Transfer Student



Transfer Student Cat Worsey Shows Her Work To Oscar-Winning Costume Designers


Cat Worsey transferred to FIDM from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts this quarter to pursue a career as a costumer designer for film and TV. Originally from Thousand Oaks, California, she graduated from high school in 2013 and has already shown her work to Oscar-winning costume designers. "I have a dream and I am not going to let anything stand in my way." Read on to find out more about this inspiring student.

Why did you transfer to FIDM? I transferred to FIDM because I wanted to be surrounded by my passion—costume and design. The creative energy here is unlike anywhere I have been to. Students are here because they want to be here. Students want to strive to succeed and that mentality is contagious. FIDM happens to also be the epicenter of TV as well as film, two fields that I strive to be a part of in the near future. California also happens to be my hometown, which is a plus as an only child coming from a very close family. The college that I originally attended felt very forced. I use that choice of wording because I felt as if I just needed to push through the curriculum to achieve what I wanted. I was there for a little over a year. Even with that mind set, I still was not acquiring the skills and education to pursue my dreams and goals. In fact I was told that I could never make my entrepreneurial dreams come true because they said it was not realistic. That is not the response that I received from FIDM. I was encouraged to continue to go down that path. It may not be an easy one, but I was never shut down for just mentioning it in the first place. That was when I realized the difference. Being able to attend FIDM and be among such dedicated and creative individuals has taught me that you need to be who you are. In comparison, I had to hide much of who I was for fear of being alienated, which eventually happened anyway. I am only in week three of the first quarter and I know that I made the right decision and that the fit is also right.

Tell us a little about yourself: I was born and raised in California and I have stayed in the state for my whole life. I grew up in golden age of Disney films or, as some individuals call it, the Renaissance of Disney. The height of animation inspired me as a child to draw. It took a while but I learned how to draw my favorite characters. In my middle and high school years, I was set on being in illustration. That changed when I attended my first convention here in LA. It was Anime Expo, and no I am not embarrassed to admit that Japanese animation had and has a big role in my life. It was the first time that I had ever attended anything like it. A few of my friends from high school decided to go dressed as some of their favorite characters, so I decided to join in. At first I thought it was weird but after I attended, I absolutely loved it. The passion and creativity that goes into not only making a pre-existing character come to life but also making complex original characters as well. I adored it even though I did not make my first costume. I knew the next time I was going to try. I had never sewn before and I had taken some classes but just the basics. I put an outfit together the following year with garments that I altered. I was halfway there. Then I went to my first college. I learned a lot in one year, and the summer after I finished my freshman year I was able to make two costumes. I fell in love with the process. I spent hours, day after day, working and when it was finally over I had to ask myself, “Did I really make that?” I can't put into words the amazing impact it's had on me. That was the point in which I realized I knew which path I was going to take.

What is one of your proudest accomplishments? My proudest accomplishments have to be from a year or two ago. I could discuss that award I received in an art show but my proudest accomplishments are not necessarily tactile. When I first made my own character design into a complete costume—that was the achievement of my dreams. The pride was so overwhelming that I had to continue to ask myself if I was asleep or not. I was also able to meet a handful of costume designers from the Costume Designers Guild last year where I showed them my work and they were very impressed and loved it. That was a major wakeup call for me because I was told so many times that I was not good enough in art by multiple individuals. To get that validation from Oscar winning costume designers was amazing. I was also able to network with others in the industry. It was an amazing experience.

How did you hear about FIDM and what made you decide to go here? I feel as though irony has been knocking at my door these last couple of months. The reason is that I had FIDM actually advertised at my high school. They had a whole wall dedicated to arts colleges and I also walked past it and saw FIDM. I did not think much of it at the time because I was on a different path. I was not even aware that there was a costume program. I was set on coming here when I first visited the campus in September of 2014. It was professional and the student work was displayed for all to see. I could feel the creative energy. Every time I walk on campus for classes I am inspired. It is truly a unique environment and completely different from the college I transferred from.

How did you choose your major? It took a little while for me to choose my major because I have gone through a lot of changes. Originally I wanted to be an animator or be in visual development. As I look back on it now I would have to say that I was being very narrow minded. I only found my passion a year or so ago. I just love being able to bring concepts to life in a tactile way. It is the most fulfilling feeling in the world to be able to say, “I made that.”

What’s your favorite class at FIDM so far? The fundamentals of sketching class. I really enjoy interpreting garments and making sketches for them. It gives me a better understanding of how a garment is constructed, as well as how to draw it. When I originally just did sketches for fun I never understood how a garment could be depicted on a two dimensional character. I also enjoy the level of detail that we can incorporate into the sketches. I am a very detail oriented individual and I love the little things that push a design another step forward to a whole new level.

What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? I have two career goals—the first is that I would like to be a costume designer in the movie or TV industry. It has always been a dream of mine to be behind the scenes in the entertainment industry. My other goal is to be able to have my own boutique. Whether I choose to be in fashion or in costumes, either way I will have achieved my goals. Ever since I was a child I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and it has stuck with me ever since. I also want to keep an open mind as well because life is not black and white. I may achieve goals that I never thought possible with FIDM and I look very much toward the future.

What advice do you have for someone thinking about going to FIDM? Some of the best advice I can give to someone who is thinking about attending FIDM is three main things. First be diligent in time management. It is one of the things that I have been taught since I was in middle school. I had to juggle many things back then and time management was a key necessity to my success at school. I swam, went to an art studio, and had homework every night at the end of every day. It may be a pain to work ahead but it pays off in the long run and prevents last minute or late night panic attacks. The second piece of advice that I can give is to be you. I know that sounds very cliché but I believe it is of key importance. There are students here from all walks of life and from everywhere around the world. Everyone is different and unique. I had a hard time being myself in high school, but now that I am here I don’t feel that I have to hide things any longer. The last advice I can give to a student who is thinking about going to FIDM is very simple—it is to be passionate. I believe in order to be successful here you have to have a passion for what you are doing. That makes all the stressful situations small compared to the main goal. I have a dream and I am not going to let anything stand in my way because I love and have a passion for what I am doing. It is not something that you can prepare for but it is important to keep that in mind. 

Anything else you’d like to share? It took me some time to figure out what my true passion was. I always knew I wanted to be in some sort of art field but I was not quite sure what. I tried everything from dance to swimming to water polo to choir to orchestra and so on. Now that I have finally found my passion for design and garment/costume construction I feel that all those bumps in the road were essential. I want to someday give that joy and revelation back to someone else. That is one of the main reasons I want to have my own boutique in my hometown or even here in LA. I want to give back to students that have gone through hard times in their lives and are struggling with wanting to be an artist. I was very fortunate to have a family that supports me but I know that there are many that don’t have that support. That is one of the reasons that I someday wish to return to my high school and speak. In my mind the only one in your way of pursuing your dreams is yourself. I also write original stories in my free time and hope to get them up and running some day in stores. I also love all forms of art from sculpting, writing, cooking, dancing, and traditional and digital media.








His Goal? Grow From Business Grad into Graphic Design Guru



Name: Chris Finical

Age: 27

Hometown: Mission Viejo, CA

Previous College: ASU, 2010, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

FIDM Major: Graphic Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA, Spring 2015

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? Shirley was super helpful in giving me the information I needed to make the right decision. She kept me organized and on track through the admissions process. Based upon my conversations with Shirley I feel extremely prepared for my program to start and taking full advantage of what FIDM has to offer.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Mission Viejo is where I have been fortunate enough to call home. It's where I was born and based upon my experiences growing up, Mission Viejo has shaped me into who I am today. I lived in Arizona for about five years, during which time I graduated from Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business. Both of these locations offer awesome weather year-round, something that I took full advantage of by getting outside as much as possible.

If I am not in the ocean, surfing, or free-diving, or hiking my own trail off the beaten path then you can usually find me doing some art or design project. In the past week I have done the following activities: DIY tile coasters, refinished furniture (for the move to FIDM), hiked, snorkeled, skateboarded, surfed, and snowboarded.

What made FIDM right for you? I have always wanted to involve myself within the retail and action sports industry. FIDM gives me the ability to network with the top professionals in those industries and earn an internship to further my experience in the marketing and graphics field. Also, going back to school to further my education, in general, has always been on my mind. Now, after working in sales for over three years and trying to get my foot into the marketing side of the business, I have realized I need to take an alternative approach.

I have always loved drawing and art, but was afraid to make it my career with the risk of losing a passion of mine by making it work. Then it hit me that to get to where I want to be I need to use my artistic talent and will probably have a lot of fun doing so. Earning a degree from FIDM in Graphic Design puts me in an excellent position to be part of a marketing or creative team. A second degree will just separate me that much more from the competition.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project, I decided to make my own company, Ground Roots. Ground Roots is a lifestyle brand that is also looking to redefine today's traditional “Board Shops” and help promote other local businesses. A lot of retail stores are very niche oriented and I wanted to make sure that I appealed to a large demographic so I designed my store to not only include my merchandise, but a couple retail areas for small local companies/pop-up shops that would target females.

This gives the local companies a cheap platform to sell their merchandise and instantly grows the appeal of the store to a different demographic. I was able to increase foot traffic by serving an everyday item incorporating a local coffee or juice shop inside the store. I also came up with a logo to put on a bag, a catalog cover, and an advertisement.

What are your career goals? Upon graduating from FIDM, I will have more than three years of sales experience in online marketing and social media. I will be looking to work for a top-rated company while helping them grow their business through graphic design and online marketing. My goal down the road is to be the Creative Director or Marketing Director with a six-figure annual income. The skills and experience I will gain at FIDM will provide me the ability to start my own business on the side where I would help small businesses flourish and grow successfully.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I am expecting to learn how to build and code websites. At the same time, I want to really build my skill set when it comes to the Adobe Suite on the graphic design side. Then I will have the ability to build a brand, logo, and advertisements for a business and make sure that the advertisements are linked to the website to be as efficient as possible.



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Is Vintage Boutique Buyer and Social Media Manager



Name: Nanor Momdjian

Age: 21

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Previous College: Pasadena City College

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles; October 2015

Admissions Advisor: Alissa Dixon

How did your advisor help with the process? Alissa guided me through every step during the application process, and she kept in contact with me on a weekly basis up until my interview. She answered all my questions and provided me with very helpful tips for my interview.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Music and fashion are a huge part of my life. Whenever I’m not busy songwriting or performing, I keep up with my favorite fashion and lifestyle blogs and flip through the latest issues of Vogue, Elle, and Harper's Bazaar. On my days off, I like to go vintage or thrift store shopping to find unique pieces for my collection.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I’m most proud of landing my job at a vintage boutique as a buyer and social media manager. My manager from my previous job opened her own spot in Eagle Rock, Top Knot. We built such a close bond that she wanted me to work for her. I’ve been at Top Knot for about a year now and I love every minute of it. I learn something new every day, and I look forward to opening my own vintage boutique someday.

What made FIDM right for you? At first, the creative environment at FIDM is what attracted me the most. But when it came to working one-on-one with the admissions advisor and meeting the kind and helpful staff, I knew FIDM was a place where I belonged. Plus, being in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles is also very convenient and central—the location is the perfect place to network and meet people within the fashion industry.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project, I needed to pretend to be a store owner and describe my customer base, as well as put together five different outfits. I named my store “Luxetique,” luxe meaning luxury and the “-tique” is a nod to the word boutique. Luxetique carries numerous high-end designers such as Givenchy and YSL, as well as vintage. Additionally, I put together five vintage-inspired outfits from some of my favorite artists from past decades like, Cher, Aaliyah, Sade, Madonna, and Blondie.

What are your career goals? Working for a vintage boutique as a buyer has really inspired and motivated me to work towards opening my own vintage boutique someday. I want to buy and curate my own collection of rare vintage finds and sell them to people who are really passionate about vintage and appreciate the history of the clothing.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn the ins and outs of the fashion industry, as well as strategic business and marketing tactics that will benefit me in my future endeavors as a business owner.



