Three-Day Fashion Disruptors Study Tour

April 6, 2017

The Fashion Disruptors Study Tour last week brought students to the headquarters of top brands including Hot Topic, Citizens of Humanity, Avery Dennison, and Farfetch. Over three days, the students in the Merchandising & Marketing program had the special opportunity to meet executives and human resources managers as they networked and gained an inside look at the inner workings of major fashion brands in and around Los Angeles.

The theme of the tour was “fashion disruptors.” The companies prepared presentations for the students so they could see how are competing in the market.

“I like hearing how each company is strategizing to stay relevant in this industry that is constantly changing,” said FIDM Student Tiffany Chen.

The tour also gave the students a unique chance to get a glimpse of company culture. “My favorite part was networking and getting a chance to know the culture before you apply to work there,” said Anna Norman. Gabriella Castillo added, “I really liked the atmosphere of Fabletics.”

The students found Hot Topic inspiring and motivating, as they learned about the different internship programs offered in various departments. Fabletics conducted mock interviews, giving the students a true taste of what it will be like when they start their job search after graduation.

Tanner Minnick said, “I loved TJX, and I enjoyed my interview at Fabletics.”

On the third day of the Disruptors Tour, the students visited Avery Dennison’s Customer Design and Innovation Center (CDIC), one of only four facilities in the world, located in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles. Here, they focus on the premium denim market and the surf and skate specialty markets.

Will Bernard, who heads up Creative Services at Avery Dennison, gave a fascinating tour of the facility where the students got to see the denim showroom as well as the research room and sample room.


They even had the unique opportunity to design their own t-shirts, choosing from an endless number of heat transfer designs and patches.

At Farfetch, an online luxury marketplace, the students were treated to presentations from Jamie Naguiat, the Managing Director of Farfetch North America, and other members of the team, to learn about the Farfetch business model and the efficiency of operations. The photography director and top stylist then toured them through their studio.

The last stop on the three-day tour was One Stop, an end-to-end commerce solutions provider for top fashion brands including Paige Denim, Charming Charlie, and Splendid. The students were greeted by Human Resources Manager Tarin O’Neill, who gave an overview of the company. Then, Carter Donaldson gave a presentation thoroughly describing the ins and outs of buying, planning, and merchandising. The day wrapped with a special tour of the One Stop distribution facility.

The students on the three-day tour learned about the roles and responsibilities of the many varied positions on a team. Judy Aguilar said she took notes from everyone she met on all their great advice, which she plans to put into use throughout her career.

“I appreciated the incredible insight shared,” Kia Loftin said. “Meeting FIDM Alumni working at these companies provided a different lens at which to view the industry. I really got a lot of takeaways.”


Categories: Study Tours, Merchandising & Marketing, Student Life