Devert's FIDM FUTURE in Fashion !

This is the essay that awarded my acceptance into the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Unfortunately, between grants, student loans, and savings; I do not have enough funds to cover my education. Your donation will go towards the unpaid tuition that is not covered by my start of my first year. Telling my story here provides the utmost explanation of how important this is to me.

 Upon my ever so abundant dance career, I have had the utmost blissful journey to dance in many Broadway productions, a creation with Cirque du Soleil, eleven consecutive years at Radio City Music Hall, feature films, world-renowned dance companies and more. At this point in my life, those precious dreams have come to fruition. Being able to tell the stories of how your dreams can become reality truly affects how I live my life daily. Knowing that there is more for me in this lifetime and that is attainable. I am stronger and more powerful than before. I feel I have fulfilled the portion of my life that relied on being in front of an audience and telling a story to a packed theater through dance performance. An impactful art form that many in the world live upon. At this point in my artistic journey, I now want to move on with how I can perform through my imagination in the design, construction, and history of costumes for the performer. A Bachelors degree at FIDM would be an extraordinary golden gateway to guiding me on this next chapter of my ever so blessed and artistic career thus far. An abundant journey that I will absolutely for sure be enthralled to tell my story for others seeking to follow in my footsteps. I have had the jaw-dropping pleasure and utmost impactful insight on what FIDM can not only offer me but enhance what is already planted in my soul. Throughout my dance career, international travel as a professional dancer has exposed me to culture, lifestyle and educational experience. Along with my journey, I have discovered that I have an extremely complex mind and a strong will to succeed. Life truly gets better with time. I am closer to "me" more than ever. I have found that this realization brings me closer to others. I feel that I have already "won"! Winners don't quit on themselves if they want to make a magical impact on others. I have been hurt. I have felt left out. I have felt unwanted. It's what you can learn from these negative setbacks and how you can guide those that follow after you through the same forest you set through. I want to show those who are dealing with being brown, fatherless, and peculiar that there's always a rainbow hidden in their dreams. Keep dreaming in color, forever.


Who knew? a little poor, gay, black boy; raised by a large southern family in Louisville, Ky could have such colorful dreams and aspirations of being just "fabulous"! I had a million dreams of about a trillion things. I knew deep down inside that sensitive two sizes too big of a heart that not only the freedom to live but the freedom of expression in this life would be my gratuitous ticket to the unimaginable. The gratification of provoking a smile or a single tear of joy was everything I needed to lay my head at night and dream of how much nectar was brewing in my future. In my heart was boundless love, while my mind had a limitless determination and my soul carried ubiquitous amounts of fertilization. The only way to assure myself that I was on the triumphant path of my truest rainbow was through creative fulfillment. I remember running through trees, leaping around jungle gyms, and wrapping myself in "kingship" style regalia made up of pillowcases. I closed my eyes while improvising movement to the sound of the local train tracks. I constantly was reminded of how very different I was from others. Whether it was at the family picnic or from those in my classrooms at school. Eccentric behavior of these proportions caused eager attention amongst family, friends, and teachers. I felt that I never went unnoticed. I will NEVER forget how I was treated for being "unusual", "askew'", "colorful", and "sensitive". It only ever made me stronger and benevolent. Saying I was true to myself while preparing for the time to hold my head up and say, "I told you that I would make something of my dreams".

Continually dreaming with no true means of how I could make them a reality, I would cry myself to sleep. Ultimately my Grandmother decided to take me on a trip up north a couple hours away from my hometown. We attended a Dance Concert my aunt was performing in. I will never forget how life-changing and unforgettable it was. It opened my eyes to what I call my "that's it" moment. I was so far on the edge of my seat that I was practically onstage with the dancers. This prompted my Grandmother and Mom to get me enrolled in dance classes. Consequently, my dance education was my gateway into toughing out any battle, any problems with the mean crowds at school and allowed my life to be placed where I already was heading in dreams. The heartfelt artistry and dedication earned me a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Hartford/ School of the Hartford Ballet. Therefore giving a snowball effect to my dance career and artistic merit.

I am at my devout, and euphoric life source when I can be creative. When I am able to explore unimaginable historical cities with those I love, the interior decor of my soul can speak with bountiful creations. I will imagine corsets of cobblestone, adorned with sunset gowns of the starry sky. It gives me the will to live and bring my mind to fruition. There's an indefinite invite for my loved ones to join me on my journey into what I dream about.

One of my closest friends asked me if I would collaborate with him on creating a signature costume for a show he was choreographing. I was beyond thrilled. Not only is he a beautiful dancer that has morphed into a mind shaping choreographer, he could see that I had the imaginative fabric to sew what was in his vision for his artwork. I was able to marinate my mind into a sixty foot couture evening gown that was molded and shaped into a bouquet of roses. The gown consisted of hundreds of hand shaped petals cascading down the rear and into the wings of the stage. It truly fulfills me to witness my passion through the artistry of another artist. Its comparable to taking a bow after a dance performance for me.

The feeling of family and friendship speaks volumes for my creative process. They are my audience, my inspiration, and my fire burners. I was asked to make a wedding gown for a close friend during my career at Cirque du Soleil. I had no sewing experience nor a physical sewing machine. This adventure prompted me to purchase my first sewing machine and I taught myself how to construct a wedding gown from just a conversation and a few laughs. I wasn't nervous nor scared. It was the creative force inside of me that brought my vision to life. It just felt natural. It felt exactly like I did when I would run through the trees and catch fireflies. What can I use for sparkle? What could I use differently than any other wedding gown I have seen for "shine"? How will it transform into a short version for jumping into the ocean after saying the words "I do!"? Yes, that happened!

I see ugly. I see beauty. I see the beauty in ugly and the ugly in beauty. This is what I want to show the world. There's significant weight in the colors when the rain passes through the air and it magically saturates the soil for me. It causes the green hue of the trees as they were before to become deeper yet sultry in its appearance for me. This evokes boundless moods in conveying a particular emotion or portrayal of a character. The colors have a limitless feel, the aura that's felt when I am sitting on a park bench noticing how the leaves are so dry that they scrape the ground symphonically as they get blown through a romantic city. I have always had a childish love for thunderstorms and rainy days. I completely feel that I see color to its fullest when its wet in nature. My fashion design aesthetic has always been construed with some form of nature connected to it. I thrive on the creative indulgence of the process. This brings the nutritive ingredients and underlying heartbeat for an emulsive memory. The creativity that a has a meaningful, and strong impactful worth. I have always grown a wider mind's eye on "how"? a garment was constructed and "why"? it was constructed. Emerging from a dancer's platform holds dear the process of how the body moves from point A to B, then C. This will be a formula I will hold sacred to my passionate quest in fashion. How will the fabric move? How will it hold shape? How will it react to nature? As we do as humans.

Gaining your acceptance into FIDM would be a personal high priority investment for me. Throughout my exciting explorational research into FIDM's curriculum, I have discovered that it would be the ideal educational vessel in providing me with the utmost attainable knowledge and materials necessary in the fulfillment of my visionary quest into fashion design.

Attending FIDM for the fashion design program and therefore continuing on to achieve my Bachelor's in Theatre Costume Design will be my next endeavor. I want to be the next example for the ones following my journey thus far, and for those who desire to pursue a FIDM future as well. Giving back to those with my story alike will allow them to see that they too can conquest on a million dreams like me.
 
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Organizer

Devert Hickman 
Organizer
Los Angeles, CA
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