New York may have the Fashion Institute of Technology and Parsons The New School for Design, but Los Angeles boasts its own world-class fashion schools, as well. Here, a closer look.
FASHION INSTITUTE OF DESIGN & MERCHANDISING
The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, known as FIDM, is a private college in the heart of downtown Los Angeles' Garment District with campuses in Orange County, San Francisco and San Diego.
FIDM is an industry-driven community, fostering students' originality and expressiveness, preparing them for life outside of the classroom, as well. The Resource and Research Center at FIDM houses one of the largest fashion libraries on the West Coast, providing students access to trade publications, newspaper clippings, books and trend reports. In addition to print resources, the center offers online services.
Faculty at FIDM ranges from heads of ad agencies to fashion designers. Instructor Nancy Riegelman is the author of "9 Heads: A Guide to Drawing Fashion," a textbook used in fashion schools nationwide. FIDM offers degrees in a range of subjects: apparel manufacturing management, digital media, film and television costume, design, footwear design, jewelry design and international manufacturing. It also features product development, textile design, theater costume design, entertainment set design and decoration and visual communications. The school's museum gallery hosts the annual exhibit of award-nominated television and motion picture costumes, many created by alumni.
Number of students: 6,000 full time.
Tuition: Depending on majors, tuition ranges from $21,900 to $22,900 a year. Room and board is $3,000 a quarter.
Notable grads: Monique Lhuillier, Magda Berliner, Kevan Hall and Pamela Skaist-Levy.
OTIS COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN
Otis is a four-year art and design college with four campuses based around Los Angeles. Fashion design students attend classes in a wing of the California Market Center in downtown Los Angles, where they have access to hundreds of apparel and accessories showrooms and a multitude of textile and trim companies. Students at Otis are known for their highly creative fashion sense, and tend to view fashion as more of an art than merchandise.One of Otis' strengths is its Professional Designer Mentorship Program, where designers such as John Varvatos, Francisco Costa, Vera Wang, Bob Mackie, Diane von Furstenberg, Trina Turk and BCBG's creative director, Lubov Azria, volunteer to provide mentorship and direction from sketching and fabric draping to production of the final garment. The best work by student designers is presented on the runway at Otis' annual scholarship fund-raising gala, held the first Saturday of May.
Current majors include architecture, communication arts, digital media, fashion design, fine arts, interactive product design and toy design.
Number of students: 1,100, with 200 in the fashion design program.
Tuition: Cost for 2007-08 is $37,000 a year, with room and board available at an additional $9,000 a year.
Notable grads: Tom Ford, Cynthia Vincent, Rick Owens and Eduardo Lucero.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast