Seventeen-year-old Jake Fleming, who hails from Franklin, Massachusetts, is a model, actor, and social media influencer with more than 15,000 followers on Instagram. We recently caught up with the future Merchandise Product Development Student (who will begin his studies at the L.A. campus in October 2018) to learn more:
Admissions Advisor: Joleen Harris
How did your advisor help with the process? She walked me through step-by-step on how to apply and she gave me important information on what I should be doing to help market myself to the school. She helped me immensely with submitting everything for the application and was very comforting and caring over time. I needed help.
Tell us a bit about yourself. When I was in the 5th grade, I started modeling for little companies in and around the Boston area. I went to LA that year and signed with my first modeling agency and I shortly started growing within the business. I started acting and doing theater around the same time I started modeling, I wanted to be working in every aspect of the entertainment industry so I could build my resume for bigger jobs. I've done many film projects, photo shoots, and theater performances throughout my short career in the business.
Once social media start coming out I was totally obsessed and needed to become a part of it. I never really followed the themes and trends of Instagram until two years ago and since then I’ve gained over 15,000 followers and counting. I just recently started my YouTube channel and my fanbase has been steadily growing each day on all my platforms. People find my page interesting because I like to modify my own clothing to make my self stand out from the societal norm of what a boy should be wearing. Fashion is fashion.
What are your proudest accomplishments so far? Being able to partner up with over 25 different brands through my social media pages, modeling for companies in New York, LA, and Boston, and being able to film movies with celebrities such as Mila Kunis, Mark Wahlberg, and Seth MacFarlane.
What made FIDM right for you? FIDM felt right for me because they offered programs that will help me with a career in the fashion industry. FIDM will teach me the ins and outs of what need to know when it comes to running my own business.
Describe your entrance project. The specialty store I chose to modify was Gucci. Each dress I modified cost $3,000 and up. These dresses in their original design are not particularly practical for the average woman's everyday life, yet I wanted to create a brand that targeted single moms and moms in the workforce. Providing this market with an affordable and trendy fashion garment for everyday wear, I decided to call the brand “Xena” (Zena) to represent the theme of empowerment for women. The Xena woman is a successful woman confident in her appearance.
What are your career goals? I would love to be ale to run my own company, and be able to work in the fashion industry with huge names wearing my pieces. I wanted to create a lifestyle line that is trendy but also high fashion with many pieces that are categorized as unisex.
What do you expect to learn at FIDM? Merchandise Product Development offers both the business and the creative side, giving me the knowledge on every aspect of how I could run my own business. I feel as though being able to work on both sides and learn each little thing about both will help me in future endeavors with my fashion career. After graduating from FIDM, I’m going to take what I've learned and use my new skill set in the real world. I see myself starting a business soon after graduation.