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FIDM: Gaining Prestige Along with Downtown LA’s Urban Renaissance

FIDM sits within the burgeoning South Park neighborhood of Downtown LA

A wonderful phenomenon happens when you have urban revitalization like the one Downtown LA has been experiencing for the last decade. As more businesses and residents have been added to Downtown LA, more amenities and better care of our city have increased throughout the area as well. As that progression continues, we’re beginning to reach a tipping point, or critical mass, that results in an ever-increasing synergistic energy within Downtown LA among its many amazing attributes including educational and creative institutions like FIDM (the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising). We’ve all heard of the old saying: “One hand washes the other.” In this case, when Downtown LA rises, so does FIDM and vice versa.

In 1969, FIDM was established in Downtown LA with only two classrooms and has grown to become a powerhouse of creative energy, attracting talent from around the world and giving those budding minds the resources they need to help them lead in their respective fields. In fact, graduates of the private college have gone on to “own thriving fashion, graphics, and interior design companies.” And many others, according to FIDM, have gone on to take “charge of merchandising and buying for major department stores, while others create costumes for Oscar®-nominated films.”

Now that Downtown LA has become a major regional destination again attracting more and more companies back into the city (including fashion labels like Lucky Brand), and becoming the trendsetter when it comes to the dining scene (once reserved for the Westside), more eyes than ever are now focused on the area, which has benefited FIDM tremendously. As Downtown LA becomes more desirable as a whole, the reach of FIDM’s programs have increased as well.

Last week, FIDM hosted an LA Fashion Bloggers Party that allowed bloggers like me to see first-hand what FIDM is all about, including the FIDM Museum’s 20th Annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition (this was appropriately right before the Oscars event on Sunday). We were also given a campus tour that allowed us to experience the college from student’s perspective by peeking into classrooms in session and browsing through the school’s library filled not only with books and archived magazines (like Vogue issues dating back to the early 1900s) but with fabrics of all colors and textures. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that fashion designer Monique Lhuillier and the creators of Juicy Couture–two extremely renowned brands in the global fashion industry–were FIDM graduates.

The relationship between FIDM and Downtown LA will continue to be synergistic. As Downtown LA continues to gain influence (regionally, nationally, and even internationally) as a result of more companies and creative energy centralizing within its urban boundaries, FIDM will stand to benefit from that influx of urban energy.

LA Fashion Bloggers Party and Tour of FIDM Campus

I had a fantastic time partaking in the FIDM LA Fashion Bloggers Party last week

Students show off their window display artistry on the FIDM campus

Famous furniture pieces displayed on campus

More famous furniture pieces displayed to inspire students

A FIDM classroom in session

Renowned fashion designer Monique Lhuillier is a graduate of FIDM

Monique Lhuillier graduated from FIDM in 1992 with a degree in Fashion Design

The creators of Juicy Couture, Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor, are FIDM graduates

The Artist (Best Picture Oscars winner) costume designs were among many other 2011 movie costumes on exhibit at the FIDM Fashion Museum

As Downtown LA continues to be revitalized, FIDM will benefit tremendously as well

2 Comments

  1. Has anyone heard what the status is of the student housing apartment building that is suppoed to be built?

  2. John G. says

    This is a great story regarding L.A.’s human capital.

    What downtown needs is more investments in education – The creation of more schools, satellite college campuses, and other key drivers that can generate the magnet to attract brighter minds and talents into Los Angeles!

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