Maria Antonia Attaliadis
I have always been fascinated by folkloric cultures and traditions, color theory, prints and patterns, and texture manipulation. With a great interest in organic living and sustainability, I always consider this during the design process. I am passionate about organic and natural fibers, healthy living conditions for workers, sustainable production and transportation, and all aspects concerning our environment, locally and globally.
Bronx, New York
I am a designer who creates to express my forever-evolving ingenuity, endless stories that allude not with words, but through color, movement, volume, and texture. As an artist one must open the mind to all things. The influence of my day-to-day taps into a part of me that I could never explore if I stayed comfortably in the place I call home: New York.
This experience amplified my design aesthetic by highlighting the importance of one’s sensibility, teaching me to allow transparency of emotion through the complexity and precise fit of my garments. This journey signifies that with exploration comes growth.
New York, New York
Pensive and productive throughout her life, I have always preferred self-expression through the use of my hands. In time I realized that fashion design was the perfect medium to explain what I think, how I feel, and what my life has been. Designing has afforded me the chance to hold onto my love of art and it lets me speak without talking. For me, concept is the root and my inspiration is geared towards stories that are not always told. My primary focus is on conveying my messages beautifully while always maintaining a high level of respect for my inspiration.
Los Angeles, California
I was born and raised in this new age overloaded with information and images. Fashion design became a career that challenged me to not only absorb my surroundings but to really think and process my experiences. I approach fashion design as a method of storytelling. It is my personal translation of this fast-paced, digital world into an intimate conversation between me and the consumer. As fashion keeps shifting directions, my goal is to prove that this industry can still be a place of ethics, high quality, good taste, and intellect.
Design is a language, something that can speak volumes without any words at all. It is something that knows no cultural boundaries or language barriers; it is understood simply by being looked at. As a designer, I am constantly inspired by the world around me—by people, places, and objects related only through their beauty and uniqueness. It is for this reason that I chose to relocate to Milan for my final year at FIT, to be influenced by a new culture and environment and increase my potential as a designer. Just as volume, shape, color, and texture are key elements of design, so learning and adventure are nourishment for our soul.
North Bergen, New Jersey
I honestly cannot picture myself doing anything else but designing. To create and to see your very own vision come to a beautiful reality is one of the best feelings in this world. At an early point in my life, the arts took a strong hold on me, and the innovative side of me sparked. My amazingly devoted parents noticed my interest and pushed it even further by taking me to art classes and driving me into Manhattan every weekend to attend pre-college programs geared toward the arts and design. My entire family’s support is one of the biggest drives I have to succeed in doing what I love. There are numerous ways for an individual to demonstrate their views, opinions, and thoughts. Mine is to design.
What is your sign? Do you know your Myers Briggs personality type? If you have met me I have probably asked you a question along these lines. Personality is my passion. I love meeting people and finding out who they are. I feel it is fashion that embodies the physical form of personality, a way to express publicly who you are on the inside. With my passion for art and design, I chose to pursue fashion because it creates a perfect balance of studying art and the human being. I hope to pursue a career that allows me to create art that people can identify with on a personal level.
My collection was inspired by the desire to preserve life and beauty. In order to bring this concept to life, I chose to represent the striving for preservation through the display of flowers both real and artificial.
Throughout my life, I have had the good fortune to be exposed to multicultural and artistic environments that served as inspiration and developed in me a love for design and the arts. From an early age I developed a receptivity and awareness of colors, shapes, and textures, which led me to seek avenues to express myself artistically. Fashion design became one of the most rewarding mediums to communicate my ideas, and exploring this medium has been exhilarating.
I’m excited by the challenge of making abstractions real through a garment; I’m in love with the whole process of designing a collection: coming up with an idea, transforming it into a story, and watching it grow strong and come to fruition.
Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
Dream it. Believe it. Become it. This is the mantra that my mother has repeated over and over to me since childhood. I have been living my dream since the age of four, and now, at 22, I have finally become my dream. I have been blessed to have the opportunity to study fashion design internationally, in New York and Italy, in pursuing my degree in fashion design with a specialization in knitwear. As a fashion designer, I am still a dreamer, with each expression of design that I create. I am still a believer, knowing that each garment is an expression of who I am and what inspires me. My hope is that my designs will be able to make my dream a reality of style and sophistication for all to enjoy.
Dah Farn (Cheryl) Kao
I am a Taiwanese American designer born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. As a young child, I was very involved with both performance and visual arts. I studied fine arts at the Visual Art Center, a nationally renowned art program in Montgomery Country, Maryland, that unlocked my artistic career.
I developed an interest in fashion when I designed at a fashion youth camp with the Girl Scouts at the age of 13. I wanted to incorporate my talent in a form of art that interacts with everyday life. And fashion is a wearable art that exists on the streets, and allows people to live in it. I now specialize in sportswear with minors in both psychology and art history at FIT.
Design is the form of communication that I have always loved the most. It allows me to express my thoughts and feelings in a very raw and personal way. Beyond expression, the process of designing also forces me to reflect on my own personal growth. It is this relationship between creating and understanding myself that has become the reason why I chose to be a designer. Having lived in New York and Milan, I believe that I’ve gained new and varied perspectives. This has refined my style and taste, allowing me to become the person and designer that I am very proud of being today.
I was born in Mumbai, India, to a pianist mother and a caterer father. Always encouraged to pursue a career outside the arts, I began my journey in fashion at the age of 21, moving to New York City to study Fashion Design at FIT.
