Blogging the FIDM Student Denim Study Tour: Day 3

GroupFinal stop: Dining together for the last time, we compared notes over a hearty Mexican lunch before our final stop of the tour: Joe’s Jeans. Marketing Manager Alejandra Dibos treated our group to an extensive look at the company where we were greeted by a FIDM Alum in virtually every department (including Alejandra!) We rotated through design, product development, sampling, pre-production, tech design, patterning, production, trim, fabric, PR, and marketing.

Along the way Product/Wash Developer and FIDM Grad Gary You highlighted the essentials for bringing design’s vision to reality including timing, availability, and price, as well as the key aspects that make denim development unique such as processing and fit. In the end, we found ourselves in Joe’s in-house photo studio, which generates images for various uses and departments throughout the company. Alejandra used the setting to explain the importance developing different skill sets through internships and other experience, citing her own her own streamlined team’s cross-functional abilities as the key to being super efficient and productive. With that inspiring advice, and a gift of a chic Joe’s camo-canvas shopping bag, we concluded the tour. 

Many thanks to Eva Gilbert and Estelle Hahn and the rest of FIDM’s Merchandise Product Department for putting this tour together as well as all of the companies who took the time to host us. At each stop, we were greeted by professionals who were so generous in sharing their time and knowledge. We parted ways inspired by this once-in-a-lifetime experience that we’re likely to carry with us throughout our own careers.

-Ryan Mathis-Tien (FD '13)



Blogging the FIDM Student Denim Study Tour: Day 2


Fourth stop: The longest day of the tour kicked off with gift bags and a brand heritage film at Guess World Headquarters. Referred to as the “university” by denim industry insiders, our group seized upon the opportunity to tour Guess’ in house development and wash facilities. We asked manager Marco Gonzalez so many questions that we threatened to derail the schedule!

Men's Denim Designer and FIDM Grad Charles Sands was equally generous with his time. He took us through the design development process, shared his favorite sources for inspiration, and reflected traits that allowed him to ascend through the ranks so quickly. Additionally, Director of Operations Tracey Layana took time to greet our group, lavishing us with even more goodies and career advice in the process.  Finally, recruiter Rachael Hodnett invited to lunch at the Guess Cafe where there was no shortage of tantalizing options to choose from.

Fifth stop: Seven for All Mankind plant manager Ryan Swift (another FIDM Alum!) guided us on a tour of Seven’s recently established in-house testing, embroidery, cutting, sewing, and finishing facilities. For us product development enthusiasts, it was a really treat to see sewing machines and operations that we’d mostly only read about in books. Our visit concluded with Seven’s heritage video as well and interview and resume tips from parent company VF recruiters Regina Romero and Kirsten Johnson. Interested students were even given the chance to interview with a designer from sister company Ella Moss regarding summer internship opportunities.

Sixth stop: We arrived at Current Elliott late in the afternoon and were warmly greeted by Talent Acquisition Director Miranda Henein. VP of Production Khaled Debes spoke to us about the company’s origins and rapid growth, as well as the importance of quality control and vendor relationships (but would not divulge the secret of their impressive 100% on-time delivery record no matter how much we tried!)

Design Director and FIDM Alum Kelly Irvin then walked us through Current Elliott’s development process, highlighting sales and merchandising’s influence as well as the unique challenges of developing exclusive product for key retail partners. Kelly also shared her own career history, the importance of gaining experience through internships, and favorite inspiration sources.

We ended the day with a group banquet at Bottega Louie where dinner turned into a multi-course affair with a bite of something sweet at the end (a few even tucked their famous macarons into their purses for later enjoyment.)

-Ryan Mathis-Tien (FD '13)

Read about Day 1 here!



Just Accepted VisComm Student Has 7,000 Followers on Polyvore



Full Name: Chandler Frostad

Age: 17

Hometown: Federal Way, WA

Current Year in School: Senior

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, Fall 2013

Admissions Advisor: Joleen Harris (the best advisor ever!)

Tell us a bit about yourself. One of my favorite things to do in my free time is baking cupcakes and decorating them with my artistic skills. I am also passionate about creating fashion sets or collages on Polyvore. It is a great way to express my style and inspire others. I have a scrapbook full of collages made from magazine cutouts that is kind of like an inspiration board. Most of my time is consumed with anything related to fashion whether it be my blog, researching trends, shopping, etc.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Definitely my blog. I have gained over 7,000 followers within the last two years. I promote websites and in return I get free clothing, vouchers, and even cash. I was also given the opportunity to model a few pieces of clothing and have been featured on different websites. I feel like the opportunities I have been given have led me to want to follow my dreams in the fashion industry.

I am also very involved in giving back to my community: I have been the leader of three (going on four) successful blood drives at my school, winning “Blood Drive of the Year” and setting the record for the most donors at schools in Washington state. I have even donated $500 to the Seattle Children’s Hospital with a friend of mine through a bake sale. Giving back makes me feel really good about myself and gives me the satisfaction that I am helping others, and it has made me very proud of myself and what I’ve done.

What made FIDM right for you? Ever since FIDM came to my school my sophomore year of high school, I knew that it was the perfect school for me. Some advice that I have always been given is to choose a career that you will love and to follow your dreams. This really stuck in my head and encouraged me to pursue an education and eventually a career that I was passionate about.

FIDM is a very unique school that can offer me the opportunities that other schools cannot. It allows me to get right into my major and do what I love. I love everything about FIDM: the different majors, the design of the school, the location, the endless opportunities, the library, and more. It is the perfect place for me to be myself and do what I love. The one thing that really caught my eye about FIDM is that all of the students there share one thing: creativity.

I will be surrounded by people who love to create things and use their imagination, which I believe will help me be inspired even more. I have worked extremely hard to convince my parents that FIDM is the perfect choice for me and now, three years later, I am accepted to my dream school and I couldn’t be happier.

Describe your entrance project. I conquered part 1 of my project first, which I found the most difficult, because there were no specific rules. I created a beauty station with circle, squares, and triangles that could be used in my boutique. The second part of my project was to create a window display which I was inspired by the latest trend: neon. I created a window display with splattered paint and a large neon sign with looks I created on Polyvore.

For my boutique, I was inspired by my own personal style: vintage with a modern twist. I created my dream boutique that was black, white, and pink with Paris style items in the background. It was very fun to create and was all created on my Polyvore blog!

What are your career goals? I aspire to fulfill my dreams of becoming a well-known fashion stylist and work for big names, whether it be celebrities, tv shows, movies, or wherever FIDM may lead me.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect my creative skills to become much more advanced at FIDM. I know I will learn to become more confident and polished in my work. FIDM will help me think outside the box so that I can achieve my goals and make a name for myself. I am excited to become more experienced in the industry and perfect my talents with the tools that FIDM will give me.



Blogging the FIDM Student Denim Study Tour: Day 1


Day One of the 2013 Denim Study Tour began shortly before 9:00 a.m. with Merchandise Product Development Chairperson Eva Gilbert, Co-Chair Estel Hahn, and 14 students (12 Merchandise Product Development, 1 Merchandise Marketing, and 1 Fashion Design) boarding our private tour bus.

First stop: California Wash House (pictured above) where industry vets and founders Paul de Jesus and Philip Shaheen treated us to a sneak peek at next season's washes before leading a tour of the facilities. We witnessed workers performing various processes such as as stone washing, industrial drying, sand blasting, pp spraying, 3D whiskers, tacking, and grinding.Our hosts also took great care to explain each step and graciously answered all of our denim-related questions. After a quick photo-op and the exchange of contact information, we expressed our gratitude and headed out.

