Grace Insogna

F.I.T. Sophomore

Hometown: Greenwich, New York

Age: 24


What is fashion to you? Garments are living, breathing things. They communicate unspoken messages. They can protect the warmth of the human body below them or they expose it. A piece of clothing can be functional or it can be decorative or wildly impractical. The rules of modern fashion are blurring into something new, and being a part of it is exhilarating.

Fusion Collection: My collection is composed of many structural pieces in a non-saturated palette of blacks, greys, and whites with a bright pop of color. Each garment is meant to be layered, mixed and matched, combined to create a new wardrobe. It’s representative of the life in a bustling metropolis like New York, the startling expanse of concrete, geometric forms in architecture, with some harsh unexpected edges. The collection is titled ‘cit·y·scape.’

What does Fusion mean to you? It feels like Fusion has been a rite of passage for so many talented designers. To be a part of that legacy is an honor. Fusion is a platform for all of us to realize not only our collections, but ourselves.

Maximilian Kostaras

F.I.T. Menswear

Hometown: Astoria, New York

Age: 24


What is fashion to you? Fashion is the expressionless form of expression. It is both innate and proactive; relevant to all, no matter how “interested” in it you are. It is our first form of interaction with our surroundings, from the weather conditions to first impressions. It facilitates and dictates the way the world interacts with us and vice versa. It is still strange to me how I never realized just how much I cared about fashion and how important it really is in everyday life.

Fusion Collection: “Meditations on Duality” – My collection is a meditation on the inconsistency of form and formation. I look around and see the amorphous nature of everything, of people, of structures, of nature and of relationships: a building is permeable but cannot be overcome, a river connecting north to south but dividing east and west, a man who loves his wife more than anything but cannot overcome his lustful desires. All things in the world can act or perform as something completely contrary to its nature and that is what keeps life so complicated and interesting.

My collection hides, reconfigures and releases rope and fabric to reflect the inconsistencies of the universe. It builds volume with a material known for formlessness and softness. It allows the material to play as it naturally intends to and uses it as the skeleton of things far greater that them alone. The color palette reflects the wondrous nature of this meditation as well as the alienation it reveals. Deep green is wonder and new insights, black is melancholia, and blue is alienation, loneliness and beauty.

What does Fusion mean to you? I see Fusion as an important steppingstone in my path to becoming a professional designer. It is my first opportunity to showcase my designs in a runway format. I am wracked with nerves about the show, but I am even more excited for it. Fusion is also a way to become a part of a legacy/family and to develop close friendships with some of the best and brightest new designers, the type that make you want to push yourself to get better and better. I truly appreciate being in their company and being their competition.

Kaitlin Shearer

F.I.T. Sophomore

Hometown: Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania

Age: 21


What is fashion to you? Fashion is something that I have truthfully had a love/hate relationship with. I could easily tell you about how I knew I was destined to be a designer from the age of 5, but more important is my struggle with design. Last year, I found myself working so hard that I was questioning if design was the only option for me.

As most people in this industry know, fashion design is not easy by any means. I pushed and pushed through the hardest semester, continued to hone my skills over summer break, and couldn’t be more eager and inspired to start my professional career as a fashion designer.

Fusion Collection: My collection, “HEX”, is my personal take on creepy Amish inspired fashion utilizing a mostly neutral color palette with emphasis on texture. I have actually lived among a large Amish community for about 12 years in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and have resented it until I recently discovered the beauty in such a rural place. I have drawn inspiration from Amish garments, architecture, and lifestyle.

What does Fusion mean to you? I view Fusion as an invaluable experience for young designers. I think that participating in Fusion would give me the edge I need when applying for jobs, the confidence of knowing my work is appreciated by more than just my friends and parents, and the experience of creating a five look collection from scratch, all by myself.

Sylwia Kotowska

F.I.T. Junior

Hometown: Garfield, New Jersey

Age: 20


What is fashion to you? To me, and many others, fashion is something that allows you to showcase yourself. It does not define a person, but it lets you show off your personality and your own personal quirks. You can be as comfortable or as extravagant as you want, the beauty of fashion is that it does not limit you.

Fusion Collection: My collection is called Rime. I have designed a Fall/Winter collection reminiscent of a cold winter night. My inspiration is mostly seen through my choice of fabrics, which I really wanted to play with the different textures that come out during the colder seasons. Rime is the frost formed on cold objects by raping freezing water vapor, which through the silvery fabrics gives a chilling feeling. Adding the navy and mohair gives my collection that warm feeling of cuddling up in a blanket on a cold December night.

What does Fusion mean to you? Fusion is the opportunity of a lifetime, a challenge that I have been waiting a long time for. It is truly an experience that allows you to push yourself and see if you have what it takes to be in the wonderful world of fashion, while making great friends and having fun all at the same time.

Suyeon Kim

F.I.T. Junior

Hometown: Busan, South Korea

Age: 24


What is fashion to you? Fashion is daily life. It is what you wear and how you present yourself to the world.

Fusion Collection: “Love In The Ice” is inspired by glaciers. It consists of sportswear and eveningwear in a feminine and chic style with unique constructions.

What does Fusion mean to you? Fusion is the most attractive opportunity motivating my personal ambition and creativity.

Kyle Seongmin Jun

F.I.T. Sophomore

Hometown: Flushing, New York

Age: 21


What is fashion to you? Fashion is one of my ways to express my thoughts and feelings.

Fusion Collection: “Parachute” – Through my Collection I tried to convey how I felt. There were too many things to sacrifice in order to reach my goal. I had to fight with myself. As I was stepping forward, I realized I was walking away from my family, friends, and those who I loved. It was too late to walk back since I already had lost too many things. Of course, I’ll be kept falling, but I’ll open my parachute and land where I want.

What does Fusion mean to you? Fusion is a good opportunity to prove to myself that I am a designer and a great chance to share my thoughts.

Enoch Park

F.I.T. Junior

Hometown: Seoul, Korea

Age: 23


What is fashion to you? Fashion is an expression. There are many forms of expressing yourself; however, I believe fashion is the most beautiful and powerful one among them.

Fusion Collection: “Forbidden” – A nun is a human and I believe that no one is ever perfect. She is supposed to keep away from all the temptation and greed from the world; however, I have focused on the point in which she can be actually carried away by desires that are considered “forbidden” to her. The entire collection depicts the prohibited human nature and desire as well as the connecting link on her reasons for being and the restriction she has.

What does Fusion mean to you? Fusion is a great opportunity to show my work to the world as well as introduce me as a designer.

Yanxuan Cher Li

F.I.T. Sophomore

Hometown: Shanghai, China

Age: 24


What is fashion to you? Fashion is using techniques and textures to create a visual art on the human body in order to convey an idea or a concept.

Fusion Collection: I entitled my collection “Blooming Peony”. My collection concentrates on mixture: hardness mixed with softness, romantics mixed with strengths, structures mixed with drapery. My collection clearly shows my characteristics, hardness mixed with softness. People usually recognize my designs immediately.

My collection has a strong reflection on my own personality and characteristics of me, where I am independent and softhearted. It emphasizes fabric mixtures, blending hardness with softness, and at first glance you can tell this was designed by me.

What does Fusion mean to you? Fusion is a stage where I can appreciate my design from a certain distance. I know design changes from drawing on paper to being sewn to putting it on the model to eventually showing my models on the runway with the music and lights. I would like to explore the relations of these different steps and Fusion is a perfect place for me to find my answers.

Lindsay Frimodt

F.I.T. Freshman

Hometown: Sacramento, California

Age: 34


What is fashion to you? Blood, sweat, tears.

Fusion Collection: I have designed an all leather Ready-To-Wear collection. I am an accessories major, so naturally I love working with leather and wanted to incorporate the techniques that I’ve learned from working with leather and hardware to create a collection. My collection is inspired from my trek up Mount Kilimanjaro. When you climb Mount Kilimanjaro, you trek through 5 different climate zones.

My five-look collection will take you on a journey through each of those climates. The title of my collection is called “Full Circle” because of the full moon on my first night on Mount Kilimanjaro and because my life has just come full circle in creating my first collection.

What does Fusion mean to you? A New Chapter.

Jazzy Ervins

F.I.T. 1-year A.A.S. Fashion Design

Hometown: Ashburn, Virginia

Age: 23


What is fashion to you? Fashion is subjective. It’s a symbol of art and expression.

Fusion collection: “Jewels of the Future” – I became inspired by a photo of a beautiful African woman wearing loads of jewelry. There was something so unique in how the jewelry was layered around her face and the different types she wore. I decided I wanted to mix this style of draped jewelry with my take on a futuristic look.

What does Fusion mean to you? I think Fusion is such a great opportunity for students to really push themselves and create an intriguing show. We get to experience this dream of designing a collection for the public to view. I am so thankful to be a part of this show and the Fusion family.

Romy Conrad

F.I.T. Sophomore

Hometown: Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey

Age: 20


What is fashion to you? My first runway show was on the stage of my elementary school for the Fifth Grade Talent Show. I created four looks with my 1986 Singer sewing machine, which I had received for my 10th birthday. Four of my friends were kind enough to be my models. From the start, fashion has been my purpose. It is what separated me from everyone else. Going through school, I was always the fashion girl. I was chopping up my clothes since I could grip my first pair of Fiskars scissors. Now, I’m finally at F.I.T. pursuing what I love and what has been my rock my entire life. I live and breathe fashion.

Fusion Collection: Photosynthesis – My collection combines things I love: fashion, photography and Mother Nature. I plan to print original photographs that I took over the summer on silk charmeuse and create fluidly flowing garments. The photos tell a story, as they are all of the same flower plant changing throughout the course of the summer. The collection is all about change. It changes from day to eveningwear as the flower on the fabric changes.

What does Fusion mean to you? Fusion is an opportunity. It is giving me the chance to showcase my work on the runway for thousands of people. It means I am being given a chance to show myself and others what I am capable of. It is a competition. It means I am going to be working with people while still competing with them. It means I am getting a taste of the fashion industry. And still, it means so much more.

Sylvie V. Rood

F.I.T. Junior

Hometown: Brooklyn, New York

Age: 25


What is fashion to you? Fashion is a form of art that uses the human body as a canvas and through elements of movement, architectural construction, concept, and perception, creates a statement by the individual about who they are.

Fusion Collection: “Lace Up and Unravel” is a mini collection inspired by the idea that people place protective armor over true emotions, worries, and doubts to shield themselves from the world and to create an alternative perception. Elements of corsetry intertwined with geometric shapes and unconventional structured materials make up the protective shell of the collection.

These features symbolize an armor-like appearance that may hide the real emotions underneath. Corsetry is broken down and used in a sportswear-like manner to show historical representations of how the female body was manipulated to appease the desired look of the era. Here, it is an expression of power and ownership.

Hand painted stretch fabric represents the elements that a person might try and hide on a daily basis: insecurities, truth, inner thoughts and doubts. The dripping and melting paint represents this self-exploration. One may seem to have everything together and figured out when really they are quietly going insane inside…so Lace Up and Unravel.

What does Fusion mean to you? Fusion as a noun means the combination of different elements that results in a single product. Fusion in fashion means joining varying concepts and techniques to achieve the desired look in a new and innovative way.

The Fusion Fashion Show means that a group of talented individuals with completely different aesthetics, likes, and dislikes can come together in friendly competition to produce a show that highlights all looks to the best of their abilities.

Laurel Yau

F.I.T. Sophomore

Gainesville, Florida

Age: 19


What is fashion to you? Fashion is a blank canvas formed and modeled with need for self-expression and identity. Fashion is a global industry, but also a deeply personal form of cultural and self-expression. It is so much more than just clothing, it is our heartbeat represented on the outside, our psychology shown in fabric, texture, and shape.

Fusion Collection: The collection “Dawning,” is an interpretation of inspiration’s role in breaking down creative inhibitions. Expressed through trailing silks endlessly cascading from the body, vibrant dyes seeping out of seams and crevices, and heavy black moire and wool, the clashing shapes and colors embody the internal struggle to form a full identity without restraint or fear. Inspiration by working around and through these barriers unleashes innate creativity, a force that can make any challenge surmountable.

The art of couture eveningwear has always been a great source of inspiration for me because of the construction and thought that goes into every piece. Naturally, this collection flows with concepts of the avant-garde and was inspired by the interpersonal struggle to reflect and portray a full authentic self.

What does Fusion mean to you? I was watching Fusion for three years before attending F.I.T., since I was anxious to get my hands on any information about the school. Fusion was the only way I could really see what students at F.I.T. and Parsons were capable of making, and I knew that I wanted the chance to showcase a snapshot of my F.I.T. career as well.

