Four FIT alumni have joined the ranks of CFDA+ Design Graduates. Now in its third year, the awards program is an initiative of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) that identifies outstanding design graduates within women’s wear, menswear, children’s wear, accessories, jewelry, textiles, and knitwear, with the goal of connecting them to American fashion houses.
Zhaojie Chen, 28, of Toronto, BFA, Fashion Design; Han Lin, 33, of Huzhou, China, BFA, Fashion Design; Chanwong Kang, 30, of Suwon, South Korea, BFA, Fashion Design; and Fernando Webb, 31, of Brooklyn, BFA, Accessories Design—all of whom graduated in spring 2015—were named winners along with 50 other designers from 21 countries, representing the graduates of 16 U.S. and international design programs. Nearly 200 faculty-endorsed portfolio submissions were vetted for creative vision, design identity, and proficiency within their chosen specialization. Ninety-eight finalists then were interviewed to further explore individual aspirations and professional readiness by a committee, which included CFDA members Greg Armas, Siki Im, Marcia Patmos, Michael Smaldone, and Sam Shipley.
The winning designers will be showcased on Eyes on Talents, an online platform that connects professionals in creative industries with brands. The digital resource allows companies to do what is often physically and economically unfeasible: to link with designers located throughout the world.