Vis Comm



Vis Comm Students to Participate in Saks Fifth Avenue West Coast Student Window Challenge


design:retail, in cooperation with Saks Fifth Avenue, will host the West Coast Student Window Challenge on Thursday, July 31, 2014 in Beverly Hills. Visual Communication Students will compete in a daylong challenge for a mentorship with the Saks window team.

Pictured: Last year's winning Student Team of James Ryerson and Natalie Kunkle



Meet FIDM Social Ambassador Ashley Consolo

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Get to know FIDM Social Ambassador Ashley Consolo, a Visual Communications Student at our Orange County campus. Follow Ashley on Twitter @FIDM_Ashley for live updates about her life as a student at FIDM.

Q&A with Ashley:

Hometown: “Phoenix, AZ.”

Describe your style: “Bohemian chic, simple and classy.”

Currently listening to: “Whatever is on the radio, I like to go with the flow and just have fun!”

Favorite brands: “I like the brands they carry at Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, and Free People.”

An icon who inspires you: “Coco Chanel– she's the one who inspired me to love fashion in the first place.”

Favorite place to eat in the OC: “I love eating at the Panini Café.”

Dream job: “Ever since I was younger, it has always been my dream to design celebrities’ houses.”

Best advice for FIDM Students: “Never give up! It will pay off in the end.”

OC’s best kept secret: “During finals, the Starbucks by UCI stays open 24 hours.”

Your FIDM experience in three words: “Anything is possible!”

You know you went to FIDM when: “Every day is like a fashion show and you spend your spare time studying at the local Starbucks.”

More about Ashley:

"Hello! My name is Ashley Consolo. I am a Visual Communications Student at FIDM. I started out at the Orange County campus in Fall 2013 and now I'm headed to the Los Angeles campus to start the Summer 2014 quarter. I was born and raised in Arizona and it has always been my dream to go to school on the West Coast. Not only to get away from the heat, but to study fashion in Downtown LA. My dream is to become an interior decorator or a professional blogger. In my free time I like to get lost in the world of Pinterest and obsess over The Skinny Confidential. If I could give any advice to future FIDM Students, it would be to take up every opportunity FIDM has to offer and to get involved! Whenever something doesn't go as planned, never give up, keep moving forward, and think positive. 'When you think positive, positive things will happen.'"

Connect with Ashley:

Twitter: @FIDM­_Ashley

More about FIDM Social Ambassadors:

The FIDM Social Ambassador program is a team of FIDM Students who blog, tweet, vlog, photograph, and discuss their first-hand FIDM experience on social media. To apply to be a member of the FIDM Social Ambassador program, click here. Get to know more FIDM Social Ambassadors here.



Meet FIDM Social Ambassador Kayla Coleman

Kayla PictureGet to know FIDM Social Ambassador Kayla Coleman, a Visual Communications Student at our Los Angeles campus. Follow Kayla on Twitter @FIDM_Kayla  for live updates about her life as a student at FIDM.

Q&A with Kayla:

Hometown: “Moreno Valley, California. We’re small but we’re coming for the crown!”

Describe your style: “I’m big on comfort, mixing prints, and accessorizing. If I had to give it a name, I’d say Boho-Kardashian-fly girl. I have my whimsical days; I have my sleek and tailored days; and when I’m feeling adventurous, I go for street style and I just channel Jenny from the Block!”

Currently listening to: “Ed Sheeren, Childish Gambino, Paramore.”

Favorite brands: “Free People, Young and Reckless, K and K for Pacsun and Kardashian Kollection.”

An icon who inspires you: “Selena—big fashion, big role model, bigger heart.”

Favorite place to eat in DTLA: “Oh, Panini Café, all the way! FIDM Student 20% discount anyone?”

Dream job: “Celebrity Makeup Artist, Social Media Manager, Creative Director for my own company… I plan to be a busy woman!”

Best advice for FIDM Students: “Don’t leave without making your mark. Even the custodians should be tearing up on your last day!”

LA’s best kept secret: “All the rooftop pools! Cali living at it finest.”

Your FIDM experience in three words: “Time flies by.”

You know you went to FIDM when…: “your entire month’s bank statement is for Starbucks, band aids and Uber!”

Connect with Kayla:

Twitter: @FIDM­_Kayla

More about Kayla:

"Walking with God and running with my heart! I’m 22, driven and answering my calling. I’ve got a passion for the creative process and I’ve found a place to grow and thrive!  I love music, art, cinema and fashion. I plan to leave a positive mark on the world, doing something that I love along the way. I haven’t got it all figured out yet, but I’m enjoying the journey. After all, it’s not about what you’re doing, it’s about who you’re becoming. From student to staff and now Social Ambassador, FIDM is taking me for a wild ride! I promise to keep you entertained and informed, so follow me as I follow my dreams!"

More about FIDM Social Ambassadors:

The FIDM Social Ambassador program is a team of FIDM Students who blog, tweet, vlog, photograph, and discuss their first-hand FIDM experience on social media. To apply to be a member of the FIDM Social Ambassador program, click here. Get to know more FIDM Social Ambassadors here.



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.



Sony Pictures Television Media & Talent Relations Manager Speaks to FIDM Students


Visual Communications Students in Pat Turner's Entertainment & Fashion PR class were recently treated to a visit from Robyn Harney, Manager, Media & Talent Relations at Sony Pictures Television. As a guest speaker, Robyn shared insight about her day-to-day responsibilities and emphasized the importance of participating in industry internships as a student before beginning a job search.


