Kent State University NYFW
Photo: Kent State University / Instagram

Kent State University and IFA Paris Shine Together on NYFW Runway

At New York Fashion Week, Kent State University (KSU) and IFA Paris, celebrated fashion education giants, showcased a combined student collection. In an immersive experience at Lightbox NYC, 20 emerging designers from both schools paraded 40 unique outfits. Attendees were treated to a panoramic view of iconic NYC and Paris scenes, deepening the transatlantic collaboration’s essence.

Globally established, KSU proudly stands with its vast main campus in Ohio and additional centers in NYC and Florence. Conversely, IFA Paris marks its global presence with branches in Shanghai and Istanbul. Producing a student-run NYFW show is no small feat. Their efforts were bolstered with assistance from other collaborators like the New York Film Academy and the Garment District Alliance.

Reflecting on their partnership, Ann Mariko Walter, KSU’s NYC Fashion Director, commented to FashionUnited, “Our initial collaboration was indeed a success, albeit challenging. Our primary resources are based in Ohio. However, establishing a New York footprint, America’s fashion heartbeat was imperative. Teaming with IFA Paris, which boasts a stellar global network and brand prestige, was mutually beneficial. Given last year’s success, this collaboration deserved an encore as it amplifies our combined strengths.”

The showcase was a splendid fusion of IFA’s French elegance, spotlighting intricate drapery, ornate laces, and fine beading, contrasted by KSU’s energetic daily wear infused with innovatively structured proportions. Noteworthy were Joseph Miglio’s contemporary ensemble of capes and ballooning trousers and Esther Luo’s fitted dress with vivid designs, echoing Manhattan’s urban aura.

With a rich color palette of red, black, and white, Mariam Abdelmaajeed opened the show with an artful piece that intricately portrayed human anatomy. The climax was marked by designs from both institutions: a dress by Yaëlle Le Goff channeled Jean Paul Gaultier’s iconic 90s flair, while KSU’s Farah Shahrour presented a bold puffa jacket variation. Hawa Sisay Midekssa’s designs concluded the event, eloquently commenting on Ethiopian cultural heritage with intricate bodices and voluminous skirts adorned with ethereal designs.

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