News & Scoops

2009 April 27

The New Parsons Pack

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Bessie Afnaim Bessie Afnaim
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(NEW YORK) Parsons The New School for Design will hold its annual benefit this Wednesday night, and the school will honor Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa and Tom Murry, as well as this year’s student Icon Award recipient Cathy Horyn. Though those fashion icons will be apparent, the school will also be announcing one of its students as the womenswear Designer of the Year--who, if they follow in the footsteps of past Parsons DoYs Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler, may end up and icon in their own right.

This year’s twelve candidates design everything from lingerie to hats, and are: Bessie Afnaim, a London native with Rick Owens and Donna Karan internships under her belt; Julia Faye Blum, who spent her junior year abroad at Parsons Paris, where she received training in couture corsetry techniques; Virginia “Gigi” Burris, who recently had her millinery work featured in Italian Vogue; Rachel Cohen, a former fine arts student born in Paris; Michelle Copelman, who counts Sonia Rykiel, Moschino, and Armani as her inspirations; Rob Fitzsimmons, who has trained with a tailor in New York for four years; Casey Kresler, whose avant-garde creations were influenced by internships at Nicholas K, Yohji Yamamoto, Vena Cava, Marc by Marc Jacobs, and OAK; Jon Pagels, a 21-year-old whose womenswear collection is based on the novel Brave New World; Shawn Reddy, who’s inspired by conjoined twins and calls Tonne Goodman his fashion icon; Jennifer Rubin, an Indiana native whose first I nternship was working in the clothing restoration department at the Indianapolis Museum of Art; Nanae Takata, who was born in Tokyo and was inspired by the ancient art of traditional Thai massage; and German Anna Zwick, who lists her favorite designers as Martin Margiela, Commes des Garcons, Rodarte, and Viktor & Rolf. The winner will be unveiled on Wednesday night.

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