She also stressed the importance of writing skills, building relationships in the industry, doing research, being prepared, and treating everyone nicely. Some of Robyn's responsibilities include interacting with executive directors, talent, and journalists on a day to day basis.

"The students all had so many positive comments," explains Pat Turner, "from saying how young she was to have had so much amazing experience, to her broad knowledge of both PR and the total entertainment industry. One impressed student referred to Robyn as an encyclopedia of knowledge."



Just Accepted San Diego Vis Comm Student Is FIDM Fashion Club President



Full Name: Lindsay Botticelli

Age: 17

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Current year in school: Senior

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: San Diego, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Arti Martinez

How did your advisor help with the admissions process? Arti is so amazing. She truly put all of her efforts forward in order for me to accomplish my dream of attending FIDM. I am the third child and, therefore, my parents are already in debt from my two older, college attending sisters. Arti aided us in figuring out all of the finances and helped to make my attendence possible. Without all of her assistance and encouragement, I would not be pursuing what I am meant to: fashion.

Tell us a bit about yourself. I am currently President of the El Capitan High School FIDM Fashion Club. We meet every Thursday and always have fun activities planned. We discuss the latest trends, take an Outfit of the Week photo for our club's Instagram, and even have guests teach us things like how to knit. We recently went on a field trip to visit the Los Angeles campus. We took a tour of the facilities, got to eat at chic downtown restaurants, and visited the Diane von Furstenberg "Journey of a Dress" exhibit.

I am also ASB Publicity, Class of 2014 Vice President, Really Loud Gold Crowd Treasurer, a V-Crew leader, a Peer Leader, and more. I balance all of that, as well as my part-time job as a Brandy Melville sales associate/store model. At Brandy Melville, I set up visual displays, tend to the needs of customers, and model store apparel.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Being chosen to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. Only one boy and one girl were selected from my school, after a rigorous interview process. This three day conference was eye opening. It is the kind of thing that when the three days are up, you wish you could just stay longer with these new friends.

What made FIDM right for you? I knew FIDM was right for me at a very young age. My oldest sister was going on college tours when I was in middle school. She had heard about FIDM and wanted to get a better feel for it. She, along with the whole family, went on a tour of the Los Angeles campus. She fell in love, and so did I.

Describe your entrance project. I created a design for a window display, floor display, and a picture using only circles, squares, and triangles. The window display had a "Rock & Roll" theme and even had a drum set in the middle of it. The models had funky volumized hair and were sporting classic band tees. The floor display had a desert festival theme and featured Jen's Pirate Booty clothing, a bronze cactus, and a stand made to look like the desert floor. For the third project, I redesigned a picture my father took of "Mirror Lake" using only circles, squares, and triangles.

What are your career goals? My sisters and I plan to move to Los Angeles together next year. We want to start our own freelance styling company, as well as our own online clothing boutique. Ideally, I would love to have a career like Rachel Zoe's: celebrity stylist-turned-fashion designer. I absolutely love her.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I have an eye for styling, but my skills are still a little rough around the edges. I hope that FIDM can teach me to hone in on my skills and really refine my talent. I know FIDM can open doors for people; I have seen it happen. I just need to get a step ahead in the industry, and I know FIDM can help to get me there.



Rihanna's Stylist Describes His Process

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Mel Ottenberg, the stylist credited with Rihanna's ascent to the fashion stratosphere, tells the New York Times about his vision for dressing the clothes-obsessed pop star in an interview before she picks up next week's CFDA Fashion Icon of 2014 award. "My whole thing was she is so beautiful, she's so over the top, she doesn't need so much stuff. We can strip it down," he says about the streetwise, sexy look he first hit on for the "We Found Love" video in 2011.



Future Vis Comm Student Has a Deep Passion For Art, Fashion, and Photography



Name: Vivian Laurence

Age: 17

Hometown: Palo Alto, California

Current year in school: 12th grade

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Los Angeles, October 2014

Admissions Advisor: Jennifer Clark

How did your advisor help with the process? My advisor, Jennifer, was unbelievably supportive throughout the admission process. First and foremost, her focus was making sure that I had all the resources I needed to succeed with FIDM's application. She gave me the guidelines, then let me run free with the three major-specific projects and my personal essay. Jennifer still checks in often to see what I'm currently working on and I am always grateful for her critique and encouragement. Her faith in me is unparalleled.

Tell us a bit about yourself and all of your endeavors. Since I was a little kid, I have been drawn to all things related to fashion and art. I began my style blog at the beginning of my sophomore year in high school. I love chronicling my personal evolution when it comes to fashion and style aesthetic. This blog, along with my mother's move to Nadi, Fiji, led to an internship during my sophomore and junior year summers. I worked in Fiji with fashion designer Alexandra Poenaru-Philp for a month at a time. She was my first mentor in the fashion world and with her guidance, I learned about the design process and experienced first-hand all of the hard work that goes into creating a collection.

At the beginning of my senior year, I walked as a runway model in Fiji Fashion Week for over 13 designers, including L.A. designer and FIDM Graduate Kevan Hall and Australia's Kookai. Most recently, I have been working in partnership with San Francisco-based designer Maryam Moraveji to build Myara, a fashion design company bringing hand-drawn Persian miniature art to life. In addition to my love for fashion and modeling, I have a deep passion for photography.

