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  • Fashion Design and Society MFA

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  • The MFA Fashion Design and Society is the first graduate program of its kind in the United States. Interdisciplinary and international, this program helps a small group of world-class designers develop a global understanding of fashion. The innovative curriculum enables you to make substantive contributions — both professional and conceptual — to fashion design. Initiated by Parsons alumna Donna Karan, the program has received support from numerous industry partners such as Diane von Furstenberg, Swarovski, Uniqlo, LVMH, and Kering.

    Program Highlights

    • Critical Cultural Exploration

      Investigate fashion as an important cultural visual language through studio-based projects incorporating research and exploration of social, ecological, and economic phenomena.

    • External Engagements

      Collaborate with industry partners, benefiting from access to high-profile designers and corporations as well as organizations concerned with human and planetary welfare.

    • Design Vocabulary

      Articulate your design identity through major projects, and take courses that refine your visual language in media including film, photography, essays, ephemera, fragrance, and performance.

    • International Visibility

      Present your final collection to a panel of industry leaders in fashion, design, and art; then make your debut in the annual runway show and exhibition at NY Fashion Week.

    • Entrepreneurship Skills

      Get support in launching your own company or brand through courses focused on professional practice as well as robust post-graduation professional consultation for alumni.

    • Award-Winning Designs

      Students and alumni have won or placed as finalists in competitions such as the LVMH Prize, H&M Award, Elaine Gold Launch Pad, and the Swarovski & Vogue Talents New Generation Award.

    • Degree Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
    • Format Full-time, on campus
    • Credits 60
    • Duration 2 years
  • Curriculum

    As a student in the MFA Fashion Design and Society program, your design identity and existing skill sets and design approaches take center stage through one-on-one mentorship. The curriculum challenges your perceptions and convictions with the aim of educating you as a well-rounded, independent designer in the field of fashion.

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  • Career Paths

    Career opportunities already begin to arise during your final semester of the program, with in-house visits from headhunters, recruitment agencies, and company design teams. Graduates pursue diverse careers, including fashion design, art direction, curating, and teaching. Alumni have taken positions within the industry at Alexander Wang, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Marc Jacobs, Nike, Theory, Thom Browne, Tory Burch, Proenza Shouler, and Uniqlo, to name a few.

  • The interdisciplinary approach of the program is reflected in its select faculty who are practitioners currently active within the field of fashion design, fashion consulting, art direction, graphic design, photography, film, fine art, performance, PR, and communications.

  • Beyond the Classroom

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      Research Labs

      Research is integral to the Parsons learning experience, and students and faculty work together to challenge existing paradigms and advance emerging scholarship and practice. Explore the thematic research laboratories housed at Parsons and throughout The New School.

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      Industry Engagement

      Connect to the organizations, businesses, and entrepreneurs driving global creativity and commerce. In classes, internships, and extracurricular projects, you gain marketable problem-solving skills in sectors ranging from government and nonprofits to tech and creative industries.

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      Internships

      New York City’s thriving creative industry and cultural institutions are part of your Parsons education. Our Career Services Office is enmeshed in the art and design industries and can help you advance your career with industry-oriented internships. 

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      Funded Opportunities

      Funds are earmarked for graduate travel, research, and work to support your study. Opportunities include paid teaching assistantships, research fellowships and assistantships (including ones offered throughout The New School), ample student employment, and other grants available to U.S. domestic and international students alike.

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      Making & Academic Resources

      Enjoy access to extensive resources including New School libraries, computer labs, archives, and studios, along with Parsons’ state-of-the-art Making Center, facilities offering a broad array of tools to support your creative and academic growth.

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