Parsons The New School for Design has a roster of famed students (some of whom didn't quite make it to graduation): Alexander Wang (who actually dropped out before graduation), Proenza Schouler, Jason Wu, Tom Ford, Peter Som, Marc Jacobs and the list goes on. Well, as of last year, the celebrated NYC school has offered a new program, the Master of Fine Arts in Fashion Design and Society that has drawn enormous interest from the industry. In fact, according to Style.com, Céline, Nike, and Givenchy are already courting members of the class of 2013. Earlier this month, the graduating class (which consists of just 16 students) showed their collections and we caught up with them to talk about their brands, the business of fashion and what they are obsessed with right now ...
Beijing-born Jia Hua, who was awarded the Coach scholarship in 2012, interned at Tory Burch and Diane von Furstenberg, after receiving her BFA in Fashion Design from the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University in China. She showed a collection that involves multiple techniques, including weaving, hand stitching, and bonding to create rich layers, and a color palette of neon colors and dark sheer chiffon.Of her designs (which pulled influences from athletic garments and artists Mickalene Thomas, Caroline Larsen, and Dan Flavin, mixed couture details with a streetwear spirit.), she says: “For me, the most important thing is for the clothes to be easy and wearable.”
1. How old are you and where are you from?
I am 25, and I am from China.
2. You just showed your MFA collection. Tell me a bit about you and your design process in general.
My collection is about a mixture of couture hand craft techniques and contemporary active wear. It sounds like a weird combination. I spent a major amount of time developing my fabric, bringing in some traditional techniques like cording, pad stitching, weaving, etc. I also look at artists' work, like lighting installations from different artists. I am obsessed with the mixture of color and geometry "color space."
3. Do you feel like you're becoming a brand?
I am still figuring out how to build up my brand and break into the market.
4. What have you learned so far about the business of fashion?
It is easy to have a brand but it is difficult to maintain a business. There is always so much more to learn in this industry.
5. What is your dream job in fashion?
A job that will allow me to keep creating.
6. What fashion designers do you admire/look up to?
There are a lot, but out of all of them, Prada is always the one I admire most.
7. What are you obsessed with right now?
Reading. Getting rid of images and focusing on words for a while. I feel happy, satisfied and calm when I read.