Most of my senior year has been dedicated to the creation of my AP Studio Art portfolio. My concentration has been rooted in self-discovery and surrealism, visually describing the complex journey of self-awareness and acceptance. Above all, I value collaboration. Being involved in a variety of projects keeps me on my toes. From each experience, I gain something different and challenge myself to be better.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? I recently published a personal project that is really important to me. It is a movement I titled The Soulfie Project, combining a series of self-portraits with a written call for emotional honesty and the liberation of personal truth. I received overwhelming positive feedback and I was so humbled. Also, my two co-editors and I just published the 2014 edition of [proof] Magazine, our high school's art magazine. I had never done graphic design before, so it was a phenomenal learning experience. We created the magazine in two days and stayed at school until 5:00 a.m. one night to finish it. I had never worked that intensively before and the final result was so rewarding for our entire team.

What made FIDM right for you? To me, FIDM signifies endless possibilities. I have a vast array of interests and passions, all of which FIDM will allow me to study and pursue. I already feel very welcomed by the FIDM community and I really believe I'll gain the knowledge I need to excel in whichever path I choose to take.

What are your career goals? Ultimately, I want to found my own collaborative creative company. A group of passionate voices is much more powerful than a single voice alone. My aim is to bring together an ever-expanding team of open-minded individuals eager to express their values and opinions. Using team work and collaboration, I hope to challenge social and global issues through many mediums of artistic expression.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to learn about the artistic industries in depth and gain a much deeper understanding of their structures. I am looking forward to working with faculty, mentors, and peers who will challenge my thinking and urge me to widen my perspectives.



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


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

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

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

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

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

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



SF Students Create Windows Featuring Past Trends That Are Current Again


Last quarter, Roy Kunkle's Design Installation class in San Francisco created windows featuring trends from the past that are now current again.


Each team was asked to research the trend they were assigned and create a window display that would tell a visual story of the history of trends.


The students worked with garments from the FIDM Costume Collection to represent the past and then sourced a current dress that went with their trend. 




FIDM Alumni Success Story: KAOHS Swimwear


FIDM Majors: 

Ali Hoffmann - Visual Communications

Tess Hamilton - Merchandise Marketing 

Did you meet at FIDM or were you friends prior?

Tess: We met at FIDM 
How has FIDM helped you prepare for starting your own business?

Ali: As a V Comm major Entrepreneurship for Visual Communications really helped Kaohs get off the ground. Ms. Darlene Blanchard (Ms. D) was incredibly supportive and helped me overcome many of the fears related to starting a business, especially at such a young age. She continues to encourage us and support everything we do. I also tend to refer back to a lot of the marketing classes I had with Ms. Pat Turner, her knowledge about the industry is priceless. 
Describe your experience creating your own brand.

Tess: We started with sketches on notebook paper and asked a lot of questions. We also made some mistakes, but they made us better. It’s stressful but worth every minute of it.
What are some of your proudest accomplishments thus far?

Ali: I think we are really proud of hitting our goals: break even point, web sales, wholesale sales, and being asked to be a part of Mercedes Benz Miami Beach Swim week, this upcoming July. 
Share the story of how your designs got in the hands of the Jenner/Kardashian Family. Ali: We have a good friend, who is one of Kim’s best friends. When Kim saw the bikinis she was instantly supportive as was the whole family. Having the Kardashians and Jenners as fans, has helped grow our business and get us some great press online as well as US Weekly, In Touch, Life & Style, etc. 
Where would you like the brand to continue to press forward? What is the ultimate goal for the brand?

Tess: We want to continue to grow add larger swim collections, as well as brand into ready to wear pieces. We would love to get into kid's swim, men’s board shorts and even surfboards. Only time will tell.
What does entrepreneurship mean to you both?

Ali: Being an entrepreneur is both scary and exciting. We are both really excited about growing as a company, as we continue to grow, we will get to give back and share our experiences and knowledge with many.
Was Kaohs (or creating a brand of the like) always in your career plans or did this passion evolve while at FIDM?

Tess: We both knew we wanted to work for ourselves, we just didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. 
What would you say is the most important part about networking?

Tess: Constantly networking is important because you never know whom you will meet. It’s important to us to expose Kaohs and ourselves to as many environments as possible. We love networking and working with different bloggers and companies worldwide. 



Photos courtesy of Mariya Dondonyan



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Inspired by Travel and Culture



Full Name: Camille de Vela

Age: 18

Hometown: Santa Clarita, CA

Current year in school: Senior

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

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

Admissions Advisor: Alissa Dixon

How did your advisor help with the process? She helped every step of the way. She guided me through the application process and was always there whenever I had a question. Even after I was accepted, Alissa still continues to stay in touch with me -- she's great!

Tell us a bit about yourself. I love traveling. That's when I get the most excited because there's so many great things out there to explore and discover, and that's where I get most of my inspiration.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Making the decision to go to school at FIDM, sticking to it, and getting accepted.

What made FIDM right for you? FIDM had me when I visited the campus and felt how much creative energy was emitting from the students as well as in the atmosphere.

Describe your entrance project. For my project I had to create a store as well as its merchandise. I chose to give it the name "Culture" since that's what I believe is essential for igniting imagination, inspiration, and creativity. With that in mind, the clothing in my store was bohemian, comfy, breezy, and loose with a lot of global, cultural inspirations in the design as well as in the interior design of the store.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? To understand how to express my creativity and ideas to successfully communicate with an audience and to see what I'm capable of achieving.



Vis Comm Grad Is Celebrity Stylist for Actors and Athletes (Interview)


Name: Victor Michel

FIDM Degree: Visual Communications

Tell us about your celebrity styling career. I can say it has been nothing but a dream come true. In less then a year, I have worked with magazines such as GQ and Rolling Out. I landed my first cover with Rolling Out as well as a four page spread for my styling of actor Brian White. It’s been a pleasure to have styled Claudia Lee (Actress), Malcom Smith (Super Bowl MVP), Tahj Mowry (Actor), Reggie Bullock (Los Angeles Clippers), Natalie Alyn Lind (Actress), Jahlil Okafor (National Player of the Year), and Kevin Durant (NBA MVP).

