FIT Fashion Design MFA Class of 2023 Graduate Collections Presented During New York Fashion Week

NEW YORK, Sept. 14, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — The Fashion Institute of Technology’s (FIT) Fashion Design MFA Class of 2023 presented UNI / VERSAL, a runway show featuring their graduate collections, at Spring Studios during New York Fashion Week. The show debuted 112 looks, with 14 students each presenting an eight-look collection developed prior to their graduation, which took place in May. View the show on the UNI / VERSAL website,

UNI / VERSAL celebrated the limitless creativity, drive, and spirit of the designers as they prepared to launch their careers and help define the future of the fashion industry.

Representing four continents, the designers featured in UNI / VERSAL were as follows: Morgan Cardwell, Vasundhra Dhamija,  Kaylie Haueisen, Youna Jin, Kuai Li, Yitong Lui, Anthony Oyer, Lilach Porges, Catherine Ziyue Tang, Xinyue Maggie Tao, Valeria Watson, Tom Zhendong Wen, Deborah Won, and Luna Zining Ye. Together, the designers developed an artist/creative statement in support of their work:

We believe that what sets our class apart is the diversity we represent in our various backgrounds, styles, and concepts. Yet despite this breadth, we support each other as a unified body. When naming our collective show, we wanted to find a title that represented this symbiosis of people and passions. We decided that the theme UNI/VERSAL (“uni,” derived from the Latin word “unus” meaning  “one,” and “versal,” an archaic term for  “entire” or “whole”) best represents our individuality as well as our cohesiveness. Each of us has a unique creative universe that brings inspiration to all of us. Each collection that you see today is derived from these spaces of self-exploration.

“Presenting the work of our emerging designers during New York Fashion Week was truly inspiring,” said FIT President Joyce F. Brown. “The opportunity to showcase the collections by these talented alums to industry professionals, friends and supporters is invaluable as they begin their careers.  I look forward with great pride to the creative success they will surely achieve.”

“I am so proud of this class’s resilience, determination, and unconventional creativity in their storytelling,” said Dr. Brooke Carlson, interim dean of FIT’s School of Graduate Studies. “This cohort began their studies with COVID-19 still strong and masking required. They graduated with COVID no longer at the epicenter of their lives. As evidenced by their work, it’s clear that they felt unrestrained and well-prepared to succeed in the fashion business, no matter what paths they choose to take.”

“Throughout their two years in the program, these talented 2023 graduates have been guided by a gifted and experienced faculty of creatives and industry professionals that includes award-winning fashion designer and threeASFOUR co-founder Gabi Asfour, among others,” said Cathleen Sheehan, chairperson and professor, Fashion Design MFA program. “We’ve all been impressed by their collaborative spirit and commitment as students and look forward to the positive impact they’ll make as emerging fashion designers.” 

Models’ makeup was provided by New York Makeup Academy; hair was provided by R + Co.

About the Fashion Design MFA Program at FIT

FIT’s Master of Fine Arts in Fashion Design degree program is a creative laboratory where technology, talent, and inspiration intersect in one of the world’s premier fashion capitals. The relentless pace of the fashion system can hinder innovation. At FIT, we slow it down to make room for experimentation, reflection, and artistic growth, and provide insight and education on urgent social issues impacting the fashion landscape. Students graduate with a thesis collection that is uniquely their own.

About the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

A part of the State University of New York (SUNY), FIT has been a leader in career education in art, design, business, and technology throughout its history. Providing over 8,000 students with an uncommon blend of hands-on, practical experience, theory, and a firm grounding in the liberal arts, the college offers a wide range of affordable programs that foster innovation and collaboration. Its distinctive curriculum is geared to today’s rapidly growing creative economy, including fields such as computer animation, toy design, production management, film and media, and cosmetics and fragrance marketing. Internationally renowned, FIT draws on its New York City location to provide a vibrant, creative community in which to learn. The college offers nearly 50 majors and grants AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees, preparing students for professional success and leadership in the new creative economy. Among notable alumni in fashion are Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Norma Kamali, Reem Acra, Brian Atwood, Stephen Burrows, Dennis Basso, Daniel Roseberry, Francisco Costa, Nanette Lepore, Bibhu Mohapatra, Ralph Rucci, John Bartlett, Peter Do, and Michelle Smith. Other prominent graduates include Leslie Blodgett, creator of bareMinerals; international restaurant designer Tony Chi; and Nina Garcia, editor-in-chief of ELLE.

About the School of Graduate Studies

The School of Graduate Studies at FIT provides advanced professional education in seven distinctive areas, promoting excellence in the post-baccalaureate study of fashion, business, art, beauty, and design. The school offers programs leading to the MA, MFA, and MPS degrees, and is dedicated to advancing research in the creative industries and fostering innovative collaborations that link students and faculty with industry and professional partners worldwide. 

Alexandra K. Mann
[email protected]
(212) 217-4722

SOURCE Fashion Institute of Technology

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