New York, New York
I always saw myself excelling as a woman with defined taste in fashion. A woman has a natural instinct to evolve from multiple stages before determining her true identity. Though I’m still setting my foot in the industry, design will never be my only aspiration. My dream is to create a brand—a business that creates a new world for my customers. The reason I became a designer is to experience the achievements and difficulties the fashion industry can bring.
Texture and dimension. Shape and form. Profile and silhouette. Purpose and possession. Exclusivity and luxury. Craftsmanship and technology. Honesty and integrity. Passion and perseverance. Before and after. Patience and determination. La maison and love. Strength and beauty. Elegance and style. Relevant and timeless. Bold and fearless. Still and quiet. Secure and cautious. Curious and new. Demure and koi. Ambiguous and obvious. Odd and original. Volume and tight. Ambitious and observant. Up and down. Beginning, middle, and no end. I believe every collection should tell a story. Be it personal or fantasy, the clothing is like words on a page.
Since I discovered the magical feeling of creating, I knew I had to be in the design world no matter what. After discovering my passion for fashion, I came to New York to study at FIT. That was the first big step of my life and I have the courage to make more big steps in the future. The competition and hardship of this industry only makes me more ambitious and excited. As a designer, I seek different experiences because I believe the key to success is to stay who you are while improving yourself, as much as you can.
If you were to look back at pictures of me as a child, you would either see an artist in the making or a kid with really bad taste. The hilarious fashion choices of my past allowed me to explore who I am—my way. It’s been a long journey and fashion has become the thing that most moves me, that best allows me to understand my own emotional resonance. Today, I design in a sort of romantic minimalism—a counterpoint to the fast pace of life. Coming from a quiet southern suburb to one of the largest cities in the world, you begin to drown in the noise. I like to focus on a shape, a detail, a calm moment in the midst of chaos. I want to take the messy and the complicated, and make it simple. I’ll find the void and then whisper into it.
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
I grew up watching my mother design and sew garments. My love for fine arts made me venture into fashion. Fashion design allowed me to apply my artistic skills and make them wearable. For me, fashion identifies individuals in their daily avatars of life. When I design, I aim to make the wearer feel special and unique. I strive to create designs that are innovative, mesmerizing and aesthetically appealing in a style that will last for decades.
Glen Rock, New Jersey
Even from a very young age I can remember marching to the beat of my own drum. Well, it was more like strutting! Everything fascinated me as a child. The world was this foreign land and I had to explore and taste everything. As a result, I was always running away from my mother’s tight hand. I would even run to the appliance section at department stores just to see how the gadgets were constructed, and functioned. I always appreciated beautiful construction. As a designer, I still use my fascination with the world for inspiration, while paying close attention to detail in construction to execute my garments to perfection!
As a child, I drew custom designs for my friends as gifts. These designs were the most valuable gifts at that time in my life. Still today, everything is my inspiration; even a little thing can inspire me some way. I can be inspired by a historical era, nature, a holiday, or a place I visit. I am interested in the energy of colors, which I use to strengthen my inspirations. I wish to create my own brand of haute-couture designs in my country and expand internationally. I am lucky to be following my childhood dream.
New York, New York
I grew up in the Philippines where traditional art was seen everywhere. I have always been amazed by craftsmanship that is both functional and multi-purpose. When I moved to New York, I initially wanted to do fine arts, but I wanted to create wearable art. I further developed my personal aesthetic after various life-changing experiences. With the influence of peers and friends and their unique perspectives, I have been inspired to think of fashion in a more universal and political way.
Queens, New York
After graduating from a specialized school, I have finished my last two years studying Fashion Design. I have enjoyed learning to create wearable clothes with my own hands. I was taught to let the fabric speak to you, as in letting it fall along the form with just the touch of your hands. I have practiced allowing the fabric to work this way to create blouses, jackets, and dresses. I studied in beautiful Italy for a year, and discovered inspiration from the Vatican and Sicily. It has motivated me to use sustainable fabric for the benefit of our economy and health. It is important to shape my designs with small details of my life.
My interest in fashion started when I could not find clothes that satisfied me. I wanted to see clothes that were different. That is when I started to make my own clothes. I came to New York to pursue fashion design from Louisville, Kentucky. Fashion expresses who I am and what I like. Anything around me can inspire me. I enjoy designing feminine and minimal clothing, incorporating details from tailored garments.
