Representing the creative future

The Parsons MFA 2020 graduates give advice to their student selves

Offering their advice on how to survive fashion school, Parsons MFA Generation 9 makes a case for cautious optimism

It’s not easy to carry the future on your shoulders. That was the burden the ninth generation of the Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program had to bear by graduating in spring 2020, becoming a precedent for navigating the truly unprecedented. Midway through their final semester, the pandemic forced students to suddenly flee the studios, their final collections incomplete. They hastily crammed their toiles into suitcases and headed into lockdown, not knowing the departure would be their diaspora. Nearly a year later, calling from New York, Los Angeles, and Shanghai, from bedrooms and the design studios of Eckhaus Latta and Melitta Baumeister, the alumni of Generation 9 reflect on their thoughts for the post-pandemic future of fashion.

 

You might expect the turbulent conclusion of their studies to have embittered the graduates, but most still have faith in a better tomorrow. Their visions forward look quite different. Qingzi Gao dreams of a techno-futurism where designers make clothes for virtual reality avatars. On the other hand, Chi Yu Han longs for a return to solid garment construction, to craftsmanship over creativity. Karen Heshi espouses a turn to functional fashion where designers become essential workers. The future’s already happening for Jessica Guzman, who feels a micro-utopia around her as friends design for each other rather than just producing to fill orders.

Then again, maybe the future is false, a fantasy to rehearse amid pinpricks, forgotten seam allowances, and tear-jerking critiques. Kaiwen Shi alludes to the cruel irony of students graduating with staggering debt, anticipating jobs that aren’t there. And for the beleaguered graduates who finally do find employment, the future isn’t a belief at all but a dire necessity. As Zhuoran Li and Lily Xu acknowledge, even after six-plus years of school and hundreds of thousands of tuition dollars, fashion is all they know. “I don’t have another skill,” says Li. “I need to continue it.”

The alumni were hesitant to offer guidance to future students. “It’s hard because you don’t want to crush anyone’s dreams,” Xu quips. But they eventually lavished advice with a few common refrains: do your research, motivate yourself, and interrogate your intentions. Ultimately, generations of design students to come will usher in the future of fashion. “Educators should listen to their students,” Guzman says. “We are at the forefront of the conversation.”

What advice do you have for students just starting a fashion course now?

Consider your financial situation to make the right decision on whether you need the course during the pandemic. The industry definitely has fewer working opportunities than before. If students take out so much money to chase their fashion dream but finally find they cannot get back the tuition by working in the industry, it’s very ironic. For those who are already taking online classes at home, I think it’s important to keep your working area different from your resting area. When I was working in my bedroom last year before graduation, I felt it was very difficult to focus on my schoolwork, and I was becoming gloomy after a long time working.

“If students take out so much money to chase their fashion dream but finally find they cannot get back the tuition by working in the industry, it’s very ironic.”

If you could do the MFA all over again, would you? 

If I needed to do it in the pandemic, I would consider it carefully. I think it’s very important to learn from classmates and study in the studio environment. Looking back at the two-year MFA life, I think my classmates and environment helped me make so much progress. Communication and competition were very precious parts of my MFA life, so If I were going to taking online classes, I guess I would lose the chance to experience them as well as before. If I could do the MFA in the old days when COVID didn’t exist, I would like to do it. It did help me grow into someone I wanted to be.

Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook
Fashion design MFA graduate Kaiwen Shi's design development and lookbook

“Schools need to consider lowering their tuition fees if they’re going to be online because it does affect the quality of education. “

How should fashion education change to meet a post-pandemic world? 

Schools need to consider lowering their tuition fees if they’re going to be online because it does affect the quality of education. And it’s important that schools give more support to students with press and their careers after graduation.

 

Do you still believe in the future of fashion?

There are still some sparkles in the fashion industry. I can see so many designers showing creativity during the pandemic. I notice brands are using more interdisciplinary ways to promote their products. I believe fashion will recover in the future, and it will look different from the old fashion world. It will be a more comprehensive industry.

What advice do you have for students just starting a fashion course now?