How has FIDM helped you succeed? FIDM is not just a higher learning institution; it prepares you for not only a job, but a career. Attending FIDM, I learned many lessons I now use in my professional career, such as time management, patience, punctuality, presentation, and being fashion savvy. Most importantly, FIDM taught me the importance of paying attention to detail, which is reflected in my work. The fashion industry is perhaps one of the most competitive fields you can get into, much like attending FIDM.

Attending FIDM made me think outside the box to compete with very talented students. Now being a fashion stylist I find myself day in and day out challenging myself to find new ideas, concepts, and trends to stand out from everyone else. Week after week, course after course you are learning from professors who work in the fashion industry and know firsthand what it takes to land big opportunities.

We hear you are also working with the men's label MyVice. I became involved with MyVice through a former teammate who I became close with while playing professional basketball. I am a junior designer at MyVice and I help with the concepts and development of new product. I also play a large role in building our celebrity relationships and gifting our product to celebrities. 



Recent VisComm Grad Is Public Relations Coordinator at BCBGMAXAZRIA


Recent graduate Lindsey Spink, who received her degree in Visual Communications in March, is currently the Public Relations Coordinator and Executive Assistant to the VP of Global Public Relations at BCBGMAXAZRIA. "My day-to-day responsibilities include preparing studio loans and pulls, creating press clippings, reviewing BCBG editorials, assisting the VP of Global Public Relations, meeting with press, preparing for and assisting with special events, communicating with editors, and being in charge of public relations department budgeting," she explains.

"FIDM helped prepare me for my career by teaching me the following skills: writing press releases, creating media kits, connecting with industry professionals, the entire process of coordinating special events, budgeting, and how to communicate with press." 



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

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

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

photo credit: Dusti Cunningham



10 Recent FIDM VisComm Grads with Great Careers in Fashion & Entertainment

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A Visual Communications degree from FIDM can go many places in the fashion and entertainment industries. Here are just a few examples of the opportunities open to recent FIDM Grads.

Abigail Valentine Gallen (pictured above) is a Costume Assistant on Grey's Anatomy.

Tiffany Royston is a Junior Buyer at Shasa boutique.

Lotta Luolamo is an in-demand entertainment industry Stylist.

Jordan Fox has launched e-commerce site Novus Pulchra.

Sivan Vardi and her partner have launched Styled by Noir, a unique online styling and e-commerce site.

Janinna Figueroa has her own line of bridal designs, featured on The Knot.

Alicia Romo started her own fashion boutique.

Brittany Bush is a Visual Manager for Free People.

Chanelle Kerr has launched e-commerce site SaVous.

Kaitlyn Wood's work as a Hollywood Set Decorator has appeared in feature films The Artist and Hitchcock.



Alumna Chloe Asseo Joins Family Business at L'Aventure Winery


Visual Communications Alumna Chloe Asseo has recently joined her family's L'Aventure Winery as the new sales, marketing, and communications director. She previously worked in Paris and Bordeaux with boutique and luxury brands. "I am excited to work with my father to bring to life his passion, motivation, and hard work of making great wines," she says. 

Read more about Chloe and L'Aventure in the Paso Robles Daily News



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.



VisComm Alumna Is Costume Assistant on Grey's Anatomy (Interview)


Name: Abigail Valentine Gallen

FIDM Degree: Visual Communications

Hometown: Tucson, Arizona

Tell us about your job. I currently am working as a Costume Assistant on Grey’s Anatomy. I have been with them since the start of their 10th season. What I love most about my job, besides the incredibly talented people I get to work with, is that every day is different. Since I am an assistant to the entire department my duties change depending on where I am needed most. I get to work with the Supervisor, the Designer, the Key Costumer, and the Set Costumers on any given day.

What other jobs have you had since graduating from FIDM in 2012? I did a lot of independent films and commercials. I worked a few days on shows such as Big Brother, Biggest Loser, and Nashville as an assistant. At the end of 2012, I worked as a Costumer on Burning Love, a web series directed my Ken Marino and designed by Alicia Rydings (fellow FIDM Alumni). From there I began working full time in television starting at 90210 for the second half of their fifth season. After the show concluded I moved on to CSI:NY and finally landed my job at Grey’s Anatomy in June 2013.

How do you feel that FIDM helped prepare you for your career? I cannot stress enough how important the internships I did through FIDM were in the start of my career. I got the opportunity to intern on the second season of The Glee Project as well as in the research library at Western Costume Company. Both internships taught me so much and led to many jobs once I graduated.

One skill I am so thankful FIDM taught me is how to network and sell myself as a brand. The fashion industry and especially the entertainment industry are all about networking and who you know. FIDM gave me the skills to create an impressive resume, cover letter, and portfolio as well as how to nail any interview or professional conversation to benefit my career.

What are your future goals? I am lucky to be on the path to my dreams at such a young age. For now I am enjoying working my way up and learning all the aspects of this industry. One day I plan to be a Costume Designer and have the opportunities to work with many talented directors, writers, actors, and fellow costumers. I look forward to my future within the industry and I cannot wait for what comes next.