Fashion is a mere media of self-expression. If art is meant to be understood by a few and spread by many, fashion is seen and judged by many and dictated by the people rather the acclaimed dilatants. Thus, I find it interesting to translate my thoughts into something more tangible, but also, to be influenced by the public reaction. I like the reciprocal relationship between the designer and the consumers. I also like the artistic progression that develops between the designer and others involved in the process.
I was always encouraged to do what I love, so I decided to become a designer at a young age. I grew up in a very creative, artistic environment and it motivated me to create beautiful things. When designing, I first look to art for inspiration, but most inspiration comes from the people around me. Within my collections, I pay the most attention to color and fabric—creating truly unique fabrications is very important to me. I consider myself very lucky to be working in the fashion industry and I look forward to the future.
Queens, New York
Since my grandmother taught me how to sew at age three, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in fashion design. I was surrounded by fashion growing up: many of my immigrant family members worked as seamstresses, my mother worked as a stylist/personal shopper, and my father began his own graphic design corporation. I began seriously pursuing my design interests in high school, where I studied fine arts and took fashion design courses. Researching an inspiration is my favorite part of the design process and many of my designs are inspired by art and photography. After spending a semester in Italy, I realized my passion for traveling provided me with a new outlet for inspiration. My aesthetic is a reflection of my exposure to art and culture—my goal is to create garments that present a simple silhouette, but have that special detail that draws the eye.
London, United Kingdom
I have always found myself drawn to unusual and unconventional shapes and fabrics. Expressing this aesthetic through fashion design and the female form has always excited me. I believe in using color and embellishment—especially when we see so much black, grey and navy—as a powerful tool of self-expression. Through this ethos of exploring identity with unique color and shape in design, I hope to encourage women to embrace a sense of boldness and never shy away from a different way of viewing clothes and self-image.
Hamilton, New Jersey
I have never seen any other path in life for myself. It is what we fear most, what intimidates us most, what keeps us up into the late hours dreaming, working, learning— this is the thing we should be doing with our lives. For me, this is fashion. Very few understand it and many never will. But my time as a part of this industry elevates my creative process, ambition, and desire. A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions. And to this concept alone—I have an insatiable thirst to do what I love.
Rochester, New York
I realized designing was my career choice when I accepted that my pants would never fit the way I wanted them to. Being a petite girl, I have always needed to hem pants and garments to fit me properly. Then I realized that I could just make these items myself. My passion for design is heavily influenced by my styling experience, menswear (I have two brothers), and the idea that one can be comfortable and fashionable at the same time. Subtlety is sexy. I hope to create unique pieces with longevity that make women feel confident.
Los Angeles, California
Growing up, I never envisioned myself becoming a fashion designer, but I knew that I wanted to do something within the arts. At age 13, I moved from Palm Springs to Long Beach, California, to attend a visual and performing arts high school. I had to move away from my parents to follow my artistic passion. In high school, I expanded my knowledge within different types of art. After taking a costume design class, I fell deeply in love with designing. I once believed that I was going to become a painter, but the development and construction process for design captured my interest. These past four years, my obstacles and experiences have motivated my creativity. It has developed my style, reflecting who I am.
I design to combine functionality and design to create high-performing pieces. I want athletes to wear my designs, to perform at their best and look outstanding. I was drawn to design because I was constantly moving—sketching, sewing and creating. I was always doing something, working to make my ideas tangible. This is where the connection from athlete to a designer really resonated with me. My love of sports made designing for athletes the obvious choice.
I am an accessories and fashion designer. I am influenced by my studies at The Fashion Institute of Technology. I have worked for W magazine, Oscar de la Renta, Angel Sanchez, and Jason Wu. In September of 2014, I debuted in the fashion world with my first line of accessories alongside my mentor Angel Sanchez in the prestigious Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York. I feel design is as natural writing in a diary. I’ve always felt that fashion was the meaning of my life; it’s my medium as an artist. I express through clothing the beauty of being different, eccentric and unique. My designs let the woman embrace attention. I have been shaped so much by FIT, my internships, and New York. This journey has made me find myself as an artist in so many ways.