Just Accepted Graphic Design Student Is UCLA Graduate



Name: Alexander Jimenez

Age: 23

Hometown: Fountain Valley, CA

Previous College: UCLA

FIDM Major: Graphic Design Professional Designation

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Spring 2015. 

Admissions Advisor: Margaret Berger

How did your advisor help with the process? Margaret was super helpful. She walked me through FIDM's background, many of its programs, and set me up on multiple tours. This was all when I knew nothing about FIDM, but she was able to show me how it was just what I was looking for.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I really like to draw characters, but I have a hard time with backgrounds and setting. Currently, I'm most inspired by Hayao Miyazaki for his animation philosophy, and by the guys who made Avatar and Legend of Korra because they definitely developed their own pan-American-Asian combo style that is top-notch. I like to read a lot; science fiction and fantasy are my favorite genres in fiction, but mostly I read books about design, economics, physics, and geography. 

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment was getting my fraternity to turn up for the 2013 Dance Marathon at UCLA. It was a big deal since we'd never done it before but we ended up with the biggest team and I think we still have the record for most money ever raised by a fraternity at that event, and they still go to it each year, which is even better since I know other guys were inspired to keep it up. That being said, I also got into salads last year, which I personally associate with finally growing up. That's something to be proud of right?

What made FIDM right for you? I can tell FIDM is right for me because it intimidates me. That means there's a lot to accomplish. And I'm a little too competitive in most things, but FIDM seems like the kind of place where it's okay to go overboard.

What are your career goals? I'd like to run my own studio at some point in the future, and preferably before I'm old and wrinkly. As of right now there are just way too many cool things that I've seen and read about but don't know how to do yet that my short time priority is to learn, no matter what I'm doing. 

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? Just about anything that comes my way. If I had to pick some priorities I'd really like to learn how to sew, improve my digital painting, and get into web design.



Thinking About Transferring to FIDM? Attend Transfer Day in Los Angeles.


Are you thinking of transferring to FIDM? Save the Date(s): Saturday, April 25, 2015 and Saturday, July 25, 2015 for Transfer Day at the Los Angeles campus. 

Get all of the needed details on how to transfer from a community college or 4-year university, including recommended courses and how to transfer credits. 

  • Take a tour of our Los Angeles campus.
  • Learn about our 26 creative and business majors.
  • Hear from faculty, current students, alumni, and view student work.

Read the stories of FIDM Transfer Students here.

Hear from 10 Transfer Students who followed their passions to FIDM

More about Transfer Students at FIDM.

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Just Accepted Graphic Design Student Has a Master's Degree



Name: Marsadez Troupe

Age: 26

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Previous College: CSU, Fresno University of La Verne

FIDM Major: Graphic Design

FIDM Campus/Start Date: Los Angeles, CA April, 2015

Admission Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? Cathy was a tremendous help throughout my admission process. She answered all of my questions and made sure I was on track with my project and admissions materials. Also, Cathy made sure she was available (even during the holiday vacation), to give me feedback on my project. In many ways, Cathy was a great motivation as she ensured me she as there to help me through everything, even after my acceptance. She is truly a wonderful person with great insight and much inspiration.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am a young woman that continues to strive with great ambition, and to succeed in everything I do. I was always the girl to help everyone. Due to my kind nature, I was told by countless people that I should become a therapist. So shortly after I graduated from high school and began attending CSU, Fresno, where I decided to major in Psychology. Four years later, upon my graduation, I began the Marriage and Family Therapy program at the University of La Verne.

I love the therapeutic process and helping others, but I realized I was I was not in love with the career. Helping my clients through Art Therapy helped me find myself, and unleashed my passions within myself. When I received my Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy, I decided to indulge myself creativity and apply to FIDM. I felt as if I was doing something for myself for once in my life. I am the type of woman that appreciate the creativity and inspirations of life.

I enjoy reading, poetry, drawing, scrapbooking, collecting and learning about sneakers/urban street-wear, admiring fashion, enjoying music, watching movies, astronomy, outdoor activities, sports, and pretty much anything that catches my interest. In hopes that I could be someone's else inspiration, I hope I can inspire others to follow their dreams, no matter the barriers they face or the obstacles they must climb through.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment is being a young African American woman, who isn't afraid to chase my dreams. Before the age of 25, I received two degrees. Now at the age of 26, I am not afraid to further my accomplishments at FIDM.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is the perfect fit for me because it allows me to unleash my creative abilities. I will be able to accomplish all my lifelong dreams through FIDM. I can enjoy many of the majors revolving around fashion. Most of all, the energy here at FIDM is inviting, everyone here is helpful, and I am able to get hands-on experience from instructors within the industry.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project was created around a luxurious speciality retail store that I'd like to open in the near future. My project was divided into three parts: I described in great detail my luxurious specialty retail store and clientele, creating the slogan, "Mercy Me Lavish," and I created the store's catalog cover with a sleek photo of Kanye West. I also created a magazine ad of three black and white photos of Erykah Badu in Givenchy with stylish typography.

What are your career goals? I aspire to become a knowledgeable graphic designer within the fashion industry. Furthermore, I would like to possibly own my fashion line specializing in high fashion urban street-wear. Moreover, my ultimate career goal is to own my specialty retail store. I will be able to utilize my creativity in graphic designing to in-house my own graphic clothing line. To further advance my goals, I wish to also write books tailored to the sneakerhead community and to those who appreciate fashion. With my mindset, I will accomplish any goal I set for myself.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? Here at FIDM, I expect to learn how to utilize my creative abilities and apply them to the world around me.



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Transferring to FIDM From UC Irvine



Name: Michelle Aganian

Age: 19

Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA

Previous College: UC Irvine

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, Fall 2015

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? Shirley was amazing at giving me all the details and information about the big journey ahead. She assured me why FIDM is the right place for me and made me feel welcome. She has made the transition so simple for me so far and I am grateful for all her help.

Tell us a bit about yourself. My favorite thing to do is travel and explore new places. In my spare time, I enjoy crafting small things out of paper, scissors, glue, etc. I also love spending time with my family and friends. My inspiration would have to be my family because my biggest goal in life is to make them proud.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? So far, I think my proudest accomplishment would have to be making the switch from UCI to FIDM. I wasn’t happy with where I was going at UCI and decided to follow my passion for design. Even though it wasn’t an easy decision, I am glad I made it.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM has exactly what I am looking for. I never thought that I would find a major that felt so right for me until I came across Visual Communications.

Describe your entrance project. For my first project, I had to create something using triangles, circles, and squares. I chose to make a lamp with a square base, a circular light bulb, and a pyramid-shaped shade. For my second project, I had to make an exterior window display. I made a display inspired by the winter season featuring cool colors (mint, blue, lilac, white, and silver), snowflakes, shopping bags, and lots of snow. For my third project, I had to make an interior store display. I decided to make a store that only sold white clothing. To spice up the plain merchandise, I made the rest of the theme bright and bold with black and white stripes and pops of neon yellow.

What are your career goals? Although I am not 100% sure what career path I would like to go down yet, I know for a fact that I want to be able to put my creativity and imagination on display while traveling the world, particularly around Europe.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn not only about my major, but also other skills that will be useful in my career and life. I hope to come out feeling confident in my abilities and my creativity.



Just Accepted Fashion Design Student Wants to Give Back



Name: Karolina Latek

Age: 19

Hometown: London, Ontario, Canada

Previous College: Colorado Mesa University

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Fall 2015 - LA Campus

Admissions Advisor: Joleen Harris

How did your advisor help with the process? Jolene was wonderful; she actually has been working with me for over a year. She is very kind, light-hearted, and extremely helpful regarding information about FIDM. 

Tell us a bit about yourself. My hobbies are sewing, dancing like a goofball, spending time with my family, best friend, and boyfriend. My interests include art, music, and activities to improve my health. My inspirations are Alexander McQueen, Monique Lhuillier, Carolina Herrera, the outdoors, and positive atmospheres.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Never giving up on life. Everyone, and I mean everyone, will have doubts about where they are in life, but you should never ever give up. Each day, do something for your neighbor, something for the world, and something for yourself. You should always feel proud about your progress each day as an individual.

What made FIDM right for you? The location, friendly vibes, and endless opportunities I see exploding from this gateway to greatness.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project was based around the idea of living out your fairytale. Fashion is something that allows a person to express themselves. Your personal fairytale may include becoming a princess, rockstar, or a doctor, but the important thing to remember is that it is your fairytale and no one else's. My entrance project tried to encompass a relation to everyone's dreams.

What are your career goals? To become a fashion designer; I would love to build a fashion empire. In addition, I vow to always, always, always give back to the community. No great soul is great alone and I feel it in my heart to give back what has been given.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn diligence in regards to working with designs, fabrics, people, connections, and self-improvement. The tools that FIDM has to offer are at my fingertips, I simply have to use them.



Just Accepted Jewelry Design Student Runs Her Own Jewelry, Graphic Design, and Textile Design Business



Name: Margeaux “Margo” Pawell

Age: 24

Hometown: Newport Beach, CA

Previous College/Work: I will graduate from Chapman University with a BFA in Graphic Design in May. I work for myself, for my company, Margomade. When I started the company almost a decade ago, it was solely a handmade jewelry business. It has since grown to include freelance graphic design and textile design.

FIDM Major: Jewelry Design Professional Designation

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

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? She answered any and all of my questions about FIDM. Cathy was also extremely helpful in connecting me with one of the jewelry instructors so that I could tour the studio.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I love color, the brighter the better. You can recognize me by my bright red corduroy pants or my Barbie pink lipstick or whatever other extremely bright color I am wearing. I knit, crochet, sew, quilt, design, make jewelry, and cook to name just a few of my interests.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment so far will be graduating from Chapman University with a 3.9 GPA. My other proudest accomplishment would be fulfilling my largest Margomade jewelry order ever, which included over 298 custom bracelets and necklaces for the company Flaredown, an app for managing chronic illness. The jewelry was used to help the company raise over $33,000 for the development of the app through Indiegogo. In addition to creating jewelry for the app, I also designed their logo.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is the right school for me because it teaches both the art and the business side of jewelry. Its location right in the heart of the Jewelry District is also perfect.

Describe your entrance project. For the inspiration journal, I created a hand-stitched book that contained photos of a variety of my design projects from quilts to knit sweaters to beer packaging design. For the actual piece of jewelry, I created a wire-wrapped turquoise necklace featuring a coin as the pendant. The necklace was inspired by my time interning in London, and rosary beads.


What are your career goals? My goal is turn Margomade, and my love for color into a multi-faceted design career that involves jewelry, textiles, and graphic design. I specifically hope to design and manufacturer seasonal lines of jewelry while continuing to do freelance design work for a variety of clients. The goal is to it eventually grow Margomade to beyond just me, Margo.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? So far, my jewelry skills are all self-taught. I expect to learn the more intensive skills that I wasn’t able to learn from my bedroom floor, such as metalsmithing and lost-wax and stone setting.



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



Name: Andie Miller

Age: 24

Hometown: Bend, Oregon

Previous College: California Polytechnic State University

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus/Start Date: San Diego, January 2015

Admissions Advisor: Christina Haynes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Just Accepted Merch Marketing Student Is Graduate of Biola University



Name: Laura Wray

Age: 24

Hometown: Delmar, New York

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

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing Professional Designation

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

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



Name: Kristina Dougherty

Age: 20

Hometown: Corona Del Mar, CA

Previous College: Irvine Valley College

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, April 2015

Admissions Advisor: Marilyn Moore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



Name: Sydney Q. Le

Age: 19

Hometown: Garden Grove, California

Previous College: Fullerton Community College

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



Name: Richard Zack

Age: 26

Hometown: Laguna Beach, CA

Previous College: Bachelor's degree from University of Kentucky

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development Professional Designation

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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



Name: Jacklyn Dewenter

Age: 21

Hometown: Chantilly, VA

Previous College: Attended Liberty University and Northern Virginia Community College

FIDM Major: Fashion Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Just Accepted Transfer Student Is Pursuing His Dreams of Being a Product Developer



First and Last Name: Joshua Oswalt

Age: 18

Hometown: Artesia, California

Previous College: Mt. San Jacinto Community College

FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? She helped every step of the way, from offering information about the school and how to go about getting my financial aid set up, to helping prepare me for my interview.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Some of my interests are music, reading, hiking, and spending time with my friends. My inspiration is to be successful working on something I love.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Switching lanes and getting accepted

What made FIDM right for you? I wanted to go to FIDM when I was a senior in high school, but got discouraged because of tuition fees and such, so I decided to try community college for a year. During that year I started a job working with elementary school disabled kids as well.

