“If the product is fantastic, it will market itself,” says accessories designer Aimee Kestenberg, an alumna of the BFA Integrated Design program. Recently featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, Kestenberg creates handbag collections that are sold at stores including Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor and at high-end boutiques and department stores worldwide. Her partnership with QVC puts her in front of 80 to 150 million people a week.
As an 18-year-old living in Melbourne, Australia, Kestenberg was
addicted to Project Runway. The show inspired her to create in New York City
and to research Parsons as a place to pursue her passion. “I realized that
Parsons was where I needed to be,” she says. In the BFA Integrated Design program,
she zeroed in on the skills she needed to combine product design and fashion.
After 18 months of working with various luxury design houses, Kestenberg launched her namesake collection. “I thought that once I was up and running, everything would be smooth sailing,” she says, “but that was far from the case.” Her nonstop workload requires a round-the-clock commitment, but Kestenberg wouldn’t have it any other way. “I live and breathe my business.”
The youngest board member of the High School of Fashion Industries, Kestenberg raises funds to help talented young designers gain exposure. She inspires students everywhere to stay true to themselves. “It’s important to maintain a point of view, but also to be yourself,” Kestenberg says. “Be open-minded, and remember that true beauty is in the flaws.”