FIDM Grad: Charlotte Kim

Grads share their career success stories

Charlotte Kim

Fashion Design
Technical Designer, Volcom

South Korea native Charlotte Kim was born in Seoul, but immigrated to southern California when she was 12 years old. She dreamed of attending a fashion college and studied Fashion Design at FIDM. Today she has a successful career at Volcom, a leading action sports company headquartered in Orange County, California.

What is the best part about attending FIDM? They emphasize hands-on experience rather than just book knowledge. This was crucial for working in the fashion industry.

What was your favorite FIDM class?
Fashion Sketching. I’ve always enjoyed drawing because you’re free to create any kind of illusion and don’t have to worry about the technical aspect. Most of the sketching/flat drawing is done in Illustrator nowadays.

What do you love about working at Volcom? 
Fashion is always evolving and I love the fact that my work is not always the same. Volcom has great work environment: positive, encouraging, and helpful, which is hard to find in the stressful garment industry.

As a Technical Designer, what are your responsibilities? 
I attend the fittings with the designer, make comments regarding fit, and am involved from the first prototype samples to the production samples. I set up specs based on the designer’s flat sketch and make patterns for blocks for vendors to use.

What advice would you give to a Korean student who wants to study at FIDM?
Dream big and be willing to work hard. Be prepared to work from the bottom up, from endless ripping seams to 3-D computer design. Anything you master will be an asset in the future. The fashion industry is a mixture of art and business. Pursue your dream with artistic passion and tangible hard work.

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

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