a reason, and although I wish I pursued interior design at a younger age, I’m happy that I’m pursuing it now.

These days, you’ll find me painting the walls and decorating my first home that I share with my husband and dog, watching interior design shows on HGTV (until my better half forces me to change the channel), and sharing my love for interior design with my family and friends by inviting them over for dinner.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? It has been a long road, but I’m proud that I made the decision to pursue a career in something that I’m truly passionate about. I’m shocked that I’m actually taking this leap, but I know it’s the right thing for me because I haven’t been this happy and excited in a very long time!

What made FIDM right for you? I immediately fell in love with the interiors of the LA and OC campuses of FIDM the moment I walked inside.  The beautiful and well-designed space made me feel at home, and it also inspired me to do and learn more. While touring the campus, I learned that instructors at FIDM not only teach classes, but also work in the industry, and it was important to me that my instructors are current and up-to-date with industry standards. 

I believe that to be the best, you must surround yourself with the best, and I can’t think of anything better than to be around that all day long.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project I was required to design a residential living room space, complete with a color scheme that included small samples of materials, fabrics, and paint. While browsing tonline for inspiration, I saw a set of throw pillows that were a bright turquoise and chartreuse green. The bold colors brought me to a fun place, but also brought feelings of relaxation and calmness. Immediately, the colors brought back memories of blue skies and green trees from my travels, and I decided to incorporate that in my design. What’s better than feeling like you’re on vacation everyday in your very own living room?

I love taking old things and mixing them with new and modern pieces for an eclectic but cohesive style. I started off with the floors by using old reclaimed wood in a herringbone pattern for an Old World feel, such as the floors that you would see at the apartment that you stayed at while exploring Rome. I paired the floors with a neutral paint color and curtains to allow light in the room and keep it airy. 

The furniture consists of a couch and chairs that were a simple and modern style in an ivory color with tufting for texture. The turquoise and chartreuse green throw pillows offered a bold splash of color. I included accessories, such as an antique Louis Vuitton trunk repurposed as a coffee table and a collection of décor, that was purchased while traveling abroad. And last but not least, I included a world map wall decal as a focal point on the main wall. The overall theme represents the world traveler, and the design brings back memories of being on vacation.

What are your career goals? I would love to inspire others with creative ideas and help make their house feel more like a home. My ultimate goal is to have my own interior design show on HGTV and reach out to a broad audience on ways to improve and style their home.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I hope to learn everything that an interior designer should know and more! I’m looking forward to connecting with the FIDM community and learning from those who are working in the industry.

Follow Gwyn on Twitter @GwynSalcedo



Congratulations to the Karen Kane Little Black Dress Challenge Winners!

Karen Kane awards first place to Joshua Christensen

This year's FIDM DEBUT Runway Show featured a glamorous collection of Little Black Dresses designed by the eleven graduating students in FIDM's third year Advanced Study DEBUT program. The students worked with famed designer and FIDM Alumna Karen Kane, who chose three winning designs to be featured in an upcoming collection. "I thought it would be really interesting to give students a classic item, like the little black dress, and see how each would interpret such a timeless style," explained Karen. "It was fun to see what they came up with--sequins, open shoulders, embellishments. No two dresses were alike. It was really nice to see the wide range of creativity behind each dress." All three winning dresses will be produced under the Karen Kane label.

Karen Kane is sold in most major department stores and over 550 specialty boutiques across the country. Karen serves on the Advisory Board at FIDM, and generously offers The Karen Kane Scholarship, providing one student the opportunity to pursue his or her dreams in the fashion industry each year. "The campus is totally different and the curriculum has evolved in so many ways, yet some of the best instructors (like Mary Stephens--who taught me!) are still there," said Karen. "It's always inspiring to see how passionate and enthusiastic FIDM Students are."

