FIDM Grad: Chase Vance

Grads share their career success stories

Grad Chase Vance sharpened his talent for apparel design and pattern making for many markets including action sports, denim, swimwear, technical gear, and accessories while studying Apparel Industry Management at FIDM. Now he's been accepeted into FIDM’s prestigious third year Advanced Study program in International Manufacturing & Product Development (IMPD) where he and his fellow students will be working with Bebe execs on all phases of the production process, from concept to consumer. Chase is a recipient of scholarships from PAC SUN and Signal Products.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I grew up in Utah where my initial goal was to become a professional freestyle skier, but when I moved to California several years ago, it was much more difficult to reach the local resorts. This is where my interest in designing winter sports apparel began at just 14 years old. I followed that goal and since then I've graduated from Apparel Industry Management and been accepted into FIDM's International Manufacturing and Product Development 3rd year advanced program. I am now working as a freelance pattern maker with focus in streetwear, denim, and action sports pattern designs while also in the process of building a men's style website.

What are your proudest accomplishments so far?
The opportunity for so much involvement with the college. I knew I wanted to get as much as possible out of FIDM, and it seems to grow with each quarter. Because I got so much out of the school, I wanted to explore any area I could to give back. I have since had the opportunity to serve as the Student Council President and participate in all the clubs.

What made FIDM right for you?
I toured a few colleges my over my junior and senior years of high school but none of them came close to what FIDM offered in getting me to where I wanted be; designing apparel for winter sports. In the time I've been here, I've gained so many connections and broadened my interests to many more options than I would have experienced at traditional universities.

How did you choose your major?
I met with my advisor to discuss my goals and through the process of analyzing my personality and focus, my advisor placed me in Apparel Industry Management. After having completed the program there's no question that major was perfect for setting me in the right direction. My eventual goal is to have an action sports lifestyle brand that is geared towards surf, skate, and snow sports consumers with subtle nuances that set it apart from competitors.

Why did you decide to get a second degree from FIDM?
It really came down to what I learned in my first degree in Apparel Industry Management. After completing it, I felt more than prepared to step foot in the industry but I still wanted to deepen my knowledge. I learned of International Manufacturing and Product Development early on in attending FIDM and gathered more information about it over time by speaking to current students in the program and faculty around the college. After gathering all the information possible, I began looking at how I could adapt the curriculum and experiences to my career. I did everything I could to prepare myself for the highly competitive spaces available for the 12 students accepted into the program.

What has been your favorite class so far and why?
I couldn't narrow it down if I tried! Because Apparel Industry Management was the best major for me and I enjoyed it so much, every class came together as an ensemble; each one was as important as the last. However, there were a few that I felt highly applied to me with my interest in designing technical apparel for winter sports, so I found a strong interest in the textile science courses and pattern making.

What are your career goals?
In the time I've been at FIDM I was exposed to so many future options which all are possible but my main few are to own an action sports lifestyle brand, a fashion-forward men's contemporary line, and one day, a ski resort. We'll see about that last one! But, I feel FIDM has equipped me to accomplish any goal I may set in this industry.

How do you think your FIDM degree will help you accomplish them?
On the first day I started class in the Summer of 2010 I could feel myself getting closer to my goals. I was applying every lecture and assignment towards myself and the company I want to own in the future which was also one of the main reasons I chose FIDM. Rather than just doing assignments for the curriculum, you're doing them for you and what you want to accomplish in the industry. From instructors and staff to my peers, I have met so many driven people that love what they do and go out of their way to help the next generation. Therefore, the ability to accomplish one's goals are drastically assisted and the network allows students o reach those goals in a much shorter amount of time for those who know exactly what the want to do.

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

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