Student on Student Interview: Benji Peng

Being in the Integrated Design Fashion major I often get the question, “What does that even mean?” Well, it’s kind of one of those unicorn majors not many people know about, but I for one am so glad I chose it! I liked my freshman year in Design and Management but I wanted a major that offered more freedom for me to be able to take classes in different departments and really explore my own design aesthetic including my likes and dislikes. A friend of mine who took the leap with me into IDC was Benji Peng.

A current junior like myself Benji is interested primarily in menswear design and feels that being in IDC allows him to not only explore this but other areas of design he is interested in as well. I chatted with Benji about his experience in IDC, his time abroad this past semester in London and also took a look into his process book and portfolio!

Benji

Benji in London!

Lauren Davis: Hey Benji! Let’s enlighten our audience on the awesomeness that is IDC, why did you choose this major? 

Benji Peng: I liked the idea of incorporating elements of different creative fileds in my work and research. I’ve always been interested in fashion design but I wanted more freedom to explore and really inject different creative elements rather than confining myself to just one thing.

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From jumbled map to a knit sweater, Benji’s process

LD: What inspires you creatively? What’s your design process like?

BP: I start by looking at things I wouldn’t be attracted to. I like to find things I don’t like and make it into something I do.  I don’t believe in looking at beautiful things for inspiration. I believe by looking at untraditional things you are able to find your own view of it and who knows, the outcome could be beauty.

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More from Benji’s process book

LD: What designers are you following right now?

BP: I love what Phoebe Philo is doing for Celine. J.W.Anderson, Raf Simons and of course, always– Comme Des Garçons. I’ve followed them for a long time now.

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A peek inside Benji’s sketchbook

LD: You did a study abroad this past semester at Central Saint Martins, what was that experience like?

BP: I think it’s great to get a fresh view on your creative work and CSM gave me that. There approach to concept developing and research is quite different than Parsons, it’s great to see different perspectives and also meet new people! I really enjoyed the experience and also being in London!

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A couple of looks from Benjis lookbook

LD: What are your plans for the future?

BP: Hopefully I’ll still be designing. I’m very open-minded and although I’ve been studying menswear because that has been my first sewing experience I’m definitely not opposed to womenswear either. At some point I would even like to go back to London because I really loved that city!

Thanks to Benji for sharing some of his work and experiences! 

About Lauren

Hey all! I am currently a junior at Parsons in the Integrated Design fashion program. You can usually find me creating or making things, I love a great D.I.Y. Other favorite activities of mine include thrifting, consuming frozen yogurt, dancing and discovering new music!

2 comments

  1. Diamonae Brantley

    I applied to Parsons majoring in Integrated Design with a focus in fashion. I was just wondering what kind of exposure do Integrated Design students get in the fashion industry? I’m pretty confident in my decision to major in Integrated Design but the only downfall for me would be that it seems like their isnt enough exposure. I know Fashion Design students get special opportunities to represent themselves to fashion industry professionals, for example the Parsons Festival Fashion Show, the Fashion Benefit, special competitions/awards just for fashion design students, and working with with fashion industry professionals (senior year). Do Integrated Design students get any attention or do they just have to make things happen for themselves?

    • Hi Diamonae! As a student in Integrated Fashion Design I will say that it is a very self-motivated major. There is not a very concrete way of doing things which works for a lot of students who prefer not to have a strict curriculum and not so well for others who need a lot of structure. I also know a couple of students in my major who for their senior year are wanting to show with the fashion design seniors and are also making that happen for themselves. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions.

      L

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