A leisurely lunch at a local cafe gave us a chance to compare notes before heading to our second stop: Jolt Jeans by Kellwood. As recruiter Morgan Powers led us through the massive campus, we met several FIDM Alums, including the head of the Kellwood's textile art department, as well as Jolt's technical and associate designers. Jolt's senior denim designer spoke to us about his approach to selecting appropriate washes, pocket details, and fiber contents.

Then, brand president Caren Lettiere shared her time with us for a candid discussion regarding market trends, brand DNA, fabric, fit, tech packs, and key characteristics for a successful career. On the way out, Morgan gifted us with some Jolt product and gamely posed with us for a photo (pictured above).

Looking forward to Day Two!

-- Ryan Mathis-Tien (FD '13)



What's Happening in Student Activities: TOMS Tuesdays Are Coming!


Hats Off: Featuring lunch and a celebratory cake, grads were given the low-down on all things graduation, from walking in the ceremony at Staples Center to staying connected with the Alumni Association and Career Center.

Finals Fuel: Each quarter, Student Activities provides coffee, tea, hot cocoa, bagels, fruit, and snacks throughout the day -- we call it "Finals Survival!"

Coming Soon: TOMS Tuesday is coming this Spring quarter! All students are encouraged to wear their TOMS to FIDM on Tuesdays to be entered to win a free pair of TOMS sunglasses and TOMS gift cards.

Go Green: We are hosting our Annual Clothing Swap in honor of Earth Day on April 19, 22, and 23.



IMPD Students Partner with bebe to Produce Their Graduate Thesis Collection


Students in FIDM's prestigious nine-month, third-year IMPD Advanced Study program worked closely with executives from FIDM Industry Partner bebe to create the pieces in their Graduate Thesis collection. The students were tasked with creating a collection that would appeal to customers in bebe's newest international stores in Canada. The students went to Paris to study trends and to Asia, where they learned about manufacturing and production. Their collection as well as a documentary of the bebe project were highlights of the IMPD Graduate Thesis Presentation event this week. The event is attended by industry executives, FIDM Faculty, and friends and family of the students. Each year, students in the program work with one of the college's notable Industry Partners. Previous IMPD collaborations have included The Cherokee Group and Bisou Bisou.  


Fashion industry guests attended the IMPD Graduate Thesis presentation, which featured a documentary of the bebe project.


This year's IMPD students at the IMPD Graduate Thesis Presentation event. 



Recently Accepted FIDM Student Featured on The Huffington Post


Seventeen year-old Tehachapi High School senior Drew Scott is featured on The Huffington Post for his profitable Scrappy Happiness business. The California native has been creating online videos about scrapbooking since age 13 (his YouTube channel has more than 1.5 million views!), and offers online classes online. Last year, Drew earned $130,000, which he invested back into his business.

Drew will begin his FIDM career this summer and plans to blog about his college journey.



Vote For Your Favorite FIDM Student Designer in JustFab's Dress Contest


FIDM Industry Partner JustFab recently asked FIDM Students to design an original dress inspired by select JustFab shoes. Now six FIDM Students are vying for the JustFab Dress Contest's Fan Favorite award and a $1,000 scholarship to FIDM!

You may vote once every 24 hours through March 25, 2013. The winner will be announced on March 26, 2013!



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Transferring From St. Louis University



Full Name: Xin Zhen

Age: 19

Hometown: Guangzhou, China

Current Year in School: Freshman at St. Louis University

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA Campus, Fall 2013

Admissions Advisor: Seung Kim

Tell us a little bit about yourself. I enjoy staying home and doing some reading or online shopping. I love to watch movies; Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is one of my favorites. Also, I like playing chess with my friends.

What made FIDM right for you? First, the major I chose combines my fashion dream and my future career (taking care of our family business). Second, I felt a passionate atmosphere when I first visited the campus.

What are your career goals? For my dream, I would like to become a fashion stylist, but I need to take responsibility for my family, so the career I have set for the future is related to banking. If my dream doesn't conflict with my career, it will be fantastic to combine both.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I want to learn everything about the fashion industry and use this knowledge to succeed in the future.



FIDM Student Angie Allison Designs Prom Dress for Fashion Club Shoot


One of five specially selected FIDM Fashion Design Students, Angie Allison participated in Fashion Club's Pretty in Pink Prom Challenge, upcycling a dress she sourced from Goodwill into a prom dress. The challenge was to design it for Mila Kunis (as if she were the client), with style icon Elizabeth Taylor as her muse.

Tell us a little about yourself: I'm a local girl. I grew up in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, which is about 3 miles west of the LA FIDM Campus. I love animals, especially my black cat, Gerald. My favorite people/icons in the world are Lady Gaga (my number 1), Lana Del Rey, Jessica Lange, and Sharon Needles. My interest in fashion stems from my love of illustration, Kubrick, Hitchcock, art, and Halloween. I'm all about self-expression, so the ability to transcend my visions onto a physical manifestation is such a gift fashion design has given me.

Tell us a little about your experience in the prom dress design challenge for Fashion Club: I brought on board to the Pretty in Pink Prom Challenge by the designer of the Boho Princess look, Liz  Robles. It was a great experience where all the designers had meetings to discuss and critique each other's work. Individually, I had to source materials from the Fashion District that would enhance the original thrifted dress, rather than completely reconstruct it. I wanted to make it easy for people to see the dress's transition from point A to point B.

Where did you buy the thrifted dress? Miracle Mile Goodwill

What aspect of your design speaks to the fact that is was designed "for" Mila Kunis? Mila Kunis has the cool chick vibe going on, but she manages to keep a glamourous style that doesn't take away from her overall wicked appeal. My direct inspiration came from an Eli Saab dress she wore for the Moscow premiere of Friends with Benefits that featured embellished shoulder pieces.


How were you inspired by Elizabeth Taylor? Elizabeth Taylor has always been such an icon in my life since I was a child, thanks to countless hours of watching her movies with my grandma. She is a timeless beauty and I wanted to keep true to the fit and flare silhouette she favored. It was always about her and her beauty, which is why I went with the clean, classic silhouette. The color of the dress is also an homage to her famous violet eyes.

What was your favorite part about the whole experience? My favorite part was getting my work to be part of a photo shoot for the first time. It's like seeing your first child graduate, I'm guessing.

What’s your favorite class at FIDM so far? I can't choose just one, so I will have to say all the classes that fall under history (Survey of the Western Art, History of Costume, and American Political & Economic History). To me, fashion is innovation through renovation and restoration, so it's vital to take from the past and push it into the future. Even a class like American History, that's not as visually stimulating as art or costume, provides me with inspiration for design.

What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? My dream is to be a costume designer and to be featured in FIDM Museum's Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design Exhibition someday. FIDM has provided me with industry connections, 3rd year programs, a library of garments, excellent teachers, and a smashing library. They give me the tools, I just need to go out there and use them. After all, Star Wars is revving up for a sequel trilogy, and there is no way I'm letting myself not be a part of it.



Just Accepted Fashion Design Student Accepted Early as a High School Junior



Full Name: Caity Swanger

Age: 16

Hometown: Woodbury, Minnesota

Current Year in School: Junior

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles campus, Fall of 2014

Admissions Advisor: Roxy DeGuzman

Tell us a bit about yourself. I’m a cheerleader and also in the UNICEF club and Science Outreach. I love to be with my friends and just hangout. I spend most of my time outside if the weather permits. I love fashion and learning about other countries fashion and culture. I also love to bake, and in fact I work in a bakery! My inspirations are Oscar de la Renta, Ellie Saab, and Erdem.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Of course getting accepted in to FIDM for college as a junior. I was also part of my competitive cheer squad that won three state championships and finished 6th in the country in the 2011 UPC national competition. Next year, I am also interning as an aid for my fashion design teacher during the school year. I can’t wait to help teach my fellow peers how to sew basic things and hopefully inspire more students to explore the realm of fashion.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is the right school for me because it specializes in fashion design and has more hands-on learning. There aren’t very many fashion schools in the Midwest. I talked to my fashion design teacher and she gave me a brochure on FIDM. After showing my parents and doing some research I knew that FIDM was the right school for me.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project I submitted seven formal dress designs, using colored pencil as my medium. I used a lot of beading, silk, and satin. Most of my designs use color. I love using color to emphasize personality and mood. For my inspiration page most of the pictures were from Oscar de la Renta's and Ellie Saab's 2012 and 2013 collections.

