FIT was named Best Overall School and FIT’s Haley Byfield was named Best Designer in the 2015 Fusion Fashion Show, an annual competition between FIT and Parsons The New School for Design, held this year on March 7 and 8 at Parsons’ University Center. The show was established in 2000 by Parsons alumnus James Ramey as a talent platform for students at the two schools.
Sixteen undergraduate students are chosen from each institution (any major is eligible, though most of the contestants come from Fashion Design) to show a collection of five looks on the runway. Byfield, who is pursuing her BFA in Fashion Design, is only the third woman to win Best Designer from FIT and is the first in seven years. FIT has won five of the past seven years and now leads Parsons in overall wins by two. This year’s event boasted the highest attendance in the competition’s history.
The FIT students who participated were Doosan “San” Baek, Lauren Barkley, Haley Byfield, Julia Cork, Lindy Fox, SiEun Hwang, Hee Gyum Kim, Kevin D. Kim, Kelly Kuhl, Hannah Lajba, Ron Ramos, Lilly Jewel Reynolds, Aaron J. Rosa, Aly Reinert, Julianna Trujillo, and Pei-Yin Yeh.
A series of five shows are held over the course of one weekend, during which the student designers show their creations. The final show is judged by industry elite, with a varied panel consisting of designers, editors, stylists, buyers, and influencers.
Judges this year were: Peter Davis, group executive editor, Daily Front Row; James Worthington DeMolet, senior fashion editor, Cosmopolitan and Seventeen; Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez, style bloggers; Shawn Reddy, designer, Proenza Schouler; and Mary Kate Steinmiller, freelance stylist and consultant.