After my year at the community college I decided I wasn't getting enough out of my school and I loved my job, but it wasn't the career I'd be happy showing up to for the rest of my life. So I decided I wanted to start working towards a career I can enjoy and am proud of. That's when I got in touch with Shirley and began the enrollment process.

What are your career goals? To get my degree and become a product developer for a company I like here in southern California. It's not as much for the money, but that I want to enjoy my life while I'm young and I feel that getting a good job doing something that interests me is the best way to start.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? The ins and outs of the industry, how to use a wide range of tools to do my job, how to predict/create what the customers want, and everything else I need to know to be a professional and experienced product developer.



Just Accepted Apparel Industry Management Student Is Pro Surfer



Name: Robbie Merrell

Age: 18

Hometown: Ormond Beach, Florida

Previous College: Northeastern University

FIDM Major: Apparel Industry Management

FIDM Campus: Orange County

Admissions Advisor: Marilyn Moore

How did your advisor help with the process? She was just amazing and led me step-by-step to being accepted to FIDM.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I’ve been in the competitive surf world since I was nine years old, so surfing is probably my biggest hobby you could say. Besides that I have a whole list of things I do on a regular basis: skating, wakeboarding, playing music (guitar, piano, and bass), fishing, fly fishing, painting, and any other kind of art project I can get my hands on. I raced motocross from age three to 11, so thats pretty much the other half of my life.

My biggest interests lately have been in artistic short films and just meeting new, interesting people. I’ve been inspired by a few different short film producers to bring an artistic background into a couple recent surf films I am currently editing.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I don’t really look at my surfing results or publicity as accomplishments, so I guess my biggest accomplishment so far is just meeting all the great people I have met and having an amazing time with all the people I love. I prefer going on surf trips with my friends and making a video about our adventures over winning any surf contest. My perspective on my sport is different than most, but I enjoy what I do so I guess it's working.

What made FIDM right for you? I really enjoy designing clothing and would love to make a career of it, so if there's anywhere to learn how to do that I feel like it’s FIDM.

Describe your entrance project. I printed out five photos of shirt templates that I created and put them in a binder. I didn’t really have any style to aim for, so I was a little nervous on which designs to use. In the end they seemed to have liked what I made so it all worked out.

What are your career goals? In a perfect world I would like for my brand to take off, even though that's a pretty massive goal. But in the mean time, I’d say my career goal is to design for another brand.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I hope that the instructors can help me turn the creations I make into something that the public would want to buy.

Portageese from Peninsula Holding Company on Vimeo.




After a Degree From UCI This Future Vis Comm Student Is Pursuing Her Childhood Dreams



Name: Reina Tan

Age: 23

Hometown: Hong Kong

Previous College: University of California, Irvine '13

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: OC/LA, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? I had not considered attending FIDM for another two to three years because of my lack of confidence and insecurities in my creative abilities. As I sat down with Shirley, all I had to offer was my honest self in how I am at a crossroads in my life, and I was struggling in pursuing a graduate degree in Psychology verses a professional degree at FIDM. Shirley sought out who I truly am as a person and asked me questions that opened my eyes to an unknown passion within me. Because of her, I decided to take a leap of faith and trust in what she sees in me and pursue a degree at FIDM.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I have worked at Trumpet Behavioral Health as a Behavioral Therapist. For many years, my mind and heart resided in a very dark place of constant contemplation of self-destructive thoughts and ways to punish myself. My heart ached at the sight of people living in the streets, families struggling to raise their children in impossible situations, and innocent children becoming victims of neglect and abuse. I pursued a Psychology degree, volunteered consistently at homeless shelters and street outreach, and spent every summer in a different third-world nation to appease that pain within me. By pouring my heart and soul into “helping others,” I discovered in the process I have destroyed myself.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Taking the steps to pursue Visual Communications at FIDM is honestly my proudest accomplishment by far. Realizing that I can use my creative outflow to make a difference in this world has changed my perspective in life. Great fear still resides in my heart due to my complete lack of experience and knowledge of the fashion industry, but the courage that took me to take this step is what I feel most proud of.

What made FIDM right for you? In the four years at UC Irvine, I did not get to know one professor, hardly interacted with my classmates, and experienced a lack of motivation to do my best academically. When I was sitting in the office with Shirley, she shared with me the small class size, the personal mentorship, and the countless opportunities that FIDM has to offer which awoke a spark in me to pursue studies at an institute like FIDM.

Since I was a little girl, I have a great passion in fashion, but I never allowed myself to entertain the thoughts of pursuing such a career. For the first time in my life, I see a hopeful possibility to do what I love and allow creative freedom to flow out of me. FIDM will teach me skills that I lack through classes such as Perspective Sketching and Computer Graphics to better prepare me to become a successful and marketable Visual in the fashion industry.

Describe your entrance project. There are three projects required in the entrance portfolio for the Visual Communications major. The first one is the Circle, Square, and Triangle project. I decided to make a hanging mobile made out of a used lampshade from Goodwill. I wrapped it with burlap and yarn and hung strands of different colored shapes that dangled giving it flowing effect.

The second one is an exterior window display. I wanted to display a vibrant set of colors that would bring life to people as they walk by. I created paper windmills all across the backdrop and decided to have a countryside look to it. I hung the clothing display on a clothesline adjacent to a glass cup holding dried leaves and flowers to give my display a consistent flow.

The last one is an interior store display. I displayed the clothes against a red-laced table and pole in order to bring out its soft floral patterns. Additionally, I created a background using burlap to hang vintage displays. As I completed all three projects, I decided on one theme: free spirit.

What are your career goals? I desire to start by working for companies such as Anthropologie to gain creative experience whether its doing their window displays or styling their photo shoots. On the side I want to volunteer my time in the creative team at my church doing their backdrops and visual displays. Eventually if I start a family, I want to freelance and do weddings, special events, fundraisers, and fashion shows. My goal is to live a life that gives hope to others in pursuing their creative freedom.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn skills I do not possess and become confident in my abilities in the field of Visual Communications when I graduate. Besides the technicality of education, I look forward to collaborating and getting to know my fellow classmates and teachers in what inspires them, how they’ve struggled, and who they are as real people.



Merchandise Marketing Grad is Buyer at Surf Shop

Kelsey Hinson copy

Name: Kelsey Hinson

Grad Date: March 2014

Major: Merchandise Marketing

Current Position: Buyer, Ladies footwear, and boys and kids apparel, Huntington Surf & Sport

Where did you go to school before FIDM?

After high school in Costa Mesa, CA, I studied Fashion Merchandising at Orange Coast Community College before transferring to FIDM.

How did you find FIDM?

I looked into FIDM originally 6 years ago when I was in high school, but because there wasn’t a Bachelor program at the time, I decided to go to community college. When I was looking to transfer to a 4-year school, I stumbled upon FIDM. It was the right place at the right time.

What was the most rewarding part of your FIDM experience?

Getting the chance to work with teachers who have so much industry knowledge and experience has been very rewarding. I really like working with teachers who challenge me to be a better student.

What advice would you give to future FIDM students?

My advice is to prepare for a lot of work. People comment that fashion school is easy, and all you do is draw. However I’ve never had to utilize time management skills more than when class is in session at FIDM.

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

I’ve learned a lot of great industry information, and the real-life scenarios have prepared me for my career so far.

What are your future career goals?  

I want to continue to work as a buyer, however one day I’d love to have my own store.




Merchandise Marketing Grad Develops Products at Chef Works

Allison Ives Photo copy

Name: Allison Ives

Grad Date: June 2014

Major: Merchandise Marketing

Current Position:  Product Development Assistant, Chef Works


How did you find FIDM?

After graduating from San Diego State, I decided I wanted to look into a more creative career path.  I have always wanted to own my own business, and have always had a love for travel and fashion. 

What was the most rewarding part of your FIDM experience?

The knowledge I gained from amazing and inspiring teachers. The most rewarding part of FIDM was that it taught me to really believe in myself, and that hard work truly does pay off.

What advice would you give to future FIDM students?

Always take advantage of networking events. Put yourself out there, volunteer and be engaged with the FIDM campus and activities.  Be open to trying anything in the industry, because it may lead you on a path that you never imagined. 

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

From intern opportunities to skill sets that I use daily at my job, FIDM has helped me get on an amazing career path. The supportive and inspiring staff at FIDM has made me push myself and pursue my goals. Each class at FIDM has given me knowledge of the industry and has prepared me to apply the skills and knowledge to the workplace.

What are your future career goals?  

I want to be a product developer and design for my own clothing brand in the future.




Just Accepted Vis Comm Student is a Performer at Disneyland



Name: Terecia Baker

Age: 24

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

Previous College: San Francisco State University 

Major: Visual Communications

Campus and Start Date: Orange County, Fall 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Talking to Susan is like talking to one of my aunts; she was so inviting and made me feel right at home and instantly part of the FIDM family. Walking in I had an idea of what I wanted to do but Susan made me more confident in my choice and more excited about becoming a FIDM Student. She's easy to talk to, outgoing, and still calls to check on me. I absolutely love her.

Tell us a little about yourself. I'm such a free spirit and have such a love for life that I can find excitement in almost anything I do! I'm always up to try new things, I love dancing and performing, and I feel so honored to get to do that every day at The Happiest Place on Earth!


What are some of your proudest accomplishments? Having the courage to finally take the dream of the 15-year-old girl in me and not only apply to FIDM, but see it all the way through and commit to the process. Sometimes when I want something so bad I get scared and back out, so I'm beyond proud of myself. Even auditioning for Disneyland multiple times before getting it and living in SoCal without my family got discouraging, but I'm surprising myself more and more and it's such a great feeling.

What made FIDM right for you? From the moment I walked through Susan's glass office doors, I knew this was going to be home for me. Her excitement for FIDM made me excited. When she shared with me all the of the great success stories of past and current students, I knew I wanted to be there. The comforting fact that I don't have to be an expert in my major or and amazing sketch artist is so exciting. I'm going to be in an environment where I can share and express ideas visually and freely and that is how I know and knew FIDM was right for me.

Tell us about your entrance project. For my circle, square, triangle project I had a shadow box where I made little girl hangers into those shapes with some fun yarn. For my display window and interior design, my focus was on little girls so in the window I had a little girl looking in the mirror after dressing herself up and the interior with her going from station to station until you saw her final look and the interior included a nail painting station and other fun things for little girls to do.

What are your career goals? For my career I see myself doing multiple things: I want to work with celebrity styling, work on Broadway shows with costumes, as well as TV and film. With all that Visual Communications has to offer, I look forward to trying things I thought I wouldn't be interested in.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I'm hoping to expand knowledge in sketching and computer skills. I'm looking forward to learning to be more confident in my work and trust myself and ideas more as well as expanding my knowledge in world trends. I'm hoping to be pushed and most of all just enjoy learning and diving right in -- hands and feet!



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Has Worked as a Marketing Coordinator at a Fortune 500 Company



Name: Shane’a Edwards

Age: 25

Hometown: Long Beach, California

Previous College: Long Beach City

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Summer 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Susan was tremendously supportive and patient. She stayed in contact with me for nearly a year, while I aimed to discover the perfect major. Susan made my experience with FIDM remarkably memorable.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am a personable person who isn’t afraid to try new things at least once in my lifetime. I love to paint, volunteer, cook, and entertain. In high school, I was a member of the Madrigals Honor Show Choir and breakdancing team. Our Honor Choir was exceptionally amazing and traveled often for various gigs in Chicago, Seattle, and throughout California.

