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Connie De la Cruz

“My senior thesis collection is based on my investigation into amulets…. We tend to base our feelings, luck, and happiness on someone or something, creating this idea that we always need something to rely on. Nevertheless, I truly believe that ultimately everything is on us.”

Connie De la Cruz is from the Dominican Republic and began her studies at Parsons' affiliate school there, Altos de Chavón. After her sophomore year, she won a full scholarship to complete her studies at Parsons. Through her thesis collection, she was a finalist in a competition with Shoe Polytechnic in Milan, which produced the shoes in her collection.

"My work as a fashion designer always comes from my culture, emotions, and personal experiences," De la Cruz says. "It can begin as an abstract idea, which remains alive throughout the design process. People tend to generalize and create stereotypes based on where you were born or raised. I prefer to see culture as a much more personal concept. Of course, it is shaped by your ethnicity, but it also has a lot to do with the design and construction of yourself as an individual. My senior thesis collection is based on my investigation into amulets. I see amulets as a very personal yet cultural idea. We tend to base our feelings, luck, and happiness on someone or something, creating this idea that we always need something to rely on. Nevertheless, I truly believe that ultimately everything is on us. This is the reason why my pieces and prints are somehow pointing at the person wearing them; the sense of direction is really important through the collection. A stone called stibnite, also known as the 'transformation stone,' is particularly significant in developing my collection. (My prints are based on photographs I took of stibnites, and my color palette is based on the different shades of the stone.)"

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