What are your career goals? Once I gain work experience, get comfortable in the industry, and focus my passion and designs, I hope to start my own line. Starting my own design label is my major goal once I graduate, and I cant wait to start designing and manufacturing my designs! I also want to help improve the world and with my success would like to be able to help out with charities such as UNICEF.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn new techniques, design styles, and the proper methods to improve my designs. I also want to learn about fashion trends from around the world, how the fashion industry works, and establish relationships in the fashion industry that will allow me to obtain internships, and ultimately a job, working for a design label.



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 Student Designs Prom Dress for Fashion Club Shoot

Jarret Levin FD

FIDM Fashion Design Student Jarret Levin recently participated in Fashion Club's Pretty in Pink Prom Challenge, where he upcycled a thrift store gown into a prom dress. He was challenged to design for Blake Lively, with style icon Veronica Lake as his muse.

We sat down for a Q&A with the up-and-coming designer.

Tell us a little about yourself: I am from Overland Park, Kansas, where I had the opportunity to go to a technical center for two years of high school. I studied fashion design, which gave me insight into the industry in terms of design, patternmaking, and sewing. Outside of fashion design I enjoy traveling. There is so much culture to experience in the world, and it is interesting to see how it compares with my life.

Tell us a little about your experience in the prom dress design challenge for Fashion Club: I had a wonderful experience during the prom design challenge for Fashion Club. We were given creative freedom within certain parameters—we got to experience what it's like in the real world, having to adjust our designs to suit the client (Fashion Club). The process required shopping, designing, sewing, and fittings which gave excellent hands-on experience.


Where did you buy the original dress that you re-designed into "The Femme Fatale" prom dress: American Vintage on Melrose

What aspect of your design speaks to the fact that it was designed "for" Blake Lively: The bodice of the dress was really designed for Blake Lively because she typically wears body-hugging styles that show off her body in a sexy, sophisticated way.

How were you inspired by Veronica Lake: I was inspired by Veronica Lake because she oozed glamour. From the coif hair to the show stopping gowns. The gowns that she usually wore had large, full skirts with large trains which is where I gathered more inspiration and tried incorporating that element into my "Femme Fatale" design.

What was your favorite part about the whole experience: While I loved designing the dress, my favorite part was the photo shoot for many reasons. One, it was the first time that I got to see the whole look come together with the hair, makeup, accessories, and the dress. Also, the environment at the Just Fab studios with everyone from Fashion Club made for a fun day and an amazing photoshoot.

What's your favorite class at FIDM so far: It's a tie between Collection Development and Portfolio Presentation. Both allow you to put all your skills to use. In Collection Development we created a jacket, skirt, and pant, where we had most of the creative freedom throughout the process. Portfolio Presentation truly allowed me to express all my creativity because I got the opportunity to create a collection in any market, with any theme, where creative freedom is at its finest.

What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there: My long term career goal is to create and own my own line, primarily in sportswear. I also have a passion for evening wear that I hope to bring to life in the future. The interim period between graduating and owning my line, I want to work for a designer or fashion house to gain experience and knowledge to prepare myself for owning my own line. FIDM has done an excellent job of helping me understand what sportswear is and what is successful and sellable in the industry. FIDM has also taught me the design process every step of the way from concept to construction, which is great when you are in the industry because it makes a well-rounded designer.



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Wants to Be a Retail Buyer



Full Name: Justin Andrew Robb Perron

Age: 19

Hometown: Highland, CA

Previous School: Crafton Hills College

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA Campus, September 2013

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

Tell us a bit about yourself. I love to go walk around the mall and look at the new styles that are out. I also enjoy thrift shopping and bringing some old clothes back into style. You can find me at the beach, I'm inspired by bright colors and patterns, and I love to make a statement when I'm walking down the street. 

What is your proudest accomplishment? Probably coming out to my parents. It was scary, but it turned out to be a good thing because it only made us closer.

What made FIDM right for you? I realized FIDM was right for me when I found out about everything that I could learn there. The fact that they will supply me with the knowledge I will need to succeed made the decision quite easy.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project was geared towards a single man in his early 20s who is going to school and working. He does have to shop on a budget, but that doesn't mean he has to lose his own sense of style because of it. The outfits that I put together we comfortable yet stylish, making sure he left an impression no matter where he went.

What are your career goals? My dream career would be to be a buyer for a clothing store. Seeing what I pick out on the shelves and racks and how I want it to be displayed is an ultimate dream.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? To predict styles and trends, a better sense of working with patterns, and everything I will need to know to help further my career.



Just Accepted MPD Student Designed Her Own Wedding Dress


Full Name: Jacqueline Diane Mary Schumann

Age: 21

Hometown: Lehi, Utah

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, July 2013

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

Tell us a bit about yourself. Well, my husband and I will be married two years this August! We met our senior year at our high school and both decided to move to California after we got a job offer. I love fashion, sewing, animals, shopping, and riding my scooter. I also have a love for film. Both my husband and I have helped with various shorts, screenwriting, script supervision, and acting.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I am very proud to say that I designed my wedding dress. While being engaged, I just couldn't find anything I loved at the bridal stores and decided to take my prom dress, from the dance he took me to, and change it up! I found a very talented lady, Cheryl McCarther, who shared my vision of what I wanted and sewed it better than I could have asked! One of my other proudest accomplishments is moving to CA. Leaving our friends and family was very very hard, but we have had so much support and love from our families.

What made FIDM right for you? There are a lot of aspects that make FIDM right for me: the overall program/classes, the majors they provide, and the cozy OC campus. I wouldn't have chosen any other school to go to for fashion.

Describe your entrance project. I made a type of book out of cork board. I had to take five pictures and modify the garments/outfits to look like they would sell at a particular store. I chose Urban Outfitters and five photos from the 1950s. I love women used to wear high heels, skirts, gloves, and hats with ribbon around them. I tried to update the looks so they were still feminine, but had a touch of the Urban Outfitters look.

What are your career goals? I want to have my own store and line of clothing one day.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn exactly what is needed for being a Merchandise Product Developer -- and how to successfully survive pulling an all-nighter!



FIDM Grads and Assistant Buyers at Love Culture Visit FIDM Students

13073j MM Premier Grp_DSC_0059_Edit

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 Students Design Prom Dresses for Fashion Club Shoot


FIDM's recently challenged FIDM Fashion Design Students to upcycle thrift store gowns into prom dresses, to feature this season's prom trends on The students who participated included: David Lee, Danica Ybanez, Angie Martinez, Jarret Levin, and Lizbeth Robles.

We sat down for a Q&A and with Fashion Club Art Director Harriet Grant:

Q: How did you come up with the idea for the story?
A: I am a huge Project Runway fan (Tim Gunn is my hero), so I thought it would be really fun to create a Project Runway-style prom challenge for our student designers. For the challenge itself, I was inspired by the 1980s classic movie Pretty In Pink; Molly Ringwald's
character is on a tight budget so she upcycles a vintage pink dress into a prom dress.

Q: What was your favorite thing about working with the fashion design students?
A: I loved everything about working with the students! Their energy, creativity, and enthusiasm was inspiring. They really had fun with the challenge and it was so exciting to see their designs become reality.

