California Fashion Foundation Recognizes B.A. Design Student Valarie Chiu with Fashion Star Award

California Fashion Foundation Recognizes B.A. Design Student Valarie Chiu with Fashion Star Award

The California Fashion Foundation (CFF) recently held its 2019 Scholarship Luncheon at the California Market Center—just blocks from the FIDM Los Angeles campus—to award fresh design talent in California. Bachelor of Arts in Design Student Valarie Chiu was recognized for achievement in two areas, winning the Fashion Star Award in Design by Fashion Designer and FIDM Alumna Karen Kane, and the Fashion Star Award in Outstanding Presentation from Cooper Space. We caught up with Valarie to find out more about her work that earned her this great recognition.

Tell us about your CFF Fashion Star Award: The CFF gives the Fashion Star Award, a scholarship award, in five categories: design, brand development, outstanding presentation, technology and environmental awareness. I am a recipient for two CFF Fashion Star Awards; I received a Design Award from Karen Kane and an Outstanding Presentation Award from Cooper Space.

How did you feel getting this recognition? I felt honored that CFF recognized my work. This collection was the most rewarding project I have done in my entire life. It is a huge moment for me especially when I applied last year and did not get accepted. However, it was a learning experience and I valued that greatly.

Describe your design: The design I submitted was part of a recent capsule collection that I created at FIDM. The capsule collection called Abstract Camouflage started off as a small textile mini-project that was given during our break between FIDM’s quarter system. The mini-project was to create twelve different surface textiles and I created a modernized version of camouflage; I cut out the shapes and pieced together to layer them on top in order to create “camouflage” by using vinyl and brocade. In this manner, I wanted to pursue how far I could stretch this idea. Furthermore, Abstract Camouflage exhibits my journey rediscovering my passion as a fashion designer. Ever since I was little I wanted to create garments as art pieces that would stun everyone and bring confidence to that very person.

Tell us a little about yourself: I am waiting to walk the stage in June at graduation! I am a fashion designer and fashion illustrator. I went to the San Francisco FIDM campus before I transferred to FIDM Los Angeles. I am from the Bay Area and my hometown is the reason why I am structured in sustainable practices. As a designer, I design like an engineer; when I see a problem I like to find a solution. I enjoy challenging myself, and asking “what ifs” when it comes to design. My career objective is to be a head designer for an atelier/fashion house that will challenge creative thinking and creative process. It is vital for me to keep learning and unlearning, especially to continuously inspiring myself to create more.

What are you up to as you head toward graduation? I am a freelance head designer for a start-up company—that is all I can say about that. During this time, I am filling my days on focusing on creating my art and turning my art into profit. In other words, I am creating stickers and my business cards, and I’m trying painting.

How did FIDM prepare you for what you're doing now? FIDM prepares me in two different ways. First, I enrolled into Fashion Design Program and learned how to create a collection from sketch to garment in a fast pace. When I moved to Los Angeles for my Bachelor's, I learned how to create a collection based on art itself. The B.A. in Design Program emphasizes design as a whole. As a result, I became a designer who enjoys creating art pieces and pushing boundaries that speak to social, civil, or environmental issues.

What is your biggest goal right now? As of right now, my biggest goal would be finding a job. I am stuck on whether I want to dedicate 70% of my time on gaining experience in the fashion industry or continuing school for a Master’s degree. I am a person who likes to make an end goal no matter how impossible it seems, and I understand that things may change. However, as a designer and as a person, I want to be able to put my proceeds that I make in my career towards charities and community youth associations.

Anything else you’d like to share? Yes, the Abstract Camouflage capsule collection will be featured at FIDM Museum & Galleries as a concluding part of the Bachelor’s program in Design. The exhibition will open promptly around the middle of June. It will feature pieces that I made as well as the work of other students in the Design program.

View FIDM B.A. Design Student Valerie Chiu’s work at

Categories:  Design Student