Long Island, New York
The earliest I remember showing interest in fashion was when I watched my dad hemming his own pants at the kitchen table. I wanted then to learn how to use the sewing machine. Since then, I always loved being creative and hands on. What really interested me in knitwear is that there are no limitations. You can have the simplest silhouette, yet use such interesting yarn and stitches to create texture and a new look and feel within that. You are essentially both a fashion and textiles designer, which was a new challenge.
When I was younger, the dream of becoming a designer seemed just too big and out of reach. But time, life, and lucky chances led me to where I am today, becoming a designer and reaching for something that once felt unreachable. I like the idea that clothes can tell a story, they can transform, they can perform, and they can be a form of art that one can actually live in and experience. All those complex factors attract me to fashion. The design process is the most interesting and exciting part for me, which is why I chose knitwear. It has a lot of complexity and technology involved but the final product is so rewarding. I strive to design something simple that everyone can understand and appreciate.
I always knew in my heart that I was not destined to remain in Michigan, where I grew up. I yearned for adventures in far off places and to express my creative spirit. When I first stepped foot onto FIT’s campus, I knew this was where I needed to be. Since that moment, the pieces have fallen into place. After participating in the FIT in Milan program, Knitwear became yet another piece of the puzzle. Since returning to FIT, I strive to match design with functionality, creativity with comfort, and to combine my passion for knitwear design with the fond memories of my humble roots.
Saddle Brook, New Jersey
The most interesting thing to me about fashion design is the transformation from non-existence, to two-dimensional, to three-dimensional as well as the transition from old to new and from classic to modern. The process in between is the most important and the most fascinating. The way we think and the way we move to complete an action is something I admire and that inspires me. My interest in knitwear begins with my fondness for texture, movement, or anything that brings clothing alive. I enjoy running my fingers along a garment, getting the emotion, and becoming familiar with it. I yearn to constantly discover and create contents for my garments, as if they were vital organs.
Despite earning a finance degree from the University of Toronto, I decided that I wanted a career that would satisfy my genuine desire to make clothes for like-minded people. At FIT, I fell in love with minimal design and immersed myself in the color, texture, shape and every aspect of fashion. As a designer I approach my creations from an artistic and conceptual background, with a keen focus on wearability and humor. Besides knitwear, my strongest interests are in textile development, print development, and activewear. I hope my style will convey a sense of organic elegance with androgynous appeal.
SZU TING CHEN
I grew up in Taiwan but moved to North Carolina when I was 15. After high school I moved to New York to pursue my fashion education and career. While teaching children’s Sunday school, I found myself greatly inspired by the kids I met there. I often use bright colors and simple geometric shapes to express the pure joyfulness of children playing with toys or drawing with markers. My hope is that when people see my garments, they could be as joyful as the children.
ALESSIA DE FRANCESCO
Fashion is an art—the needle is your brush, and the world your canvas. The beauty lies in the possibilities, not only what the designer creates, but how people choose to wear it. I have a strong attachment to intangible concepts, and I revel at the challenge of bringing them to life with their unique silhouettes, textures, and colors. I also like the idea of mixing ultra-modern, architectural shapes with traditional Italian aesthetics. My journey has taken me across Europe and South America, and ultimately led me to New York City. I hope to incorporate my experiences with my design.
Yorktown Heights, New York
The moment I understood that it was an actual profession, I dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. My youth in a suburb of New York City allowed me to travel into one of the most influential fashion cities in the world. I am excited to be graduating from FIT this spring. I design not only to produce beautiful pieces of art, but also to inspire today’s women. My goal is to allow women to feel in charge and empowered. To feel sexy, yet unique with interesting textiles and silhouettes makes fashion.
Brooklyn, New York
My love for art began at a very young age. As a child, I spent most of my days with a pencil and paper in hand drifting away into my own imaginative world of art. My passion and love for fashion began in high school where I took a few beginner fashion design art courses. I later earned an associate’s degree in occupational studies in fashion design from the Art Institute of New York City. For a little over a year, I worked as a design assistant at a womenswear line. In the fall of 2012, I entered the Fashion Institute of Technology where I attained another associate’s degree in applied sciences and a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a specialization in knitwear.
Los Angeles, California
I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I earned an associate’s degree in Merchandise Product Development from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in 2010. After working in the fashion industry in Los Angeles, I moved to New York to attend FIT for Fashion Design in 2011. After two years devoted to sportswear, my search for more knowledge led me to spend the remainder of my time studying knitwear in depth. I was led to pursue Fashion Design through a culmination of influences, as well as an insatiable curiosity and natural predilection for tactile arts. My designs reflect my personal experiences and a desire to manifest the impalpable.
Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania
Once I got my hands on a pair on knitting needles at the age of 10, I never put them down. They say happiness is achieved if you find a hobby that makes you happy and turn it into your career, then you never work a day in your life. Since I decided to turn knitting into my life’s work, every day has felt like a dream. Knitting for myself, for others, exploring new depths, and pushing my limits makes me happy. I design because I love to learn. I design because I love to challenge myself. I design because creating is more than a hobby—it is a way of life.
Fashion not only sets one’s attitude and confidence, it is another major way of communicating. It tells your unique story to others. As a young girl, I was always thirsty to express myself through my style, but I was never satisfied with my limited options. The urge to tell my own story through clothes quickly grew into a desire to pursue my dream in fashion. New York City allowed me to fulfill my passion. With my parents’ big support, I expressed myself through my last collection.
It is unforeseen that I would ever be part of fashion. It happened by chance when I was uncertain about my way. Once I found it, I become devoted to it. Since then, I have sought to create the timeless designs in this fast-paced industry. I am always amazed by the designs from the past decades and seeing them continuously refreshed by designers from different generations. Now I am trying to incorporate what I have learned from them.
I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. I studied fashion design for two years at Savannah College of Art and Design. I then transferred to the Fashion Institute of Technology. My childhood and the people in my life have created, inspired, and added to my aesthetic. My mother, Amy, taught me the importance of creativity and art. My grandmother, Mymang, is the main reason I went into fashion. I learned how to hand knit when I was ten years old during a Nutcracker ballet dress rehearsal at the Atlanta Ballet. I found knitwear fascinating, especially how the first stitch needs the neighboring stitch. Each loop and stitch had a job and a purpose. I believe that fashion design is an art that is not only aesthetic but pertains to everyday life. I adore art education, and believe I wouldn’t be the artist I am today without my early introduction.
Whenever I see a nicely dressed woman, I want to create more charming garments for every woman. That’s why I got into fashion design: to learn and create things I love and make others happy. My design aesthetic is to create feminine outfits, emphasizing the natural beauty of the female form. In FIT’s knitwear design program, I learned so much about how clothes are made, and how to be technically creative.
Bronx, New York
I was born and raised in Bronx New York and my family is from the Dominican Republic. My mother worked in a fabric store in 39th street in Manhattan for 27 years and I would nap on rolls of fabric under her cutting table. I learned at an early age that I wanted to design and be creative in my future. I’ve grown and obtained many skills in all my years of schooling and I am very proud of my accomplishments. I am eager to continue to learn and grow within the Fashion Industry.
Ever since I was a child, I always had a big interest in fashion because of my environment. My uncle and another relative were models so fashion was familiar to me from a young age. To me, fashion shows and other fashion events were as common as a child’s playground. Therefore, it was obvious to me that I would gravitate toward the fashion industry. Design, is not something that comes instantly like a flash on a camera. It is time-consuming with collecting information and gripping new ideas that come from past artifacts.
My parents emigrated from Thailand, and they had a traditional plan for me to work in business or become a doctor. Unfortunately for them, I had no patience and instead pursued a career in fashion. My origins of design did not come from dressing Barbies or reading through fashion magazines, but by playing with robots and pretending to be a super hero. These hobbies from my childhood are reflected in my themes of futurism, pop culture, and traditional aesthetics. Knitwear has the perfect balance of technology and tradition, which has allowed me to transition right in. I design for the pure fun and imagination of it. People will always pretend to be who they want to be every time they look in a mirror. No matter what clothes they wear, I just want to help them to decide which superhero to be.
To me, fashion defines one’s ego. Through style and color, fashion allows people to express themselves. Unlike other art forms, fashion brings practical transformation into people’s lives and creates special moments that will last a lifetime. I want to be a fashion designer to create that very connection, the bridge between people and expression. I want to create that favorite item, be it a sweater, dress, or accessory, that helps capture moments, truly timeless portraits, and unforgettable memories.
Busan, South Korea
I grew up without any backgrounds in art or design, so I am amazed to be on the path to becoming a fashion designer. Since middle school, my friends teased me about how I dressed. I tried to stay with my style, but I have slowly realized that I have started to dress like my friends, loosing myself. I always wanted to prove to others that my style depicts my true self. I put my effort into comfort and the overall atmosphere. I hope my designs express my perspective.
New York, New York
“Women have to suffer many things if they want to look gorgeous.” This was my mother’s quote when I was ten years old. I was whining about wearing a skirt for a family meeting during the winter. My mother had always been extremely proud of me and it had a great influence on my passion for fashion. Also, living in New York City was a great inspiration. I love woven design; I learned my basic design skills through woven material. The beauty of woven materials is making 2D things into 3D work. However, I chose to peruse knitwear as my specialization because of its attractiveness. There is nothing to waste, perfect match, soft silhouettes, a variety of embellishments, comfortable fit, and an unlimited ability to create. I believe people have the right to do what they love and I love to create and design fashion.
