Parsons Paris

Student Profiles

  • Philippa Nesbitt '19


    Where were you born, and where did you grow up?
    I was born in Calgary, Canada. I have spent most of my life there so far but also lived in Melbourne, Australia, for a while when I was in high school.

    How has Paris inspired you in your projects and classes?
    My main project right now is my master’s thesis, which is about the emergence and experience of transgender and gender-nonconforming models in the contemporary fashion industry. While my research is not necessarily focused on Paris, the city has provided a great deal of access to the industry. Being able to actually take part in Fashion Week by attending shows and events has allowed me to meet models directly but has also granted me the opportunity to see the way gender plays out both on and off the runway during such an important time for the fashion industry. Being that Paris remains one of the major fashion cities, most of the major models and designers come here during that time. It’s really exciting to be able to see the juxtaposition of the culture of Fashion Week and everyday life in Paris!

    Have you done an internship? If so, where? What was your experience like?
    Since starting my master’s, I’ve done two internships. My first was a short one at the tradeshow Tranoï, where I was responsible for social media and live streaming the runway shows. My second was with Byronesque, which is an online personal shopping app for rare avant-garde vintage. Byronesque also does some amazing creative projects with really great brands, so my role was doing research in film, photo, and fashion archives for a few of these projects. One project I worked on was a short film on the designer Claude Montana, in collaboration with Nowness and Farfetch. That’ll be out on February 12.

    Tell us about something unique that you’ve done at Parsons Paris.
    Last year, my classmate Katie Wilkes and I received a grant to start a podcast, which we called Statements on Fashion: A Critical Fashion Podcast. We’ve had the opportunity to interview a wide range of fashion scholars and practitioners about various topics within fashion studies and issues within the fashion industry, and we’ve felt that the platform has made these topics really accessible. We have some really exciting episodes coming up in the next couple of weeks, including one with Professor Giulia Mensitieri about precarity in the fashion industry and one with Gill Linton from Byronesque about approaching avant-garde vintage in the digital age. You can listen to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play or visit our website,