Q: Anything else you'd like to share?
A: I just love the idea of taking an old garment and giving it a new life. I thought all the designers did an excellent job transforming their vintage dresses into something fashion-forward and definitely prom-worthy.


"The Ingenue" prom look, inspired by Audrey Hepburn
Designer: FIDM Fashion Design Student David Lee
Model: FIDM Student Mariya Dondonyan

"The Class Act" prom look, inspired by Grace Kelly
Designer: FIDM Fashion Design Student Danica Ybanez
Model: Katie Jones


"The Bad Girl" prom look, inspired by Liz Taylor
Designer: FIDM Fashion Design Student Angie Martinez
Model: FIDM Interior Design Student Megan Moussamih

"The Femme Fatale" prom look, inspired by Veronica Lake
Designer: FIDM Fashion Design Student Jarret Levin
Model: FIDM Visual Communications Alumna Jordan Fox

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"The Boho Princess" prom look, inspired by Lisa Bonet
Designer: FIDM Fashion Design Student Lizbeth Robles
Model: FIDM Merchandise Product Development Student Theresa Dunne-Watts

Through FIDM's industry connections, Fashion Club was invited to shoot at JustFab's  headquarters in El Segundo, where model and fashion designer Kimora Lee Simmons is President and Creative Director.

For more images and to read the entire story, please visit FIDM's



Saks Fifth Avenue Visual Merchandising Execs Visit FIDM Students

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FIDM Visual Communications Students were treated to a guest lecture today from Saks Fifth Avenue: Harry Cunningham, Sr. VP of Store Planning and Visual Merchandising, and Matt Reed, VP of Visual Merchandising. Cunningham is on FIDM's Visual Communications Advisory Council and Board of Director for the PAVE/Planning and Visual Education Partnership organization

The two creative executives gave a curated presentation about the innovative window displays at Saks, discussing important design considerations such as mannequin styles, lighting, design, props, framing, the use of color, and working within a limited budget.

The students were treated to images of fantastic window displays featuring headpieces made from cellophane, spray-painted Dixie cups artfully arranged on the wall space, string art sandwiched between two sheets of glass, a shoe display with various objects painted white and mounted on the wall, an umbrella display against a wall of dripping paint, a dress "sculpted" from shredded paper, and words spelled out with colored extensions cords. A recent Carolina Herrera Saks window featured mannequins wearing paper masks hand-drawn by Carolina Herrera herself.

Mr. Cunningham stressed the importance of getting out of the comfort zone in work. "Challenge yourself," he advised the students. "Try something new."



FIDM Student Lauren Howard Participates in Lacoste Design Challenge


Photography | Getty Images

FIDM Film & TV Costume Design Student Lauren Howard recently participated in the Lacoste Polo Shirt of the Future Design Challenge, and had her design displayed at a symposium and panel discussion with the Costume Designers Guild and Oscar-nominated costume designers in honor of the CDG's Costume Design Awards. We caught up with her to find out what she had to say about her experience.

Name: Lauren Howard

Major: Film & TV Costume Design

Tell us a little about yourself: I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and became interested in costuming in high school when I wanted to learn how to sew my own Halloween costumes. After taking some classes about garment construction and fashion history, I was hooked and I knew I wanted to do this for a living. I worked as a costumer for Lamplighters Music Theatre in San Francisco before moving to Los Angeles for FIDM.

Before FIDM, do you have any previous college education? I studied Theater Costume Design at Cañada College in Redwood City, California.

Describe the design of your polo shirt: Motion Capture Gamer Gear is the future of gaming - the small sensors on the clothing track a player's movements and create a fully developed CG avatar on screen. This MoCap gear is perfect for sports games and fighting simulations.

What was the best part of your experience in the Lacoste "polo shirt of the future" design challenge? After all that hard work, I felt really proud to see my polo displayed so professionally by Lacoste!

What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? I aspire to design costumes for period, fantasy, and sci-fi films and television. I love that FIDM's Film & TV Costume Design program has so many professional connections, which ensures I get great feedback on my work and allows me to network with potential employers!



What's Happening in Student Activities: Quarter Recap


Ready for another great weekly feature? So are we! We're kicking off What's Happening in Student Activities with a quarter-in-review roundup. Have fun! 

Well, Well, Well: Wellness Week (Jan 21-Jan 25) was full of activities to get everyone back on track with their New Years' goals. Events included a New Year New You Wellness Fair and Zumba, Pilates, and Yoga classes. 


Must Love Dogs: PTK & Student Council volunteered at Best Friends Animal Society on Feb 2. It was a HUGE success. 

ModCloth Moment: Representatives from spoke to students about how to work for a successful online retailer.

Funny Business: Student Council hosted Comedy Night on February 6. 

Dough Raising: Feb 14 was the annual PTK Valentine's Bake and Flower Sale. 

Election: Student Council elections were held last week, and the President and Special Events positions were filled. 



Lacoste Awards FIDM Students and Alumni For Designing Polo Shirts of the Future

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In celebration of Lacoste's 80th birthday, new designers were asked to create "polo shirts of the future." Five students in FIDM's Film & TV Costume Design Program and three FIDM Alumni were asked to participate in the challenge, and their designs were displayed last week at a symposium and panel discussion with the Costume Designers Guild and Oscar-nominated costume designers at Siren Studios in Hollywood, in honor of the CDG's Costume Design Awards the previous evening.

Congratulations to the FIDM Film & TV Costume Design Students and Alumni who participated: Jake Avila, Jessyca Bluwal, David Cruz, Lauren Howard, Gianna Lucca, Rebecca Howard ('09), Dakota Keller ('10), and Jill Sorensen ('12).

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The students were each awarded a $250 Lacoste gift certificate, and the designer of the favorite polo shirt was awarded a gift certificate for $2500.

Lacoste, a sponsor of the Costume Design Awards, is considering creating a display of the polo shirt designs at the Lacoste retail location on 5th Avenue in New York.





Photos of Polo Shirts on Display | Getty Images

For more information about the event, and descriptions of some of the polo shirt designs, please see the coverage in the Wall Street Journal.



Fashion Design Student's Collection Featured at Royal Fashion Show


Fashion Design Student Dawn Nguyen, who designs women's ready-to-wear under the moniker Dawn Sunflower, recently showed her designs at the Royal Fashion Show Event in Orange County, in honor of breast cancer awareness. The event benefited Sentebale, the personal charity of Prince Harry of Wales, and the Pink Ribbon Crusade.

Dawn is heading to the U.K. next week to show her Fall 2013 collection at Birmingham International Fashion Week, which benefits UNICEF. She also recently showed at Fashion Week Las Vegas.



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.




Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student to Transfer from Oregon State


Full Name: Kyndel Link

Age: 20

Hometown: Irvine, CA

FIDM Start Date: Fall 2013

Current Year in School: Currently a Sophomore at Oregon State University

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, Fall 2013

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

Tell us a bit about yourself. One of my favorite things to do is trying out different restaurants and small coffee shops around town. Shopping is one of my all time favorite things to do and my role model in life and my best friend is my beautiful mom.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Being a part of varsity volleyball for three years in high school and still managing to get into a great four year university

What made FIDM right for you? It has always been my dream to study and work in fashion, and I know that by going to this school I will learn everything needed to make my dream come true and be successful and have fun during the process.

Describe your entrance project? For my project I based it off the theme of City Chic. All the clothing articles shown in my book would be garments that I would want to be sold in my own store. You could see all of these outfits that I hand picked from my own closet being worn downtown in a city. I also really like being crafty and being creative so that’s why I put it into scrapbook form!

What are your career goals? After graduation I would like to pick up an internship in LA at a well-known fashion magazine. After interning I would like to work full-time as either a buyer for a store or as a fashion stylist of some sort.



