Designer Bio: Eric Jernigan

By: Rachel Handel Filed under: Fashion

September 3, 2015

Current Student (6th quarter), Associate of Applied Science, Fashion Design, The Art Institute of New York City.
“I’m focused on staying organized so I have plenty of time to devote to each individual garment. Beyond that, I’m trying to go with the flow and enjoy this experience.”

Eric Jernigan’s interest in began at age six, while watching E!’s “Full Frontal Fashion.”  Looking back on the show, he recalls dreaming of the day that he’d show his own collection at New York Fashion Week. Encouraged by his parents, Eric dove into fashion, teaching himself about the industry through books including “How to Sew” and “Drawing Fashion Figures.” He also pursued his love of musical theater and was a  finalist for the role of “Simba” in Broadway’s production of “The Lion King.” Although he didn’t get the role, this success fueled his creative ambition even further.

Eric describes his collection for New York Fashion Week, “Beauteous Eruption,” as “electrically elegant; a mixture of fantasy, control and edge.” He’s hopeful that the collection will highlight his strength in eveningwear design—in new and unexpected ways. The collection was inspired by a mythical story of a goddess trapped in a volcano and later freed when it erupted. “My designs feature silhouettes, fabrics, and colors that allude to volcanic eruptions,” he says.

Eric adds that his design process is similar to how he’d write a play or compose a musical. “I start with the story and characters and my collection evolves from there. By creating a character, I can imagine her personality and the world she lives in.” He’s inspired by designers Galliano, McQueen, Versace, Posen, Jacobs, Mackie, Milena Camonera, and Eiko Ishioka. He also looks to online sources Stylesight,, Pinterest, Tumblr, and urban social groups.

Looking back on his education so far, Eric states that it has grounded and focused him as an artist. “I have tons of ideas but no clue where to start. I [enjoyed] classes such as Trend Forecasting and Rapid Visualization that helped me see design conceptually.” He recommends that budding designers walk through life as an open book. “With every inspiration, there's always a deeper connection and outcome to your work. Do your research, and explore, it's what helps a once simple idea turn into a masterpiece.”

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