Be really intentional with what you want to get out of the course. Now more than ever, we all need to look inward and think, “What do we value? What do we want to get out of institutions and out of education?” Being within a classroom context, you often get confused. You’re seeing other people’s work and want yours to be just as good, so it can deviate from what your initial intention was. And it’s okay for that intention to evolve, but particularly since everyone is online and you’re not being exposed to other students, this is an important time to look inward. At the end of the day, the institution is there to help you, and often when we’re inside of it we don’t realize it. We’re just trying to get by.

“Be really intentional with what you want to get out of the course. “

If you could do the MFA all over again, would you? 

I would definitely do the MFA over again because I grew so much at actually understanding what part of fashion I wanted to work in. I was kind of stuck trying to decide whether to pursue my own visual language, which may have not given me a job within a high-end fashion network or job in New York. But I made the decision that I was going to pursue the techniques and the styles that I just wanted to do. And I think I wouldn’t have had that moment if I hadn’t had space and time to think about it. If I didn’t do the MFA, I would probably be going down a more traditional path post-fashion school. And I would not be so demanding and sure of myself.

“There is so much fashion, so much waste, and overconsumption—unless there’s real intention, I don’t think there is any need for more fashion.”

Parsons MFA 2020 Jessica Guzman fashion design process
Jessica Guzman's design development
Parsons MFA 2020 Jessica Guzman fashion design process
Parsons MFA 2020 Jessica Guzman fashion design process
Parsons MFA 2020 Jessica Guzman fashion design process
Parsons MFA 2020 Jessica Guzman fashion design process
Parsons MFA 2020 Jessica Guzman fashion design process
Parsons MFA 2020 Jessica Guzman fashion design process
Parsons MFA 2020 Jessica Guzman fashion design process
Parsons MFA 2020 Jessica Guzman fashion design process
Parsons MFA 2020 Jessica Guzman fashion design process
Parsons MFA 2020 Jessica Guzman fashion design process

“There is so much fashion, so much waste, and overconsumption—unless there’s real intention, I don’t think there is any need for more fashion.”

How should fashion education change to meet a post-pandemic world?

As young people in the world, we are the most radical. We haven’t gotten used to the mechanisms of the fashion system. We are at the forefront of the conversation, and educators should listen to their students and facilitate. As the younger generation and the undergraduate students finish their degrees, they’re going to be the most radical. Students should be more critical of their peers in regard to why the work exists. There is so much fashion, so much waste, and overconsumption—unless there’s real intention, I don’t think there is any need for more fashion. In a safe space where you can be critical to your peers and educators can be critical to students, I think fashion can become more intentional, particularly post-COVID.

 

Do you still believe in the future of fashion?

I totally believe in the future of fashion. Maybe I believe in it more than I did before COVID. I’ve really found a nice space where I am more comfortable with fashion than I’ve ever been. Creating intimate pieces or small runs of clothes for your friends: maybe that’s the way we can consume. There is definitely a future of fashion that isn’t so concentrated on giant fashion business. This is an opportunity for small ecologies. This time of reflection that everyone has undergone will have intense ramifications for the rest of our lives. Even within my small community, everyone is asking, “How can I improve? What decisions can I make? How do they affect other people?” Small steps. If we work in better frameworks within our smaller communities, then that will have a big effect eventually.

Do you still believe in the future?

What advice do you have for students just starting a fashion course now?

Pick the right teachers, because they are going to guide you to their perspective of thinking. I’ve met a lot of friends who have the wrong teachers, and they try to suppress their design and their way of thinking, and it’s really sad. So research your teachers to see if they’re right for you.

 

If you could do the MFA all over again, would you?

I would because my program directors, Shelley and JOFF, really helped push me to find my identity, which I didn’t discover when I was in the BA. I was so busy trying everything out then, and the MFA was the right place for me to find out what’s next. I knew how to design a shirt, I knew how to do a dress, but who am I as a designer? There are always reasons why you like certain things, but in my BA I felt like there was no questioning of why I wanted to put something in my design. In the MFA, I realized I had to think about why. It’s much deeper thinking: to find a purpose of who you are as a designer.

Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Karen Heshi's design development and lookbook shoot
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi's work space
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi toiles
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi fittings
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development
Parsons MFA graduate Karen Heshi design development

How should fashion education change to meet a post-pandemic world? 

