The School of Fashion offers a robust roster of external partnerships, collaborations, and awards, implemented through intra and extra-curricular projects with support of industry partners from both the private and non-profit sectors. These opportunities offer an important educational experience for students that complements the knowledge base they are developing in the classroom. Students have the opportunity to enhance their professional and communication skills as well as build key relationships that continue post-graduation into their careers.
The Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CPF) hosts an annual Design for Disability Gala, which showcases new fashions for people with disabilities. Outfits, which feature innovations in fit, closures, and form, are designed by students from F.I.T., Pratt and Parsons, with insights from CPF’s disability experts and well as with mentorship from a legendary fashion designer.
In 2018, H&M awarded its inaugural Social Impact Award to honor the work of one outstanding graduating senior working in sustainability, diversity, and social justice. The award includes a mentorship and stipend.
Hela is a $200 million company focused on apparel manufacturing, design and innovation. They are headquartered in Sri Lanka and have a reach of 12 factories across 4 countries. Hela has spearheaded the industry in ethical and sustainable working environments and work with leading brands in the US and Europe to provide design to delivery solutions in the intimate, sleep and casual wear product range. See UNFPA for how Parsons has brought these partners together to solve urgent social problems.
Holition is an award winning digital creative studio specializing in emerging technologies crafting premium 3D digital experiences for a growing network of pioneering digital luxury organizations. Clients include Richemont, LVMH, Swatch Group and Kering Group across the emerging digital fashion and retail sectors. Holition's international deployments have been installed at premium retail stores including Selfridges, Harrods, Dover Street Market in London, Isetan in Tokyo, and Bloomingdales in New York. Parsons looks forward to being the first US school to participate in Holition’s annual UX Sprints competition.
- HUGO BOSS
Parsons is proud to continue its annual curricular collaboration with Hugo Boss as part of their global “Call to Action” initiative to lead the transition to a circular economy within the fashion industry. The 2018 interdisciplinary elective course focused on developing and marketing Circular Design Systems for the global menswear brand. Five teams, including students from BFA Fashion and BBA Design Management, worked collaboratively towards a proposal for Hugo Boss that encapsulates design, prototype, survey, and a launch of a circular system. Along with a $20,000 prize for the most comprehensive project, Hugo Boss awards paid internship opportunities at their headquarters in Germany to select candidates from the course.
A global Luxury group, Kering manages the development of a series of renowned Maisons in Fashion, Leather Goods, Jewelry and Watches: Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Boucheron, Pomellato, Dodo, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux, as well as Kering Eyewear. Aligned in our mutual dedication to sustainability, Parsons and Kering celebrated the final year of the “Empowering Imagination” design competition that provided two exceptional talents from the senior class of the school’s BFA program mentorships at Kering and $10,000 to launch their collections. Parsons has since applied use of Kering’s Environmental Protection & Loss application in the classroom and looks forward to developing new ways to innovate together.
In 2017 Parsons partnered with UNFPA on the Safe Birth Even Here (https://www.safebirthevenhere.org/)
Campaign to design and develop a clean and reusable undergarment that would help emergency-affected women and girls better maintain their menstrual hygiene. Manufactured by Hela Clothing, the undergarments are currently being distributed to refugee camps in Kenya.
UNLEASH is a global innovation lab that brings together people from all over the world to transform 1,000 personal insights into hundreds of ideas, and build lasting global networks around the Sustainable Development Goals. Parsons is proud to participate annually by sending select innovators from our current student body, alumni pool, and current faculty.
- YOOX – YOOXGEN Award
This annual partnership with YOOX promotes sustainable fashion practices as they apply to the fashion industry and include eco-sustainability, ethical production, respect of social and civil rights, and fair-trade rules among others. One outstanding senior is chosen to have their thesis collection sold on YOOXYGEN. This prize valued at $50K includes manufacture and production as well as a 6-month paid internship in Milan, Italy for development.
