Melanie | Business Management
Whidbey Island native Ariel Carroll just graduated from FIDM with a degree in International Manufacturing & Product Development (IMPD). She is continuing her studies with plans to finish her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management at FIDM by March 2013.
Name: Ariel Carroll
Campus: Los Angeles
Major: Product Development/International Manufacturing and Product Developement
Hometown: Whidbey Island, Washington
Tell us a little about yourself: I a grew up on a hippy island, and I ended up in the big city of Los Angeles, going to FIDM—I am loving my life here. Wouldn't change it for anything. I am 21 years old and have my second Associates Degree and will be finishing my BS in March 2013. I love so many aspects of design and product development that it is so hard to decide what I want to end up doing in my career. So, I plan to go with what life gives me and stay at the top!
What is one of your proudest accomplishments? The fact that I have made it this far. I've been indecisive in the past, and now I am on a track that I love and I am doing well at it.
Tell us about your experience in the IMPD Program: I designed missy tops for our target mom. This program was the best. I made so many connections and friendships, and gained so much knowledge that I can take with me throughout my educational journey and career path. My teachers have been absolutely amazing, and traveling to Europe and Hong Kong has given me a new perspective on research and manufacturing.
What was the biggest lesson you learned in the IMPD Program? Teamwork. It's not always about what you think is going to sell; it's about research, validation, and working with your team to collaborate on determining the best trends.
Tell us a little about your traveling experience in the IMPD Program: I traveled first to Paris, France and Milan, Italy for trend research. My experience at Premiere Vision and Trend Union, and observing street fashion helped me in my trend research; it was something else. Knowing that Europe is 1.5 years ahead of American fashion made it a little easier to go there and pull what I think will sell in America and use that to inspire my designs. Later in the program we went to Hong Kong for production. We looked at manufacturers to get the real experience of what it is like to visit a factory. This gave me real life experience, which helped me to understand it better.
Tell us about the upcoming Fall 2012 trends: We mainly did reseach on trends for Fall 2012. I saw blush tones and pastels giving a feminine feel, even in the fall season, mixed with complimentary rich dull colors.
What fashion sites/blogs do you love? Stylesight, Doneger, and WGSN
How did you hear about FIDM and what made you decide to go here? I told a family friend, who is a teacher at a college, that that I was interested in clothing; he told me I had to check out FIDM. I had looked at other fashion design colleges, but I didn't feel like they were home. When I looked at FIDM, I knew it was for me!
How did you choose your major? I wanted something that involved design and business. And Product Development fit this description to a T.
What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? Through my majors I realized that I enjoy many aspects of the industry. I definitely want to go into product development in a well known company, more corporate at first, and then I will let life come at me. As long as I love my job and I'm still learning, I will be happy.
What advice do you have for someone thinking about going to FIDM? If you like fashion then COME ON OVER! This is the place to be if your heart is in it. You will have a blast!
Anything else you'd like to share? I loved my experience here so much, and I'm sad that the IMPD Program is now over for me.
In 2009, Marwa Atik and her sister Tasneem started Vela, a collection of fashionable head scarves that featured ruffles, zippers, and lace. "I receieved an overwhelming amount of postiive feedback from people who wanted to tie them around their head and neck," explains Marwa. "The scarves are an innovative statement compared to the plan canvas ones most Muslim women wear." Vela has already been featured in the Los Angeles Times and Elle-Quebec.
Hometown: Fountain Valley, California
Major: Apparel Industry Management
Campus and Start Date: Orange County and Los Angeles, Spring 2011
Admisions Advisor: Joleen Harris
Tell us a little bit about yourself. I was born and raised in Southern California. I first found my love for fashion in high school, when I began wearing the hijab (religious covering). I began experimenting different ways to style my scarf as well as putting together my outfits. Fashion was my escape and expressed who I was and am today.
How did you know FIDM was right for you? My amazing Admissions Advisor Joleen told me about the advantages I would gain by attending a Fashion Design College. With FIDM you truly feel like your getting the most amount of help and advice needed when making decisions. FIDM is the only school in California that offers an Apparel Industry Management major.
How did you choose your major? Since I am the co-founder of Vela, I wanted a major that I would benefit most from. Apparel Industry Management combines both business and clothing design. It's the perfect major that teaches you how to manage a business as well as being hands on with the production of your own products.
What are you most excited to learn at FIDM? I’m really excited to learn about different ways of marketing as well as understanding national and international markets.
What do you expect to gain from attending FIDM? I expect to build strong contacts in the apparel field that will help me to better expand my clothing company.
What are your goals for the future? My goal is to take the knowledge that I have learned through FIDM and implement it into my growing business, Vela.
Visit the Vela Facebook page.
Rachel Zimmermann is super busy and super happy. She's working on two degrees at FIDM, while juggling a full-time job for FIDM Alumna and Fashion Designer Monique Lhuillier. She said since FIDM allows for flexibility in her school schedule, she's been able to work and pay for her sophomore and junior years out of her own pocket! Her story is so inspiring, we're featuring her this month on FashionClub.com's Student News! Don't miss her story on her jet-set trip to Cabo delivering a bridal veil to a client!
Read on for the second part of her interview.
What’s a trend you’re loving right now? Right now I am loving the denim on denim trend. I find it to be such an easy style to mix into an existing wardrobe. Plus, you can find really interesting different types of denim at thrift stores or flea markets that can add some edge to any outfit.
Who is your style icon and why? Rachel Bilson. I love how her style can change on a dime. One minute she is in a retro '50s classic black cocktail dress and the next she is funking it up with combat boots, a beanie, leather jacket and destroyed denim. She is like a chameleon and I absolutely love and admire that. Fashion should be fun and reflect your personality and Rachel Bilson does just that.
