It’s a perennial dilemma in the fashion world: Which is better, exposure or exclusivity? Some designers have tried to have it both ways (consider the dozens of high-end houses, including Proenza Schouler, Comme des Garçons, Viktor and Rolf, and Jean Paul Gaultier, that have released fast-fashion diffusion lines in the last few years with Target and H&M). But what about fashion schools?
This year, it seems FIT and Parsons have definitively staked out their territory: Both schools are showcasing the work of their Fashion Design BFA seniors on the same night—Monday, April 26—and they’re two very different events. For the first time this year, FIT is debuting a live streaming broadcast of its invitation-only senior show, which theoretically makes its seniors’ designs immediately available for scrutiny by armchair enthusiasts worldwide.
Parsons’ showcase, by contrast, is part of a $1,500-a-head gala at Pier 60 that also honors Vera Wang and William K. Fung—definitely not a “live-stream” kind of event.
So which is a better strategy for getting grads noticed? It’s hard to say: the relative footing of Parsons and FIT in the real-life fashion world is debatable. FIT can boast Calvin Klein and Carolina Herrera as alums; Parsons has the equally venerable Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs, plus up-and-comers like Alexander Wang and Proenza Schouler. We’re looking forward to the reports from both runways—public and private.