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Kering announces ‘Empowering Imagination’ winners

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Kering and the Parsons School of Design have announced Ya Jun Lin and Tiffany Huang as winners of its fifth ‘Empowering Imagination’ fashion design competition, which sees twelve 2016 graduates from the Parsons BFA Fashion Design course compete for the chance to visit Kering’s Materials Innovation Lab.

The winners were announced at the 68th annual Parsons Benefit, following all finalists presenting their thesis 3D collection and portfolios, across womenswear, menswear and accessories, to a panel of fashion insiders including Altuzarra founder and creative Director Joseph Altuzarra, CFDA president and chief executive Steven Kolb, Management Artists president and fashion talent agent Massimiliano Di Battista, Vogue Runway director Nicole Phelps, Saks Fifth Avenue’s SVP fashion director Roopal Patel, stylist Mel Ottenberg, and head of Kering America, Laurent Claquin.

The panel selected two winners based on the “conceptual vision and creativity” of their thesis collections, as well as their technical skills and ability to communicate the unique point of view behind the collection.

Commenting on the competition, Claquin said: “Parsons’ students have, once again, exceeded our expectations during this year’s "Empowering Imagination" contest. Ya Jun Lin and Tiffany Huang exhibit considerable talent.

“Their creative design and craftsmanship qualities are very important at Kering. We are happy to offer them a fantastic learning expedition at a number of Kering facilities in Europe.”

Ya Jun Lin and Tiffany Huang named winners of its Kering's ‘Empowering Imagination’ fashion design competition

The winners will undertake a two-week trip to Kering facilities in Italy in June, where they will visit Kering’s Materials Innovation Lab, which houses more than 2,000 sustainable fabric options available for use to all Kering brands, and many other brand locations in Milan, Vicenza, and Florence.

The winning designers’ thesis collections will be also exclusively be featured in Saks Fifth Avenue New York’s windows from May 27 to June 10. Additionally, the twelve finalists were granted invaluable visibility on Vogue.com and will be hosted for a mentoring session with Vogue.com editors.

Burak Cakmak, Dean of the School of Fashion, added: “I am proud of the work that the finalists presented, and thrilled that Ya Jun Lin and Tiffany Huang will be able to experience this wonderful opportunity.

“Kering is a leader in the fashion industry, and they continue to push past barriers into the future. At Parsons, we teach our students to think for real world problems, and I know the winners will learn and grow from their trip to the excellent Kering facilities in Europe.”

Images: Tiffany Huang

Parsons School of Design
tiffany huang
ya jun lin