Students from the class of 2022 are, in many ways, a product of their larger environment. These young fashion designers completed more than half their education during the pandemic, while the world around them endured upheaval and long-overdue social shifts.
While business interests have since allayed some of the fashion industry’s urgency around sustainability, social equity and inclusion, these graduating fashion students are resolute in their beliefs. Themes of nature, sustainability, cultural bridge building and inclusion were paramount in collections from five recent graduates surveyed by WWD, who were highlighted by their respective schools for exemplary design work. Many of them incorporated high-execution knitting and upcycled textiles into their collections, imbuing designs with a sense of handcraft and longevity.
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Here, students from five globally recognized, U.S.-based fashion design schools provide a window into their thesis collections and design ethos as they look toward a bright future:
Savannah College of Art and Design
Name: Beckham Lin
Hometown: Changhua City, Taiwan
WWD: Talk a little bit about your thesis designs and concept.
Beckham Lin: This collection represents when a person leaves the comfort of home, like a bird leaving the nest to fly out into the world. Every journey people experience is moving toward a dream for themselves, just like the bird soaring to great new heights. The bird represents my journey of finding and building my own home and environment where I can be my true authentic self. Much inspiration comes from eastern and western cultural viewpoints of home and family dynamics. My collection explores the idea of [xiào or filial piety] and each look represents the different steps of growth and embracing freedom.
WWD: What is important to you as a young fashion designer? Where do