To achieve this, I volunteered to help with the show and got a taste of the palpable energy that is present in a Fusion auditorium. I remember how many people could be so excited to see what is coming out of our schools and it is a priceless motivator. Now I view Fusion as a chance to test myself, just like moving to New York, or applying to F.I.T., I want the chance to present a little bit of myself and see what happens.

Joseph Li

F.I.T. Freshman

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Age: 19


What is fashion to you? I like to think of fashion as sculptural art: tangible and malleable forms.

Fusion Collection: Rupture – A volcano is defined as a rupture on the crust of a planetary-mass object. The bursting Earth and molten lava of an erupting volcano create a striking visual contrast. There is something so organic yet structural within the juxtaposition of the two. The shifting of tectonic plates diverging and converging creates a timeless beauty of nature and an explosion of romance.

The translation of fluidity and rigidity into the collection are prevalent as sleek lines with bursts and striations of movement. Undulating folds, pleats, and seams mimic the corrugations in the ground. Draping and fullness submit to lava’s flowing, smooth quality and its opposing detonation and flares.

What does Fusion mean to you? Fusion is a challenge to myself and my peers to create and inspire artwork on the runway and learn from each other.

Hsinyi Chao 

F.I.T. Freshman

Hometown: Taiwan

Age: 19


What is fashion to you? In my country, people don’t usually consider being a fashion designer as a really great job, they prefer to become doctors or lawyers. Fashion for me is a way of life. In the future, I do not care how wealthy I am as long as I am designing and doing things that I love. I came all the way to New York, the fashion capital of the world. I want to inspire people by my fashion. Some people think that fashion is not important, but I think that fashion affects everyone. In the fashion world, everybody has room to express themselves.

Fusion Collection: Peace – My collection is inspired by Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution. When England returned Hong Kong to China, China promised the right for the citizens to vote for their president and government, but China failed on this promise and didn’t give the right to vote to Hong Kong. In Hong Kong, people who are fighting for their rights called out for the people to stand up and fight. People sat still for peace in Central Center, the main square in Hong Kong.

At that time, there was a big typhoon in Hong Kong and everyone had their yellow umbrellas out, which is why it is called the Umbrella Revolution. Even though I am not from Hong Kong, in Taiwan we are also fighting for our right and place in this world. Through all of this I started to think about the world and was inspired to do an all white collection. I used white to inspire people to think about world peace, and the tucks were inspired by the shape of an umbrella.

The color of the umbrellas inspired me to use gold chain. The chain also represents our bond together and the toughness that is in front of us that we need to break through.

What does Fusion mean to you? Fusion is an amazing and fabulous opportunity for all young designers and I really hope to show people my thoughts and the designs that I am proud of.


15 thoughts on “2016 DESIGNERS → FIT


  2. Gabriela; I am so honored to be able to tell the world that you were my student in High school. I always knew you had that something that none of my other students had.Can’t wait to see the collection!

  3. Joshua Homic you are amazing and talented, cannot wait to see the Homics collection!

  4. Josh Homic…. Am so excited to see this! Have been a fan since meeting you a couple of years ago at Roseann’s shop in White Bear. See your Mom once and awhile. Sounds like all is well for you. Continued good luck!

  5. Bonjour Josh,
    Félicitations! Ça ne m’étonne pas! Bonne continuation!
    Mme Keller

  6. Good luck to all! Each of you are very talented and I can’t wait to see each of your collections, especially your Lilly Jewel Reynolds.

  7. Kelly Kuhl- your home town of Drumheller is proud of you! What a long ways you have come. Best of luck to you all the contestants!

  8. Good Luck to each of you. What an inspiring group. Looking forward to seeing each collection especially Lilly Jewel Reynolds

  9. Aly Reinert…I am so proud of you! Whoop whoop!

  10. Pingback: Designers Announced: Fusion 2016 | FUSION FASHION SHOW 2015

  11. Kyle Seongmin Jun for the winner!

  12. Kaitlin we are so proud of you!! Can’t wait to see HEX!!! your dreams are coming true!

  13. Hello Sylwia,
    I am the definitely the proudest teacher today! I already know that your collections will be absolutely creative and amazing! You are a true winner!

    Ms. George

  14. Goo Luck to all the talented designers. To my son Max, Love you and wishing you all the love and success in the world. hugs Mom

  15. Great show Sylvie! I’m impressed.

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