What’s in your wardrobe you can’t live without? I can't live without my cowboy boots. They've always been in style for me—one, because in Texas they are a staple and two, they are just so comfortable and versatile.
Talk about your love of fashion and art. When did it begin? I've always had a love for fashion. I used to have my first two weeks of school outfits planned out a month in advance. Sick, I know. I always found it so much fun to be able to change my image whenever I wanted.
How did you hear about FIDM and what made you decide to go here? I just remember researching different creative majors on the internet in my dorm room one night and that's when I ran across the Merchandise Product Development major at FIDM. Los Angeles had always been a city I wanted to move to, so it made the most sense.
What’s your favorite class at FIDM so far and why? My favorite class would have to have been my Entrepreneurial Strategies & Tactics class. Of course I loved the fashion classes, but this class has taught me to take those fashion classes and shape them into strong business ventures.
Describe your fellow students. The student body at FIDM's fashion college is unique in the sense that they are all artists in some form or another. It is so remarkable to be surrounded by constant creativity and young adults that have such drive and ambition to succeed with those creative talents.
What advice do you have for someone thinking about going to FIDM? The strongest advice that I can give to any fashion design college student is take every opportunity, job, internship, dinner and even a social outing as a chance to network. I know many people don't like to network because they feel like they are taking advantage of someone. But if you can be part of someone's business and help them out, how is that taking advantage of them? Always ask questions and keep your ears open for any inside information on jobs or opportunities. I got every single one of my internships out here by meeting and talking with people when I was either working or out with friends. The one thing I have learned is that people in this industry want to help you; they need your help and at the end of the day it still is all about who you know.
Where are you working now and what do you do? I am working at bebe as the Public Relations Coordinator. I am in charge of getting bebe in all major magazines and getting bebe merchandise worn by celebrities.
How have you utilized the FIDM Career Center? I used the Career Center to find internship and job leads, resume editing, and internship/career advice. My meetings with my Career Advisor, Eliza Kitsinian, were very helpful in following up with job leads.
Tell us a little about your internship prior to your job: Through my internship I was able to learn bebe’s work process and assisted the PR Manager. I was also responsible for pulling different looks for editorial stories, keeping track of samples that were sent out and returned, and getting new samples to send out from the designers, product developers and merchants.
Describe a typical work day: A typical work day consists of emailing with fashion editors of magazines such as Vogue, Cosmo, In Style, Bazaar, etc. and sending them new bebe samples for whatever shoot they are working on. For example I just sent out Fall/Winter samples for the November Cosmo shoot. I also work with stylists who come into the studio and pull bebe clothes for their clients, arrange store pulls, and try to get bebe merchandise in as many magazines that I can!
Daily Pilot has an article about Erin Bianchi's Fashion Camp OC, a week long peek into the fashion industry. An instructor at Orange Coast College and a publicist for Bloomingdale's, Bianchi teaches students about all aspects of the industry, including planning runway shows and photo shoots.
Future FIDM Visual Communications Student Bonnie Cravens was one of the attendees. "I'll be working on photo shoots, set designs for movies, TV shows, window displays — it's about selling the product using computer graphics and picking clothes to complete the whole picture," she said. "What we're going to be doing in the next week seems relevant to what I want to learn."
Cath Kidston is a British designer who has changed the whole British teen look towards vintage florals and wellies. She opened her first shop in 1993 in Holland Park (east London). She started by selling vintage wallpapers and fabrics. Since then her fashion empire has grown considerably. She now has just under 30 small stores in England.
Each store has the warm countryside feel that Cath tries to get across in both the fashion merchandising and the store itself. She is best known for her bags and purses but also does a range of clothing. I love most of her bags and purses but her clothing isn’t really known very well over here.
I personally prefer the rucksacks and shoulder bags (book bags) over her clothing. I think that Cath Kidston is a very important company because I feel that it reflects youth in England and she has changed the way that the modern British girl wants to dress. She has started a new fashion and I think that she has influenced and inspired a lot of other people to go for their dreams.
Grace is a thirteen year-old fashionista who writes sporadic posts for FashionClub.com Daily from her home in London.
Michael Abe and Business Partner Jon Rhinerson in WWD
Name: Michael Abe
Hometown: Pasadena/ Los Angeles CA
FIDM Grad Date: Mar 03/ Oct 08
Company Name: Atlas Collective/ Issue Collection
Title: Creative Director
URL: Issue Collection
Describe a typical day? Wake up, Meditate, Read the Trades (WWD, blogs, ect.), Start emailing. Check in with Contractors, Runaround factories, Conf calls in the Afternoon, Check in with consulting clients/ projects, more emails. go home relax for a bit, maybe do some emails and design concepts or other catch up work.
Who is your typical customer? Strong modern women. Someone who is starting to take risks with her wardrobe but not looking too over the top. Wears a fair amount of black or mostly neutral colors.
From the Issue Collection Lookbook
Where can your line be purchased? Eva in NY, Dish in SF, Isetan in Japan
What is one of your proudest accomplishments? Doing what I do and making a living.
What was your first job after graduation? Assistant to the Owner of Private Label co.
What did you learn at FIDM that still helps you today? To not dismiss any aspect of the industry and learn as many elements as i can. Whether it be pattern making, design conceptualizing or cost analysis.
What did you like most about attending FIDM? The teachers are very supportive of the students' ideas.
Anything else you'd like to add? Disclaimer- Overnight successes are hardly realistic, there's always a real story and history to a new brand's success. Coming out of FIDM I felt like I knew everything, today I feel like I'm still trying to learn as much as possible.