Now that the Met Gala has wrapped, the fashion industry can turn its attention to celebrating the slew of students graduating from fashion schools across the country in the month of May. On Thursday night, the Fashion Institute of Technology presented its top BFA students in its annual Future of Fashion runway show to an audience of alumni, staff, family and industry experts. Spanning childrenswear, intimate apparel, knitwear, special occasion and sportswear, each runway look was handpicked by a group of esteemed fashion professionals, including Vogue editor Laird Borrelli-Persson, retail guru Ken Downing, stylists Kesha McLeod and Erin Walsh, as well as Emilia Petrarca from New York Magazine's The Cut.
This year, Troy Richards, the Dean of FIT's School of Art and Design, presented the 2019 graduating seniors with a brand new section for the anticipated runway show. Each concentration was given the opportunity to create a garment for its first-ever Street Style and Athletics Capsule Collection, which would then be judged by McLeod and Dyne designer Christopher Bevans.
"At this moment in time, sport, streetwear and high fashion are merging, as it's evident in the work of our creatively talented students here at FIT," said Richards in a video presentation featuring the students preparing for the runway show.
"It's amazing to see the gap between high fashion and streetwear and where it's going today," added McLeod, whose clients include James Harden, Serena Williams and La La Anthony. "I think it's thriving off of people's individuality. They're becoming the originators of their own brand and what they're doing."
Some memorable looks included sportswear design student Christina Colucci's thermo-chromatic, PVC-quilted snowsuit, and Nadia Hunt of intimate apparel's open-back, halter-style bra paired with sheer silk-chiffon pants. Ivy He took on the new challenge through knitwear, resulting in a cropped sweater, distressed shorts and a hand-crochet fanny pack. Gwen Hine, who studies special occasion wear, won the overall Critics Award for the Street Style and Athletics Capsule Collection for her sporty evening gown, comprised of a white hooded top, drawstring ruffle skirt and details like netting and scuba mesh. (You can read more about Hine's look here, too.)
From drop culture to Supreme's CFDA Award last year, streetwear's growing presence in the fashion world has been obvious for a long time, but it's interesting to see its recognition from an educational establishment like FIT, as well as its impact among young and aspiring designers. What's more impressive is how these students created athletic-style garments across every specialization, which goes to show just how applicable athletics, performance apparel and streetwear is to our everyday lives.
See the gallery below for our favorite looks from FIT's 2019 Future of Fashion show.