After high school, I began working as Marketing Coordinator and enjoyed every minute networking with new people. Each year, I have coordinated over 20 successful events with seven to 200 guests, including Angel’s Stadium, Richard Nixon’s Presidential Library, and the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment thus far would have to be when I moved up in a Fortune 500 company. In 2008, I temped as their receptionist then gradually moved into a position I had no experience in, Marketing Coordinator. Within in a couple years, my hard work and dedication aided our region to rank #1 for Marketing.

What made FIDM right for you? Out of the other schools that I visited, FIDM was the only one that had an inspiring atmosphere, specialized in this major, and provided more hands-on experience with professional companies.

Describe your entrance project. For my interior and exterior views, I focused on women’s summer apparel, jewelry, handbags, and shoes. For my circle, triangle, square project, I chose to make a working clock and paint an image that embraced the beauty of a sunny spring day. Time is such a valuable commodity and I wanted to grasp each minute with an image of my favorite past time.

What are your career goals? To attain knowledge in the Visual Communications major and share my artistic attributes with a professional company as their Visual Director or Public Relations Event Planner.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? While attending FIDM, I expect to learn techniques that will improve my sketching abilities, knowledge in worldwide trends, and exposure to the industries. These skills will help me implement my artistic ingeniousness into a professional and entertaining vision.



Just Accepted Vis Comm Transfer Student Is Singer and Dancer Who Has Toured Italy



Name: Kyle Dallapè

Age: 19

Hometown: Newport Beach, California

Previous College: Concordia University for one year.

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, Fall 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? She was incredibly helpful. She gave me practical advice while stimulating my excitement to attend FIDM by helping me find exactly what major was right for me.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I have been involved in the performing arts my entire life, specifically dance. I have been trained in jazz for 10 years, and tap for eight. I also have been trained in voice having performed in numerous shows and sung with a number of choirs. I returned about a month ago from touring Italy with one of those choirs.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment so far was co-directing and co-choreographing (as well as acting in) my high school's musical my senior year, Anything Goes, which went on to win many awards, and was even asked to perform at the MACY Awards, which takes place at the Segerstrom Center For The Arts every year. I was also selected to perform in the opening number of the MACY's that year alongside my best friend and a handful of the most talented high school students in Southern California.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM felt like home. From the second I stepped in I felt immediately like I belonged, and after meeting with Susan Pope I finally had a direction and knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Describe your entrance project. For my circle/square/triangle project I created a dream catcher using the shapes that were given to me. For both the window display and the store display I was inspired both by the opulence of late 18th century French court fashion, and my favorite holiday, New Year's Eve. I stuck with a major color scheme of black and gold, but incorporated pastel colors as seen in Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette, which is my favorite movie.

What are your career goals? As Rachel Zoe has always been one of my biggest inspirations, I'd love to go on to someday be a celebrity stylist such as herself. I would also potentially love to be a part of a show like TLC's What Not To Wear, because I'd love to use my expertise to help others look better and thus feel better about themselves.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to be challenged to sharpen my abilities in the fashion world not only by the highly accredited faculty, but also by my peers.



Merchandise Marketing Grad Adds Bachelor's Degree in Business Management

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Name: Elizabeth Poteracki

Major: Merchandise Marketing, BS Business Management

Grad Date: June 2014

Current Position: Freelance Branding Consultant, Greenlee Swimwear

How did you find FIDM?

I initially attended UC Irvine after going to high school in Southern California. I was having a difficult time choosing a major and I toured the FIDM OC campus in my second year of college. After about a year of convincing my parents, I finally applied to FIDM. I was very excited to make the change because I knew FIDM was a perfect fit for me.

What was the most rewarding part of attending FIDM?

Realizing that my career aspirations lie within retail and seeing how my education will be instrumental in achieving my goals is rewarding. I am happy to discover that I have both a passion and talent for business, fashion, and the retail industry.

How has your education helped your career so far?

I have been able to sharpen my social media marketing, store merchandising, and critical thinking skills at FIDM. Being able to implement strategies and principles from the classroom into my actual work has been gratifying.

What are your career goals?

My ultimate goal is to be an executive in the retail industry. I am currently in the BS Business Management program and am considering going for my MBA after FIDM.



Merchandise Marketing Grad Interns at Rachel Zoe Studio

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Name: Jessica Harshman

Where did you go to school before FIDM?             

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

What is your FIDM major?

Merchandise Marketing

Grad Date: June 2014

What is your current position?

Styling Intern, Rachel Zoe Studio

How did you find FIDM?

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

What was the most rewarding part of your FIDM experience?

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

What advice would you give to future FIDM Students?

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

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

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

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

What are your future career goals?  

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



Merchandise Marketing Grad Focuses on Brands

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Name: Bhavi Advani

Grad Date: June 2014

Major: Merchandise Marketing, A. A.

Where did you go to school before FIDM?

Dubai Modern High School, Dubai, UAE

How did you find FIDM?

I was studying Economics and Finance at the University of Toronto, and I wasn't really passionate about what I was studying. Somewhere down the line I knew I wanted a successful career in the fashion industry. I looked up fashion schools and I found FIDM on the Top 20 Fashionista list. Speaking to my international Admissions Advisor Kathy Gilbert on the phone made me feel like FIDM was the best home away from home for me.

What was the most rewarding part of the FIDM experience?

The teachers at FIDM bring the fashion industry into class and nothing could top that. Every day that I attended class, I felt like I was learning a life lesson. And all that I have learned is directly applicable to my prospective career field.

What is your current position?

VIP Celebrity Public Relations Intern, Salvatore Ferragamo

How has your education helped in your career so far?

My education at FIDM has given me an overall knowledge of how the industry functions and how to successfully survive each day. I have built my foundation at FIDM and now I am applying everything at my internship. FIDM gave me the opportunity to intern at Ferragamo and FIDM provided the education needed to prosper.

What are your career goals?

My goals are quite specific. After taking the Brand Management class with Professor Hinckley, I am determined to become a brand consultant. My two dream companies are Burberry and Disney. Understanding the brand, the target consumer, and being able to build a long-term relationship is the job of the Brand Consultant. I want to be the face of the brand.

In Dubai I would like to launch a 2-story boutique that combines fashion and entertainment. One floor would be high-end contemporary apparel and the other would be a hookah lounge for clients to relax and enjoy the ambience.



Merchandise Marketing Grad Launches Buying Career

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Name: Aiza De Leon

Grad Date: June 2014

Major: Merchandise Marketing Professional Designation

Where did you go to school before FIDM?

I graduated from Colegio San Agustin in Manila, Philippines.

How did you find FIDM?

I was searching online for programs that focus on Business and Buying. Since I already had a Bachelor's Degree, and FIDM's Professional Designation is designed for students with a prior college degree, it was suitable.

What was the best part of the FIDM experience?

It was the overall exposure to real industry experience. Whether it came in the form of classroom teachings, instructors sharing professional experiences, materials that engaged us with market and global trends, meeting industry pros, networking, or internships—I found all of these rewarding because they prepared us for our career paths.

What is your current position?

Assistant Buyer for Burlington Coat Factory

What are your career goals?

I want to become a successful Buyer. I would also love to have my own organization someday in the Philippines.



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Transfer Student's Story Will Inspire You



Name: Jazzline Jewell

Age: 19

Hometown: Louisville, KY

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: FIDM OC; January 2015

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? Mrs. McDonald has been such a blessing to my journey. She has given me the best advice and counseling possible. She’s very attentive, supportive, and an all-around friend. She gives me honest feedback that is always very beneficial to my decision to move to FIDM.

We hear you have creative fundraising ideas for college. I buy vintage items and make them new, trendy, and desirable. Currently I am working on hosting my very own fundraiser fashion show. I have collaborated with local designers, models, and entertainment companies to help run this event. I’m using the admission sales to help fundraise for my college tuition. Meanwhile, I am using the money that I receive from styling and coordinating photo shoots locally.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am am outgoing, driven, and usually the one who sticks out in crowds because I let my clothing express my personality. I like to encourage and inspire everyone who is around me. I involve myself with anyone who is trying to better themselves. I do what I can to help others make their dreams happen so that I can get that in return. Although, I still hang out with my friends and go to museums, skate parks, fashion shows, and of course shopping is always on the menu.

I try to stay focused now that I am finally pursuing what I love to do. I left nursing school because as little as I can remember, fashion has been instilled inside of me. From dressing up and pretending to model, style, and host events to actually growing up and doing it in reality. Right now I am focused completely on funding myself for further education.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I am proud of myself for having enough courage to recover from a horrible loss and still continue to pursue my dream. I am proud of myself for listening to my heart and having the mentality to press forward. I have styled countless photo shoots, I’ve been a spokesperson and model for local companies and designers since I was 16. I’ve started a clothing line last year by the name of Blame Society in collaboration with a company by the name of Ooh la la Boutique.

I’ve successfully hosted a fashion show last year on Louisville’s most noted road, Bardstown. While in high school, I graduated with a 4.0 GPA. I had the pleasure of becoming president of the Beta Club and treasurer of the National Honors Society. Furthermore, the very most thing I am proud of myself is being able to get accepted into FIDM.

What made FIDM right for you? From the time I applied to this school I have had the pleasure to work with the best advisor who has given me the very best advice and expertise to help me along my career journey. FIDM is involved with their students and their community and I am all for networking, growing, and building others while progressing myself. FIDM is where I need to be because I will have such a better opportunity to be around others who simply get fashion.

Growing up in Louisville, it has been fun and a great learning experience, but with opportunities that are limited it is little more difficult to pursue fashion as a career. At FIDM, I will be able to talk to new people with similar ideas and visions. I will have the opportunity to travel and see fashion in a global aspect. FIDM is meant for me because this town just isn’t big enough for me and FIDM has the tools that I need to succeed!

What are your career goals? I plan to climb the corporate ladder and become a Buyer for companies that embody similar fashion trends to mine. I plan to coordinate fashion shows for these companies, I wouldn’t mind becoming a Merchandise Coordinator for a urban skateboard shop such as Zumiez. I plan to travel and once I am financially stable I would like to open a thrift store and use some of the profit to start a organization that helps aspiring artist pursue their dreams. I have so many ideas.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn far much more than I know about Merchandise Marketing, hands-on training, and the self-growth in my field. I plan to use my creativity while in college and I expect FIDM to enhance my knowledge and ideas to further my career.



Alumni Spotlight: Charlee Escobar


Name: Charlee Escobar

Major: Merchandise Marketing A.A. Degree 

Job: Production Assistant / Sample Coordinator at Rocket Dog Brands, Inc.

1. What made you want to study Merchandise Marketing at FIDM?

I wanted to study Merchandise Marketing because I had a love for working with numbers, but I also wanted to be in a creative environment. I thought that being a buyer would be a great marriage between the two and I still believe so, but I started to find myself drifting towards being a planner or working in allocations. Planners work a lot more in Excel with pricing and various spreadsheets. I find my peace in Excel; it’s just relaxing to me.

2. What was the most valuable piece of information you learned during your education at FIDM?

There are two valuable pieces of information I learned at FIDM. One: this is a small industry. Everyone knows everyone! If you can break into this small circle and prove yourself, the places you can go are infinite.

Two: INTERN! All of my teachers preached about internships. I wish I listened when they gave me this advice, it definitely would have made the hunt a lot easier to find a job after graduating because companies look for that entry level experience. It really helps you get started, it gets your foot in the door.

3. What were some of the challenges you faced as a student?

While I was a student I also worked full-time while planning my wedding, so one of the largest challenges was finding time to enjoy my personal life while being successful both at work and school. Learning to prioritize definitely helped me with this challenge. I also completed two years of schooling at my Community College back home, which was in semesters so switching to quarters was a challenge also. You definitely need to stay on top of all of your work or you could end up being extremely behind because quarters fly by much faster. There are also a lot of projects that last throughout the whole quarter, so if I fell behind one week it would sometimes cause a ripple effect.

4.What are some of your proudest FIDM accomplishments?

