>Dani Cinelli graduated earlier this year with three degrees under her belt: Merchandise Product Development, International Manufacturing & Product Development (IMPD), and her Bachelors of Arts in Professional Studies Specializing in IMPD. Originally from Boston, Dani moved to New York to work as an Associate Designer for MGF Sourcing, and is now making the move back to Los Angeles to pursue her passion—denim.
Tell us a little about yourself: I grew up in a small town 20 minutes north of Boston alongside my two best friends, Robert and Jaclyn, who happen share the same birthday and last name with me—I am a triplet! It was 2013 when I made the biggest decision to leave my family and friends and move across country to attend FIDM. FIDM gave me the tools, opportunity, and support to gain knowledge and experience which has brought me closer to achieving my dream.
Tell us about your position at New York & Company: In 2016, I was offered a six month freelance position with MGF Sourcing to design for New York & Company Outlet Stores and in 2017 MGF Sourcing offered me a full time position and promoted me to Associate Designer. I work within a small team and have been exposed to many aspects within the department. Trend research, sketching, and technical packages are just a few of the tasks I work on daily.
How do you feel FIDM prepared you for what you are doing now? FIDM is not like other colleges. I loved that I only had classes two and a half days a week. It allowed me the opportunity to work and intern. FIDM gives you real-world projects where you learn all about time management! In my third year at FIDM I applied and was accepted into the IMPD program where I gained valuable knowledge about the trade. The IMPD group partnered with Silver Jeans and as a result I had real work experience under my belt. In addition to working with Silver Jeans each student created a book, from concept to completion. It’s very impressive in an interview. Companies are fascinated that FIDM offers the IMPD program. At my current job, I find myself using many of the skills acquired through FIDM. Flat sketching, filling bodies and creating presentations are just a few.
How did your Ralph Lauren internship prepare you? The Ralph Lauren internship sparked my love for denim and a career in denim is my next goal. During the internship I was exposed to denim fabrics, washes, fittings, denim details and so much more. I was challenged to present to my team different findings whether new silhouettes, branding and new details. I also participated in a challenge where I created a project on upcycling, and presented to senior designers. Presenting to Ralph Lauren's senior designers was extremely intimidating even though I was very confident about what I had created. Receiving their feedback was a great experience in itself!
Tell us about your experience at Career Connections at FIDM last month: The Career Connections event at FIDM is a great way to network with FIDM alumni and students. I met a lot of great people and made contacts. I actually ran into two past employers—it really is a small industry.
Any advice for current FIDM Students? My advice to FIDM students is to network, network, NETWORK! One thing I wish I had done more of while I was there, you never know who can help you in the future. Another piece of advice is to explore all parts of the fashion industry. I always knew I wanted to design but wanted to learn as much as I could about the fashion industry so I accepted internships in production, technical design, and design. It also gave me the chance to see what I could see myself excel at and be happy doing. Lastly, follow your dreams—they do come true. I am living mine!
What is your biggest goal right now? My biggest goal right now is to land a job in denim in Los Angeles! Currently, I am packing up my apartment and I have one week left at my current job at MGF Sourcing before I move back to LA. I am giving up a great job at MGF Sourcing where I have gained so much experience this past year, but denim is my passion and I am ready to pursue it! Denim is a place where I can challenge myself and continue to grow and gain more knowledge every day!
Anything else you’d like to share? If you are new to FIDM, CONGRATS and best of luck in pursuing your dream! I love to help others. Whether it is about classes, internships or anything else, feel free to reach out to me via LinkedIn or email firstname.lastname@example.org! If you'd like to follow my adventure, find me on Instagram @dani.e.cinelli.