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student is a UC Irvine Alumna



Name: Marie Charisse 

Age: 24

Major: Merchandise Marketing Professional Designation Program

Start Date: Summer 2013

Previous College: UC Irvine graduate in 2010, where I studied Film and Media Studies with an emphasis in Screenwriting.

Admissions Advisor: Seung Kim

Tell us about yourself. I grew up acting and singing both for fun and professionally, and have experience in both performance and directing in my college years at UCI. Once of my passions has always been writing, and at UCI I eventually switched my major from Drama to Screenwriting in the film department. Since graduating, I’ve worked as a salesperson and then a buyer at a wholesale produce distribution company. I realized that with my newfound education in buying, I could perhaps expand on my truest love of all: fashion. 

What made FIDM right for you? Fashion has always been something that fascinated me, but I didn't know I could be involved in the fashion industry even if I couldn't draw. Once I did more research and learned that I could be a buyer or open my own boutique. It was then that I knew I needed to make my dreams a reality and pack my bags and move back to Southern California.

Tell us about your entrance project. My portfolio was a book I made with five looks put together from different images I found in magazines. I literally buried myself in about 50 different fashion magazines for weeks searching for the perfect items that I felt expressed the look I was trying to go for for my dream boutique, Ferrum (Latin for the word "sword"), and my boutique is all about blending girly looks with edgy ones to give women the ability to express their voice through fashion.

What are your career goals? By going to FIDM, I am hoping to make Ferrum more than just my entrance project portfolio -- I am hoping to make it a reality. I took multiple business courses at UC Irvine, and I gained incredible business knowledge in working in the produce industry for two years after graduating. Now, FIDM is in my life to give me the knowledge I need to run my own boutique and make my lifelong dream of owning a fabulous boutique my reality.



The Doneger Group Visits FIDM To Present Spring 2014 Trends


David Wolfe, Creative Director of The Doneger Group, visited FIDM this week to give a special presentation to the students on the forecasted fashion trends of Spring 2014 and beyond.

He started off his presentation with general trends in technology: ultra-modern architecture such as the Dubai Towers and the Full Moon Tower in China. He went on with a shot of the wind turbins displayed at the Chanel SS '13 runway show at The Grand Palais in Paris. That led to a discussion of other technological advances such as Google Glass, Tech Pets Virtual Pets, an industrial robot called Baxter, humanoids, and people like Justin Jeduca and Valeria Lukyanova who try to achieve the look of a plastic doll.

He said fashion is beginning to imitate all of this; it has finally hit the 21st century. "We are on the brink of looking at fashion as an expression of the future rather than the past. It's going to break fashion loose."

Mr. Wolfe said that the worship of extravagance is becoming "distasteful," which means that luxury brands will have to start moving into a new identity, "which is exactly what is happening at Dior with Raf Simons there." He continued saying their spring collection really doesn't reference anything Christian Dior ever did, "and it shouldn't."

Most of the 21st century is going to be about textiles, especially unnatural looking materials such as plastic, rubber, and vinyl. He explained that that is why there is so much interest in high-gloss materials: glazings and things that are polished. This is reflected in the stylish satin weaves and the new holographic bonding of surfaces to fabric; also, metallics. We've been programmed to think that the future is metallic, which is why metallics are now fashionable year-round, instead of just at the holidays.

Other upcoming trends are bold stripes (clean, graphic, and modernistic), extreme prints, and fabric innovations such as no-sew clothing techniques (molded plastic yarns). Also, look for an expanded color palettes that include nature's color scheme, neutrals, rich dark colors, bright bold tones, whites, and of course black. Sheer fabrics will become more acceptable, and everything that is a print right now will become a print on sheer.

The future is about shape shifting, contour, and fabric manipulation. Fashion is continuing in a body-conscious direction, whether the fabric is close to the body or moving away from it in the form of exaggerated silhouettes.

It's about newness. Mr. Wolfe said, "I love all of these clothes because I can't reference any period in fashion history when I look at them."



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student is a High School Junior



Name: Karly Miyamoto

Age: 16

Hometown: La Habra Heights, CA

Current Year in School: Junior

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA or Orange County and Summer of 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

Tell us a bit about yourself. My hobbies are dance, shopping with my mom and sister, being with my friends and family, and volunteering for my community with my mom.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Getting into FIDM and receiving a dance scholarship. I am also proud of the grades I got this last semester because my freshman year I struggled, and now I'm doing great.

What made FIDM right for you? I have had a love for fashion for a long time so I know I would get the best education by coming to a fashion school. I love everything this school has to offer and the best part is that FIDM is dedicated toward my long-term success.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project I made five different outfits for a fictional boutique. I described the type of person who would buy these outfits. I put them into a photo album, created the prices, and explained why I chose the items for this person.

What are your career goals? My career goals are to become a buyer and to one day open my own little boutique.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn all I need to know to make a successful career in the fashion industry. Also, I hope to learn all about the background of a company so I know the right clothes to buy for a specific store or how to create a display look appealing so someone would want to buy it.



Six Merchandise Marketing Students Attend National Retail Federation 2013 Big Show in NYC


Department Chairperson Marlene Morbitt-Dunn recently accompanied six Merchandise Marketing Students -- Katherine Thibault, Heather Pilar, Caitlin Conlee, Lindsay Wallace, and Kristine Biggs, pictured above with FIDM Alumna Erin Conley, Assistant Merchant for Victoria's Secret -- to attend the National Retail Federation (NRF) Conference in NYC. Retail's BIG Show was attended by 200 college students from 20 participating colleges, along with more than 20,000 conference attendees from around the world. Students heard presentations from the CEO's of Starbucks, The Container Store, Macy's, HSN, Whole Foods, and Walmart, among others. Recorded sessions from the conference will be available for FIDM Students.

"Meeting and networking with CEOs from leading companies was the most memorable experience for me," said Esther Wu, winner of the $5,000 Ray Greenley Scholarship Award (pictured below, front row, at right with other recipients), who we told you about back in December. "The keynote sessions were amazing and it was truly a world-class experience from the time I stepped off the plane. And Donna Karan said that she loved my hair!"


Caitlin Conlee added, "I got to shake Terry Lundgren's hand and all of the speakers inspired me. They all spoke about starting out in the same place as us, as young students, and it reassured me that I can too become very successful one day." Heather Pilar noted, "It was such an exhilirating experience to walk into a room filled with thousands of seats. I was in such awe of the profesionals and executives, especially Howard Schultz -- I was almost star struck as he walked on stage!"



Fashion Knitwear Design Student Featured on Cover of Vogue Knitting's Spring/Summer 2013 Issue


Current Fashion Knitwear Design Student Zahra Jade Knott has already made the cover of Vogue Knitting for the Spring/Summer 2013 issue. Her design features a mesh sleeve dolman in Prism Tencel Tape Layers. Congratulations, Zahra!


Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 2013, photo by Rose Callahan



Just Accepted Graphic Design Student Is a Motocross Racer Turned Designer



Full Name: Dillon Schehr

Age: 19

Hometown: San Clemente, CA

FIDM Major: Graphic Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA Campus Spring 2013

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

Tell us a bit about yourself. I grew up in the small beach town of San Clemente, California and started out at a young age of racing motocross and pursuing that as my career. After many years of racing and numerous injuries, I decided to take a different path in life and follow my other passion of becoming a graphic designer for a top clothing or action sports company.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I would have to say one of my proudest accomplishments, so far, is when I qualified for a national out in Ponca City, Oklahoma.

What made FIDM right for you? For me FIDM fits just right. I didn’t want to take the path of going to a community college and just getting my AA and transferring, but I wanted to pursue the career I've always wanted to in Graphic Design.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project I designed a type of snowboard that was made out of special materials and shaped like no other snowboard on the market. 