Fashion design online is so difficult. Fashion education has to consider something that you’re able to do digitally. For graphic designers, all they need is a laptop, and they can send the files to a teacher and they will be able to see it. Maybe they used to work hands-on, but now they’re changing to electronic. What about fashion students? We are still working the same way we were years ago. Fashion never changed. It’s a huge question because we use so many industrial machines. It’s hard to translate that online.

“I do believe in the future of fashion. One day people are going to create for a purpose.”

Do you still believe in the future of fashion?

I do believe in the future of fashion. One day people are going to create for a purpose. During the pandemic, everyone puts safety first. There are essential workers that help people, people working upfront like nurses and doctors. Instead of creating beautiful dresses, what can we do to help the world? We should also be like essential workers. But in order for us to do that, we have to make things that are helping people, not just for sale.

What advice do you have for students just starting a fashion course now? 

Definitely, do your research, see what you think would best fit what you want to achieve of going out of school. Really question why you want to go to school rather than just go because that’s supposedly what you’re supposed to do. There are so many other ways to achieve what you want, whether that’s building up experience in the industry first and understanding what you want to pursue more, or whatever it is.

“Fashion education should try to be more flexible and not necessarily prescribe one right way to be doing things.”

If you could do the MFA all over again, would you?

I don’t regret it. Everyone has to go through their own experiences to find their way. Because of that, I’m glad I went through it. If I was a little bit younger, maybe I would have chosen a different course. I don’t love fashion, it’s just something I gravitated towards. I literally do not know what else I would do other than fashion.

How should fashion education change to meet a post-pandemic world?

Fashion education should try to be more flexible and not necessarily prescribe one right way to be doing things.

 

Do you still believe in the future of fashion?

Despite all of fashion’s many, many inherent problems, it’s not an industry that’s going away. But I’m somewhat hopeful. So many young people still aspire to be fashion designers. And in that way change can possibly happen even though it seems very unlikely or hard to achieve.

What advice do you have for students just starting a fashion course now?

I would say to not start it now. All the fashion degrees, bachelor’s or master’s, are super expensive, and it’s not worth it to pay that amount of tuition to do just online courses. I would postpone study for a year or two. Try to find a job or do your own stuff.

 

If you could do the MFA all over again, would you?

I still value the MFA a lot. The program and our directors definitely helped me know who I am and how to transform that into my design identity. But after I started working, I realized that the MFA was also developing other skillsets at the same time. It’s unconsciously training your eye to see what is good and what is not good, how to process collections or certain designs in an effective way, how you can handle stress, how you can multitask, and how you can generate designs in an efficient way. You think the MFA is only about developing your personal identity, but it’s more. You just were not aware of that when you were in it.

Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Chi Han's final looks and design process
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program
Parsons MFA Fashion Design and Society program

How should fashion education change to meet a post-pandemic world?

Before the pandemic, I never questioned the physicality of fashion. Fashion is unique in this way, and it became pronounced after the pandemic. You have to make clothes by yourself. Your teacher has to see the real thing in front of their eye so they can teach you properly. And I was never aware of this is such a special and outdated way of studying and teaching. Without a physical class, we can’t do anything. It’s kind of ridiculous. Fashion should always be looking forward, but it’s actually not. We work in a very old-fashioned and clichéd way. On one hand I kind of question this clichéd physicality, but on the other hand, I appreciate it.

 “If everyone is creative, that means creativity will become not creative anymore. If designers can really take some time to focus on how to sew a line, how to construct a garment, that would be a bright future for fashion.”

Do you still believe in the future of fashion? 

I don’t know. Now that we have Instagram, we can get access to resources or look at new stuff very easily. Sometimes we forget how to cherish it.  We just try to think of new things all the time. Sometimes it’s very important to slow down and look at what has been created, and maybe just spend some time to learn how to make a proper dress. That’s so important. There are so many designers, creative directors, who have very forward-thinking visions but don’t know how to make a dress. For me, it’s ridiculous. Maybe that’s a very narrow perception. But if you want to be a designer, you have to know how to make things. Nowadays, creativity comes all the time, so it’s no longer precious. If everyone is creative, that means creativity will become not creative anymore. If designers can really take some time to focus on how to sew a line, how to construct a garment, that would be a bright future for fashion.