TAEHYUN MICHELLE KIM
Seoul, South Korea
I remember trying to make dresses for my Barbie when I was young. I used tissue paper and tape to cover the body and decorate with colorful beads using a fishing thread. When I see my doll wearing a dress that I made, it makes me happier than ever. I design because I want to see people happy and pretty when they wear my clothes. I like to absorb things in to fashion, which make my design unique. I wanted to become a great knitwear designer to create new things that influence the fashion industry.
Teaneck, New Jersey
I design simply because it makes me happy. I like to think of myself as a passionate person, always looking to put forth my fullest effort. I have completely devoted myself to design. At a young age, I discovered my passion for art and was I always encouraged by my teachers and loved ones to continue to explore my creativity, which really paved my career path. Fashion design really connects you to people. Fashion is so unique and personal. I consider myself a multifaceted designer. I want to connect with many types of people through my designs. Fashion design gives me a real purpose and I could not imagine doing anything else.
HEE SOO LEE
Seoul, South Korea
Since I was little, I loved to express myself through art. Especially, I enjoyed designing garments in sketchbooks and wearing new clothes. As I got older, I became very curious about making what I had designed on paper. This curiosity led me to study fashion in depth at FIT. While studying at FIT, I enjoyed all the design processes, but I found myself more passionate about developing textiles. Exploring various textures and silhouettes through knitting has been a great inspiration. As a knitwear designer, I hope to help women look more classy and feminine.
JUNG EUN LEE
When I was young, I had so many dreams about what I wanted to be when I grew up, and my dreams changed many times. Sometimes I wanted to be an artist, and sometimes I wanted to be a lawyer. As a senior in high school, when I really had to decide about my future, I decided to go to pharmacy school because of my family’s background. There, I realized that pharmacy is not my goal, but fashion design is my lifelong dream, since I always loved fashion and art. So, I challenged myself to apply for FIT. Since I love colors, and patterns, I decided to pursue knitwear. What makes me unique as a designer is that I follow the story to choose colors, patterns and silhouettes.
Seoul, South Korea
I love clothes that make me smile with their beautiful silhouettes, dazzling colors and soft textures. I also loved to see people look at their new clothes in a mirror. Then, I realized that clothes make people happy, which inspired me to make clothes. My designs remind me of good memories such as the blue winter sky, the aroma of fresh brewed coffee in the morning and a sweet mille feuille. My design also reflects my architecture studies: clean, sophisticated and restrained.
Flushing, New York
I obsess over perfect lines and thoughtful products. I am always thinking about how I can improve a product or piece of work. I’m pursuing fashion design because it’s invisible public art and I aim for many people to see it. My style is often feminine but casual. I enjoy designing clothing that is comfortable yet flatting. I chose to specialize in knitwear because there was much more for me to learn. That is how I like to approach experiences, as blank slates.
KAYLA PAIGE McGHIE
Palm Beach, Florida
I hail from the year-round sunny town of Palm Beach, Florida. At a very young age, I was always a creative and interested in how things work. If there was anything I didn’t have, I made it and if there was anything that could be taken apart I would do so and put it back together after examining its parts. My curiosity led me to many types of art. I assiduously explored drawing, painting, ceramics, photography, filmmaking, writing, and fashion design. At FIT, I explored all types of fabric manipulation and applications. Here, I fell in love with the endless possibilities of knitting. My interests in the arts, culture, nature, and all sciences inspire my clean, sophisticated and always interesting design aesthetic.
Verona, New Jersey
As a child I would often sit on the basement floor of my mother’s interior design office flipping through books of textile samples. I remember admiring all the fabrics on their little rings and mixing and matching my favorites. From there, a love for textiles and fashion was born. My passion for fabric is why I gravitated toward knitwear. In addition, it allows me to merge extreme technicality with limitless creative possibilities. I try to use fashion design as a creative medium for a deeper meaning. I try to make sense of the world around me by integrating political, social, and economic issues into clothing.
Seoul, South Korea
Through design, I can look inside myself and feel alive. I really wanted to put beauty and meaning into garments. As I learned more about the fashion industry, I realized the importance of business so I started focusing more on business than creativity. Then, I tried to go back to being creative. I want to balance business and creativity. This new approach forces me to move. And I love the fact that I am moving now.