During my first quarter one of my teachers asked for my essay to use as an example for the following quarter. For me it was a proud moment because I’ve always excelled in Math and Science but never in English. Another accomplishment was putting together my portfolio. It was rewarding to see all of my hard work over the course of this program in one place. It brought back a lot of great memories, and definitely made all of the hard work worth it.

5. Now that you have graduated and earned your degree, where do you work/what do you do?

After graduating from FIDM, I was hired at Rocket Dog Brands, Inc. AKA the most amazing company to work for. I am now their new production assistant / sample coordinator. I focus mainly on sales samples that come in from our factories and stay in communication with the factories to ensure that our samples are going to arrive on time.

When I was hired, I expressed my interest in being a planner, so I have also had the opportunity to run a couple of our spreadsheets each week. Just a little more about my job duties – I enter factory orders, generate GTIN and UPCs, follow up with the designers regarding production spec, manage special make up requests from customers, and I also maintain our showroom display. We are a smaller corporate office so I have had the opportunity to do a lot of various projects around the office.

6. Has your education at FIDM helped prepare you for the work you are doing?

I do believe that my education at FIDM has helped me prepare for the work I am doing. Since I did not intern, FIDM is really the reason why I was hired. FIDM is fast paced, which is also similar to this industry.

Photo Courtesy of Mariya Dondonyan




Merchandise Product Development Grad Annie Hsu Lands at Jolt

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When the Denim Study Tour, led by Department Chair Eva Gilbert (left), visited Kellwood headquarters this spring, we ran into 2012 FIDM Grad Annie Hsu. She updated us on her career.

What is your job?

I am Sales Operations Assistant at Jolt. I assist the Head of Sales on all private label jobs for Jolt,  following projects from beginning to end. This allows me to work with various departments: Design, Technical Design, Sales, Customer Service, Shipping, etc. Every day there are problems to solve and I work with numbers a lot.

Did you use the Career Center?

Yes, Kevin in the Career Center connected me with Jolt for an internship in Production which led to my current position.

What was your major?

I got a Professional Designation in Merchandise Product Development.

Where did you go to school before FIDM?

I earned a B.S. in Managerial Economics from U.C. Davis.

Any tips for current FIDM Students?

Utilize all the resources around you, especially the Career Center. You never know who you will meet and where your next opportunity might be.



Student Spotlight: 2015 DEBUT Student Raul Magdaleno

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1. Congrats on being accepted as one of the Advanced Fashion Design students for the 2015 Debut Program, what are you looking forward to the most while being in this program?
My deepest and sincerest gratitude. And to respond to your question, the whole process excites me, but I am mostly enthralled by the idea of being able to express myself through a medium that is capable of transforming the manner in which an individual is able to perceive themselves. I was able to do that previously except now, I have been provided with a platform on which I am able to manifest my design aesthetic and exhibit it to an audience.
2. How were you inspired to pursue a life in Fashion Design?
I have always had an inquisitive mind with a particular interest in the world of fine arts. As a child, I began to explore within the art world and continued to scrutinize the creative world as a college student at CSUB where I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree. Through my studies, I found myself putting more emphasis on the garments of my figures more so than the figures themselves and soon planned to take all of my leanings as an art student to build a strong foundation for myself upon which I could erect my career as a fashion designer.
3. Describe your design process; how does your creative mind operate?
I commence with a concept that is currently of interest to me. I do in-depth research upon the selected topic: where all I do and think about is the topic at hand. I build an inspiration board and I am extremely selective. I hunt down fabrics, I look for materials that make me impressed. I create a fabric /mood board. I have some creative drafts; I sketch, sketch, and sketch and do some more sketching to exploit the idea / concept.
If I find myself at a halt, I may drape OR I take a break by doing something that takes my mind off the subject and then I'll quickly return to it later.
4. What are your philosophies when it comes to design and creating a successful career path? 
I do not restrict myself; functionality and comfort are the last things on my mind when I am at work. Some may say that if clothing isn't functional then there is no future due to the fact that the end result of the business is to make money. 
To that I respond, I am in this business to fulfill a creative need within myself and to satisfy my wants as an individual by presenting the public with the idea of what a garment could be and what a garment could provide to the self.
5. Where and in what things do you find the most beauty?
I find inspiration in everything. I am able to generate a whole collection of dresses, blouses, pants, etc. out of anything that may be presented to me. But I am specifically drawn to that which is morbid. Moreover, I find allure in that which others may consider to be grotesque and/or discomforting. 
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6. What are some of your proudest accomplishments so far? 
I believe that there is plenty ahead of me that needs to be accomplished.  So many grand moments, so many spectacular events, so much work, time and effort that I must put forth so as to push myself further toward becoming my own brand. I believe that perhaps realizing that, is a great accomplishment on its own. 
7. How would you describe your personal style? Does it influence your designs?
I tend to be all over the spectrum. At times I may be in all black expressing a more poetic side. In other moments, I may be dressed for a formal event when I'm solely going grocery shopping. I could be grungy or I could be preppy. There isn't a very specific genre for my manner of dressing but some may describe it as always polished.
Consequently, it has had an effect on the way in which I design. Every season I create distinct collections for an unconventional being. I'm not a designer that solely does resort wear or strictly sportswear. I like to play with ideas with a humorous side to it while always sustaining a refined eye.
8. What is the most challenging thing about being a creative individual and pursuing a life in the fashion industry?
I am going to go forth and categorize both being a creative individual and the fashion industry into being an artist because that is how I perceive myself, as an artist. The challenge within this world is that art and everything creative is extremely subjective. It deals with taste levels and ones ability to be able to appreciate something for what it is or what it is not. Some individuals may find your work to be a joke, others may perceive it to be a marvel, while others may find no interest in the work whatsoever. Being neglected a multitude of times may be a jab at ones container of creative juices that continued rejections may lead to a completely drained mind with little to no hope to move forward. 
Though subjectivism is the most challenging part of this fashion world it is also one of the most interesting aspects as well due to that fact that one learns that one does not have to feel forced to appeal to everyone. One simply needs a group of strong and loyal followers that believe in you and what you have to provide.
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring fashion designers?
I do, but it more so applies to the public as a whole.
Do what you love. Do it well. Practice. Push yourself.
Believe in yourself and what you can provide because there is no limit in what you can create or what you can be.
Photos courtesy of Mariya Dondonyan. 



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Has Degree in Psychobiology From UCLA



Full Name: Katherine Rohm

Age: 24

Hometown: Orange, CA

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Summer 2014

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? Cathy could not have been more helpful with the admissions process. From the first time I spoke with her on the phone, I knew that I was in good hands. She was so friendly and extremely approachable, always letting me know I could call or email her at any time if I had questions or concerns.

During my first meeting with her, she took her time to explain every detail about the admissions process, answering all my questions, really making me feel comfortable and confident with the approaching steps ahead. She even called me on a Saturday just to see how everything was coming along! I could not have asked for a better person to guide me through it all, because thanks to her, I am now a FIDM student!

Tell us a bit about yourself. I graduated from UCLA in 2012 with a degree in Psychobiology. Thinking I was headed in the direction of a medical profession, it wasn’t until after graduating that I really got to thinking about my true passions. I’ve always had a creative side to me that finds so many aspects of design intriguing – interior design, event design, fashion, all things crafty, etc.

I also absolutely love to travel, and have found that no matter where I am, design inspirations can come from so many different aspects of life – the people you meet, the natural scenery, varying types of architecture, the food, and the fashion. I cannot wait to turn this passion of mine into a career by majoring in Visual Communications at FIDM. Aside from this new endeavor in my life, you can often find me spending time with my friends and family, doing anything active such as running, hiking, or yoga, traveling, cooking, and just trying to enjoy as much about life as possible.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Graduating from UCLA, because it taught me so much about time management and balancing of my academic and social lives to find a happy and rewarding medium. Aside from everything I learned academically, the friends I made and experiences I had are something rare and to be cherished for a lifetime. I wouldn’t trade those four years for anything.

What made FIDM right for you? Knowing how stressful and difficult an application process can be, I immediately felt at ease with the guidance I had through FIDM’s process. That feeling of approachability and security stayed with me through my interview and has made me feel like there could not be a better option out there than FIDM. I have no doubt that I will continue to feel this way throughout this next year. With strong guidance and my enthusiasm toward becoming knowledgeable about Visual Communications, I could not be more excited about all that FIDM has to offer.

Describe your entrance project. My entrance project consisted of three assignments. The first was to create a basic design using only triangles, circles, and squares. I decided to use this as an opportunity to work with different textured and different colored papers, rather than try and draw something by hand. I cut out the shapes in various sizes and created an ocean/mountain/moon scene.

The last two assignments of the project were to create an exterior window display and an interior display. I enjoyed these parts of the project much more than the first, and really felt my creativity come to life. The window projected a bright, fun, and eye-catching display so that a store could advertise new prints (large floral and patterned prints) for their spring/summer line of women’s clothing.

The prints and patterns used to make the clothing were enlarged and stretched over long rectangular canvases that were hung behind each mannequin wearing that specific print. The interior display paralleled the spring/summer theme of the exterior window display. The mannequins were arranged to look like flowers, with their legs propped up by large flowerpots, leaves by their feet, and large tissue paper flowers in place of their faces. A potter’s table and hanging rack were included to further display jewelry and easily access the clothes. The mannequins were wearing brightly colored patterned outfits, just as those in the window display did as well.

What are your career goals? It is my goal to be well-connected in a career field that I feel confident and passionate about pursuing. Whether that be as an Event Coordinator, a Visual Merchandiser, or both, I know that with the skills and competence provided by my education at FIDM, I will be fulfilling my goal of pursuing a career that is both successful and rewarding. I aspire to be a professional who is not only passionate about the work I pursue, but also confident that the outcome of that work will inspire others to appreciate the beauty found through visual communication.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I have no doubt that FIDM will supply me with the skills and knowledge to become a strong, capable, and well-connected individual in the design world.



UC Riverside Sophomore Transferring to FIDM OC to Study Merchandise Marketing



Full Name: Linda Chae

Age: 20

Hometown: Riverside, CA

Current Year in School: Sophomore transferring from UC Riverside

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: OC, Spring 2014

Admissions Advisor: Cathy Chambers

How did your advisor help with the process? Cathy was extremely helpful and kind throughout my application process. She answered my emails quickly and called almost daily to check up on me to make sure I was not lost. She always made sure everything was correct, and all of my questions were answered. Her friendly and kind attitude throughout the whole application process made me feel comfortable and excited about FIDM even more.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Shopping for clothes, makeups, shoes, bags, and accessories is my absolutely favorite therapy. On my free time, I like to cruise around and visit the malls or small boutiques around my town and find inspirations and new trends. Something that I recently got into that I love as much as shopping is going on food adventures. The idea of exploring unfamiliar food and restaurants sounds so exciting and fun to me.

I like to search for well-reviewed restaurants on Yelp, and visit them with family, friends, and sometimes even by myself. I believe driving miles to try a well reviewed restaurant is well worth it. After the food adventure, I would shop around in the unfamiliar city. I cannot wait to try all the restaurants around the OC campus soon.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Through some mistakes and poor decisions, I grew up to become a stronger person who seeks a goal and motivation leading to success. I am proud of myself for pursuing what I have dreamed ever since I was young. I can say my proudest accomplishment thus far is realizing what I want for my future.

What made FIDM right for you? As soon as I heard about FIDM at my high school career fair during my senior year, I knew it was the path that I wanted to take. However, coming from a family with a medical and education background, it was hard to convince them that I wanted to go into the fashion industry. Due to my parents' disagreement with my choice of career, I had to go to UCR instead simply because it was a UC school.

After a year at UCR as an undeclared major, I realized that it just wasn't for me. My grades from UCR suffered reflecting my lack of interest and motivation. One day, my mom came home with the FIDM application and told me she went to check out FIDM. I finally got to convince my mom that I wanted to pursue what I was passionate about: fashion.

Describe your entrance project. I came up with a store and five casual, business, festival, party, and beach outfits. They were all the looks that I could closely relate to, targeting independent girls in their 20s. I had so much fun putting the looks together and it was the most fun college application process I have ever done.

