Following the show at Elysée Montmartre, the ten graduates in fashion design had the unique opportunity to meet New-York-based designer and entrepreneur Kay Unger, Chair of the Parsons Board of Governors and Trustee of The New School, in the Gallery space at Rue Saint-Roch campus.
After presenting their senior thesis collections, the 2017 graduates had a two-hour meeting with the special guest to discuss the possible developments of their future career in the fashion industry. They were invited to answer questions such as « What was the biggest challenge you had to face to produce this final collection project? » or « What is your signature? » to introduce themselves. Kay Unger congratulated the ten designers and observed that « Every garment you’ve made had a purpose ».
Starting from her own experience as a successful fashion designer and entrepreneur, Kay Unger advised the young graduates to take time to learn from others and to find a mentor before thinking of launching their own businesses. She also insisted on the fundamental attention that designers must pay to the needs, perceptions and evolution of the users following the current cultural changes happening in Western and non-Western societies.
Kay Unger encouraged the ten young designers to take into account the challenge of sustainability and « fix the world we have messed up for you! ». She also advised them to avoid following trends and establish strong and personal aesthetic universes to express their own identities as designers.