Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Lauren Pope

"Thank you, Anderson," von Furstenberg said as she stepped onstage, and joked, "you sounded like an American Express commercial!"

Von Furstenberg encouraged graduates to be fearless as well, and not to be intimidated by press, buyers, retailers because "we're all one big happy family....Don't waste time. Life goes on and before you know it you'll be here where I am today."

With Parsons graduates like Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler preceding the current crop of BFA students - upon graduating the duo immediately went on to sell their collection to Barneys New York and were met with instant critical acclaim - young designers today might harbor the expectation of early fame, or perhaps be met with supporters pushing for their quick success. So is there too much hype surrounding new designers today, too soon?

"It is definitely a challenge when you are young and starting out to meet the expectations that people have of you," said Tim Gunn. "I face this every day with the 'Project Runway' designers. The world's view of what they should be achieving is completely unrealistic. It's a long maturation process. But when you do put yourself out there in that manner, there is an expectation. My hope is that the designers are prepared to meet it."