• Simon Collins

    “It’s not a Parsons ‘look’ we are after. The world is too big for that,” says Simon Collins, dean of the School of Fashion. “We are striving for a design philosophy in which we ask our students and ourselves never to settle, but to evolve and question—to learn about issues like sustainability and understand why they are relevant. Our students discover what is special about their talent, and then we prepare them to go out into the world to learn more.”

    A seasoned creative director with more than 20 years of experience, Collins worked with brands ranging from Polo Ralph Lauren to Fila, Zegna, and Marks and Spencer. Most recently he directed Nike's Asia Pacific division, a $900 million apparel business. But about his appointment as dean of Parsons’ School of Fashion in 2008 he says, “I felt like my whole career was preparation for this. It’s my job to be the brand guardian and connect Parsons to the fashion industry at every level all over the globe. I know what the industry needs, what students know and don’t know, and what is required to train them.”

    Increasingly, the school draws on connections with other areas of study at Parsons and The New School, from the social sciences to business, marketing, media, technology, and sustainability. “Fashion isn’t created in isolation,” says Collins. “Young designers need to learn to collaborate across the lines of traditional disciplines and work with a global perspective.”