Grad's Final Collection Inspired by Taylor Swift's "Love Story"
Born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee, Maddy Ramsey knew she wanted to be a fashion designer since she was a young girl. While doing college research during her junior year of high school, Maddy first discovered FIDM. She signed up to attend 3 Days of Fashion, Innovation & Design at the San Francisco campus and served as President of her high school’s FIDM Fashion Club. After being accepted early to the college, Maddy chose to attend the San Francisco campus in 2019, in part because she has relatives in the Bay Area. Even with the challenges of the pandemic, Maddy received her A.A. in Fashion Design in March 2021 and will be starting a Design and Product Design internship with the LA-based brand Almost There. We chatted with the new alumna to learn more about her journey from student to fashion designer, what inspired her final collection, and why she’s continuing her education at FIDM in the fall.
When did you first realize you were creative? I remember being six years old and feeling pure joy when I got to pick out my clothes. I remember going shopping with my mom and styling different outfits at such a young age and feeling a connection with fashion. I was so young, but it is a God-given gift that I have this love for fashion and creativity.
You were a FIDM Fashion Club President in high school. What are your favorite memories of that time? Some of my favorite memories from running a FIDM Fashion Club at my high school in Tennessee was getting to unite the fashion lovers and creatives who didn’t really have a voice to all come together to be creative together and learn from one another.
Tell us about the collection you designed at FIDM: My final collection was inspired by princesses and the idea of a runaway princess. I am a huge Taylor Swift fan and was listening to “Love Story” and that’s what sparked the inspiration for my final collection — a Romeo and Juliet story about a princess falling in love and running away to be with her forbidden love!
How does it feel to see the final product of your hard work? It feels amazing to have completed my final collection. I actually did it and I feel like a real fashion designer! I had a very challenging Fashion Design degree with only getting four months in person and then having to switch to Zoom and online learning. I will not lie, learning pattern drafting and so many hands-on classes online was very difficult. That is why I am so proud of this collection, because I not only created beautiful dresses, but created all of this all through online fashion design courses.
What does it feel to score an internship the same month you graduated, and in the middle of a pandemic? It feels amazing! I am so excited to get my foot in the fashion industry! I will be a Design and Product Development intern with Almost There, an LA based women’s clothing brand. However, because we are still in the midst of a pandemic it will be a remote internship, which is a great deal so that I can stay home, make connections in the fashion industry, and gain fashion design experience without even living in LA, but across the country in Tennessee.
Did the FIDM Career Center assist you in any way? Yes, the Career Center has been amazing over the past few months during my journey to search for an internship. Shout out to my counselor, Ruth Ritchie. She and I had weekly phone calls to work on my game plan to find different internships. I highly suggest working with a career counselor.
You are continuing your education with FIDM this fall. What will you be studying? I will be starting the International Manufacturing & Product Development program and will then transfer into the B.A. in Business Management program. I would love to learn the business and production side to fashion now that I know the design side.
What are your ultimate career goals? I would love to be on the red carpet! That is my dream, making luxury gowns for celebrities one day!
Anything else you'd like to share? To all the Fashion Design majors right now, do not give up! Zoom is hard, online school is hard, especially with the hands-on techniques we are missing out on, but press through and you can do it!! I am so proud of myself for not giving up even when life gets hard. You can do this! This will show future employers your motivation and perseverance that you pressed through to get a Fashion Design degree during a worldwide pandemic and you are very strong and capable.
Keep up with Maddy on Instagram @maddy.ramsey.