Student Interview: Charis

Laying the groundwork on the mannequin.

When not busy rushing around between the Fashion Campus for her Parsons coursework and the Greenwich Village Campus for her Lang coursework, Charis works in the Admission Office as a Student Ambassador. You might have chatted with Charis, if you’ve ever participated in our Student AIM Chats.

Getting to know you.
Name: Charis
Major and Year: I’m in the Dual-Degree program with Parsons and Eugene Lang. Culture & Media Studies/Fashion Design BA/BFA ’14
Hometown: Williamstown, MA/New Milford, NJ

Quickfire Favorites List!
Artist or Designer: Pheobe Philo, Rei Kawakubo, Nicolas Ghesquière, and Yohji Yamamato (Sorry, I can’t choose!)
Right now, IQ84 by Haruki Murakami.
Design Blog:
Place on-campus: 
Open studio spaces in 2 West 13th Street building.
Place off-campus: Hudson River Park (great for exercise, relaxation, and fresh air!)
Hidden NYC gem:
 The Waffles and Dinges truck…so yummy!

Elaborate a little more…
What drew you to Parsons?
After talking to seniors and graduates who had “gone through it all” and were actually sad to be leaving despite promising futures at leading design companies, I knew I would enjoy my path to success here. My program doesn’t limit me, so I am able to pursue all of my interests through both programs and apply what I’ve learned both conceptually and through my craft.

Could you talk briefly about being in BA/BFA?
The BA/BFA program is a five-year program in which you earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eugene Lang College and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Parsons. With this program, you can explore your various interests without limiting yourself. The two majors you choose can be related or unrelated, and it’s really up to you how you’d like the programs to work together. Personally, I’ve found that my Culture & Media courses at Lang have informed my work at Parsons from the perspective of inspiration. I’ve learned a lot about the relationship between society and media, the systems of consumerism, and many interesting cultural phenomena. Further, I’ve learned about different ways to express my messages artistically, and which ones would be more successful than others. Though I’ve explored a lot of theory at Lang, I’ve been able to translate it more concretely in my work at Parsons. Note: This program is very intensive and challenging, so make sure to be ready to work hard and manage your time well!

Favorite thing/least favorite thing about Parsons?
Though it can be super challenging at times with the large workload and stressful deadlines/environment, I love the inspiration and intensity from the student body. Everyone is so hardworking and motivated that it unconsciously encourages you to work harder.

What’s your most beloved project?
I really enjoy the projects I do in my Integrated Studio courses. I get the opportunity to develop my concepts and various inspirations into realized collections, including fabric choices, illustrations, presentations, and garments, that are whole and meaningful to me.

Talk briefly about a past internship. How did you get it? What were your responsibilities? How did it prepare you?
I’ve been interning at a small company called Assembly New York. It’s a relatively small company, and being there I’ve been able to see the ins and outs of how an emerging fashion label is run. From production of the in-house men’s and women’s collections, to maintaining the store and vintage collections also on site, it’s been a very interesting and exciting experience. I’m now knowledgeable about the several aspects involved with starting your own company/clothing line, and the various steps necessary to take. Further, I now know what type of working environment I prefer, and that success in the Fashion industry can mean many things.

Either or: Your Parsons experience in a 6 word autobiography or haiku.
Inspiring, evolution, globalism, exploration, balance, + momentum.

Thanks Charis!


-by Victoria O’Neill-


  1. Pingback: Student Interview: Juan | PARSONS ADMISSION

  2. Belen

    Thank you for this interview! I am considering applying for dual degree too, so it was really nice to read about an insider perspective of what’s it like.

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