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Fashion School Q&A: Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM)

By FashionUnited


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FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) is an internationally recognized college with 4,200 students and over 70,000 graduates. It offers degrees in 32 disciplines, among them Fashion and Costume Design and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). The college is headquartered in downtown Los Angeles, with other campus locations in Orange County and San Francisco. FashionUnited recently spoke to FIDM Publications from the Los Angeles campus, to discuss the impact of Covid-19, the type of courses the college offers, and the future plans of the institute.

How has the transition from internal learning to distance learning been for the school and the students?

We’ve been offering eLearning courses and even entire majors online for over 15 years, so even though the pandemic was an unexpected challenge, we were able to successfully pivot to distance learning last spring. We have enormous respect for the students who have had to be flexible during such a time of uncertainty.

How would you describe the FIDM student community?

Our students are creative, inspiring, hardworking, and culturally diverse. More than 40 percent of our student body is from out of state or out of the country, so students network and collaborate with peers from all over the world, creating an energy like no other. United by their passion, ambition, and drive, students share a common goal—to be the best at what they love to do.

What kind of courses does the FIDM offer? What is the area of focus?

FIDM prepares students for the global industries of Fashion, Visual Arts, Interior Design, and Entertainment. Our graduates enter the market as highly trained professionals, ready to make a contribution. We offer Associate of Arts, A.A. Professional Designation, A.A. Advanced Study, Bachelor’s, and Master’s Degree programs. Our 30-plus creative majors include Business Management, Fashion Design, Merchandise Product Development, The Business of Denim, Digital Marketing, Film & TV Costume Design, Visual Communications, and Interior Design.

What do we need to know about FIDM?

For more than 50 years, we’ve had our fingers on the pulse of emerging industry needs. We’ve created an educational environment where students can learn and grow, fusing student desires with career realities. Our Career Center has more than 8,000 job postings each year and places students in 1,100 academic internships annually. We partner with influential brands such as Nike, Inc., Macy’s, Kiehl’s, and Converse for project-based learning and everything we do, from curriculum to career services, is geared toward ensuring that our students graduate with the skills and work experience necessary for success in their chosen field.

What are the plans for this year? Are there any new things coming up?

This year, we’re offering flexible online courses that use online tools such as the discussion board and chat rooms to promote interaction with the instructor and peers while allowing students to access and do work at their own pace and time. And our remote classes are most like an on-campus classroom experience and are taught live at the same time and day each week via Zoom. Many students prefer the remote classes because they love the feeling of being "in class,” seeing and interacting with their peers and their instructor in real time, as well as hearing from guest industry speakers just as they would on campus. We are planning a full reopening this fall.

Do you have any tips for future students who want to study at the FIDM?

New students, including transfer students, may enter in the quarters starting in July, October, January, or April, and our Admissions Advisors are here to assist and guide you through an in-person or online Admissions experience. You can take a virtual tour of FIDM and learn more about the FIDM college experience during our Online Events.

Images: FIDM

Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising