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Meet the SNR37 Judges

Each year, the week before Silver Needle Runway show, we have a panel of judges made up of industry professionals who critique our senior designers’ collections called Senior Thesis Presentation. This presentation prepares our senior design students to enter the fashion industry after graduation. One of the design students is also chosen by the judges to receive the Senior Designer of the Year award.  

image of marrisa wilson Marrissa Wilson

Marrisa Wilson is a first generation Guyanese-American designer raised in New Jersey. She also is a Marist Fashion Design Alumni who has a great amount of experience under her belt. She has worked for companies such as Maggy London, J. Mendel, Oscar de la Renta, Rag & Bone, Calvin Klein, & DKNY. Currently, Wilson is working as a Concept and Trend Director at CreateMe, while consecutively running her own brand, Marrisa Wilson NY. Founded in 2016, her brand is a womenswear apparel brand that incorporates cool, relaxed styling mixed with textiles and vibrant print artwork and all developed in-house. Her designs are heavily influenced by the aesthetics of soulful sounds and eclectic interior spaces, catering to the natural beauty of multicultural women everywhere. Her brand is based on two main values-- Self Love and Women Supporting Women, so MWNY’s customers can freely express their individuality through wardrobing. She is creating a community of strong, inspiring, and united women to celebrate and promote diversity in the fashion industry. 


image of emma gage Emma Gage

Emma Gage launched MELKE in 2020, creating a genderfluid collection through sustainable manufacturing practices of separates, outerwear, dresses and knitwear. The Minneapolis native seeks to empower those who wear the collection and encourage them to style the items to best showcase their identity. The knitwear pieces are handcrafted in India, in partnership with Knit One, Change One (KOCO), a sisterhood of artisans that breaks economic and education cycles and provides financial independence for women. Prior to launching the brand, Emma studied fashion design and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Marist College. She was the two-time winner of the YMA Fashion Scholarship as well as the Kate Spade and Company Foundation Scholarship - her designs and work focus on luxury and high fashion within the realms of sustainability. MELKE is sold on the brand’s e-commerce website www.melkenyc.com and in specialty stores worldwide.  


image of patrick gage Patrick Cupid

Patrick Cupid is a New York designer whose work combines the influences of the US with his experiences from traveling and working throughout Europe. American designer. His formal education is divided between F.I.T. and Parsons's prestigious schools in New York and the Politecnico di Milano. He has been designing clothes since he was a child and focuses on elegant womenswear with striking color combinations. Over the last ten years, Patrick has been working between the States and Europe as a consultant designer and visual stylist, carefully compiling a design vocabulary uniquely his own. Syllable by syllable building his own language that has roots as much in the deep cultural wealth of Europe as the rhythmic speed and seduction of New York, his hometown and base. 


image of alpana bawa Alpana Bawa

Alpana was born in New Delhi and moved to New York in 1983 to study design. She opened her store in Manhattan in 1989 and since then has kept a foot in both cities, designing in New York while regularly flying back to New Delhi to supervise her workshop and soak up new inspiration from the spectacle of India. Alpana produces clothing for women and for men as well as items for the home. Every garment and household item she designs is hand-assembled and embroidered by skilled artisans in her New Delhi workshop. She also designs and imports colorful accessories from India. Alpana is a strong supporter of ethical work standards, of production methods that are sensitive to the environment, and of women in all aspects of the clothing industry. 


image of martin cooper Martin Cooper

A graduate of the Parsons School of Design, Cooper started his career working in the women’s design studio at Calvin Klein Collection before moving to Fairbrooke Enterprises as design director for the licensed Calvin Klein and Perry Ellis Coats business. Most recently, Cooper served as Senior Vice President, Creative Director, Design for Lands’ End, where he seized the opportunity to partner with retail legend Joseph Boitano to modernize the brand’s approach to innovation and to make its products relevant in today’s marketplace. Prior, he was the Chief Creative Officer of Belstaff and played an instrumental role in turning Belstaff into a global luxury lifestyle brand. Formerly, Cooper served as Vice President and Design Director at Burberry. In this role, Cooper worked closely with Burberry chief creative officer Christopher Bailey in London, overseeing design, production, and manufacturing of the brand’s global outerwear. He also played a key role in the launch of Burberry Sport and Art of the Trench. He is the Co-founder of Mr. P’s Place Card Co., a luxury home accessories brand based in the hamlet of Old Chatham, in New York’s bucolic Hudson River Valley.


image of jeff mahshie Jeff Mahshie

After graduating from Parsons in 1987, Mahshie began his career designing sportswear for Carmelo Pomodoro. Mahshie has also served as a designer for Giorgio di Sant Angelo, Elie Tahari, and ABS by Allen Schwartz. Mahshie then went on to become the creative director at Chaiken for eight years, where he introduced swimwear, maternity, outerwear, and evening to the collections. After Chaiken, Mahshie continued his career as a creative director at Halston for two years, while simultaneously working as a costume designer for stage productions in NYC. Mahshie has won multiple awards for his costume designs, such as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design for a Musical and Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Costume Design. After being the creative director at Halston, Mahshie left to become a creative consultant at Tommy Hilfiger for two years before returning to his previous position as creative director, but for Lord & Taylor. Mahshie was then the senior VP creative director at Anne Klein for nine years. Currently, he is the Creative Director at Donna Karan. Along with his countless design accomplishments, Mahshie is an esteemed fashion industry professional and has been a member of the CFDA since 2003. 


image of lynne hiriak Lynne Hiriak

Lynne Hiriak is an FIT graduate with 25+ years of experience in the apparel design and product development industry. Previously, she was the Creative Director for CARDIGAN by Lynne Hiriak, a knitwear centric collection for the contemporary market known for cozy sweaters, cashmere, and cardigans. Lynne then worked as the VP of factory design at J.CREW, where she oversaw all apparel, swim, footwear, and non-apparel design and product development for the Factory Brand. She currently works as the SVP of design at J.CREW in the women's, men's, and crewcuts department.