What are your career goals? To first graduate from FIDM and after get a job in the motocross industry designing motocross gear that is unique and like nothing else out there.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I want to learn and know everything about graphic design so I can take my knowledge from FIDM and pursue my career with the help of FIDM, family, and friends.



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Has High Fashion Retail Career



Name: Aian Orlando Vissani

Hometown: Huntington Beach, California

Major: Merchandise Marketing

Start Date: April 2013

Campus: Orange County

Admissions Advisor: Marylin Moore

Tell us a bit about yourself. I have worked in retail my whole life. I started at Macy's, then moved to Coach, Lucky Brand, Chanel, M Missoni, and I am now at Canali. I went to Orange Coast College for junior college and was on the men's crew team for two years. 

What are your proudest accompolishments? That I am an Eagle Scout, having my family support me, and working hard to finally get to where I want to be.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is right for me because I have always dreamed about going here, and this is my calling and I know I will succeed to my fullest!

Tell us about your entrance project. For my entrance project, I based it off Chanel. I bought a shadow box frame and made a collage of Chanel clippings from a bunch of fashion magazines. Then I attached a authentic Chanel chain to the top of the board to have a handbag affect on the project itself. 

What are your career goals? They are simple: to be the best of my class, get a job with a huge designer brand and work for their corporate office and be a buyer -- all while living and working in New York City.

What do you hope to learn at FIDM? I want to learn and grow in everything there is to know about fashion marketing and merchandising. I expect to learn it all, and have all the support from my friends and family to do so. 



Future FIDM Student to Show Designs at New York Fashion Week


The Fairfax Times has a report on future FIDM Student Amanda Daucher, who was accepted as a high school junior, and her upcoming appearance at New York Fashion Week. The Madison High School senior will debut a shirt she created with designer Stacy Igel on February 13. Amanda won an online contest to collaborate with the Igel. 

Amanda's YouTube Channel has nearly 3,000 followers and more than 230,000 video views. Read our interview with Amanda on FIDM's Fashion Club



Just Accepted Beauty Student Graduating Six Months Early From High School and Heading to Her Dream School


Full Name: Samantha Patridge

Age: 17

Hometown: Yorba Linda, CA

Current year in school: Freshly graduated from HS as of January 2013

FIDM Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: OC Summer of 2013

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

Tell us a bit about yourself. Well first things first, having two older sisters has inspired me from day one. My two older sisters are 9 and 10 years older than me, so if they wanted to experiment on a real live doll, I was un-voluntarily first in line. I went through it all, from getting my eyebrows completely plucked away, to getting short Britney Spears bobs to a 1980s face full of makeup. However, as I grew older, I learned about the best makeup and beauty products from them.

Other than school, I’m constantly working out. I love hiking and staying active in the outdoors, anything from riding dirtbikes at the river to going surfing in Huntigton. I love learning about nutrition and focusing on what good things I can put into my body. I love concerts (I’m a big country fan), but I  love every genre of music.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? After working incredibly hard in high school, I was advanced to an independent studies program, allowing me to graduate six months early from high school due to having more than enough credits. I’m proud of myself for graduating early, and of course getting accepted to my dream school, FIDM!

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM isn’t only right for me, it’s the only place for me. See, having such a passion for the beauty industry isn’t a common thing. I cannot go to any college and get the appropriate education for what my future holds. Going through FIDM's Beauty Program opens so many doors and leads me on the path of opening and running a successful multimillion dollar cosmetic line one day.

Describe your entrance project. I had a portfolio loaded with pictures and collages of features of beautiful people, focusing on Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima's eyebrows to be exact. Next, I made a giant poster board with pictures of my product and what it magically does and the before and after pictures of it. What was my magical product you ask? Well it was an eyebrow kit, powder, and wax loaded up with serum guaranteed to help your eyebrows grow. So basically it’s an all organic makeup product that indeed benefits you in the long run.

What are your career goals? Well after graduating from FIDM, I plan on interning for well known companies and gaining as much knowledge and experience as possible. Also I plan to travel and get different senses of taste and cultures in different countries. In the long run, I plan on launching my own line of organic cosmetics with high percentages going to charities to people in need. For example, with TOMS Shoes, you buy one and they give a pair to a less fortunate person in need. I plan on incorporating something of this sort into my company, but to do so with cosmetics and beauty instead. I believe every woman deserves to feel beautiful in her own skin and taken care of.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn a whole lot at FIDM! I’m looking forward to learning the basics of what is really used in cosmetic products and how could we substitute organic, healthy ingredients. I also look forward to learning the business side of it, specifically using our quickly advancing technology around us to market.



Just Accepted VisComm Student Transfers to FIDM From University of Oregon


Full Name: Camille Kern         

Age: 20

Hometown: Hillsboro, Oregon

Current year in school: College sophomore

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Fall 2013

Admissions Advisor: Kristin Chocek -- she was amazing!

Tell us a bit about yourself. Living in Oregon, I’ve grown up with a love for nature. I’m inspired by nature, travels, colors and patterns, Marc Jacobs, Juergen Teller, Free People, etc. I simply love creating, whether it be pen and watercolor or card stock and glitter. It’s fun for me to turn my thoughts and ideas into something tangible and real.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? To tell you the truth, I don’t think my proudest accomplishment is actually an award, certificate, or anything of that sense. One day I really opened my eyes and realized that I needed to major in something that will let me be creative everyday. I’m proud that I’ve chosen to not continue at The University of Oregon with a major that I’m unsure of, and instead move to LA to pursue something that I’m actually passionate about!

What made FIDM right for you? I want to be surrounded by people with the same mindset as myself. I knew that FIDM was perfect for me because I’ll be taking classes that I’m truly excited about. I can finally immerse myself in fashion, art, and business everyday at school, which is something that I’ve wanted for a long time.

Describe your entrance project. I was working on my entrance project around Christmas time so for one of my three projects, I chose to make a holiday window display for a department store such as Saks or Nordstrom. I painted individual cut outs of each detail and glued them together to create my scene. Basically it was a Christmas tree with wrapped presents beneath it, but mostly everything in the scene was white (including lights). The backdrop was to be made of vertical wooden boards, each painted in one of four Christmas colors that I chose. I attached paint samples to the project to show what I would have actually used. I also came up with a slogan that I designed to be painted on white wooden boards and suspended above the tree, saying “Fashionable gifts that will one-up Santa”. 

What are your career goals? I chose to major in Visual Communications partially because of its versatility and all of the different directions that I can go with it. I see myself in the future working as an art director or event planner. My overall career goal is to have a career that incorporates both creativity and business.  

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn a lot of hands-on skills that will prepare me for life after graduation. I’m excited to learn more about turning my love for fashion and art into something that’s professional and practical.



New Interview With San Francisco Fashion Editor of Mode


Nikki Spyt is the Fashion Editor of student zine FIDM Mode™ at the San Francisco campus, and is currently working on her Professional Designation Fashion Design Degree. Her hometown is Brooklyn, New York, and she’s lived and studied in both London and Paris.

"Everyone here on the Mode team SF has been so amazing to collaborate with. Their passion for fashion, as cliche as that sounds, has really fueled me to try new things and make each shoot a fun, entertaining, and educational experience. I wouldn't trade this position for anything; it has really been a great addition to my life."

Read the entire interview with Nikki Spyt on FIDM's Daily.



Just Accepted VisComm Student Has Owned Her Own Clothing Store Since Junior Year of High School



Full Name: Delaney Evers

Age: 18

Hometown: Centerville, IA

Current Year in School: Freshman at Indian Hills Community College

FIDM Major: Visual Communications Professional Designation

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Fall 2013

Admissions Advisor: Arti Martinez 

Tell us a bit about yourself. Like most students attending FIDM I’m obsessed with fashion. I also love reading, dancing, and playing sports. I’m the type of person that likes to be involved in as much as possible and I always work my hardest to accomplish all my goals. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? By far my proudest accomplishment thus far has been owning and operating my own clothing store since my junior year of high school. It has taught me so much about the fashion industry. I’ve loved being able to travel around the country to go on buying trips and putting together fun photo shoots. 

