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Photo of FIDM Graduate Nicole Rodopoulos in front of Downtown LA backdrop, wearing a sparkly dress and a graduation robe and cap. She's holding the cap on her head and eyeing the tassel hanging from it.

Recent Grad Hired at Luxury Event Planning Company Whose Clients Include Louis Vuitton, CBS, and Neiman Marcus

Business Management Grad Nicole Rodopoulos worked with the FIDM Career Center to find her first job after graduation, as an event coordinator with Iconic Event Studios, a luxury event planning and production studio based in Los Angeles, whose clients include Louis Vuitton, CBS, MTV, and Neiman Marcus. Though she still plans to pursue her dreams of designing a fashion line, she’s found a good fit in her current position. “Even though working in the event industry is very different from the fashion industry the overall process is the same; the only difference is that I am making an event and not clothing. That whole process was taught to me by FIDM, both creatively and administratively. I always felt prepared and ready for what was coming my way.”

Nicole came to Los Angeles from Brazil to pursue her fashion education, completing an A.A. in Fashion Design in 2020, an A.A. in International Manufacturing & Product Development in 2021, and a B.S. in Business Management this past spring. We asked her to tell us about her journey. 

Congrats on your position! Tell us about where you’re working and what you’re doing. I am currently working for Iconic Event Studios as an Event Coordinator. We mostly plan conferences and weddings. A few of our clients include Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, LACMA, and the Los Angeles Clippers. While I was at FIDM I took on a number of internships including Product Development for Dôen, Design Assistant for Canapé, and Dresser for LAFW. The diversity of internships I did made me realize that I really liked to work in a dynamic environment, so fashion shows and photoshoots were my favorites. After graduating this past Spring I was looking for a job in design with Career Advisor Alex Bruzzese. She told me about the Event Coordinator position and suggested I try it out. Ms. Bruzzese knew I liked a dynamic environment so she thought the event business would be great for me. She could not have been more right. Even though I have a huge passion for fashion design, planning events is something I love doing and makes me extremely happy. The job involves long hours and lots of weekends but I wake up every day excited about a new work day because they are never the same.

How did FIDM help prepare you for this position? While I was at FIDM I had amazing relationships with my professors and coordinators. They were always willing to help and answer my questions. Also, most of the internships I did I got through FIDM. The school gave me the opportunity to create connections that I know I will take with me for the rest of my life. FIDM also taught me how to act and dress appropriately for my job and events. In this industry, we end up doing all types of things, and because of FIDM I know a little bit about every step. I can not only create unique decorations for events but can also budget and work with numbers.

What other projects are you working on right now? At the moment the Event Coordinator job is taking most of my time, but whenever I have free time I still like to design a little. I plan to launch a small brand with my designs as a side hustle so I don't lose contact with fashion design. Whenever there is a special event that I will be attending I also like to design my own outfit.

Why did you choose FIDM for your education? When I decided I wanted to study abroad my parents took me on a trip around the US and Europe to visit fashion schools. In 2016 I came to LA where I visited FIDM. I had a meeting with the Assistant Director of Admissions, Kathi Gilbert, and she was the one who made me fall in love with the school. What FIDM has that many other fashion schools do not is the business and marketing side. FIDM not only teaches us how to explore our creativity but also how to sell that creativity and make a living out of it. In 2018 I applied to FIDM and decided to attend that Fall.

What advice do you have for other international students thinking about attending FIDM? As international students, we have to make a lot of connections in order to be able to succeed. After all, we are in a foreign country where a lot of times we don't even speak our first language. FIDM definitely opens the door for all students, international or not. The school provides us with a lot of resources to help us succeed not only in the US but anywhere in the world. What I have to say to international students thinking about attending FIDM is that the school will provide an amazing environment for them to grow and learn, but they also have to do their part and work hard.

Anything else you’d like to share? I want to add that at first, I was extremely afraid of leaving the fashion industry and going into the event industry. I was very familiar with the event business because my mom was an event decorator for many years but I was afraid that I was throwing away what I learned about fashion. I couldn't be more wrong. FIDM not only taught me fashion, but it also taught me how to be a successful adult no matter what industry I work in. No matter what fashion will always be a part of me, and who knows maybe one day I will figure out a way to join fashion and events. I want everyone to know that it is okay to change your mind and do something completely different than what you thought. At the end of the day, you should be happy with what you do!

Explore Nicole’s work on Instagram @nicolerodopoulos.

Categories:  Business Management Fashion Design International Manufacturing & Product Development Alumni International