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CENTRAL FALLS â€” Itâ€™s the Super Bowl of fashion design, and Josamir Torres of Central Falls will be there taking her fashion design skills from the classroom to the runway.
Torres, a 2008 graduate of Central Falls High School, is one of 10 student designers at The Art Institute of New York City who have been selected to bring their fashions to the industryâ€™s largest stage â€“ the semiannual New York Fashion Week, one of four major fashion weeks held around the world.
Torres, five other students and four recent graduates will present their Spring 2014 capsule collections on Sept. 5 at The Stage at New Yorkâ€™s Lincoln Center.
â€śItâ€™s going to be awesome,â€ť says Torres, who is in her second year of The Art Institute of New York Cityâ€™s Associate of Applied Science in Fashion Design program.
Each season, New York Fashion Week, branded Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in 2009, captures the worldâ€™s attention as more than 250 designers, including luminaries like Marc Jacobs, Jason Wu and Proenza Schouler, showcase their collections and unveil the upcoming seasonâ€™s trends at star-studded presentations and runway shows.
Itâ€™s also a chance for young designers like Torres to present their fashion designs to a global audience and get a coveted glimpse at what it takes to market themselves and her designs to potential clients and buyers. Torresâ€™ collection will include four menswear designs and two womenswear designs, which will showcase her vision and creativity as well as the techniques she learned in the classroom.
The clothing, which she sewed herself, will be modeled by live fashion models.
In her collection, Torresâ€™ designs focus on â€śbeing free and worry-free,â€ť she says.
â€śThe collection presents strong silhouettes and shapes in a unisex concept,â€ť she says. â€śThey are very relaxed and see-through, blurring gender lines,â€ť says Torres.
Born in Puerto Rico, Torres, 23, moved to Rhode Island in the third grade with her parents and two younger siblings, who live in Pawtucket.
Her mother is a teacherâ€™s aide for the Central Falls school system.
Whether itâ€™s ceramics, painting, drawing or music, Torres has always been fond of art in all of its forms.
After graduating from Central Falls High School, Torres attended Community College of Rhode Island, graduating in 2011. She moved to New York that same year to attend The Art Institute of New York City, which she says is the first step to fulfilling her dream of becoming a fashion designer.
â€śAt The Art Institute of New York City, our fashion program emphasizes innovation and creativity in fashion design while providing students the technical knowledge needed to enter the fashion industry,â€ť saysÂ Amanda Lovell, Academic Department chairwoman of fashion at the school. â€śWe balance developing their creative vision, building technical skills such as patternmaking and draping, and business skills like marketing, client relations and business practices.â€ť
For Torres, living in New York City has been life-changing.
â€śSince coming to New York Iâ€™ve experienced more than I could ever have imagined,â€ť she says. â€śItâ€™s a slice of the world so different from the one I had known.â€ť
Torres says her career goal is to become a fashion designer that caters to plus-sized people. As a plus-sized person herself, she feels the industry needs to adapt to support this segment, and her dream is to leave a meaningful mark in the way plus-sized customers are viewed.
â€śThere needs to more updated style for plus-size people,â€ť she says.