Vis Comm Advisory Council Member Harry Cunningham Wins Prestigious Markopoulos Award


FIDM Visual Communications Advisory Council Member Harry Cunningham, Senior Vice President of Store Planning, Design, and Visual Merchandising at Saks Fifth Avenue, has won the prestigious Markopoulos Award. He is the 18th person to receive the peer-awarded honor, created by design:retail (formerly DDI) magazine. A profile on Harry (who has spoken to Vis Comm Students in the past) and the award mentions the partnership between Saks Fifth Avenue and FIDM for the Student Window Challenge. 



Just Accepted Vis Comm Student Is Junior at Villa Park High School



Full Name: Brooke Harrington 

Age: 17

Hometown: Orange, California

Current School Year: 11th grade 

FIDM Major: Visual Communications 

FIDM Campus and Start Date: Irvine, 2015 

Admissions Advisor: Sheryl Lewin 

How did your advisor help you with the admissions process? Sheryl was the absolute best advisor. She went above and beyond to make sure I had everything I needed to be successful in the admissions process. 

Tell us about yourself. I am a junior at Villa Park High School. I enjoy hanging out with my friends and family. One of my proudest accomplishments is getting into FIDM of course! 

Describe you're entrance project. My project had three parts to it. First, I had to make something using only squares, circles, and triangles. I decided to do something I've never done which is jewelry making and I made a necklace using those shapes. The second was a exterior window design and I made a store called The Revolving Door, which was a thrift store that contained a moving door in the front. The third was a interior store design and I based it off the same store as the outside with a vintage contemporary feel. 

What are your career goals? To become a magazine stylist  

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? Everything I'll need to know to be successful in my job field. 



SF Students Design and Install Three Brooks Brothers Windows


Students in Roy Kunkle's Design Installation course designed and installed three Brooks Brothers windows on campus during the Fall 2013 quarter. The windows featured Red Fleece for Men, Red Fleece for Women, and the new Black Fleece for Men and Women designed by Thom Browne. 

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The special project began with a tour of the new flagship store in Union Square and during the design process, the Visual Coordinators from the store visited FIDM SF to offer the students feedback.

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The final presentation of the windows took place at the end of the quarter and was attended by Store Manager Alonzo Williams, and his two Visual Coordinators, Michael Kaihe (a graduate of FIDM) and Brian Chan.

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FIDM Students Dress Up Pasadena Stores in 4th Annual Competition


For the fourth year in a row, Pasadena Magazine has partnered with FIDM to hold a design contest for students to create merchandise displays for local retailers. Three teams of students from the Visual Communications program pitched their visions to sponsors for selection and a panel of professionals will pick the best display.

All three exhibits will be featured in the March/April issue of Pasadena Magazine and seen at Therapy, Vroman's, and Whole Foods during the first two weeks in March. 



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.



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.



FIDM Faculty Member Christine Lo Presti Knows Luxury Windows


After training as a fine artist, Visual Communications faculty member Christine Lo Presti, fell into the visual display world by accident. "I was creating some art work for Neiman Marcus and they sort of recruited me into their visual department," says Christine. "From there I went to Neiman's Beverly Hills store and did their windows for several years." Her favorite classroom project is the on campus windows her students design and install. Read more.



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.



FIDM Advisory Counsel Member Paul Olszewski Wins VisComm Award


Paul Olszewski, Director of Windows & Interior Flagship Marketing for Macy's, sits on FIDM's Visual Communications Advisory Counsel. KTLA's Jessica Holmes goes behind the scenes with Paul to find out how the iconic window displays come together. Watch the video here


Paul recently took a group of lucky VisComm students on a window tour including into one of the famed Christmas windows, and last week he received the Platinum Award for Best Holiday Windows from DDI Magazine. He accepted the award at the PAVE Gala in NYC. Congratulations, Paul!



GUESS + FIDM Design Contest Semi-Finalists Are Chosen


The GUESS + FIDM Design Contest that we told you about in October now has five semi-finalists who are vying fo ra $5,000 cash prize and chance to have the winning design produced and sold by the  brand.

FIDM Instructor Brianna Wilson's Social Media class will be promoting the semi-finalists and their designs for the next five weeks through all FIDM social media platforms. Be on the lookout for blog and Facebook posts, Tweets, and Instagrams and see who wins this exciting contest!



Watch VisComm Students Participate in DDI/Saks Window Design Challenge


Back in July, Visual Communications Students participated in the DDI Magazine and Saks Fifth Avenue Window Design Challenge. Paired up in three teams of two for the day-long challenge at Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills, the students were assigned visual carts containing props, fabrics, forms, and mannequins. They then had eight hours to come up with a design theme using the visual elements.

Watch a short clip of the challenge here:


Learn more about the challenge here.



SF VisComm Students Create Candy-Themed Table For DIFFA SF's Dining By Design


FIDM Students recently created a candy-themed table for DIFFA (Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS) Dining By Design event in San Francisco. What began as a project in Roy Kunkle's Design Installation class during Summer quarter at FIDM SF continued during the break, and installation of the space took place last week by a team of volunteers.


Pictured left to right: Deena Hashem, Chelsea Diaz, and Katrina Tagle.



Student Spotlight: Brie Harris, Visual Communications Major


What are your career goals now that you are close to graduating from the A.A. Visual Communications Program at FIDM?
Visual Communications is such a broad major and there are many career options within this degree. We not only learn how to make window sets visually appealing but we also gain a vast knowledge of entertainment and fashion PR, publications, and fashion styling. My future plans are heading towards the fashion PR direction because I feel that's the best fit for me and the lifestyle I envision for myself. 