What made FIDM right for you? The thing that impressed me the most about FIDM is that all of the instructors are currently working in the industry. They have a wealth of knowledge that we wouldn’t be able to learn from any textbook and I think that’s what will help students know what to expect working in the fashion industry.  

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project I created a women’s clothing store with an Art Deco influence. To complete the idea more I included the furniture and textiles that would be found in the store.

What are your career goals? For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a fashion stylist. A stylist can tell an entire story in one picture, which I think is a very magical thing. 

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I want to learn how to be a better sketcher, how to coordinate large scale photo shoots and events, and how to predict future trends. These skills will help me to accomplish everything I want to in the fashion industry. 



Just Accepted MPD Student Loves Standing Out in the Crowd



Full Name: Javón Washington 

Age: 18

Hometown: Port Arthur, Texas

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

Campus and Start Date: Spring 2013, Los Angeles 

Admissions Advisor: Kristen Chocek

Tell us a bit about yourself. Well of course, I love fashion. I also love singing, dancing, acting, writing poetry, and being unique. I love standing out in the crowd. I love to be involved and make a difference. I want to prove that with hard work and dedication, any dream can become reality.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Actually getting accepted to FIDM. It has always been my dream to go to California and now I get that opportunity, as well as getting the chance to go the the best fashion school in the US.

What made FIDM right for you? The school focuses on the student's success. They open a lot of doors for their students and I want to be a part of that. For me to reach my goals, I feel that FIDM is the perfect school to go to.

Describe your entrance project. I took five photos of models wearing various clothes and I redesigned them to look better and found a way to make them more appealing to a younger audience.

What are your career goals? I aspire to be a Grammy Award winning fashion designer. I want to be a recording artist and I want to have my own clothing line. 

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? How to make clothes, how to sketch, how to sew, how to run a business, and how to manage my money. With my major, I get fashion design, business, and marketing all in one, which will set me on the right path to make my dreams come true.



JustFab Launches Dress Design Contest at FIDM

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Reps from JustFab, Jane Lee and Sarah Marsh, visited FIDM's Los Angeles campus this week to kick off JustFab's Dress Design Contest, created exclusively for FIDM Students.

The contest calls for FIDM Students to design a dress inspired by a JustFab shoe. First place wins a $3000 scholarship and an internship at JustFab. The deadline to enter the contest is February 15.

Jane and Sarah also visited eleven classrooms throughout the day. Jane is a graduate of FIDM who now works in Public Relations at JustFab, and Sarah Marsh is a Project Coordinator who will be featured on House of Fab, the new TV series which chronicles the company's operations with Kimora Lee Simmons as President and Creative Director. House of Fab premiered this week on the Style Network.



Just Accepted VisComm Student Has Been Featured in the Palm Springs Art Museum



Name: Sophia  Nestande

Age: 17

Hometown: Palm Desert, CA

Current year in school: Senior

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus: Los Angeles

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

Tell us a bit about yourself. I love creating art, especially drawing. I love to read and write, usually poetry, but I prefer to read classic novels. I am mostly inspired by people around me, whether it be family, friends, or even complete strangers. I am especially inspired by my peers in my AP art class. We all feed off of each others creations and give feedback to help us become better artists. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest moment was last year when I entered an art competition for the Palm Springs Art Museum and my piece was chosen to be displayed in the museum! It was a photography piece centered around the idea of power and I was one of only 60 people to be chosen in the juried competition. I also received a certificate of recognition for my use of photography. 

What made FIDM right for you? I'm a very creative person, so when I started to look into schools, FIDM became one of my top choices from the start. I was drawn to the school because the idea of a specialized education, where I could start classes for my major right away, really appealed to me. I feel that FIDM will really utilize my strengths, and I'm very excited to be attending such an amazing school!

Describe your entrance project. My favorite project was my Circle, Square, Triangle. I used ink and Painter's Tape through the process of print making to create an abstract piece of art. For my window display, I created a "Winter Wonderland" by using a light blue as my background and wrapping boxes in wrapping paper to mount the shoes on. I hung snowflakes from the ceiling around the two outfits and sprinkled the floor with white, shiny confetti to make the illusion of snow.

I also made a shoe display centering around TOMS Shoes. I made a Christmas tree with books and placed the shoes around the "tree" as well as decorating it with lights. I also used my little sister who sat in a chair reading while her bare feet were resting on a shoe box that read "one for one" to complete the photograph and fully get the message across. 

What are your career goals? I have a few ideas for careers, but it is really between textile design or being a set designer. Both appeal to me for different reasons, and I feel both would be amazing job opportunities. 

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn the tools of my trade, and I hope to learn how to be the best I possibly can in my major.



Just Accepted Graphic Design Student Is Already Freelancing as a High School Senior



Full Name: Cody Pham

Age: 17

Hometown: Murrieta, California

Year in School: Senior

FIDM Major: Graphic Design then Business Management

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles and San Francisco, Summer 2013

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

Tell us a bit about yourself. I love anything art, anything sports, and anything social. I spend mostly all of my time at school, whether it be for sports, ASB, art-related, clubs, and all sorts of school events. A huge chunk of my time is spent with the cross country, basketball, and track teams, as well as a few of the clubs I am a part of, such as ASB, NHS, and the BBC (a spirit club), at my school, that was voted most spirited school in the nation.

As for art, I’ve always loved to get as much experience in the art world as I can, making anything from custom shoes, shirts, bikes, logos, illustrations, graffiti, backdrops, sets, canvases, murals, ceramics, to home décor.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishments art-wise have been the street art campaign a friend and I have started in my town, as well as my freelance company, that has helped me expand my ranges in art and taken weight financially off my parents' backs.

What made FIDM right for you? Everything.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project, I created a fixed gear cycling shop, making a catalog cover, a magazine ad, and various logos for it, inspired mostly by street-cultured biking.

What are your career goals? I would like to build up a design company and work with various clients on all types of mediums and materials, and own a studio to fund relief work and projects overseas to third world and less fortunate countries.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? To obtain the tools necessary to be a more creative and have a keen eye for everything around me, while sharpening my skills and understanding of graphic design, fashion, and the world of commercial art.



Pretty Little Liars Costume Designer and FIDM Grad Mandi Line Visits FIDM

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Pretty Little Liars Costume Designer and FIDM Alumna Mandi Line visited FIDM to talk with students about her career and share her insights into working in the entertainment industry.

As a model in high school, Mandi has always loved the fashion industry and knew she wanted to study it in college. At the age of 17, she enrolled at FIDM and loved it. She told the students, "It changed my life. Not to say every class changed my life, but when you find a class and a teacher that you love, you know what works for you. I had a teacher who taught Trend Forecasting, and I just got her. I thought to myself, 'This teacher is going to change my life.'"

She advised the students to utilize the resources FIDM offers, such as the Career Center and the Library. "There are no libraries anywhere like this one."

Through the Career Center, she found out about a feature film costume design internship. When she arrived on set, she said she had no idea what to do, but she watched the way her supervisor worked. "She dressed the actors with speed, professionalism, and without doubt." So, Mandi told herself to "own it" and she went to work, impressing her boss who told her that day that she had found her calling.

"I'm not a stylist. I really don't know if you ask me what's hip. I know what I like, and I know because I'm good at what I do, what I like will set trends."

