Research & Prototype Menswear Collection

Traditional Textiles in a Modern Context

During my collaborative learning experiences across Southeast Asia, I collected fabrics and samples, and designed prototypes. I started with the fabric — bought in the markets of Hanoi, Mumbai, Bangkok — and drew up rough sketches for silhouettes. I then collaborated with multiple tailors to realize the idea. In one prototype, I worked with artisans of a women's cooperative in Sakon Nakon Thailand to specially design the woven pattern and indigo dye. These clothes represent playful experiments; an exploration into the act of making and co-creating with traditional techniques.


Learning in the Field


Over two years abroad I visited many small collectives that practice traditional craft making.I dealt with problems supply-chain pressure, financing, and lack of demand. I left determined to help traditional processes, fabrics, knowledge, folklore, and ways of life thrive in a 21-century economy.

I often found these communities by working with groups like Fashion 4 Freedom and Nest, groups that support artisans by connecting them to capital and business opportunities. Sometimes I offered website and social media guidance in exchange for the opportunity to learn from the artisans directly; collaborating to make a unique artifact with some visits. I met with silk makers in Varanasi India, wood carvers in Hue Vietnam, hand-spun cotton producers in Laos, and natural indigo dye co-ops in northern Thailand. Each technique possesses immense cultural value. Crucially,

Business Prototype: Evolve Collective

challenging masculinity 

In the Strategic Design & Management Masters program at Parsons, I co-founded the Evolve Collective. Evolve is a social impact business initiative to disrupt conventional masculinity, liberate menswear, and completely reimagine how interesting people get clothes. We'll do it through 1.) clothing swaps 2.) political action 3.) maximalist editorials. Challenging traditional masculinity through clothing and collective action. Check out our website here

Business Prototypes: Gluestick


In a recent project for Parsons Strategic Design and Management masters, our team started with a simple problem: how do we meet people who are different then we are? How can we build something that sticks us together? We designed a business model focused on bringing strangers together to share strange, fun, unexpected events.  ]A swipe app that could unlock any city. After more than 65 interviews with New York residents age 22-38, we devised a platform for hosting and attending events with new people that was safe, innovative, and, crucially, non-transactional.

Design Thinking Christmas


This past holiday, with the support of the entire family, I applied design thinking tools to organize the Lepore Hagan family around a shared sense of purpose. I shot and edited this video as a testament to my family and to show you where I come from. Our Italian-American family celebrates Christmas like no one else. 

My grandfather, James Lepore, told our family why Christmas Eve and the Seven Fish Dinner matter to him. Growing up in the 30's, his quotidian routine consisted of labor and sameness. Against a backdrop of surreal industrial skies, life in a steel mill town heaved forward as "chore;" a doldrum of school and work. But Christmas Eve was different. Christmas Eve was full of crunchy "cumbet" confetti candies and pungent far-flung relatives misplacing coins in the couch; a night of exotic sauces and temporary abundance. Upright people misbehaved, slightly, and food was conjured as if by magic. In these moments, life appeared bigger than it was; mystically gigantic. As grandpa said: It was extra.