Design Talents on the Rise: Yue Shen, Mingyang Zhang and Chelsea Grays

by The Daily Front Row

The Academy of Art University will hold its graduate show on September 8, during New York Fashion Week. Ahead of the event, The Daily is highlighting some of the unique talents presenting their MFA collections at the show. 


Mingyang Zhang and Yue Shen (Academy of Art University)

What to expect: Hardness transmitted through elements of deconstructed, tailored menswear, combined with the stiffness of thick wool fabrics creating an illusion of heavy armor.

Inspirations: Shen was attracted to the juxtaposition between beauty and struggle, while Zhang was intrigued by the softness hidden inside the strong armor projected to the outside world.

Worth noting: The end result is a collaboration that conquers its own demons and pressures to thrive beyond expectations.

Websites: and

Instagram: @yue7979 and @mingy.zhang

A moodboard from the Yue Shen and Mingyang Zhang’s Collaboration (Academy of Art University)


Chelsea Grays (Academy of Art University)

What to expect: Mix and match prints and patterns along with handcrafted elements in screen-print with hand-done wool felting.

Mystery muse: The works of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the distinctive way homeless people combine fabrics and garments together, in very contrasting formations.

Worth noting: Growing up, she recalls her mother wearing men’s clothing because she had to share clothes with her brother. Now, Grays has the ambition to change the world through her design skills and social awareness.


Instagram: @__chelsea.g

Chelsea Gray’s moodboard (Academy of Art University)

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