Her advice to costume design interns? "Be humble. Work hard. Don't be annoying. Don't wear heels." Visual Communications Student Johauna Mani is currently interning for Mandi, whom Mandi says is awesome. Mandi said she's probably had 20 people before her, and "Johauna will be the first person I call for something that pays and is amazing."

Mandi dresses every single character on Pretty Little Liars, which is not necessarily the norm for costume designers. She gives it her all, and it's the best-dressed show on television. "I love this more than anything I could ever do."



MPD Student Francesca Eastwood Is Miss Golden Globe


The Wall Street Journal recently profiled Miss Golden Globe Francesca Eastwood, who was seen on stage throughout Sunday evening's Golden Globe Awards and is a current Merchandise Product Development Student at FIDM. Francesca, who is the daughter of film legend Clint Eastwood and actress Frances Fisher, just wrapped a movie, Final Girl, and has appeared on the E! reality series, Mrs. Eastwood & Company



Just Accepted Beauty Industry Student Wants to Launch Vegan Makeup Line



Full Name: Mary Eunice Quinit

Age: 17

Hometown: Delano, CA

Year in School: Senior 

Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA Summer 2013

Admissions Advisor: Dee Solis

Tell us a bit about yourself. I enjoy spending most of my time being out with friends and socializing with everyone. If I'm not out and about then I'm at home spending day and night watching shows and movies on Netflix. I also love being a part of Rockeresque and creating makeup looks, creating and editing projects, and spending time watching beauty-related videos on YouTube. I get inspired by people and objects everyday.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Being a street team member for a beauty company called Rockeresque. From makeup challenges to promoting, it has opened many doors for me. I've met amazing girls throughout my time with Rockeresque and created so many friendships. I'd do anything for the them and I plan on being a street team member for as long as I can. 

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM gives the opportunity to easily gain knowledge of the beauty industry. Not just within cosmetics, but further in depth with ingredients, marketing, social media, business, and so on. If I want to reach my dream of having my own company then I must start from the roots. 

Describe your entrance project. I targeted my product to a broad audience, while making sure it was at an affordable price. Being dedicated to cruelty-free and avoiding harsh chemicals, I made sure that the product I came up with was as safe as possible. My own makeup remover potion seemed about right for anyone who has a tough time getting rid of residue, impurities, and makeup. 

What are your career goals? I will be my own boss and create a line of vegan and cruelty-free cosmetics. Aside from that, I'd like to be an educator to all those who own makeup. I want to get involved with the beauty industry as much as I can and do whatever I can do get rid of any ingredients that can be harmful. 

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn how to make cosmetics, how to keep stock on inventory, the rules of business, history of beauty, and everything in between. I hope to find who I am with my experience at FIDM.



Future FIDM Student Designs His Own United Threads Line


Staples High School senior Adam Rosenthal was a cross-country and lacrosse star athlete until he had a career-ending knee injury as a freshman. Around the same time he was placed in an introductory design and technology class where he took an interest in graphic design and digital tools, later creating a Digital Arts and Media Club at his high school.

After an advanced design technology class sophomore year, Adam started his own clothing line, United Threads. He was accepted to FIDM as a junior and will begin the Apparel Industry Management Program in July. The entreprenurial student currently designs his own graphics and is learning to sew. 

Read more about Adam in Westport News



OC Graphic Design Student Designs "Miso For Life" Book


Current Graphic Design Student Crystal Chau recently designed Miso For Life, the second book in the A Melting Pot of Thoughts series, which is edited by FIDM OC Financial Aid Director Mai Bui. "This was one of those shining moments in life that just happened to fall into the palm of my hands so I had to seize the opportunity and put my best effort forward," explains Crystal, who will graduate in March. She designed the book's cover and its contents. 

"The inspiration for the design came from the kimono wardrobe that was featured on the model," she explains. "Holding the printed book and seeing my name printed inside and outside of the book was pure happiness." Crystal's career goals include designing conceptual advertisements, magazine layouts, and video game and product packaging. 

The book is available for purchase at Amazon.  



FIDM to Host Premiere Screening of Style's "Kimora: House of Fab" Featuring Q&A With Kimora Lee Simmons



On Tuesday, January 15, 2013, FIDM will host the exclusive premiere screening of Style's Kimora: House of Fab, featuring a special appearance by Kimora Lee Simmons in the Student Lounge at the L.A. campus. The screening begins at 6:15 p.m. and will be followed by a Q&A Panel with Simmons and her JustFab team who appear in the new docu-series, which premieres on January 23, 2013 at 9pm ET/PT on Style.

The show pulls back the curtain to the sleek offices of JustFab, the online destination for women looking for affordable shoes, handbags, and high fashion looks at affordable prices. With more than nine million members, JustFab is changing the world of fast fashion and Simmons is President and Creative Director. 

FIDM Students may RSVP to Amy Lynn Thompson,, to attend this exciting event. Please note: This event is for current FIDM Students only. 



Just Accepted MPD Student Started Her Own Business at Age 12



Full Name: Danielle Ruth Thaxton

Age: 17

Hometown: Aurora, Colorado

Year in School: Senior

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, October of 2013

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

Tell us a bit about yourself. I love everything to do with fashion. Some of my hobbies include making bedazzled phone cases for my business and selling them. I am most inspired  by vintage pieces and architecture because I love making old things look new and designing things with a lot of structure.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment would be running my own business when I was 12. I designed, created, and sold little girl handbags and accessories at craft fairs. 
What made FIDM right for you? The college is fully dedicated to fashion just like I am. I liked its location because LA is such a great place to get inspired and  involved in fashion.  

Describe your entrance project. I took dresses from high-end fashion designers, such as Alexander McQueen, and reconstructed them so they could be sold at Forever 21. I did my project on a board and placed the picture of what the dress looked like before I redesigned it. I then sketched a new version that could fit into Forever 21's design aesthetic. For each dress I provided the cost of what it could be sold for at Forever 21 and then I described what fabric materials I would use to create that dress. I then added fabric swatches for each of my designs to show what materials you could use to make those dresses.

What are your career goals? To gain as much knowlege about fashion as I can from FIDM so I can later on own and run my own clothing line and business.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? Everything I need to know about fashion and all the tools that will help me succeed in achieving my dream.



Just Accepted Beauty Industry Student Says Getting Into FIDM Is Her Proudest Accomplishment



Full Name: Gianna Stillo

Age: 18

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois

FIDM Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, April 2014

Admissions Advisor: Kristen Chocek

Tell us a bit about yourself. I love to dance and sing and I've always loved shopping and fashion ever since I was a little girl. High school was really when I started experimenting with cosmetics and found a passion for it.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My acceptance to FIDM !

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is located in one of the fashion and beauty capitals of the world! What's not to love? Since it's the only beauty industry program of its kind in the country, my decision was easy.

Describe your entrance project. With my entrance project I tried to create a product everybody could use. In today's busy world, some women do not find the time to put on makeup, but with the product I created, it makes applying makeup a breeze. I created a 3-in-1 lip gloss, eyeshadow, and cheek highlight. 

What are your career goals? In the future, my goal is to join up with a production team for a large cosmetic brand to create new products and improve the old ones.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I know the education at FIDM will prepare me for everything I will encounter in my career. 



Two FIDM Students Win $5,000 Scholarships from the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund


Congratulations to SF Business Management Student Cindy Mirsoian and LA Merchandise Marketing Student Jessica Barrett, who were each awarded a $5,000 scholarship from the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund. In addition to the scholarship, Cindy and Jessica will receive a trip to New York, where they will stay at the famed Waldorf Astoria Hotela nd attend the Annual FSF Geoffrey Beene Scholarship Dinner. The following day, they will meet with representatives from 15 companies at the FSF internship fair. 

Apparel Industry Management Chair Roni Miller Start will accompany Cindy and Jessica on their New York adventure. 

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