Marist & Son Jung Wan: Marist Returns to New York Fashion Week

Marist College



Marist fashion student, alum show debut collection at special Marist reception


Marist Poll reveals fashion survey results, hosts "Fashion Wars" at Hammerstein Ballroom event


New York City (Sept. 16, 2015) – The growing internationalization of the Marist Fashion Program was on display last Saturday night as the College returned to New York Fashion Week for the third time in two years, hosting "Marist & Son Jung Wan," a reprise showing of Korean designer Son Jung Wan's Spring 2016 collection at one of NYFW's new venues, Skylight at Moynihan Station. Image of Marist & Son Jung Wan

Dozens of Marist fashion students got first-hand NYFW experience, supporting the production backstage and in the front of the house, working with the designer's public relations team, and covering the event as credentialed media.

Sharon Kwak, a senior fashion major from Summit, N.J., even conducted a face-to-face interview with Son Jung Wan in the designer's native Korean backstage before the show. "It was great to be able to speak to her directly about her fashion influences and her perspective on where the industry is headed," Sharon said. "We talked about the need to keep pushing yourself to succeed and to be really passionate about what you do."

Earlier in the evening, guests were treated to a showing of the debut collection from VLC, Inc., a new fashion house co-founded by a Marist alumnus and a current fashion student at a reception at the nearby Hammerstein Ballroom.

The reception also featured the latest survey results on fashion trends and attitudes and a live, interactive "Fashion Wars" from the Marist Poll.

Image of Ireland Baldwin leading models down the runway

Ireland Baldwin leads models down the runway at the conclusion of the Marist & Son Jung Wan reprise show.


"The fashion industry today is a truly global industry, so our students have to bring not only a perspective about the world around them," Marist President Dennis Murray said during a backstage interview before the start of the Son Jung Wan reprise show. "To expose them to this type of international show is really quite a unique experience."

Further defining Marist fashion's trend toward internationalization is the growth of study abroad programs available to Marist fashion students, including Mod'Spe Paris, the London College of Fashion, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and one at the College's Florence, Italy branch campus.

Following the reprise show, President Murray and Fashion Program Director Radley Cramer presented Son Jung Wan with the College's first-ever Silver Needle Innovation Award in recognition of her creativity and success in creating a global fashion brand. At other recent NYFW reprise shows, Marist presented Silver Needle Icon Awards separately to designers Betsey Johnson and Nanette Lepore.

Marist President Dennis Murray (left) and Fashion Program Director Radley Cramer present
designer Son Jung Wan with the College's Silver Needle Innovation Award

At the Hammerstein Ballroom reception, guests were treated to the first public showing of the debut collection from VLC, Inc. Chloe Li '16 and Lucas Song '14, both natives of Chongqing, China, bring both Chinese and western influences to their designs. Together, Chloe, a fashion major with a concentration in fashion design, and Lucas, who concentrated in fashion merchandising with a business minor, explained that their Marist education and, through it, their exposure to NYFW, made the decision to establish their business in New York City a natural choice.

"Marist taught us everything about art and fashion, and provided us with many opportunities," Chloe said.

"Thanks to Marist, the reprise shows, and our experience at the Silver Needle Fashion Shows, we know how fashion works, especially in New York City," Lucas said. "Most important of all, we really love New York for its energy and creativity." He explained that VLC plans to market its designs in both the U.S. and China.

The debut collection of VLC, Inc. was presented at a special reception the College hosted at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom. Right: Marist fashion student Chloe Li '16 and fashion alumnus Lucas Song '14, VLC co-founders.


The reception also saw a presentation from the Marist Poll, which used its industry-leading surveying expertise to poll the public on attitudes about fashion and its importance to personal identity. The audience got involved with the polling through live and interactive "Fashion Wars" in which competing designs and styles were presented on giant video screens so guests could vote for their favorites using their smart phones.

Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, and Barbara Carvalho, director of the Marist Poll, present results of the poll's fashion-related surveys at a reception at the Hammerstein Ballroom.


The Marist Fashion Program prepares students for successful and fulfilling careers in the global fashion industry through its regular presence at New York Fashion Week, the College's own Silver Needle Fashion Show, internships with industry leading organizations internationally and through the Marist in Manhattan program, and a dynamic curriculum grounded in the liberal arts and under the guidance of faculty members who are experts in their fields.

Along the way, they take advantage of opportunities to study abroad and get involved in entrepreneurial endeavors, like the student-run Fashionology retail shop and the development of a fashion and accessories line based on archival Marist College logos, seals, and images.


President Murray and College Trustee and CEO of LDJ Productions Laurie DeJong with designer Son Jung Wan
after the designer was presented with the Silver Needle Innovation Award.


Marist fashion students go on to start their own companies and work for established industry leaders, including Ann Taylor, Haddad Brands, LVMH, and Ralph Lauren. One distinguished alumna, Laurie DeJong '87, is a Marist trustee as well as the CEO of LDJ Productions, the New York-based event management firm that provides production management services for high-profile events around the world, including New York Fashion Week.

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