The Fashion Footwear Association of New York (FFANY) & ARSUTORIA School in Milan, Italy annually award the Joseph C. Moore Footwear Scholarship, in honor of Joseph C. Moore, former President & CEO of FFANY. The scholarship provides the opportunity to receive advanced training in footwear design at a 12-week shoe pattern making and prototyping course at the Arsutoria School in Milan. The scholarship includes free tuition, accommodation, and airfare.
Through an elective course for juniors in Apparel and Accessory design students are given the opportunity to work with the design team on original prototypes. Winning students are awarded prizes and internships by Luxottica – one of the worlds’ largest manufacturers in eye-wear.
- POLITECNICO CALZATURIERO
This second annual collaboration with Safilo provides up to Thesis level BFA students the opportunity to design and prototype eyewear as a pivotal component of their graduate collections. Beginning with concept-based submissions, candidates are selected to see designs come to fruition through oversight of Safilo designers and Creative Director. One outstanding senior is awarded $5,000 based on their final porotypes and thesis collection cohesion.
VF Corporation outfits consumers around the world with its diverse portfolio of iconic lifestyle brands, including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Wrangler® and Lee®. Founded in 1899, VF is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with socially and environmentally responsible operations spanning numerous geographies, product categories and distribution channels. Parsons is currently working on a collaborations with VF brands and their creative leads internationally.
In 2017, Parsons hosted BIOFABRICATE, the annual summit for the emerging world of grown materials. From algae and bacteria to mushrooms and yeast, discover the latest disruptive research and companies growing the materials of the future. From architecture to apparel and personal care to performance, BIOFABRICATE is THE event to experience how biotechnology is facilitating a new material revolution.
In Parsons’ annual Fashion Materiality elective, powered by CALIK DENIM, students investigate denim through the lens of design and construction, as well as its rich history and influence in the fashion industry, and have the opportunity to learn about denim design and wash development. Calik Denim supports the course in every aspect, from providing technical equipment and access to the Calik team, to supplying all the fabrics exclusively for the students to work with. Besides tradeshow opportunities students compete for Senior Thesis Material Sponsorship and internships at Calik in Turkey.
Parsons is a proud participant in the annual I-SKOOL™ Denim Design Award, which is much more than a simple competition: it is a structured training program meant to motivate youth to learn everything they can about the art of denim and gain experience through a number of workshops and denim seminars that take place in the inspiring CREATIVE ROOM™, ISKO™ style and design center located in Italy. The I-SKOOL™ Denim Design Award main goal is to guide students to discover the entire denim supply chain, share knowledge, and teach young talents how to develop a design that is scalable, allowing talent and creativity to take shape in real garments.
Launched in 1981, LINEAPELLE has become the most qualified international exhibition of leather and accessories, components, synthetics for footwear, leather goods, garments and furniture. Its constant leadership in quality and style innovation, which makes it indispensable to the leather demand worldwide, has characterized Lineapelle. LINEAPELLE and Parsons School of Fashion provide thesis level BFA students the opportunity to use high quality Italian leather, to be included in graduate collections.
Driven by an incredibly dedicated team; a diverse advisory board curated from the worlds of fashion, technology, sustainability, and academia; and a high-profile mentors board, FTL is a disruptive movement that empowers science and art to shift an industry of excess into a technologically advanced, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible enterprise. Parsons is proud to participate in FTL’s inaugural Innovation Challenge.
Solstiss is a renowned French company producing lace fabrics since 1879. This long-standing annual collaboration provides thesis level BFA students the opportunity to design a collection exploring the use of lace as a pivotal component of their work. Finalists work closely with Solstiss to select their materials and one winner is chosen to be awarded a trip to France to visit the Solstiss showroom in Paris and the lace factory in Caudry, France.