I grew up in India in a very disciplined family, but I always had a rebellious streak. Amid pressure to excel in school, I filled books and newspapers with sketches to get away from everything else. I was good with my hands. My introduction to fashion was an epiphany and I knew that it was my future. I believe when you truly want something you get it and my destiny brought me to New York. For me, designing is a process of fulfillment. Going through all the steps and creating something through your imagination is an extraordinary process. It feels natural. As a designer, I prefer fabrics with interesting quality and unique textures. I incorporate textures as well as color blocking with futuristic silhouettes. Playing with colors allows me to express myself as a designer and that sets me apart.
From early childhood, my primary ambition has been a career in art or design. Designing has always been a form of escape. It has allowed me to express myself to the truest capacity. Those who are able to think for themselves continually inspire me. My designs are most often derivative of the environment around me. They come from the people in my life, and that which makes me feel at home. My biography is short because I am leaving room for everything that is coming next.
Briarcliff Manor, United States
Growing up in Westchester, New York influenced my personality in many ways. I wasn’t interested in fashion or clothes in general. I was a tomboy who lived in her Jordan sneakers and hand-me-downs from older cousins. I was an only child with a broad imagination. I discovered that my talent was art. Drawing became a great hobby for me. As I grew older, I began to care about how I looked. I wanted to feel more like a girl but still keep my tomboy edge. Unfortunately, whenever I went shopping I wasn’t able to find anything that truly fit my personality. This gave me the idea to start designing for girls like me. Designing gave me the chance to express the way I felt without saying a word and that is unique.
LILLIAN HOLMTenafly, New Jersey
Growing up I always wanted to be a “fashion designer” without truly knowing what it meant. It seemed like this magical world of glamour that I was desperate to join. Over my time at The Fashion Institute of Technology, I have learned the realities of this industry and discovered that what I truly love about it is its accessibility. This was made even clearer to me while studying active wear in Milan. I want to make clothing that women want to wear: women who are busy and active, who have no time for frivolities but expect nothing less then the best. I would like to merge the functionality of active wear with ready-to-wear silhouettes to make clothing that serves a purpose and fits seamlessly into a women’s life.
New York, New York
As a designer and artist, I am inspired by everything around me. I am an observer, an inspector of beauty. I always try to be aware of my surroundings, in constant search of the bits and pieces that stir and move me. When I design, I try to translate feelings and moments into tangible objects that will carry on that certain vibe to the wearer. It’s important for me to keep my customer in mind when I design. More than anything, I wish for my designs, to enhance and compliment the wearer’s personality and lifestyle, creating harmony between the garment and the individual.
Clothing has always been a fascination of mine. Since I was old enough to hold scissors, I would make little outfits with scotch tape and paper towels. Eventually, I transitioned this process into a reality. I’ve always had the desire to create. Fashion is definitely the outlet to my self-expression. Ever since I was 13, I was set on becoming a designer and enrolled myself in a fashion high school. My favorite thing about designing is that it’s something I can call my own. Just being in this industry of fashion and style thrills me every day. I enjoy the rush and can’t imagine myself doing anything else.
SUN A JEONG
When I was 13, I discovered my profound interest in art. I found myself interested in fashion. I liked things that were special, always seeking my own style. I knew exactly what to wear to strengthen myself and make up for insecurities. The most important step of my daily routine was to scan my closet and come up with my coordination for the day. Searching for the better styles, I realized that I wanted something more than what I saw in the market, which encouraged me to think about designing on my own. I am inspired by architecture, painting, and even objects. These ideas make me distinctive as a designer.
I believe I am a perfect candidate for fashion design because fashion is the main focus in my family. I initially considered studying fashion due to my father’s textile export business. The Turkish textile industry is dominated by exporters who receive their designs from foreign brands or factories that imitate styles that are already famous. Our family business produced existing designs, so my father did not think I needed to study fashion to continue the company. But I’ve never wanted to be a businessman like him; I’ve always been more interested in creating the designs. While my brother spent his time in business meetings, I was in the casting department, which transferred the designs into models.
Busan, South Korea
I am currently based in New York, but I have worked in Hong Kong, Seoul, Busan, and Tokyo. I wanted to be a designer ever since I picked out my own clothes to go to school. I draw inspiration from everywhere including cities, art, music, culture, and people on the street. I want to create a brand with a unique identity that empowers women and that incorporates my international perspective—Independent, urban, strong, and chic, no fear. I am for uniquely developed fabrication and one-of-kind shaped modern clothing.
