Grad is the Founder, Designer, and CEO of Filipino Brand ANIKA
Anika Martirez Ang received a BA from Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines prior to moving to Los Angeles to earn degrees in Merchandising & Marketing and Fashion Design at FIDM. After graduating in 2014, Anika worked at the headquarters of BCBG and Halston before returning to the Philippines. Today, she’s the founder, designer, and CEO of ANIKA, a Filipino lifestyle brand built on wearable, seasonless keepsakes. We chatted with Anika to learn more about her FIDM journey and entrepreneurship.
What was it like being an International Student at FIDM? Daunting at first, being the minority, but I made it a point to shine in my own way. It was one of the most memorable experiences of mine where in spite of being “different,” I had never felt more empowered to show my peers and professors what I was made of. My mindset was always, “I am here because I have a dream to pursue and build.”
Did you have a fashion background prior to coming to FIDM? I took a couple basic sewing and illustration short courses in Manila, but coming to FIDM and taking all their comprehensive classes did I only realize that turning fashion into a business went beyond that. I was eager to learn and take it all in!
What do you love about being an entrepreneur? I get to have creative freedom over all aspects of my life: my schedule, personal life, work-life balance, how I run my business, and who/what I say yes (and no) to. All while ensuring my physical, mental, and spiritual aspects are met. Every day is a chance to learn, to be better than the day before as a constant work in progress, and to carry out meaningful work (that does not feel like work when you love what you do).
How did FIDM help prepare you for what you are doing? FIDM’s in-depth curriculum solidified what I needed to learn to become the designer I am today. The professional training personally sharpened my skills and talents. For anyone aspiring to become one, I would always mention that nothing beats a proper fashion education because one couldn’t rely on inspiration, good taste, and ambition alone to fulfill the designer role. I can proudly say I am applying what I learned into growing my namesake brand, Anika. The atmosphere at FIDM inspired me to become a go-getter through grit and hard work. Also, the opportunity to live, work, and study in LA in general influenced me and my design philosophy—and how I continue to shape my brand.
Learn more online at WearAnika.com and on Instagram @wear.anika.