Merchandise Product Development

Latest Merchandise Product Development News

  • Apr

    Three FIDM Grads Now Working at Swim and Lingerie Brand Hot As Hell

    Three 2013 graduates from FIDM’s Merchandise Product Development program came back as FIDM guest speakers recently, sharing with students in the Premiere MPD Group their success stories. Kelsey Farrar, Jilli Joffe, and Rebecca Bunker are all now working together at the hot new swim and lingerie brand, Hot As Hell (HAH). They shared their paths that have led them from FIDM to their glamorous careers at HAH, and offered valuable career advice to the students.

    While at FIDM, Kelsey participated in the both the Surf & Action Sports Study Tour and the Denim Study Tour. While on the Denim Tour, she visited Guess and learned about an internship opportunity in their design room. She applied that summer, was hired, and fell in love with design. When she graduated, Guess hired her as an assistant designer. Kelsey helped style Guess at NYFW, then went on to PacSun as a designer.

    The founder at Hot As Hell approached Kelsey about working for her, and the rest is history. Now Kelsey does HAH’s creative content and marketing, including look books, website, and social media. Immediately after she was hired, she travelled to Hong Kong for the brand.

    When Jilli was a student at FIDM, she had the chance to meet FIDM Grad and WGSN Assistant Editor Chris Tsuyuki. In fact, it was when Chris had returned to FIDM as a guest speaker for the Premier Product Development Group, just like these three grads were doing in kind. One thing led to another and Jilli was hired as an intern for WGSN in trend forecasting. She went on to work as an Assistant Designer at J+CO, then Guess—where she joined Kelsey. “I learned so much from working in a big corporation,” Jilli said. She now does all the copywriting for Hot As Hell, along with PR and styling.

    Rebecca Bunker has a slightly different story. She was obsessed with traveling, and backpacked through Europe for two months after FIDM. She had reached out to a former instructor who told her about an internship at Roxy, and was hired two weeks later as an Assistant Designer. She designed kids clothing for eight months, then the job ended. So, she travelled again and when she came back to LA, she got a call from Roxy to do footwear. Kelsey told her that her boss at Hot As Hell was looking for a designer! Rebecca has been there for a year now, designing swim and apparel. Her work has taken her to places including Sri Lanka, London, Hong Kong, and Paris.

    Hot As Hell has had much success. Swim Miami picked HAH to feature, giving them less than a week to cast models and produce the entire thing. WWD said they were “one to watch.” They hired DJ Alexandra Richards (the daughter of legendary rock star Keith Richards) for the launch party.

    The trio of FIDM Grads took a trip to New York City to do the AXIS show, which is a tightly edited boutique trade show. AXIS asked them to attend and featured them as a brand to visit. “We’re not shy, as a brand.”

    Hot As Hell is now sold in Greece and Dubai, and in the U.S. at Free People, TopShop, Anthropologie, and Nasty Gal.

    The grads said they never stop working. In fact, they had worked until midnight the night before they visited FIDM as guest speakers. They assured the students that hard work pays off. HAH showed at Paris Fashion Week last October in a beauty gallery on the Champs-Elysées. While there, they were snapped by Elle and showed up in a street style post for Paris Fashion Week (photo above).

    HAH is based in West Hollywood, and is currently looking for interns.


    Categories: Advice, Alumni News, Merchandise Product Development

  • Apr

    FIDM Alumna Launches Jewelry Brand Ox By Olivia

    Sarah Olivia graduated from FIDM in 2012 with her degree in Merchandise Product Development. She now owns a jewelry company called Ox by Olivia. Get to know this inspiring young alumna. Tell us a little about yourself: I come from a large family with a ba … Read More

  • Apr

    Just Accepted SF Merchandise Product Development Student Wants to Launch Her Own Streetwear Brand

    Name: Emily Jackson Age: 17  Hometown: San Ramon, CA  FIDM Major: Merchandise Product Development FIDM Campus and Start Date: San Francisco, Fall 2016 Admissions Advisor: Laurel Gardner How did your advisor help with the process? Laurel was act … Read More

  • Mar

    FIDM Student Crying After Meeting Pro Surfer Kelly Slater Video Goes Viral

    FIDM Student Sarah Grace Smith recently traveled to Hawaii with Quiksilver, where she is an intern, for the annual surf competition in memory of Eddie Aikau. After being captured crying after seeing her idol Kelly Slater for the first time, the video promp … Read More

  • Feb

    Merchandise Product Development Graduate is Running His Own Successful Business MLB International

    Gaurav Bhargava's entrepreneurial spirit first emerged when he was studying at NIFT in India as a fashion design student. Eight years later, he arrived at FIDM, receiving a degree in Merchandise Product Development. In 2001, he joined Fantasy Activewear In … Read More

  • Feb

    Merchandise Product Development Grad Taylor Thompson Lands Job at BCBG

    Taylor Thompson graduated last year in 2015 with her Professional Designation Degree in Merchandise Product Development. She's now working as a Design Assistant at BCBG MAX AZRIA. Tell us a little about yourself: After getting my degree in broadcast journ … Read More

  • Feb

    Derek Lam Merchandising Associate Brittany Lee Reviews Merchandise Product Development Student Final Presentations

    Derek Lam Merchandising Associate and FIDM Alumna Brittany Lee was recently invited back to her alma mater to review and provide feedback on final presentations by fifteen Merchandise Product Development Students in the “Classification and Line Development” … Read More

  • Jan

    Merchandise Product Development Grad Launches Outdoor Apparel Lifestyle Brand (Interview)

    After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Merchandise Product Development Graduate Amanda (Brown) Kovanis has launched Nakid Imagination, a clothing and lifestyle brand rooted in a love for the outdoors. We recently chatted with Amanda, who owns the company … Read More

  • Jan

    Merchandise Product Development Alumna Jessica Liao Launches Swimwear Brand Slate Swim

    Jessica Liao graduated from FIDM in 2014 with her degree in Merchandise Product Development. She's now the Owner/Designer of her own swimwear brand, SLATE SWIM LLC, crediting FIDM for laying the foundation. Tell us a little about yourself: I've known I wa … Read More

  • Dec

    Catching Up With Merchandise Product Development Student Mercy Lynn James (Interview)

    Name: Mercy Lynn James Major: Merchandise Product Development Age: 18 What made you choose FIDM? I always knew I wanted to strive for something bigger than attending a regular state school, so I nudged myself past my comfort zone and began researching … Read More