Fashion design has been my one and only desire as a profession since I was a child. In the years to follow, fashion design was no longer my ideal profession but a passion. FIT was the only school I applied to and luckily I got in. I knew that this school offered an incredible fashion design education, which not only develops students’ design skills but also broadens their imagination and creativity. I have taken every opportunity to improve myself. I believe I learned a lot more regarding the details of tailoring, improved my illustrator skills and learned a lot about fabrics. Being in a different environment with creative people with a wide variety of ideas had a big impact on my professional and world vision.
I moved from Arkansas to New York City to pursue a career in fashion design. I was always interested in shape, color, and human behavior, so fashion became an obvious choice. My work experience include Narciso Rodriguez, Proenza Schouler, VFILES, and Coach. Most recently, I displayed a garment at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in conjunction with the Costume Institute ‘Punk’ exhibit. After graduating, I plan to travel, take pictures, and refine my aesthetic. As my body of work grows, I am beginning to plan for my own label.
I was born in New York City and raised in Detroit, Michigan. As a chubby child, I enjoyed art. My parents owned a dry cleaning business. In my high school, my sister became a hair stylist for Aveda. I asked myself, “why not mix the two and do fashion?” On my sixteenth Christmas, my mother bought me a Singer home sewing machine, and I made my first garment—a green, cotton crew neck t-shirt. From then on, my curiosity in fashion quickly expanded. I would deconstruct old customer clothes from my parents’ store, and slowly make loose tops for my sister. I wouldn’t choose this major if I weren’t fully committed. You have to love it, because fashion will never love you first.
SHAUN (SU HUYN) KIM
I was influenced by my mom, a businesswoman who always dressed luxurious and professional. I tried her clothes as a little kid, and I dreamt of designing something beautiful one day. In high school, my teacher invited a professor from a fashion college in Vancouver to talk to me and another classmate regarding our future education path. That’s when I realized that I was actually good at sewing. Designing and constructing garments was the only thing I was interested in so I decided to come to FIT to learn about fashion. I am inspired by fabrics and trims. This makes me unique because I manipulate fabrics and place trims on a simple silhouettes. I’m adventurous, fearless and confident and these traits are reflected in my designs. I’m not afraid to try different skills, deconstruct, learn new methods and play with different ideas.
Seoul, Republic of Korea
I have loved fashion since I first picked my own dresses at age three. I loved fashion even more when I finally created my own clothes. I was lucky to have travelled to many countries at a young age. I left my home country when I was 14 years old to move to Australia. It was the first time I was independent. I lived with a host family while I continued my studies. When I resided in Australia, I gained a new perspective on life. My multicultural environment made it easier to adapt to New York. I am a quick learner, and I express my experiences and education in my own designs.
Seoul, South Korea
To me, fashion is a way of creatively expressing my thoughts. I find it very interesting that my idea can be shown visually and shared with others. Fashion is another part of me. The idea that I could express my thoughts clearly and that someone could agree with me encourages me to design. I am open to adapt and communicate with others. I believe, most importantly, that fashion is mixture of my creative thoughts and what people want.
The process of elimination eventually led me into my major area of study. Although my grandmother had suggested it since the early nineties, fashion design was set aside while I pursued other interests. For many years, sewing and designing was a hobby that I revisited with growing frequency. A more complete idea of fulfillment came when I accepted that my abilities would be best utilized in fashion design. It has been a journey of self-discovery on a twisted road, but well worth the trek. A background in both the culinary and entertainment industries gave me a broader perspective and a solid footing. Our clothes are living, sculptural annals of human life both past and present. As a designer, I find the sociological, historical, and artistic aspects of fashion enthralling.
YASEMIN EDA KULEY
I’ve never exactly known what I want to be, but I always knew that design excites me. Apparel can be one’s second skin and this idea triggered me. I believe there should be an idea behind the clothes. However I also believe that clothing must be functional and accessible, so majoring in improved me. I grew up in Istanbul, a cultural city, and I now live in New York. Seeing people embrace my expressions would be a blessing.
I was born and raised in Ghana. About 10 years ago I chose a road less travelled and moved to the United States. I have been interested in creative expression since I was a little kid. I started in architecture, but always knew I wanted to pursue fashion in the long run, hence my decision to come to The Fashion Institute of Technology to major in fashion design. I am a firm believer in fashion as a form of self-expression. My design aesthetic has been in the making from a very young age. As a designer, I am influenced by architecture, and structures. My design aesthetic straddles the lines between complexity, structure, and minimalism. I design because I love to create pieces for strong women who are not afraid to pick pieces that create a unique and powerful look. I appreciate minimalism. I quote Leonard Da Vinci “Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication.”
