Atticus Stannard, Brianna Vargas, and Austin Tyler all attend The High School of Fashion Industries in NYC.



The Future of Fashion Is Here

Introducing the next generation of fashion designers, art directors, and young creative talent shaping the future of fashion. Although some have just entered high school, their passion for creativity and drive to succeed in a highly competitive industry is unwavering. And they’re hitting strides already, as apparel designers and fashion entrepreneurs in training at The High School of Fashion Industries, one of New York City’s largest technical and academic secondary schools preparing students for creative careers in fashion and design since 1926.

Like most style-conscious teens, these students eat, sleep, and breath fashion—and post their sartorial creations to Instagram—but it’s their embrace of creativity, individuality, and warm camaraderie that makes them standout candidates to lead the next wave of style innovation.  

Atticus Klasek Stannard

Atticus Klasek Stannard is a 15-year-old aspiring fashion designer and skateboarder who was accepted into the High School of Fashion Industries as a freshman. Originally from Arizona, he and his mother relocated to the city less than a year ago, though he struts and skates the streets of New York City like he’s been living here his entire life.

How he got his start in fashion:

Iʼve been designing clothes since I was 11. My older brother got me into fashion and shortly after we started making clothes together. He was always bleaching and painting on clothes and taught me the basics, which sparked my creativity.

On designers he admires and his inspiration:

My favorite fashion designers are Raf Simons, Rick Owens, Heliot Emil, Helmut Lang and many more. I think skateboarding has a big impact on my style and who I am. My brother inspired me to do fashion, and I thank him for that. Two of my favorite movie directors are Quentin Tarantino and Wes Anderson; they inspire my photos and the little bit of filming I do too. My favorite magazines are Thrasher which might sound corny to non-skateboarders but thatʼs one of them and I would say I-D is my other favorite.

His dreams and long term goals:

To do a fashion show in fashion week. Get my vision and Austin’s [who also goes to HSFI] out to the world; have some of my idols wear my clothes and have a store in New York City.

Brianna Krystal Vargas

As the youngest daughter of an immigrant Dominican family, 16-year-old Brianna Krystal Vargas feels like she’s the baby compared to her older siblings, but surely doesn’t act like one.  Despite commuting five days a week to Manhattan—via bus, ferry, and train from Staten Island, the 11th grade fashion student designs and manages her own online fashion brand, Krystal Clothing. Somehow she manages to find time to do this between classes, homework, and social life.

On balancing her priorities:

It’s really difficult but it’s all about time management. I started my line in the summer so it was really easy to manage. But once school started it definitely became pressuring.

Brianna’s inspiration:

My inspiration for my line Krystal comes from street style and graphic designs which have been really popular in the last few years. My favorite fashion designer at the moment is Christian Cowan. I love his use of bright colors and trendy patterns to make his amazing garments. I use the world as inspiration and luckily living in one of the fashion capitals of the world there is inspiration everywhere I go.

Projects she’s currently working on:

I’m super excited to be creating a garment for Brooklyn fashion week in April alongside students from my school. And making a swimwear collection that will be showcased at my school’s variety show.


Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and what you can’t do—just go for it.

Austin Tyler

Originally from Liberia, 18-year-old fashion student Austin Tyler immigrated to America with his mother less than a decade ago in search of opportunity. He has dreams of becoming a model and fashion designer and is well on his way of pursuing those goals with Lone Star Lab, a new fashion line he’s producing (with schoolmate Atticus K. Stannard) and modeling experiences with brands like Polaroid already under his belt.

Austin’s inspiration:

My environment is one of my means of inspiration for fashion as well as my big brother Anthony [who is also a fashion designer], my friends Moe and Jackson. I’m also inspired by Rick Owens and Raf Simons because they’re pretty different in their own way.

On managing his time as a student and designer: 

Basically, when I come home the first thing I do is make sure all of my homework is complete before I hop behind the sewing machine. Sometimes it can be hard to balance time and priorities but after a while of messing those two up, you’re gonna get the hang of it.

His advice for those looking to start their own fashion line:

Don’t let anyone tell you what you can and what you can’t do—just go for it.

Images courtesy of Lanna Apisukh

Stay tuned to Milk for more from the next generation.

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