What are your career goals? I dream of opening up my own boutique one day and becoming a successful businesswoman doing what I love.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn the business side of fashion, from how all the big clothing companies work to how to open up my own fashion-related business. I expect to be able learn how to think outside of the box and more creative surrounded with all the artsy environment at FIDM.



Self-Proclaimed 'Beauty Junkie' Transfers to FIDM From Cal Poly Pomona



Full Name: Danielle Agrums

Age: 19

Hometown: Yorba Linda, CA

Current Year: Sophomore transferring from Cal Poly Pomona

FIDM Major: Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: FIDM Orange County, Fall 2014

Admissions Advisor: Shirley McDonald

How did your advisor help with the process? Shirley took me and my family around the FIDM OC campus for a tour and sat us down and told us everything we needed to know about the school and my major. She was so nice and especially helpful when it came to prepping me for my admissions interview. 

Tell us a bit about yourself. Right now I am working full-time at a beauty boutique called Planet Beauty as the assistant manager. I absolutely love my job; we are like a mini Sephora, and it is where I really realized my passion for beauty. When I am not at work, I love to sit at home on my computer and watch YouTube tutorials and hauls done by my favorite beauty gurus (Jaclyn Hill, Nicole Guerrieo, MissMaven, and HeidiCupcake). 

I also spend hours doing research on and obsessing over different beauty products that are out on the market or that are launching. I am definitely a self-proclaimed “beauty junkie.” When I am not doing something related to cosmetics, I am either at the gym working out or in spin class, or at home binge watching my favorite TV shows.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment thus far has been getting promoted at work to assistant manager.  All my hard work and dedication to my company has paid off and they see potential in me in the beauty industry. And of course, getting accepted into FIDM was a huge accomplishment as well

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM was the right choice for me because I have always dreamed of going to this school. When I was younger I thought I wanted to go to FIDM for fashion, but as I got older and realized my true passion in life, FIDM was still the perfect fit for me. FIDM is one of the only schools that offers my major in the entire country and FIDM's Beauty program is said to be just as intense as a graduate program. 

The high intensity and the fact that the major is so concentrated on the beauty industry really appeals to me. Also, I really like that you learn all the aspects of the industry, from hair care, makeup, and body care to skin care, and fragrance.

Describe your entrance project. For my entrance project I created a mock beauty product called TighTan. TighTan is a cellulite treatment that tones, firms, and tightens sagging and dimply skin yet also provides a beautiful bronze, sun-kissed tan that lasts for 7-10 days. I came prepared with a poster and printed out a brochure with all the product information on it. I used a glass bottle with a cork to package the product because I felt like it gave the product a beachy look, which also went along with the theme of the photos I chose for my campaign/brochure.

What are your career goals? I would absolutely love to work in either the marketing, merchandising, or advertising departments for a well-known cosmetics company. My dream employers would be Urban Decay, Lorac, Too Faced, or Tarte. I also would love to work for hair care brands like Enjoy or Pureology or skincare brands such as Dr. Perricone or Rodial. So basically, any professional career in the beauty industry where I am behind the scenes on the business side would make me the happiest girl alive.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to further my knowledge of the beauty industry at FIDM. I already have a great repertoire of product knowledge under my belt, but at FIDM I am expecting to learn so much about business, marketing, advertising, and social media as they pertain to the beauty industry and I couldn’t be more excited. I am also looking forward to all the networking I will be able to do because of FIDM’s amazing connections with some of the most prominent brands in the business. 



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Transferred From SFSU



Full Name: Celine Honig

Age: 18

Hometown: Yorba Linda, California

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, July 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Susan was very helpful by giving me and my family a thorough and informative tour of the Orange County campus and explained in detail the FIDM program and its curriculum. Susan was also instrumental in answering my questions about transferring credits, deadlines, and set up a tour of the LA campus for me and my family.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Fashion has always been my inspiration and hobby. From the age of three, I knew exactly what I did and didn’t want to wear, and I had a strong point of view about how fashion impacted me. When I’m not changing clothes, I love spending time with my dog Lola and taking her to the dog park.  

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? One is the work I completed as an Assistant Stylist during several photo shoots. I learned so much about the fashion industry and it was one of my first steps into the fashion world. I recently completed a semester at San Francisco State University.  Being away at college helped me to learn more about myself and become the person I am today.

What made FIDM right for you? I first toured FIDM at age 10, and fell in love with the school. I could easily see myself in the classes learning about fashion and enhancing my skills. FIDM is right for me because it will help me enter the fashion industry which has been my lifelong goal.

Describe your entrance project. I created a store including the demographics of my customers, the environment of my store, and a carefully chosen name. I created five separate looks that I would sell in my store based on the price point. My style is very modern and I like highlighting one piece in the outfit. I based all five of my looks on this theory.

What are your career goals? I aspire to become a buyer or CEO for a large company such as Nordstrom's or Bloomingdale's. I am very interested in the financial and psychological aspect of fashion so I hope to be working with both of those elements.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn the foundation elements of fashion including, business, marketing, and trend forecasting. These are all subjects that will help me to obtain my goals!



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Is UCSD Grad, Blogger & Entrepreneur



Full Name: Tuyaymya Osuna

Age: 23

Hometown: San Diego, CA

FIDM MajorMerchandise Marketing 

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, Spring 2014

Admissions Advisor: Jamie Westfall 

Tell us a bit about yourself. I recently graduated from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) with a Bachelor's in Ethnic Studies and a double minor in Global Health and Communication. Currently, I'm a social media manager, contributing blogger, and stylist for Shimmer, a San Diego-based clothing company. I've been with them for over a year and it's been an amazing experience! I've had the opportunity to direct and style a few of their photo shoots. I'm also blogging for San Diego Style Bloggers and my personal blog.

On any given weekend you can find me exploring different restaurants. I love to eat, so I spend a lot of time looking for new places to experience. If I'm not dining out, I'm spending time working on my online boutique, White Tee Black Dress

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? This last year has been filled with many milestones for me. Graduating from UCSD, as well as my acceptance into FIDM have been important accomplishments so far. Launching my online boutique has also been a growing and fulfilling experience for me. 

What made FIDM right for you? I have a creative hands-on work approach and FIDM allows me to do that. Everything from the entrance portfolio to class presentations become unique opportunities to excel. FIDM challenges its students while nurturing and refining their own creativity and work ethic. Visiting the Los Angeles campus and seeing student work displayed throughout the hallways only made me realize how right it was for me.

Describe your entrance project. It was honestly the most fun I've had applying to a school! My entrance portfolio was an extension of my boutique. I provided five different black and white looks from casual to evening wear including some pieces from White Tee Black Dress. I also added in an extra page with swatches and designs I'm currently working on for my new collection. 

What are your career goals? It feels as though anything is possible right now! I'm continuously working towards improving and expanding White Tee Black Dress. There are so many things I would love to do as a career. Anything from merchandise marketing to styling to social media management are potential careers that I'm excited by and drawn to. 

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I'm open to everything FIDM has to offer. I'm excited for the possibilities. 



10 Transfer Students Who Followed Their Passions to FIDM

Julia transfer

"I had always wanted to attend FIDM straight out of high school, but the idea of moving over 3,000 miles from home was daunting at the time; it took me over three years and another college degree to make the jump," says Visual Communications major Julia Mickus who transferred from the University of Toronto, Canada.

Here are nine more successful transfers. Follow their stories on the FIDM blog.

Victoria Hayes from Penn State is studying Visual Communications.

Mariah McKenzie from Arizona State is studying Visual Communications.

Alumna Kelsey Farrer from NYU studied Merchandise Product Development and is working as a designer at Guess.

Courtney Hofstetler from George Fox University is taking Merchandise Marketing.

Cory Morinishi from UC Riverside is studying Graphic Design.

Kathryn Donaldson from Michigan State is majoring in Beauty Industry Merchandising and Marketing at "one of the only schools in the country who offers the major."

Esther Chung from NYU is studying Footwear Design.

Calise Chang from UC Irvine is studying Apparel Industry Management.

Kyndel Link from Oregon State University is studying Merchandise Marketing

Curious about what it takes to transfer to FIDM? Join us for an evening Transfer Information Session where you'll have the opportunity to discuss course transferability, obtain financial aid information, explore 22 creative and business majors, and hear about FIDM's Career Center resources. Campus tours will also be available. Learn more.



Find Out Why This Student Went from Psych Major at UCR to Product Development Major at FIDM


Name: Srujana Nemani

Major: Merchandise Product Development

Are you currently working or have an internship? 

I am currently working at Kellwood as a Technical Design Intern for its brand, Jolt. I previously interned with the Denim Product Development team at GUESS?, as well as with the Merchandising team at Paige Denim. In a few months, I’ll begin my 4th internship at BCBG.

Why did you choose to study Product Development?

Prior to FIDM, I attended the University of California, Riverside. While I was there, I designed and produced products such as tote bags and jerseys for friends, sorority and fraternity members, organizations, etc. Producing these products was something I thought would be a side hobby that I could do in my free time. However, the more I produced, the more requests I received. Unfortunately, I did not have the proper tools or the knowledge to create in mass amounts. My main goal was to learn how to efficiently design, develop, and produce products, and that is exactly what Merchandise Product Development offers – a balance of knowledge between the three.

How will you be able to combine your previous education and your degree at FIDM into your career?

At UCR, I studied Psychology. One of the areas that I learned about was consumer psychology, which is the study of how perceptions, feelings, and thoughts influence the way people relate and purchase goods. I want to utilize that knowledge and hopefully develop new products and marketing strategies that help attract consumers to a specific brand or a business that I work for.

What are your goals/aspirations while you’re at FIDM and after you graduate? 

Similar to many other students, my main goal is to stand out and succeed here at FIDM as well as out in the industry.  In addition, I want to fight a cultural preconception about professional careers that Indians impose on younger generations. From a personal and cultural standpoint, fashion or art school isn’t necessarily encouraged by Indian peers, since people that share the same ethnicity as myself are a minority in the American industry. Like I mentioned previously, I’m at FIDM to succeed, but also to prove that it’s not only about where you’re from or your background, but rather your drive and passion for what you love to do. With this, I’m hoping to work at a denim powerhouse here in LA once I graduate from FIDM, and then eventually start a manufacturing business overseas with my family. 

What did you like about FIDM?

I love that FIDM is so hands on.  It’s not only about reading, learning, or memorizing from the textbook and taking tests but rather applying that knowledge to class projects and assignments – getting an actual feel of the how things are really done in the industry.

Do you have any advice for future students who want to study Product Development? 

If you love to design but also want to learn how to develop and produce, then Product Development is perfect for you to study. The teachers in this department are extremely knowledgeable and have many years of experience in the industry. Not only that, but FIDM has great databases and books that can help you achieve more. Take advantage of these resources because I promise you that it’ll pay off when you get that internship or dream job.



Just Accepted VisComm Student Has a Degree From Penn State



Full Name: Victoria Hayes

Age: 22

Hometown: Downingtown, PA

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: LA, Fall 2014

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope

How did your advisor help with the process? Susan is so awesome! From the first time I visited the OC campus, she was super friendly and encouraging. She helped me work through the entrance project process, since I was really unsure of what I wanted to do. She always seemed really confident in me, which made me feel more confident in myself! I also just love her purple glasses!

Tell us a bit about yourself. I graduated from Penn State with a degree in Psychology, which looking back seems so contradictory to the direction I’m taking my life in now. I currently serve with City Year, an educational non-profit, in a 6th grade classroom in Downtown L.A. and I absolutely love it! It’s like I’m living in an episode of Kids Say the Darndest Things!

Outside of my 60-hour workweek, I run an Etsy shop called Rummage LA selling vintage clothing. One of my biggest loves is “rummaging,” to make new things out of old, overlooked items. On any given weekend, you’ll either find me scouring racks at the thrift store, scrolling through Craigslist’s “free” section, or picking up rejected items off the side of the road. There’s such a weird sense of satisfaction in creating something amazing out of something no one else is able to see the beauty in. Especially when it’s free!