I think a lot, but I don’t say much; my mind is a constant whirlwind of thoughts. To me, the quiet ones have the loudest minds. My reserved nature allowed my creative aspect to emerge. Designing became an escape and involving myself in art was a form of identity. Having your work speak for itself says volumes on your imagination and creativity. One article of clothing can instantly change the way you look at and feel about yourself. Experimenting with fabrics is a tangible method I use to enrich my vision. Fabric manipulation opened a new perspective on design. My designs tell a story and unique fabric techniques enhance my concept. I see fashion design as a visual and interactive form.
JUNGEUI COCO LEE
Seoul, South Korea
“Art” is always in our life in many different forms. Among many different art forms, fashion really attracted me because it is one of the necessities in our life. People want to look nice, and I want to help them look better. The unique thing about fashion is that it can entertain people by just wearing it. I view it as an art form of human individuality and self-expression. My design style is on the borderline of wearable. It is even hard to define where this border is. But I want to give people some kind of fun and joy by wearing my clothes in their every day lives.
I was born in the United States and raised in South Korea. I have been interested in garments since I was young and it was the main reason that I came to New York. In the beginning I wanted to draw a large picture to show to the world. Now I seek something more personal. In the few years, my collections reflected my feelings at the time. Looking through my portfolio, I can see how much I have changed and it surprises me. So far I want to keep going.
I came to New York City about six years ago to become a fashion designer. I was greatly inspired by my own mother, since she is a fashion designer in Korea. I grew up with the amazing designers she worked with and was fascinated by the fashion scene. I just fell in love with it. Finally, I decided to move to New York and achieve my dream. Now that fashion design has become such a big part of my life, I can’t even imagine myself not being a fashion designer.
SU JI LEE
Seoul, South Korea
I was born in Seoul, Korea and lived in Frankfurt, Germany. While moving and travelling around the world, I have absorbed different cultures. Reflecting these experiences in my designs, with the ability to analyze the recent trends in the global markets, is the strong advantage that I have. At FIT, I developed and strengthened my design aesthetic, and learned how to professionally process the creative vision. Graduating and entering the fashion industry, I look forward to impacting the markets and customers
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
I learned how to sew when I was 8 years old. I immediately loved the idea of creating an entire garment. For the longest time, I thought of fashion as a hobby rather than a career option. It wasn’t until I started organizing annual charity fashion shows in high school that I realized fashion design could be a real possibility. From then on, I spent every weekend taking patternmaking courses in Toronto. I soon realized that there was a lot more than just sewing a garment. I set my sights on New York because I knew it would push me creatively. I chose design because I ultimately wanted to be a part of an industry that will hold my interest every single day.
Brooklyn, New York
I grew up appreciating all forms of art, but most of all I loved fashion. All I wanted from childhood was to create clothes. Fashion became part of my life when I discovered its influential and important role in people’s lives. My six-year experience working in an art gallery and my education in art history increased my appetite to create something new and transcendent. For me clothes should be timeless and admired as other forms of art. When it comes to creating garments, I become a sculptor. I use definite lines to emphasize elegant feminine body forms. My aim is to convey stories and revive nostalgia through my designs.
Entering fashion design has been one of my greatest desires since I was in middle school. However, it wasn’t until last year that I discovered my true passion within fashion: active wear. I most enjoy creating functional garments that enhance athletic performance. Combining innovative, functional details with fashionable components gives athletes and exercise enthusiasts, such as myself, the confidence and support necessary for optimum performance. As I embark on my career, I aspire to develop new technologies and designs that will cater to athletes of all types and sizes.
Mexico City, Mexico
My adoration for the arts and mathematics brought design to me. Fashion is logical and empathic, technical and imaginative, destructible and eternal, and mainly it is human made. My design philosophy included geometrical aesthetics combined with a detailed search for texture, dimension and light. I draw upon monochromatic tones and atmospheres, which have stimulated me to a soft, neutral and unique line. My multi-national heritage has made me adapt to a new ambiance, which has brought my long-lasting sentimentalism for my country’s culture, arts and warm-spirited sensitivity into my artistic design.
