Colorado Springs, Colorado
I grew up in Colorado and moved to New York at age eighteen. I spent my first year at FIT studying in Florence at Polimoda and my second year back in New York City. I then moved to Milan to specialize in knitwear for two years and finish my degree. I have a wide range of interests, particularly in visual arts and music, and I decided at a young age that fashion design was the best way to apply my creativity. In my designs, my unique interests are always evident and consistent, with graphic lines and bold forms, reminiscent of ’70s glam, with a contemporary take on vintage design.
I have wanted to be a designer since I was little and feel so lucky to have my passion keep growing for this career. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in apparel product development and merchandising. I started taking Italian in my freshman year in hopes of studying in Italy. I am now in my second year of studying in Milan, and I feel lucky and proud to have followed through with my dream. It shows that I can accomplish my goals if I work toward them. I enjoy the whole design process. So much work and time is involved, but seeing the final product is beyond rewarding. I love to design clothes that are sexy, unique, and fun, and to design all kinds of women’s wear, from swimwear to eveningwear and everything in between. I enjoy everything about design and can’t wait to begin my career.
Hopewell Junction, New York
I had always loved drawing and creating things with my hands, and I had a weird affinity for fabrics. I made my mom sew a silk ribbon to every shirt I owned until I was about eight years old. My mom, a SUNY professor, knew there was a SUNY school for fashion and took me for a tour there when I was thirteen. Thanks to the complete support of my parents, I began taking sewing lessons at the age of fourteen, taking pre-college courses at FIT at fifteen, and interning in Manhattan at sixteen, sometimes commuting up to 2.5 hours each way from my hometown. Now I have reached the end of my time at FIT, and I have lived in New York City, Florence, Milan, and London; I have met countless people who have enhanced my life and education immensely; and I have developed my identity as a designer.
Dana Mooyoung Jung
Design is one way that we communicate with other people. The reason I design is that I want to deliver new designs to a lot of people, reinterpreting many of the things that are already prevalent all around us by combining my original thoughts with ideas I generate through my interactions with other designers. In the process of development, I generate an incredible number of interesting ideas that I want to share with other designers so that I can receive their thoughts and feedback. Eventually, all these elements come together to create a new design. I hope my designs will be passed on, and over time, will form a connection with people and develop into a new movement.
Nova Kakhovka, Ukraine and Brooklyn, New York
Growing up in a small town had its benefits but also its challenges. Looking through my aunt’s collection of foreign fashion magazines and watching music videos and movies on TV was very inspirational and made me want to express myself through fashion. However, this was difficult because it was hard to find the right items on the local market. To remedy the situation, my grandmother taught me how to embroider, my mother showed me how to knit, and I decided to learn how to cut and sew clothes so that I could bring my fantasies and the fantasies of others to life. This was the beginning of my long journey in learning the art of clothes making. For me, clothing fulfills not only the practical functions, but is also something that allows people to “travel” through time and space.
After finishing high school, I left home at age seventeen to move to New York City from a small town in Michigan to study fashion design at FIT. After three years of study, two in New York and one in Florence, I moved to Milan to focus on knitwear for the last two years of my degree. I chose to study knitwear because I wanted to combine art with functionality. As an artist, I approach my work sustainably by building my designs around organic fibers. I build the design from the fiber and then manipulate the stitches for creative effects. My work is grounded in a technical approach that is infused with an elegant, artistic touch.
Los Angeles, California
A ten-year-old girl with aspirations to be a Korean pop star prepares for her end-of- year recital. The next step should have been to shop for the perfect dress, but this girl shops at a traditional Korean clothing fabric store for her own design. She carefully cuts the fabric and dexterously sews the pieces together, then glues on jewels and glitter to finish it off. Although her performance went well, the everlasting image was the costume. This was my first creation and first love. I have traveled and lived in many countries since leaving home at the age of sixteen. All of my life experiences and education through art and design have influenced me and become a big part of my inspiration. I want to be the kind of fashion designer who finds the balance between aesthetic and functional designs.
Patricia Valdés Rodríguez
I was born in Monterrey, México. I decided to become a designer because of my heritage. I realized that my country’s culture could be a great source of artistic inspiration. For me, this inspiration is represented in my goal of creating a brand with functional and affordable designs. I started my studies in Cedim, Mexico, where I learned the basics. I decided to move to New York to specialize in knitwear. With the wide range of opportunities, knowledge, and experience that I acquired in the first two years at FIT, I decided to complete my bachelor’s degree in Milano, specializing in knitwear design. As a designer, I have a good eye for color mixing, balancing color with contemporary designs. Family is extremely important to me. My relationship with my parents and the strong bond I have with them is what I want to represent in my personal and professional future.
Fashion design is my life. My love for fashion began as a young child. I loved to illustrate outfits and play dress up. I discovered the beauty of the fashion business when I was eighteen and worked for a company called Anthropologie. I loved getting to know women from different walks of life and learning what they loved to wear and why. Helping them dress for first dates and big events elated me. I realized that fashion is a universal experience. What we wear reflects how we feel about ourselves. It is extremely satisfying to create clothing that makes women feel like they can take over the world. To my collections, I bring a taste of my on-the-go lifestyle: sporty, yet refined and polished, combined with romance and femininity. I’ve worked for DML Marketing as an assistant designer in the hosiery industry. I’ve also worked in menswear for Ermenegildo Zegna.