I had the opportunity to sit down with Arielle Salkin, a recent graduate from the BFA Fashion Design program at Parsons The New School for Design. Like many students from Parsons, Arielle had solid experience and honors prior to graduation. She told me about her time in school and what became clear, is that her successes were not only due to her talent, but because she put herself out there.
Arielle’s senior thesis project was inspired by WWI vintage airplanes. The collection was focused, using chunky knits as the hero along with rich leathers and suiting for sophisticated, polished looks. She also included a mix of accessories like handbags and bangles to complete her capsule. Arielle told me that she never took a class in knitwear and this was her first sweater.
Last Fall, Arielle entered the Shoe Polytehnic design competition, despite not having taken a class in shoe design and hearing about the competition two days prior to its close date. Her days of intense sketching paid off as she was chosen to have her designs created by experts in Italy. A combination of wood, leather and other textures, her wedges and pumps were featured in the window of IRIS, a shoe boutique in the Meat Packing District. In the Spring, she was also a Finalist for The Fifth Annual Independent Handbag Designer Awards in the Best Handbag in Overall Style and Design Category for her stacked zebrawood, ponyhair clutch.
The refreshing thing about Arielle is that she has a strong sense of her target. As an Orthodox Jewish designer, she told me that she has to think creatively in order to make designs that are conservative, but still creative and fashion forward. Her solution is a mix of textures and construction details to stand out and transform a category.
Arielle is now creating custom pieces and hoping to venture into the world of accessories. Check out her entire collection at Arielle Salkin
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