- SOPHIE HALLETTE
An international living reference in the art of making French lace and tulle, the story of the House of Sophie Hallette was woven in collaboration with the top names in 20th century haute couture and continues today with young couture and contemporary designers. For more than 130 years, the House of Sophie Hallette has passionately, perseveringly created unparalleled tulles and laces that inspire haute couture, ready-to-wear, decoration and luxury lingerie designers from around the world.
Launched in 2008, the annual Supima Design Competition was created to introduce the next generation of designers to the fashion industry. What started as a local design competition has quickly evolved into an international showcase with a NYFW-sanctioned runway show during the fall season and a high-profile presentation during Paris Fashion Week.
Swarovski, an Austrian company founded in 1895, is the leading designer and manufacturer of markets crystals, genuine gemstones & created stones and finished products such as jewelry and accessories, beauty products, and lighting. Parsons has a long-standing relationship with Swarovski ranging from contests and crystal sponsorship to integrated curriculum.
The Woolmark Company is a subsidiary of Australian Wool Innovation, a not-for-profit enterprise that conducts research, development and marketing along the worldwide supply chain for Australian wool on behalf of about 60,000 woolgrowers that help fund the company. Longtime supporters of emerging designers, Woolmark is partnering with Parsons on integrated curriculum, material sponsorship, and Wool education.
In 2018, Parsons and BANDIER came together to offer a graduating senior the opportunity to start the next great active wear collection. BANDIER awards the winner a $5,000 cash prize plus a paid 6-month internship at BANDIER to work with their design team to produce a capsule collection.
Browns is a fashion boutique based in London, England, founded by Joan Burstein and husband Sidney in 1970 and recently acquired by Farfetch. Browns is notable for its support of both young and established fashion designers; discovering talents such as John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane; and introducing American designers such as Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren to the London market.
CALA is a technology-enabled marketplace for the fashion industry providing fashion designers, musicians, artists, and influencers with a powerful online tool to seamlessly create one-off products or fully developed collections. CALA’s in-browser design platform aggregates the entire apparel supply chain in a secure, easy to use interface, and matches designers directly with a global network of production partners to fulfill their specific needs.
The CFDA’s commitment to education began in 1996 with the establishment of the CFDA Scholarship Program. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2016, the program has awarded more than 275 scholarships and $1.78M to students of 19 leading Undergraduate American fashion design programs. Today, CFDA Education + Professional Development supports all phases of the designer lifecycle from student to a full spectrum of emerging design talent and established CFDA Members with a focus on scholarships. Offerings provide access to resources, industry exposure, mentorship, and education including social innovation and sustainability. Highlights include the CFDA + Lexus Fashion* Initiative, the CFDA+ curated talent lab of global design graduates, and the annual CFDA Fashion Future Graduate Showcase.
- Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum
In 2018, Parsons students were featured in the TRANSMISSIONS: HERITAGE AND NEW CREATION exhibition, which was the result of an educational and creative project connecting the Cristóbal Balenciaga Museum and six prestigious fashion schools, with an experience of immersion in the philosophy, technique and biographical context of the master of haute couture. By means of visits in situ, analysis of archive pieces, study of digital resources and an individual process of research and creative development, the participants in this collective show reflect their personal interpretation of Balenciaga’s legacy.
In 2017, Luxury cruise line Cunard chose six students from The New School’s Parsons School of Design to join the Second Annual Transatlantic Fashion Week Crossing on board flagship ocean liner Queen Mary 2. The students put on a runway show of their thesis collections for guests on the voyage, which departed from Southampton, England for New York and included seven days of fashion-focused events, including the runway show, Q&A’s with industry leaders, and exclusive unveilings.
- EYES ON TALENT
The annual Eyes On Talents x PARSONS Innovation Award recognizes a fashion designer who is addressing critical social issues through technological innovation. The winner receives $5,000 Prize monies, presentation on Eyes on Talents website and dedicated newsletter, and public exposure through international press and media messaging.
