FASHIONISTO SPOTLIGHT: Michael Ben Pinpin

Although it seems the fashion world is all about progression, the classics are essential components. They comprise the recipe to ensure the industry will last. FIDM '12 Debut Designer Michael Ben Pinpin understands that those lessons were best taught as a little boy. From schoolboy uniforms to runways, Pinpin is taking every step to the top with a sophisticated stride.

Name: Michael Ben Pinpin

Major: Fashion Design

CollegeFashionista:  How do you define fashion?

Michael Ben Pinpin: The definition of fashion to me is wearing your personality for people to see. Fashion is a reflection of the zeitgeist, the spirit of the times, and we as people are now affected by the world almost instantly through technology. The way our personality develops is how we respond to the world around us.

CF:  Who in the fashion industry is always getting it right?

MBP: Personally, I believe there are a number of designers that get it right almost all the time. Ralph Lauren has such a far reach through his many branches and is one of the few brands that is successfully tackling the mobile app market. I haven't seen very many designers try that yet. His company has the ability to target everybody.

CF:  How does your heritage influence being an American designer of today creating for tomorrow?

MBP: My mother’s side of the family is full of worldly people. They constantly look for something new and somewhere they haven't been before. They've instilled that “divide and conquer” manner in my brother and I.  We were introduced to different things at the same time so that we can share our experiences. The way they raised us made me susceptible to current events and culture, which is perfect for a fashion designer! Anything happening in the world can spark my creativity.

CF:  Describe your own personal style.

MBP: My personal style has always been very New England preppy. Since I was a baby my mother always kept me in some type of garment with a collar. I was raised to only use quality goods and investment pieces that will last and always look amazing. From my choice of immaculately white tennis shoes, clean side-parted hair and my strategically picked Jo Malone colognes, all centered around Jo Malone red roses, I'd like to say that almost everything about me is preppy.

CF:  FIDM Debut is a prestigious program for the school. What’s the process like from the moment you get chosen to preparing for the big day?

MBP: The process from the very beginning of the application to the very last show is about dedication, patience, quality and perseverance. Everyone involved in the debut program is dedicated to the quality of the show. The integrity of our garments is nothing to laugh at either. Our teachers drive us to make reach perfection and every single detail must be supreme in order to be approved. Never have I felt so pressured, inspired, stressed and enlightened, simultaneously, in such a short amount of time. This program is such an enriching rush. Three quarters really do zoom by, and it will test your ability to keep up. After everything, it will all be well rewarded when it’s finally time to watch the entire collection come to life on the runway.

How To: Whether it be at a table on Thanksgiving, spreading Christmas cheer or counting down on New Year’s Eve, it’s the season to brighten up any holiday. The best way to do so is with a statement colored pant paired with your favorite winter essentials. For a traffic stopping flare go for a rusty brick red with a white oxford shirt, fitted navy blazer and a chunky wool scarf. Try handsome olive with a denim shirt and Fair Isle sweater when you find yourself with a good stack of books and coffee. Adding a punch of mustard yellow can really dress up an outdoor adventure along with a puffer vest and button-down henley.

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