Alumna Courtney Keskinen Applauds FIDM x GUESS Sustainability Collab
Courtney Keskinen graduated with her Merchandising & Marketing degree this quarter and is continuing her education with her Bachelors in Creative Industry Studies in the fall. She just completed Creative Patternmaking Design, the first in a four class FIDM x GUESS series focused on sustainability. For her final assignment, she presented her sustainable design at the GUESS headquarters in Los Angeles. Courtney plans to apply for the remaining three classes in the series.
What did you learn in the GUESS x FIDM Creative Patternmaking Design course? The Creative Patternmaking Design course is a special and unique course. From my understanding, it is unlike any patternmaking course at FIDM. I say this because I have never taken a patternmaking course before, so taking this class was very outside my comfort zone. From day one, each student has used critical thinking and creativity to be more sustainable. There are many ways to be sustainable but one of the best places to start is in the early stages, which is what we are learning about in this class. There are no limits with creativity in this class, if you have a vision, you can make it come to life. I was very inspired by all the techniques we learned to be more sustainable throughout the design process of creating a garment. Each student has taken their own approach to being more conscious in the design process while changing design elements along the way. We have not only learned how to be more sustainable but we have learned how to use critical thinking to get us there.
How is it helpful to take a class alongside GUESS employees? Having the GUESS employees alongside was very inspiring. There was no intimidation factor; in fact it enhanced the experience because we got to hear real industry experience and share our ideas with the GUESS employees. My favorite part was when the GUESS designers came in to give us feedback on our designs. Hearing their insight and advice was eye opening and allowed me to think of my design from a different perspective.
Tell us a little about yourself: I graduated in June with my Merchandising & Marketing degree and am continuing my education for Bachelors in Creative Industry Studies where I can maximize my education before entering the industry first hand. I am very ambitious, self-motivated, creative, and passionate about sustainable fashion. I want to pursue a career working for a sustainable fashion company, hoping to contribute to a positive change in the industry. I love nature, music, and making lifelong memories with friends and family.
Why did you choose FIDM? Ever since the first time I heard about FIDM, I thought “Wow, that is my dream school.” Coming from a small town in Michigan, telling your mom you want to move across the country for school is not always the easiest thing to do. After researching FIDM with growing interest, I really connected with the school. I loved how each student was creating their own pathway for success through their own creative mindset, and I wanted to be a part of that. After visiting FIDM I knew that this was an environment that was going to allow me to achieve my career goals and I was right. Even after only being here for a year, I have taken on so many great opportunities and am always looking for new ways to stay connected and push my limits in both an academic and personal way.
What are your career goals and how is FIDM helping you get there? My career goals are to be a positive change in the fashion industry by being more sustainable. That is why I took this class; it is a baby step getting me closer to my ultimate goal. I am going to continue to take the classes offered by GUESS and expand my knowledge of the industry and sustainable practice. FIDM is providing me with so many amazing resources and opportunities and I plan on taking advantage of every single one.
Any advice for someone considering FIDM? FIDM is an amazing school and not like a typical college. For someone considering FIDM as their college, visit the school, ask questions about everything! Know how you can get involved, know about each major and what it offers, and make sure you feel a sense of connection with the school. FIDM is not for everyone, but it is a great school that provides great educational and career networking opportunities.