The Parson’s School of Design Showed Off It’s Best Designers on “The People’s Runway”
If you think about it, New York’s 5th Avenue has always served as somewhat of an unofficial runway for the residents of this fashionable, unsleeping city. So, when the Parsons School of Design decided to turn it into an official catwalk to celebrate its graduating class, it simply felt like a natural evolution of something that was always meant to be. Naming it “The People’s Runway” for the event, it welcomed anyone and everyone from the streets of New York to the elite group of celebrities who stop by to soak in all the latest names in the budding fashion design world.
Inclusivity and diversity were a major focus at this years’ event, where students were allowed to exhibit the garments they wanted, on the models they wanted, thus offering an inclusive spectrum across all fashion genres, one that truly emphasized and celebrated the multicultural roots of New York City. Naturally, this catwalk also reflected our current, cultural narrative, with many designers tackling important subjects such as the unsustainability of fast fashion, America’s war on women and race, and the #metoo movement.
Two of the most notable participants at this years’ events were designers Jaadi Nogueira Fonseca, originally from Sao Paolo, Brazil, and, Jacques Agbobly, who relocated to Chicago from Togo, in 2007. Agbobly received the CFDA Scholarship Award for his incredible collection “An Ode To”, inspired by his move from Africa to America, and the strong women that have shaped his life. This collection is guaranteed to make the wearer feel the “black experience”. Fonseca’s approach to her collection is based on the reimagination of value systems, which she continues discussing on her Instagram account.
It is events as such that remind us of the ongoing work fashion designers are doing to change the industry’s narrative and highlight important issues through creativity and thoughtful design.
Photo Credit: Cooper Hewitt