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I was pretty excited when I was able to graduate from Penn State. Getting an offer to be a part City Year was another huge accomplishment, as well as a life-changing experience. Finally, being accepted to FIDM is a dream that I still can’t believe is really happening!

What made FIDM right for you? As I said before, I love creating new, beautiful pieces from old junk. At first, I wasn’t so sure this was a career-maker, but more of just a hobby. When I interviewed at FIDM, I expressed my concern to Mike Mirabella, and he told me that FIDM has the ability to take all of my hobbies and interests and help me make a lot of money doing them! Can’t get much more right than that! 

Describe your entrance project. I’m really into the contrast between natural and industrial. For my entrance project, I used bits and pieces from my grandmother’s toolbox and garage and combined them with things found in nature like twigs and various plants. From these materials, I built a minimalist store interior and window display filled with succulents and pictures of style essentials from my own closet. For my basic design project, I created a mason jar that coordinated with the look and feel of my shop design.

What are your career goals? Honestly, there are so many things I would love to do as a career, from styling to event planning to jewelry design, that it’s impossible for me to choose just one! I’m hoping that my experiences at FIDM will help me to hone my skills and narrow down my options! 



FIDM VisComm Student Says New York Study Tour Was Unforgettable

Julia Mickus

Julia Mickus is studying Visual Communications and last month participated in the New York Study Tour where students had the opportunity to meet with executives in the visuals industry including Harry Cunningham—Senior VP, Store Planning & Visual Merchandising of Saks Fifth Avenue, Matt Reed—VP of Visual Merchandising at Saks, David Hoey—Creative Design Director at Bergdorf Goodman, and Alison Embrey Medina—Executive Editor of DDI/Display & Design Ideas Magazine. They also toured the holiday window displays at iconic NY department stores.

Name: Julia Mickus

Major: Visual Communications

Tell us a little about yourself: I am originally from Toronto, Canada so moving to a city like Los Angeles has been a huge step for me. Every day, I am constantly learning new things—whether it’s about the visual industry or something LA people just seem to do. I come from a big family with a history in the design world; I knew from a young age I wanted to pursue a career in visuals, but I never knew where to start. I had always wanted to attend FIDM straight out of high school, but the idea of moving over 3,000 miles away from home seemed daunting at the time; it took me over three years and another college degree to make the jump.

Tell us about the NY Study Tour: The NY Study Tour I participated in this quarter was an experience I will never forget. One important aspect that I learned from the trip (about which I've been telling my family and friends) is that the study tour truly opened my eyes about the visual world. I believe everyone has a notion of what they want their career to look like and what they want to achieve when they graduate. Our meetings in NY taught us that you have to be ready to do anything and everything, and it doesn’t come on a silver platter the moment you graduate. I realized that I truly want to pursue a career in visuals, especially in New York City, and I gained so much information on the study tour that I would highly recommend this trip to any future Visual Communications students. My favorite part of the trip was, by far, meeting with David Hoey, Senior Director of Visuals at Bergdorf Goodman. I have always admired his work and his theories behind the windows of such an iconic New York store. While we only met with him for a short time, it was those few moments where I got to see the madness he creates every season.

Which holiday window displays were your favorite? My favorite windows were the Macy’s windows at Herald Square, designed by Paul Olszewski. I was already excited to meet him due to the numerous praises from FIDM teachers, but meeting him was an experience I’ll never forget. Paul created such a beautiful, meaningful story through five major windows that it took my breath away. The way he was able to tell such a simple story, while making sure it encompassed the Macy’s holiday inspiration of “Believe,” and the way he used digital animation and robotics, it was just unreal. Not to mention it was a completely different experience at night than during the day. My favorite part was when he all let us walk through the back of the windows to see how they connect all the electronics. He even let us poke our heads out to be part of the display—a photo I recently framed with a quote saying, “Look who’s staring in the Macy’s Herald Square Christmas Windows."

What is one of your proudest accomplishments? I’ve experienced many events during my life, but honestly one of them has to be this NYC trip. I was so honored to be chosen in the first place, and to be able to meet with all the executives through our numerous appointments, it’s something I really appreciate—a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Getting to not only walk through Saks Fifth Avenue with no one around and visit the award winning set of Wicked (my all-time favorite musical), but also to walk down 5th Avenue looking at the Christmas windows—it was an experience of a lifetime.

How did you hear about FIDM and what made you decide to go here? I heard about FIDM years ago, while I was in Grade 11. As I said above, I knew I wanted to go to FIDM during my final year, I was truly just too chicken to take the leap and honestly I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I actually went to a University in Toronto and learned after the first quarter that text book life wasn’t for me; I knew I needed to pursue something in the arts. After completing a degree in Fashion Marketing and Merchandising, I knew I was ready to take the leap with my career and move out to Los Angeles to attend FIDM. Since then, I’ve never looked back.

How did you choose your major? Already having a Fashion Marketing and Merchandising degree, I knew I didn’t want to repeat any of my classes (which I figured Merchandise Marketing would give me). When I came across Visual Communications, I immediately knew this was the major for me. Getting to do hands-on work with a mix of essays and speeches, this was the field I wanted to get into.

What are your career goals? My career goals are still a bit in the making, but one thing is for sure—I want to be in the visual world. If you had asked me when I started at FIDM I would have said, “I’m not sure. Everything.” One thing David Hoey advised was, “If someone asks you what you can do, don’t ever say anything and everything. I’ll immediately forget about you when I look for jobs.” Taking that advice seriously, I would want to have a career that designs not only window displays, but also merchandising, store layouts, and fixtures—what I like to call a mixture of interior design and visuals. That would be the dream for me.

How is FIDM helping you get there? FIDM is helping me so much, not only with this NY Study Tour, but the hundreds of job opportunities they post on their Career Center. From someone who comes from another university that doesn’t offer anything like the Career Center, I don’t take it for granted. For anyone reading this, you don’t know what your missing until it’s taken away from you.

Anything else you’d like to share? To future FIDM Students—if this NY Study Tour is available to you, TAKE IT. I’m being perfectly honest. I learned some great tricks of the trade, and great insight into the visual industry. This trip really opened my eyes and made me reevaluate where I want to go and who I want to be when I graduate in June.



Are You Thinking of Transferring to FIDM? Join Us for a Transfer Info Session

12216j_LA Open House_DSC_6475

Curious about what it takes to transfer to FIDM?  Are you considering another degree?

Join us for an evening transfer information session where you'll have the opportunity to discuss course transferability, obtain financial aid information, explore 22 creative and business majors, and hear about FIDM's Career Center resources.  Campus tours will also be available.

FIDM Los Angeles Campus
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
6:00 pm

RSVP required



Just Accepted Visual Communications Student Transfers From Arizona State University


Name: Mariah Mckenzie

Age: 18

Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA

FIDM Major: Visual Communications, Winter 2014

FIDM Advisor: Dee Solis 

Have you attended or graduated from any other college? Yes. I was accepted to Arizona State University, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in the spring of 2013. I was accepted into the Broadcast Journalism program, which is one of the most prestigious programs in the country. I anxiously packed my bags and left home, to attend the fall semester in 2013. I came to Arizona with an open mind, however after taking classes at Cronkite it has confirmed the idea that the school is not the place for me. I have decided to go to FIDM because I feel that it is where I will be challenged creatively, while learning the most important and fundamental factors that contribute to the fashion industry.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Even as a child, I was extremely goal oriented and was constantly participating in activities that would contribute to making me a well-rounded woman. At the age of five, I made a goal to travel to all fifty states by the time I was twenty-one; so far I have traveled to thirty-eight of them. At the age of eight, I was the youngest competitor and first place winner to ever participate in the SCV Optimist Speech Club. After that, I knew there was no stopping me. I have competed in multiple scholarship pageants, and have held numerous titles, such as Little Miss Santa Clarita Valley 2007 and Miss Teen Castaic 2011, just to name a few. In 2012, I competed in the Miss Teenage California Pageant, and had the honor of making it into the top ten finalists. While holding these multiple titles, I have completed over 950 hours of community service, at about every charity walk/run, business grand opening, The Michael Hofflin Children’s Cancer Foundation, etc.

Not only did I dedicate a majority of time to contribute to the betterment of my community, I managed to focus on soccer. I started playing at the age of five, and was selected to play on a club team at the age of eight. As a freshman, I was selected to be the captain of the soccer team. I was the first freshman captain ever, and my captainship continued in the next years. I was invited to play on a United States girl soccer team to compete in the 2010 Italy Cup. We traveled to Italy, and competed against teams from all over the world. It was such an honor and life changing experience to be a part of that team. I am a hardworking and dedicated individual, with a list of accomplishments that is going to continue to lengthen throughout my lifetime.

What made FIDM right for you? As a child I grew up conducting fashion shows and styling my friends. I have always had a passion and interest for the fashion industry. I am an extremely creative person, and love working on projects that challenge that ability. In high school, I knew I wanted to have a job in the fashion industry, but I was not quite sure in which direction I wanted to go. I looked into FIDM while I was applying for other colleges however when I got accepted to the Cronkite school, I knew it was an opportunity that I could not pass up, even if it was not what I wanted to do. I know that FIDM offers the most connections into the fashion world, and I feel it is where I am going to be able to establish my footing for a successful career.

Describe your entrance project:

  • Shape Project: I had seen projects from the past, and I knew that I wanted to stretch the boundaries and produce something different. I used the Barbie logo as the outline and then filled it in with all different sized shapes. I used black, silver, and gold paint to give the project a simple and classic look.
  • Exterior Project: Growing up, my mom always told me I was a little bit of leather and a whole lot of lace, so that’s where the inspiration for my store front came from. I had a neutral rustic theme to tie the opposing styles together. I used images to portray props such as a large chess piece, clock, and old-fashioned pictures.
  • Interior: I wanted to keep the store elegant and sophisticated. I went with the idea that less is more. I put a few pieces of furniture, a shag rug, and a huge dresser against the back wall. I kept a color theme of gold, tan, black, while incorporating burgundy to add a little pop.

What are your career goals? After graduating from FIDM with a Bachelor’s Degree, I plan to engulf myself in as many opportunities as possible. I envision myself being in charge or planning events such as New York and Los Angeles Fashion Week. I can also envision myself being the marketer and public relations advocate for a large fashion corporation.

What do you expect to learn from FIDM? I expect to learn all the core fundamental values that apply in the fashion world. I am looking forward to learning about predicting the upcoming trends. I also expect to gain a lot of hands-on knowledge while at school and through internships.



Just Accepted Digital Media Student Is a YouTube Sensation


Full Name: Lauren Mullally

Age: 20

Hometown: Foxboro, MA

FIDM Major: Digital Media

FIDM Campus and Start Date: July 2014, Los Angeles

Admissions Advisor: Laura Gorham

Tell us a bit about yourself. Up until a few years ago, my only true passion was cheerleading. When I started college I decided that I would leave cheerleading behind and search for new interests and passions. It was at this time that I found my passion for video editing and everything beauty and fashion related through creating my YouTube channel, laurensvanityy.

Since creating my YouTube channel, it has become a passion that takes over a good portion of my life. If I am not filming, I am either editing future videos, thinking of new video ideas, or answering comments on my videos or other social networks.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishment so far would have to be starting my YouTube channel and becoming a StyleHaul partner. My channel has been able to give me so many opportunities to travel to new places, meet new people, experiment with new products, and many other opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

What made FIDM right for you? I knew FIDM was the right school for me the second I stepped onto the campus. The atmosphere and the class sizes made FIDM really stand out to me. Also, the program that FIDM offers for Digital Media has the best curriculum I found, which made the decision to become a student at FIDM very easy!

Describe your entrance project. I created a video that ultimately just described who I was as a person, how I got to the place I am today, and why FIDM was the school I wanted to transfer to. I put a lot of myself into the video and by doing so actually learned more about myself and who I really was.

What are your future goals? To graduate FIDM with my Digital Media degree as well as my Bachelor of Science degree.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to gain more knowledge and experience within the Digital Media field. I hope to be able to explore programs and editing software that I have never used before. Most of all, I expect to learn more about myself and how I fit into FIDM and my major.