Do you want to work for a major PR firm?
I would prefer to focus all of my efforts on a specific designer and work for their PR office. I don't want to work for a major PR firm and be handling multiple projects with different designers because I feel it takes away from the spark of being engulfed by one designer and their design aesthetic. Carolina Herrera and Alice and Olivia are my top two choices and I would love to work for their public relations office. 

Will you be able to apply what you learned at FIDM into your career?
 Yes, absolutely. I took advantage of a lot of opportunities that were presented to me at FIDM and I got very heavily involved. Working for Student Activities on campus and being Fashion Director of the FIDM MODE™, being involved with the Student Veterans Club, Student Council and Phi Theta Kappa in addition to the connections I made in my classes with my fellow peers and professors has really shaped me to who I am today and it has given me a clearer choice of what I want to do for the rest of my life. 

Pictured: Brie with FIDM Advisory Board Member and Project Runway judge Tim Gunn. 



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.



Recent VisComm Alumna Is Junior Buyer at International Retailer Shasa


New FIDM Alumna Tiffany Royston is the Junior Buyer at Shasa, the international retailer that is opening its first store in California at the Glendale Galleria. "After graduation I wokred part time in a showroom to learn the ins and outs and it made me realize that I wanted to be the buyer," says Tiffany, who learned of the Shasa opportunity from her Career Advisor. "It was a two month interview process and I landed the job thanks to FIDM's connections."

To celebrate Shasa's 100th storefront (they have 14 within the U.S.), there will be giveaways, fashion shows, music, and special discounts on Saturday, November 2, beginning at 10:00 a.m.



SF VisComm Students Design Windows For ATHLETA


Students in the Visual Communications department at FIDM San Francisco recently designed and executed four different window displays for industry partner ATHLETA as part of their Design Installation course during the Summer quarter.

Wayne Ross, Florance Alessandria, and Jessica Shogan from ATHLETA’s corporate visual team visited the SF campus at the beginning of the quarter and a week later the students presented their concepts for the windows via conference call.

"They sourced materials, fabricated props, painted scenes, and styled the clothing and accessories for each window," explains Department Coordinator Lisa Hoffman. "Once the windows were completed, the ATHLETA team returned to hear the students present their final projects. The team was thrilled with the outcome." 

The windows are available for viewing on the 5th floor during FIDM campus tours.



VisComm Grad Is Art Director and Production Designer on Award-Winning Short Film


Visual Communications Alumna Kimberly Burns served as Art Director and Production Designer on Good Things Come in Small Packages, a short film that was part of this year's 48 Hour Film Project. "It was chosen as one of the festival's 'Best Of" this year, was nominated for several other categories, and went on to win for 'Best Production Design,'" she says. "The awards ceremony was held at at L.A. Live last month, right next to FIDM's L.A. campus." Kimberly has been working as a an Art Director and Production Design since graduating in 2010.



Just Accepted Student is Daughter of FIDM Fashion Design Grad and Great Granddaughter of Famed UCLA Coach John Wooden

Cailend Robbins Just Accepted

Name: Cailend Robbins

Age: 20

Hometown: Huntington Beach, California

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

FIDM Campus and Start Date: San Francisco, October 9th

Admissions Advisor: Marilyn Moore

Tell us a bit about yourself: I grew up in Huntington Beach, California, with an amazing father, beautiful mother, and two of the greatest younger siblings I could ever wish for. I played water polo all through grade school and absolutely loved it. I fell in the love with the sport because of my dad, Dave Robbins (UCI water polo alumni). He was at every single one of my games; he is my number one fan. He studied Fashion Design at FIDM and graduated in 1987. He has unreal talent and currently works for Asics America. He is extremely inspirational, not only as a dad but in his work ethic. He passed down his creative side to me. My beautiful mother, Kim Robbins, is an interior designer who recently started her own business from the ground up. She gave me the love for fashion and showed me if you really want something in life, you will make it happen. My younger brother, Cole Robbins, is starting his own clothing company. He takes after my dad in fashion, he will go far in the industry with his talent. My little sister, Claire, is my little mini me. She plays soccer and is very competitive but very fashionable. She knows what she likes. My entire family is extremely creative and that is where I get it from. Playing sports my whole life I am a very competitive person. My hobbies are swimming, singing, writing, and photography. I love to laugh and smile. I consider myself a goofball, outgoing, and very hard working with a lot of determination. I love to be with my family and friends, go camping, go to the beach, watch movies, go to dinner, watch or go to a sports game, and I love working with clothes.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? 

  • Receiving "Most Valuable Goalie in all Sea View League" in high school
  • Winning water polo awards
  • Landing my first boutique job back in 2010 for a company called Fringe
  • Playing water polo at the same time as taking 5 classes at Orange Coast College while working a part-time job
  • Making it into FIDM!

What made FIDM right for you? Throughout school I excelled in certain subjects, and others not as much. People always tell you when you visit the right college, you will get that sense of feeling that you belong. Playing water polo for over 10 years, I figured I would get that sense of feeling at UCLA or Cal Berkeley. But, the first time I actually felt this way was when I walked into the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising —I knew that it was where I should be. Fashion to me is not only something I love, it’s something I’m comfortable with. I’m confident in the fact that if someone were to hand me a pair of shoes, I would know the perfect shirt or pair of pants to go with them. As far back as I can remember, I have always thought creatively. I know FIDM will challenge my creative side and push me out of my comfort zone but just the thought of that gives me chills. Similar to the chills I get watching an Oscar De La Renta dress go down the runway. I wanted to be challenged and I knew FIDM could give me just that.

