FIT student Suyeon Kim, Fashion Design ’17, won “Best Designer From FIT” at the 2016 Fusion Fashion Show competition hosted by Parsons School of Design on March 6. Her collection of sportswear and evening wear, “Love in the Ice,” earned her a $500 award from show sponsor Designow. The Busan, South Korea, native described her neoprene and laser-cut clear vinyl garments as “feminine with unique constructions inspired by the distinct glacial formations of Iceland.”
Now in its 17th year, the Fusion Fashion Show is an annual competition between FIT and Parsons fashion design students, judged by a panel of industry leaders and staged entirely by a team of student volunteers from both schools. Fifteen students from each institution are selected from over 70 applications to present their five-look collections in four shows over one weekend. At the end, the judges choose the best designer from each school, as well as the best school overall. Parsons broke FIT’s three-year winning streak, though FIT still holds six wins over Parsons’ four for the past decade.
More than 2,500 viewers attended this year’s competition. Fellow students and family members came out to root for their designers, holding up encouraging posters and cheering enthusiastically during the show. For the first time, audience members cast votes with their picks for “Best Designer” from each school and “Best Overall School.” The tallied votes counted as a sixth judge in the final decisions.
This year’s judges were Chris Benz from Bill Blass, Peter Davis from Paper magazine, Daniel Powers from alice + olivia by Stacey Bendet, David Nunes from Gap, and Mary Kate Steinmiller, fashion consultant. Show sponsors Mood Fabrics and M&J Trimmings both provided discounts to the designers, and sponsor Flint Lint Rollers kept the runway models lint-free. In addition to a cash prize, Designow offered consultations to a selection of student designers.
Before the competing designers showed, the 2015 FIT winner, Haley Byfield, Fashion Design ‘17, kicked off the event, showcasing her knitwear specialization with a collection of looks that juxtapose sculptural knit garments with delicate intimate apparel.