Watch Lauren's Admissions video here.



Just Accepted VisComm Professional Designation Student Has Plans To Work in Entertainment Industry

Luna Kim

Name: Luna Esther-Sakura Kim

Age: 22

Hometown: Buena Park, CA

Major: Visual Communications, Professional Designation

Campus: Orange County

Admissions Advisor: Sheryl Lewin

Tell us a bit about yourself: I have a BA in Linguistics and Anthropology. My passions are toward anime, manga, cosplay, music, games, and crafting. I do not talk much, but if you share my passions I will be glad to talk about them. 

My personal blog is: Visit and check out all the fun things that I post from time to time.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My proudest accomplishments so far are busting through a 4-year university with a double major and making the impossible possible.

What made FIDM right for you? Personally, I am a kinesthetic learner, which means that I acquire knowledge and skills through using my hands rather than sitting in a class listening to lectures or watching the professors give lectures. I am hoping that FIDM is the school where I will be able to make use of my jack-of-all-trades skills. I have written an extensive experience of my first step into FIDM here.

Describe your entrance project: My entrance project consisted of all the things that I can relate back to growing up. For my first project, I utilized a circle, square, and triangle to make a chair that was targeted toward children and young adults. As for the second part of the entrance project, I made a 3-D model of a window display using classics, music, and winter as the theme. Finally, for the third part of the project, I drew a floor plan and some sketches for an interior retail store where the theme was Paris.

What are your career goals? I would love to work in entertainment industry focusing on costumes, props, and sets.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn the skills that I can apply to the industry as soon as I graduate.



MPD Alumna Is Assistant Designer at GUESS (Interview)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Just Accepted Merchandise Marketing Student Transfers to FIDM From George Fox University



Name: Courtney Hochstetler

Age: 20

Hometown: Salem, Oregon

Previous College: Junior year, George Fox University

FIDM Major: Merchandise Marketing Professional Designation Program

Start Date: October 2013

Admissions Advisor: Marilyn Moore

Tell us a little about yourself. The expectations of me are high, both from a personal standpoint as well as from those around me. My high expectations developed early on based on how I was raised. I grew up in Salem, Oregon, where I was taught the best of morals by my loving parents, John and Sheila, and two awesome older brothers, Brett and Chad. They have been my greatest supporters and have helped me reach my goals and dreams.

My hobbies include adventuring with friends, spending time with family, traveling, decorating, thrifting, and painting (taking the old and making it new). I spend most of my time working and enjoy going to church. My inspirations for fashion come from Audrey Hepburn. She is timeless, classy, as well as a humanitarian. She dedicated her life to disadvantaged communities around the world. A special thanks goes to Dakarai Kongela, who taught me that every dream is important, and to go after this one.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Everything began for me at an early age. I got involved in USATF Junior Olympics, where I attended 10 national championships for youth cross country and track and field. I was also involved in the Willamette Girl Choir, which I participated in for six years. These experiences, through both disappointment and success, prepared me for the many life experiences ahead, both the blissful times and the trials and tribulations. Recently, I accomplished a half marathon and look forward to competing in many more!

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM is a great school for those who are dedicated and love the world of fashion! At an early age, I realized my knack for being creative and adventurous. I scrapbooked, took pictures of anything and everything, and dressed up Barbies in various outfits for different occasions and events that I planned for them. But since then, I have grown in my sense of style and enjoy styling in my daily life, in my career setting, and for those amazing friends and family of mine.

Working in retail, I have learned the business aspect of fashion, and what makes a company ultimately successful. FIDM can help me attain my career goals by enhancing my education from where I left off at George Fox University. It will give me the connections necessary to work with top retail companies. I believe that focusing on my area of interest will help me discover how to obtain my goals, and prepare me for my future career.

Describe your entrance project. I created a store and a demographic for the customer that would shop in my store. I started by making a list of my inspirations, which included everything that is of value to me. My store is focused on an urban style that accommodates to the young professional individuals. I focused on an average young business woman in Portland and her lifestyle. I named the store “Urban Beat & Co.” where the clothing is urban, upbeat, and trendy.

I then put five well coordinated outfits together based on the single business woman, and her needs, and the demographic. I put together evening wear, casual wear, athletic wear, sleep wear, and career wear. Each piece in the look was from a different designer and brand; a few brands that I used were Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. The prices for each item were related to the middle-high class individual. This project was all based on my passion for the need, originality, color, and innovative upbeat creations.

What are your career goals? Upon graduating from FIDM, I plan to graduate from George Fox University with a bachelors degree, and then to start off as a buyer for a major company. This appeals to me because I am a driven and organized individual who loves tailoring the ever-changing styles to fit my preferences and tastes in order to make them my own. My heart is in this career because I can be of service to others while doing something I love.

My ultimate goal is to work my way up in the fashion world to be a manager, and to eventually be able to open my own retail store and donate part of the proceeds to America’s inner cities. I firmly believe the Merchandise Marketing program will be a perfect fit and will open doors I can’t even imagine. This is just the beginning of a life already becoming fulfilled!

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn all about the business of fashion. I am excited to learn the marketing of merchandise, retail buying, application of technology, leadership skills, and team management skills. These skills will give me the ability to analyze information and management of merchandise in such a diverse industry. The part I am most looking forward to is the traveling, and the cultural aspect. I look forward to advancing my career in the industry and learning from professors who have so much experience in the industry!



Just Accepted Graphic Design Student Transfers to FIDM From SFSU to Pursue Design



Full Name: Micah Bradshaw

Age: 21

Hometown: Dana Point, CA

FIDM Major: Graphic Design

Previous College: SFSU

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Orange County, October 2013

Admissions Advisor: Sheryl Lewin

Tell us a bit about yourself. I have always loved the ocean and what is has to offer. I have been surfing since I was little and after so many years it has given me so much inspiration and taught me that possibilities are endless out there. Soccer has been my passion my entire life until recent injuries got in the way of me continuing to play. Whenever I have free time, you can find me at the beach hanging out with friends and family or you can catch me out in the water paddling in on a few.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? My most recent is getting into FIDM, which I am very stoked about. Another great accomplishment of mine is making SFSU Soccer team, but unfortunately it was getting in the way of my education so I had excuse myself from the program.

What made FIDM right for you? I believe FIDM will teach me the skills and experiences needed to be my own designer and move on with my career in Graphic Design. Being surrounded by other students with the same mind set in design will not only create more opportunities, but help me grow to further create and be inspired.

Describe your entrance project. I had to create a company and describe its customers and describe the demographics of the customer as well. I also had to create a slogan, an advertisement, and a catalogue for this clothing company. Luckily my friends and I have already started a clothing company called SEAW33D. so I worked off of that to get the project rolling.

What are your career goals? I would like to eventually design for a firm, as well as continue designing for the clothing company my friends and I have already started a few years back called SEAW33D.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn what I need to further my skills and knowledge of graphic design and learn what it takes to be successful in this industry.

Photo credit: Jared Sislin Photography



Just Accepted Graphic Design Student Follows His Passion For the Arts



Full Name: Cory Morinishi

Age: 22

Hometown: Cypress, CA

Current year in school: Senior in College

FIDM Major: Graphic Design

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, October 2013

Admissions Advisor: Susan Pope. She's the most encouraging, helpful, and supportive woman you will ever meet.

Tell us a bit about yourself. Graphic Design has always been my passion. Back in high school, I printed T-shirts out of my garage and released my own brand named Enryo. Graphic Design has continued to be my favorite hobby along with playing instruments, basketball, volleyball, golf, skiing, bodyboarding, and photography.

But when I was applying to colleges, I was accepted into University of California, Riverside as a Biology major with an interest in pre-medical studies. Coming from a family working within the medical field, academics was always positively reinforced, so naturally, I initially wanted to become a physician. However, after my third year, I decided to take the leap and pursue my true passion, which ultimately was not biology.

Despite the difficult transition, I gradually built my portfolio at Golden West College before getting accepted into FIDM's Graphic Design program. I am currently working at a design start-up company, Ahava Design, where I both design and screen-print T-shirts. I aspire to develop my brand further and eventually release it to a wider spectrum of consumers.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Because I am the only person in my family with a strong passion for the arts, I have found that being confident in my own career aspirations and paving my own path has been my most significant accomplishment. When I was still at UC Riverside, I was unsure about whether or not I should make the big transition from Biology to Graphic Design, but by accepting the challenge, I feel that life has opened many doors for me. As a result, I have learned that in order to live a happy and fulfilling life, it's important to allow your passions - and not your desired income or status - to fuel your life's work.

What made FIDM right for you? From my years at UC Riverside, I remember sitting in my Biology and Organic Chemistry lectures, pretending I was taking notes on my laptop when I was actually doing graphics for leisure and for friends. My fascination with T-shirt design, which had really grown at the time, eventually drew me to FIDM, which has a specific emphasis on Graphic Design for apparel. FIDM's connections within the surf and skate industries are also unparalleled and they would help me develop my vision for my future work.

Describe your entrance project. I thought it would be a good opportunity to create a real-life application for my entrance project, so I further developed Enryo, the brand I began in high school. I made a catalog cover, a magazine ad, and shopping bags, which feature my logo and aesthetic that I envision for my company, which is a hybrid between surfwear and streetwear that represents individuals with an urban active lifestyle. Along with the surf-to-street lifestyle, Enryo designs maintain Christian themes and values ingeniously embedded in contemporary designs, with proceeds used to support missionaries around the world.

What are your career goals? Upon graduation from FIDM, I would hope to have started an internship with a company from which I would acquire on the job experience related to Graphic Design in the apparel industry or entertainment industry. I would also hope to have continued working with Ahava, developing my skills, and using my education at FIDM to successfully launch my own brand and line of apparel, specifically within the action sports industry.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn anything and everything that will help me succeed and follow my passion.



Merchandise Marketing Grad Is Sr. Product Manager at Adidas (Interview)


FIDM Merchandise Marketing Graduate JT Akers is the Senior Product Manager for Basketball Apparel at Adidas. We recently caught up with the Portland, Oregon resident to chat about his exciting career.

What made you decide to attend FIDM? A career change in my early 20s. FIDM provided great insight into what I wanted to originally do (open my own boutiques and be a buyer). The recruiters were great and made my decision easy. The curriculum was directly applicable to my goals. But I'll let you know when I figure out what I wanna be when I grow up.

You already had a B.A. How did your degree from FIDM help as another layer to your existing one? My degree at FIDM provided me with instant credibility in the apparel and fashion industry. My experience at FIDM was literally applied to every position I've had since graduation.

Tell us about your current job and responsibilities at Adidas. My team and I create all of the apparel for Adidas Global Basketball. We brief in the seasonal strategy to our design and development teams, are the product, market, consumer, and competition experts, and drive the business. We are charged with coming up with creative and viable product options to grow the business. We are accountable for anything you see on the retail floor. Its half creative/half analytical, but the driver of the category. Never a dull moment!

What advice would you give to a student at FIDM hoping to go into your field? Pay attention in class! The instructors at FIDM are experts in the field. You won't get expertise like that anywhere else. I literally apply everything I've learned to some extent in my work. Its like they say, you get out of it what you put in. There are great people at FIDM so take full advantage of everything FIDM has to offer because when you're out you'll be glad you did.

What you'll learn at FIDM is very specialized and will put you that much farther ahead than anyone you're competing against for a position in this industry. Oh yeah, and have fun! This is a fun industry -- fast paced, yet small, so network and utilize FIDM as best as possible.



Just Accepted Student Kathryn Donaldson Transfers To FIDM From Michigan State


Nineteen-year-old Kathryn Donaldson, a college sophomore from Michigan State University, is transferring to FIDM to major in Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing. She will start this fall on the Los Angeles campus.

"FIDM was the perfect place for me because they are one of the only colleges in the entire nation that offers the program I was looking for. The Beauty Industry program offered at FIDM allows me to learn everything I could ever need, or want to know about what I feel most passionate about, cosmetics."

Read the entire interview with Kathryn Donaldson on FIDM's

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