Looking at Bryan Barrientos’s designs, you can’t help but be instantly happy. Voluminous dresses and skirts, all in the pastel colors of sherbet, are smile-inducing. So it was when his looks came down the runway in the 2022 Supima Design Competition during New York Fashion Week, where Bryan was won of eight finalists.
But there is more to the looks than meets the eye. For his Supima collection, Barrientos, 34, from Paterson, N.J., was heavily influenced by his culture, focusing on the artisanal practices of the Peruvian highlands. Barrientos sought to tell a story with messages and symbolism through the manipulation of fabrics, silhouette shaping, and experimentation in creating volume.
“My concept for the Supima collection comes from artisanal practices and storytelling inspired by my culture first-hand,” Barrientos said. “Also my friends, listening to what they go through, and the news, really inspires me to make a difference in the world.”
Barrientos, currently in his first year of FIT’s Fashion Design MFA program, is also a graduate of FIT’s Fashion Design BFA program, with a specialization in Special Occasion. With no prior training in fashion, Barrientos enrolled in FIT to further his education in art and fashion.
The 2022 Supima Design Competition featured students from Academy of Art University, Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Kent State University, Rhode Island School of Design, Drexel University, and Parsons School of Design. This year’s winning designs were by Taku Yhim of Parsons School of Design.