Parsons School of Design

Matt Velasco

Prompt: The New School brings together a dynamic group of students interested in art, design, performing arts, entrepreneurship and critical thought. We would like to know more about your interest in joining our community and why you would be a good fit for The New School. We are particularly interested in knowing why you have applied to a specific school, college, program, area of study, or campus. 500-650 words.

 

Essay:

Dressing up as a ghost, firefighter, princess and whatever else I could dream up, filled hours when I was younger. At five years old, I would admire models on “America’s Next Top Model” and would imitate their walks, using a draped blanket as a dress. I played with fashion kits and “sewed” my own mini outfits for my small doll: using glue to adhere two pieces of small fabric together. While other kids my age were playing with cars and action figures, I was playing with my mom’s sewing machine and dressing my dolls with tiny fashions I had created. Although I did not realize it then, fashion would have immense power in conveying not only my emotions, but who I am as a person.

While some use their words or actions to express their emotions, I use my fashion and style. If I am feeling confident and vibrant, I will wear orange and black camouflage pants; more reserved and laid back, I wear black frayed jeans that cut off at the shin. Not only do my outfits allow me to broadcast my emotions, but fashion is also an interest I can share with others.

Having this enthusiasm for fashion has inspired me to construct my own garments. During my sophomore year, I learned to sew and created a short circle skirt with an elastic waistband and pockets for my first piece. There is no greater satisfaction to me than starting with a piece of fabric and creating something that no one else has imagined. To begin my fashion education, I have taken two summer classes at Parsons School of Design at The New School: Fashion Exploration and Fashion Construction. After visiting the Comme des Garçons exhibit at the MET, I draped an asymmetrical skirt, which I later spray painted gray and black. Being in the center of New York City, the fashion capital of the world, is something I will never forget; the famous Fifth Avenue, the quirky vintage stores, and the street style all influenced my aesthetic and direction as a designer.

Parsons’ extensive curriculum will allow me to venture into other fields of art while maintaining a focus on fashion design. Classes such as Integrative Studio and Sustainable Systems will be beneficial to my development as a well-balanced designer and artist, something which I value greatly. These classes will also help me explore a budding passion of mine:  environmental sustainability. The fashion industry has long been one of pollution and waste, and I hope that attending Parsons will allow me to shift other’s negative perceptions about fashion design and production. Parsons’s dedication to sustainability is something that I admire and hope to be apart of in the future. Since I was was young, I have admired designers such as Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford. Knowing that these talented designers attended Parsons signals that it is the perfect destination to help me become a successful designer.

My five-year-old self would be amazed at what I have learned so far about fashion. But he would also advise me to keep working hard to achieve my dream. Parsons, no matter how many times I visit, seems to be the perfect place to make my dream come true. And I am certain my five-year-old self would agree.

Tips for Writing:

This was my essay to Parsons School of Design. (I was accepted there and I’ll be going there in the fall.)

When I began writing the essay, I really tried to personalize it and not just make it an essay that I could copy and paste the name of multiple schools into. I took two classes at Parsons and I visited there a lot so I had a lot to write about. I think with prompts like “why are you a good fit” it is really important to understand what the school/ program stands for and why you would be a good fit there. You really want to make sure that you stand out as an individual who would contribute something new and exciting to the school.