First place winner Joshua Christensen’s design

Second place winner Tracy Moore's design


Third place winner Wensi Michelle Gao's design



Just Accepted Visual Communications Student is Finally Pursuing Her Passion

Lydia_Yun_Profile_PictureFull Name: Lydia Yun

Age: 25

Hometown: Irvine, CA

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

Start Date: July 2012

Admissions Advisor: Roxy DeGuzman

Tell us a bit about yourself. I'm a recent college graduate stepping into a completely new industry. It has always been just a "what if" idea of mine to do something I'm actually good at and enjoy. My true labor of love includes creating things with my hands and captivating those, like myself, with clever and unique ideas brought to life. I love to see my work on display and admired by others.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Applying to FIDM fits right up there on my list of accomplishments. It took a lot of courage and strength to completely step out of the traditional career route to follow a path lead by pure passion.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM consists of many features that make it right for me. The small classes would give students like me an opportunity to work closely with the instructors. Also, the resources that are available on campus can certainly be beneficial.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project was inspired by Anthropologie's unique way of using space to captivate wandering eyes. The first part of my project showed how simple the repetition of commonly used shapes can create a innovating wallpaper-like pattern. My interior and exterior displays were inspired by a spring theme, which consist of key descriptions such as growth, bloom, floral, colors, and more.

The interior design comprised of wooden pallet boxes, potted plants, metal water buckets, and lightbulbs -- altogether forming all the essential needs for growing. As for my exterior design, I used spools of thread that were attached to the displayed outfits, arranged to emphasize the the current floral collection.

What are your career goals? My career goal is to ultimately utilize my skills and talents in visual displays and set designs.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn many skills and traits from FIDM. I hope it will open many doors of opportunity.



FIDM Student and Grads' Work Featured on Vogue Italia

F3ec2292-6ac5-4f6d-8973-2bcac0247590_IMGBeauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing Student Olivia Martinucci recently did the makeup on a photoshoot for the brand Kid Dangerous. Little did she know that a photo from that shoot would be published on the Vogue Italia website.

The photographer, Neave Borzagi, is a Graduate of FIDM's Graphic Design Program and the stylist Jessica Ozette is a Merchandise Marketing Alumna. "The beauty industry is truly amazing," says Olivia. "I am so proud to say that I am part of this circle."



Just Accepted Graphic Design Student is an Award-Winning Artist

IMG_5037Just Accepted 18 year-old Graphic Design Student Quinn Palmer is already selling his artwork on his website, THESK.IN. His incredible digital creations have also won national art competitions.

"Because I'm working on my artwork with a spin towards the business aspect, FIDM really stood out to me as a school that's very up-to-date in the industry and could also train me in the aspects of business I need to make my company really take off."

Read the entire interview on FIDM's Daily Blog.



Catching Up With 2010 Designer of Tomorrow VisComm Scholarship Winner

Picture 1Name: Brooke Michelle Mumford

Major and Grad Year: Visual Communication, Summer 2012

Hometown: Houston

Scholarship won: DOT Visual Communication Scholarship for 2010

How did you feel upon hearing that you had won? I felt like I was at the top of a roller coaster.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Lugging all of my supplies on the first day.

What are your career goals? I'd love to become a stylist for a magazine company.

How has FIDM helped prepare you for your career? The curriculum and teachers aided me to boost my career.



Just Accepted Digital Media Student is an Award-Winning Video Maker

FIDM picJust Accepted Digital Media Student Daniel Franco was attracted to FIDM's curriculum and atmosphere. He liked the fact that his major would be a priority "from the get-go."

"So far, my proudest accomplishment has been recieving an award from AAA for a PSA I did in school. Out of all of southern California, my video was one of the 25 best. To think that someone thought my work was worthy of being top anything was an honor."

Read the entire interview at FIDM's Daily Blog.



