Justin Chu, Mijia Zhang Named Winners of “Empowering Imagination” Competition

parsons keringNEW YORK, Jun 3, 2014/ — Now on its third year, the prestigious “Empowering Imagination” student design competition has named Justin Chu and Mijia Zhang with Honorable Mention to Ximon Lee as winners.

Awarded by the Parsons The New School for Design and Kering, a world leader in apparel and accessories, a panel of fashion insiders including designer Tomas Maier, Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea, Style.com’s Dirk Standen, Kering’s Laurent Claquin, Paper Magazine’s Mickey Boardman, Saks Fifth Avenue’s Colleen Sherin, and Parsons’ Simon Collins, met on June 2nd to judge the work of the 14 finalists.

Justin Chu has been selected for his women’s ready-to-wear designs, and Mijia Zhang for her unisex collection. The student designers will be awarded an internship at one of Kering’s 22 luxury and sport & lifestyle brands and take part in a closed mentoring session with Style.com. Honorable Mention is being awarded to Ximon Lee for his menswear collection.

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

Justin Chu’s voluminous collection combines elegant fabrics with structural forms. “My thesis collection explores the notion that an evolutionary perfection is unattainable because standards of perfection are always in flux. I design for a woman constantly changing, one who is never settled on one way of living.”

Mijia Zhang took inspiration from robots for her unisex collection. Creating playful, boxy geometric shapes by combining classic fabrics with technical materials, Mijia’s designs contrast street wear and luxury design. “Humorous and playful are the two main adjectives behind my design. I believe the process of both designing and wearing clothes should be full of fun and delightful surprises.”

Ximon Lee’s menswer collection, Children of Leningradsky, is based upon a winter journey to Russia earlier this year.” In Russia, I was captivated by the unintentional styles of street children near suburban Moscow.”

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