Describe your entrance project: My first entrance project was to create something out of triangles, circles, and squares. Having studied abroad this summer in London and Paris, I decided to incorporate my photography from my trips into each of my projects. For my first project, I printed out a square photo I took in Paris of the gardens at The Louvre with the Eiffel Tower in the background. Then I made a silhouette of Audrey Hepburn walking in my picture out of mini pictures of her in the shapes of triangles, circles, and squares.

My second project was to create a display window. I decided to feature Hudson Jeans in my exterior window display. I was inspired by London and the British flag (which is on the Hudson Jeans logo). For my display, I hung three photos (two of them I personally took) above a white and clean-cut platform with circled mirrors dangled at different levels. All the materials I used were specifically chosen to draw in my target audience. The vibrant colors, the clean-cut look, all three pictures were all chosen to make this display successful and create a young, sexy vibe.

My third project was to create an interior display of a store. I still used Hudson Jeans as my inspiration. For my interior, I chose a fun gold glittered floor that you notice right when you walk in the front doors. I wanted a little white platform with a large picture above it of a Hudson Jean model that has the words “#letyourselfgo” underneath her. On the same platform I wanted two mannequins to the left of that platform wearing jeans. I chose pictures (that are placed on the floor of my display) to go on clean-cut white walls with clothing racks in between each picture. I cut out a cool red printed rug, that goes underneath the desk where the register would be. Behind the register I wanted a nice white wall with the photo of a girl’s face (with stunning eyes and British flag lips) on it. Behind that wall, I envisioned two dressing rooms. I hung two nice circled mirrors for each dressing room. I chose striped glittered blue flooring and put two fun pictures that would go on the walls in there.

What are your career goals? I would love to graduate from FIDM with a Visual Communications degree as well as my Bachelor of Science degree. I would love to intern for someone truly inspiring, and learn to navigate my way in the industry. My dream job is to become a personal stylist and build my own company from the ground up. Fall and winter are my favorite seasons, not just because it's cold, but because of the season for fashion. The scarves, coats, tights, blazers and boots—I die for.

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I expect to gain more knowledge about the fashion industry. I hope to learn more about different fabrics, colors, and designers. I also hope to learn more about window displays and styling. Out of all of this I expect to just become extremely educated on the industry with a desire to keep learning. After all, this is a learning experience and I hope to also learn a little more about myself. I know FIDM will be an amazing stepping stone for my future.



VisComm Grad Has Designed Race Suits for Drivers & Visual Displays for Pottery Barn Kids (Interview)


Name: Alisha Tovar 

Major: Visual Communications

Grad Year: March of 2012.

Tell us about your time at FIDM. During my courses at FIDM, I learned that creating a strong relationship with your Career Advisor was very important. Without the help of Lynne Stroner, I would not be where I am today. She pushed me to volunteer at anything possibly open to my field so I could narrow down the search of what I wanted my career to be. I was helping with events, styling, visual merchandising, photo shoots, marketing, and more. It is nice to be able to learn a little bit about everything, especially if you are unsure of the specific career you'd like, but there are so many options to choose from and it gets difficult to choose one.

How did you find internships or jobs? I was constantly on the FIDM Portal looking for new volunteer work postings and checking out the Career Center News for events happening that month where I could help out at to gain experience. My advisor informed me of a great internship opportunity at Billabong where I was able to assist in the Marketing Department. After interning there for three months, I was able to open my eyes more to the opportunities I had ahead. I learned so much from Billabong and Marketing in general, so I wanted to pursue that more.

What jobs did you have after graduation? I then decided to apply for a Visual Merchandising position with Pottery Barn Kids. It was a great job being right out of school and I learned a lot. I also worked for an online store called Sutra Lifestyles, which I found through the FIDM Alumni Site. I then applied for an active sports company called Arciero Sports, who also had a close partnership with Oakley. With this job, I was able to travel and help out with events, and I also used my Illustrator and Photoshop skills, creating professional race suits for drivers.

What are you up to now? Two months after I moved back, I started working at this amazing company called Tonto Verde Golf Club. As Marketing Coordinator, I'm doing a little bit of everything from all my past jobs, internships, and volunteer work. Also, this job is an additional 30% increase from my previous job. So I encourage all students to talk with an advisor -- it's never too late! You never know where you'll end up!



FIDM Alumna Jordan Fox Launches Fashion Retail Site Novus Pulchra

Jordan Fox FIDM Alumna
Jordan Fox graduated from FIDM in 2012 with a degree in Visual Communications, and is now the founder and owner of Novus Pulchra, a retail site featuring cute clothes for the “young and beautiful.”

"FIDM not only taught me the skills necessary for doing business in the fashion industry, and looking at/predicting trends, but they taught me what I feel to be the most important asset in running a successful fashion business, which is networking. FIDM taught me the right ways to go about connecting with fellow industry people, and using those connections to help grow a business."

Read the entire interview with Jordan Fox on



VisComm Students Participate in Saks Fifth Avenue Window Design Challenge


On July 25, 2013, students from the Visual Communications Program were selected to participate in the DDI Magazine and Saks Fifth Avenue West Coast Student Window Design Challenge. The students were paired up in three teams of two for the day-long challenge at Saks Fifth Avenue Beverly Hills. The students were assigned visual carts containing props, fabrics, forms, and mannequins (all of which were unknown until the students unpacked the visual elements the morning of the event). They then had eight hours to come up with a design theme using the visual elements.


