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Cora Xu


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Hello! My name is Cora. I am currently pursuing MFA Fashion Design program at Academy of Art University in San Francisco. I previously studied fashion design at Parsons School of Design. Due to financial distress, I wasn't able to continue living in New York City. However, I am passionate about art & fashion, so I'm planning on finishing my studies in California.


Academy of Art University

Master's degree program
2024 - 2025
  • Majors:
    • Apparel and Textiles

The New School's Parsons School of Design

Associate's degree program
2020 - 2021
  • Majors:
    • Apparel and Textiles


  • Desired degree level:

    Master's degree program

  • Graduate schools of interest:

  • Transfer schools of interest:

  • Majors of interest:

    • Apparel and Textiles
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Apparel & Fashion

    • Dream career goals:

      Harvest Achievement Scholarship
      Hello, My name is Cora. Currently, I am pursuing MFA Fashion Design degree at Academy of Arts. I'm passionate about this field for many years. I love to sew on my free time. Recently, I was honored to won an essay scholarship "Met Gala Masterpiece Scholarship". I enjoyed writing about fashion events, society & cultural influences. I prefer to stay up to date with current fashion events, and trends. In addition, to continue learn about fashion, textile science, and new technology that revolutionize the fashion industry. Speaking of new technology, I've been designing in 3D rendering software such CLO3D. With this tool, you can design digital garments on a virtual model, sew it, fit it, and create a runway show video. It's an amazing tool to save fabric, in person fittings, and test out designs without actual materials in real life. The fashion industry currently is greatly influenced by European legacy brands and emerging designers. From here, I hope to see that more US designers emerge from this competitive market. Designer's personal style can be based on upbringing, experiences, and culture. As more emerging designers surface, we will see many different kinds of brands. There will be something for everyone. How exciting! Not just in the US, but also other countries as well, influenced by their cultures and environment. Like other immigrants and minorities in the US, I don't have that many relatives and personal connections. It has been a bit of a struggle in terms of networking to find jobs, opportunities etc. However, I'm optimistic that as long as I put in the hard work, we will see some results. As my professor mentioned, becoming a fashion designer is not easy. For the first few years, you might not make any money at all. However, I still have a big passion for it. It's good to see that there are scholarships supporting students to get through this rough patch. During COVID, I was accepted to Parsons School of Design to study Fashion Design, it's the best school for fashion in the US. However, due to financial constraints and no more COVID discount for rent, I had to move away from NYC and back to California. Now I'm studying at Academy of Art U for fashion design. It's full time, and while my husband is supporting the household. Unfortunately, tuition is still very expensive. I hope to obtain this scholarship to alleviate the financial burden for the family. Thank you for this opportunity to apply to the scholarship! Cora Xu
      Met Gala Masterpiece Scholarship
      One of my favorite Met Gala Themes is 2022: “In America: An Anthology of Fashion”. The fashion industry has been greatly influenced by European fashion houses for decades. The 2022 Met Gala, along with the 2021 Met Gala: “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”, served as a two part exhibition themed around American fashion. It celebrated the glamour of American fashion and its growing impact on the fashion industry today. My favorite look was Blake Lively in a grand Atelier Versace gown. The dress featured tributes to the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and more. New York City architecture and Art Deco style were the inspirations of the dress. Not only did it pay homage to American culture, but it was also a stunning reveal when she unfolded the dress to show the bright turquoise train, representing the statue of liberty, and its oxidized stain over time. The dress design was both classic in terms of New York culture, and exciting in terms of the train reveal. The outfit is very thoughtful to match the theme of the Met Gala. As a fashion designer, I believe that it is extremely meaningful when an outfit is designed to evoke emotions of the wearer and the audience. My least favorite look is Naomi’s black Burberry dress. According to the Vogue article, she mentioned: “My dress took inspiration from the regality seen in the Gilded Age, whilst also channeling the classic shapes and women of American history.” The most eye catching aspect of the Burberry dress is the sparkling Burberry logo all over the dress. They don’t represent American culture. The Gilded Age fashion was deeply influenced by Europe, when the upper class women would look to Paris for inspirations and integrate them into American fashion. Those were characterized by high necklines, corsets, leg-of-mutton sleeves, using embroideries, laces and ruffles. Nevertheless, I appreciate the relaxed dress representing evolution of female fashion, freeing women from tight corsets to more comfortable daily wear. On a related note, I've personally visited the Met to see The Costume Institute's Exhibition for "In America: A Lexicon of Fashion". It was eye opening to see many great American designers' work on display. American fashion is leading the future of this industry. Virgil Abloh's Off-White Ensemble piece in collaboration with Arc'teryx was one of my favorite from that exhibit, merging high fashion with activewear. Exploring style and utility in one. As I’m pursuing my MFA Fashion Design degree, I’m eager to learn more about fashion history, sub-cultures, and how fashion is evolving today in our society. Thank you for this opportunity for the scholarship, not only is it a chance to provide financial support for education, it also lead me to read tons of articles about American fashion history. I enjoyed this exercise thoroughly. Photo 1: Blake Lively; Photo 2: Naomi Campbell; Photo 3: Off-White Ensemble.