Five

Five. It’s a number that seems to be in my life a lot these days. Like right now, it’s 5:00 am and I have Fusion on the brain. I’m sitting here wondering which designers, if any, are still up working on their brilliant designs and…yep, I just got an email from Simone Mudrik from F.I.T.. I knew there had to be at least one. It’s usually Marc Sebastian Faiella from F.I.T. who I have late night Fusion chats with, but I’m thinking the fatigue of so many late nights to get his collection perfect has finally caught up with him.

Five is an important number to Fusion this year. In my last blog, I stated we’d be doing four shows, but it’s now five. I can’t even begin to think about doing five shows, but it’s happening. The designers and Fusion staff are so excited and we are all thrilled to show off this talent to as many people as we can. Space was an issue, but we decided to have almost everyone be able to sit this year, which reduced our occupancy. We had to increase the number of shows to equal the same number of patrons as last year. Tickets will be even harder to come by this year than last. The support we get from the students at both schools is just so amazing. With less people in the auditorium, we want you all to be ever LOUDER! Let us hear who you think should win.

Five is also the number of judges we have and the lineup is blowing my mind. Chris Benz, a dear friend and brilliant talent, has agreed to judge the show. Chris holds a special place in my heart and I could not be happier with his success and spotlight. From the day I met him, I knew he would be one of the great ones, and he is. I also had that feeling when I met Prabal Gurung, another Fusion judge. He’s one of the most genuine, kind, and beautiful visionaries you’ll ever meet. Teen Vogue is on board this year and I’m about to burst at the thought of their presence. So many of us cherish the publication and to have their eyes on the Fusion designers is an honor. Horacio Silva, from the New York Times, is a trailblazer and a man we all respect and admire so much. I can’t wait to meet him. Malan Breton, a former Project Runway designer, is just about one of the nicest people I’ve never met and I’ve heard he’s a fan of the show. I am thrilled to have him participate. To all of our judges, thank you. You’ve ignited many careers by your very presence.

As the show gets closer and closer, I can’t help but feel grateful and honored to produce Fusion. I get to see these young designers come into their own and it is so thrilling to witness. I look back at the feeling I described when I met Chris and Prabal for the first time. We were so young and wide-eyed, living in New York City and going to fashion school. It was a dream and I can honestly say I had the time of my life. They were both in the design program and had it much tougher than I did. When I met them, honestly, from the very second we shook hands, I saw their ambition and talent, I saw their love for beautiful, fresh clothing, and I saw them demanding that their dreams be a reality. I now look back to my first meeting with the designers from this year’s Fusion and my first hand shake or hug with some of them.

I see the same look. I hope you do too.

- Jimmy

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