Fort Worth, Texas
At a young age, my mother noticed my interest in fashion design, so she bought me a sewing machine and encouraged me to pursue my imagination. I initially went to school in Dallas to get a fashion merchandising degree, but quickly realized that I was more interested in the creative side of fashion. When I decided to go to school for design, I knew that I wanted to go to FIT, so I moved to New York even though I’d never been. I have lived in New York for several years now and I am inspired every day by the spirit and the energy of the city.
I was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a country that is in consistent political turmoil, and raised by a single mother. The odds were not good enough for me, and my mother knew it. I was an artist at heart—always drawing and coloring. Crayons made me happy and my mother always made sure I had plenty. We lived next door to a seamstress, and I loved playing in her fabric remains, making outfits for my dolls. However, I thought I wanted to be an architect. Finally we migrated to the United States. In high school, I discovered my calling. I enjoy creating and forming my ideas, and I’m still influenced by architecture. This was my journey and I can proudly say today, “I am a designer and the future of fashion.”
I got started at in fashion at an early age by making elaborate Halloween costumes and prom dresses for friends. I love having a creative outlet that can also translate into a business. When I design I put a unique twist on classic pieces, using my customer as my biggest inspiration. Mixing textures, dark hues and new a form of functionality are all a result of my most frequent inspiration: the Pacific Northwest. I strongly believe that fashion should be versatile and functional. I love creating pieces that can be worn day-to-night, and in any form you wish.
One summer when I was working in a cubicle I realized that I do not want a static job. I began to search for something more thrilling. This led me to fashion design where every aspect is a constant evolvement. The more I learn, the more fascinated I am with the art of dressmaking. To me, fashion goes beyond outer appearance; it reflects culture, personality, and emotions. My aesthetic fundamentally revolves around this idea whilst emphasizing women’s effortless beauty. I believe that a woman’s beauty can transcend refining classic silhouettes and innovating minimalism. Everything must feel effortless and natural while maintaining a sense of modernity.
I believe the fashion business is the future, so I feel that I am in the right direction. I have always enjoyed designing since my childhood. I decided pursue an education in art when I was very young. Years later, I chose to major in fashion design, because of its potential. Fashion design allows you to reach more people than other art forms. It is another stage of sculpture. Those characteristics made me feel closer to fashion. Furthermore, designing is an instinct, and you cannot stop yourself.
What you wear is not who you are, but it is how you present yourself to others. I would like to design clothes to help people express themselves. It has been my dream for a long time. Through school, I have gotten to know many different people as well as myself—my interests and talents. I’ve found myself to be spontaneous, positive, and creative. I infuse my characteristics into my designs. My garments translate as classic, minimal, and feminine—mirror creations of myself.
Queens, New York
I was born in New York and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. I grew up in a family of classical musicians, educators, philosophers, romantics, dreamers and entrepreneurs. With a strong appreciation for the arts and humanities, I always strived to explore my self-value and how I would bring the most value to this world. In 2009, I officially began my professional apparel training, studying under renowned Costume Designer, Ching-Ju Lin. Since then, I have worked closely with history, culture, and movement of the human body in relation to garments. In 2011, I began to study fashion design at FIT. Over the years, I found it important to expose myself to a business mindset, and to balance my beliefs with my challenges—the balance between eastern and western, yin and yang, masculine and feminine. I hope to design for a lifestyle.
Queens, New York
When I first started school at the age of five, I didn’t spend afternoons like most children in my class. I went to work with my single mom, Luisa, at a fashion design school. I spent evenings in an industrial classroom, filled with sewing machines, mannequins, and fabric scraps—not something you would commonly see in the farm country of the Dominican Republic. I quickly learned to cut and sew the scraps together by hand. Within a few years, my mother taught me how to thread the machines, and soon after I started to use them. That’s when I knew that fashion design was a trade that I was born into. The older I get the more I learn to live and love in my world of design.
Brooklyn, New York
My path to fashion design was a very natural one. From a young age I expressed myself through art and designed clothing for myself when I didn’t like what I saw in stores. Eventually, I found myself falling in love with fashion and the process of creating a garment. I began to take pre-college classes at FIT in high school, and knew that there was nothing else I could see myself doing. Aside from fashion, I have always loved traveling and experiencing new cultures. I spent my third year at FIT studying in Milan. Since then, my designs have been heavily influenced by my travels.