 

What advice do you have for students just starting a fashion course now? 

Online courses are really different from the original, physical way. For half of the last semester, we did online Zoom tutorials with the professors. I think it’s really hard because you don’t have a physical model. I would recommend interning a little bit or going to the industry to see what it looks like. When you’re back in school, you’ll learn more and take more from the education.

 

If you could do the MFA all over again, would you?

When I applied for my MFA, I was just graduating from my BA. Thinking back, if I got the chance, I would probably do one year working or interning in the industry, and then go to the MFA. I think I would learn more. But it was a great experience anyway. It’s training you to find your own way to design stuff.

 

How should fashion education change to meet a post-pandemic world?

More chances to connect with the industry, to have interactions, and work on projects together. After students graduate, they will understand much deeper how the industry works so it’s much easier to find a job. At school the projects are great, but still really personal. You own your story, that’s great, but if there are more connections between students and the industry, it will be more efficient for those graduating.

 

Do you still believe in the future of fashion? 

I do believe in that. Fashion was so fast-paced and now this pandemic has made people slow down. Our lifestyles are changed. People don’t need to meet physically, they all use Zoom. People don’t need to dress up that much. And that pushes us to rethink fashion for the future and how this is connected to our lifestyles, how fashion can make people feel comfortable about themselves. I still believe that. Also for production, there are new technologies going into the process. Some of my friends use CLO, this 3D garment software. It reduces the time to send samples overseas to the factory in China or wherever. There are so many new things going on.

 

Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process
Shuxan Li's looks, research and process
Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process
Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process
Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process
Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process
Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process
Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process
Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process
Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process
Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process
Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process
Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process
Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process
Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process
Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process
Parsons fashion design MFA Shuxan Li's process

What advice do you have for students just starting a fashion course now?

You really need to have a full obsession with fashion. You need to be passionate about it; otherwise, you will be really unhappy and hit a wall. You need to have the ability to learn skills by yourself. Sometimes the teachers can’t teach you face to face, so you’ll need to learn all these skills by yourself. You could watch a video on YouTube or ask some classmates. That kind of learning is also very important.

“Sometimes the teachers can’t teach you face to face, so you’ll need to learn all these skills by yourself. You could watch a video on YouTube or ask some classmates. That kind of learning is also very important.”

If you could do the MFA all over again, would you?

My first answer is no, but in another second, maybe yes. Lots of people will say we’re really unlucky to not have the chance to go through New York Fashion Week, that we lost a lot of opportunities, but our generation is very tough. We have our own solutions. It’s a really good challenge in our lives to go through this kind of thing. Now we know the reality of this society and we really need to fit in the fashion industry, to find our own opportunities.

 

Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Zhuoran Li's design development and lookbook
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Zhuoran Li's development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development
Parsons MFA fashion design, Zhuoran Li design development

How should fashion education change to meet a post-pandemic world?

We need to be more open. I know from the first-year students that Shelley and JOFF will let them do everything now. It’s not only about garments—the final outcome could be an art piece, a fabric you developed, or something else. And I think it’s a really good chance for them to do this kind of thing. We need to have perfect quality garments, but we also need to have really solid ideas behind that. They are both very important for fashion.

“In the future maybe I will work three or five or ten years and then I will change to another field. Maybe not. I have already learned fashion for six years. It’s a long time, and I don’t have another skill. I need to continue it.”

Do you still believe in the future of fashion?

Yes, since I still do fashion now. I’m in an assistant designer role. But sometimes I still question lots of things about fashion business. Why do they need to think about the customer? Why do they need to think about whether the product will sell a lot? It’s a design and it’s a product. The meaning of the product is it needs to sell. I don’t really agree with that. I don’t know, in the future maybe I will work three or five or ten years and then I will change to another field. Maybe not. I have already learned fashion for six years. It’s a long time, and I don’t have another skill. I need to continue it.

What advice do you have for students just starting a fashion course now?

