FIDM & DECA Alumna Lauren Hawk is Associate Designer at GUESS

Lauren Hawk, Associate Designer at GUESS, graduated from FIDM with her degree in Apparel Industry Management in 2012, but it was her involvement with DECA in high school that got her started on her path to success in the fashion industry.

How did DECA prepare you for FIDM?

Being a DECA member helped me develop myself as a leader and to think of myself as a brand. Through the DECA program I had to zero in on what made my work stand out and how I was going to turn that into a career.

How did your FIDM DECA Scholarship help?

With that scholarship, I was able to take extra courses that I was interested in and gave me a competitive edge.

Any advice for a DECA student thinking about applying to FIDM?

My advice would be to think about what you truly want to achieve in your life and career. Explore all those options until you find the right fit, and once you do, put in the work.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a creative originally from Pennsylvania. In high school I took a trip to visit my brother in London and I fell in love with the freedom of expression and the raw individuality of the culture. It was an entirely different world than I had ever been exposed to, and from that point on I was determined to get in the mix and create. I’m endlessly inspired by music, street art, nature, and motorcycles, which play a big part in my design aesthetic.

How did you decide on your major?

I decided on Apparel Industry Management because it offered design and business courses. With this major you can go into any area of the design world.

Where are you working?

I work at GUESS where I specialize in designing knits and graphic tees. I also work on special projects including A$AP Rocky, Pac Sun, and Urban Outfitters. I’ve been there almost four years now and it’s been an epic ride of growth and excitement.

How do you feel FIDM prepared you?

FIDM allowed me all the resources and tools necessary to develop myself as a designer and a businesswoman. The library was a world of its own with every book imaginable, allowing you to dig even deeper into subjects. My instructors were constantly challenging me to push the boundaries and to think creatively. We threw the rule book out the window, which ultimately set me up for success in the industry.

What is your biggest goal right now?

My biggest goal right now is developing my own exclusive line where each piece I create tells a story. I think it’s incredibly important to stay in touch with your roots and develop from a place of genuine feeling. The line is about expression with a badass design aesthetic.

Anything else you’d like to share?

Wherever you’re at in your ride, be nice to everybody and most importantly, yourself. Remember who you are and stay true. Enjoy the journey and have fun!

Follow Lauren Hawk on Instagram @lhawkla and visit

This article was written by DECA National Advisory Board member and Corporate Social Media Correspondent, FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising). You can follow FIDM on Twitter @FIDM, check out their blog and learn more about their partnership with DECA here
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