Kent State represented by Fashion School alumni at New York Fashion Week


Photo provided.

Samantha Tuly

Recent Kent State graduates Will Riddle and Sylvia Bukowski represented Kent State in the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Sept. 5 in New York City.

“It was probably the most incredible experience that I’ve ever had […] being submerged in the ultimate dream, which is to show at New York City Fashion Week,” Riddle who graduated in May 2013 with a degree in fashion design, said.

Riddle, a former art education major, has had a long-standing history with private art and design lessons. After his history in the art field, Riddle came to the design program knowing Kent State’s reputation for fashion design.

“I think The Fashion School at Kent State has opened so many doors for me because of its established reputation in the industry, as well as the recent push into the spotlight through things like the Supima Design Competition,” Riddle said.

Supima, an institution promoting Pima cotton, held the Supima Design Competition Fashion Show at NYC Fashion Week for its fifth year. The show gives young designers a chance to showcase and utilize his or her runway skills.

Riddle and Bukowski were selected to compete among six other recently graduated fashion students. They competed against former students from The Fashion Institute of Technology, Rhode Island School of Design and Savannah College of Art and Design.

After graduation in May, Riddle and Bukowski worked through the summer to create a collection containing five looks using different Supima cotton fabrics. Bukowski’s line featured items such as an elaborate knit dress. Riddle’s collection featured evening wear with fringe detailing and garments using techniques such as laser cutting.

“The idea was that even though it was five completely different fabrics that they would somehow make it a bit cohesive and really showcase the quality of the fabric,” said J.R. Campbell, Kent State Fashion School director.

Campbell and two faculty professors accompanied Riddle and Bukowski to New York City Fashion Week. Campbell said the pair’s collections were well-crafted and had superior attention to fit, making them contenders in the competition.

“The competition happened on Sept. 5, I came home to Ohio on [Sept. 7], and was back in NYC on [Sept. 12] looking for an apartment and a job,” Riddle said. Riddle mentioned that he is excited to begin his career and find happiness doing what he loves, fashion design.

Jess Haley, junior fashion design major, said, “having Kent be represented in New York Fashion Week was really cool for our school but mostly I was really excited for [Riddle and Bukowski] as individuals.”

Haley also expressed a feeling of inspiration and a willingness to live up to the examples they set for the Kent State Fashion School.

Contact Samantha Tuly at [email protected].