7 of Our MAFS Students Share Their Love for New York, Parsons and More

On August 18, 35 new students by way of Canada, South Africa, and a lot of places in between, entered Parsons as first-year graduate students in Fashion Studies. They are among the 70 incoming graduate students who make up the School of Art and Design History and Theory. Each student brings with them diverse backgrounds in fashion, economics, journalism, law and more, which we’re sure will come together to produce outstanding research and experiences. Get to know seven of our students as they share everything from their reasons for choosing Parsons to their favorite thing to wear. And, again, welcome class of 2016!


Caroline Lo from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science

Research interests: Undetermined; looking into the evolution of fashion media in the 20th Century.

Background in:“I completed my bachelor of arts in History and Political Science and originally thought I was going to pursue a career as a corporate lawyer. As a result, I spent some time working for the compliance and legal department at an investment management company as well as at a boutique law firm specializing in corporate governance and securities law. However, I soon realized that law was not the field for me, which is why I decided to pursue my dream of studying fashion.”

Why she chose Parsons: “I chose Parsons because I believe the MAFS program at Parsons is the only one of it’s kind and caliber (at least in North America). I can’t think of any other school that I would rather be at and feel very lucky to have been chosen for the M.A. Fashion Studies program here.”

Her favorite class so far and why:“I love all my classes!

What shes love about New York:“I love New York for its diversity and no-nonsense personality. In addition, there is never a shortage of inspiration here in the city and I definitely think I will learn a lot here academically and personally.”

Hobbies, interests: Ballet, cooking, trying out new restaurants, reading, writing, shopping and traveling.

Favorite thing to wear:“I love a great coat in fall and winter.”

Favorite quote on fashion: “You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Edith Head


Mariza M. Galindo from Dallas, TX

Bachelor of Arts in Psychology/Criminal Justice

Research interests: The realm of visual and creative effects with interests confined to explore the links between body language and fashion.

Background in: Research involving the degree media contributes to body dissatisfaction, eating disorders symptoms and life satisfaction in teenage girls, the interest of violent behavior from a multivariate format, examining the combined impact of genetics, family environment, personality, mental health, and media violence, and how the research field has become influenced by ideology and how this relates to other research fields in psychology.

Why she chose Parsons:“I chose Parsons because it encompasses a combination of various disciplines and its main purpose is to develop a critical understanding of fashion and its global intersections as a cultural movement.”

Her favorite class so far and why:“Fashion and The Body because it speaks to my interests.”

What she loves about New York: New York IS a creative process.”

Favorite thing to wear: “My grandmother’s vintage Ray Ban’s.”

Favorite quote on fashion: “My look is a cocktail. I’m not as nicely turned out as the French, but I don’t care like the English.” —Jane Birkin


Eboni Vance (goes by Spirit) from Atlanta, GA


Research interests: Identity and self esteem through everyday fashion

Background in: Financial analyst

Why she chose Parsons: “I chose Parsons because it is the best! As the number one fashion school, I knew that I could challenge myself to learn and grow.  The network is amazing as well.”

Her favorite class so far and why: “My favorite class so far is theorizing luxury. The class makes me look at my consumption habits and bring conscious awareness to how I am being targeted by brands.”

What she loves about New York: I love New York because it is so diverse. Everyone is doing their own thing; there’s an incredible energy around this city.”

Hobbies, interests: Styling, reading, blogging, working out and meditating.

Favorite thing to wear: “My favorite thing to wear are high heeled shoes. I love them so much!”

Favorite quote on fashion:“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat, you lost control of your life so you bought some sweatpants.”– Karl Lagerfeld


Bio photo

Aria Darcella from Toronto, Canada

Bachelor of Design, Fashion Communication

Research interests: Fashion photography

Background in: Fashion writing and history

Why she chose Parsons: “The program was exactly what I was looking for in terms of advancing my education and qualifications. And because of the Parsons’ reputation.”

Her favorite class so far and why: “Future Fashion Magazines because the course is centered around a very conceptual project that I think will be exciting to tackle.”

