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A soft focus image of Chelsea Von Mach working in her store

Grad is an Emmy-Winning Wardrobe Stylist and Vintage Store Owner

Chelsea Von Mach was raised in Detroit, Michigan where she attended Marian High School and learned about FIDM from the reality series’ Laguna Beach and The Hills. “I wanted to work in the fashion industry and I wanted to be in California,” said Chelsea. Since graduating with a degree in Merchandise Product Development, she has worked as a wardrobe stylist and costumer for film and television with credits including The Goldbergs, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Real, for which she won an Emmy award for Outstanding Costume Design/Styling. In 2020, she started a new chapter with The Store, a vintage boutique in Santa Monica, California. We caught up with Chelsea to learn more. 

What are some of your favorite FIDM memories? I loved when they would have special guest speaker panels. Specifically, I remember one time they had a whole panel of stylists and being there listening to them talk about on the job stories and how they got started was so inspiring to me. I remember thinking, Oh my god, this is it this is where I'm supposed to be, and I felt like I belonged.

What led you into styling? Dare I say another reality TV show, The Rachel Zoe Project. Which makes me think, it's important for kids to see what is available and possible for them. I had no idea you could get paid to put outfits together for people. I actually ended up working for Rachel Zoe for a little bit, which brought everything full circle. 

What did it feel like to win an Emmy for Costume Design/Styling for The Real? It felt unreal. Winning an award like that honestly was not even on my radar. I had worked in the industry very hard since I was 21, so to receive the Emmy was such an honor and validated all the sacrifices and time I put into my work. I questioned myself all the time throughout my career whether I was even talented at what I was doing so for me it confirmed that I was on the right path. 

Tell us about starting Chelsea Vintage: I've always loved vintage; I've been thrifting since high school. I started to get burnt out with working in the TV and film industry and needed another creative outlet that was completely mine. I dabbled into pop-ups at stores and hotels while I was still styling. After the pandemic, I took a huge leap, quit my job, and went full-time with vintage and opened a store, called The Store. I never thought it was even possible to open a store in Los Angeles, let alone Santa Monica. Anything is possible!

How did FIDM help prepare you for your career? FIDM allowed and guided me to be able to fully focus and tap into my creativity — I never had that before ever!

Learn more online at ChelseaVonMach.com and on Instagram @chelsea_vonmach.

Categories:  Merchandise Product Development Alumni