"Fashion is NOT a Hobby"

6:40 PM

I am the type of traveler who likes to do large amounts of research before I head on a journey. Google Maps, Yahoo Travel, blogs, you name it I read it and I am no different when it comes to my Fashion Freeway.

Before coming to LA and FIDM I joined Facebook groups, subscribed to blogs and sites by alumni and watch Project Runway and The Hills (insert eye roll and sarcastic comment here)-like no body's business. But there is nothing like talking to an alumni directly about the ups and downs of being a student and trying to break into the industry.

I am a Merchandise Product Development major and while browsing a discussion on fb my attention was grabbed by Product Development alum T.L. White who's comment is now the title of this post. Remember my Road Maps interview with FIDM Alum Stacie Rutherford, Apparel Manufacturing major? Read it again here.

Both alumna stress that fact that our program is intense and a lot of hard work - and I totally agree. I have already had two quizzes in two of my classes and two projects next week for my Brand Development and Textile Science classes. 6 hours a week is recommended for my sketching class and my last quiz proves it to be needed, and I know that once the sewing part of Apparel Process I (one) starts I will be focusing on that too.

T.L. White had some great words of wisdom that I have cut and paste here with her permission. Read and Learn:

T.L. White:
I will start off by saying that whether you go to FIDM or not you really have to know that fashion is truly what you want to do and its not just a hobby. Many people will go to FIDM for a year or less and then drop out.

The 1st year at FIDM, your taking mostly general education classes such as English, math, history and at least 1 or 2 classes each quarter that relate to your major*. A lot of people get the perception that they are going to FIDM to only learn about fashion. You walk out of FIDM feeling rounded. And the Product Development major gives you an insight to both the designing aspect and business side of the industry.

All of the teachers have worked in the industry they're teaching and they always have great stories to tell that will stick in your mind forever.

They have great resources and a career center; when you graduate you have access to a special part of the school site were you get really good job postings. They (advisers) will recommend jobs to you and go over whats on the site.

I got all of my great jobs through Cragislist, and having the FIDM name definitly gets you through the door ahead of others. You have to intern for well known companies and you can go anywhere after that.

Did you intern during your time with the company you are currently with or with others that helped you decide to work in the position you currently hold?

T.L. White:
Fashion Freeway
During my last qtr at FIDM, I interned for Ed Hardy Shoes as a PR/Marketing Intern. Then I realized that it wasn't truly what I wanted to do. I loved it, it was fun but, wasn't me. 2 weeks after leaving Ed Hardy I worked as a Production Coordinator for a Private label design company and was there for about 5 months then decided to go back to school, which meant I couldn't work there anymore because I needed to be there full time considering the work load I had.

Then about 5 months ago, I started looking for a part time position back in the industry on craigslist and found a posting for Ed Hardy Shoes for the exact position I was looking for. It was too perfect for words. I was so estatic and wanted the job so bad because I knew I was perfect for it. I love where I work!

To answer your other question about others helping me...Obviously I left the company for a period of time then went back and was welcomed.

But after reading your blog....I should say that....more like stress, many people can make it in this industry by just knowing people and getting jobs that way. I never wanted to be that way...I know many people that could get me into many awesome positions in Hollywood but you really only appreciate a job truly, when you worked for it yourself. Take it, when I did go back, everyone welcomed me back and I was the 1st intern to ever come back and get an actually job with them. But I had that drive to make it happen.

Fuel Your Freeway
I've just always known I wanted to get into fashion and that it wasn't a hobby or just something I enjoyed, it was what I wanted to do with my life. So I knew I needed to go to the right school for it, and that I needed to go to certain events and work at certain places to really expose myself to EVERY SINGLE aspect of the industry, from working the sales floor in retail, club promoting, marketing/PR, production, designing, and now I'm going to school for Business; which is my final leg of knowledge. Then I want to put that to use in running a company and learn how a business person does it then I'll run my own.

*=This is only if you do not have a previous degree. If you have a previous degree you are entered into the Professional Designation Program and take only major courses. Some of which can be transferred depending on your previous curriculum.

I am very grateful for this information and I know that many of you out there can benefit from it even if you aren't a FIDM student. Leave a Stamp and have a great weekend. I'm off to do my projects. Happy Travels!

You Might Also Like