For those who are already in the program taking online courses now, they need to continue and focus on the projects they are doing, trying not to be affected by the situation, trying to be self-motivated. Before when you were in school physically, the courses were so intense, but now online you have more free time and you can try new things. I started learning 3D modeling on Zbrush and Maya through online courses. That helped me rethink what I’m going to do with my collections in the future. New skills could help you focus on your own projects and bring new elements to your designs. Try to stay positive.

“For those who are already in the program taking online courses now, they need to continue and focus on the projects they are doing now, trying not to be affected by the situation, trying to be self-motivated. “

If you could do the MFA all over again, would you?

I would do it. The MFA program really helped me a lot. They are always pushing us to dig into our personalities and our aesthetics, like why I should be a designer and what I should design. I also learned how to communicate. I took my bachelor’s degree in Hong Kong. At that time I was really shy. When I came here, I did a lot of presentations and learned how to introduce my work to others. This program really helped me with how to be a designer and how to talk through my work.

 

Parsons MFA Fashion Design Qinzi Gao
Qingzi Gao's final collection lookbook
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao
Parsons MFA Fashion Design graduate Qinzi Gao

How should fashion education change to meet a post-pandemic world? 

Before the pandemic, the way of presenting our collections was only the runway show. But now during the pandemic, there are multiple ways of presenting our work. So maybe every student can choose their own mode. Like music, or Balenciaga did a game, I think that’s really interesting too. So in a way, we’re still creating collections but the collection is not so concrete. We’re creating objects or accessories or even videos. But it’s what we want to express to the world.

 

Do you still believe in the future of fashion?

I’m really into the VR world now. I have an Oculus in my home, and I really appreciate playing with it. That’s also the reason why I started learning 3D modeling because I really want to turn my designs into the digital version. In the future, fashion people will wear VR glasses and jump into the virtual world. The luxury stores will be there and people will pay for clothes for the virtual figure, not for themselves. They can choose comfortable clothes at home, but in the virtual world, they can be on a runway or something. I’m excited about the future if that happens.

What advice do you have for students just starting a fashion course now? 

Just to stay positive, I guess. Really consider what you want to do in the future. Even though the whole industry seems to be functioning in a very similar way, things are a lot more difficult now. So we have to really ask ourselves what it is that we want and think about other ways to achieve it.

 

If you could do the MFA all over again, would you?

Given the chance to start right now, maybe due to global circumstances I would be less convinced. A lot of my motivations for the MFA—wanting to work overseas and all that stuff—would definitely be put on hold just because of the whole pandemic situation. That being said, I’m sure that the people who are still doing the MFA now will still get a lot out of it.

Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Sarah Lim's sketchbooks
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim
Parsons MFA Fashion design graduate Sarah Lim

“If you can come out of it and think, ‘I still want to make, I still want to create,’ that is the biggest gift of all.”

How should fashion education change to meet a post-pandemic world?

It would be cool to be more specialized. If your desire for getting an MFA is to work in a company, you should be asking from your education how you can get the skills to work in these companies. Or if you want to start your own label, it would be helpful to have information about that. We had a very good education from the program. There are some really good initiatives in the MFA like Professional Practice, learning how to communicate your ideas clearly depending on what situation you’re in, whether that’s giving an interview for a job or a magazine. But navigating life after school is really difficult. I feel fortunate that during the MFA I got to intern and got experience working in a company. Now I’m learning about how to make my own label happen. But no one really gives you guidance about that unless you really seek it out at the time.

 

Do you still believe in the future of fashion?

Yeah, for sure. It’s so easy to come out of school jaded and be like, “What’s the point?,” or, “Life is so hard right now, and it’s so disappointing.” And all of these things are valid, but if you can come out of it and think, “I still want to make, I still want to create,” that is the biggest gift of all. Why do we even make clothes? So that we can share them with others. I think that’s the future of fashion. Collaboration, community, that kind of stuff.

1 Granary

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With unprecedented honesty and depth, 1 Granary Issue 6 dives into the work and lives of fashion designers today. As a response to the construction of desire and personality cults that govern our industry, the magazine steps away from the conventional profiles and editorials, focussing instead on raw work and anonymous, unfiltered testimonies. For the first time ever, readers are given a truthful insight into the process, dreams, fears, hardships, and struggles of today’s creatives.

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