FIDM Grad: Annie Pho

Grads share their career success stories

Annie Pho


Tell us a little about yourself: I'm 22 years old. I love heels, lace, pearls, and sparkly things. I grew up with three sisters and I think I am as girly as they come.

Where are you working now and what do you do? I'm currently a footwear designer for Donald J Pliner/Lisa Pliner. I help develop and design a collection every season and follow up with various factories including Italy, China and Spain. Lots of traveling is involved to oversee that the designs look good or to change styles that need tweaking. I also have the privilege of working with amazing technicians from Italy who have taught me a lot about fitting shoes.

Tell us a little about how you felt when you won the Donald J Pliner FIDM Design Challenge last year. Excited!

How do you feel winning the Donald J Pliner FIDM Design Challenge has helped you in your career? It has definitely helped with my career. I didn't expect such a great opportunity to come out of it and now I have a full time job with the company.

What inspires you when you’re designing? Everything around me. I look for interesting details and silhouettes in shoes, handbags and jewelry for inspiration. I get a lot of ideas by seeing what stylish people are wearing on the street and I shop—a LOT!

Who is your style icon and why? So many style icons—Sarah Jessica Parker, Anna Dello Russo, Catherine Baba. They're over the top and fabulous.

What’s your favorite item in your wardrobe? Probably my jewelry—my necklaces and rings that I always wear. That's more than one item but I think they all compliment each other and every piece has a story to it.

What’s your dream fashion purchase? A black croco Hermes Birkin bag—classic and gorgeous.

What are the biggest footwear trends for Fall 2010? Rugged mens tailored shoes. Oxfords, boat shoes, military boots that lace up. Tough over-lasted wedges. Mixed materials like canvas and leather or washed suedes and calf.

What fashion websites/blogs do you love to visit? I love looking at blogs! Jak & Jil Blog, Fashion Toast, Luxirare, Sea of Shoes just to name a few...

Do you have your own blog or website you’d like us to list? Yes. I share a blog with Leila Kerze who went to FIDM as well and was in my class for Footwear Design. Now we also work together at DJP! We have style posts and share pictures of our whereabouts. It's called Shoelosophy.

Who’s your favorite artist or designer? For shoes some of my favorites are Givenchy, Alexander Wang, YSL, Margiela, and Valentino.

How did you know FIDM was the right college for you? I've always known I wanted to design and have always loved fashion. It seemed like a good fit.

How did you decide on your major? There was never really a moment where I felt like I had to make a decision I just knew it's what I wanted.

What was your favorite class at FIDM? Sketching classes with Nancy Riegelman! She is so sweet and talented and has great style. I learned of lot of sketching techniques from her.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you’re doing now? The long hours of homework and all-nighters it took to finish projects. That prepared me to work hard.

Any advice for current FIDM Students? Work hard in fashion college and make smart decisions.

What is your biggest goal right now? My goal is to always keep learning as much as I can and keep challenging myself.

Please Note: The information contained herein was confirmed at the time of original publication.

More FIDM Faces