On May 12, TOMODACHI Uniqlo Fellow Ryohei Kawanishi’s work was one of 15 featured graduate projects on exhibit at the Parsons Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) Fashion Design + Society Exhibition. USJC Executive Vice President & COO Suzanne Basalla, Council Member Susan Onuma, Beverly Okada, and other friends joined the Opening Reception to celebrate the exhibition (also visited by notable fashion industry leaders such as Donna Karan).
Ryohei with his design
Ryohei, one of Japan’s most talented young fashion designers, created eight “looks” as part of his graduate project, titled The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even. This collection is a response to Marcel Duchamp’s enigmatic work of the same title, and showcases Ryohei's technique, creativity and humor. Ryohei has completed two years of study in the unique “Project Runway”-style MFA program at Parsons The New School for Design, with his graduate studies fully-funded through a generous gift to TOMODACHI by Uniqlo. Ryohei is greatly appreciative of the scholarship, without which he would not have found the opportunity to study in New York’s fashion scene or had been able to pursue his dream of creating his own designs.
Ryohei is one of three students in the first cohort of Fellows who entered school in September 2013. (His colleagues attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and Stanford Graduate School of Business.) In addition to his academic and studio training, Ryohei and the other TOMODACHI Uniqlo Fellows gained valuable business experience during a 2014 summer internship at Uniqlo USA’s NYC headquarters, under the leadership of Uniqlo USA’s Director for Corporate Social Responsibility, Mr. Jean Shein, who also attended the Exhibition’s Opening.
A model wearing Ryohei's design
Ryohei plans to work throughout the summer to complete additional looks for the collection in time for the Parsons Fall Runway Show in September, and has invited local USJC Associate Members and the TOMODACHI Uniqlo Fellows conducting internships in NYC this summer to visit him and learn more about his designs (details to follow, NYC-based Associate Members!).