August 23, 2019
NEW YORK, NY – Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) returns to New York with Collection 19, its fourth annual showing at New York Fashion Week (NYFW), featuring work by 17 recent Apparel Design graduates. The runway show—sponsored by Tommy Hilfiger—will take place at Spring Studios on September 11 at 8 pm, offering an exclusive look at emerging talent entering the fashion world.
“These recent RISD Apparel Design graduates exemplify the strength of our program through their unique creative collections,” says RISD President Rosanne Somerson. “It is wonderful to watch them articulate their clear points of view, so eloquently rendered. The broader institutional vision, as set forth in RISD’s new strategic plan, commits to contributing to the creation of just societies, a sustainable planet and new ways of making and knowing. Our students embody these efforts through their individual work across disciplines, demonstrating their understanding of the important impact that artists and designers can make in defining a better future.”
All members of the Apparel Design graduating class of 2019 were tasked with creating their own unified bodies of original work throughout their senior year at RISD. Through the process of creating clothing – they reflected upon identity, society, emotions and the desire to make a difference.
“We are elated to welcome yet another successful group of emerging RISD designers to the fashion community,” notes RISD Apparel Design Department Head Lisa Z. Morgan. “Students were ultimately asked to explore not only the visual and tactile aspects of their work, but also charged with imagining how it might activate the evocative sense of smell. The designers explored the connections between clothing, the body, emotions and scent – and were thus encouraged to create narratives that live outside of the realm of the visual. New York Fashion Week is an extraordinary opportunity to present this sensory experience as interpreted by the creative and innovative minds of our recent graduates.”
IFF (iff.com), a global leader in taste, scent and nutrition, has generously provided RISD’s Apparel Design department with access to expert perfumers and its renowned insight and technical expertise in the art of scent creation. This rare collaboration with students has resulted in 11 unique fragrances, each specifically conceived and developed to realize the vision of the respective collections. Ten of these fragrances correspond to collections on view in NYFW show, and visitors will be invited to sample the scents before and after the show.
In support of RISD’s commitment to sustainably produced design, the scenic elements used in this show will be donated to Materials for the Arts (mfta.org), Big Reuse (bigreuse.org) and Art of Recycle (artofrecycle.org) so they can be reused by other nonprofit arts organizations, creative government agencies and public schools.
The seventeen 2019 graduates showing at NYFW were selected by a diverse panel of professionals who mentored the students over the course of the academic year and ultimately determined which garments were ready for the runway. This year’s visiting critics include Laurie Brewer, associate curator, Costumes & Textiles, RISD Museum of Art; Dominik Halas, men’s merchandiser, The RealReal; Mel Ottenberg (RISD 98), stylist, creative director, Interview Magazine; and Russian-American knitwear designer Henry Zankov.
The RISD Collection 19 designers are:
Ántonio Armani León
About Apparel Design at RISD
RISD’s Apparel Design department encourages resourceful, passionate making and provides students with the creative freedom to develop their unique potential. Through an immersive, studio-based practice, individual support and generous feedback from faculty and visiting creative professionals, students establish an authentic design language and identity. They are able to reflect upon the specifics of their creative process while cultivating the capacity to move fluidly between the visual, the written and the spoken word. Students demonstrate through their work that the embodied experience of wearing clothing is inseparable from how we connect, move through and act upon the world.
About Rhode Island School of Design
RISD’s mission, through its college and museum, is to educate students and the public in the creation and appreciation of works of art and design, to discover and transmit knowledge and to make lasting contributions to a global society through critical thinking, scholarship and innovation. The college’s strategic plan NEXT: RISD 2020–2027 sets an ambitious vision for educating students for the future and bringing creative practices to bear on the creation of just societies, a sustainable planet and new ways of making and knowing. RISD’s immersive model of art and design education, which emphasizes critical making through studio-based learning and robust study in the liberal arts, prepares students to intervene in the critical challenges of our time. Working with exceptional faculty and in extraordinary specialized facilities, 2,500 students from 69 countries engage in 42 full-time bachelor's and master's degree programs. RISD’s 30,000 alumni worldwide testify to the impact of this model of education, exemplifying the vital role artists and designers play in today’s society. Founded in 1877, RISD (pronounced “RIZ-dee”) and the RISD Museum help make Providence, RI among the most culturally active and creative cities in the region. Find more information at risd.edu.