- FLYING SOLO
Revolutionary industry fashion hub, Flying Solo, provides an ongoing award to select Parsons graduates and provide young designers with the vital resources they need to grow. Recipients are selected based on uniqueness, creativity, industry standards, and how well the collection compliments Flying Solo’s well-established aesthetic.
The award is offered to one selected designer who is exposed to the industry first hand, receiving a no-fee NYFW show and 3-months of dedicated retail space in their flagship store in the heart of SoHo, NYC.
Founded in 2011, the Google Cultural Institute is a not-for-profit initiative that partners with cultural organizations to bring the world’s cultural heritage online. They build free tools and technologies for the cultural sector to showcase and share their gems, making them more widely accessible to a global audience. Parsons is proud to be a continuing partner.
- GRADUATE FASHION WEEK
Each year Parsons sends an exemplary graduate to London’s Graduate Fashion Week, which is a charity organization founded in 1991 to unify both UK and International universities and create a stronghold for the creative industries. Showcasing the work of over 1,000 of the very best students and graduates from the most influential and inspiring universities around the world, Graduate Fashion Week represents the future of creative design talent. Attracting 30,000 guests each June, the annual event features 25 catwalk shows, exhibitions from over 40 universities and an acclaimed Gala Award Show alongside a packed live talks and workshops schedule featuring leading names from the fashion industry. An unrivalled platform for the promotion of new talent, Graduate Fashion Week bridges the gap between graduation and employment and is responsible for launching the careers of some of the most successful designers of our time including Christopher Bailey MBE, who was the winner of the first ever Graduate Fashion Week Gold Award, Stella McCartney, Giles Deacon, Matthew Williamson and Julien Macdonald.
Parsons announced the “Norell x Parsons” course as part of the Spring 2017 couture curriculum. A creative collaboration conceived in partnership with Parsons, Parlux Ltd., and Neiman Marcus, the unique program addresses the emerging, modern day challenges facing a new generation of fashion industry talent, inspired by the legacy of American designer, Norman Norell. The winning student, Anthony Galante, received $5,000, and the chance to produce his winning design that was ultimately featured in the Neiman Marcius Christmas catalog of 2017.
- PITTI TUTORSHIP
This award was established by Pitti Immagine in 2017 and is dedicated to talented graduates of fashion design schools internationally. Winners have the unique opportunity to have three targeted meetings with Mr. Riccardo Vannetti, Pitti Tutorship Director ,and his team to support and launch their career.
- SHOW STUDIO
Established in November 2000, SHOWstudio’s innovative and ground-breaking projects have defined the manner in which fashion is presented via the Internet. SHOWstudio has pioneered fashion film and is now recognized as the leading force behind this new medium, offering a unique platform to nurture and encourage fashion to engage with moving image in the digital age. The 2017 collaboration between SHOWstudio and Parsons highlighted our current curricular focus that encourages students to look beyond the garment and traditional representation of “collection” to include film/video, illustration, interactive design, and other forms of digital publication. The SHOWstudio prize was awarded to an outstanding graduating senior in fashion media representation in the form of a 3-month virtual mentorship with SHOWstudio founder Nick Knight, and an opportunity to be highlighted on SHOWstudio.com.
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Costume Institute and the Education Department at The Metropolitan Museum of Art sponsor an annual Design Competition for Undergraduates, in conjunction with that year’s exhibition.
The Underfashion Club was formed by members of the Intimate Apparel Industry to raise funds and expend energy to safeguard the present and future health of said industry by supporting education of new talent, attracting talent to careers in Intimate Apparel, and acting as a good citizen in the local community within which the industry exists. Parsons is in the third year of a sponsored Intimate Apparel course and contest and proud to be able to award one student scholarship annually.
Each year, Parsons works with Uniqlo to provide several students the unique opportunity to intern at the Japan headquarters.
WeWork awarded free collaborative work space for four 2018 graduates to launch their careers and continues to work with Parsons on creating a unique fashion hub to launch careers in fashion and technology.