Alumni Update: Steven Oo

Steven Oo graduated from the Academy of Art University’s School of Fashion with M.F.A. degrees in both Knitwear and Fashion Design. His senior collection  was shown at New York Fashion Week Fall ’10 in Bryant Park. Oo’s collection of layered, multi-textured knits earned praise from the New York Times and Women’s Wear Daily, and launched his career. After working as an associate designer at BCBG, Oo landed a job at Anthropologie – a move that opened up some amazing opportunities.

How long have you been working at Anthropologie and what do you do there?

It’s been a little over 6 months and I design sweaters.

What is your favorite thing about working there?

So many things but two definitely things that I love. Travel and Creativity.

We heard you are getting your own line through Anthropologie – how did that happen?

When I interviewed, I showed them a few pieces that I had done so far since my graduation show at Bryant Park and they loved a couple of them. They liked one of them so much they agreed to buy one from me as a vendor. I was able to do everything from sourcing to production on my own. It was an amazing learning experience for me and I’m extremely thankful.

How do you balance creativity and commerciality?

Anthropologie actually has a lot of room for creativity because the customer loves the unusual. Of course there are trends that you cannot ignore and must keep up with but we get to do a lot of hands-on designing and actually creating something from scratch. I’ve knitted quite a few original pieces for them at the knitting room at work, one of them is available in stores now!

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What advice would you give to graduating designers?

Your portfolio is going to be your lifesaver and definitely doing more than just the projects required by school is going to get you places. I’ve never interned before but had no problem getting a job because I built my portfolio up with a lot of independent things I had done outside of school. So go above and beyond!

What was the last item of note that you bought?

Amazing vintage hand crochet droplets from a vintage fair that I’ve turned into a crazy vest.

What other brands do you admire?

It changes as the seasons change but Ricardo Tisci has done amazing things for Givenchy. I loved the last two couture collections.

Who is the coolest person you know?

That’s tough… I know too many people so it’d be unfair to name just one.

Some of Steven Oo’s knitwear for Anthropologie

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