Jul 03, 2018 | By Erin Rechner
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Here at WGSN, we are always looking for the next leaders of tomorrow, so when an old colleague of mine asked if I would be FIT’s (Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC) kidswear critic for her senior class, I jumped on the chance to see what our future generation was up to.
The critic role entailed classroom visits throughout the semester where I guided and lent a hand to the students from concept to final items chosen to be sent down to judging. I saw everything from teacup inspired embroideries to hand-painted experiments to perfectly pleated oyster tulle.
It was actually quite difficult, as you get invested in the students and their work that you just want to send everything down! I was once in college, and had to sew tirelessly for my final thesis so I appreciated all the hard work and love that went into the garments.
Here are the top 4 kidswear designers to look out for:
Jongah Nicole Lee
Jongah was the winner of the Critic Award who created beautifully crafted garments including Intarsia hand-dyed fur, intricate curved seam details and hand-done floral embroidery. Inspired by her mom’s collection of London tea sets, she managed to make it incredibly modern and very wearable, definitely someone to look out for in the kidswear space.
I was intrigued by Paige from the start as she first explained how she wanted to leave as little impact on the environment as possible while using beets, tea and berries to dye her cut-up thrifted items and leftover muslin materials. We will definitely need more people like this in the design space as the world tries to lessen the impact of the fashion industry on the planet.
Lorena is a designer who knows what she wants and is incredibly determined and persistent. Her extraordinary girl’s occasionwear is delicate yet tough with complicated weave techniques alongside hand-beading and various pleating interpretations. She will for sure be a great asset to any kids, junior or even womenswear company in the future.
Last but not least, we have Angelica. From initial concepts to completed garments, she took in all of the comments and considerations to improve by changing things as she went along allowing her ideas to build. Any good designer knows that changes are inevitable and having the ability to be malleable within your own designs is a very strong skill to possess.
Overall the graduating class proved they are innovators and highly spirited individuals who will help shape kidswear in the years to come.
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