AFTER SCHOOL: With news-making skills that seem to keep pace with her design ones, Laura Kim will be honored at Pratt Institute’s May 4 fashion show along with Fernando Garcia, her cocreative director at Oscar de la Renta.
The duo also started and design the Monse label, showing their most recent collection as a double billing with their Oscar de la Renta one during New York Fashion Week. They will pick up Pratt’s Fashion Visionary Award at the school’s 118th annual show at Spring Studios.
Kim learned sketching, pattern making and sewing, growing up in Seoul and Calgary before earning a bachelor of fine arts in fashion design at Pratt. Kim interned at TSE Cashmere, Donna Karan and Oscar de la Renta. With a B.S. in architecture from the University of Notre Dame, Garcia also interned at Oscar de la Renta and later served as principal designer for six years. In 2015, they launched Monse, which counts Selena Gomez, Sarah Jessica Parker and stylist Kate Young among its fans. Lottie Moss, Doutzen Kroes and Mia Moretti were front row for last week’s show at Skylight Clarkson Square. Garcia replaced Peter Copping, who had been selected by Oscar de la Renta as the heir apparent. Copping exited the house last summer after less than two years.
Shortly before the end of last year, Carolina Herrera Ltd. filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of the State of New York to try to block Kim from joining de la Renta. It claimed Kim had a six month non-compete agreement which, according to the lawsuit, barred the designer from working at only one other fashion house: Oscar de la Renta. Last month, all three parties agreed to a settlement, which allowed Kim to return to Oscar de la Renta. At that time, terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
As Pratt Fashion honorees, Kim and Garcia follow in the footsteps of Harold Koda, Francisco Costa, Stephen Burrows, Byron Lars and Thom Browne — all of whom have been celebrated at the annual senior fashion shows in years past. In keeping with tradition, a group of seniors are selected by a panel of industry experts to show a collection of eight to 15 styles. Jennifer Minniti, chair of Pratt’s Fashion Department, said of this year’s honorees, “It’s an exciting time at Pratt Fashion — we’re [pleased] to honor a powerful design team in which one of the designers is a Pratt alumna.”