Empowering Imagination!

This is where talent prevails and education cements its potential. Young designers need opportunities in order to unfold their magic and stun the world. For that matter initiatives such as the following are super necessary! Parsons The New School for Design, The Fancy, and PPR have announced the winners of “Empowering Imagination.” In July, five 2012 Parsons BFA Fashion Design graduates had their thesis collections showcased on The Fancy, an innovative online platform at the intersection of blog, magazine, and image-based social media. Visitors to The Fancy voted on their favorites, and now the winning designs—one ready-to-wear and one accessories collection—are in: Jin Kay in the ready-to-wear category, and Melanie Seligman for accessories. Kay and Seligman will have their work showcased during New York Fashion Week at the iconic Barneys New York on Madison Avenue, in the 8th Floor Co-op from September 3 through 16.

“Jin and Melanie both embody the best of Parsons The New School for Design. We are thrilled Fancy’s users chose the top two emerging designers who truly embody PPR’s “Empowering Imagination” theme. We are confident their internship experience at our brands will greatly strengthen their talents and solidify them as the next up and coming designers”, said Laurent Claquin, Head of PPR Americas. PPR will also offer internships for Kay and Seligman with one of its 16 luxury and sport & lifestyle brands.

Jin Kay’s womenswear collection explores the contrasting definitions of beauty in the East and West—that which is hidden, quiet and mysterious compared to that which is exposed and revealed. Lightweight fabrics such as organza and chiffon are contrasted with heavy fabrics such as wool, polyester and synthetic leather for an interesting play of light and shadow.

Melanie Seligman produced a collection inspired by orthopedic prosthetics used to rebuild damaged bone and cartilage, which are primarily made from chrome colbalt, one of the hardest metals in the world. Her intent was to take something used inside the body, and showcase it as piece of fashion. These pieces, which also are fabricated of leather and Plexiglas, are still used for support, but in a very different way than originally intended.

“Students like Jin and Melanie exemplify the level of excellence our students achieve in their graduating collections,” says Simon Collins, Dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons. “Their work comes from very different perspectives, but are brought together by a forward-thinking approach that makes them extremely appealing. You may never have seen anything like them before, but suddenly you can’t imagine living without them.”

The competition, based on PPR’s defining theme, “Empowering Imagination,” engaged 2012 graduates of the Parsons BFA Fashion Design program. Parsons selected twenty candidates, who last month presented their graduating thesis collections to a panel of fashion industry insiders, which chose five finalists showcased on The Fancy.

“Fancy’s users have come to expect the highest level of fashion on our site and the work of these Parsons students is no exception. Melanie and Jin have proven to these devotees of amazing design that their talent and imagination are ripe with possibility,” said Joseph Einhorn, founder of The “We look forward to seeing their skills honed and their careers blossom after their PPR brand internship.”

For more information on the winning collections and the finalists, visit the Parsons School of Fashion blog, Parsons 560.

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