Brooklyn, New York
I was pulled into fashion. I was always certain that I would not be ordinary. Fashion is helping me find myself. Growing up, I always retreated to my sketches when my thoughts couldn’t translate into words. Fashion is how I speak to people. My thoughts may be jumbled and my tongue tied, but my designs are fluent. I love this industry because of the moment someone puts on a garment and it takes their confidence from 0 to 100 in a nanosecond. Helping to make someone feel beautiful is all I need.
I want to live with happy things. Sometimes it is hard to find what makes me happy in my life. But, I think I am going toward my goal. Fashion has always satisfied me since I was young. I love designing, especially transferring my feeling and mood to my designs. It makes me feel as though I am creating design inspired by nature, artworks, books and images. Now, I am ready to graduate, and I grateful that I have found my way to live with my favorite thing. I really enjoyed the four years of my major. I hope that I become an unrestricted designer who communicates culture, nature and art through my work.
I have been interested in fashion ever since I was little. I always wanted to pick out my own clothes and mix and match different textiles. Also my grandmother, who was a tailor, had a big impact on me. She always told me that creating something that doesn’t exist makes one feel free. For me, fashion is a form of art that expresses who you are and how you are feeling. Through fashion, one can express herself by manipulating fabrics into something new and unpredictable. This is why I became a designer.
Queens, New York
Design spoke to me at a young age. At age three, I sat in front of the television fascinated by Bob Ross’s watercolor techniques. As I got older, my curiosity in the world of art increased. I visited museums, admiring the paintings and sculptures. I took design classes and auditioned for an Art and Design High School. Since then, I have designed and loved fashion. Design allows me to create a piece of art that can be worn, felt, and even emotionally moved. It allows me to speak without words. I am unique because of the way that I drown myself in my designing process. Design speaks to me, and making people feel confident in their own skin.
BILLIE BETH RICCA
I started off in the world of fine arts and fell in love with the structure of anatomy. Then I became inspired by the world of fashion, which allows the human figure to be your canvas. To me, fashion does not have any deep transcendent value but is rather a play on color, texture, line, shape, etc. Design is an outlet for exploration, and is a constant process. During a year in Milan, I was drawn to the technical applications of active wear and a love for transitional performance clothing that can parallel as ready-to-wear. This has become my niche. It is important to me that a woman feel at ease with her wardrobe and that she not overthink her look. I want her to have room to wear something off beat with quirky charm.
Lagrangeville, New York
Creating something from an original idea has always fascinated me most. Taking materials and create something you can see, feel, and experience made me love to design. The idea of taking a sketch to reality is the most satisfying feeling. With this reality, I am able to portray an idea in something wearable. I believe garments are the true way to portray a lifestyle or belief. My overall lifestyle concept for my pieces sets them apart. I look to outfit a concept, not just to design clothing.
I came from Japan in 2007 to pursue my dream of being a fashion designer. I enrolled in FIT to build my skills with designing clothes. When I was younger, I saw my mother make my family’s clothing. I was so amazed at how she made the clothes just by her hands and sewing machine. Growing up, I had a vivid interest in fashion. I read fashion magazines and created miniature outfits. I have an eye for silhouette, color, texture, and mixing pieces. I enjoy bringing my heritage to my work. My style is sophisticated, and subtle, yet playful. After graduating from FIT, I would like to design my own line.
I love to create women’s clothes and accessories that reflect my ideas. I chose so that women can show off who they are every day, not only on special days. I have always been fascinated by fabrics, embroideries, and lace. I’m also inspired by my grandmother and great-aunt. My designs, inspired by my determination, blend the classical and original with a focus on glamour and sharp details. My design spirit has a resolute feminine silhouette; both simple and bold. I represent myself through trendy, sensual, graceful, and authentic creations and my commitment goes beyond fashion. Clothing is a way of self-expression for a lot of people and my aim is to uniquely change and organize women’s color and style.
“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” Pablo Picasso’s words inspire me to define myself as a creator. My mother was a fashion consultant so I always had fascinating clothing around me. My attraction to fashion grew, as I became a stylist assistant and acknowledged fashion more excessively. During my high school years, I applied to the International Baccalaureate program in Visual Arts and found myself captivated by fashion photography.
Huntington, New York
In 2010, my high school fashion class sent Michelle Obama designs for her inaugural gown. I was invited to attend the donation of her gown to the Smithsonian and meet Jason Wu, the designer. Mr. Wu told me that as a young and less notable designer, he did not expect to be chosen, and was ecstatic to see her wearing his design on television. I realized then that success could happen at any moment, but only if you take on every opportunity. If one sketch could take me to D.C., who knows where my ambitions and studies will take me in New York! Now, I can say that my diligence has led me to work within some of America’s finest brands, and my optimism will continue to open doors to success.