Just Accepted Fashion Design Student Has a Clothing Business With His Sister

MeFull Name: Remington Johnson

Age: 26

Hometown: Irvine, CA

Previous College: Cal Poly San Luis Obispo - Architecture

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County Fall ‘12

Admissions Advisor: Sheryl Lewin

Tell us a bit about yourself. I grew up playing a lot of sports. I lived in Lake Tahoe, NV during grade school and was on the ski team for many years. In high school, I played football, basketball, and volleyball. I went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to study architecture. I also joined the Cal Poly men’s club volleyball team. After a few years I took some time off. I moved to Mammoth Lakes for the winter and was a ski instructor.

Although I played a lot of sports, I still had to be fashionable. I always had to have the newest, craziest looking shoes or cleats. In football I had the visor, white gloves, and silver shoes that reflected like mirrors. If you went skiing with me you probably wouldn’t lose me. I’m a huge fan of neon colors on the slopes. Other than sports I enjoy art. I love painting, drawing, mixed-media art, sculpture, furniture, and computer graphics.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My senior year I received Scholar Athlete of the Year for University High School in Irvine. Since I was a jock, I thought the “manly” thing to do with art was to become an architect. Over the past year I have realized that I love fashion a lot more than architecture.

My sister and I started a business six months ago called He Had Swagger… and She Sparkled. We take donated or used items and upcycle or revamp them into more fashionable things. Our website features some of our items, but most of it can be seen at the Huntington Beach Art-a-Faire on Fridays.

I really enjoy the flexibility to design what I want. One week I’ll graffiti on shoes and the next I’ll use men’s button down shirts to make a dress. The best part about it is that everything is one of a kind.

What made FIDM right for you? Through my business I have realized there is so much more to learn about fashion business and design. For weeks I was going to the library and checking out books to teach myself. I ran out of books and I want more of a hands-on learning experience. I would also like advice and critiques from professionals. FIDM offers me that and so much more.

Describe your entrance project. I got my inspiration from the saying “lips sewn shut.” For my inspiration I took a 2’ x 3’ piece of glass and used mixed media art. I used papier-mâché to make a half-face on one side using scraps of poems, music, and colored paper. The other half I painted the face using lipstick. The lips were formed using pictures of lips and sewn shut with ribbon.

For the illustrations I based each one on a function or trait of lips. Kiss, Paint/Lipstick, Expression, Form, Seal/Close, and Pierced. For most of the looks I used strips of fabric to tie and sew the pieces to the body. I used fleshy tones with colors that “pop” to accentuate parts, just like lips.

What are your career goals? I want to one day design my own line. I also want to grow the outreach of my business to help people struggling with addiction, depression, and suicide. I know firsthand that life doesn’t always have a direct path and may come in the form of a blessing in disguise. I just want to help people struggling see that and realize it’s never too late to start over.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I want to learn about the different types of materials, methods of construction, and how to achieve the best fit. I would like to be more efficient at patternmaking. I also look forward to growing artistically. There are so many things, I could go on for a while.



Meet 2011's Visual Designer of Tomorrow Scholarship Winner

8-20-12Name: Taylor Mansfield

Major: Visual Communications

Campus and Grad Year: Los Angeles, 2013

Hometown: Naperville, IL

Scholarship won: FIDM's National Scholarship Competition, Visual Designer of Tomorrow

How did you feel upon hearing that you had won? I couldn't believe it at first. Once my advisor repeated herself a few times, it hit me. I fell to the ground and started crying. I was completely overwhelmed. I couldn't wait to call my parents and tell them the news.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I'm proud that I have been able to maintain good grades in all of my classes and impress my teachers by putting all my effort into homework and projects.

What are your career goals? I would love to be an event planner someday; that is my dream job. However, I would also love to be a Visual Merchandiser or work on runway shows.

How has FIDM helped prepare you for your career? Many of my classes (sketching, trends, computer courses, survey of VCOM, etc.) will be very useful once I graduate. I will be able to apply everything I learn in the real world. Instructors have given me outstanding recommendations and my career advisor has helped me with my job search.

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