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Meet the Designer Who Just Graduated College and is Already Showing at NYFW

Meet the Designer Who Just Graduated College and is Already Showing at NYFW

By Steff Yotka

You already know the big names to watch during New York Fashion Week — if you need to brush up, find the info here — but plenty of new talent is set to hit the scene this season. Collective shows, like VFiles, and venues that support designers on the rise, like Made, are two great sources for the up-and-coming, but if you want the absolute new new of NYFW, you’ll need to schedule a time to see Claire McKinney’s collection. Just how new is McKinney to the fashion world? She graduated Pratt this past May.

Thanks to some connections made at school, where she picked up the Liz Claiborne Concept to Product Award, McKinney will be presenting her collection at Ralph Pucci’s showroom by appointment September 11-16.

"The overarching theme is a reinterpretation of the workwear uniform," McKinney says of her reworked jeans and oversize knits. Informed by the simple richness of agricultural landscapes, McKinney looked not only to the outfits of farm laborers but also to her own studio uniform to conceive of new ways to make women’s wardrobe staples feel fresh. It's likely, too, that she's picked up some tips along the way from Jade Lai, the designer of Creatures of Comfort, whom McKinney assists in her design studio.

The opportunity to show at Fashion Week has left the young 20-something "shocked and honored," but she's not letting her quick rise faze her.

"I am excited about collaborating with some of my former classmates for my next collection," she says. We'll let you know when that bows next season, too.

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Photo Credit: Tak Ju Kwon