VERONICA ROMERO SCHON
Mexico City, Mexico
Creating art is one of the most exceptional and wonderful human qualities. Materializing a concept from deep within one’s mind, is particularly mesmerizing to me. Fashion design is the perfect embodiment of such a notion. Unlike other art forms, each individual partakes in the creative process of fashion by how they wear these garments in their daily lives. I intend to execute and manifest my very own interpretation of this outstanding industry, while continuing to provide a means of creative self-expression for my customers.
Buffalo, New York
Fashion is based on opinion. There are no rules in design, no right, no wrong. No one can tell me what to do. I like to design with inspiration from sub-cultures and go against accepted norms. Not everyone will like my ideas, but why be like the rest when you can be yourself? If someone doesn’t like my work… I couldn’t care less. It’s who I am and they just don’t understand. Vivienne Westwood has been a major influence on who I have become as a designer. She once said, “The only possible effect one can have on the world is through unpopular ideas.”
SAMANTHA J. TOLEDO SILBERT
Manhattan, New York
I have always felt the urge to create since I was young. I love to take things apart and figure them out to give myself new ideas. As a little girl I would find beauty and interest in things most people would think were gross and discard, constantly taking pictures of bugs and natural deterioration from Mother Nature. Alexander McQueen and Cristobal Balenciaga inspired me to design clothes for women that are beautiful on the outside, but also comfortable when worn and confidence-inspiring. I want to design the piece of clothing that a woman wears constantly until it’s worn-out–because she loves so much it becomes an important, positive part of her life. Fashion isn’t a choice; it’s creativity inside me and I work hard everyday to hone the skills to be able to create to the best of my ability.
I want to make clothes that are dynamic and sensitive. I think about the concept of home, the presence and absence of a “safe space.” I’m interested in our sanctuaries, and the anxiety that accompanies displacement. I’ve explored these ideas with soft bias draping and breaking basic shapes. I want these sensitivities to be embraced. I want my clothes to stand alone as objects, as propositions in the quiet and intimate act of getting dressed.
Since I was young, I liked to interpret my thoughts on paper or I would make something out of clay or Lego blocks. As a visual person, I naturally had an interest in fashion and illustrating garments on paper. Growing up in Germany and Korea, I gained exposure to global artistry. Traveling is one of my passions. While in different countries, the architecture, art, history and people inspired me to design. In New York, seeing and meeting people from all around world and going to FIT stimulated my creativity as a designer. I would like to continue to design garments that complement the female body through unexpected details, without sacrificing comfort.
Fashion has always been a major influence in my life, because of my mother. My mom had a fashion background and I grew up watching her and sketching, which was the most exciting thing in my early childhood. There was no other choice about what I would do for the rest of my life. I realize that the most impressive thing about fashion is that it never stands still. It is always evolving and changing, which is the craziest but most irresistible part of it.
I was born at a seafront naval hospital in the coastline of Chile close to my grandfather’s seafood restaurant on March 13. I was my mother’s first-born child and my family’s first grandchild. My father emigrated to the United States before I was born. Soon after, my mother and I joined him in Houston, Texas. After my parent’s separation, I moved back and forth from Chile to Houston. This shaped my wanderlust and made me multicultural. I am a traveler at heart and an artist. I am a free spirit when possible. My grandmother encouraged my creativity and self-expression and today I am living my dreams for both of us.
Seoul, South Korea
When I was young, I was in love with art and design. My interest in fashion started during junior high school when I began to pay more attention to my outfits. However, while I shopped more and more, I noticed there weren’t many garments that fully satisfied my tastes. Naturally, I thought about creating my own fashion to reflect my thoughts and aesthetics. I design in order to express myself and to communicate with people who express their personalities through clothing. My modern ideas and understanding of wearability make my designs outstanding and unique.
New York, New York
Born and raised in the wonderful city of New York, I knew I wanted to be an artist. I began my artistic journey in the world of illustration. I realized that fashion was my calling because it is more relative then other forms of art. Everyone wears clothes every day, and one’s clothes can affect how they feel. The emotions a garment can evoke are important to me. I aspire to create a brand that will help give that extra “oomph” and personality to women, with pieces that are fun, flirty, and chic.