To be young, full of restless drive and talent and have studied at FIT. That’s Kieran Dallison, the inaugural winner of the GILT/CFDA All-Star Scholarship Award. Dallison was poised yet full of excitement in describing the import of the award – having his womenswear collection produced and sold by GILT.com, an exclusive online fashion website. The experience was “surreal,” he said.
Fashion writers swooned in to learn more about the vision of the boy from the Grand Canyon. “I think the pure ‘un-fashion-ness’ of northern Arizona has totally affected my life in fashion,” Dallison told Lucky magazine. “We’re designing clothes with an end purpose—they have to be wearable…I’m from a ski town—it’s actually a highland desert. So I draw on a lot of those desert colors in my work.” Dallison’s mom is a dancer, so “Movement and how clothes react to the body is hugely important to me…I also use a lot of “dancerly” fabrics and leotard-like necklines.”
Dallison, who was recently hired by ICB as an associate designer for its NY office, told us about the “great response” to the collection. “The sale was only up for two days. While it was up, about half of the pieces sold out, which is incredibly exciting. I wanted to create a collection of clothes that were easily understood, brightly colored, and super fun to wear. I like to put into my work lots of great pieces at affordable prices that still have a lot of the attention to detail and overall design aesthetic.”
In preparation for the CFDA award, Dallison told us he received an “incredible amount of support and guidance” from the Fashion Design Art department. “Those professors made themselves available to me at any time, and are spectacular people. They really helped me gain the confidence in my own work that has been crucial for me to get to this point.”
Dallison attended the awards with GILT.com co-founders Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson. “It was incredible to attend the awards with them,” he gushed.
Dallison advises FIT students: “make it a priority to do as much outside of class as you do in class. Internships are crucial, as you will inevitably need to foster positive relationships with your co-workers as you leave school and start to search for a job. Contests are a fantastic way to improve on your work as well.
“If I just went along with the curriculum as it is, I would have never had the opportunities I’ve enjoyed over the past couple years. Fashion Design is more than just a major – it’s a total life-commitment. It’s hard work, but it definitely pays off.”
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