Kendal Bruce is a Navy veteran, a Fashion Design student, and a Design Specialist at the non-profit organization LeadersUp. We caught up with the talented creative to find out more about his journey to FIDM, and how he is staying inspired while staying safe at home.
Tell us about your journey to FIDM: I've always been a creative person, involved in music, art, photography, and fashion. If there was an existing space for creativity, you better believe I was there. I’ve wanted to attend FIDM since I was in high school; I participated in a walk-through tour as a teen, and was hooked for years, but then ended up joining the Navy. Growing up was strange for me. I’ve been to more schools than I can count and honestly I've lost track, all I can remember is I went to five different high schools and still managed to graduate on time by the grace of God. After the Navy, I attended another college, but it didn’t work out. FIDM was my next step and when I was accepted everything felt like a full circle moment. I went through serving five years in the Navy and attended a full year at a school that didn’t work out, just to end up back where I started in high school. God sure has a funny way of redirecting our paths.
What does FIDM mean to you? This is a tough question because I’m finding out what FIDM means to me while I attend school. I guess you can say it means a lot to me because I’m finding out more about myself than I knew before.
What do you love about FIDM? I love the people here the most. It's a certain type of group that you wouldn’t necessarily encounter on a daily basis living in LA. FIDM has students from around the world, from all sorts of different economic backgrounds as well as various types of creatives. The teachers have experience working in the entertainment and fashion industries. It's like a giant hub of creativity, inspiration, and intellect. Coming to this school not only changed the way I see fashion but it even changed the way I dressed, and not because of a class but because I was surrounded by so many daring and colorful individuals. Students here wear what they want, how they want, and if they can’t buy what they want they’ll make it themselves; and style it so crazy you’ll be thinking “damn where did they get that” lol. It’s crazy and I love it.
What are your career goals? I shy away from an actual title for a goal because it changes over time and is as limber as life is. I like to consciously be flexible about my end goals. I’m confident God has something great for me and I’m willing to take whatever he has to offer. Right now I’m working for a company as a Design Specialist and it's one notch below a Creative Director, so fingers crossed! Maybe I’ll be the Creative Director of your favorite brand soon, who knows!
What advice do you have for someone thinking about going to FIDM? People on instagram ask me about FIDM all the time, and I always tell them the same thing—I highly recommend it. Figure out your greatest interests within the academic realms FIDM has to offer and just go for it. FIDM has a lot of great things to offer and they're highly supportive of goals—they’ll do whatever they can to help you accomplish your goals. Also everyone's situation isn’t the same, so as long as you’re moving with positive energy, God will assist you along the way.
What are you doing to stay inspired during these challenging times? This pandemic has given me the time I've always wanted to take for myself. It’s actually not that much of a difference, now that I think of it. I’m already the type to stay in the house and work on various creative projects so this is perfect. Going out frequently doesn’t really do much for me because even when I'm out, I'm still creating. I guess the only difference is I can’t wear a fire outfit anywhere and have it be seen; well, maybe if I go to the grocery store.
How are you showing up for your community, your career, and yourself right now? The best thing I can do for anyone else and myself is become a better version of myself, so in short, focusing on my self development is how I’m showing up.
Anything else you’d like to share? If you see me don't be shy, say hi! Follow me on Instagram @kendalbruce_ and feel free to message anytime, literally. I'm usually up late at night working on something, so if you want to yap it up at 2AM I'm all ears. Oh, and wash your hands! Coronavirus is real and we need each other to stay alive and well so we can continue to inspire one another and grow.