What she loves about New York:“The museums! I’m so grateful for my student discount on the entrance prices because I plan on attending as many as I can, and often.

Hobbies, interests: Reading, board games and travel.

Favorite thing to wear: “No items in particular, but I’m happiest when I feel presentable.”

Favorite quote on fashion: “Real style is never right or wrong. It’s a matter of being yourself on purpose.” -G. Bruce Boyer


Tansy Lea Stowell from London, UK

Bachelor of Art in Fashion Promotion

Background in: Art & design, promotion (specializing in styling), fashion film making, public relations and retail. She has worked at Piers Atkinson Millinery, Topshop and Selfridges.

Why she chose Parsons: Parsons is a world renowned school and one of the only universities to do MA Fashion Studies as an academic fashion major. When I first saw the building, it was this big, bold creative hub that stood out on an essentially busy distracting avenue, that excites you.”

Her favorite class so far and why:“Fashion, Time and Memory. I’m fascinated on the idea of nostalgia and empathy that can come from something new.”

What she loves about New York: “The energy, and how tilting your head back and looking up there is always something wonderful to be seen, not just on the street level. Every layer of New York is aesthetically inviting.”

Hobbies, interests:“I am a freelance milliner, and making hats and headpieces is soothing, yet challenging. I enjoy creating to the personality. I also enjoy museum/exhibition trips, swimming in any vicinity of water, and finding amazing new corners of the city to hang out in!”

Favorite thing to wear: Hanky Panky matching purple underwear set. It is sexy, my signature color; the key to a fabulous outfit is the foundations.”

Favorite quote on fashion:“I don’t like crap, I like craftsmenship.” – Isabella Blow

Caroline McCauley (nickname: Cara) from Hartville, Ohio

Bachelor of Art in English Literature

Research interests: How dress shapes and constructs masculine and feminine ideals, how dress materializes the body, and how fashion can be a source of empowerment for women.

Background in: Academic Writing, creative Writing (The University of Iowa Writing Seminar and Workshop) and journalism (NYU summer journalism program)

Why she chose Parsons: “The creative atmosphere, the ability to integrate multiple disciplines in my study and the encouragement of autonomous thinking.”

Her favorite class so far and why: Dress, Bodies, and Borders because I love how the course draws from not only fashion theory, but also gender studies and performance and science studies to investigate discussed topics. I love this notion of how bodies are viewed as the second skin. In this course, I want to look at how ideals are constantly being inscribed on the body and how these ideals are either subverted or embodied.”

What she loves about New York: “I love the eclectic mix of people. I like that I can walk outside and see different ways of life. I no longer feel as if I am trapped in a homogenous box, where everyone has the same story. I enjoy the intellectual stimulating activities peppered throughout the city. The exhibitions, plays, performances, conferences and readings are endless and so inspiring.”

Hobbies, interests: Writing, yoga, vintage shopping, reading, traveling, running, and sailing.

Favorite thing to wear:High heels. They give a woman sex appeal and power. With heels, a woman is able display her sexuality and exude a sense of authority.”

Favorite quote on fashion:“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”



Adelle McElveen from San Francisco, CA / Chapel Hill, NC

Bachelor’s in International Studies 

Background in: English teacher; politics (field organizer, Chief of Staff); tech (Facebook & Google); journalist (SF Fashion+Tech); entrepreneur (SF Fashion Film Festival).

Why she chose Parsons: “I heard that there was a program called “Fashion Studies,” and then there was no going back.”

Her favorite class so far and why: “I’m pretty excited that the Materiality of Fashion midterm is to identify a mystery piece of fabric. I’m an amateur textile nerd, so bring it on!”

What she loves about New York: With all the various exhibits, events, and talks, fashion is permeating my life on such a deeper level – and I love it!”  

Hobbies, interests: Blogging, reading magazines, kayaking, technology, traveling, playing in my closet, kickboxing, politics, wine tasting, planning world domination

Favorite thing to wear: Prints, skirts, fringe, bright colors

Favorite quote on fashion: “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

Stay tuned for more profiles on our new students!

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