Having previously worked as a writer and stylist in India, I developed a curiosity about people and the world which was nurtured in New York. After an eclectic set of internships at the likes of Issey Miyake and Norisol Ferrari, and a position designing out of Hong Kong, I brushed up against the world of fine art communications as a project coordinator. I chose to move to Milan for the cultural immersion, and to explore the phenomenon of fashion as part art form, part social experiment. I enlist human behavior, travel, and the contemporary art world in my palette of influences.
Seoul, South Korea
As my time as an FIT student comes to an end I cannot reflect upon my experience with anything but gratitude. The past four years have not only given me the skills to pursue my passion but have also developed me into a young designer who believes that clothing should always be beautiful, exciting, and artistic. From New York City to Milan I have had the opportunity to follow my wanderlust and see pieces of the world that continuously inspire and intrigue me. I am grateful for everything that has gotten me to this point and I look forward eagerly to what comes next.
Silver Spring, Maryland
Fashion is a powerful form of communication that can speak for you even when you cannot. No matter how much we try to embrace or reject it, fashion will always exist. I have been fortunate to spend three years of my degree program in Italy. Throughout that time, I traveled, met people from different cultures, and did my best to communicate with others despite language barriers. During this time I also noticed my own personal style evolve along with my design aesthetic, as I finally understood how your personal dress communicates a certain message to others. I design because I know the importance of fashion, how powerful it can be and how it’s so much more than what you see on the exterior. I design to evoke a feeling, a mood, an emotion—something that can leave an impression even on a stranger who passes you on the street.
Seoul, South Korea
I have always found myself desiring to express my inner world. I believe that designing and creating something is the only way to show one’s real self. My diverse background from Korea, Canada, New York, and Milan allows me to have a unique perspective in fashion, reflecting myself in the truest form. All the little fragments of my thoughts and emotions form my individuality, and it serves as my inspiration. My personal aesthetic is a sensitive balance between a sense of modernity and my own imagination. I aspire to create a new perspective of fashion without any self boundaries.
Deer Park, New York
Growing up on Long Island, family plays a huge role in one’s life. Some of my fondest childhood memories stem from the time I spent with my grandparents. My grandmother introduced me to crafts when I was as young as three years old. First it was needlepoint, then crochet, and in fourth grade she taught me how to sew. Then and there I knew that I wanted to do fashion design as my career. With guidance from various art professors throughout middle school I was introduced to FIT and it became my dream to attend. Pursuing design from such a young age helped me become the person who I am today. It helped give me a voice in my personal style and my designs. It gave me confidence and an artistic outlook on life. One of the most exciting aspects of design is the fact that it’s an ongoing learning process. Experiences in life have opened my mind to a new perspective that I look forward to applying in the near future.
I was in costume design for so long and loved it so much that it seems like a strange jump to knitwear, but I would be happy anywhere I get to obsess over tiny details and use my hands, which I feel is the spirit of knitwear. But most of all I like the idea of being a part of women’s everyday lives, helping them feel confident and comfortable even when it’s a long day and it’s still not over. I want to make clothes for the beautiful women in my life who have inspired me. For my mom, who always said pooh-pooh to synthetic fibers and anything tight. Gaby, who showed me how to tear apart a thrift store. Doris, construction-detail monger who proved it’s OK to marry a guy a foot shorter than you. Marilyn and Diane, who let me know how being an artist can guide your life.
Having studied in four different countries has broadened my perspective on many things in life. It pushed boundaries that I had never expected it to. It wasn’t until these last four years that I really dove into pursuing fashion design. I absolutely love the idea of androgyny and dislike the idea of being limited: why dip fries only in ketchup when they taste even better with soft-serve ice cream? I find myself constantly putting my secret obsession with memories and objects into my design. I work through emotions and through excitement, experimenting with new fabrics and color combinations. Clothing deserves to be fun!
Salt Lake City, Utah
At a young age, I was determined to help shape society. I did not expect to find myself in the industry that enterprises cultural belief, but I have discovered though my experiences that it is a perfect fit. Fashion drives major industries and changes how society thinks. It is the means by which we find ourselves, find acceptance in a group, and find the role we play in society. To be able to change the way people perceive us is not a privilege, it is a power. This is the most beautiful part of being human: our appearance is not permanent, it is evolving as much as the world around us. Fashion is influential and drives progression; this is why I decided to become a designer.
Ana Margarita Gonzalez Vasquez
My life has been a long road of interesting experiences. Born and raised in Colombia, I grew up surrounded by art and creativity. My grandfather, who is my inspiration, taught me to always follow my heart and imagination. His unique design aesthetic inspired me to pursue my creativity and develop my own style. When I moved to New York, I had the opportunity to embrace my design technique at SVA and FIT. Art and design became my life as they blended with my love for clothes. As an artist first, then fashion designer, I discovered all the things I was capable of creating. Fashion is art… art that can be worn and make anyone feel unique and special. In knitwear I can be more creative and develop not just garments but the fabrics as well. This combination is the perfect mix for a work of art. And this makes me who I am… an artist and a designer.
In my first year in college (as an undeclared art major), I picked up an Issey Miyake book by accident. My entire world changed, and my love for wearable art has grown ever since. To me, fashion is so much more than trend forecasting and production. It is a place of solace for a creative person to channel her feelings, and like-minded admirers to utilize these creations for their own creative endeavors. I am now pursuing my own label in urban wear, with the intention of discovering new hidden talents and sharing my creations with the world. Fashion is not only a business. It is an art, a feeling, something beautiful to be looked at and appreciated. Through my designs, I want to channel a pure, innocent feeling, one that will build a bridge between customer and designer.