Angela Luna, Womenswear Designers of the Year

Angela Luna, Womenswear Designers of the Year

Adiff (formerly Design for Difference) is a humanitarian fashion outerwear brand dedicated to addressing global issues through design. The brand's first collection, "Crossing the Boundary," was created in response to the refugee crisis, with jackets that offer a design solution to one or more issues that refugees face on a daily basis. Included in the collection are jackets that convert to large and small tents, a sleeping bag or a backpack, as well as jackets equipped for carrying children, floatation, and visibility. These garments are also functional, durable, weatherproof, and they can be worn in numerous environments.

Jackson Wiederhoft, Womenswear Designers of the Year

Jackson Wiederhoft, Womenswear Designers of the Year

This collection has been an opportunity to use the lessons I have learned working in both costume design and fashion design to create something that is both here and there. I believe that, ultimately, the difference between the two worlds is simply context—that no garment is inherently one or the other. But most importantly, I believe that fashion and costume have transformative power. I believe the clothes we wear can take us to another place or time, or elevate us to a more fantastic version of ourselves. This is what “The Dollies” is for me — a means of transportation and transformation to a place of fantasy, joy, and exploration.

Kate McBride, Childrenswear Designer of the Year

Kate McBride, Childrenswear Designer of the Year

The Keepsake Collection was inspired by the interdependent bond of mothers and daughters through time. I sourced all of my materials locally from mills as I believe there should be more transparency in how our textiles and clothes are made. I used all natural fiber textiles and zero waste pattern making as a way to make this collection more sustainable.

Ming Peng, Menswear Designer of the Year

Ming Peng, Menswear Designer of the Year

My thesis collection is inspired by my early personal experience with social anxiety. My research process made me realize that the feelings of pressure and anxiety that had affected me earlier in my life never left; the only thing that changed is my attitude towards those problems. Therefore, I choose to present the anxiety through the perspective of humorous animation. For example, the zigzag outfit and wavy suits. I hope the clothes I designed can make people laugh about their anxiety.

Minsu Kim, Menswear Portfolio of the Year

Minsu Kim, Menswear Portfolio of the Year

PIDA is a direct pronunciation of the Korean verb “to blossom.” It is a love letter in visual, tangible form that communicates my first love experience. Unable to let go of this romance, I recorded all my thoughts and feelings into my sketch book. The experience led me on a poetic journey to write the final love letter to the one that made me “blossom.” My graduate collection not only delivers the raw emotion of heartbreak, but also liberation from the youthful naiveté in which I was trapped—a delusional love marked by false hopes and disappointment. I explored concepts of scarring and permanence to portray dark romance, which led me to tattoo all my leather pieces in this collection.

Moon Choi, Womenswear Portfolio of the Year

Moon Choi, Womenswear Portfolio of the Year

Every stage of a person's life leaves a deep imprint upon that person. It demonstrates their past, present, and future and how culture can define his or her path in life and society. My collection builds upon existing codes to represent a sense of heritage, suppression, and expression.

Siena Defranco,  Accessories Designer of the Year

Siena Defranco, Accessories Designer of the Year

When I ask myself what inspires me, the answer always connects back to an invisible energy that surrounds me—a force within the universe, a force that is bigger than everything I know. A magical feeling, a bright light within a dark night, this force makes everything connect, makes me feel free, and pushes me to express the divine light within me. This is why I have created a collection that consists of my own fabric of reality. My accessories consists of thousands of reflective pieces woven together, which give energy and light back to the universe and become alive when light hits them. My fabric of reality consists of laser cut octagonal shapes, which are known to diminish negative energy. They are woven together with real healing crystals that vibrate at a higher frequency than the human body—a means of uplifting the wearer. My main goal is to create awareness of the magical relationship between everything that is alive, and to make the wearer feel the positive energy woven within my accessories. There are different messages written within each bag and pair of shoes—a reminder that the wearer has the ability to create his or her own ideal reality. I don’t want my designs to just be a look, but about a feeling. My fabrication consists of powerful messages that come together to create a unified vision—an affirmative awareness that can influence positive decisions and inspire individuals to reach fulfillment.

#ParsonsBenefit Crowns Designers of the Year 2016

Parsons School of Design sent the most innovative and fantastical pieces from BFA Fashion Design students down the runway at the annual Parsons Benefit and Fashion Show at Pier Sixty.

Fashion icon and Parsons graduate Donna Karan; art curator, philanthropist, and New School graduate Beth Rudin DeWoody; actress Sarah Jessica Parker; and Huffington Post co-founder and editor-in-chief Arianna Huffington were honored at the benefit. The school raised $1.86 million for student scholarships.

The BFA Fashion Show highlighted the top 30 student designers, each of whom showed a limited collection of three to five pieces. See and learn more about their pieces, in the designers’ own words, in the slideshow above.