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  • Steven Zorrilla ’17

  • Fashioning New Futures

    Fashion Design (BFA)

    Based in New York City, BFA Fashion Design graduate Steven Zorrilla is head of product development at the acclaimed unisex brand Telfar and also works on his own menswear project, EVERYMAN. 

    Steven Zorrilla

    As a first-year student in the BFA Fashion Design program at Parsons Paris, Zorrilla felt his skills were improving but that he was “designing for no one.” His thinking changed in a foundation course taught by BBA Strategic Design and Management professor Kakee Scott. “I thought it would be a lot of sticky notes and whiteboards,” he jokes. Instead, Scott had the class read a report about dwindling U.S. auto sales among millennials and projections that in the coming decades, cars might become obsolete. She grouped the students and tasked them with designing a service that would help present-day drivers transition to a carless future 20 years from now. “It stuck with me that I could design for a specific future that I wanted to see become a reality.”

    Today, Zorrilla continues to design for the future. He oversees product development for Telfar, a brand celebrated for its rejection of gender binaries and luxury status symbols. One of his biggest projects was the revamping of the brand’s iconic shopping bag, nicknamed “the Bushwick Birkin.”

    “We overhauled the interior and made it a lot more functional,” says Zorrilla. The idea was to reference luxury “it” bags while offering it at a more affordable price. “The bag has become a status symbol and a sign of belonging to a certain crowd, except we’ve broadened that membership by making the bag accessible, not by making it exclusive. It has that cult status of a luxury bag –– but it’s under $300.”

    When he isn’t designing for Telfar, Zorrilla spends time researching for his own project, EVERYMAN, which began as his senior thesis at Parsons Paris. The project is focused on men’s clothing and investigates how menswear it relates to the construction and performance of masculinity in contemporary Western society.

    The collection proposes a gradual evolution of classic menswear archetypes such as the khaki pant or the button-down shirt. By introducing change incrementally in various iterations, EVERYMAN respects the heritage of classic menswear while exploring different trajectories for the future of men’s clothing.

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