Twelve young, super-talented designers from the Art Institute of New York City created everything from stage costumes to very wearable street fashions. In this season’s collections, clothes were very futuristic.
Gita Omri pursued her dream of becoming a fashion designer only after serving in the Israeli Air Force. She wants to spark the imagination of those who see her collection, which she has named “74.” Previously, she interned at Aviva Embroideries, working on bridal wear. A 2012 graduate from the Art Institute, she is currently in London continuing her fashion education at Central Saint Martins.
Mariana Lopez is a past winner of the Art Institute’s Passion for Fashion Competition for high school seniors. She recently accepted a position with designer Elie Tahari, and she is serious about designing for the independent woman of today. A 2012 graduate of the Art Institute, Lopez named her collection “Cinque Terre,” which captures the freshness of summer and the vibrancy of the colors and landscapes of the Italian Riviera.
Current student Mark Walters stepped into the fashion world as a model in high school, but then decided to be the creativity behind the designs. The first time he used a sewing machine was when he came to the Art Institute. In his collection, the look is bold and beautiful.
Simply stated, designer Jet Black’s collection is all about leather. His collection is called “The Skin You Are In.” Jet Black has interned for Usher Levine, where he produced and was the music DJ for both the fall/winter 2012 and spring/summer 2013 shows. Another 2012 graduate, Jet Black’s collection is a love story where music producer meets fashion designer.
Isaiah Isaac considers himself to be a minimalist who is fascinated by complexities. Also a 2012 graduate, his looks are exciting. Basically, it’s a streamlined and contemporary resort collection themed “La Playa.”
Nelson Tavarez has been intrigued by fashion design for as long as he can remember. His inspiration comes from his childhood memories of church. “Within Shadows,” his collection, is modern and colorful.
Luisina Victoria has a passion for all things young and contemporary. This Dominican designer debuted her collection “Candy Land.” Sweet on design, this in 2012 graduate is following the footsteps of her mother, who is also a fashion designer. However, Victoria is developing her own legacy that’s modern and fresh.
For Jeri-Lee Prescod-Alexander, fashion just runs in the family. Her grandmother was the neighborhood seamstress, and her grandfather was a cobbler. Originally from Trinidad, the 2012 graduate has a strong affinity for African print and textiles. “My design aesthetic is easy, but individualistic,” said Prescod-Alexander. She called her collection “The Ruins,” and it was designed for the fashion-forward traveler.
Wendy Calderon is inspired by her natural surroundings and social context, including her relationship with two different cultures: American and Latin American. She showed how she sells seashells at this fashion show with her “Seashells & Corals” collection.
Joshuan Aponte is only a third-quarter student designer at the Art Institute. Aponte describes his collection as “the love child of Alexander McQueen and Carolina Herrera.” His favorite garment to create? Think structured bodices and couture gowns. He called his collection “A Mort Dore.”
The Art Institute is the leading institution for career preparation in graphic design, web design and interactive media, digital filmmaking, fashion design and interior design. Located in Soho/Tribeca, the Art Institute is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.