Winning VisComm Student Team: James Ryerson and Natalie Kunkle


VCOM Team Katie Skolas and Ali Nance Saks Fifth Avenue Challenge_DSC_0830
VisComm Student Team: Katie Skolas and Ali Nance

Each student team had a SFA Visual Team member mentor them for the day. Once the time was up to complete the challenge, the windows were judged by a industry panel from DDI and SFA, including DDI Executive Editor Alison Embrey Medina, Matt Reed, VP Visual Merchandising, Saks Fifth Avenue New York, and Michael Bewley, Project Manager, Saks Fifth Avenue. The announcement of the winning team was celebrated with a reception at Saks Fifth Avenue new Men's Denim department "D-Bar." Congratulations to the winning student team of James Ryerson and Natalie Kunkle.

Winning VCOM Student Team James Ryerson and Natalie Kunkle with DDI Editors and SFA Visual Execs Saks Fifth Avenue Challenge_DSC_0753
Left to right: Matt Reed, SFA, Jessie Dowd, DDI, Alison Embrey Medina DDI, James Ryerson, Natalie Kunkle, and Jennifer Dalheimer, SFA

Team Pikka Turangan and Alexis Monroy Window Saks Fifth Avenue Challenge_DSC_0785

VisComm Student Team: Pikka Turangan and Alexis Monroy



Visual Communications Grad Puts Talents Together


Amber Day has been busy since graduating FIDM in 2011. On the heels of her interview with The Cool Hours, the multi-talented freelancer answered a few more questions on how she does it:

How did you decide on Visual Communications?

After my third quarter as a Fashion Design major, I realized that I wanted to do more than design clothing. What I loved about Vis Comm is that it gave me a wide variety of classes and career options. From set illustration, to marketing events, to graphic design, Vis Comm gave me the experience I needed to jump into the fashion industry and the guidance to choose which direction to head in.

How did you realize Fashion Illustration is what you wanted?

I didn't really take fashion illustration seriously until after college while working in the Public Relations office at FIDM. That really crafted my talents in networking and gave me the confidence I needed to turn a hobby into a career.

Can you tell us about current projects?

I have recently designed a line of kimonos under the name A + D that will launch at the end of the month. Also, I am illustrating a Fall 2013 bag preview series for until October. And I'm collaborating with local fashion bloggers to put together a collection that captures Los Angeles style.



Just Accepted VisComm Student Won Miss Minnesota Teen USA 2012



Full Name: Kendra Elizabeth Berger

Age: 18

Hometown: Apple Valley, Minnesota

FIDM Major: Visual Communications

Start Date: October 2013

Admissions Advisor: Margaret Berger

Tell us a bit about yourself. For many years dance was a part of my life and my primary activity. I danced competitively for six years until a hip injury forced me to stop competing at that level. In addition to being a dancer I have competed in pageants since I was 10. During that time I have won two state titles and have competed in two national pageants with the National American Miss pageant system.

As a result of that experience I have been given an opportunity to work for that organization. I am now a choreographer for National American Miss and will be working at nine state pageants this year. As a competitor in this pageant system over the years I have developed valuable life skills such as interviewing, public speaking, and on stage presentation.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far? The life skills I’ve acquired as a pageant competitor helped me to take competing in pageants to the next level. My proudest accomplishment so far was in November of 2011, when I competed and won the title of Miss Minnesota Teen USA 2012. This pageant is part of the Miss Universe pageant system owned by Donald Trump where I then competed for the title of Miss Teen USA 2012 in the Bahamas.

As a titleholder, I was given opportunities to meet celebrities and designers such as Sherri Hill and MacDuggal. While attending the Miss USA 2012 pageant, I was asked by Sherri Hill to model her Spring Dress line in the Atlanta Market Show. The experience gave me an inside look at all the work it takes to put on a fashion show.

What made FIDM right for you? Visual Communications to me is a vision or emotion or theme portrayed through different ways of decorating or styling. As a future college student who is on a low budget, being able to put together new outfits with the clothes I currently have in my closet is a challenge. That challenge is also something I love to take on. I love to style my friends.

What are your career goals? To be a stylist for a designer or for fashion shows. 

What do you expect to learn at FIDM? I am excited to learn from the best in the Visual Communications field about fashion trends and skills needed to become a successful stylist in the fashion industry.



Graduating Fashion Club President Jessie Froggatt Starts at FIDM Next Month


Jessie Froggatt, a graduating senior at Valencia High School, started her FIDM Fashion Club during her junior year. Among other achievements, through her club she has created awareness around eco-friendly fashion and the needs of the homeless. She will be starting at FIDM in July, with a major in Visual Communications.

"I hope to graduate from FIDM and become a fashion stylist. Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves, and I think that fashion is an excellent place to start."

Read the entire interview with Jessie on FIDM's



VisComm Alumna Working as a Successful Stylist in the Entertainment Industry


Visual Communications Alumna Lotta Luolamo, a native of Finland, is working as an in-demand fashion stylist in the entertainment industry. Working with a variety of wardrobe designers, stylists, creative directors, and producers, Lotta has worked on sets -- from theatre to music videos -- for clients such as Angela Simmons, Laz Alonso, and J Randy.

How did you get into styling? I did volunteer work for fashion shows, a visual merchandising internship, and an internship on the team I work for right now, Mozie Campbell Inc. It just felt natural to me and I've had the best mentors to give me valuable advice. I started as an assistant and after graduation, I got hired as a stylist -- hard work and dedication pays off.

What is a typical day like for you? Each day is different, especially on shoots. The locations, the themes, the people, and the vibe -- each one is different. That's what I love about this job; it's so inspiring. We regularly research new brands and designers and contact showrooms and designers for possible pulls for shoots.

What is it like working with celebrities? You get to see a lot of different personalities and talents. I've had good luck and met very good people who are really inspirational.

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