Mary-Alice Stephenson Champions For Young Designers At Parsons MFA

Eighteen designers from Parsons The New School for Design‘s Fashion Design and Society MFA program showed their collections Saturday morning. Sitting front and center to soak it all in was Mary-Alice Stephenson, who wholeheartedly supported the young designers and called them the “future of fashion”.

While their names aren’t as famous as Marc Jacobs just yet, the clothes spoke for themselves — and if Saturday’s show was any indication, each designer’s career is looking bright. Monochromatic suits and layered dresses seemed like a modern prairie look, colorblocking was still a huge factor, yarn was worked into Maison Martin Margiela-esque ensembles, and headphones were given a youthful vibe with rhinestones, faux flowers, and My Little Pony.

“The days of crawling your way up to be successful don’t matter as much,” Stephenson told us. “But if you have talent and are connected with the understanding of pop culture and social media, you’re able to have a voice in fashion at any age. As long as you have the talent and wearability factor. These are the future of fashion designers of the world. It’s interesting to see them take on aspects of what’s happening in popular culture, twist it up, and show it in a new way. Fashion’s always about what’s next, and this is next.”

Parsons has a long list of successful alumni, like Jacobs, Tom Ford, Doo Ri Chung, and Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler. Could there be one collection that catches everyone’s eyes? Possibly, but Stephenson isn’t concerned with that.

“You know what? I don’t look at it like that. I think there’s so much room for creativity, and there are incredible designs right now. It’s not about the next this person, or next that person, it’s really about supporting the fashion community. Fashion, in the past, has been about rivalry. Competition definitely energizes the fashion business, but as a young designer, you need a lot of support to be able to succeed. Fashion is one of the most difficult professions you can go into, so I’m here to support these kids. I believe that if the Parsons students are showing here now, they’ve got a great head start.”

Check out some looks below:

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