Since I was a child, fabric, dresses and sketches surrounded me. My grandmother was a recognized fashion designer in Peru and I spent hours every day playing in her atelier. Fashion comes naturally to me and ever since I can remember I have wanted to be a fashion designer. Through fashion I express myself and channel my emotions. No feeling can compare to when I see my creations come to life. Through knitwear not only do I get to design my garments, but also the fabrics; the possibilities are endless. Every day I learn something new. Fashion thrills me like nothing does; it is always evolving and changing. I love this beautiful world of constant creation.
I was born and raised in Ohio, where my Polish grandmother taught me to sew on her treadle Singer. I moved to New York at 18 to attend New York University, where I earned a BA in journalism. While I enjoyed a successful career at companies like MTV, Esquire, and NBC, my life-long love of fashion drove me to enroll at FIT. I received Honorable Mention for my work in the 2014 CFDA Scholarship Program, and have had the pleasure of working with influential fashion brands like Alexander Wang, Tory Burch, and Helmut Lang. I enjoy all aspects of the design process, but I especially love swatch development, textile manipulation and garment construction. I strive to focus on the future of design while keeping those early memories of my Busia’s sewing lessons in my heart.
New Rochelle, New York
I was raised to never settle for a monotonous desk job, so a career in fashion design seemed the perfect answer. In the sixth grade, I had already mapped out my college career and began studying Italian with the intention of attending FIT and participating in the study abroad programs in Florence and Milan. I spent nearly half of my college career overseas. I have embraced the idea of working to live, but I also believe that when you are passionate about your work, the lines become blurred. My designs are an extension of myself, and through them I hope to communicate a certain nonchalant joie de vivre.
Tel Aviv, Israel
I was born in Jerusalem, grew up in Toronto and London, and trained in New York and Milan. I’ve traveled to Africa, Central America, and Asia. I am no stranger to an airport interior. WiFi has allowed us to be anywhere and everywhere like nomads, yet stay connected to our past. To me, knitted textiles are a platform of memories that form our personal cultural identity. Knitted garments hold symbols and iconography relating to our homes, countries, and families. In my senior collection, I express the idea of carrying our identities through color, graphics, and volume. My time at FIT has helped me develop my design identity.
As I traveled through Europe and Asia, I found myself lost in all the different cultures in the world. The first time I came to New York for vacation, I realized that this was a melting pot of different cultures as well as fashions. My experience from traveling and retaining bits and pieces of cultures made me realize that I would excel at expressing new ideas through fashion. Fashion became my state of mind and it will always remind me of all the lessons I’ve learned.
Creating alternative worlds has always been a part of my life. No world was complete without the right attire. After dabbling in costume design in my late teens, I became more and more interested in performance art and creating the surrounding visuals. I also realized that I did not want to pursue costume design but to intertwine the polemic of life into the fashion as my expressive point. In my designs, I try to explore topics that speak to me in one way or another.
GLORIA M. SOSA
My interest in fashion design has led me down many paths. I began design in a small city in Honduras when I was eight years old. From there, I came to the United States and eventually to FIT in New York City. The road has been long but well worth the time I have spent. I have gotten experience in classes, designing for myself, my family, and the industry. Earning my degree has taken more time than I expected, but my commitment to learn as much as possible never waivered. I am excited about my specialization in knitwear and working in this field once I graduate. I bring maturity and the wonder of how to materialize ideas that seem out of the ordinary.
My family works in the fashion industry and that greatly influenced me. My parents run a company that serves U.S. clients and Asian factories. As a child, I spent most of my time in my parent’s office, playing with piles of fabric and clothing. I began studying dance at the age of 5 for 13 years These experiences improved my artistry, creativity, and most importantly strength. My diverse background also allows me to think out of the box and see things from multiple perspectives.
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
From a young age I knew that I wanted to be an artist. However, I couldn’t decide which art to pursue: photography, fine arts, or even language. During a trip to Paris in high school, I discovered that fashion design combined all of the arts that I loved in tangible form. I draw inspiration from concepts and theories of historical art movements, including Neo-Classicism, Dada, and Pop Art. Many art movements were born out of the political and social adversities of their time. As such, it is important for my designs to highlight the adversity in current society; most of my designs are unisex, reflecting the importance of gender identity in our culture. I design to give people a new means of expression.
Port Jefferson, New York
I always had an appreciation for the arts. At the age of 10, I realized my love for fashion when I entered a contest for building armor. My materials consisted of cardboard and glue, but the feeling was much more. I spent my life painting and then enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Technology, specializing in fashion illustration. I then went on to study in Milan and discovered the knitting machine. In Italy I fell in love not only with gelato, but the fine sweetness of knitwear. This is when I started to appreciate a person’s hand work and how it can be produced organically. Artisanal work became my focus and drive. This is what makes fashion to me and this is why I design: to bring people the artisan, not only the designer.